Second Life News Week 13

From the Second Life™ Third Party Developers User Group meeting we have some news this week. Mostly update stuff.

Viewer Managed Marketplace

Brooke Linen says testing is going well and performance is good. There is a persistent problem with viewer, sim, marketplace communication. They are working on that. Brooke is thinking a couple of weeks to solve the problem.

Escapdes Island Duck

Escapdes Island Duck by Ciaran Laval, on Flickr

Jessica Lyon is deciding whether to try an include VMM or release FS without it. Being pressed Brooke pointed out they need to get two server updates through testing and rolled to the grid. Then they will start pushing the viewer. So, the road to VVM could be a couple of months long. 

Hover Feature

It is out. It appears the feature will make it into Firestorm.

Seems there is a camera flutter issue when adjusting height. Oz says they will be looking at it. It is not the top priority right now. So, it will a little while before they get to it.


RC Tools Update Viewer version – A couple of problems remain. Cinder fixed a floating point math problem affecting Macs. That fix is winding through QA and expected to be out, into RC, next week.

RC Maintenance Viewer version – There are lots of changes and fixes. So, it is slow going getting this one through RC testing. I was expecting this one to move faster as so much changes and is dependent on the tools working.

RC Experience Viewer version – This viewer is to get an update next week. They have been doing server side fixes for a while now. This viewer version was expected to be pretty much complete. So, this update may just be about catching it up with other RC to Main changes. But, Oz didn’t give us much on what the update is.

Oz says the Lab will be focusing on Experience Tools (ET). They want to get the first phase complete and rolled out. I didn’t get a clear impression of how quickly they would be moving on phase II. The Lab has going different directions in the past; waiting to get feedback or moving ahead with plans. So, toos your coin…

Project Avatar Layer Limits Viewer – This will be a new project viewer and arrive next week… I think he meant it will appear as a Project Viewer rather than an RC. But, I could be wrong.

Group chat

All chat servers are running the latest and greatest version. Oz says they seem to be working well. Send your thanks to Simon Linden. He is taking a day off.

This doesn’t mean there are no problems with group chat. Another round of fixes is anticipated. But, the priority of group chat fixing is being lowered a bit while they work on other issues.

They will soon return to working group chat. The next round of changes will require a platform change… Changing platforms is usually a significant task. Oz didn’t say what the platform would change to or whether it was just an upgrade or what…

But, stats-wise the chat servers are doing way better and no one is seeing the stalls occurring over the past weeks.

Attachment Problems

There are a number of race conditions (timing issues) that are causing attachment problems. The Lindens think they have a number of those fixed. Sometime next week (14) they hope to have them into a RC viewer.

When attaching a folder of attachments there are often problems. Sometimes the attachments attach, sometimes not.

V2 Rewite

Many of us thought that the V1 to V2 viewer change was a complete rewrite. The V1-V2 change was the massive user interface change of years ago. Oz Linden tells us it was not the complete rewrite many of thought. Much of the original V1 code made it into V2 and now the V3 viewers.

Some of the code in the viewer is 14 years old.

Support Teams

Ed Merryman, Firestorm Support Team, proposed that some type of cooperative process between third party viewer support and Linden support be established. Izzy Linden has been talking to other Lindens about that proposal. There is hesitation because the Lab feels there is a high potential for abuse. Izzy’s team manager says they will look into it.

But, Izzy is not offering any hope for it actually happening. Izzy believes that the idea has great potential. But, the abuse potential is significant. We’ll have to wait and see where the Lindens come down on the idea.

HTTP Pipelining

There is a problem with this feature failing. When enabled and working the feature greatly improves downloads and rendering times. But, if the process stalls, there is a 60 second recovery process. During that recovery time texture and mesh download is way slower. Repeated failures really degrade performance.

This could explain some of what I have been seeing.

Jessica says they will be expanding their testing crew. They have about 2,000 beta testers. They are going to open that up and add to the team. Watch for the announcement form Firestorm if you are interested in helping.

With this next beta release the team will be testing viewers with HTTP Pipelining enabled and disabled by default and gathering stats on how the viewers perform and users react with each default setting. That testing will decide if the feature is enabled or disabled by default in their next main release.

This problem is thought to be caused by cURL. There is an update planned by the Lab for cURL. It just is not a high priority, so it may be some time.

Anti-Virus and Firewall Problems

There are some new anti-virus programs that are having a problem with Second Life. The SL Viewer does lots of things anti-virus programs do not like. There is no way around that. So, we have to deal w ith our choice of AV.

In general one wants to white list or add to exceptions the SL program and cache folders.

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