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Here is the latest I’ve found on what is going on with server updates. This spreads over the last 3 weeks.

Estate Console

The Server QA Team is looking at ways to give estate managers more control, like may be a command line type console to avoid time needed to develop a user interface, if the team can work out some problems. As a possibility, I think, it looks good. But, it may never happen.

The major advantage is in shortening the time needed to give access to new features to estate managers. Rather than have to develop a feature then provide information to the viewer development team and wait for them to build the user interface, estate managers could access the region’s console (like a DOS command window – for an example see OpenSim’s console in image showing Help Command) and immediately use the new commands and features.

One big plus for estate managers which is being considered is the ability to delay a rolling restart. When the estate manager sees a 5 minutes warning, they could use the console to delay the restart, very handy for events and meetings.

The console will make it easier for estate managers to restart regions. Also, being considered is the ability to allow an estate manager to choose their update channel, i.e., Blue Steel, Le Tiger, or Magnum. One could change the channel, restart the region and, if I understand correctly, come up running the Blue Steel version. Or move off the RC channel and go back to the production channel.

Rollout Process Advancing

We have been through the startup of the Blue Steel Release Candidate test channel and one rollout to the main grid from it. It was Tuesday morning. The Linden plan is to roll out a new update every Tuesday. While they aren’t saying a lot about it, I think much of the current work on the process is building the tools that help implement the rollouts. There isn’t much in discussions in the office hours about that because most discussion is about server changes of to interest residents.

The west coast work hour rollouts are inconvenient. This is temporary while the systems are built and tech employees are trained in the new process. Once the process is stable and training complted future rollouts should move to early morning hours.

Versions ID’s Change

Server 1.42.1, sort of… since versioning is changing, went on Blue Steel week of 9/7. Version 1.42 is the last of the incrementing version numbers. Versions will change to dates, yy-mm-dd. I have yet to figure out how the dates and versions work inside the Lab. If you open Help-> About Second Life and read through the information you will see a server version designated: Second Life Server 10.9.10.210079 or something like that.

Because there are three release-candidate channels planned and a version cannot advance until it runs bug free for 6 days, a version could get stuck for an extra week, say 1.42.3, and a later version, say 1.42.4, could pass it and go to grid ahead of it. In which case 1.42.4 code would be added to the 1.42.3 RC with fixes for whatever problem it has and 1.42.3 would test for another week. So, 1.42.4 could go on the grid one week to eventually be followed by version 1.42.3, which would actually be a later version containing more fixes and features than 1.42.4. Confusing. So, it’s dates now.

Release Channels

The process for how to include and exclude regions from the Release Candidate process is still incomplete. Also there is not a good way to inform residents which regions are in the RC process. So, for now the Blue Steel channel will have 4 permanent regions. There will be 2 class 5 servers and 2 class 7 servers. The same configuration will be used for the other 2 channels.  Le Tiger was about ready and expected to be set by the end of day 9/23. Magnum is farther behind. Access is planned to be by group membership.

Rollouts Coming Faster

We should see the current Blue Steel RC roll to the grid 9/28. Then we will see new RC’s on Blue Steel and Le Tiger on 9/29.

Releases for the next couple of weeks will be mostly bug fixes.  After that residents should start to see more new features released.

The 10.9.10 server version rolled to the grid 9/14. We will see another rollout 9/28.

Region Testing

QA PortalThe portal, or wiki page, has been updated with new test procedures. If you are interested in helping test, visit the page to see what is needed. The QA Team has made their Simulator Smoke Test available. Send feedback on the test to the QA Team.

To help with any of these tests on the RC channels one needs to be a member of the Second Life Beta group.

Region Crossings

Exciting news is the TCMalloc is expected to be completed and released soon… that is Linden soon, possibly going into a RC in October. TCMalloc is about the Mono and region crossing issues. Once we see it in a RC we will have it on the main grid in one, may be two weeks. It should make a significant change in user experience for region crossings.

If you don’t already know, wearing any attachment or HUD with a script compiled as Mono and crossing a region boundary creates a 5 to 30 freeze of the region.

ADITI to Change

The ADITI preview grid is changing. How it is to be used is being worked out. But the speed of changes rolling through ADITI is going to make the kind of testing residents previously helped with ineffective. Several ADITI regions will become Smote Test regions where third parties hired by LL will come into test changes. More of the resident testing previously done in the preview grid is to be done in the RC channels.

Residents can still test and help on ADITI. The testing will change from the generalized grid-testing to project-specific testing. Project leaders will visit the QA Team’s Office Hours to explain the project and what is needed when their project moves to ADITI. A set of regions in ADITI will be set aside for the project test.

Oskar is open to allowing residents to use ADITI as they always have for testing resident developed projects. But, ADITI will be changing and no one is certain of all the changes or consequences of the changes. If this is a concern for you, contact Oskar Linden during office hours.

Miscellaneous

In the JIRA the status classes have been revised. See: Bug Tracker/Status

There are all sorts of tidbits about other goings on in the Lab that get mentioned in meetings. A recent request for a change in the web site brought up the nugget that the backlog for web changes has a lead time for start dates starting in the second quarter of 2011.

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