Server Deployments – Week 46
Deployments for the week are progressing as planned.
The main channel received the code which had been running on the Magnum RC channel as well as some updates.
This now means that the server-side Group Services code to improve the loading and editing of very large groups (10K+ members) is active right across the main grid – see the section on Group Services below for further information.
This roll-out restored functionality within the Estate Tools which allows region physics to be put in a condition of limited functionality, which is sometimes useful in dealing with issues and problems within a region. The capability was disabled around the time of the mesh roll-out, and has now been restored with this release. This caused some minor inconvenience on some regions (at least one), where the option has been enabled at some point, with the result that following their restart, objects within the region(s) were not functioning correctly. However, this was corrected without major incident.
Wednesday 13th November will see all three Release Candidate channel receive the same update package, including the BUG-166 update, which means that linksets with bounding boxes larger than 64m (in any dimension) are prevented from being rezzed if doing so will cause the object to collide with an avatar excluding the object owner.
Week 47 Deployments and Christmas Run-up
There will be no server roll-outs in week 47 (week commencing Monday 19th November) due to the forthcoming Thanksgiving weekend in the United States. There will be deployments between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it currently looks as if these may be limited to a couple of weeks during that period according to Simon Linden (details on the likely number pending), and there will as usual be no releases over the Christmas / New Year period.
Interest List and Object Caching
Andrew Linden reports that the first phase of this work is drawing to a conclusion, and he is planning on having a possible demonstration of the capability on the beta (Aditi) grid on Thursday 15th November, most likely during the Bet Server User Group meeting.
The focus of this project is to optimise the data being sent to the viewer, information already cached on the viewer and the manner in which that data is used in order to ensure it is used more efficiently so that things rez both faster and in a more orderly manner than is currently the case.
Andrew reports that general performance on object rezzing should be improved, although the overall sorting element of the code (ensuring objects closer to an avatar’s camera position rez sooner than those further away) isn’t currently as rigorous as it could be. However, the server and viewer do now interact better, so less information is sent to the viewer relating to in-world items which are not visible within the current camera view for the viewer.
Commenting on demonstrating the capability when speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday 13th November, Andrew acknowledged that it may be difficult to achieve on Aditi, which is a relatively static environment (improvements will hopefully be more noticeable on regions where there is a lot of movement and activity); however, anyone interested in this work may want to try attending the Beta Server Group meeting on the 15th November, in case a demo is provided.
Currently, this represents the fist pass in Interest list improvements, and one which is liable to be heading to an RC channel in the near future – it does not require any specific viewer updates to work -, and Andrew expects to be building on this work in the future.
As mentioned above, Baker Linden’s Group Services HTTP code is now available across the main grid. As there was some confusion evidenced on Plurk yesterday, here’s a quick re-cap on what this means:
- The new code allows for improved loading of membership lists of very large groups, together with improved reliability in editing such groups (i.e. assigning roles, removing people, etc.), by the group moderators
- The code requires a viewer update. At the time of writing, this is available with the official Second Life beta viewer (220.127.116.116708+), and the code will be filtering into the majority of popular TPVs as they update (and currently appears to be available in Zen (18.104.22.168+) and Niran’s Viewer (22.214.171.1242+) and Cool VL (126.96.36.199), all of which successfully loaded large group lists for me)
- Until such time as the viewer-side code has been incorporated into TPVs, the “old” method of loading group lists into the viewer will still be available. However, viewers using the “old” method (a protocol referred to as UDP) will have group loading capped at 10K members. This means:
- That for groups with 10K or fewer members, there will be no change regardless as to whether the viewer is using HTTP or UDP
- But for groups large than 10K, viewers running the UDP code will be unable to load the group until such time as they have been updated to the new code
- The code will not lead to any improvements in group chat reliability, and is not aimed at improving group chat.
Materials Processing and Avatar Baking
No news on either of these, beyond what has been previously reported in these pages. Materials processing has a test region on Aditi, but there is no timeline on when a project viewer is to be made available. For an overview of the initial capabilities for material processing, please see my project update here, and remember that the capabilities will be applicable to prims and mesh, but not directly to avatars or system layer clothing.
Avatar Baking is progressing, but without any significant update at this time, please refer to my last detailed update on this project for information.
Mesh Importer Fix
JIRA SH-3055 records a problem with the official viewer’s mesh uploader which has been affecting people over the course of the year. The fix for this, released as a project viewer (188.8.131.526471, available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS) on November 5th, is still available for those experiencing uploader issues, although it is in the pipeline to be merged with the beta viewer now that crash issues seem to have been resolved. Bear in mind that – as Runitai states in his JIRA comment, the viewer is a pre-beat project version, and may include other bugs and problems. While reports on the JIRA seem to point to it being relatively stable, caution should still be taken if attempting to use it as a primary viewer.