Second Life News 2014-31 #3

Viewers

There is a new viewer in the pipeline called the New Login Viewer. I don’t know much about it or when we will see it on the RC Viewer page. I think this viewer is still running A-B tests with new users. As existing users we probably will not see it until the A-B testing is done.

Tableau 2014 July - Hidden Location

Tableau 2014 July – Hidden Location

Word is the Zipper RC Viewer is having lots of problems on older hardware. Oz says they are not sure at this point if they will continue with this viewer. He recommended that third party developers not merge this code into their viewers. That is a pretty clear ‘stay away’ from this version warning.

There are new versions of the Oculus and Experience Tools viewers. Both are going well. There is no ETA on when improvements from the DK2 may be seen. But, there is work happening in that area. So, I am guessing the Lab has received their DK2 units.

Lots of data is coming back from Experience Tools. There are some problems, but Oz says nothing big. So, that is moving ahead. My guess is we will see more users invited to the Beta or even a public RC Viewer.

The Library Refresh RC Viewer will NOT support Mac 10.6. Once it makes it to being the main viewer, the Lab will stop supporting 10.6 and older Mac operating systems. Otherwise this is the viewer using the newly rebuilt libraries.

Windows 8.1 users have amazingly low crash rates. The Lab is encouraging users to update their operating system if they are  on older OS’s. Especially Win 8 users as the upgrade to 8.1 is free.

Chat

Changes are being made on the backend. Soon they will roll out some new experiments. There will be no announced rollout of the changes. The Lindens do not want to change people’s perceptions/expectations. Using unannounced changes they get accurate feedback.

The Chatter’s List is a significant part of the problem with group chat lag. The Lab is going to see if they can improve chat without changing chat functionality, but a change in functionality is still on the table.

The amount of data sent on changes information to update the chatter/group member list as people come on and off line out weights the actual message traffic.

Cocoa Bugs

Cinder Roxley has submitted a number of fixes. But, the Lab is getting worse crash rates using them. So, those are on hold while work is done on them. Oz says for now there are no high priority Mac bugs on the Lab’s list. His belief is most of the Cocoa Bugs have been fixed.

Alt-Cam: this bug appears to be more than one bug. For many Mac users the problem has been fixed. For a number of other people it has not been fixed. So, they got the main one most people suffer from fixed. But, there are still some other minor bugs that cause a few people a problem. If you are one of the latter, sorry. No good news for you.

If you are running into the Alt-Cam problem and you can reliably reproduce the problem on demand, provide that information and your logs to the Lab via JIRA bug report. The Lab can not reproduce the bug now. To them it looks fixed. That makes it really hard and time consuming to fix. Until they have something solid to work with this is a low priority item.

It is possible to get strange camera results by Alt-clicking on something, then without moving the mouse Alt-click the exact same pixel to get an unexpected result. Since this is pretty hard to do the fix is a low priority.

There is still a S…L…O…W text entry problem on some Mac systems. But that is a Mac problem that happens in any application when the system runs low on memory. The problem can be seen in other apps on the Mac, not just the viewers. Oz doubts there is much the Lab can do to solve the problem. That is something Apple would need to fix.

Firestorm

It looks like the Firestorm Viewer will get a new version this month. May be week 33.

AVG Firewall

Users with AVG firewalls are having problems with texture and appearance download. So, now the primary causes of bake fail are the AVG firewall and connection issues via wireless (ISP to User wireless) on the ISP’s side.

HTTP

When 20 or so avatars are in a region and those users have the max number of HTTP connections turned up to a high value things slow down for everyone. This is a case of the servers running out of connections. Possible fixes are in the works.

VS2013

For those that compile viewers news is that this quarter is the goal for shifting to Visual Studio 2013.

In the shift to a newer compiler Oz hopes to get many of the linking problems in a compile can be cleaned up and resolved. This would make it easier for people to compile their own viewer.

Texture Thrashing

Many of us have been noticing textures render and then go blurry and have to re-render. Oz says they have found the problem and have a fix for it, which came out of QA Friday. The fix will be fast tracked into a maintenance release RC Viewer and then the main viewer. So, I am guessing we will see it in an RC maintenance viewer within a couple of weeks. If all goes well it will make it into the main viewer this month.

This will be a welcome fix. It is annoying when trying to take snapshots and things in the scene keep going blurry.

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