Bakes On Mesh Viewer & Simulator Release Channel Improvements


On Monday 26th August Linden Lab made two separate blog announcements via the Second Life official blog. The first announcement is the release of the Bakes On Mesh Viewer which is now live and is great news for everyone. Here are some of the major features and benefits of using the new Bakes On Mesh Viewer…

Bakes On Mesh is a feature that allows you to apply a server baked texture to a mesh attachment, similar to the way that standard system avatars currently work. Using this feature, you’ll be able to apply several texture layers to customise skin, tattoos, clothing, etc on your mesh object as a single server baked texture without the need for multiple transparent layers.

Major Features

  • Any face of a mesh object can be textured using any of the server baked textures.

  • The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if any attached mesh is using a baked texture.

  • New texture bake channels have been introduced to give more control over how meshes get textured.

  • A new “universal wearable” is now provided with support for the new texture channels.

Benefits

  • Avoid the need for appliers, leading to an easier customization workflow.

  • Avoid the need for “onion” avatars, leading to fewer meshes and fewer textures at display time.

  • Allow for customization of any mesh that’s set to use Bakes on Mesh by simply equipping the appropriate wearables, without needing to modify the mesh itself.

The second blog announcement was on Simulator Release Channel Improvements. Here are the key points in brief…

  • Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed
  • The server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site
  • Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole

The full blog announcement… 

For many years, we have introduced changes to the Region simulators by deploying updates first to one or more of our Release Candidate (RC) channels, and rolling them on the Wednesday following the main channel roll on Tuesday. We evaluate the performance and stability in those RCs before making the changes to the rest of the Grid. This is an essential element of evolving Second Life because the size and variability of our virtual world are so great that there is no way we can test (or even know about) all the ways in which you’re using it.

We’re working on a series of changes to this process designed to provide us with better data on the reliability and performance of each server update. These process changes have already begun internally with better tracking and monitoring of server performance and stability. Starting with this week’s rolls some of the externally visible changes will begin. The first change you’ll be able to see is that the channel name will no longer be obvious: when this change is fully deployed (it will only be on one or more RCs this week) the channel name displayed by the viewer or available to LSL will always be the main channel name (“Second Life Server”). This is simply to avoid spurious associations between the RC names (“BlueSteel”, “LeTigre”, “Magnum”, and occasionally other smaller ones); we hear interesting but incorrect assumptions that are made about those channel names, such as that one channel runs on better (or worse) hardware than another one does . For now at least, you’ll still be able to determine that your Region is on some RC by the fact that it rolls on Wednesday rather than Tuesday (it would be nice to get all rolls onto just one day or otherwise disassociate roll days from whether or not they’re on an RC … we’d like to get there eventually), and by comparing the simulator version strings (which are getting a small format change with this version) to the versions in the release notes. What’s really important is the simulator version, so be sure to report that with any problem (reporting the channel name alone today just means that we have to figure out when you were reporting for and look up the version you had at that time, since it can change).

Speaking of release notes, the server release notes will soon be moving from the wiki to the new releasenotes.secondlife.com site; that site has been used for viewer releases for some time now. The process which creates the notes on the new site more accurately reports when we fix a bug you reported or a feature you requested by using the externally visible BUG ids.

Future improvements will make each RC channel a better model of the Grid as a whole. Support will continue to be able to accommodate Region owners’ requests that a Region be in the RC for a particular feature or fix they want as soon as possible, or that it be excluded from any RC. It is generally  better if Region owners do allow us to select Regions for RCs because it improves the chances that we’ll detect problems early – if your Region is unusual in some way, it may be the best place for us to detect a problem and avoid sending it to the entire Grid. The RC sandbox Regions will, of‌ ‌course, stay in the RCs, so you’ll always have somewhere to test the latest changes.

 

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Ebbe Altberg talks about the future of Second Life and Sansar


Check out the latest new interview with Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab talking about the future of Second Life and Sansar. Wagner James Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg for 45 minutes at Linden Lab HQ in San Francisco in March 2019.

They chatted about efforts to grow new user growth, land discounts, the upcoming mobile companion app, cloud deployment, improving performance and much more relating to Second Life. With Sansar they chatted about the low usage numbers since the beta launch, Sansar’s long download times and efforts to optimize Sansar.

It’s incredible to think Ebbe Altberg has now been with Linden Lab for over five years and he has achieved a great amount over the years from reducing land costs, the roll out of Mesh, Bento, Animesh, improved the communications with the community, improved the experience for premium members and much more.

Some highlights that I found most interesting,,,

  • The new IOS mobile companion app is being worked on. It’s going to be focused on being connected with friends, chat, shopping, customer service and more. The lab are not considering it to be a viewer in the short term.
  • New pricing options/discounts are coming soon (within next few months)
  • Lot’s of new features (EEP) for Second Life (within weeks)
  • Second Life is targeted to move completely to the Amazon cloud within the next 12 months (early – mid 2020)
  • The premium subscriber base is growing
  • The lab are focused on continuing revenue & user growth for Second Life.
  • The lab are now interested in growing the concurrency levels and retention rates
  • There are no plans to force migrate Second Life users to Sansar
  • There are more people working on Second Life (130+) than Sansar (70+)
  • There is work to continue to reduce Sansar long download times
  • Sansar is still in beta and still in pre-launch mode
  • The lab are shipping big updates every month

For more specific highlights from this interview see here.

Latest stats for adoption of Mesh Viewers in Second Life


On 17th February 2013 a new post called Metrics for Adoption of Mesh Viewers on SLUniverse Forums asking about the most recent stats for mesh capable viewer usage. According to the responses in the forum post it seems like the mesh adoption rate seems to be >97.1% at the moment. I think by the end of 2013 mesh adoption rate should be reaching 99%/100%. Surely the 3% of SL users using non-mesh viewers will switch over at some point right during 2013 or 2014?.

A new graph shows the adoption rate of Mesh from July 2011 through to late January 2013 which is very interesting indeed. Graph created by Kadah Coba.

  • 1% in July 2011
  • 50% during November 2011
  • 95% during October 2012
  • 97.1% as of 2013-02-10.

SL Mesh Adoption 2013

Mesh viewers list

  • SL official viewer (all V3 viewers)
  • Firestorm viewer
  • Cool VL
  • And many more!

SL Mesh 2012 usage metrics, update 2


It seems the lab are releasing small mesh usage metrics during weekly Mesh user group meetings on Mondays at 12pm SLT. Charlar Linden normally mentions some mesh metrics during the last quarter of the user group meetings. The trend still continues to be on the rise in mesh usage on the grid which is good to see happening.

Here are the mesh usage metrics mentioned this week.

  • [12:38] Charlar Linden: Hey, want some metrics?
  • [12:39] Charlar Linden: current stats for usage of modern viewers:
  • [12:39] Charlar Linden: Residents – over 70%
  • [12:40] Charlar Linden: Also, as far as uploading mesh, we’ve topped the previous high back in August – For the past two weeks we’ve averaged well over 1400 objects uploaded a day onto the maingrid.
  • [12:41] Charlar Linden: “modern” supports mesh, as well as most other newer features.
  • [12:42] Charlar Linden: Davido – that’s the average number of mesh objects uploaded each day.
  • [12:45] Charlar Linden: 1540 on the day after we released mesh
  • [12:46] Charlar Linden: As with all metrics, you really have to consider the context
  • [12:46] Charlar Linden: these are things created and uploaded. They could have been used inworld 100 times after that.
  • [12:47] Charlar Linden: What is means to me is that people are uploading more and more stuff; might be for resale, or for their own use.
  • [12:49] Charlar Linden: Kaiser- over the past month we’ve *roughly* increased from about 1000 a day to about 1500 a day. It’s still continuing on that trend.

6th February 2012: Mesh regions are now at over 29% of the grid. Mesh went live last August and currently the mesh region adoption rate continues to rise. Don’t forget to upload mesh snapshots from Second Life to Second Life 3D Mesh Flickr group.

Update 3 will be posted next week. 🙂