SL project updates week 33/2: server recap, inventory, region crossings

Le Botanique, Mirriam Brown; Inara Pey, July 2014, on FlickrLe Botanique, Miriam Brown, July 2014 (Flickr)

I’m busy playing catch-up due to a number of things going on at the moment, so my apologies for late-running reports. The following notes were taken from the Server Beta meeting of Thursday August 14th.

Server Deployments week 33 Recap

  • On Tuesday August 12th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with the server maintenance release previously deployed to the RC channels in week 32, so placing all four channels on the same simulator version
  •  There were no RC deployments for the week.

HUDs Detaching / Reattaching Following Teleport

Following the week 32 report on HUDs detaching / reattaching following a teleport and issues with attachments scripted to use llDetachFromAvatar to detach on a region change being reported as “worn on invalid attachment point” by the viewer, JIRAs have been raised on both issues (BUG-6925 and BUG-6908 respectively). Maestro Linden has been looking into both, with mixed results.

Maestro has difficulties in reproducing the HUD detaching / reattaching issue (BUG-6925) and so is working from logs supplied by the reporter. However, one line of thinking is that higher ping rates to the server might be indicative of the problem – those who have high ing rates (and those “longer” update times seem to be more readily able to reproduce the issue than those with lower ping rates.

The belief at the lab is that the BUG-6908 issue is likely to be a race condition, and investigations are continuing.

Gestures, Calling Cards and Region Crossings

During the discussion about BUG-6925, Maestro pointed-out that having a large number of active gestures associated with your avatar might be a contributing cause of region crossing issues. This is because the information on each active gesture has to be handed-over from one simulator to the next, and this might slow things down / interfere with things, possibly exacerbating things like HUDs dettaching / reattaching during a region crossing, etc.

While there was a degree of uncertainty as to whether it is the case or not, Calling Cards might also contribute to region crossing problems as they are updated between regions with the online / offline status of other avatars. Simon Linden is best placed to speak to whether this is the case, but he is currently on vacation.

Large numbers of active gestures (and Calling Cards) can also slow-down the log-in process (hence the often-given advice to delete unwanted Calling Cards from inventory).

 Inventory and Inventory Updates

A correlation between large “flat” inventories (i.e. inventories with relatively few folders beyond the system folders,  and each folder containing a lot of items) and log-in issues has been recorded. Oz Linden’s recommendation to reduce such issues is to have a relative deep tree of folders, with each folder containing fewer items.

As the inventory “skeleton” (which contains your inventory folder hierarchy) is only fetched by the viewer when you log-in, “flat” inventory structures don’t impact regions crossings. However, if you do feel you are experiencing a long log-in period, and you have a large, relatively flat inventory structure, you might want to consider re-organising things and seeing if that helps to improve matters.

A forthcoming viewer update, STORM-2034, contributed by Jonathan Yap, will provide support for “older than” inventory filtering, allowing users to filter their inventory either before or after a given age. This should make locating older inventory items a lot easier when it comes to wanting to delete or box items which are no longer used. There’s currently no ETA on when this change is liable to appear, but there is another Snowstorm viewer iteration due, so it might be in that, depending on the code’s current status.

The existing inventory filter options (l) and the proposed update to the time-based filtering option (r)
The existing inventory filter options (l) and the proposed update to the time-based filtering option (r)

Other Items

Avatar Bakes and  Rigged Mesh

A question was asked at the Server Beta meeting on whether it would ever be possible to apply to other objects, which quickly focused-down on using them in conjunction with rigged / fitted mesh. Responding to the question, Maestro Linden said:

It would be cool if you could stack layers of diffuse textures on objects, but it would be a pretty big project. Hmm. I guess that would depend on how it’s implemented … If you just had a way for an attachment to reference its owner’s currently baked texture, then that may not be too difficult, but I think that if you were to say “any object face can have multiple textures, which use the baking service, such that you can have up to ~150k baked textures in a region”, that would be a whole other beast :).

A suggestion was made to limit the number of bakes that could be applied, in the same way as texture layers are constrained on the avatar at the moment, prompting Maestro to agree, “if the object faces are just referencing the same textures which are already baked on an avatar, you could even implement that as a viewer-side change: ‘if object diffuse texture is $magic_uuid, render its owner’s upper-body baked texture on it (or maybe default to grey if the bake is unavailable)’.”

Avatar bakes are currently limited to 512×512. Whether that would be regarded as sufficiently high enough for use on rigged mesh is open to question. n the meantime, a JIRA proposing something similar, aimed at the removal of scripted appliers (BUG-5893) has already been triaged and accepted by the Lab for further investigation.