Second Life Update

Over the holidays not everything stopped. There has been progress and changes in Second Life. One SCRUM Summary even commented on the massive amount of code coming from Linden teams prior to Christmas. From all that, these are some of the things I found interesting that have been happening.

Work is progressing on STORM-807 – update returnability of objects based on new encroachment rules. This change should appear on the main grid in early 2011. The feature will allow a parcel owner to return an object that over laps their parcel. Objects are located by their root prim’s center. If part of prim or some of the objects linked prims extended into another parcel there was/is little the one encroached on could do. That will change.

This is a two sided feature. It is going to the Le Tigre release channel today. But, viewer code is needed to make the feature available to residents. One can apparently return items now, if they use a newer viewer with the Sim Console. Press Ctrl-Shift-[back tic] to see if the Sim Console will open. You can read more here: Parcel Encroachment

KDU upgrade continues to plod along… actually that’s unfair. There’s just a lot of testing to do as KDU (the image compression/decompression software for images) affects everything in Second Life. It’s moving forward.

STORM-550 – LLDir::getNextFileInDir – is about a problem in the viewer code. The function gets a list of files that match a wildcard (e.g., *.foo). Some wildcards fail. This could cause all sorts of odd file access problems. It is apparently an OLD problem recently found and now being solved.

Bug reports… there is a little drama or frustration going on. Oz Linden brought some rational thought and advice to the subject. It seems someone sent an emotional plea rather than a detailed technical explanation of the problem. Programmers can’t do much with emotional pleas. To quote Oz,

… it does serve as an excellent example of a problem report that’s high on emotional content and almost completely lacking in actionable data.

For others that might be tempted to imitate this style of problem report either here or elsewhere: be aware that a typical developer might finish reading it … will almost certainly just ignore it.  In particular, taunting the developer to “do this and see what happens” almost never gets useful results.

If you want a developer to actually act on a problem report, specific information is key.  I highly recommend this essay on the subject: http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html

Viewer Auto Update is closer to reaching the main production viewer. I would be surprised if it is not in the next SL Viewer upgrade.

STORM-2 – Having a list of most recently visited regions available at login is moving forward. I expect this to make it into a January release. There is a privacy issue. Anyone starting the viewer can see the last regions you visited… so, an option to clear the list or turn it off is needed.

STORM-806 -External script editor not working correctly when a script was opened from inventory is fixed. Not sure what release we’ll see the fix in.

STORM-702 – The change to make it possible to wear partial outfits is still pending some kind of decision.

STORM-797 – This sounds boring until one thinks about what could be done with it. This JIRA item is about getting SLURL’s to work right with parcel names or at least be more human readable. But, it goes a bit farther. When implemented right it would allow one top copy and SLURL from a web site and paste it into inventory… which I’ve wanted to do a couple of times. There are some serious limitations regarding the creation of actual landmarks this way. But, perhaps a new note card type of thingy that is not a real landmark could work.

Android Viewer – Seems there is a closed source viewer (text only?) for the Android based phones. Not knowing the developers many are hesitant to use the viewer, but it is being discussed. As are some other possibilities. Brian, of the Lab, acknowledged they know about the viewer and requested some changes, which were made, for security reasons.

The avatar names appearing as ??? is apparently a server overload problem. Not just in Display Names but in older style names too.  However the problem mostly appears in Display Names capable viewers. See: DN-202.

STORM-823 – TAB key is not working in Development Viewers. This is a really annoying bug. It’s been fixed. Now they are getting the fix approved and tested.

Mesh

…I have not been keeping up. The subject of when the mesh code can be merged with the production/development viewers is on Nyx Linden’s Office Hours Agenda.

The SL Wiki has new information on mesh scale and units to use in 3DS. In Blender we think of a unit as a meter. The Collada Exporter thinks of it as a centimeter. The easy fix is to edit the Collada Export and get it to convert Blender units to meters. Gaia Clary has a video tutorial that explains how to make that change, A copy is in the SL Wiki: Second Life Blender Collada Scale. Scroll down.

Lots of updates in the wiki over the last couple of days.

Server Rollouts

This morning server rollouts are in progress or may be completed by the time you read this. They are, however, scheduled for later in the morning. Usually they happen earlier in the morning. Rollouts have been on hold since December 17. Now that the Lindens are returning from holidays they are restarting.

The summary release notes are in the SL blog, Deploys for Week of 2010-12-06.

Blue Steel is getting the Compression upgrade. This change is about improving region crossing. This is a complex rollout. One cannot cross from a region with compression to a region without it. I don’t understand exactly how they will test this or use it in a release channel. Some type of rollout is going to the main grid that will have compression capable code. Then compression in the release channels will be enabled. However, they are doing it we should see it in action next week in Blue Steel. I  happen to have a cottage in a Blue Steel region.

Le Tigre is getting a ‘maintenance’ or bug fix rollout. Blue Steel has most of the same fixes. If ‘compression’ fails the bug fixes can still roll out next week, provided Le Tigre does not fail.

Magnum will be updated as it is behind the other channels. Nothing new for Magnum.

Summary

Progress continues. People are back from holiday vacations. We’ll see the pace of fixes pick up.

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