Where is SSA Rolling To?

I got a question about the Deploys thread and where the SSA roll will actually be running. Caleb Linden wrote the Deploys post this week and it is a bit brief. But, all the important stuff is there. Even Maestro Linden tends to shorten what he posts assuming people reading the posts have a basic understanding of the server release candidate process.

Don't Panic

Don’t Panic

In Second Life the learning curve is so high we don’t try to educate every new user with all the details. If we gave them everything the curve would be way too steep. No one would remember that big an information dump. We also do not repeatedly include basic information. That would burn us out. So, now and then we have to catch up the new users. So…

SSA (Server Side Appearance (baking)) is everywhere… or will be by noon SLT Wednesday. 

The point of Release Candidates is testing. The Lab needs to know if the ‘candidate’ code works as intended. That means they are testing whether all the existing code works with the new code. They build a version of the server code running on the main channel and add in the new stuff. That becomes a Release Candidate. When the RC channels are full we have:

  • Main Code + Package A
  • Main Code + Package B
  • Main Code + Package C
  • Main Code + Possibly a Tiny Package
  • Main Code + Possibly a TPV Package

When an RC makes through testing it rolls to the main channel. If Package A makes it, that gives us release candidates that look like:

  • Main Code + Package A + Package D
  • Main Code + Package A + Package B
  • Main Code + Package A + Package C
  • Main Code + Package A +Possibly a Tiny Package
  • Main Code + Package A + Possibly a TPV Package

Of course writing Main Code + Package A gets cumbersome pretty quickly. So, when a package rolls forward the Main Code + Package A becomes just Main Code. If one does not understand what is happening, it could get confusing seeing just:

  • Main Code + Package D
  • Main Code + Package B
  • Main Code + Package C
  • Main Code + Possibly a Tiny Package
  • Main Code + Possibly a TPV Package

A person has to know Package A is now part of Main Code and thus ‘A’ is being tested with B, C, and D. The people working with this stuff daily are NOT going to explain that each time they roll out a package. New people came in to read the Deploys thread since SSA is so big. Maestro does a good job of repeating the explanation now and then. But, repetition explaining can get old.

During the RC stage of code life Package A is not tested with Package B & C. After Package A passes testing then Package B & C are tested with all the previous Main Code and Package A. Keeping change packages small allows faster debugging.

We are seeing more companies moving to smaller updates. Adobe is delivering 2 or more updates to the their products each month in the new CC package. Microsoft is trying to go that way with their 360 package. There are other reasons and motivations in those products for the delivery style. But, small easily debugged code changes is in the mix.

Writing this out each week gets old. Maestro and Caleb and any other Lindens writing the Deploys post are going to tend to abbreviate their explanation of what is happening. That is just what people do.

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