#SL News Update Week 14

There are some interesting news making it out. Server updates are flowing again. That logjam seems to have broken up. Development Viewer updates are flowing. I think the later is more a matter of the download ‘latest’ link being fixed.

Viewers

I’ve gotten hooked on using the Dev Viewer releases. The current stable viewer is 3.3.0 (251182). The current Beta version is 3.3.1 (252229). The current Dev version is 3.3.2 (252822).

Strange Avatars

The last 2 or 3 releases of the Dev Viewer have been crashing on exit. That seems to be less of a problem with this version.

SH-2908 Fix for incompatibility issue with GLSL 1.30 – I think this fix is in the latest Dev Viewer.

The Pathfinding Project Viewer was updated from 3.3.1 (251341) to 3.3.2 (252475) March 30th. The link to the project viewer on the Alternate Viewers page is broken. The link on the Pathfinding Release Notes is also broken.  A fix request is in…

The 3.3.1 version does not play well with the Navmesh display. Until the 3.3.2 version can be downloaded we can’t do much with that part of Pathfinding.

Servers

A new server maintenance package was rolled to the main grid Tuesday. This release has bug fixes and network code improvements. Some limits were tweaked. Most of the limits have to do with server to server messaging.

Release Channels

We have new packages on the Release Channels too.

Blue Steel & Le Tigre – Ban Limit Height

Another change is the ban limit has been raised to 5,000m. That is proving to be a problem for aviators. It is not possible to fly a plane (or operate any vehicle) above 4,096m. So, this has effectively destroyed a lot of air space in Second Life.

The other side of the coin is the griefing issue. This change has been in discussion in the JIRA since June 2008. See SVC-2546 – Explicit Ban Altitude of 800m Exploited Under Havok4 – Raise Explicit Ban Altitude from 800m to 4096m.

This seems to only be a problem for those getting banned by land owners.

SCR-6

SCR-6 – llGetSubString can produce results that crash Mono scripts. This fix is now on Blue Steel. Some problems came up when the List Functions were improved for better performance. SCR-6 is a correction for one of the problems.

SCR-281

SCR-281 – recent release to agni (12.02.06.248938 I think) breaks llDeleteSubstring behaviour. This fix is also on the RC.

Magnum

This region continues to run the multi-threaded region crossing code. I suspect there are some new bug fixes and crash fixes integrated in. Simon Linden is not sure, but for now he is expecting this package to make it to the main channel next week.

Kelly Linden has said the region crossing code has worked well through the past week. The reason it did not move to the main channel is the fixes in the other maintenance package were deemed more important.

Coming Changes

A feature to prevent banned people from selecting items inside the ban zone from outside will soon come into RC testing.

Another coming change will be a feature to block unlinking an object that will drive the parcel or region count over the prim limit. In another article I wrote about Sketchup being a problem because it makes mesh objects out of lots of small parts. While the parts are linked they have a less than 1 prim cost. Unlinking the objects pushes the individual items to cost 1 prim. So, it is easy to see a 100 prin object crumble into 500 pieces each with a 1 prim cost.

A script function that would allow scripted return of objects by user/owner UUID is being discussed. See: SCR-19.

A new ‘Shiny Shader’ is being contributed by Geenz Spad.

Graded Shadows is being contributed by Tofu.

Spell Checking is being contributed by Kitty. This includes an autocorrect or as Oz refers to it, auto-expand. The core part of this feature is done. The UI needs more work.

Local Textures is being contributed by Vaalith. This will the ‘formal’ LL feature to fill the need for a temporary upload feature.

Blinn-Phong

This is a type of shading used for reflections. The new shader is somewhere in QA. As yet it is unknown whether it will make it into the viewer. But, as NiranV has added the feature into the Niran Viewer, I would supposed it will make it in. I have no information as to what type of reflections is being enabled. This may only be light-glow reflections rather than image-in-a-mirror reflections.

Library Update

Those that build viewers use various libraries compiled by the Lab. Those are based on a 10.5 SDK. Oz Linden is looking at getting those upgraded to a new version. My hope is that would give us some performance improvement.

LSL Updates

Ima Mechanique is taking on STORM-1831 – Automatic download of syntax-table. This is the project Andrew Linden has been working on after hours. Once this is working our viewers will stay current with the Linden Scripting Language (LSL).

As it is now someone must manually update the viewer to contain updates to the LSL. Once this change is in place the viewer will have changes as soon as they are live on a simulator.

This feature is also being used to update LSLEditor, which Ima works on too.

Summary

It seems some of the more tenacious problems are getting worked out and server and viewer updates are starting to flow again. There are some hints that a bit of backlog of fixes and additions have backed up in the QA pipeline. We may see a flurry of changes over the next few weeks.