Server Deployments Week #29
As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest updates / news.
- There was no Main (SLS) channel deployment on Tuesday, July 14th.
- On Wednesday, July 15th all three RC channels should receive the same server maintenance package, comprising internal simulator fixes.
There were some issues with poor region performance following the week #28 Main channel deployment (see BUG-9647), but the majority of these appear to have been corrected with a region restart.
On Tuesday, July 14th, the attachment fixes viewer (project Big Bird) was promoted to the de facto release viewer. Version 188.8.131.523130 has fixes for some attachment-related issues, particularly when multiple attachments are added or removed at the same time. Allegedly, no birds were harmed during the making of this viewer, although a parrot may have bitten an engineer’s finger…
While things may appear to be quiet in terms of new deployments, etc., the Lab are working on Second Life in a number of areas. One of these is in finding ways to improve region performance – such as through finding the means for a region to support more avatars, something Simon Linden was recently looking into.
During the Simulator user group meeting on July 14th, Simon indicated he was also looking at the abilities provided to region owners which might allow them to better specify what can and cannot be done within their regions in turns of things like object rezzing. in order to improve people’s experiences. “I’m looking at the balances we keep on regions between being permissive and locked down, and how that relates to the land usage,” he said during the meeting, before continuing:
So combat regions want fast and free rezzing, but that’s not appropriate for a music venue … venues don’t want free rezzing of objects, so someone can’t drop their griefer bombs. The big fuzzy goal is to make SL better. More specifically, it’s to make different types of regions run better. For example, there’s a bug now where rezzing can get backed up and delayed. This is really bad for combat rezzing arrows or whatever projectile. Part of the reason that happens is throttles and limits on rezzing … So maybe we should be able to set up combat region settings tweaked for that kind of performance, and an event venue might be tweaked to handle crowds best, and really lock down free rezzing and object entry.
This sparked a discussion on a range of performance issues and cases, including issues such as BUG-8974 and BUG-8946, as well as matters such as the inefficiencies evident in the asset handling system in general (this has also come into sharper focus with the arrival of Experiences, where KVP operations are handled by the same thread as asset handling), and the issues of agent script usage (script management doesn’t balance out and prevent someone from using far more than their share of script time). Ironically, during the meeting, a demonstration of this problem was given with the arrival of a griefer loaded with >9999 scripts – with the result that the region crashed.
Simon emphasised the discussion was just that – a discussion intended to explore ideas and options, rather than any firm commitment on his or the Lab’s part to make changes. With this in mind, some of the suggestions put forward were:
- Land owner resource control for both rezzing and scripts for all region types (see BUG-3854)
- An option to block rezzing an object over a certain draw weight to help stop people being able to rez graphics crashers
- Possibly altering settings on mainland so that when purchased, it is not completely permissive and the new owner failing to understand what that can mean
- A re-submission of BUG-2467 as a feature request, amended to “visible attachments”, so the Lab might re-evaluate the idea
- The Lab to reconsider requests such as BUG-4153 and BUG-4182.
One of the problems here is that there are a lot of settings which might be exposed in order to help land holders better protect / optimise their land, such that it could become a complex issue in user understanding if too many controls are made available. However, it will be interesting to see what might transpire in the future as the Lab continued to consider options.
Receipt of illegitimate L$ and Account Locking
An old issue of individual harassment has started to re-surface in Second Life of late, which can lead to people’s accounts being locked. With it, someone pays another avatar in-world using fraudulently created Linden Dollars. This results in an automatic account lock being applied, and the recipient, even though they are an innocent party, finds they are unable to use the account while investigations proceed.
The problem here is that there is currently no way to prevent the receipt of any L$ payment; not even blocking an avatar can prevent them from making a payment to you.
As a result of the recent increase in this problem occurring (there have been numerous reports to the Lab’s support team on the matter), a request has been made for the Lab to consider adding an “accept” button for all incoming payments. This would allow people to review all such unsolicited incoming payments ahead of accepting them, allowing them to judge whether the payment is valid or not.