SLDev-Traffic 10

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SLDev Traffic

sldev-traffic no 10

sldev discussions through May 4, 2007

Top Viewer Crashes

Dan Maronn (Linden) posted the ten most frequent Windows viewer crashes at Fixing bugs, as well as the five most common Mac viewer crashes. Dan will attempt to keep these updated weekly. Each item includes a link to the relevant JIRA issue, where users and developers can discuss the crashes, as well as a dump of the call stack.

At present, the information is minimal, lacking a register dump or an indication of the type of crash, but these may be useful for visual code inspection or adding extra error checking code in local builds to identify unexpected behaviors.

Ben Byer also notes that the Mac crashes don't indicate whether the version in use is Intel or PowerPC and asks if Linden Lab are familiar with Smart Crash Reports, a tool for producing better crash reports on the Mac. Dan says that Aric Linden is looking at it.

Working with Sculpted Prims

John Hurliman wrote a C# viewer for sculpted prims, posting the full source to SLDev. Windows and XNA Game Studio Express is required to run the viewer. John noted that lossy image compression of the sculpting texture added significant visual distortion to sculpted prims, and inquired whether lossless JPEG-2000 compression would be available. Ryan Williams (Linden) said he believed this was the plan, and that the sculpting texture delivery piggybacked on the existing texture delivery mechanism, enabling progressive models.

John Hurliman also created a program attempting to turn arbitrary meshes into sculpted prim textures, but met with limited success and solicited ideas for improvement. Andrew Meadows (Linden) notes that sculpted prims really only work with objects having the topology of a sphere, however he suggested one method whereby a mesh of springs could be wrapped about an arbitrary model, allowed to stabilize as springs with an additional constraint limiting them to the surface, and the vertices would then be quantized to the nearest pixel.

Erik Anderson inquired as to whether torus topology sculpted prims would help, allowing objects to be modeled with a single hole as well. Frans notes that Qarl Linden already promised this for the second revision on Talk:Sculpted_Prims. Actually, Qarl promises several more permutations!

Sculpted Prim -- Will It Blend?

Amanda Levitsky has begun working with sculpted prims in Blender, and posts this tutorial. Of note, Blender is free, and available for all Second Life platforms.

If you're new to Blender, Amanda suggests:

Blender's interface is notoriously intimidating. Says Amanda:

  The UI isn't intuitive to learn, but it /is/ well used by its developers and very
  efficient to work with.

Jessicatz Fairymeadow also suggests a Wiki book on Blender:

Python Using Spaces

Linden Lab have standardized on spaces four-space indentation, no tabs, for Python scripts. Paul Hampson ran into this detail, and Rob Lanphier (Linden) noted the change.

For the uninitiated, this isn't a bikeshed argument. Spacing is a non-trivial detail in Python. Python uses indentation to identify control blocks, as opposed to curly braces, "BEGIN" and "END" or the like. Mixing tabs and spaces with a non-standard tab size can create blocks that are visibly in the same block, but logically are not.

Chat Logging Patch

Harold Brown posted a patch that allows logs to include not just times, but date stamps, as well as a few other features. A screenshot is available. There were no responses, and there was no indication that a JIRA had been created.

Chat History Patch

Zi Ree created support for chat line history, posting it to VWR-671. There were no responses on-list or in the JIRA. If you'd like this one to go in, now's a good time to vote on the JIRA issue.

Subversion Repository!

Big news! Rob Lanphier (Linden) posts:

  Hi folks,
  After way too much delay (sorry), I'm happy to announce that we now have
  an official version control repository.  Details are here:
  Note that the only thing that's in the source repository is the source
  code.  All of the supporting libraries, art, fonts, etc, still need to
  be received via downloaded zipfile/tarball.  In order to (hopefully)
  ensure things start off on the right foot, I've created snapshots
  corresponding to the latest checkins on the four current branches:

Of note, there are free GUI and command-line Subversion tools available on all Second Life platforms and for all major IDEs. For the uninitiated, the authoritative book on Subversion is available online for free, or in hardcopy from major book sellers. The impatient can start here.

The first step to getting a submitter account is to submit a signed code contributor agreement to Linden Lab. Further details are on the Version control repository page.