SL project updates week 38/2: server, CDN, AR category changes

~Santaurio~, April 2014 ~Santaurio~, April 2014 (Flickr) – blog post

Server Deployments Week 38 – Recap

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates.

  • On Tuesday September 16th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package previously deployed to the three RC channels, which includes crash fixes and a fix for a bug that prevented some people from leaving Skill Gaming regions – notably Linden staff who entered a region using their admin powers …
  • On Wednesday September 17th, the three RC channels each received a new server maintenance package, which includes some bug fixes, and tweaks some behaviours related to experience tools.

CDN News

CDN support has been deployed to a small number of regions on the main grid. Maestro Linden indicated these were four Linden-owned regions. These are Hippotropolis, Hippo Hollow and Denby (where the Simulator User Group meetings are held), and the Testylvania sandbox (which isn’t open to public access).

Further regions will be updated to use the CDN service going forward, and the Lab had created an e-mail address region owners can apply to have their region(s) added to the test channel for the CDN: cdn-test@lindenlab.com. Note that regions should be those with a relatively high texture / mesh count, and space is “very limited” at this time (the total for the initial testing appears to be set at around 30 regions).

In addition, the map tile fetching for the main grid is now entirely carried out via the CDN, so map tiles should load a lot faster for people now.

World Map tiles are now served via the CDN

World Map tiles are now served via the CDN

Abuse Report Category Changes

The categories used to define Abuse Reports were recently revised in the official viewer.

The old (l) and new (r) AR categories

The old (l) and new (r) AR categories

This has led to some discussion on the forums and not a little speculation elsewhere as what it means for the AR system, with some people speculating that because some categories are no longer explicitly listed, there are therefore now “allowed”.

While views such as this might be debated until such time as the Lab issues commentary on the changes, the one thing that is clear at the moment is that they do put the AR floater somewhat out-of-synch with its official Knowledge Base article given the “Other” category has been removed. This has been noted and the Knowledge Base article is liable to be updated.

The changes also put some TPVs out-of-sequence with the revised categories until such time as they update. However, this hopefully will not negatively impact ARs filed via viewers using the older category options.

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A new shadow looms over Innsmouth

There has always been a shadow hanging over H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. That much has been known since the town first appeared in Lovecraft’s writing, when it made its debut in the 1936 novel The Shadow Over Innsmouth. It is a place with a long and mysterious history, involving shipbuilding dating back to the mid-1600s, the rise of the Esoteric Order of Dagon, intrigue, mysterious happenings and more.

Innsmouth is also a town which has been lovingly recreated in Second Life, forming a centre of roleplay, an homage to Lovecraft’s writings and very much a famous and significant landmark. Dark and atmospheric, it captures the spirit of the deserted Innsmouth and its air of mystery and menace quite perfectly.

But now a new shadow is, as SLexplorer and Ciaran Laval indicate, falling over the SL Innsmouth and threatening its future.

The news of the threat first broke via a post on the H.P. Lovecraft Festival website, and which reads in part:

On September 15th, Darmin Darkes, the owner of the Innsmouth-themed Sim announced the following: “Innsmouth sim is for sale. I’m giving first dibs to you folks in the hopes that someone will want to keep some of the build. Worst case is having to flatten it and sell it. I just can’t afford it any longer. I’m not leaving SL, but I have to cut back my sims. Thank you for your years of support and friendship and the passion you’ve given to Innsmouth. It’s only pixels and I’m sure there are better versions waiting to be built.” — Darmin Darkes

Innsmouth in Second Life has enjoyed passionate and loyal support, and the news has led to a group being formed, The Innsmouth Preservation Society, which has Darmin Darkes’ blessing and is working on ways to secure a continued future for Innsmouth.

The group, led by Arik Metzger, who is the Coordinator of the HP Lovecraft Festival in SL, and Founder/Producer of the HPL-RPG  (HP Lovecraft Roleplay and More Group), has already set out initial plans to try to save the region.

“The first goal is to raise enough funds to purchase the sim and cover one month of rent,” he informed me when I hopped over to Innsmouth to speak with him. “Beyond that, there are ideas and plans for returning regular events and activities to Innsmouth, replacing older-style builds with more prim-efficient reproductions of the current structures, free up prims and increase potential for residential and commercial tenant options.”

The group has already held an initial meeting to discuss these plans and more, and a second meeting is scheduled for 19:30 SLT on Thursday, September 18th,  at the Innsmouth Opera House. All those wishing to support the preservation of Innsmouth are invited to attend, listen and get involved.

“We boosted the Innsmouth Preservation Society group to 33 members. A number of people expressed concerns and interests, and ideas were shared along with an overview of the immediate goals involved in saving the sim and revitalizing it for all,” Arik informed me in discussing the initial meeting. He’s been spending a fair amount of time spreading the word since the news broke, and visitors at the region will likely find him walking the streets of Innsmouth, imparting news on the group’s work, handing out meeting flyers and more.

Further details on the group’s plans, and information on how to get involved in donating towards keeping Innsmouth alive in Second Life will be given at the upcoming meeting. In addition, updates and other information relating to preserving the region will be posted on the HPL-RPG website.

Related Links

Colouring a Cat 2: this time it’s personal!

Same Cat, new colours

Same Cat, new colours (click any image for full size)

It’s only been a week since I last blogged about my new obsession, my PBY-6A Catalina, but I make no apologies for doing so again and so soon. No apologies, because I want to say two words again: Josh Noonan.

Last time around, I covered Josh’s paint kits for the Shana Carpool PBY-6A, and specifically the Cousteau Society scheme he supplies, and his willingness to provide two RAF Coastal Command paint sets. While I’ve been happy flying my Cat in all of them, particularly the Cousteau colours,  I wanted something slightly more personal, and started hunting around for ideas.

When I came across some photos of the Peter Stuyvesant PBY-5A from the 1990s, I felt I had something to work on. I did consider going for a red-and-white scheme rather than blue, this being something of a preferred colour scheme for me, but I decided to go with blue to match the spirit of the Stuyvesent PBY, and contacted Josh. Within a couple of days, he’d delivered precisely what I’d asked for – and it was (and is) a delight, as can be seen in the photo above; a beautifully distinctive paint scheme.

There are just one small problem; and it wasn’t Josh’s, it was mine: I like red and white a little too much. So, I dropped Josh a line to say I might be requesting a red scheme (I was actually dithering over it and didn’t want to sound ungrateful for his work in producing the blue) – and when I next logged-in to SL, there were two boxes waiting for me from him: two new paint sets offering red schemes – not only that, but one was personalised in a lovely way!

Red Cat

Red Cat

The red finish is simply lovely, and complements the colour schemes of my EC-135 and Sparrow 2 beautifully – and the little touch under the cockpit canopy really has me bowled over.

Oh.. what’s that, you can’t see what it says? Let me give you a closer look :) .

A girl and her Cat ...

A girl and her Cat …

To say I’m bowled over by the new paint scheme would be an understatement; I haven’t stopped smiling since applying it, and not even getting twice bumped to the bottom of the ocean passing over Blake Sea Half Hitch (again) could wipe the smile from my face.

Now all I need is a suitable jumpsuit to wear when flying it!

If you are looking for a paint scheme for you plane or helicopter, don’t forget to check Josh’s hanger at Hollywood airport. Depending on the make of your aircraft, he may well be able to help you out.

UKanDo 3.7.15

logoOn Thursday September 18th, the windows version of the UKanDo viewer released version 3.7.15.28043 (at the time of writing, the Linux version is to follow), the first update to the viewer since April 2014.

Given the passage of time since the last release, this new version brings with it both a significant jump in version number and a lot of merges with the Lab’s official code. As well as these, the viewer also has a number of tweaks, fixes, additions and removals, which come from both the UKanDo team and other sources.

The following is a quick overview of some of the significant changes to the viewer; as always, please refer to the release notes for the full list of changes and updates.

Lab Code Updates

UKanDo 3.7.15 comprises merges with the following LL code releases:

  • Release 3.7.7 – viewer-side Project Interesting improvements to how the viewer and server work together to know what scene objects to draw, and how the viewer utilises the information it has cached
  • Release 3.7.8 – Maintenance release with crash fixes and performance improvements
  • Release 3.7.9 – the “Memshine” release, incorporating the Sunshine / AIS v3 updates and a variety of fixes to address memory leaks in the viewer and improve crash rate
  • Release 3.7.10 – the SLShare two release, with uploads to Twitter and Flickr and updated upload to Facebook (to incorporate the filter support also included in the Twitter / Flickr image uploads)
  • Release 3.7.11 – Snowstorm contributions release which includes the requirements that Windows XP users have Service Pack 3 (Win XP 32-bit) or SP 2 (Win XP 64-bit) in order for this (and future viewer releases) to install
  • Release 3.7.12 – Maintenance release
  • Release 3.7.13Group ban functionality release
  • Release 3.7.14 – viewer build libraries update, providing security, stability and consistency improvements to this and future viewers
  • Release 3.7.15 – Snowstorm contributions viewer, including the unified snapshot floater, and support for ‘older than’ when inventory filtering.
UKanDo includes a large number of Lab-driven updates, right up to the more recent (at the time of writing) 3.7.15 release with the unified snapshot floater

UKanDo includes a large number of Lab-driven updates, right up to the more recent (at the time of writing) 3.7.15 release with the unified snapshot floater

In addition to the above, the viewer is also brought up-to-date with Marine Kelley’s latest updates to RLV.

Preferences Updates

Version 3.7.15 of UKanDo includes the following Preferences updates:

  • A button to clear inventory cache has been added to Preferences > General > Miscellaneous
  • Option added to toggle between web or legacy profile floaters added to Preferences > General > Miscellaneous panel, with web profiles the default
  • Preferences > General > Basics tab has been cleaned-up
  • An option to display your avatar’s name in the viewer’s title bar has been added to Preferences > General > Miscellaneous (via Kokua (?))
  • An option to set teleport action when clicking on the Mini-map has been added to Preferences > Move & View
New option to select teleport action when clicking on the Mini-map

New option to select teleport action when clicking on the Mini-map

Other Updates and Changes

This release of UKanDo also features the following updates and changes from various sources and the UKanDo team:

  • The viewer now uses the Catznip multi-user log-in in drop-down code
  • Options for raising Abuse Reports have been added to the various chat context menus
  • The text entry widget’s background colour will change according to chat type (via Kokua (?))
  • The Avatar height offset slider (from the Restrained Love Viewer) has been removed, together with all associated code
  • The viewer logo and version number has been added to progress screens (e.g. teleport progress)
  • The region restart countdown displays in minutes and seconds rather than just seconds
  • Inventory folder icons have been updated
  • Various tweaks to buttons  / icons on the Nostalgia skin.

 Summary

A comprehensive set of code merges from the Lab’s repositories brings UKanDo back up to parity with the SL viewer, while the nips and tucks offered by the development team and from other TPV sources serve to further enhance the viewer.

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