This is a catch up article from last week. I had serious RL partying to attend to this weekend. So, hopefully this will get me caught up. I am bummed there is no new Metareality poscast in week 33.
In Week 22, 2012 Phase I of the Multi-Threaded Crossing Project rolled out. See: #SL News Week 22. Today Oskar tipped us off that Phase II is moving through the QA process and close to reaching Release Channel Candidate status.
I take that to mean that in the next couple of weeks we might see it on a release channel. This is a complex process that is taking a load of work. So many parts of the SL system are touched there are a load of places for things to go wrong. We saw that with Phase I. It took months to make it to roll out. Phase I was in and out of the release channels for months. Hopefully that will not be the case this time.
The channels are running maintenance packs with bug fixes. The LISTS of items and links to the more detailed lists are in the Deploys thread.
Blue Steel & Le Tigre are seeing some performance issues and crash problems. They hope to have fixes ready by Wednesday in week 34. Oskar Linden doubts they will get promoted to the main channel.
This package is considered a maintenance release. Oskar describes it as mostly network tweaks and no changes to the simulator code. The tweaks are in the Operating System. These are NOT the changes creating the current excessive bandwidth use problems.
A fix for the high bandwidth use has ‘probably’ been found. The Lindens think so. That fix will hit an RC in week 34, provided things go well.
SVC-8124 – Excessive "ParcelOverlay reliable" messages sent by regions since last rolling restart (2012-08-08). The JIRA item is showing as ‘FIXED’. The less knowledgeable assume that means the simulators are working correctly. What the JIRA status means is the Lindens think they have it fixed and the code is working its way through QA.
At the time Oskar wrote his comment it was believed this problem is only in the Magnum channel. He has since acknowledged the problem is more wide spread. However, we will likely see the fix appear first in Magnum.
For those using service with bandwidth caps this is a big problem. There is lots of crying and gnashing of teeth and all the expected drama. No one is taking responsibility and looking at how they can avoid getting bit in the butt again. There is a way. It is called Bandwidth Monitoring and there is free software for that purpose.
Google Search – This search will get you
NetWorx – Free Bandwidth Monitoring and Usage Reporting. Last updated August 2012. Has most of the functions and alarms one would need.
Bandwidth Monitor – Paid w/30 day trial (no published price that I can find)
Once upon a time… the idea of having viewer plugins was a hot topic. If you are wondering what happened to the idea, well we have an answer. It died as too complex.
The idea was that anyone could build a plug-in to replace any feature in the viewer or to add features to the viewer. So, one would have been able to replace the LL mini-map (or radar) with a plug-in that produces a mini-map like the Firestorm mini-map.
Oz Linden in referring to plug-ins said, “Unfortunately, the amount of work that would take (and we looked at it quite closely) would make the time it took to do V2 look trivial by comparison, and consume all our viewer efforts.”
So, mark that idea as dead. If you see it making the rounds, it’s a zombie. Shoot it in the head.
Viewer & Materials
We are not yet sure how the Materials System will be implemented or appear in the viewer. The developers have plans for the first pass. We do know there will be a few controls for adjusting the Normal and Specular Maps’ affect on surfaces.
VWR-29448 – HTML (Shared Media) HUD objects exhibit Unintuitive Focus and Control Behavior. We are not sure where this is in the list of Linden Priorities. The Lindens have acknowledged it. But, as Oz says, most of their efforts are directed at the publically announced projects, which is a good size list.
If you are interested in building HTML HUD’s, visit the JIRA and click WATCH.
Not much new here. Lorca Linden did say, “We will be providing a new character flag in the future which lets you specify a character should NOT extrapolate its current motion in case of low performance but should just pause until it can intelligently move again.”
Also, we will soon see a revised Pathfinding Tools viewer… soon now. It will be in the viewer that comes with the official release of Pathfinding… you did know we are in a sort of partial release now? That happened because of the region crossing issues from the update to Havok 2012.1 that was tied to Pathfinding.
We should see the Best Building Practices update… soon. Lorca says the update is coming along nicely, whatever that may mean to you.