SLDev-Traffic 5

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SLDev Traffic

sldev-traffic no 5

sldev discussions through March 30, 2007

Custom Linden Plants

Argent Stonecutter noted that very little data goes into defining trees and plants, as used in Second Life. The entire object could be specified in a taglist and deployed in much the way particle systems are. This affords opportunities for more script control over the plants and reduced prim usage. The full details are in the wiki Custom Linden Plants with a JIRA at VWR-303.

Squelching the Viewer Logs

Tom "Spot" Callaway expressed an interest in reducing the amount of viewer log output. He found mention of logcontrol.xml and logcontrol-dev.xml but couldn't find examples of their use. Ryan Williams (Linden) wrote up an entry on the Error Logging System. Phoenix Linden noted that the noisiest output was actually coming from OpenJPEG as direct writes to stderr, thereby bypassing the logging system. Phoenix indicated that a fix would be forthcoming, and "Guido" noted that VWR-100 shows how to disable OpenJPEG error output in the interim.

Taming Wild Threads

Discussion continues about the best way to handle very high-volume topics. At current, Rob Lanphier (Linden) has asked users to create JIRA issues or use Wiki talk pages. There was significant continued discussion about the merits of this on the SLDev Talk page. Rob pointed out some benefits of using the wiki for this, including the fact that some topics will continue to be discussed or referenced for months or years coming. He gave the example of the texture cache discussion, which will likely surface again.

Rob also pointed to the problem of threads that seemed to be discussion for entertainment purposes. These often start out when someone tosses a topic or idea out for discussion without the intent of writing code, and others with no programming plans take up positions in a lengthy debate without so much as producing documentation.

Regarding separating topics into the JIRA and Wiki, there has been continued pushback against this from some list members, who have proposed keeping everything on the list, using forums, or multiple mailing lists. Discussion about this continued in-world, where the idea of a list limited to contributors with signed LL agreements resurfaced, as did the idea of a list for issues where a list member has committed to doing some code work, and the idea of taking some discussions in-world and posting summaries back to the list.

There is nothing like a consensus leaning toward any one answer. Before shooting it down untested, Rob Linden asked on the SLDev talk page that list members give the Wiki and JIRA branching an honest try for a couple more weeks. During Monday office hours, Rob also noted that he hadn't yet gotten enough Linden feedback on the proposed list guidelines.

One point with unanimous agreement is that the Wiki's email notification signup system needs to be fixed. During Rob's office hours, Soft noted that if it were possible to receive an email about every change on a subscribed item, it would be functionally identical to the mailing list for those who favor the list's push format.

(One note - if these discussions continue in the Wiki, people need to be better about signing comments. SLDev's Talk page was very hard to read. -- Soft)

Controlling the Build Mode

Ettore Pasquini expressed interest in learning how the mouse and keyboard control the build mode. Specifically, Ettore is looking for "which classes or functions take care of movements." Ettore is interested in hooking up a 3D controller for use in controlling build mode with high precision.

There was some discussion about available controllers and even a link to a driver for using a Wiimote as an input device but to date, Ettore has no answer.

More mingw Cross-Build Work

Dzonatas Sol posted another patch for building the Windows viewer using mingw. The new patch does not appear to be attached to an existing JIRA entry, although Dzonatas mentions that it addresses VWR-186, VWR-187 and VWR-198. This patch was made against First Look 58390.

Disconnected Without Warning

Laurent Laborde noted that the user is not explicitly warned when the current simulator times out and disconnects. Callum Lerwick notes that his wife has lost hours worth of work in continuing to make changes to objects without realizing that the map has gone red. Callum suggested that an explicit dialog warning about the disconnection would work if somehow saving the data for later upload or immediately reconnecting were infeasible. Erik Anderson advocates an immediate reconnection, noting that less capable systems can take minutes to relog.

GPL v3 Released

Dzonatas Sol noted that third draft GPL has been released. Of particular interest, the third draft removes language that required copyright holders to protect downstream licensees from patent infringements. "There is now an overall clarification of how a covered work is conveyed and when one conveys such a work that one must abide by the terms of the license to disclaim patent infringement or likewise." Dzonatas indicated the wiki would be updated when more was known about these changes.

OpenJPEG - Bigger, Better, Stronger, Faster

Callum Lerwick found a loop where an array was being zeroed in row order instead of column order. James Cook (Linden) noted that a memset would work even better than correcting the order here, as memset was guaranteed to be optimized for each platform. Stefan Westerfeld noted some work being done on cleaning up this code already and also noted the existence of an OpenJPEG optimization mailing list. Francois-Olivier Devaux, part of the OpenJPEG project, noted that a new version of OpenJPEG was imminent, and suggested that this fix could be included if someone offers a patch. Callum Lerwick followed up with a patch of work in progress.

Reading Others' Friendlists

Marco Milanesio inquired as to whether it was possible to read other users' friendlists. There were no helpful replies for Marco Milanesio. Whether this is possible remains unanswered, though Dale Glass expressed that he hoped it would never be possible.

GPG Keysigning

Dale Glass inquired as to whether there would be interest in LL GPG keysigning. He suggested that LL should create a master key used to sign all employees, as well as creating an automated signing mechanism running on the SL website which allowed signing against a player name or the registered account name. Dale went on to discuss various applications for the keys such as SLDev patch signing and eventual plugin signing. Dale also suggested that key trust levels could be used to differentiate between users with payment info on file, payment info used, Linden Lab employees, and so on.

Phoenix Linden noted that his key is available on his wiki page and via Phoenix has signed many of the LL developer keys already and notes:

  I will sign keys of people that I meet and that I prove to
  myself match their proposed email address.
  A secure and automated method of proving identity and key mappings
  would take a while, so no one is spending much time thinking about
  it. I will think about how to do this, and talk to Zero to see if
  there is a good way to roll that into our current Agent Domain
  scalability work.
  Until that time, I am the best gateway (aka bottleneck) for signing
  contributor keys.

Submitting Patches Requiring Translation Work

Jason Giglio asked what to do about patches that included new UI text.

Leyla Farazha (Linden) noted that contributors needed only make changes to the US English text. There is a process in place to detect what needs translation before release. Further:

  Help with the translation process is always welcome, and once we have
  set up the pipeline for that work we'll let you all know. :-)

Jean Miller (Linden) requests that users please not include machine translations and noted that Linden Lab are putting together tools which would allow contributing translations for missing strings via the Wiki. Jean invited list members to contribute a snazzy format for such a wiki page.

Alissa Sabre, a native Japanese speaker, noted that the Japanese translation is very poor. Jean Miller indicated that the responsible translation service was no longer in use, and that LL were aware of cleanup work to be done here. Laurent Laborde was happier with the French version, "Not super-perfect, but good enough to be 100% useable."

Identifying JIRAs Needing Action

Rob Lanphier (Linden) previously indicated that list members could help tremendously by voting on issues needing attention. Some issues are still getting lost in the volume of the public JIRA however. During Rob's office hours, Gigs Taggart pointed to a few hot issues. It was also noted that it was possible to search for JIRAs with patches attached, and that these would be good high-priority candidates.

Rob indicated that LL are looking to hire someone who can help handle JIRAs and patches offered by the public.


During Rob Lanphier's (Linden) office hours, Soft Noel inquired about why LL was using an old version of Havok for physics in Second Life. Rob explained that much user content relied on quirks and precise behaviors of the older engine. Rob hoped that coming changes in SL that make it possible to do incremental rollouts might offer a step toward phasing in a faster engine.

Drewan Keats wondered if there had been any discussion about open source physics engines. There was no follow-up discussion on the point.

Adroit's Unit Testing Patches

Soft Noel asked if anyone had been using or testing Adroit's unit testing patches. Nobody in Rob Lanphier's office hours had any positive response, though Rob pointed to the unit testing framework in use as the tut-framework.

Rob Linden Needs a Bear

You can't have this many in-world meetings and not have a prize at the end, just in case a meeting actually turns out to be boring and all. "Oh hey, and look - FREE BEAR!" is a perfect save. Does SLDev have any qualified bear makers?