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Inventory Loss Reduction Initiative

by Recognized Resident Hamilton Linden on ‎10-12-2007 06:37 PM

Last month, Ian Linden described Linden Lab’s efforts to improve grid stability and there has already been an improvement in September’s unplanned outages, although it’s much too early to declare victory. However, one thing that was not discussed in detail in that blog post was what we are doing about Resident inventory loss. Residents have shown their frustration with inventory loss via numerous emails, calls, support requests, Office Hours discussions, Town Hall Meetings, and Project Open Letter. In response, we have begun an Inventory Loss Reduction Initiative within Linden Lab. There are currently a number projects under this initiative, which I’ll describe in this post.

Currently, the Second Life inventory consists of over 1 billion unique Resident assets whose size is 98 terabytes on disk. Each month over 15 terabytes of new data on disk is created by millions of inventory transactions. The Second Life Grid is large, with over 900,000 unique Resident logins each month across over 14,000 Regions. As a percent of all inventory transactions, the rate of inventory loss is low; however, when it happens to a Resident, it can be devastating. The primary challenge with Resident reported inventory loss is that we often cannot verify precisely where in the complex inventory system it occurred. As part of our ongoing efforts to focus on stability and performance, we have begun a Reduce Inventory Loss Initiative, which includes the following internal projects:

* Metrics Instrumentation
* Region Crash Reduction
* Asset Collection Improvement
* Bug Fixing
* Resident Reported Inventory Loss Analysis
* Architectural Enhancements
* Perceived Inventory Loss

Metrics Instrumentation
In order to identify where and why inventory loss is occurring in our complex system we’ve created this project. For this project we are adding much more precise logging of error codes throughout the entire system for inventory rez, derez and transfers, as well as other system processes including teleport errors. For those not familiar with this terminology, in this context: rezzing is the act of taking an object out of your inventory and placing it in a Region, and derezzing is the reverse act of taking an item from a Region and placing it in your inventory. The first round of instrumentation in June 2007 allowed us to identify and fix a major derez problem, that was averaging 38,000 derez failures per day between June 24th and August 15th when it was completely eliminated. In addition, there was a much larger spike on June 24th and around July 27th due to bugs that were temporarily introduced and load testing of the fix on June 24th. The good news is this particular problem has been completely fixed. The second round of instrumentation went live on the Second Life Grid on 2007-10-01, and we’re just starting to analyze the data — we expect this will give us significantly more insight into where the problems are.

Region Crash Reduction
Residents sometimes experience data loss during region crashes. This is especially true if a Resident rezzes a no-copy item and then the Region has to rollback to a previous checkpoint. This happens occasionally, but most of the time Regions are rolled back without data loss. Currently, 8% of all Residents sessions are terminated because of region crashes and rolling restarts. While most of these region crashes are able to recover without a rollback or data loss, we know this number is unacceptable. We hope Havok 4 will play a major role in reducing region crashes. We are also fixing other non-Havok 4 region crash bugs as part of the Havok 4 program.

Asset Collection Improvement
Assets are the items in your inventory and those you’ve rezzed onto land. When an asset is no longer in any Residents’ inventory and not rezzed in any Region, then we collect it and set aside for deletion. However, because it is a very complex problem to determine which assets are not being used, there are cases where we accidentally collect an asset, which is still in someone’s inventory. When you get an “Object cannot be found in inventory” error message, asset collection might be the cause. Fortunately, we have a program that is watching and puts the item back in your inventory within an hour if we still have it. So next time you get this error, do be sure to check back in an hour. We have just kicked off a project to improve asset collection to fix the underlying problem of accidentally collecting assets still in use.

Bug Fixing
Inventory loss bug fixing is not a new project, but it is important to point out that it’s an ongoing effort and inventory loss is considered very high priority. Sometimes we find code glitches or reproducible bugs causing inventory loss which have straightforward fixes, and these are given a very high priority. We encourage you to report inventory loss bugs with all relevant details in our public Issue Tracker, especially if they have solid reproductions, because they help our engineers pinpoint problems and fix bugs faster. See SVC-242 for an actual example.

Resident Reported Inventory Loss Analysis
While we expect to make significant improvements with the projects above, we know that we will not catch all sources of inventory loss. Thus, we are planning on starting a project within the next month to collect and analyze patterns of inventory loss reported by our Residents. This will help us develop use cases of where inventory loss is still occurring and allow us to validate whether we have really fixed various problem areas.

Architectural Enhancements
There are some longer-term architectural enhancements we are planning that will significantly improve the robustness of our system. These are discussed in Ian Linden’s Post from August and include our moving Second Life to web-services based technology.

Perceived Inventory Loss
While there are many causes of actual inventory loss, there are also cases where the asset is recoverable by the resident without help from Linden Lab, primarily because the asset was never truly lost. For example, sometimes in order to see missing inventory items, you need to clear your Second Life Viewer cache, logout and back into Second Life. We have a very helpful wiki page that describes Inventory Loss Recovery Steps, which should be the first place you go when you believe you’ve lost an item. Looking through this rather long list, we realized that we could fix some perceived loss just by changing the look and feel of the UI (user interface) and inventory-related functions. Thus, we’ve started a project to reduce some of the causes of perceived inventory loss.

Communication
If you have further questions or would like to discuss this blog post inworld, I’ll be holding an office hour at Longfellow at 56, 146, 25 on 2007-10-17 @ 2 PM PDT. I’ll be posting again on this topic after we have gathered more data and made some more progress to keep you up-to-date. In the meantime, we’ll be heads-down on the projects I’ve described above. I believe we have made a good start on addressing inventory loss problems and are headed in the right direction. Thank you for your patience while we work hard to improve Second Life.

Comments
by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

What if we held a giant clean up week. Where every resident does their best effort to clean out their inventory of unwanted items. If promoted properly, would this help to "clear the grid air"? Would allowing a less amount of inventory items per resident help? We have to admit we're all sitting on thousands of items we never use. It's cluttering my files, I'd imagine it's not helping SL either.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Feeling the pressure from Google's hot air about a competitor to SL? You should. It's a giant.

If:

1. They provide a product that closely matches SecondLife in most all respects (including an open-sourced client)

2. They provide an environment that's more stable than SL

3. LindenLabs doesn't make good on this stability initiative and actually make a marked improvement on stability

Then Google will become a large competitor. This could be good for SL, believe it or not. It would lighten the load on the servers!

LindenLabs' making the client open-sourced was a great gesture; however the problem resides server-side, imo.

I'm a big proponent for FOSS, so if Google doesn't open large portions of their system, I'll not go there.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Really, thank you very much. I would like to make a suggestion that, to be possible, would reduce I number of items in grid, and am some tool to organize the inventory that detects the repeated items, exactly equal, so that the resident can erase them. I hope that this can be of aid, although small:smileyhappy:. My excuses by my English, are poor and bad.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I'm not so familiar with these crypto things, but couldn't it be possible to crypt inventory with some really strong keys and the avatar key for instance, so that people could download inv to their local drive and upload them without the chance to give inv to some other player "outworld"?

Isn't it possible? If the users are in charge to manage their inv, this discussion would stop forever.

S.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Just my 2c here....

I disagree with local drive backup as a viable option for inventory. Some of our inventories are massive. How much space, would such backups take on your local harddrive, considering that you are storing more than just your inventory backups on them (the second life client for example, as well as your default programs and any others you may have purchased). Compounding the problem is the possibility of hackers unlocking permissions.

Speaking of which, yes permission bugs need to be taken care of. It would also be cool if you improved the interface so that they were easier to set upon object creation.

I also disagree with those of you who suggest limiting inventories. You don't think that won't hurt vendors at all? "I'd love to buy your item, but it seems my inventory is full." We'd have the same problem we do with group limitations (I'd like to see you do something about that too Lindon Labs! There are plenty of good groups I'd like to support, which I can't because of the limit) Or just maybe come back to bite you in the bum when enough people complain about it that they limit inventories for everyone?

Ever consider that the reason some of us don't pay for our accounts is because things like inventory loss make it kind of JNWI (just not worth it)?

Kudos to the Lindons, by the way, for stepping up actions to combat this problem. I would very much like to be in this for the long haul, and look forward to seeing Second Life become much more impressive, and these days of increasing public ire and distrust regulated to a chapter in your storied history.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

The DELETE choice is located next to the WEAR choice in the inventory menu. Is it not possible many residents are choosing DELETE and not knowing it? Maybe you should move the DELETE selection to where it would need to be specifically chosen to execute the action.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Limit the amount of inventory non-premium accounts have to less than 1000 items. This will take the burden off the system and still be enough for someone to really get the feel for SL. Having more than 1000 items should be an added benefit of paying for a premium account.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Whole folders dissapeared... nor rezzing/derezzing involved.

Whenever i need to open my clothing folder the stress makes my heart beat in my troath... Will there still be any thing in there, or will i be completely devastated... I can hardly tka it anymore.... That, and no "Friends Online"....... Where's the Valium ???? !!!!!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@144 this is getting really scary! doesnt LL care? I mean some things can`t be replaced. the nightmare is continue and the oct 31st is coming

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I am glad that someone has finally turned an ear to the massive inventory losses that have been happening lately. it started for me about 5 months ago with one of my neko ears.... now almost half of my inventory, and 90% of my own creations are missing or lost. a value of probably over 40K Linden, some of it i have already replaced, when i have the spare linden to do so, but the personal creations cannot be replaced. and those are the ones i am totally upset about. i put a ton of heart and soul into my creations, so when something i make comes up missing i get upset. thank you for finally listening to the masses, and i would lke to think that more people have this problem than you think. most people prolly just delete and replace, and think nothing of it. i bet you half the grid has experienced this in some way over the last 6 months.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

500 for non accounts payment online? what if they do deside to work or build on sl? they need more then 500 items in their asset space. 2000 items mght be alittle more fair.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

The problem with local inventory backup is that it would then be even easier to copy non copy items. Once the full item description is on your machine, you can do as you like with it, unless it is encrypted by the client, which again is a ver simple solution.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Limiting "non premium" accounts to 500 items would be a simple way to help 'inventory clutter' and provide another reason for people to upgrade to premium - as, let's face it, there aren't many right now.

Broccoli

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I always find it amusing how so many people threaten LL having gone back to basic, paying absolutely NOTHING to be here, yet still feel they are entitled to any form of service.

Remember - if you are not paying anything to Linden Lab, at all, ever, then be grateful you're allowed to log in at all. $10 a month isn't that big a deal after all.

Broccoli

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Just a note to say thanks to LL for a better blog post than usual. It not only reassures that the problem is being taken seriously, but begins to describe what's going on behind the scenes to tackle it. That's the kind of communication people are interested in and appreciate.

It actually precedes the blog post we'd normally expect that would say something like "we changed something in the last server upgrades to try and fix inventory loss".

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Inventory loss is the least of my problem.

I've been trying to log in for THREE hours now.

I succeeded once, but i couldn't move and when i've tried to TP to another location, i't logged me off.

Now i'm getting these messages like "Despite our best efforts...", "The Server didn't received your login package" and "You are being logged off and cannot log until....blablabla"

The server now is trying to logg me off for more than 45 minutes.

Every time i waited for relogging and relog, it adds five more minutes.

Inventory loss? No problem when i can't log in to check, lol!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Scenario

Board meeting of lil Lindens sitting around. Slow realisation that competitors are coming, the residents are restless and paying members ARE leaving. (as an aside the petulant "if you don't like it here, then leave" blogs are getting fewer it seems? Hint: Don't EVER tell paying members to leave, they are a finite resource)

Nervous looking around, some at the table will be at the dole queues soon if something isn't done to placate the angry paying mob.

Panic, finally a lil linden raises a hand and says the great unwashed scum have been whining they keep losing things and they don't buy our line that its their fault". Maybe we could tell them we will consider the possibility of forming a working party to examine the possibility of forming a project task force to consider looking at whether we should possibly form a committee to prepare a draft memo to notify we want to look at whatever it is simplest to fob them off.

Result memos like this

Resident Reported Inventory Loss Analysis

While we expect to make significant improvements with the projects above, we know that we will not catch all sources of inventory loss. Thus, we are planning on starting a project within the next month to collect and analyze patterns of inventory loss reported by our Residents. This will help us develop use cases of where inventory loss is still occurring and allow us to validate whether we have really fixed various problem areas.

Be nice if it was written in English Indeed the whole speil is techno impressive babble designed to awe the great unwashed. ie the earlier bit about 900,000 unique logins? not 900,000 different people, the same could be 30,000 same people logging in 30 times each. That makes 900,000 unique logins also . That means only 30,000 active inventories to look at. The figures shrink then. As LL doesnt bother actively helping non paying (free) members and the ratio of free members to paying members is high, the numbers of actual active inventories to be checked would be small. That is not even hinted at.

For those doing the math of "size doesmatter" in hard drives, if the ratio is 15 free members to ever paying member as (an example only) 30,000 users a day divide by 15 to give 2000 paying members online. A much smaller figure to work with.

Pity gambling is banned we could run a pool on which lil linden will be going first to the dole lines.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, lots of techno babble that very carefully did not commit to anything, expect more of the same as competitors become a viable alternative.

Finally I'm not sure the bit about "thanking for your patience", as if there was ever any choice in the matter for users. Screaming the same thing over and over for months by the great multitude of users, and consisently being treated as non people by LL. As late as this week by Robin's reply to the "Lights are on but nobody is home "blog ( something like that anyways) Robin deliberately did not address or acknowledge the overwhelming single point being shouted. Hmmmmm . Now in effect are we are being thanked for letting LL ignore us all this time? Hmmmm

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Sure would be nice to have an in-world backup storage inventory system for avatars to use for their important items!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

These are all good steps, but avoids the central question of LL's responsibility for the assets of its subscribers. If there is a major bug resulting in the loss of many assets, will LL compensate anyone? If not why not. This puts a severe limit on how much people will trust SL for real commerce.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@120-1-2-3-4-5

Our favourite world will sure be more friendly and pleasant to live in when such rude, vulgar and thoughtless people, posting such inappropriate and selfish comments will have left it. Do you consider this public place a private arena for your own deliriums and LL your personal servants ?

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

The altered permissions bug is due to the permissions inheritence being one dimensional. The whole object inherits the permissions of all parts by default so if one tiny piece of an object is nomod, the whole object can become nomod. Usually, it doesn't, but it's occurance is random.

Usually, it just looks like it has become nomod or nocopy, but only a piece is nomod or nocopy.

There's a feature request to have such inheritence shown with double parenthesis so if a part of an object is nomod, the object as a whole would show "((No Modify))", instead of "(No Modify)".

As to what to do about objects that have a single component set to "(No Copy)" ? Don't buy such shoddily made things. To be honest, in my opinion, no copy is a permission best reserved for an entire work of art, like a sculpture, a painting or something like a furniture set, and not for anything else. No transfer is far less obnoxious.

As to offworld backup, how would you backup objects set to nocopy ? All LL would be able to give you would be a scrambled and encrypted pile of data like a huge encrypted zip file... and then would follow all the "tweeks" out there trying to break it and steal assets.

If you want to backup items you have full perms on, you can already do that (check SLX) for obkects and textures. It would be nice if LL could give us the abiliy to dump and ackup all the sounds and animations and gestures we have perms on, though.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

First of all: Glad to see that the problem has been highlited to a blog level. Making SL users aware that LL has noticed the issue.

I totally agree with #88.

A local backup of the inventory, would be a nice solution to the problem. Those items tagged as 'No Copy' shouldn't be so hard to give a special tag to the local machine.

Imagine the possibility to arrange and sort your inventory while offline, and have it uppdated at next logon. You want to go online to do something creative or social, not spend time in a corner sorting and filing your inventories - yes I know I am dreaming, but still.

When did it become difficult to move files and file structures between computers?

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@ "If I may, there is one other area of “inventory loss” that while not true loss, is equally or more sinister. That is the area of ALTERED PERMISSIONS."

yes omg its a big problem:

this bug leads to people losing their income and Secondlife does nothing about this. Really nothing, ive tried. (our items is now a freebie, thanks secondlife!)

If you have ever lost or received items with altered permissions please vote here.

http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-273

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

this is not on the topic, but it is important about this forum:

some days ago I spend half an hour to chisel a contribution, looking for documentation, etc... and when I pressed on "submit comment" I just went on "comments are now closed" and my work was lost. This is very frustrating and I strongly advise LL to close comments by removing the form ONLY, knowing that there may be a number of people still in the process of writing a message. Please still accept these messages! Said otherwise, close the tap, (the form) but please don't kill the messages which are still in the pipe!

Thanks to heed. This should not be very complicated to implement, just removing the form when comments are closed.

I also strongly suggest that useless comment should be removed, to left room to useful comments and valuable expression.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

There LL

PayPal Agreement CANCELED !!!!!!

I am now a basic member still suffering from your crappy software!!!!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Most common losses I find are gesture losses. lol More-so custom made ones where i have uploaded audio, etc.

Logging into particularly laggy locations tends to add to this problem. Perhaps communication issues due to packet loss, etc.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

all i have to say is its OVER DUE and ABOUT BLOODY TIME!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

What about a Loss Inventory Recovery Initiative before?

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

my main issue with inventory loss, is when scripts inside scripted objects are no longer editable. This happens frequently on objects I've not rezzed for a while, but then pull out and want to reuse for a new project, but then I find I cannot modify the script. The script will still work, but I cannot modify the script's code, or even view it.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Hello Linden,

Well first I would like to say I am enjoing Sl so far.

To me inventory as a whole is one of the hardest menus to work with, in that it only has the one scroll bar, Search is almost too basic, and the inventory as a whole when working in or moving item aorund. There is a copy and paste but, if the item is "no Copy" makes it hard to work with and hightlight and move sucks. How about a MOVE item.

The point is that the inventory to me is like a savings account, if you buy alot. Now, I have readed in the Hand Book on SL, that the best way to back up your inventory in to drop an item in to a prim and store it in game. Well that's a good ideal but, if an item has "no Transfer" It does'nt help much.

I think "NO Transfer" should be fixed to see if i own a "NO transfer item" and drop it into another AVIE owned by me or a Prim I made. That "No transfer" Sees it as the item is still mine or owned by me and not as a transfer of ownership.

Also can the inventory window be worked on, so that it works like windows explorer. Folder on one screen, the item on the other or slip screen?

Last ideal i had is to make a way that the inventory is like going to the Bank?

Example: An item or "BANK BOX" in game is drop on the land, is linked to a server for storage. Ideal being I drop an item in the box and then held for later used this making it a way of backing up inventory items. OR Have the inventory copied to my harddrive so I can work on it outside the game. Making the item unable to open and just to move the file around.

As a whole I enjoy the game, I dont really care if any of these ideals can be used or not. I just figure I would put it out here.

Thanks

Ts

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@14

Buster, obviously you don't own that many shoes.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Very valuable update. Inventory loss definitely is one of the bigger SL worry points. It's very good to see that you are taking measures against this.

It's also quite good that you give some indication of the size of the problem.

Thanks for that & good luck in tracking this issue down.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

This is a great post and much welcomed message. Something like this is certainly a turn in the right direction for LL. While in the back of our minds we all most likely realize you guys are working on our problems all the time to some extent, it is very important for us to hear about it, lest we forget. Keep up the work like this and keep us informed of it, it is really all we are asking for. I would recomend not letting something like this die away either, keep us updated on it via blog every couple of weeks, give us some fresh numbers and percentages. I liked seeing the numbers and percentages of data, objects, losses and such. It lets us know you have a grip on the situation.

This is one of the best worded posts I have seen from LL in a long while. It was worded well, very professional. It gives you the feeling LL cares and is a far cry from the "blow offs" we have been used to seeing lately. I think previously a post from LL on this would have looked more like -

Reguarding Inventory Loss - Inventory loss is a tiny percentage of all the combined inventory functions, we do a wonderfull job keeping up with as much as we do, We will however see what we can do. Most of the time though, items arent really lost, you just need to clear your cache, relog, buy a new video card, and learn to use your inventory filters better. Please see our knowledge base.

This post wassnt like that at all. Really wonderfull job done on it. Keep remembering it is not always what you say, but how you say it that can bring praise or condemnation.

Thanks for this, and I hope it is a sign of new times.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Most welcoming news. My experience with SL and inventory loss has been minimum, but my issues were of regional crashes and even that has been shaping up the past few weeks.

Keep up the good word.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@16: Uh, what?

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Bobby, that's exactly what "lost" means. If they could locate it, ti wouldn't be lost, dear.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

@27

How do you loose valuable data and then not have the brains to devolp a method of tracking that loss? Thats like having Vista crash and then not know why it crashed?

I'm wondering why this wasn't implemented years ago?

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Wooo Hooo!!!!

Only recently have i even noticed any lost inventory, but man it's annoying when you notice things missing and have no idea where they went!!!

Way to Go!!! Let's hope these initiatives take us a long way to solving this most annoying problem.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Finally, something from LL that I've wanted to see, not just for myself, but for the many designers and others out there that have been forced to toil and cope with the losses (perceived and actual) of their entire collections...years of work down the drain.

Thank you very much, Hamilton, for writing this blog post. It is greatly appreciated.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

OMG 98 Terrabytes ? Damn

Now i can understand why you have some problems with this mass of data.

Thank you ll

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

And what about "Object cannot be created, no longer in database"?

This error happens with alarming regularity. My losses are now over US$600 and still it happens over all my alts. Numerous support emails to LL return the cop out response, clear your cache... and if it's really gone stiff bickies as we can't recover inventory.

This problem started when the manhole cover caused the electricity failure... before then it was never seen, after then, maybe 30% of my older inventory suffers from it.

There is a Jira for this... unassigned of course... it has been months... the loss is in measured in huge amounts of real world dollars and in some cases the items are irreplaceable.

I don't mind loosing clothes and things I can buy again, but loosing photos of events that can never be repeated, loosing custom skins that were made by people now retired from the game and loosing my darned Jogauni firefly staff as well as the whole Av (the reward for over a month of hard work) something that can't be bought...

Run a DB integrity check thread, even with 98 terrabytes I think after a few you would get a shock, and maybe a kick in the pants to give this more effort.

Thanks for trying, I really hope you can repair the borkage.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

This is welcome news. Both my partner and myself have suffered inventory loss - myself twice in the last 2 weeks - one being over 3000+ items including all my snapshots and textures. The first stuff lost has never come back. The second loss (the 3000+ one) DID come back after reading other comments and trying a cache clear (even though I had already done that earlier in the day before the loss). It certainly has been becoming more frequent for many people. Even temporary inventory loss is annoying.

Inventory/balance loss is the number one bug-fix priority, possibly with sales issues a close second. All the other stuff - lag, crashing, TP failure, search going down ... as annoying as all these things are, and as much as we'd like to see these things sorted, they pale to the thought of losing all the things you've bought, whether you bought the Lindens, earned them through hard work, or even spent days/weeks camping.

However, to just touch on the other blog post about 'Lights on at the Lab', I'd like to add a related comment.

Yes, there are many companies who respond in better ways than Linden Labs do. BUT, there are some who are much worse. I used to play The Sims/The Sims 2 and Maxis/EA are absolutely useless. Their forums would be full of people crying out for bug fixes and Maxis would be totally silent. When they DID respond, it would often to be to deny that any bug fixes were needed. When they DID admit something was wrong (after weeks or even months of people asking for bug fixes) no ETA for a fix would be posted and weeks or months would go by with no information. Things on the forums would have to get very nasty between the people asking for fixes and the Maxis Groupies (oh, that we'd had the Chris Crocker You Tube back then to send them the link to - 'Leave Maxis ALONE!').

For all the problems and occasional pigheadedness of LL over some issues (verification, voice), there is a feeling that pleas from residents aren't totally ignored in the way they are at the Sims 2 site.

I know it's a big drain on resources, but you really do need to bring back full live help. The system you have right now for reporting issues is frighteningly complicated and very unclear. A lot of valuable feedback about issues in going unreported. Yes, the system was abused by people wanting to know answers to things they could get from reading the notecards they got on Orientation Island, but there are times when I really need to be able to talk to someone and deal with an issue step by step with guidance. It was a service I valued and did not abuse. Twice I used it for inventory loss issues and got quick, clear help. My alt has an issue with her account, but she was created AFTER you removed Live Help. For months now, I have tried to get this resolved through the available processes and I have met with absolute failure. It's the same bank account as this avie, so there should not be any problems.

This initiaive is a good thing. After months of the platform being so shaky that I have stopped recommending SL to people, it's a good first step in the right direction. My partner and myself had actually been considering leaving SL and joining another virtual world, but we don't really want to leave SL as we have both invested a lot of money here. In fact, she has already sold all of her land ready to go (she's still very angry about her inventory loss - all of her purchased skins - and the lack of a response from LL about it).

Thanks for this new initiative. It will make life easier for everyone.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I am glad that this issue is being looked at in-depth, I too have had some scary moments where things were lost and then show up again later. Indeed, some items I have never seen again. But my question to the LL gods is this? I would feel much better if I had a way to back up my inventory on my home system. To my knowledge, we cannot do this and I could never figure out why. I am not a newbie, and I have an established business in world, and I think it would be great if I could back up my inventory on my system just in case the whole grid goes down. Bottom line is this, its a digital world, and it doesn't take much for those 'bits' to go away, right? Just a thought...

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

AWESOME! This sounds like if it all works, it will be the greatest update ever!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I myself haven't had a lot of problems with inventory loss. However, there was one time that I did lose something, and I immediately filed a bug report about it. I don't remember the item that I lost, this long after the fact, except that it was some dance balls. However, I never got any resolution on the issue at all. No messages on the blog, in any updates, or anywhere else, stating that this bug has been fixed; no replaced dance balls; no nothing.

The whole problem happened when I rezzed items, on my own property, that were all bundled together, instead of returned to my inventory one item at a time. The majority of them actually ended up on my land, geographically speaking, but there was one set of dance balls far enough away from the "main" item, that they got rezzed on somebody else's land next to mine.

That's where the problem started. That lot was no build, no object entry. So they weren't allowed on the property. No problem with that really, only THEY WERE NEVER RETURNED TO MY INVENTORY. Not placed in the lost and found. Not left inside a bundled package. Not sent anywhere except limbo. Since they were no-copy, gone forever. And to this day they still remain gone.

So, since me reporting it through the official channels hasn't done a bit of good, I'm going to ask you here instead: What are you going to do to fix this issue so other people like me won't lose their stuff just because you can't figure out how to send it back to their inventory when it gets sent someplace where it can't be? I don't expect them replaced anymore, I'm not that naieve, but for the love of Mike, stop it from happening to others already!

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU !

Suggestion : logging or journaling the databases ? Like that when a resident reports a loss, you can trace all his inventory activities since the last backup ...

Keep up the good work an thanks

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

YAAAAAAAAY!

Finally, I'm glad to see you guys taking a positive stance towards inventory loss -- AND THANK YOU FOR THE TECHNICAL INFORMATION!

More please!

Tell us about the problems you encounter WHEN you encounter them (unless it's a exploitable security flaw, in which case, fix it and THEN tell us about it.) and how you discovered them, how you intend to fix them, and keep us updated.

Seriously, Don't be afraid to make 10 long blog posts in a day if you have to. We will love you for it. WE WILL LOVE YOU FOR IT.

Go, Linden Labs, go! TAKE OVER THE WORLD, ONE BUGFIX AT A TIME!

(And a BIG BIG BIG thank you to the Lindens that are participating in the SLDev mailing list. Even Phillip has posted! Keep it up, you guys are doing an AWESOME JOB! And a special thank you to Studio Icehouse!)

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Great! Very cheering post.

There's a saying - "The person who never made a mistake, never made anything."

There's no doubt that LL screwed up a few things royally -- and then inflamed the situations through abysmal communications. On the other hand, they have done some wonderful things.

I'd rather take it from here onwards, and not sit around bitching about water under the bridge.

I love SL, but of late I've really been thinking hard about pulling back.

This latest post, and even Ginsu's update to his original muppet PR post, give me cause for optimism.

Onwards friends into fun and merriment

May we all have a blast.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

I want to apologize to everyone because half of that billion items is in my inventory.

I am glad that major issues like this are being openly taken care of. It cant be fixed if you never start fixing it. And I know a lot of ppl with this problem.

I understand how inventory loss can be frustrating, but I have never lost any inventory items and I currently have 12k or so.

BUT, I have my *cache cleared automatically on startup* using that feature in the debug menu under the client menu. I have no idea if that contributes to my good fortune but who knows.

by Anonymous(anon) on ‎02-23-2009 07:37 PM

Its about time !