SL projects update week 42 (1): Server, viewer updates, misc news

Server Deployments – Week 42

As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

Second Life Server (Main Channel) – Tuesday October 15th

The main channel received the server maintenance project previously on all three RC channels in week 41. This project includes a fix for a group notice delivery issue, introduces a missing JSON operation to LSL, and includes preparatory work for an upcoming viewer with scene loading (interest list) improvements.

Second Life RC BlueSteel, RC Magnum, and RC LeTigre – Wednesday October 16th

All three RC channels should receive a new server maintenance project.  However, at the time of writing, it is unclear whether the RC deployment will occur due to a last-minute bug being identified. Speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting, Andrew Linden indicated that while it had been fixed, it has yet to pass internal QA.

Assuming it does go ahead, the deployment includes fixes for the following issues:

  • “Group member access to parcels fails when ‘Sell passes to’ is enabled” (BUG-3992)
  • “‘Ghost’ avatars and vehicles sometimes appear to an observer at the sim border” (BUG-3872)
  • “Vehicles which exit a region with a passenger are incorrectly auto returned and become ‘ghost shapes’ in the physics engine” (BUG-4024)
  • A performance issue with avatar loading speed in the experimental ‘viewer-interesting’ viewer.
Simulator User Group meeting, Tuesday October 15th 2013
Simulator User Group meeting, Tuesday October 15th 2013

In addition, extremely high Avatar Render Weights reported to the server are now capped at 500,000 (BUG-4010)  – so the server will take any report over 500k and treat it as 500k.  Simon explained that this cap had been arrived through a process of observation and data-gathering he undertook himself or resident supplied to him, all of which suggested the average for ARW among users is around 100K. In describing the cap in general, he went on:

You should consider anything close to 500k as just “way too high”. The system is a compromise that’s needed because some people will try to game it You should not trust the values too much. They are from viewers, which (don’t take this personally, anyone) cannot be trusted to be accurate 500k is at the very high-end of usage.

Really, anyone near that in a public place is hogging your viewer display power if you’re up by 500k – you’re using roughly 5x the viewer render resources as everyone else Also remember that SL is not doing anything with this data. It’s up to scripters and land owners to react.  So I can imagine a popular club maybe sending a warning IM to someone who’s really complex.

 I hope some people can find it useful within its limitations.   As it currently works, it should give scripts a good idea if some people are extra-costly.   It’s up to the scripter to handle that well or not.

SL Viewer Updates

Two new release candidate viewers were deployed to the release channel on October 14th and 15th. These are the Catalyst Viewer and a further Maintenance Viewer.

Maintenance Viewer

Release on October 14th, Maintenance RC 3.6.8.282335 includes:

  • finer access control for estate/parcel owners
  • CHUI: toggle expanding Conversations by clicking on icon
  • clean up messaging & notifications
  • fix crashes & hangs
  • GPU table update

Catalyst Viewer

Release on October 15th, the Catalyst RC, release 3.6.8.282367, is intended to address a start-up crash on latest AMD Catalyst drivers: 13.9, 13.10, 13.11.

Interest List

Not much to report here, the viewer-side code has yet to emerge as an RC, but Andrew Linden has been working on comparisons with scene loading in the hopes of producing a film to demonstrate the improvements. He’d recorded the “before” footage a while ago, and has been focusing on the “after” footage.

“I brought the regions up on some old simulator code from before any of the latest interest list work… from Dec 2012. Andrew Linden: and I was reminded as to how poorly the scene used to load;  everything arrived in mostly random order,” he said during the simulator User Group meeting, “I found a very small room in one of my test regions. So I logged out while standing in this closet, cleared my cache, and logged back in… On the old simulator code you could see the world streaming in and then BAM! the walls of the room would obscure everything. On the new code… the walls are there as soon as the login curtain raises. Not that the scene loading is perfect now, but some of you may remember… it used to be much worse.”

Hopefully we’ll be able to see the video soon, and Andrew will be able to avoid further plays on him coming out of the closet…

Group Ban List

Again, not a lot to report at the moment. Appearing at the Simulator User Group meeting, Baker Linden said:

I wanted to give an update on group bans:  I’m currently working through the bugs found by internal QA testing, trying to fix them as quickly as I can. Later today I’ll be doing another round of code reviews, and hopefully everything there will go smoothly.

13 thoughts on “SL projects update week 42 (1): Server, viewer updates, misc news

  1. A cap on Render Weight display is terrible news.
    This means that my team will no longer know if its a new user wearing everything including the kitchen sink with a weight of 500k, or a GFX griefer with a render weight of 5 million. Both will have be treated the same.
    For the protection of my estate, we will be forced to estate ban the uneducated user, as we won’t be able to tell if its just a ridiculously high weight or a malicious attack.

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    1. It’s a difficult issue.

      The Lab’s view from the data they gathered is that the majority of avatars sit below 250K ARW, with the average hovering around 100K. This is based on data they gathered on some 500+ avatars across a number of popular venues, plus data gathered on their behalf by users. They are actually concerned about users being “banned by innocence”, although they note they’re in something of a Catch-22 situation, because:

      • Set the limit really high, and that leaves major performance issues at public venues (as Simon points out 500K ARW is using a huge amount of render resources on everyone’s GPU card, leaving everyone impacted and suffering)
      • Cap it, and it renders scripted means of intercepting those with sculpt crashers moot
      • The viewer-side code is open to being abused, so the entire system can be gamed

      Andrew Linden did point to the idea of making the viewer smarter, but the discussion failed to procced down that route; hopefully that idea has been taken back to the Lab.

      The Lab is still interested in gaining data on ARW usage, so if you are in a position to gather solid statistics, doing so and forwarding them to Simon Linden might be worthwhile.

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  2. Im not understanding this rules, i only wear 2 scripted objects, my colar and sub ao, the sub ao is 384k alone, the collar 3824kb, will this mean ill not be able to go anywhere due to the colar im wrearing?

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    1. Are you perchance talking script usage rather than ARW? The cap applies as to how ARW is reported server-side (anyone with an ARW higher than 500K is reported as having an ARW of 500K).

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  3. Yes, so it does not have any to do with scripts being wearable at a time but how can one user know their Arw?

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    1. ARW is the v2/v3 viewer replacement for ARC. For these viewers, you can find it under Advanced > Perfromance Tools > Show Render Weight for Avatars.

      v3 TPVs should have it under Advanced as well, although some might also have it elsewhere (Firestorm users can also access it via Avatar > Avatar Health > Show Render Weight for Avatars).

      I’m not entirely certain on this, but I think some (all?) v1 viewers still report the old ARC figures.

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  4. To check your render weight:
    FIRESTORM: Advanced > Performance Tools > Show Render Weight
    SL VIEWER: Advanced > Performance Tools > Show Draw Weight for Avatar
    SINGULARITY: Advanced > Rendering > Info Displays > Avatar Rendering Cost
    (by default Singularity reports ARCs not ARW’s, to get it to report ARC’s in debug set LiruSensibleARC = False)

    We have a help page about Render weights on our blog page: http://mainlandlondon.blogspot.co.uk/p/resources.html

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  5. Did LL pull RC 3.6.8.282335? I was playing with the new CHUI enhancment earlier today but now it seems to force the update to Second Life 3.6.8 (282367) and that feature for CHUI isn’t included. It also looks like the promoted a viewer to release? I don’t see this on the beta/project viewer page now.

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    1. Yes. It appears the Maintenance release was pulled on October 16th.

      The Catalyst RC was promoted to the de facto release version. AS RCs are effectively running in parallel, it won’t have the Maintenance RC fixes and updates. However, when the Maintenance RC reappears, it should hopefully have been rebuilt to include the updates in the Catalyst release viewer.

      I try to keep abreast of viewer updates as they happen (or as near as I see them) for both the SL viewer and TPVs on my Viewer Round-up Page. It’s not always 100% up-to-date (due to real life getting in the way, etc.), but hopefully it helps with more direct tracking of things.

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      1. Yp thanks. I will watch for it to wink back into existence. Wanted to make sure I wasn’t crazy. I put in that Chui request and have been keeping my fingers crossed that they would do it.

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  6. Tks for all the info but if LL believes that is should cap it to 500k why London sims are ejjecting bellow that number?
    Knowing the amount of users that goes on those sims, it seems obvious that they are much more aware of the real Arw then Linden lab itself!
    (wonder how much cpu and ram for server LL uses, doubt really about the golden rule anymore 1 cpu 1giga ram per server that i have on mine osgrid ones!)

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    1. When it comes to ejecting on the basis of ARW, it is down to individual region owners.

      Also, Linden Lab are not are not saying 500K is “ideal” or “good”; it is simply the upper figure at which ARW is capped during reporting. So if someone is 510K or 650K, they’ll still be reported as 500K – and the Lab consider that to be very, very high. As I’ve quoted Simon as saying, the Lab believes that 100K is nearer the average, which they consider far more reasonably a number.

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