Second Life News & Group Bans 2014-9

At the Beta Server User Group Baker Linden did a recap of the coming Group Bans feature. You can read that recap on Inara’s blog: SL projects update week 9/2: group bans update. She is pretty much quoting Baker, which is what I would do, so I’m not going to repeat the quotes here.

SB2014-9_001

Server Beta UG 2014-09

Group Bans is moving into testing on the Preview Grid. We’ll hear when the Lindens have a test viewer ready and are ready for testers to help. We will probably hear something next week (10). Third Party Viewer Dev’s will be testing their viewers as soon as the test package is on ADITI, which is expected to be next week (10). 

Baker has the Group Bans project in the cue for a project viewer. I expect we will see one soon, one or two weeks maybe. But, it may be he is just handing the code off to the viewer dev team, which could mean it will be some time. It is hard to tell.

Baker has been at this for 10 months. Time flies, huh? He is new to the Lab and has been having to learn how things work. Baker says he has spent more time learning the system than actually writing the code for Group Bans. Plus, he cleaned up related code, refactoring it.

Servers

This week we saw the RC server package rollout to the main channel. The main fix in the package was BUG-5034 – If an EM restarts a region and then teleports out immediately, the EM will disconnect just after teleport, seemingly only if no other avatars were on the region when it was restarted.

EM = Estate Manager. You can see this would be a rare problem and affect a small number of users. The fix was adjusting a timer. Since it was an easy fix and because Whirly Fizzle writes really good bug reports, this happened quickly. Reported 2/17 and hit the main grid 2/25.

There are some other crash fixes included. One of which is: a case in which emails read by LSL scripts immediately after rez or region change would sometimes be missing the message body.

RC Channels

We know the RC channels got an infrastructure update. Maestro Linden describes them as ‘There were some system image changes to make the sims easier to manage.’ We are told the simulator code did not change. So, I suspect these are changes and updates to the Linux operating system or Linden operational scripts.

We know Magnum got the server side of the Sunshine project. The changes there can only be experienced with the Sunshine Project Viewer. Maestro describes the update to AISv3 as: ‘The main advantage is that outfit changing is done more intelligently with a single big message [sent to the servers] instead of many small ones.

This will be a nice change. I find myself waiting for appearance changes to appear on screen. Also, many of the remaining bake fail problems will be solved by this update. Inventory should load faster, but that is probably a stopwatch difference. The major improvement will be reliability. When inventory is downloading over poor connections or from busy servers the transfer can stall resulting in a messed up inventory and some bake fails. We should see fewer of those problems.

If you are totally into geek-speak, there is a description of the changing API for inventory here.

Tankmaster Finesmith, a Firestorm developer team member, tells us the next release of Firestorm is not going to have the AISv3 code. That won’t get included until the release after.

Since the Sunshine viewer code is still in internal QA at the Lab, the FS team probably won’t do much more than experiment with the current code. Once the Lab is past QA then the FS team can get serious.

Viewers

The main viewer is: 3.7.2-286707 built Feb. 15, 2014. I’ve been using it and the Zipped Project Viewer. In the main viewer I find that when I start taking pictures I am on my way to a crash. At some point I take a picture and the viewer poofs.

RC Viewers

  • Interesting Viewer version 3.7.3.287127 – If you are having render problems, try this viewer.
  • Maintenance Viewer version 3.7.3.287263 – If you are having problems with special characters in group titles and display names, try this viewer.
  • Merchant Outbox Viewer version 3.6.13.284731 – I think this is mostly for Linux users.
  • Sunshine Viewer version 3.7.1.286565 – If you are having inventory and outfit problems, try this viewer.
  • Zipper Viewer version 3.7.2.286810 – This is just a curiosity. It is advertised as a fast install viewer. I did not see much difference in install time. It Inara put a stopwatch on it. She found it shaved about 19 seconds off the install time. Several of us believe this is infrastructure change for some coming something.

Project Viewers

Viewer Version Numbers

A question was asked in the SL Forum about which version have which fixes. I tried to answer. I think I did pretty good until I got to the build numbers. Oz Linden helped out and explained things better. Quoting Oz:

Here’s a quick tutorial on the viewer version numbers…

A version number is four integers separated by dots (3.7.2.286707).  Numbers at each level are incremented when something new happens; the more important the something, the further to the left the incremented number (so “Fitted Mesh” changed the second level number from 6 to 7).  Most versions increment the third level (2 in this example).

If the first three numbers in a version are greater than those numbers in a given default release viewer, then that version (which may be a project viewer or release candidate) has everything in the release viewer.   When we decide that a given version is going to be the default viewer, all the changes in it are added to all the projects we’re working on, so all the fixes and features in 3.7.1.286557 (which was the default release until this past Monday) are in any viewer whose number is 3.7.2.anything.

If two viewers have the same first three numbers, they probably have distinct sets of changes compared to that common base.

The fourth level is special – it’s the ‘build number’. It’s a monotonically increasing number generated by our build system, so basically it tells you which viewer was built first. It’s useful only within a specific project and doesn’t tell you much between projects.

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