Second Life project updates 42/1: server, viewer, misc items

Hestium; Inara Pey, October 2015, on Flickr Hestium (Flickr) – October 2015 – blog post

SL Server Deployments Week 42

There was no deployment to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, October 13th. Also, the server maintenance package planned for deployment to the three RC channels in week #42 did not pass final testing, and the deployment has been postponed as of LL CoB on Tuesday, October 13th.

SL Viewer Updates

The Maintenance viewer, version 3.8.5.305531, was promoted to the de facto release viewer on Tuesday, October 13th. The viewer has over 90 fixes, improvements and feature requests – please refer to the release notes (link above) for details.

Group Notice Attachments

The server maintenance package postponed from deployment in week #42 comprises a partial fix for  group notice attachments failing to respond when clicked, forcing recipients to open the Group floater, search the Notices tab for the relevant notice and retrieve the attachment from there.

This problem most frequently occurs as a result of some of the data relating to the notification and the original notification users open to access the attachment being lost to the simulator after about an hour, and the fix in question is geared to correcting this. However, there can be other circumstances where the attachment fails to respond, which might be either server-side issues, or viewer issues.

“I’m pretty sure there’s a viewer issue too,” Simon Linden said, discussing the matter during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, October 13th. “If you notice when you click on notice attachments, sometimes when it doesn’t work you see nothing at all; no UI feedback where that attachment shading changes or anything. I think in those cases the viewer is dropping the click and not doing anything at all, and it might work if it actually sent a request to the server.” He added that he hopes the RC deployment, once available, will at least improve matters.

Other Items

Accessing Crowded Regions

A question was asked at the Simulator group about whether repeated attempts to access a crowded region by repeatedly trying to cross to it from neighbouring region or constantly trying to teleport into the region, causes it any significant issues in terms of performance. There are already some HUDs on the marketplace which will automatically re-try teleports to a specific location, and the question was prompted by a feature request to Firestorm to make a similar capability within the viewer.

Simon Linden was understandably cautious in his response, pointing out that any attempts to move between regions will use up time and network traffic, but suggested that a retry system with a delay of around 5 seconds or so shouldn’t put any stress on the simulator (some of the available HUDs actually work on a faster retry cycle than this, so could be having more of an impact). It was also suggested – although not by a Linden –  that moving such a capability client-side might actually reduce a small load from the simulators when compared to using a scripted HUD.

This question prompted the idea of some kind of list managed queuing system for crowded regions, so that people attempting to reach it would be automatically teleported when there is room, and in the order they were added to the queue.

However, as was pointed out in the meeting, such an approach would require a considerable amount of work in terms of just managing the list (keeping track of who is on the list, who joins the list, who opts to log-out before a space becomes available, forcing an update to the entire list, removing people who are teleported from the list, and so on).  As such, Simon indicated he’d rather work on improving simulator performance to allow more avatars into a region, and have the viewer improved so it can better handle large numbers of avatars.

Special Events Regions

In a similar vein, there have been rumours of large events getting dedicated servers to handle the load more effectively. Commenting on this, Simon said, “We’ve talked about that, and I don’t know what might happen; but we’ve discussed the short-term need people have for regions or better performance. It’s now more in the product folks lap … they need to figure out how we would offer something like that.”

Temp Attach from Object Inventory

A question was asked at the meeting about whether anyone at the Lab was working on a means to allow a temporary attachment directly from an object’s inventory (contents). Simon noted that while no-one is currently working on this, it is on the Lab’s feature list, adding, “it’s just an idea; but the current attach process used by experiences is rez the thing, then attach. It would be better to just directly attach.”

It’ll be interesting to see if this comes about.

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3 thoughts on “Second Life project updates 42/1: server, viewer, misc items

  1. “As such, Simon indicated he’d rather work on improving simulator performance to allow more avatars into a region, and have the viewer improved so it can better handle large numbers of avatars.”

    I would say that the majority of the regions having that problem, are regions that host periodic events and have a cap in the max number of avatar that can make into in order to gain performance. Allowing more avatars wont address the issue for those regions, because their max av limit is capped.

    Improving the viewer to have better performance in crowded regions sounds nice. Let’s hope it is feasible.

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    1. There is a cap, yes. But that doesn’t mean that the Lab is unable to find the means of raising the limit if other means of containing the simulator-side impact of multiple avatars can be found. It’s a big “if”, admittedly.

      In terms of the viewer side of things, one aspect which may help in the new Avatar complexity capability – not ideal if people would prefer not to see lots of solid colour avatars around them, but at least it puts the control in the user’s hands, and offers the potential for better viewer performance for the individual, regardless as to whether or not anything is (/ can) be done simulator side. In addition, back in June, Simon indicated other ideas for improving viewer side performance were being considered, although no actual work has been carried out on this.

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      1. The jelly thing surpass me lol. I know it is another different issue.. but i am still wondering why choose that colorful immersion breaking system instead of the 2d “impostor av” we are used to. Might be 2d, but it is miles away more believable and probably more efficient.
        I thought it was a placeholder until a better way to render av models were found, but it seems it is actually the intended method.

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