2019 TPVD meeting week #42

Hotel California – Dancing in the Moonlight, September 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on October 18th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with a lot of text-based general chat. This being the case, key points are summarised below without the usual time stamps.

SL Viewer News

On Friday, October 18th, 2019:

  • A new Maintenance viewer, version 6.3.3.531784 and code-named Wassail, was released. This viewer is based on the current release viewer and contains some 30 fixes and includes viewer manager 2.0.531000 (used in launching the viewer).
  • The viewer RC viewer was merged with the current release viewer and updated to version 6.3.3.531811.

The remaining viewer pipelines remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.2.530962, formerly the Vinsanto Maintenance RC viewer, dated September 17, promoted October 15th, 2019 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16.

The Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906 and Obsolete Platform viewer 3.7.28.300847 (Windows XP / Mac OS X below 10.7), are no longer listed on the Alternate Viewer page, but remain available via direct link.

In Brief

  • Currently, the next viewers in line for possible promotion are the Ordered Shutdown viewer and the Voice Update viewer, although the latter is awaiting either an update or information from Vivox.
  • Texture Loading / Caching viewer: work has resumed on this viewer, but it still remains some way out from appearing as a public release. Rider and Aura Linden are both working on this, although both are also engaged on other viewer projects.
  • Viewer build tools update (Visual Studio 2017 and Xcode 10.3 for OS X): said to be in “good condition” but no commitment as to when it will start to be used for production viewers.
  • As per my CCUG notes, the remaining issues for EEP are largely graphics related, both of the new graphics resources, Ptolemy and Euclid Linden are getting up to speed to be able to work on the project.

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2019 TPVD meeting week #40

Clifton Forge, August 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on October 4th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with the majority of the meeting conducted in text and revolving around Bakes on Mesh. This being the case, points are summarised below without the usual time stamps.

SL Viewer News

There have been no further updates to the official SL pipelines since the updates at the start of the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.1.530559, formerly the Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer, dated, September 5th – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Brief Notes

  • As noted in my recent CCUG summaries, the Lab have recruited two more graphics experts (Euclid Linden and one other), who will be working on EEP and rendering projects once they are up to speed.
  • The new Voice update viewer should be going to QA in week #41 (commencing Monday, October 7th). This was delayed as a result of a last minute issue preventing it going to QA and then being issued this week.

Bakes on Mesh (BoM)

There is reportedly some confusion about Bakes on Mesh, with some users believing it means that “have” to switch back to using system wearables. This is not the case; those who wish to continue to use applier-based wearables can do so. Similarly, those who prefer to use mesh clothing can continue to do so. Bakes on Mesh is simply a means to allow system wearables to be used on mesh bodies and heads.

It is also hoped by the Lab that BoM will allow mesh head and body makers simplify their products by removing the need for some of the “onion” layers. This should reduce the rendering complexity of bodies and heads, making them less resource intensive to render.

For more detailed information on Bakes on Mesh, please refer to the following links:

Linden Lab:

Creator-related BoM documentation:

Informative Bakes on Mesh blog post:

In addition, Firestorm has created their own Bakes on Mesh wiki.

TPV Notes

  • Catznip has a BoM beta (and has done for a while), but release is pending some more work being completed.
  • Radegast is close to having a BoM release available.

2019 SL User Groups 38/3: TPVD meeting

HollyWeird, Hotel California – August 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on September 20th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. This was a relatively short meeting, with the majority of topics covered in the first 20 minutes.

SL Viewer News

There have been no further updates to the official SL pipelines since the updates at the start of the week, leaving them as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.1.530559, formerly the Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer, dated September 5th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Vinsanto RC viewer, version 6.3.2.530962, September 17th.
    • Ordered Shutdown RC viewer, version 6.3.2.530901, September 16th. This viewer has changes intended to make crashes on shut-down less likely, but does not have any changes to existing features.
    • EEP RC viewer, version 6.4.0.530150, August 19th.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.3.2.530836, September 17th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530473, September 11th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Note: Bakes on Mesh introduced an at-login crash that some viewers are experiencing. This has been the subject of a bug report and a fix will be making its way into a maintenance viewer.

Brief Viewer-Related Notes

EEP Viewer

EEP progress has been slowed down for the time being – but for good reasons. The Lab has hired two new rendering system experts, one of whom has already started. They are due to work on EEP related rendering but they will both take time to be introduced to the Lab’s working environment and the EEP project as a whole. This expertise will also be put to work on general rendering work through projects such as the Love Me Render pipeline.

Voice Viewer

The long-awaited Voice viewer update should be appearing in week #39 (commencing Monday, September 23rd), containing assorted fixes for the viewer side of voice.

  • In particular, it is hoped this update will fix the (predominantly Mac-related) issue of disconnects as a result of a user speaking too softly / having the microphone set too low / pausing for extended period when speaking.
  • However, there are some issues believed to be server-side that are still being addressed (such as users appearing to be on a separate voice channel to the region of a region, requiring a relog).
  • It is believed the version of SLvoice.exe in this viewer will function OK with TPVs, although the Lab has obviously not tested this.

Once out, this viewer will likely be pushed through to release status as soon as progress / lack of issues allow.

Viewer Caching / Texture Memory Use

This work is again getting attention, but it will still be a while before it received “substantive” attention once more, in order for a project /RC viewer to make an appearance.

Viewer Build Related Notes

Viewer Build Manifest Updates

From a development perspective, the Voice viewer also includes change to the viewer build manifest, so it accurately reflects viewer build library requirements and correctly reports on missing libraries. Those who self-compile should listen to the video between 10:30 and 14:00.

Viewer Build Tools Project

The work to update the viewer build process to use Visual Studio 2017 and Xcode 10.3 for OS X is still progressing. It is anticipated that results from this work will be visible in the next few weeks.

Mercurial to Github Migration

Bitbucket, used to manage viewer repositories) will be sunsetting support for Mercurial; Linden Lab will therefore be switching to git on bitbucket for their repositories.

  • Currently, the Lab is experimenting with converting come of their internal repositories from Mercurial to git to see if it is possible to do code merges in both directions via the same tool.
  • If successful, LL will document the tool and process, then move to try the same procedure against their build repositories, then run things in parallel before finally switching over.
  • The process is expected to be measured in 2-3 months rather than weeks, and the documentation the Lab produces will be made available to TPVs to allow them to migrate where required, and efforts will be made to keep TPVs informed on overall progress.
  • Overall, it is anticipated that the overall process will not be quite as “scary” as has been feared.

2019 SL User Groups 36/2: TPVD meeting

Lost Lagoon, July 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on September 6th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it.

This was a meeting with a lot of text chat that didn’t generate a meaningful discussion. Therefore, only key points are recorded below.

SL Viewer News

[0:19-3:10]

The Umeshu maintenance RC updated to version 6.3.1.530559 on September 5th. All other viewers remain as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.3.0.530115, formerly the Bakes on Mesh RC viewer, promoted August 26th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530100, August 19.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, June 5. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Brief Notes on Viewers

  • The Umeshu RC maintenance viewer will likely be promoted to release status in week #37 (commencing Monday, September 9th).
  • The voice viewer is still in progress, but has yet to surface as a publicly-available viewer.
  • Snapshot project viewer:
    • There are allegedly titling issues when taken very high resolution images with ALM and SSAO enabled.
    • There are also HUD appearance issues with hi-res snapshot and the option to include HUDs in images enabled, as per BUG-227587.
  • [3:33-4:30] EEP has further fixes on the rendering front, which are with the Lab’s QA team, so an updated to the RC viewer can be anticipated in the next week or so. This is unlikely to be the last RC update. However, if anyone testing the viewer has issues they are not aware of having been reported, they are asked to ensure they raise a bug report.

ARCTan

[3:10-3:33]

Project Summary

An attempt re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs to make them more reflective of the actual impact of rendering both. The overall aim is to try to correct some inherent negative incentives for creating optimised content (e.g. with regards to generating LOD models with mesh), and to update the calculations to reflect current resource constraints, rather than basing them on outdated constraints (e.g. graphics systems, network capabilities, etc).

Current Status

  • More focus is being put into this project, but there is still a fair amount of “catch-up” to do.
  • Current focus remains on data gathering.
  • It will still be some time before users start to see anything visible surfacing for this work.

In Brief

Group Related

  • [5:35-7:10] Recent tweaks to improve group chat lag has resulted in some issues for group chat moderation. LL is aware of the problems and a fix is in the works.
    • In the meantime, LL continue to carry out careful experiments and adjustments to the group chat system to try to make it more responsive.
  • [12:00-22:00] – largely text chat
    • BUG-10804 – Group Role count inaccuracies: this is a long-running issue with groups with more than 5,000 members, one outcome of which means it’s not always possible to see who is assigned to specialist roles within a group, as they are not listed – and it is impossible to remove roles from users (where they no longer require them) if the user isn’t listed.
    • BUG-11269 – group profile shows an incorrect membership number.
    • Part of the comments were around removing inactive accounts – however, the Lab is loathe to do this, due to the number of users who leave SL and return with a request the LL reactivate their account.

Inventory

  • [7:20-7:55] BUG-227179 – off-line inventory offers from scripted objects are lost. This is awaiting resources to be worked on.

2019 SL User Groups 34/3: TPVD meeting

Autumn Trace; Inara Pey, July 2019, on FlickrAutumn Trace, July 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 23rd, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below.

This was another  short meeting with a lot of general text chat, not reflected in these notes.

SL Viewer News

[0:10-5:45]

  • Current Release version 6.2.4.529638, formerly the Love Me Render RC viewer dated August 5th, promoted August 12th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.530100, August 19th.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, June th5. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Bakes on Mesh

As per my August 22nd Content Creation User Group meeting notes, the Lab is hoping to promote Bakes on Mesh (BoM) to release status in week #35 – possibly as early as Monday, August 26th, 2019.

Umeshu RC

This is ready for promotion, but has been held back as the Lab want to get Bakes on Mesh promoted to release. Umeshu therefore looks most likely to be promoted in the near future. However, if there are late-breaking issues with BoM, the Umeshu RC could be promoted in its place.

EEP

As well as the rendering issues currently being addressed, there is apparently one new simulator bug that is being investigated.

Voice Viewer

There is an upcoming Voice RC viewer, intended to address various voice drop-out issues. It may also have an update SLvoice.exe binary. This is currently awaiting a fix prior to being surfaced in the Alternate Viewers page / the available viewers index page.

In Brief

  • Bitbucket: used to manage viewer repositories) will be sunsetting support for Mercurial; Linden Lab will therefore be switching to git on bitbucket for their repositories. However, the work is not seen as currently being urgent, with Oz Linden noting (via e-mail):

Clearly, how the TPVs handle this needs to depend on your own plans – particularly whether that’s staying with Mercurial hosted some other way or changing to Git (or something else). We will transition to git within bitbucket, preserving full history and as much as possible the ability to work in both during the transition.

When we have a plan in place, which will take some time, we’ll put it on the agenda.

  • There may be updates to both the Singularity (in progress) and Alchemy (possibly) before year-end.
  • Trivia:
    • Linden Lab have a quarterly internal review mechanism they call Review-O-Matic for setting staff goals and reviews. It is, according to Grumpity Linden, “neatly packaged with a tradition of eating treats”.
    • One Linden staffer owns an alpaca farm. This prompted a brief discussion on whether alpaca are cute pets or food. I opted to go with both, suggesting: The Alpaca (vicugna pacos): Loveable pet or delicious dish?“. I may have caused some distress to Whirly Fizzle, who puts alpaca firmly in the “pet” category 😀 .

2019 SL User Groups 32/2: TPVD meeting

Witchwood; Inara Pey, June 2019, on FlickrWitchwood, June 2019 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 9th, 2019. A video of the meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to Pantera for recording and providing it. The key points of discussion are provided below with time stamps to the relevant points in the video, which will open in a separate tab when clicked.

This was another  short meeting.

SL Viewer

[0:34-3:12]

The Umeshu Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.2.4.529755 on Wednesday August 7th.

The remaining pipelines are as follows:

  • Current Release version 6.2.3.527758, formerly the Rainbow RC viewer dated June 5th, promoted June 18th – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, July 16th.
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.2.3.527749, June 5th. Covers the re-integration of Viewer Profiles.
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, promoted to release status 29th November 2017 – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8th, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Viewer Promotions

The hope is that some of the current four RC will gain promotion to full release status in August, as the bug list on all of them is “really small”.

In Brief

Inventory Issues, Fixes and Log-in Changes

[3:34-10:50]

  • Some Firestorm users are reporting an uptick in inventory issue, such as corruptions. It appears that, while usually a last resort, clearing inventory cache may correct it if it occurs.
  • There is some work being carried out by the Lab that improves their ability to fix back-end inventory issues. This work is getting an “unusually thorough” QA pass, so may be a while before it is ready for support deployment.
  • Also, the Lab is working on a new log-in process that adds more checks to the inventory queries performed during log-in.
    • Currently, some of the queries, a necessary part of the log-in process, can be subject to database look-up failures that go unreported to the viewer, leading to inventory issues for the user.
    • The new process will ensure that if a query fails, an error message will be returned to the viewer, allowing it to request further look-ups. However, it will be a while before this enters production.
  • A reminder that large flat inventories (e.g. thousands of items on the same level) can cause the inventory queries to time-out and log-in to time-out. Should this happen, an inventory transform can be requested from support, which breaks large flat inventories down into a folder structure.

Second Life Engineering Jobs

[16:23-17:25]

  • The position for a Second Life Senior Graphics Engineer remains open.
  • A new position has opened for a software engineer (C++). Oz linden “would love” to recruit someone who has the relevant experience / background and who is a Second Life resident.
  • Applicants need to be US residents.