Pathfinding: summary update

Linden Lab has been quietly working on pathfinding, clearing a range of bugs, updating the supporting documentation (some of which is still a work-in-progress) and providing more information for users aimed at clearing up misconceptions / misunderstandings. The following is a quick update on recent activities.

Lorca Linden’s FAQ

On September 18th, Lorca Linden posted a Pathfinding FAQ to the Second Life Server branch of the technology forum. While perhaps not the most high profile place in which to post the information, the FAQ nevertheless addresses a number of core issues related to pathfinding and makes a valuable read for anyone interested in using pathfinding or who wishes to understand more about pathfinding in general, rather than relying on hearsay.

One of the major misconceptions which is perhaps missing from the FAQ is that disabling pathfinding in a region will somehow “improve performance”.  In fact,m the only thing disabling pathfinding for a region does is to prevent pathfinding characters from operating; the underpinning Havok engine remains unchanged, and no Havok functionality related specifically to pathfinding is “turned off” in any way. So if there are no pathfinding characters being used within a region, disabling pathfinding will not improve the region’s performance, and any apparent improvement which may be noted is more than likely a placebo effect.

Pathfinding Tools In The Viewer

The latest release version of the SL viewer (3.3.4.264911) now includes the pathfinding tools, as do a number of TPVs, some of which I reported upon a while back, and which have since been joined by Firestorm (4.2.2.29837+); while Singularity (1.7.1+) also now provides some of the viewer-side tools / options associated with pathfinding.

Updates list of viewers monitored on this blog  which provide pathfinding support (click to enlarge)

Documentation-wise, work has been put in on cleaning up the existing wiki pages (although some are still somewhat out-of-date or difficult to follow as they presume a certain level of understanding). An updated list of pathfinding wiki documentation and related resources which I’ve previously published in the blog can be found in Related Links, below.

While there is still ongoing work in relation to a number of pathfinding bugs, the arrival of the pathfinding tools into the SL release viewer theoretically marks the point at which pathfinding might be considered “fully released” (as previously indicated by Lorca Linden). As such, it would be beneficial for Linden Lab to provide a formal blog post on the subject, including links to relevant resources such as those listed below in order to make the information more readily apparent to SL users, regardless as to how well (or otherwise) LL believe their blog is read.

Related Links

4 thoughts on “Pathfinding: summary update

    1. As far as I’m aware – and in all the versions I’ve looked at – Lance has never rolled-out the pathfinding tools in Dolphin. While I haven’t combed through the Dolphin forum, I can’t find any blog posts relating to Dolphin and pathfinding in terms of any “roll back”.

      Marine rolled-out pathfinding in RLV release 2.8.3.4 / 3.3.4.24912 issued on August 17th. This is still available as the default download version of her viewer (I’ve actually just re-installed it today and am happily playing with the pathfinding tools as write this, including editing and moving pathfinding characters without issue).

      Rather than performing any “roll back”, what Marine actually did was to make 2.8.3 available alongside 2.8.3.4 to help those who are experiencing the issues defined in the two JIRA.

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