#SL News 2 Week 41


Andrew Linden has been working on the Interest List, the list of things the viewer is interested in rendering.  The communication channel used to carry that information to and from the servers also carries the old clouds and the wind information.

The old clouds were taken out of the viewer when Windlight came in, over a year ago. When that happened wind broke. Sailors are aware of the problem.

There are 2 types of wind; the average wind which is figured on the server and affects physics calculations. This is the wind that should push sail boats. It also moves particles.

Then there is local wind that eddies and swirls to flap flags and move flexi items. This is a viewer side calculation. While we all see a flag wave, we do not see the same waving. Somewhere in here is the line about how alike our shared experience of SL must be.

There is a feature in viewer for displaying the wind. In the top menu: Developer -> Render Metadata -> Wind Vectors. You can see them in the opening image. They are the red lines in the sky.

If you are into getting the wind fixed for sailing, let Andrew Linden know. Attend the Friday Server-Scripting UG meetings (4PM Denby, AGNI) and keep reminding Andrew of your interest.


The viewers have some streaming sound issues. It seems there is some fixing going on. Some Third Party Viewer Developers are looking at OpenAL for better sound.

I’m not clear on what we use now. But, I think it is FMOD. The Lab is looking at getting sound on the list of things that should be fixed. Engineering management at the Lab has agreed it is something to be fixed. So it will be prioritized in with all the other things the Lab should fix. It is currently on To-BE-Prioritized List.

The Lab is currently planning to switch to FMOD EX. This is another proprietary library. So, the source cannot be released. But, the compiled library can be. There currently is no plan on the Lab’s side to use OpenAL. But all that could change at any moment.

You may have heard that Siana Gearz has contributed code for OpenAL… or a fixed FMOD, the Lab is not ignoring the contribution. But, they feel this is such an integral part of the viewer they wants to write their own to gain experience and understanding. Presumably so they can manage problems.


Many associate RLV (Restrained Love Viewer) with collars, dominance and submission. In technical terms RLV is about providing a channel through which a viewer can be controlled. It allows programmers that are not producing viewers an easy way to program viewer actions. It does not have to have anything to do with BDSM.

The Lab is starting to look at how the features may be used with the SL Viewer.

You may remember that part of the Linden Realm thing we were to get was Experience Tools. When they first hit the grid we had Griefer Monday. ever since then they have been in a rebuild process. The Lab still has people working on Experience Tools. Those tools will be needed before there is any movement on adoption of RLV like features into the mainstream viewer. It is not so much the ‘tools’ that are needed as it is the understanding of  permissions.

Presumably, the permissions are being considered and revamped. I expect we will see little difference in how these tools appear on the user side. But, how the viewer, server, and Lindens handle permissions is likely to see considerable change.

Firestorm Rumor

Rumor is we may see a new release of the Firestorm viewer around the end of the month.

Apple Store

Internally the Lab has discussed going to Apple Store and other app stores. But, there are no plans that can be talked about.

Don’t expect to see SL in the iStore any time soon. I can’t see that working to well or getting past Apple’s QA for the store. The viewer and Mac’s are not the best of friends (and some significant part of that are problems on the Apple side – and I don’t know that much about it).

The Mac 10.5 operating system is no longer supported by the Lab. Viewer version 3.3.? was the last version for 10.5. That version has a special ‘update’ setting for the Auto-Updater that prevents updates being automatically loaded for 10.5 users. Support is dropped and that is reflected in wiki.

Crash Rates

OS versions, Windows or Mac, that are not updated have double the crash rates of versions that have been updated.

  • Win 2000            19.8% Crash Rate
  • Win7-64                 8.3%
  • Vista-64                  6.5
  • Mac OS 10.64     21.2%
  • Mac OS 10.75       9.8

The Linden stats system used to update the Third Party Viewer Directory is broken and in the process of being updated. So, there will be no new viewer stability reports for awhile.

5 thoughts on “#SL News 2 Week 41

  1. So HTTP textures will be faster? The real question is, will be faster than turning off HTTP textures? Because since HTTP textures exist, I always had to turn them off (so does my friends and everyone that I know with a bit of knowledge on viewer configuration) to get faster loading textures (with a ver high difference). So I wonder if keeping them turned off will still be a better choice for speed.

    • Over the short term, yes. Over the long term no. I suspect the UDP system is getting faster because fewer people are using it. But, eventually that API will be closed and UDP texture delivery will stop.

    • I have to approve all comments before they appear in the blog. That can take hours to a couple of days.

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