Tuesday, March 3rd, saw the Main (SLS) channel receive the server maintenance package deployed to the RC channels in week #9. This includes:
- A server-side fix for BUG-8297, “Unable to teleport anywhere using SLGO”
- Improvements to server logging.
There were no scheduled deployments to the RC channels on Wednesday, March 4th.
Following the last deployment of back-end group chat changed during week #9, some large groups with active group chat have reported an increase in issues of message failures, although they appear to do so somewhat randomly, with some people seeing them and others simply not receiving them at all.
Commenting on the problem at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, March 3rd, Simon Linden summarised the situation thus:
In short, yes, it’s cranky, and yes, we’re (as in I am) looking at it … the chat server itself is actually running better than before, believe it or not. A back-end service it relies on, what we call “agent presence” [used to help locate someone on the grid], seems to be having new problems, so the changes may have added load to those servers and is causing problems, or something else unexpectedly changed … [So] some people don’t get the messages when chat is failing … it’s dropping sending some updates and messages when it times out with some other internal requests.
Further updates will be provided as the Lab / Simon continues to look at the problems.
There have been recent reports of people experiencing slow texture and mesh load issues, leading to questions concerning the CDN service (although some of the issues that have been mentioned might be related to local caching more than the CDN). In particular questions have been asked as to how long a CDN server retained its cache of data relating to regions prior to going “cold” and requiring a “reload” from the SL services. Commenting on this at the Open-source Developer meeting on Monday, March 2nd, Oz Linden said that some CDN caches do age out more quickly than others.
The Lab has also been experimenting with more than one CDN provider, and are continuing with different CDN configurations as well to further tune things, as well as continuing to measure results; so we may yet see further changes / improvements, and a possible decrease in instances that may be related to “cold” CDN loads.
Rigged Mesh Crashers
The Server Beta Meeting on Thursday, February 26th saw the issue of a “new” mesh crasher being used on the grid. This is essentially a deliberately corrupted rigged mesh attachment which, when worn will cause viewers around it to immediately crash, with no warning or ability to take preventative action, such as muting the offending avatar.
Just over a year ago, some advice was given on how to counter graphics crashers by adjusting the viewer’s debug settings, and some people many be getting pointed towards it again in order to avoid being affected by the “new” crasher.
However, changing the specified debug settings can lead to a failure to render much of what you actually want to see, as noted in this comment following the article. At the time the advice was given, the Firestorm team tracked many of the problems their users were experiencing directly to the settings having been changed. Ergo, if you are pointed to this particular article as a means of combating graphics crashers, please keep in mind you may gain undesirable results, and keep a note of the original settings so you can switch back to them should this be the case.
During the discussion on this matter at the SBUG meeting, speculation was raised on whether or not the forthcoming new viewer rendering controls (see: STORM-2082). opinion is divided, as the viewer downloads the data which may cause a graphic crash and starts processing some of it in order to determine what to render or not, and even this initial processing could be enough to crash it.
SL Feed Issues
There has been an uptick in the number of snapshot uploads to the SL feeds failing over the course of the last week, with some additionally reporting issues of comments failure to appear / “loves” failing to stick. Some users also reported issues over the weekend with web profiles failing to load, and a JIRA (see BUG-8677) was logged on this issue on March 3rd.
Whether the two issues had a common cause isn’t clear, but as the latter has been resolved, and you are one of those continuing to experience snapshot upload failures, please file a JIRA providing as much information as possible (links to any feed post with a missing snapshot, date / time of upload, number of failures, etc.).