I decided to skip this report for the month of March because I started this regular article at the middle of February. I have every intention of keeping this going on a regular basis — if only to just keep Linden Lab on their toes.
Important Server Fixes
- [SVC-114] Meta-Issue: Inventory Loss: issues, fixes, development. Inventory loss has been a long standing problem in Second Life. This JIRA in particular has been open since 2007, but inventory loss has been in existence since longer than I’ve been in SL. It’s less of a problem for me because I try to keep my inventory around 15k items, but I know lots of people with 45k+ who regularly lose things.
- [Many, many JIRAs] The Second Life Marketplace is a disaster of a rollout. With the introduction of the new Direct Delivery features, many people are upset not only at the rocky transition, but that the Marketplace is very slow — or fails to work at all. Then there’s the problem with the whole rollout schedule, in that many people feel it’s too fast and forced to make changes right away. Right now I think the marketplace database is being hammered so hard because so many vendors are having to update their listings. Still other people report that sales have effectively stopped, while others report that they’re not reviving the money from LL for their sales. A lot of people are having trouble transitioning as well, because of unicode characters in their products.
- [SVC-7125] Bring Back Last Name Options! A staggering amount of votes have been put on this JIRA. I remember when last names were removed, and at the time I though that it wasn’t a great idea — but it didn’t affect me so I didn’t care. Display names weren’t adopted as well as LL thought they’d be, because people still rely on actual account names. I can imaging having the last name “Resident”, is a pretty big bummer. It has been proven in the past that LL can change an account name — perhaps LL should monetize this feature, and give anyone with the last name “Resident” a free use.
Important Client Fixes
- [VWR-14674] Object Return Function of Region/Estate Menu does not work. A long time ago, these estate tools used to work. The way they worked is that when you selected a name you could return ALL of the objects across an estate. This function was broken at one point, worked for what seemed a week, then broken again. Linden Lab should fix this post haste because of all the time they’ll save on support if estate managers can take care of their own estate without calling concierge for help. Griefing will be a thing of the past.
- [VWR-28606] Viewer UI rendering slows to a crawl after extended viewer use, or teleporting. This JIRA is my own filing, and I bring attention to it because I know a lot of people suffer from viewer lag. I’ve got a pretty beefy machine, and I’ve found out how to reproduce lag that ONLY comes from the UI interface. Ever since Viewer 2/3 came out the FPS in SL has been terrible in comparison to V1. I think a lot of things can be done to the viewer UI code to improve it, so it may warrant the same treatement as the SHINING fixes for rendering.
- [VWR-2950] Group Notices and Group IMs Constantly Malfunctioning. This is kind of a repeat of last Februarys. I like to imagine this issue is server side, but client side may also be part of the problem, hence sticking it in viewer issues. Group chat and notices are key to keeping SL great. The poor performances of these services directly impact user experience.
Important Feature Developments
- Pathfinding is still being beta’d and worked on. In The Wastelands we’ve got one region Kronbelt, that is on the pathfinding beta. A lot of bugs have been filed, and it seems like a good amount of feature development requests are in there too. Given LLs track history of releasing things, I’m pretty skeptical if any of the feature requests get worked on after the initial release. On top of that there’s some pretty serious bugs, such as dynamic objects (things that change shape, or size) can bring a whole regions’ FPS down to two.
- There’s very little word on the Advanced Experience Tools, things like llTeleportAgent() or forcing attachments on people. Wish there were an update on that front.
My Wish List
- I wish that LL would just start over on the rendering engine of SL. It really is pretty terrible and only uses a fraction of my GPU, most everything that’s done for SL is on the CPU nowadays. I understand it’s hard to build a platform that is supposed to support as much hardware as possible, and to a degree you can’t control the viewer lag generated by people, because some people make 2048 resolution mesh eyes. I’m glad for the improvements that have been made, but the majority of everything done is on the CPU anymore. Even with my Core2Duo overclocked to 3.6ghz, SL rendering seems lacking, and lagging.
- I was recently forced to try a 3rd party viewer because a work deadline was coming up and the regular SL viewer was on the fritz. I really liked the UI of Nirans viewer, it was just more intuitive. What I really liked is the automatic graphics setting. Having said that I think upon setup LL should test for whatever openGL features are supported by the graphic card a user has, then automate what options are enabled by default. Currently a list of features is used. Develop an algorithm guys.
Tip of the Hat
It’d be unfair to critique LL without giving credit when they deserve it, so this new section is for when LL makes changes that are favorable to the operation of Second Life.
- I previously blogged about llGiveInventory throttles, and while I still disagree with the enforcement of throttles, the throttles have been loosened with a recent server rollout. This may or may not be enough for large businesses.
- A long standing feature request has been fulfilled. With the addition of llGetAgentList(), you can now get all the keys of all the avatars in a region. This isn’t live yet, but will come to a rollout soon!
- [SVC-680] is one of those older JIRAs that is finally getting some attention in a future rollout. It increases the http response size from 2k to 16k in mono scripts. I will happily use up every KB in my newer Wastelands game. No more chain-stitching HTTP responses together!
- It looks as if llCastRay() may have it’s throttles removed. HOORAY!
(Editors Note: This article is all just personal opinion of the importance of what JIRAs need to be fixed most. I may not know of other JIRAs that have a bigger impact. If you have suggestions for next month, please leave a comment about them with a link.)