2021 TPV Developer meeting week #29 summary

La Vallee, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, July 23rd, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

The Fernet Maintenance RC viewer, version  6.4.21.561414 and dated July 14th, was promoted to de facto release status on July 19th. This leaves no current RC viewers in the pipeline and the official project viewers unchanged, thus:

  • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26, 2020.
  • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
  • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
  • 360º Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The next RC viewer that should be appearing is likely to have the next round of Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) media handling updates.

360º Snapshot Viewer

Work has now officially re-started on the 360º Snapshot viewer, and there will be some simulator-side updates in support of this will be going out in a simulator RC release in week #30 (commencing Monday, July 27th, 2021). it is to ensure the simulator sends the viewer all of the information it needs to correctly render a 360º field of view around the camera prior to the 6 snapshots being taken (which are then stitched into a completed 360º image). No date is available for when the updated 360º Snapshot viewer will be available.

Alexa Linden offered a peek of playing with the updated viewer via Twitter.

Graphics Work

  • The focus for the Graphics team continues to be on integrating the Tracy debugger / system analyser for cross-platform graphics development into the viewer.
  • This will be used to look for performance “hot spots” in the rendering code. This is liable to continue to be the case for the next couple of weeks.
  • When completed, the work will be compiled into a static library within viewer repositories, but will not be enabled by default – it will require and explicit command line call during a viewer build process.

In Brief

  • Apparently, script-to-viewer messages sent via llRegionSayTo that start with “@” are never displayed in local chat. It’s not clear if this is by accident or design, but the request has been made to leave the functionality that way to assist with RLVa-specific commands send via llRegionSayTo not being spammed in open chat.
    • The broad response from Vir and Rider Linden was that the history behind the code in question (CHAT_TYPE_DIRECT) is unclear to them, but if changing it would potentially be damaging to existing content, then it is unlikely to be changed.
  • It’s again been noted that there can be a significant performance impact on the viewer due to the presence of Linden Water “that isn’t there” (that is, you cannot see it, because it is overlaid by terrain, for example). It is hoped that improved occlusion capabilities (i.e. “if you can’t see it, just don’t render it”) might eventually be a performance win in overcoming this.
  • Not strictly viewer-related, but Rider Linden proposed a new function via the forums – llIsFriend – on July 22nd, which sparked a lot of discussion via the forum thread, specifically around the question of privacy (having scripts from others – say a merchant or club owner  – able to read your Friends list) and the potential for abuse. Having had time to consider it, Rider noted the following during the TPVD meeting:
The more I think about it, the more a perms check is called for on that; [it is] probably not a perm that would be auto-granted in an experience, either. I’d set-up a new permission [that would] ask the person running the script, “may this script have access to your friends list?”
The more I think about it, the more I think it is not something that should be allowed invisibly behind the scenes under any circumstances … the added complexity does push it further back, tho. If a script wants to access your Friends list, it needs to be up-front about it. 

Next Meeting

  • The next meeting should be on August 6th, 2021.

2021 TPV Developer meeting week #25 summary

Resilient Station, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 25th,, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

The Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520 and dated June 14th, was promoted to de facto release viewer on Wednesday, June 23rd. Note that this viewer also now includes the latest Voice fixes, as recorded in the Fernet RC viewer release notes.

The rest of the official viewers remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360º Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Fernet Maintenance RC viewer (40+ fixes and feature requests) will likely be the next viewer to be promoted.
  • Simplified cache viewer and the Mac notifications fix viewer have been held-up in QA.
  • Love Me Render 6 (LMR 6), the next graphics update viewer is still in progress. This should include a fix for the long-time “bendy sky” issue (the sky appearing to form a concave bow when at altitude).
  • There is an exercise in progress to try to reduce the number of viewers in flight within the Lab and as RC / Project viewers (around 13 in various states of development), in order to reduce the volume of viewers in the various pipelines.

360º Snapshot Viewer

[34:10-40:45]

  • Work on the 360º Snapshot viewer will be resuming shortly. Specific improvements that will be a part of the work include:
    • A means to better capture the six directional images (N,S,E,W and up and down) without any Interest list culling. This will require simulator-side support.
    • Improved stitching of images from within the viewer.
    • Inclusion of metadata to allow completed images to be shared via sites such as Flickr, Facebook, etc.
    • A much longer-term goal might be to provide a VR  viewer for 360º images captured by this viewer, for those with VR headsets. However, as a “stretch goal”, this may not become a part of the project.
  • No dates are available as to when an updated 360º Snapshot viewer will appear, and some of the required work on the simulator side is still in discussion.

A Note About Mirrors in Second Life

[Video: 22:01-34:10]

  • During the TPVD meeting, further context was added to this:
    • This work is not currently a project within Linden Lab, things are purely at the discussion phase.
    • The Firestorm experiment with mirrors lacks some basic required functionality –  it does not work with Advanced Lighting Model active, which LL  is shooting for as a default for the viewer, for example.
    • To be effective, it requires proper optimisation through the rendering pipe.
    • The code itself has yet to be contributed to LL.
  • There are also performance impacts to be considered – although some of these could be dealt with by making mirrors an option, rather than a default “on” setting.
  • Currently, LL needs to review the code and determine whether  / how it can be integrated into the viewer, and what additional work will be required. As such, it should not be anticipated that mirrors will be a part of the viewer any time soon (or possibly even Soon™, depending on the outcome of any review of the capability).

In Brief

  • [45:25-end  (predominantly chat)] concerning continues to be expressed about Group chat issues causing people to turn away from the functionality and use external services – such as Discord – which may come to impact engagement (if people can socialise on Discord, they may not feel the need to log-in so frequently / for as long, etc.).
  • Firestorm and Catznip are moving towards releases.
    • Firestorm had been treating the LMR5 release from the Lab as their cut-off, although this may be extended to incorporate the latest Voice fixes as now released by LL. There are also a Mac issues which may  / may not delay a release.
    • Catznip are working on a “Mac-like” release alongside their update,  but not release date.

 

2021 TPV Developer meeting week #23 summary

TokSik Jello, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 11th,, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

[Video: 0:00-3:26]

There have been no updates for the viewer since the start of the week, leaving the pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: LMR 5 viewer, version 6.4.19.560171, dated May 27, promoted June 7 – 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 UI viewer updated to version 6.4.20.560422, dated June 14.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.19.559726, dated May 19.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The New User Experience project viewer will be the next viewer to be promoted to de facto release status.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is still having UI updates made, but is expected to go to RC status when the next update is issued.
  • The notifications fix for Mac systems is still waiting its turn to be made publicly available.

Land and L$ In-Viewer Purchases Issue

[Video 0:58-2:30]

Wednesday, June 9th saw issues occur with in-viewer Linden Dollar and land purchases. Whilst resolved within hours, the issue was traced back to an overly aggressive series of checks the viewer was carrying on on the various software certificates used by Linden Lab. This caused the viewer to throw a wobbly when encountering a new certificate that did not quite meet the expected format.

The certificate involved was massaged so as not to get the viewer upset, fixing the issue; however, in order to avoid similar situations in the future, the Lab plan to implement a viewer-side change to the way the viewer carries out such checks. This change will be released as a part of the normal Maintenance RC viewer updates.

In Brief

  • There have been some questions raised about Vivox end-of-lifing the current Vivox 4 Voice system in favour of the more recent Vivox 5. Linden Lab is not aware of this happening any time in the future,  but is aware that due to the way Vivox 5.x operates on different platforms, when such a change eventually comes to pass, it might required some significant changes in the manner in which SLvoice.EXE interacts with the viewer.

2021 TPV Developer meeting week #19 summary

Frogmore 4.0, March 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, May 14th, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

This was perhaps the shortest TPVD meeting on record.

SL Viewer

The Project UI RC viewer updated to version 6.4.19.559612 on Friday, May 14th. The remaining viewers in the pipelines remained unchanged through the week:

  • Release viewer: Eau de Vie Maintenance viewer, version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, promoted April 29th.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22nd.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21rd.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26th.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9th, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22nd, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16th, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • All three RC viewers are pretty much ready to be considered for promotion to de facto release status. Of these, Maintenance Fernet now includes the fixes for helping with Voice updates, and is with the Lab’s QA team, so it could be the next in line to be promoted.
  • The Legacy Profiles viewer is finally receiving attention, with some cosmetic UI changes being made, after which it should be appearing as an RC viewer, rather than a project viewer.
  • LMR 6 is still gathering graphics bug fixes.
  • The Simplified Cache viewer is still awaiting its turn to re-enter the the pipelines.
  • The Mac notarisation fixes viewer is also awaiting a time to enter the available viewer pipelines.

2021 CCUG and TPV Developer meetings week #17 summary

Poison Rouge, February 2021 – blog post

The following notes were taken from my audio recording and chat log of the Content Creation User Group (CCUG) meeting held on Thursday, April 29th 2021 at 13:00 SLT, and the TPV Developer’s meeting of Friday, April 30th.

These meetings are chaired by Vir Linden, with dates available via the SL Public Calendar. The venue for the CCUG is the Hippotropolis camp fire, and the TPV Developer meeting is held at the Hippotropolis Theatre.

SL Viewer

The Eau de Vie Maintenance RC viewer version 6.4.18.558266, dated April 23rd, was promoted to de facto viewer release status on Thursday, April 29th.

The remaining viewers in the pipeline comprise:

  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 viewer, version 6.4.18.558365, dated April 22.
    • Maintenance 2 RC viewer – Fernet, version 6.4.18.558441, dated April 21.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Legacy Profiles viewer should be getting an update that will include some cosmetic tweaks to the UI, but will be functionally identical to the current project viewer version.
  • The LMR 5 viewer is being readied for promotion to release status, and work on LMR 6 is continuing.
  • The revised Simple Cache viewer is back with LL’s QA team, and should be re-emerging fairly soon.
  • The improved UI viewer that is primarily intended to help new users looks like it will be issued during summer.
  • A viewer with a fix for the Mac notarisation fix (currently OS X users have to jump through some additional hoops to get the operating system to run the viewer) should be appearing Soon™.
  • Voice viewer: the Lab has been working to try to address the more annoying aspects of voice cutting out when someone is speaking. A viewer with various fixes / tweaks is currently being tested by Lab staff, and may be available for wider use also in a Soon™ time frame.
  • A further viewer in the works will include further updates / fixes for the Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF – used in media playback and streaming into SL).

One of the issues LL are running into is that thanks to the SNAFU following the release and roll-back of the original Simple Cache viewer, there is a growing number of official viewers stacking up waiting to enter the RC and project viewer pipelines.

RLV/RLVa and Experiences

Most people are familiar with the RLV and RLVa protocols / API functionality that is available in various third-party viewers. Whilst originally developed for more adult-oriented activities in Second life, these API options do have a wide range of other potential uses, some of which might be said to now be matched by Experience functionality (for example: automatic teleports).

While there is currently no specific project in the works to extend Experience functionality, the Lab has actually had internal discussions about the potential to provide various RLV-like options that could help improve Experiences. As such, the suggestion was made that if there are various (and generic, rather than adult-specific) use cases that might be achieved using RLV but would be useful to have as Experience functionality, these are noted in Jira feature requests so that they might be considered in due course.

 

Note: it was brought to my attention that not everyone is aware of the Soon™ joke. It is a play on the use of “Soon™” by Blizzard Entertainment, and the fact that, given LL’s preference not to present what might be taken as “tablets of stone” dates for the delivery of any given feature or bug fix, Oz Linden would refer to upcoming features / capabilities / fixes being available as “Soon”, “Pretty Soon” and “Real Soon / Real Soon Now”, which all become generally defined by the catch-all idea of “Soon™”.

2021 TPV Developer meeting week #15 summary

Centre for Mindfulness, February 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 16th, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

[0:00-3:35]

The current run of official viewers is as follows:

  • Release viewer: Custom Key Mappings RC viewer, version 6.4.17.557391, dated March 24, promoted March 27 – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Maintenance RC viewer – Eau de Vie, version 6.4.18.557782, dated April 12.
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer, version 6.4.18.557797, dated April 7.
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version 6.4.11.550519, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version 6.3.5.533365, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version 6.4.0.532999, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360 Snapshot project viewer, version 6.2.4.529111, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • LMR 5 could now be set for promotion in the next week or so. No further active work is being carried out, and the current RC version has an “acceptable” crash rate.
  • Love Me Render 6 (LMR 6) is already in preparation with a further mix of fixes, including some that are EEP related (e.g. rendering the Moon with haze).
  • The current Maintenance RC viewer is also in good shape, and also have a further Maintenance RC rolling along behind it that is getting close to being ready for issuing.
  • The Legacy Profiles project viewer is now on hold pending the outcome of internal discussions related to it. These are related to whether or not there needs to be further UI changes within the viewer or changes made on the web side of things.
  • The Simplified Cache viewer has been overhauled, and should be re-appearing as an RC viewer very soon.
  • A viewer focused on correcting the problems of Apple notifications popping-up when trying to run the viewer on a Mac system is also getting close to appearing as a project viewer.
  • The “518” viewer (the Lab’s internal reference for an in-development viewer project) that has the UI updates specifically geared towards the new user experience changes LL have been working on is liable to be appearing “fairly Soon™”.

Fee Changes, 2FA and Map Tile Generation

[6:05-8:00 for map tile and 2FA / TPV comments]

The recently announced changes to Linden dollar “buy” fees, together with the upcoming (at some point in the future) shift to Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) has apparently given ground to worries it could spell the end of third-party viewers, and an update on map tile generation were all mentioned during the meeting.

All all three have broader interest than represented by those who follow viewer news, I’ve provided a separate summary of all three – please see: Linden Lab: L$ buy fee changes + 2FA and Map tiles news.

In Brief

  • [8:56-most of the rest of the meeting] Object spamming: the issue of widespread IM-to-e-mail spamming by a range of in-world objects (e.g. scanners that record your avatar UUID and then send out IMs on “offers” and “sales”, regardless of whether or not you’ve joined a related group) is a topic that does get periodically raised within the Lab, but tends to get pushed to one side while other issues are dealt with. It is possible something might be done to mitigate the problem, but further time is needed to determine what and how.