2015 viewer release summaries: week 17

Updates for the week ending: Sunday, April 26th, 2015

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version: 3.7.28.300918 April 23 (formerly the Tools Update RC -uses the new tool chain and autobuild process and also incorporates the revised viewer log-in screen) download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Avatar Layer Limits RC viewer updated to version 3.7.28.301019 released on April 20 – allows users to wear up to 60 wearable layers (jackets, shirts, tattoo, alpha, etc.) in any combination  (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • Importer project viewer updates to version 3.7.28.300878 on April 22 – this viewer uses a modified mesh uploader which can (optionally) improve debug output, perform name-based LOD association, and handle models with many materials, allowing models with more than 8 unique faces to be imported (download and release notes)

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.2.2 on April 25 – core updates: bug fixes, post effects added to Preferences, chromatic aberration rendering, keybindings (change log)
  • Kokua updated to version version 3.7.27.35441 on April 23rd – core updates: parity with LL 3.2.27 code base and RLV 2.9.9; fixes and tweaks (release notes)
  • Restrained Love Viewer updated to version 2.9.9 on April 21st – core updates: minor fixes (release notes)

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer Stable branch updated to version 1.26.12.40, the Experimental branch to version 1.26.13.9 and the Legacy branch to 1.26.8.93 all on April 25th (release notes)

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Fantasy Faire: one time, one meeting: treasuring Ichi-Go Ichi-E

Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

A fabled land, bordered by hills and open sea; a place where sakura flowers tower above you and giant dragonflies hover over pools of water set in a chequerboard landscape one which an ancient circle stand close to the shade of a giant cherry tree; a place that encourages us to treasure the meetings we have with others.

To wander here is to wander a land of dreams and to share time with others. There are no strangers here, as those in the west might say, only friends we have yet to meet. Climb the steps carved from living rock and pass under roofless arches into the circle surrounded by stone. Perhaps you’ll dance a while, alone or with others…

Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 (Flickr)

Or perhaps the shade of the tall sakura flowers will beckon and there beneath, you’ll discover the tiny winged sakura fae, awaiting a chance to serve visitors and offer them rest and refreshment.  For those who feel in need of greater rest, the sakura pods offer sanctuary, rest and a chance for meditation and renewal as ghost butterflies keep the spirits of darkness at bay.

Walk across the water and share secrets with the dragonfly, or travel beneath the waves and into The Looking Glass to discover a realm of wonder, offering delights to one and all; as do the stone-hewn stores that sit beneath this realm’s bordering hills.

Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Ichi-go Ichi-E, Fantasy Faire 2015 (Flickr)

It is here that adventurers might find the Monkey Prince, Sun Wukong; a rogue once, and cursed to live in the form of a monkey until he had recovered the seven sacred sutras from the lands to the West. Having succeeded in the task assigned to him and a man once more, fleet of foot and great of strength, he found himself another assignment – aiding the Bard Queen in the raising and care of her daughter. But like his nine fellow champions, the loss of Princess Flora lay as a malaise on Sun Wukong; and the hardly adventure may have to engage in a game of dice or cards if they are to reawaken his memories, because for Sun Wukong, the loss of the Princess was to call forth his gambling rogue once more…

Such is the wonder of this fair land that tales lies at every turn, and wonders await under every spreading bough and sun-touched flower. Treasure the time you spend here; treasure the meetings you have.

Treasure Ichi-Go Ichi-E 一期一会.

Further Information and Related Links

Tales from other galaxies, and of weddings, WASPS and the old west

It’s time to kick-off another week of fabulous story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library.

As always, all times SLT, and unless otherwise stated, events will be held on the Seanchai Library’s home on Imagination Island.

Sunday, April 26th

11:00: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker – Seanchai Kitely

So, where were you in 1977?  Do you remember the first time you saw the first film?  The first 25 times you saw the first film?  Maybe you have never seen it at all.  Join Caledonia on Seanchai Library’s Spaceworld to enjoy for the first time (or re-live the joy) of those first adventures from an edition penned by Director George Lucas himself!

Seanchai Kitely: grid.kitely.com:8002/Inis Eirc

13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Caledonia, Kaydon and Corwyn read The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor, which first saw print in April, 1892 in The Strand Magazine, and was later included in the volume of tales The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

Was it nerve that cause Miss Hatty Doran to drop her bouquet at her wedding? and who was the gentleman who picked it up for her?

Was it nerve that cause Miss Hatty Doran to drop her bouquet at her wedding? and who was the gentleman who picked it up for her?  – Sidney Paget, The Strand Magazine, 1892

It should have been one of the happiest days in a couple’s life: the day on which they are wed. And so it seemed for Lord St. Simon and his bride, Miss Hatty Doran of San Francisco.

Prior to the wedding, Miss Doran had seemed utterly delighted in her forthcoming nuptials, up to and including the ceremony itself. Indeed, it may have been excitement – or perhaps nerves – which caused her to drop her bouquet in church, prompting a gentleman in the front pew the pick it up and return it to her.

Yet immediately after the wedding, and much to Lord St. Simon’s confusion, his wife became uncharacteristically sharp with him. Then, at the wedding breakfast, there was a commotion when a former companion of Lord St. Simon attempted to gain entry, followed by his young wife claiming a “sudden imposition” and the need to retire to her room – only to vanish, her wedding dress and ring later being found the banks of the Serpentine?

Despite the seemingly perplexing questions surrounding the entire wedding and disappearance, the solution for Sherlock Holmes proves rather … elementary.

Monday April 26th, 19:00: The Wizard of Karres

Gyro Muggins returns to the universe created by James H. Schmitz and given form through his 1949 novel, The Witches of Karres, as he continues reading the 2004 sequel, The Wizard of Karres, penned by by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, and Dave Freer, which reunites the reader with some familiar characters.

Wizard of KarresFor Captain Pausert, it would seem that the old saying that no good deed ever goes unpunished should perhaps become the family motto. As a “reward” for thwarting the plans of the space pirates and eliminating the threat of the Worm World, Pausert is given the secret mission of stopping the nanite plague, a self-aware disease that lay waste to entire planets worlds.

Only someone has once convinced the Imperial Navy, unaware of his true mission, that Pausert is actually a wanted man. so it is that the Navy set out to hunt him down – and almost succeed, managing to cripple his ship. When Pausert discovers his funding has also been cut-off, leaving him without the means to get his ship repaired, he and his companions, Goth and the Leewit, the Witches of Karres, are forced to go undercover – and join a travelling circus.

After all, the show – and the mission – must go on, and thus the adventures continue.

Tuesday April 28th, 19:00: The journey of the English Language

Trace the evolution of the Anglo-Saxon language through poems and short stories with Caedmon Sharkfin.

Find out more about the conference here.

Wednesday April 29th

06:00: WASP, Where is Thy Sting?

Freda Frostbite and Trolly Trollop return to the thoughts and writings of Florence King.

WaspWASP, Where is Thy Sting? was first published as a series of magazine essays in the 1970s prior to becoming a book in its own right, is a study by Ms. King focusing on the subject of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants (the WASPs) of the title.

While biased towards her own background as a member of an Anglo-Southron Washington DC family, and perhaps slightly dated today, the book explores the various varieties of Protestantism in the United States, which have often been based on social background and ethnicity far more than specific doctrinal differences, and can still resonate with readers today, as one reviewer notes:

After the various ethnic studies which began showing up through the ’60s and ’70s, Miss King decided that WASPs, as an ethnic group, needed to be delineated and explained to everyone else. Overall, she does a decent job. Yes, this is a humorous book, but there are too many parallels to people I’ve known and grown up with to doubt her accuracy. And there are plenty of Miss King’s delicious aphorisms (referring to many WASP womens’ idea of fashion as “Calamity Jane Eyre Chic” is a good example). There are many such quotable bits throughout the book.

19:00: Christie’s Detectives

Join Caledonia Skytower as she presents short stories featuring Agatha Christe’s beloved detectives: Parker Pyne, Jane Marple and Hercule Poirot.

Thursday April 30th

19:00: The Shell Box (75 minutes)

With Shandon Loring.

21:00: Seanchai Late Night

With Finn Zeddmore

Saturday May 2nd, 12:00 Noon: Seanchai Kitely: Lost Legends of the Old West

With Shandon Loring at Seanchai Kitely: grid.kitely.com:8002/Seanchai

—–

Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule. The featured charity for April / May is Habitat for Humanity, with a vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live – a safe and clean place to call home.

Related Links

SL project updates week 17/2: TPV meeting – CEF, Inventory

Fantasy Faire 2015: YoZakura; Inara Pey, April 2015, on Flickr Fantasy Faire – April 23rd to May 3rd, 2015: YoZakura (Flickr)

The following notes are primarily taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, April 24th,  a video of which is included below (my thanks as always to North for recording it and providing it for embedding), and from the Server Beta meeting held on Thursday, March 26th. Any time stamps contained within the following text refer to the TPV developer meeting video.

Server Deployments, Week 17 – Recap

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

  • On Tuesday, April 20th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package deployed to all three RC channel in week #16, which comprises internal server logging changes and new flags for llGetObjectDetails()
    • OBJECT_BODY_SHAPE_TYPE – returned list entry is a float between 0.0 and 1.0. Anything > 0.5 is male, otherwise female; -1.0 if the avatar is not found
    • OBJECT_HOVER_HEIGHT – returned list entry is a float, -1.0 if the avatar is not found.
  • There were no deployment or restart on the three RC channels on Wednesday, April 22nd.

SL Viewer Updates

[05:50] The Tools Update viewer, version  3.7.28.300918, was promoted to the de facto release viewer on April 23rd – see my article here for details. During its run as an RC viewer, this release had around a 2% lower crash rate than the release viewer built using the “old” tool set and processes.

As a result of this, all the remaining RC and project viewers are being updated to match the release viewer code base, and updated versions should be appearing soon.

Attachment Fixes Viewer (Project BigBird)

[07:42] This viewer, current available as a project viewer – version 3.7.28.300856 – and which fixes a range of issues related to avatar attachment failures, is in the process of being updated to a Release Candidate status, and should be appearing in the release pipeline as such in week #18.

[29:28] The Lab believes that these fixes resolve all of the viewer-side issues related to attachment problems which are related to AIS v3. However, a number of the more noticeable issues  – such as problems with attachments being detached on teleporting – are server-side, and require further investigation / fixing.  Similarly, failures with requests to attach multiple items (such as during an outfit change) also appear to be simulator-related, rather than anything within the viewer or linked to AIS v3.

Oculus Rift Viewer

[07:55] The Oculus Rift viewer is now on the schedule to be updated and brought into line with more recent viewer code releases. There is no set time scale for this project (and the Oculus Rift itself, according to Oculus VR, is unlike to reach a consumer release in 2015), but the aim is to bring it back to a “more active” state.

Viewer-Managed Marketplace

[00:08] Brooke Linden gave an update on VVM – as this is of interest to a potentially wider audience than those interested in viewer development, I’ve provided a separate article on it.

Web Media (Webkit and CEF)

[08:41] The Lab is making 2pretty good” progress on replacing webkit, an increasingly outdated third-party library used within the viewer for powering the built-in web browser, displaying web profiles and powering in-world media (TVs, MOAP, etc.), with the Chrome Embedded Framework. The Mac work is lagging a little behind this, but the Lab has now called-in external expertise to help move the project forward as a whole.

Request for TPV / Open-source Support for Linux

[09:17]  The Lab is seeking support from TPV developers and the open-source community to help maintain and move the Linux flavour of the viewer forward. For details, please see my  separate article in this blog, complete with an audio extract from the meeting.

Snapshots to E-mail

[12:27] The send snapshot as e-mail capability is in the process of being removed from the viewer.

The main reason for this is that wherever possible, snapshots are sent via the “secondlife.com” domain, but use the sender’s own e-mail address as the originating address in the “from” field of the sent e-mail which appears as if the “from” address is being forged. This, and other ways in which e-mails flowing out from “secondlife.com” are handled, has resulted in some ISPs regarding the domain as a spam domain, and have been pro-actively blocking it (Germany-based GMX is one such example).

To rectify these problems, the Lab is reviewing how e-mails from “secondlife.com” are being managed as a whole, and eliminating those uses which may conceivably lead to the domain In the case of the snapshot floater, the Lab’s perspective is that the easiest way to fix the problem is to remove the option from the snapshot floater; however as was pointed out to them in the meeting, this will break content such as wardrobe HUD systems which utilise the snapshots to e-mail functionality.

Other Items

HTTP and CDN Use Expansion

[20:35] The Lab is working on increasing the number of assets such as animations, sounds, and gestures, consumed by the viewer to being delivered via HTTP the CDN, and removing the reliance on UDP. This is for a number of reasons:

  • It further fees-up resources on the simulator to do what they do best – simulate the world around us, rather than using them for managing UDP file transfers
  • The use of UDP is not the most efficient or robust means of carrying out these transfers
  • UDP is bad for the network; there’s no flow control packet or congestion control behaviour, it can result in high packet losses which may occur anywhere between the the server and the viewer, and thus be hard to identify and prevent in future, etc.

As this work progresses, the Lab will be removing the server-side support for the UDP messaging currently used by such transfers. This has already happened with inventory fetching (and the option to disable HTTP Inventory is due to be removed from the viewer), and will be happening soon with texture fetching (which will also see the removal of the option to disable HTTP Textures in the viewer).

To help with this, TPVs are being encouraged to work with the Lab to identify specific / reproducible  issues users are encountering vis HTTP, etc., so that more work can be put into fixing them, and the Lab is asking TPVs not to recommend to users to switch back to the “old ways” of doing things when potential HTTP problems are encountered, as the 2old way may not be around for much longer.

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