Bug Tracker And New Features In Development

September 12, 2007

I’ve created a bug tracker at http://mantis.daleglass.net. If you have any suggestions for things to add or improve in my viewers, or bugs to report, then that’s the right place for it.

In other news, I’m working on a new feature to make it possible to very quickly figure out the source of particle spam/griefing and deal with it. The new screen gathers statistics on particle effects, measures their relative “annoyance factor” based on the amount of screen space they take, and allows to perform actions like moving the camera to the source, banning the owner, etc.

Here’s a screenshot of what this looks like during an attack. The 3 boxes on the right automatically display the 3 most active effects.


Linux Version Released

September 1, 2007

From now, Linux binaries will start being released as well. The website for my viewer now has links to the Linux downloads.

This is the viewer I use 99% of the time, so it should work well. Please contact me if you have any problems with it.


New Version Released With New Features

August 31, 2007

Finally got a new version out! This was planned a lot sooner, but things got quite busy here, and the new feature required rather more coding than expected.

The new feature is that now there’s a checkbox in the chat history to enable logging of the owners of talking objects, as well as the location if available. This helps track down objects that spam or that are cleverly hidden somewhere they’re hard to find. It will also tell you the owner and the location of an object IMing you, so even if there’s an object on some entirely different part of the grid, you’ll be able to know who owns it, and where it is.

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Silencing the Voice of God

August 9, 2007

Yesterday I had a lot of fun tracking down a spammer.

Sesh Kamachi IMed the Linux group asking how to find a location of an object that keep spamming messages. I gave him a tool I made for the purpose, which shows the last speaker’s name, owner (if it’s an object) and location. Sesh reported that this didn’t work, so I came there to check it out myself.

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Viewer 1.18.1.2.127 released

August 7, 2007

For the people who wanted voice support, here it is!

However, as I’ve not yet determined whether I can distribute the Vivox components or not, I’ve marked them non-redistributable as a precaution. So to get that working you will have to install the standard 1.18.1.2 viewer first, then mine. I’ll change that if I determine that Vivox files can be safely included.

Update: Confirmed that voice components are unfortunately not redistributable. That means that an install of the standard 1.18.1.2 viewer will be needed, so that my installer can grab the files from it.


On non-redistributable components

August 7, 2007

The viewer’s source is released under the GPL2, however, some components use other licenses.

Most parts of the viewer can be redistributed by people making their own viewers. One exception is Kakadu, the JPEG 2000 library. This is the component that decodes textures. Its license prevents distribution by anybody but Linden Lab. Fortunately, there’s an alternative, called OpenJPEG.

The reason SL doesn’t use it by default is that it’s still not as good as Kakadu. Initially, OpenJPEG was very, very slow. It worked as a proof of concept, but it was unusable in practice. Every texture decoding made the viewer freeze, and it could take half an hour until things loaded. Fortunately, some of the other people working on the viewer contributed patches, and now performance is more than acceptable.

A few problems remain, however: OpenJPEG still has bugs Kakadu doesn’t, for example the problem with the world map is an OpenJPEG bug. It also crashes when uploading small images and has other uploading problems.

These bugs may manifest themselves in my viewer if you didn’t have the right original version of SL installed when you installed mine. This is because since Kakadu is not redistributable, my installer takes it from an existing install, if it can be found. If not, the viewer falls back to OpenJPEG. You’ll get a message about this during installation if the installer can’t find the file. To fix that is easy: Install the original SL version my viewer is based on (1.18.0.6 for example), then reinstall my viewer. FirstLook, beta, etc versions most likely won’t work, as the installer looks for a specific version of the file.

Currently I can’t fix those problems. Besides not being a problem with the viewer itself, I don’t know enough about image compression to figure out the problem. I could try to learn, but I think my time is better spent on my current work, especially since there are people who know about OpenJPEG a lot more than I do. If you want to help, vote for those bugs. Login with your SL username and password into Jira, then click “vote for it” on the left sidebar. This will help bring it to the LL’s attention.


[Done] Server’s RAID resyncing, please excuse the bad performance

August 6, 2007

My old UPS had a really worn out battery and was due to replacement. I got a new one weeks ago, but I was counting on replacing it during SL downtime. Only power happened to go out before SL went down for maintenance. So I plugged in the new UPS and all is good now.

Well, almost. Due to the unexpected powerdown, the RAID is resyncing and that’s making things very slow. So if you use TrustNet and notice errors or bad performance, this is why. It should be back to normal in about 4 hours (I intentionally slowed the resync so that things are at least usable, but performance will still be impaired meanwhile).

Update: It’s done now, things should be back to normal