SL projects updates 19/1: SL viewer, group chat and miscellaneous things

Server Deployments

There are no scheduled simulator deployments this week to either the Main or RC channels, and so no associated rolling restarted expected.

SL Viewer

The Interest List RC finally made it to the de facto release viewer with its promotion on Tuesday May 5th (version This leaves just three RC viewer in the release channel at present: SL Share 2 project viewer version; Sunshine / AIS v3 RC  version; and the Maintenance RC viewer version Please refer to my Current Viewer Release page for up-to-date information on all viewer releases.

 Group Chat

Simon Linden’s optimisation work for group chat was deployed across all of the back-end chat servers on Monday May 5th. while these should see some improvements in group chat (particularly in sending / receiving chat and moving between regions), Simon does warn that these optimisations are not expected to “fix” all of group chat. However, he will continue to work on further improvements as well.

Other Items

New Starter Avatars

Ebbe Altberg used one of the upcoming new starter avatars at the VWBPE conference in April (image: Strawberry Singh)
Ebbe Altberg used one of the upcoming new starter avatars at the VWBPE conference in April (image: Strawberry Singh)

During his appearance at the VWBPE conference in mid-April, Ebbe Altberg appeared using one of the new starter avatars. At the time he did, it was hinted that the new avatars would be appearing relatively imminently. However, almost a month on and they have yet to officially appear, although there is some speculation they’ll do so in May.

these new avatars are said to take advantage of some of the latest features in SL, which is being taken to mean that some / all are full or partial mesh. This has in turn raised questions as to whether it is wise giving new starters full mesh avatars, given they may not work with freebie items often offered to or picked-up by new starters.

LSL Functions for Materials

While there is no confirmation any work is being carried out on this (except, as Simon quipped, “perhaps in a parallel universe or something”), the Lab is still sounding out how and where such calls would likely be used, and the frequency with which such calls would be made.

The option of having scripted control of materials has been debated often, and still remains a desired item among builders and scripters. However, some of the concerns still remain – notably, have such capabilities might end up causing performance issues, deliberately or otherwise. Much has already been written on how rapid map flipping on multiple objects could deliberately impact performance and potentially result in viewer crashes, plus there are already animated mesh elements available which can also have a significant impact on viewer performance (some types of animated mesh tail can reportedly overload a viewer on a 32-bit system with out-of-memory errors in a matter of seconds), so there are also concerns that were this to be combined with the ability to change textures via script, they could (even unintentionally) have further dramatic impacts on performance.

One way around this would be to throttle the rate at which material maps can be changed via scripted command. What is interesting for the moment is that the Lab appears to have not completely closed the door on scripted control of materials, but is considering options and informally seeking feedback on potential use cases.


3 thoughts on “SL projects updates 19/1: SL viewer, group chat and miscellaneous things

  1. Wtf, nobody discussing the imminent and more then welcome (on 19th may as per Jo Yardley’s blog) new starting avatars (Despite all i can fear about the mess it can create, i do really wish this time, LL is putting its best effort and offering the most advanced techniques, and at least much better shape mesh hands and feet (please please feet at least).


    1. Doubtless there will be more discussion when the avatars debut. As it is, as per this report, some concerns have been raised regarding them. We know more once they are available and people have a chance to play with them.


  2. With all the new and wonderful things that Linden Lab has added to Second Life in the past years, I am completely amazed, sickened and thoroughly frustrated with the state of SL communications – in particular Group Chat and Conference Chat.

    SL claims to be a system for “Collaborative” Education, Business, Play and Friendship, yet the communication system provided remains Mostly Inoperable, Laggy, and Frustrating. It is a problem we all experience every single day despite the quality of our personal computer system, Internet Speed or location in the world.

    I find it hard to believe that Linden has not managed to fix this system and its problems long ago.

    I am calling on Linden Lab to get these problems resolved once and for all

    – Aprille Shepherd


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