Tag Archives: Server Side Baking

SSA and The One-Legged Man Upstairs


I have been waiting since Tuesday for the other shoe to drop. Nothing! Or nearly nothing at least. Linden Lab and the Third Party Viewer developers are to be congratulated on a job well done. By any reasonable measure Server-side Appearance is a rousing success!

A relatively small number of people have had “issues”:

1- User hardware. Lets get this out of the way first. If your equipment and your connection to the internet do not meet minimum requirement for SL you will have problems! One ray of sunshine – it is back-to-school season and there are lots of sales on computers that will work. If you use a cell phone connection to log in, you should expect problems, especially during high traffic times.

2- Temporary textures and Z offset. These are both gone, at least as we knew them. LL replaced Temp Textures with Local Textures, this actually works better except only you can see them. Kind of suck for collaborative work. Z offset was replaced with Hover which was kind of clunky until Henri Beauchamp (Cool VL Viewer) got his hands on it. I anticipate his fix to work it’s way into Third Party viewers fairly quickly.

3- Sun-99 and the Current Outfit folder. This really is a bug. Some people have ended up with more than one current outfit folder, this messes with SSA since it bases your appearance on that folder. If you have this problem contact LL support, they have a fix.

4- Corrupt skin and/or outfit textures. SSB does not handle this well, any corrupt texture will cause the effected part of your body (head, body, legs) to stay gray. Best advice, try changing stuff on the effected area.

Additional reading:

Inara Pey’s excellent summary.

Nalates posts here and here.

Firestorm Blog.

 

Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another ‘unrelated’ part is modified. Murphyism

 

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Are your friends looking sick? Get in the Sunshine!


SSB (Server-side Baking (or Appearance)rolls to the entire grid

today (Tuesday). If you are not using a properly equipped viewer avatars will not be seen properly. Jessica Lyon has a good post at the Firestorm Blog which applies to all viewers. There has been a long run-up to this new feature. No one can say they were not warned! LL and many private blogs have been talking about this for many months! This is a major improvement to the avatar rez process, a major improvement!

I am sure there will be wackadoodles who will be crying “the sky is falling” and the end of Second Life. Ignore them.

Those accessing SL with very old equipment will have the most problems, some will find they can not access the grid at all. My best advice to them is to try various Third Party Viewers in the hopes of finding one that works. Text viewers will of course get you on line but with limited or no graphics. You knew that sooner or later all computers become obsolete.

Bugs will appear in one part of a working program when another ‘unrelated’ part is modified.   Murphyism

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Some thoughts on Firestorm


There was a Questions & Answers meeting with the Firestorm team last week. Inara Pey has a transcript (edited for clarity) on her blog, along with the entire 2 hour 45 minute video.

Some highlights and news:

CHUI– It was last year when the Lab decided to revamp the Communication interface (why they chose to name it after a rather uncommunicative Star Wars character is speculation for another day). While I respect their choice to “do it the right way”, this resulted in complex and deeply embedded changes to the underlying viewer code Firestorm is built from. As of now those changes are not yet finalized. The challenge this set before the Firestorm developers has been huge! They anticipate it will be another 2 or 3 months before they have a new version that has this integration incorporated sufficiently to release a good-enough viewer update. It will not be perfect or even up to their usual quality standards, that will likely take a few months into next year.

Materials– This is the much anticipated feature that will give textures a 3D look. This is almost ready in the Official viewer pipeline but the Firestorm team can only integrate one thing at a time and retain their sanity. It should also be included in the next viewer update.

Version Control– This will probably upset some people, an explanation is in order. The Lindens report that of the 1,800 viewer versions logging in to Second Life, 1,600 are Phoenix/Firestorm! The grid-wide deployment of server-side appearance/baking will break a large number of them. Firestorm will take the opportunity to limit the number of allowed versions to 3 (the current version and the 2 most recent old ones). There will perhaps be a few days of a warning period when there will be 4. This is a huge problem for people limping along with old, outdated equipment! There is a harsh message for those people; Firestorm is a high-end, feature and option rich viewer! It was never intended for use on minimal system hardware! Perhaps the Official viewer, or Singularity will work.

The Firestorm Team deserves high praise for openly communicating with us,their users. They promise more meetings like this in the coming months.

 

 

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clark

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A Very Busy Week in Second Life


Today (Saturday, July 13) is opening day for Relay For Life. Second Life’s premier charity event begins today and will be open all week. Since it began in 2005 RFL of SL has raised well over a million dollars (U.S., not Linden$). It is best to begin at the RFL home region as it is usually less crowded than the rest of the track.

Also beginning today is Hair Fair. This extremely popular event is held on the 4 Hair Fair regions. The central region of the group is Hair Fare 2, although you may have to TP into one of the other regions just to get in, it is very crowded!

Both of these events can be very laggy! You can help reduce that by stripping down to basic clothing, no flex prims in your outfit or your hair. No scripted attachments (check hair and shoes especially). No HUDs unless absolutely necessary.

In addition to the 2 biggest events of the year being this week, the Lab will almost certainly be pushing Server Side Baking/Appearance out to the remaining release candidate regions on Wednesday. If you have not updated your viewer yet, the gray cloud is catching up to you.

May you live in interesting times.

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Firestorm Release with Server Side Baking/Appearance


Today the Phoenix Firestorm Project released Firestorm 4.4.1.34164. For all intents and purposes this is a mandatory release since Linden Lab will be releasing SSB in about 2 weeks.

For those who do not know what Server-Side Baking is all about, Inara Pey has a good overview at her blog.

Some people with very low end computers and/or graphics cards will have hardware issues. Nalates Urriah has some good recommendations for upgrading inexpensively.

I for one look forward to the improvements both to our avatars and to simulator performance this will bring.

May you live in interesting times.

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