Frank Ambrose – FJ Linden blogs on the technology side of SL; and for once I have to wag my finger at him. This is a rare occurrence for me, as Frank is one of the most straight-up and openly “honest” (for want of a better word) Lindens who posts on the blog. But this time, part of his post does not reflect the realities of the SL experience.
Before getting to the wagging however, getting feedback on the technology side in SL is always good – and to be sure, Frank has led the charge behind the scenes in making the infrastructure a lot better and more reliable; and some of the news he brings is good. Specifically, it is good to know that Group limits will soon be increased to 40 (albeit with a caveat). Raising the current limit has long been one of the highest-rated requests from residents for as long as I’ve been back in SL. That it has taken so long to get around to is a little inexcusable – but it is very welcome news. I just hope it doesn’t mark the return a familiar trend of LL opting for “easy” fixes (and yes, I do appreciate more is required under the hood than flicking a switch to achieve this) that amount to throwing crusts to the crowd in appeasement in the hope we’ll overlook the bigger and more painful issues.
HTTP texture loading is also good news…and one hopes that all TPVs will be able to absorb the code sooner rather than later. I’ve already commented on the Mesh beat, so no need to dwell on that; same with Display Names.
Improvements resulting from Project snowstorm I’ve yet to experience. I use a TPV, and I think it will still take a while for benefits from Snowstorm to flow outward, rather than inward. I’m sure there are a lot of LL-side benefits from the new server deployment process, but the truth is many have yet to seen real benefits in terms of their overall SL experience; but we’ll give it time.
No, the “wait, what?!” reaction to FJ’s post can be found in the first of his “update paragraphs”, namely:
Here’s an interesting factoid: there are about two million teleports in Second Life every day. Previous to our recent release of Server 1.42, when an avatar teleported or crossed into a new region, everyone on the destination sim would experience a “lag” event as the simulator stalled while processing the incoming avatar. This was often experienced as “jitter” on the sim, especially evident when many avatars arrived at the same time, such as for a live event. In the new simulation code, this slow point has been moved to a separate thread. Our simulator performance profiling tools show that this lag pain point is almost entirely gone, greatly improving performance for highly trafficked regions.
WUT?? Frank, shame on you. If you really believe that this lag pain point is almost entirely gone, I can only suggest that you and your team need new “performance profiling tools” – or better yet you need to get your little pixelated bums inside SL and try Tping around the grid for more than one or to attempts.
What has happened is that the pain point has simply shifted – not gone; and rather than giving a self-congratulatory pat on the back, you could at least admit that while overall sim freezing *has* improved, lag and tp issues are still prevalent and need further investigation. Issues such as:
- Avatars universally arriving in mid-air and getting stuck for anything up to 5-10 seconds, unable to land or fly
- Avatars freezing immediately after landing
- Nearby avatars *still* experiencing a (albeit momentary) lock-up when someone tp’s in nearby in a crowded sim
Over an above this, and while not the focus of FJ’s article, lag in general remains a major headache within SL, with many residents reporting it to be at least as bad as pre-1.42, if not worse.
The sim-wide freezing – down to a Mono issues – has gone by-and-large; and this is worthy of pointing out. But to use it as a blanket to cover the wider issues is not neither fair, not what we expect from you FJ, and it rather undermines the rest of the positive news contained in your blog.