Second Life 2013 in Review


(52 Articles) – A Second Life Viewer for Android devices came out this month. See: Second Life Android Viewer.

House Triggering Texture Thrashing in some video cards.

House Triggering Texture Thrashing in some video cards.

Texture Thrashing continued to be a problem in September. See: Second Life News 2013-36 #2. Later in the month I published: Debugging a Second Life Region’s Lag. The article is based on thread from SLUniverse.

In week 37 we had moved closer to getting an Interest List RC Viewer. in week 39 Andrew Linden said he thought he was working on the final fixes for the Interest List. See: Second Life news 2013-39 #2. In the same Beta Server Group Andrew explained how Auto-Return was being changed to defeat some types of griefing.

In week 39 Oz Linden is telling us the Interest List Viewer is still in the wings.

We learned the same week that another round of SSA changes were coming. Later in the month we learned the Max texture size used by the new SSA render engine is 512×512 pixels. See: Second Life news 2013-39 #2.

By week 39 the SSA project has cleaned up the bake fail problems it was targeting. But, due to inventory and viewer/server communication problems bake fail is still occurring. The priority for bake fail shifts to solving Current Outfit Folder corruption problems, which mixes and with the HTTP project and the creation of new inventory APIs.

Voice system code changes entered the server RC channels.

Multi-threading is added for region crossing information. The code rolled out to an RC channel in week 37.

Baker saw the Group Ban List as nearing completion. Unfortunately we know that it had problems in QA and peer review. So, in December of this year it will still be a work in progress.

The ToS change of last month turns into a major point of displeasure with SL users. See: Second Life ToS Change. It took some time for people to notice the rather minor wording change that has major implications for Intellectual Property rights. By late in the month some creative types were leaving SL. See: ToS Update 2013-39. Late in September a panel of RL attorneys working intellectual property rights was convened answer questions and discuss the TOS change. For summary of that meeting see: Second Life ToS Meeting Summary.

Get a Protest Sign

Get a Protest Sign

Ribbon Particles finally saw the light of day in week 38. In the Beta Server User Group Maestro Linden explained the server side changes, made weeks ago, were to simply add the perimeter: PSYS_PART_RIBBON_MASK.

Particle Demo Object

Particle Demo Object

The viewer had to be changed to use OpenGL’s particle/sprite features. To learn more about this feature added in September see: Ribbon Particles in Second Life.

Second Life's Facebook Page

Second Life’s Facebook Page

This month we also heard the SL Viewer would gain more integration with Facebook. See: Second Life Integrating with Facebook? At the time the article was written it was speculation. The official Linden announcement came late in September: Second Life Share – Facebook. Strawberry Singh wrote about the new feature in: Second Life Facebook Share. For more technical explanation of how Share works see: Second Life TPVDM News 2013-39.

In the last part of 2013 the Debug Settings value MeshMaxConcurrentRequests was becoming a concern for the Lindens. SL users were setting this value to ridiculously high numbers. The result is more lag for everyone. See: Second Life News 2013-38. Eventually the API used by the viewer to get mesh was changed to use a reward/punishment system.

In week 38 the LSL function  llXorBase64() was fixed. . See: Second Life News 2013-38.

The subject of Pants Flare came up in the Content and Mesh Upload User Group. Next Linden had something to say about how broken that aspect of the viewer’s render is. See: Second Life Content & Mesh 2013-38. This article also has a section that quotes Nyx’s response to the question asked about the possibility of dual avatars.

The Viewer Pipeline is working pretty well my week 38. Viewer releases are coming faster. And RC viewers are getting better testing via user use. See: Second Life Viewer 3.6.7-281236 RC.

Users were using some of the new features in SL to make interesting new avatars.

Week 39 saw fixes for llXorBase64(), llReturnObjectsByID(), and llJsonSetValue() rollout to the RC channels.

Oculus Rift remained a point of interest for Jo Yardley. See: More Oculus Rift 2013-39.

In week 39 we learned the LSL Syntax Files were being tested in pushed along by Oz Linden. Earlier this year in February Ima Mechanique was working on this project. From outside it’s hard to know who’s doing what. I think it was Ima there was writing viewer side code and specs for server-side behavior. It was Oz working inside the Lab the got the changes implemented and tested. See: Second Life news 2013-39 #2.

In week 39 Oz Linden provided information that 25 to 50% of regions have at least one Materials enabled item. In week 40 we learned a more precise number was 33% of regions had at least one materials object. We also learned class III video cards and up can make use of ALM (Advanced Lighting Model) and have acceptable performance levels. But, class III and four cards do take some performance hit. We heard that 20% of those with class III cards and up have ALM enabled. For more details see: Second Life TPVDM News 2013-39.

Second Life got some good press in September. See: Good Coverage of Second Life.

And Animation Influencing Interface is being considered. The feature we discussed in the third party viewer developers meeting (TPVDM). This is feature that would improve how the viewer communicates with scripted objects. So, things like Firestorm Viewer’s bridge and RLV’s controller would not be needed. See: Second Life TPVDM News 2013-39

2 thoughts on “Second Life 2013 in Review

  1. Fantastic Summery condensing the whole year. Linden Lab truly were busy this year. For me the materials feature is my favourite feature of the year but I have acknowledge the year long efforts to improve the grid.

  2. Pingback: Rod Humble Leaves Second Life | Nalates' Things & Stuff

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