Second Life TPD Meeting News 2016 w28

The Third Party Developer’s meeting ran 28 minutes. Attendance has been low. There is news and word on where the Lindens are focusing their attention.

2016.0717

2016.0717

Viewers

The RC Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 4.0.7.317394 fixes lots of stuff and has some nice contributions by third parties.

The Second Life Project VLC Media Plugin Viewer version 4.0.6.316258 is going to advance to RC status very shortly. Oz Linden says they have one bug holding it back… something about items render upside down. Once fixed the version ready to go RC.

The Second Life Project Bento Viewer version 5.0.0.317597 changed. How bento stuff works changed. Late feedback coming from users was convincing enough the Lindens made changes to the project. This new update is likely last update as a project viewer. Then on to RC. As Vir Linden, lead on Project Bento, is on vacation for week 29 & 30, we won’t see much happen with Bento until week 31, first week in August.

The Second Life Project VOB Viewer version 4.0.6.316422 is getting an update. Soon it will come out as an RC viewer. It too has one last bug fix.

The Lindens are working on the 64-bit viewer. Oz Linden is expecting a project viewer verion to roll out pretty soon. Work is advancing. VLC is a complication and once VLC is completed then more effort will go toward the 64-bit viewer.

The 64 is something the Lab wants out ‘soon’. Windows will be in 32 & 64 bit versions. Mac and Linux, if there is a Linux, will only be 64-bit. The Mac 64 will get Havok and that should reduce crashes.

I expect Windows 32 bit viewers to linger but, at some point they will lose support.

The Lindens hope to have most of this stuff in these versions into the main viewer by end of quarter. While they doubt they can get all of them in, they plan to have as many in as possible.

Now that the Inventory Message Viewer is the main viewer the UDP message stuff server side will likely come off the servers in Q4. That means viewers that haven’t adopted the changes and users that aren’t updating will be restricted in what they can do with inventory.

Voice

From today’s meeting I take away that the Lab is going to be concentrating on voce. It seem that recently hackers/griefers have been concentrating on vulnerabilities in the voice code. Work has already been done to mitigate problems but, big changes are coming.

Oz Linden was bringing it to the attention of third party developers rolling back the voice-36 fix there were going to be problems.

This latest Vivox update added enforcement of specific voice connection handle values. What’s a connection handle? It’s a geeky computer thing. With communications iRL we have channels for the Fire Dept, Police, cell phones, radios, broadcast TV, and on and on. We name those channels, give them a handle, if you will. Computers do the same so various parts of the program can share the connection.

Griefers were exploiting the fact that any handle could be used. But, limiting the handle names/numbers wasn’t compatible with Linux. So, Linux users were losing voice because of the change. Some dev’s decided to roll back the update and keep voice. Consider it a quick and easy fix. But, it also removes the fixes that close some griefer exploits.

Unfortunately there are no updates for Linux coming from Vivox or the Lab. As less than 1% of SL users run Linux and of that 1% only a small percentage run the Linden Viewer, it just isn’t worth the Lab’s or Vivox’s time to support Linux. Oz can’t justify assigning anyone to work on Linux issues.

Oz did make the suggestion that SL Voice may run on Linux under Wine using the SL Voice files.

Oz asked that if third party dev’s revert that fix, only do it for Linux and even then it is a bad idea. There are vulnerabilities that allow people to exploit systems. So, explore other solutions.

The fixes in this latest Vivox update are not the end of the road, just the beginning.

The Lab is in a program with Vivox to update voice and a new version is coming. It will have better voice quality and more improvements to security. The changes will require viewer server side changes in SL and the Vivox servers. TPV Dev’s should adopt the new changes.

Once there is major acceptance of the new Vivox system the SL backend will change and viewers without the new Vivox will lose voice.

Oz says, for sure and intentionally the Lab will break all existing voice systems. It is a security and performance thing.

This new program tackles some old and long term problems with voice. To fix these, the changes won’t be compatible with what we have now. The Lab’s choice is leave in place and live with the problems or break legacy things and move on to get the problems fixed.

I don’t see where there is any legacy anything in voice, other than the viewer and server code that makes it work. The Lab commonly breaks old viewers to move on to new tech and better security. It is ‘SL legacy content’ that they usually care about and try to avoid breaking. Whatever, voice is going to be upgrading.

An important reason for the update is they have added data tracking to the code. The Lab and Vivox will be collecting data on how voice is behaving and being used. That information will guide the development to future voice changes. As more third party viewers adopt the code the more data they get.

Firestorm

Firestorm is to release a new version on the 27th. The version will have the HTTPMsg changes or likely better know as Inventory Messaging changes. It also will have Vivox 4.6.0017.22050 and that is  a problem for Linux users. Sorry.

 

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