#SL News 1 week 46


There is a new Development Viewer out: Second Life 3.4.3 (267007) Nov 14 2012. This viewer has the Large Group Editing and the new HTTP Protocol code. I’ve been playing with it. No crashes so far. Things rez fast. Seems pretty good. I get 15 to 17 FPS in my home with Lighting & Shadows, Ambient Occlusion, and Sun/Moon shadows on.

First Server Beta w/o Oskar 11/8/2012

Loki’s The Well

This is a fun Halloween build by Loki. It costs L$25 to get the HUD to play. It is worth the L$25. Try it you’ll like it. It will scare you at least once. With a little exploring you get a neat shoulder pet.

SLURL: The Well

Update: See Loki’s analysis of the popularity of The Well: T H E W E L L – Aftermath

Friday Simulator Group Canceled

Now that Oskar Linden is no longer with the Lab, Andrew and Simon Linden are going to roll the Friday meeting of the Server-Scripting group into Oskar’s, now Maestro’s, Server Beta user group meeting.

There will still be the Server-Scripting meeting on Tuesday at 12:00 Noon SLT in Denby, AGNI. But, Friday’s meeting will now be on Thursdays at 3:00 PM SLT in Morris, ADITI.

It is a bit of a bummer because by late Friday the Lindens have met and decided for certain which server updates will roll out to the various channels. We got that information in Friday’s meeting. On Thursday things have not been finalized. So, we may get a surprise now and then, as things change in 24 hours.

Andrew Linden explained some of the reasons for making the change.

The impetus for these changes are a combination of things…

(1) Sticking around late on Fridays when we’d rather leave early, or take the day off for a long vacation has been a slight burden over the years. Not a big one but it has certainly crossed our minds.

(2) Oskar’s departure left a little bit of vacuum on Thursday afternoons.

So, the question was raised: close Thursday? or maybe close Friday instead? Also, the usefulness of two Simulator User Groups per week was brought up over the years. We always defended the two meetings because we think they are valuable.

Originally these meetings were created for the Havok4 physics engine upgrade and I wanted to make myself available to concerned residents.

 I didn’t want to have a single time that might be time zone unfriendly to half of our community. I think I opened Fridays first and then decided on Tuesdays for the European crowd.

You may remember but I’ll remind you, Kelly Linden closed his Linden Scripting Language User Group sometime ago and rolled it into Friday’s meeting. Kelly has been at most Friday meetings to answer questions on Scripting and announce changes.

We are assuming Kelly will now be at the Tuesday and/or Thursday meetings.

Interest List

The interest list refers to the code server code that figures out what the viewer is interested in rendering and what information is needed then sends it. Andrew Linden has been working on it to improve performance and reduce bandwidth. Last week (45) Andrew announced he has most of the performance issues resolved.

You can see the updates the server is sending by turning on: Top menu: Develop-> Show Info-> Show Updates to Objects. Red is a full update and blue is a minor or ‘terse’ update. Green indicates the item has dropped from the interest and is to be deleted from the render queue.

Scripts that generate visible changes can create stead streams of update indicators.

This revision of the Interest List is not a major overhaul according to Andrew. He doesn’t expect to see large improvements. These will be more of the stop watch type of thing. There may be some perceptible improvement in regions with lots of avatars.

There may be a pile on test of the Interest List code this Thursday (Week 46) at the server beta meeting.

Lost packets are a problem for the Interest list code. When the green change (die packets) are lost it becomes a problem. In Andrew’s next round of changes he hopes to fix that problem.

Lost greens produce ghosts. These ghost prims can be recognized because they disappear when selected.

Some attachments will generate red and blue indicators at the regions 0,0,0. This is a bug that has yet to be fixed. Since it is mostly a Linden debug tool don’t expect it to fix any time soon.

The earliest we may see this code reaching a release channel is the last week of November.

This code will be the Phase I of Interest List code. Andrew says there is more to do in Phase II.

Main Channel Roll Out

Simon Linden says this went well. They did have a scare from a region/estate debug setting to “disable collisions” which was changed so it actually works now. Some time back it had been disabled for the Mesh roll out.

This is a setting estate managers use to help them remove griefing objects. Now it works.

Blue Steel, Le Tigre, and Magnum will be running the same code this week and next. During week 47 there will be no roll outs because of the US holiday Thanksgiving. There will be two updates between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Then no more updates until after the New Year holiday.

SL Viewer Beta

If things have gone well, we will have a new Beta Viewer today. This is expected to be the last in the 3.4.2 series. Next week (47) we will see a 3.4.3 version that will have all the things from the current Development Viewer and a couple more bug fixes.

The 3.4.3 version will have the first pass of the HTTP texture pipeline. This should give us a performance boost that reduces time to rez an area.

There is no news on where we are in seeing SL on Steam.

Mesh Deformer

From Oz Linden’s perspective interest in the Deformer has died out. For weeks we have been trying to get test clothes. That has not worked well. So, my take is the Mesh Deformer is sort of sitting off to the side. I’ve been reminding people and it doesn’t seem to have done much good.

People seem to not understand the Contribution Agreement. They seem to fear what they imagine it means and refuse to provide test clothes. So, once again ignorance of facts is making a mess of things.

12 thoughts on “#SL News 1 week 46

  1. A couple of days back all references to the Steam skin were removed from the latest viewer dev code. It looks like LL will now change the ‘create an avatar and get started’ screens using a parameter based on whether you are using direct or steam access methods. I am guessing this was planned a while back as they also fixed a few bugs with the new login screen – so don’t know if it means Steam access is close or not.

  2. Residents have laid out the money to pay for development of the deformer. Some mesh clothing has been provided. Our leisure time is short and valuable. It makes little sense to spend that precious time making something as complex as mesh clothing that will not be sellable.

    For what we pay in land tier, I think that Linden Lab should make some mesh clothing to test out, or hire someone to do so. I pay a LOT for my Second Life as the owner of two private island estates.

    Come on Linden Lab.

    • Residents did pay Karl to build it. For a time there was lots of interest. Mesh Deformer articles would spike my site’s traffic. It now appears most people have gotten tired of or forgotten the Mesh Deformer. Such articles no longer spike the stats.

      I can see Oz’s thinking. He is pounded on everyday to provide this or that. The Lab adjusts their priority for additions based on their internal thinking. I am sure user interest in various projects has an influence on their thinking. But, they have limited time and resources. They can’t do everything. So, if they think people don’t care, I’m not surprised to see the priority drop.

      That priority thing goes for your idea of hiring someone to make test clothes too. Plus I think that would just increase the drama. People would likely whine about why better designers weren’t hired or why weren’t THEY hired…

      The Lab designing clothes… there is a load of problems with that. The people that design and sell in SL are the ones that know what they want and what the problems are they hope the Deformer will fix. Those are the people that can best provide examples of problem clothes. We have seen the Lab fail in figuring out what users want time and again. No matter how good a 3D modeler they have on staff, if selling mesh clothes in SL is not their primary interest I can’t see them understanding our problems nor having our interests. If SL-user designers aren’t interested, why bother?

      You are entitled to think the Lab should do the work and make the test clothes. But, that says something about your interest level. The Lab has always admitted they goofed by not completing and including a Deformer in the initial release. But, they had to cut corners to get mesh out on the time line. The Deformer went on the Nice Some Day list. It is obvious the community wanted it sooner and so started the Deformer Project. The Lab agreed and I think rightly assumed if their involvement was minimal they could participate and squeeze some time for it.

      If you want them to take on this task of making test clothes and doing all the testing, expect the project to go back on Nice Some Day list.

      • I don’t like the implied “Go out and learn it from scratch and do it yourself, or shut up”.
        It is not reasonable to assume that anybody who has a non-runway-model shape and thus would like the deformer should teach themselves mesh creation and rigging so they can supply volunteer work for LL.

  3. Well that royally sucks that LL is closing the friday 4pm meeting!!

    It was the only meeting i could attend as it was close enough to the end of day that could get home from my work to attend. Now they have moved it to thursday and 3pm.

    Well attending these meetings was valuable while it lasted. Now all the meetings are during prime business hours for north america. Anyone with a job in north america during prime 9 -5 has been restricred.

    While ciuldnt andrew at least shift the thursday meeting to 4pm?

    • Well… ask him…

      It really isn’t Andrew’s meeting. It is Maestro’s. But, explain the problem and ask both. I would not expect much. I have the impression they get lots of requests for meetings to be at different times.

      I get the impression that since the Lindens realize they are going to inconvenience most of the users no matter what time they have a meeting they have the meetings at whatever time works bets for them.

  4. I don’t think that interest is down on the deformer. It’s the old problem that designers don’t read techie blogs. People have been following you because they were scared that the Lab would not start working on it. Since a few Months they are believing that things are in the making. Slowly but stil… So they see no point to closely follow techie stuff about developments. This is how people are. People need another wake-up call. Therefore it is not helping that you are hiding this important topic in a global post on viewers. Make a post with a catchy headline where you explain that development of mesh deformer is on hold. I bet that this will then start another wave of attention.

    • This is a problem people seem to never notice: it is always up to someone else to do something. I’ve published articles on the Mesh Deformer for over a year. I’ve done the hype headlines, warnings, and pleadings. The result so far is so weak its silly. From where I am it certainly looks like people have lost interest.

      Since I am still figuring out a series of problems with mesh clothes creation, I’m in no hurry to see the Mesh Deformer pushed into a viewer. If it has to wait until I and a few others get around to providing test clothes, I don’t have a problem with that. I would prefer it arrive sooner. But, I don’t mind the Lab taking time to get it as right as possible. I would rather have it more ‘right’ than sooner.

      I do think this shows the problem the Lab has with the community. When the Lab asks for help getting things the way we, the community, want them, essentially too few people help. Then people that were not willing to help line up to complain about how poorly the Lab did.

      • But has the Lab communicated anywhere that the old mesh samples are outdated? Is that communicated on the forums that the designers use? The Lab shouldn’t expect designers to follow a blog about technical issues for getting updates. (No offense to your blog, I love reading it.)

        If the Lab is communicating and I am not seeing it, then it might be my problem as one user of the community. If the Lab is not communicating, then you cannot write that they have a problem with the community. Then they have a problem reaching the community.

        And I personally would not have guessed that submitted mesh samples get outdated. I believe that most designers don’t realize that either and – I repeat myself – they don’t read your blog.

        Bottom line: I am sad too that the deformer will be delayed. Hey, that makes two of us already… 😉

        • Pienaar, you have run into the problem we all run into at some point. The Lab’s communication leaves a lot to be desired and we all find that out when something bites us and wastes our time. Yes, the Lindens have been talking about the test clothes.

          I don’t fault them for poor communication as much as others do… at least I don’t think so. Most of the people that have the information we need are programmers working on SL. They are paid to program, not to communicate. So, unless you follow the user group meetings there is lots you won’t know about. I attend the meetings and blog about it because I found it such a problem to know what was going on. I figured I could make it easier for the community to know what was happening.

          Also, some of my friends had no idea what the programmers were talking about, way too geeky. So, I try to explain things in simpler terms.

          It is frustrating, at least it was/is for me. In a world with unlimited time and resources things could be as we think they should. As it is what we think ‘should’ be is often not possible for very practical reasons based in human nature. Also, ‘should’ is often used as a manipulator that avoids a need to reason things out. (I don’t think you were attempting to manipulate or avoiding thinking it through.)

          Your thinking is reasonable with what you know. I suspect most designers would not anticipate uploaded mesh clothes becoming outdated and unusable. But these mesh clothes are versions of a software data set that is in Beta and subject to change. It has in fact changed 3 times now. I may change yet again… or not.

          As best I can tell and suspect clothes designers don’t think in those terms, so it is hard for them to foresee changes making previous clothes versions obsolete and unusable. I suspect most don’t think in terms of Beta and Production. To programmers most things in Beta are expected to change and should not be relied on. On the other side are PRODUCTION versions, which should only ever change as an ultimate unavoidable last resort. For programmers this something that is so obvious and basic they seldom even talk about it, which seems to be what bit you.

          You have my empathy. I’ve been there and been bitten as you were. We can say others ‘should’ be responsible, which doesn’t get much done, or find ways around the problem in spite of THEM.

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