Second Life News 2014-41 #3

Viewers

The main viewer is 3.7.17-294959

Server Scripting 2014-41

Server Scripting 2014-41

RC Viewers

A Maintenance Viewer version 3.7.17.294943, which is on the Alternate Second Life Viewers page. You can read its release notes here: 3.7.17 Release Notes. Fixes and improvements are:

  • Voice – These updates fix a number of problems. Oz is encouraging dev’s to get the updates for voice into their next releases.
  • privacy
  • rendering
  • texture animation
  • avatar distortion (Avatar distorted when changing outfits)
  • inventory management
  • sounds
  • mouselook in Mac
  • scripting crashfix
  • multiple UI fixes in script editor, Pay flow, chat, stats floater, edit menu etc.

Login Viewer version 3.7.17.294959 – Release Notes – This is the viewer with the new login screen. 

Project Viewers

Project Benchmark Viewer version 3.7.17.294710 – This is the viewer that moves away from the GPU Table.

Project Experience Tools Viewer version 3.7.16.293901

Project Oculus Rift Viewer version 3.7.12.292141 – DK2 but probably not the latest and greatest.

Anticipated Viewers

The HTTP Pipeline Viewer – this viewer was expected to be out Friday. It didn’t make it to RC status due to some problem found during Linden QA. Expect it in week 42. It may not make it but the Lindens are trying hard to get it out.

Group Chat

Changes are still being made. They are still not telling us when and what they are changing.

Jessica tells us that some days their support group sees massive improvement. The next day it may deteriorate. Oz says behavior is very spiky. The changes in performance are not giving the Lindens any clue where the problem may lie. So, they continue to experiment to find a fix.

Hover Feature

The Lindens have found some problems they did not anticipate. They are difficult so the Lindens are not saying anything, but they are working on the problem. We’ll hear something when they know something.

The is the feature that keeps your avatar grounded… feet on the ground. The additional problems likely have to do with sitting and keeping your buns on the seat.

CDN: Texture & Mesh Fetching

CDN is running on the Snack RC channel. About 270+ regions. CDN is doing well.

The Snack channel ended up with more active regions than mainland. So, this made it hard to make comparisons. But, the numbers were good. So, next week (42) CDN will roll to Blue Steel. Regions in Snack will stay in Snack. Regions in Blue Steel will not change. This will give the Lindens a good comparison set of regions.

Some regions were removed from the Snack channel because of the imbalance of regions with lots of avatars.

Stats how many requests are seems not having to handle because CDN is doing it. Numbers are huge, well over 90%. CDN is taking most of the load. Measure of cue length and servicing time for item delivery. They have a warning level and critical level. The measured stats is how many time do they see the levels hit. Monty thinks these will be the most predictive of what people will like. I think meaning they will measure how users perceive performance.

HTTPS requests are more frequent and reflects change in data moving with Textures & Mesh. Previously they were carried separate communication channels.  The mix change and may affect how they tune CDN.

When the CDN lets items age out of the cache, the Lindens see the CDN servers making requests to the asset system. Oz says they are not seeing that. If the CDN servers take too long to get an item to the viewer it make another request to the asset servers. They are not seeing that happen. So, all indicators are CDN is working well.

Blue Steel being added to the CDN load adds a large number of regions to the service. If that goes well then they will add more RC channels to the CDN service.

Build Farm

The Lab is almost finished building their prerequisites (libraries) for Mac. They are just at the point where they are ready to try building the viewer.

They have made some progress on Linux as there is a lot of overlap between Mac and Linux.

Just starting for VS2013, the Windows side.

I was thinking they would be done with this. But, it is still ongoing.

Firestorm

Jessica says they are stuck on AISv3. There are some bugs related to AIS that won’t make it through FS QA.

They cannot add other stuff from Linden Lab without cherry-picking features and working around AIS. Something REALLY want to avoid.

  • BUG-6197Avatar distorted when changing outfits.
  • BUG-6439Shape distortion when wearing / taking off rigged mesh with joint offset (BUG introduced in version 3.7.9.290582).

Linden Lab has fixes for both of these in the Tiger branch. Maint-4518 and Maint-4819, while you can’t read the Maint items devs can see the numbers in the viewer release notes. You can find these in viewer 3.7.17.294943… which, I think, updated some time after the TP Dev meeting.

  • BUG-6487“Wear” Behaves Erratically For Attachments on Same Point.
  • BUG-6908Attachments scripted to llDetachFromAvatar on region change show as “Worn on invalid attachment point” in inventory after region change on AIS3 enabled viewers only.
  • BUG-6925HUDs and attachments intermittently and randomly detach after teleports, sometimes reattaching on their own shortly after, sometimes staying detached completely, or showing as “worn on Invalid Attachment Point” while still detached.
  • BUG-7131Unexpected behaviour of on_rez event and llDetachFromAvatar().
  • BUG-7433Change in Maintenance Viewer breaks my joint rigged mesh avatar.
  • BUG-7436[Maintenance-RC] Attachments appear in wrong position for observers on the Maint-RC but appear in the correct position to yourself on the Maint-RC. Observers on default release see attachments correctly.

Jessica says they are planning a viewer release after Thanksgiving, first of December. But, without these bug fixes they don’t want to release AISv3 and that means they can’t add Group Ban and some other features that have been in the SL Viewer for a time now.

Omitting Group Ban is going to be a problem for the team and users.

While it may be possible to cherry-pick around some of these problems, the dev’s would rather not do that as it creates problems for them.

The FS viewer as it is now, does not have a number of these problems. When they add AIS they get the problems. Thus the desire to avoid adding AIS for now. But, that means leaving out features the Lab is pushing and users are demanding. Not a good choice point.

You may notice that some of these problems are in the Linden Scripting Language (LSL). Changes to LSL have to be made on the server. When changing to AIS calls are made to newer code and that newer code has bugs. By staying with the older code Firestorm can avoid the problems.

At this point we don’t know what will make it into the next Firestorm release.

Group Tag Change

There is a weird things about group tags. Changing the tag has been a fix for a number of esoteric problems in the viewer for as long as I have been in SL (2008). The fix part has something to do with a tag change interrupting the region update. I’m not sure it always used to ‘interrupt’ the data flow. I think in the past it may have triggered an update.

So, there is currently a bug that happens when you change your group tag when you have teleported and before the region has finished loading you change the tag. It now stalls the data flow and stops the region update. As far as I know this only happens in the SL Viewer.

In the past, there was a recommendation to change the tag immediately after arriving in a region to speed things up. Now it is the opposite. Changing the tag will stop a region from rendering.

The Interesting Project

The project has some interesting problems now… There are some things just seem to never render. Some of the earlier tricks to get things to render work… sometimes, but not always.

In the last update to Interesting, things did seem to get worse.

The Lindens are busy with other things. The Interesting Project is supposedly finished. So, TP Devs are looking to see if they can isolate the Interesting problems.

3 thoughts on “Second Life News 2014-41 #3

  1. Linden is doing some great things — but the way ” interesting” is being handled shows the old legacy way LL messed up in the past: Saying a project is done when it has major glitches and skipping on to the next project without looking back.

    These glitches DO need to be addressed . Thank goodness for Firestorm and other TPVs — they are acting as gatekeepers to keep ill performing code out of the viewers most if us choose to use.

    ( and Linden should not think that TPVs are a pain– I truly doubt SL would have survived without a functional logical viewer)

    And please, some day the Apple issues need to be addressed. I am on 4.4.2 — tried the newer ones and they don’t work. Tried 32 and 64 bit.

  2. I don’t see any issue with AISv3 (the Cool VL Viewer has been running it for months now), albeit there *are* some issues (especially with inventory links) in LL’s implementation that I fixed when I backported their code (I also opened a JIRA about it: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SUN-129 … that seems to be ignored by LL… as usual :-/ ).

    As for the fixes in viewer-tiger that is supposed to solve rigged mesh and shape conflicts and race conditions on removal/addition of new rigged meshes and shapes, it causes a bug with eyeballs joints (visible with tiny full body meshes)… I too backported it in the Cool VL Viewer but so far kept its as dormant (disabled) code because of that nasty bug. I didn’t open a JIRA for it, because I’m tired about Oz & Co ignoring my reports.

    The last viewer-interesting changes have also been backported a long while ago (months) into the Cool VL Viewer (first in experimental v1.26.11 and now in stable v1.26.12). Here again, and after the usual round of fixes that I added during the backport, the new objects caching scheme is working fine.

    So, I fail to see what’s holding back the FS team…

    I also got the HTTP-pipelining (viewer-drano) code backported and ready for next release on Saturday. It’s interesting to note that the large improvement with inventory loading time is not due at all to pipelining (from Monty’s own comments in the code, the inventory system can’t use it ‘due to shortcomings in libcurl’), but from the migration to llcorehttp (an intermediate layer that glues the viewer code to libcurl and ensures auto-retries and plenty of nifty features) and from the relaxing of a hard-coded bandwidth limitation (0.5s pauses between each round of background inventory fetch requests).

    • Thank you very much…

      It is hard to know what is going on in a larger development team. They are following the pattern I expected to see third party developers follow, which results in them lagging behind the Lab by a significant period. You break the pattern, so that is proof it is possible. But, it is also proof you aint normal… (teasing)

      I find Cool VL Viewer a continual amazement. The V1 UI doesn’t work for me. But, I recommend it to people wanting a faster viewer.

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