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Madelaine McMasters
Posts: 7,387
Registered: ‎10-20-2010

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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Perrie Juran wrote:

It's easy to lose patience.  Especially when a problem seems to go on endlessly.  But I do try to approach everything with patience, especially SL.  If you don't it can drive you crazy.

Some things are inexcuseable as far as I'm concerned.  That my dinner above (Troobles) didn't perform out of the box as advertised I find inexcusable.  But when it comes to the platform as a whole, that glitches happen, I may not like them, but I am a lot more patient and understanding.


I was in-world for an hour or so last night. For the duration of that time, my avi rebaked itself every minute or two, as did many of the objects in my house. This has happened in both Firestorm and V3, for both me and Snugs, on both MacOS and WinXP and across several machines over the years. That such a basic function could be borked for so long suggests to me that LL does not fully understand SL. But I don't think that surprises us, does it? And that's the complacency I'm speaking about. We can still file JIRAs and comment in the forums, but we've lowered our expectations, haven't we?

Server side baking really feels to me like a "We don't know how the current scheme works, so we can't fix it. Let's replace it and hope something completely different works better." I can only hope they have better luck than with their various forum system replacements over the years ;-)

As for the Troobles, I'm also very fond of setting on fire those things which peeve me.

I enabled anti-aliasing. Why is Snugs still here?
Please give generously to the McMasters Institute for the Advancement of Harmless Flirtation™.
Perrie Juran
Posts: 9,439
Registered: ‎10-16-2009

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Perrie Juran wrote:

It's easy to lose patience.  Especially when a problem seems to go on endlessly.  But I do try to approach everything with patience, especially SL.  If you don't it can drive you crazy.

Some things are inexcuseable as far as I'm concerned.  That my dinner above (Troobles) didn't perform out of the box as advertised I find inexcusable.  But when it comes to the platform as a whole, that glitches happen, I may not like them, but I am a lot more patient and understanding.


I was in-world for an hour or so last night. For the duration of that time, my avi rebaked itself every minute or two, as did many of the objects in my house. This has happened in both Firestorm and V3, for both me and Snugs, on both MacOS and WinXP and across several machines over the years. That such a basic function could be borked for so long suggests to me that LL does not fully understand SL. But I don't think that surprises us, does it? And that's the complacency I'm speaking about. We can still file JIRAs and comment in the forums, but we've lowered our expectations, haven't we?



Well, I'm not surprised when something doesn't work.  Somethings like failed Avatar baking can be more frustrating than others.  I just try to do my best with what I have.

 


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Server side baking really feels to me like a "We don't know how the current scheme works, so we can't fix it. Let's replace it and hope something completely different works better." I can only hope they have better luck than with their various forum system replacements over the years ;-)

 



Actually it makes sense.  They are moving a computationally expensive function from 1000's of computers that they have no control over all the variables to the Servers where they can control and optimize the computations and hopefully supply the necessary resources.

Madelaine McMasters
Posts: 7,387
Registered: ‎10-20-2010

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

[ Edited ]

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Server side baking really feels to me like a "We don't know how the current scheme works, so we can't fix it. Let's replace it and hope something completely different works better." I can only hope they have better luck than with their various forum system replacements over the years ;-)

 



Actually it makes sense.  They are moving a computationally expensive function from 1000's of computers that they have no control over all the variables to the Servers where they can control and optimize the computations and hopefully supply the necessary resources.


Merging avatar texture layers should (if I'm missing something, somebody let me know!) be pretty easy . It's just a bunch of pixmap operations done on on a sorted collection of textures. The CPU and network overhead for sending all those textures to the viewer seems to me to be in the same ballpark, if not greater, than processing the pixmaps locally. This would always have been true... unless those textures were distributed across a network of asset servers, and aggregating them in one place for baking was difficult. This was the theory I esposed earlier to explain client side baking. If there never was a good reason to push baking to the client, that would suggest some degree of incompetence during the early days of SL's design.

I can only imagine why certain decisions were made more than a decade ago, but I'm going to hold onto my theory. I believe it was too difficult for the original SL asset servers to deliver all the required textures to a single CPU in the server farm for baking. Since all the mechanisms for delivering assets to the viewers had to exist and work well for SL to operate at all, they chose to delegate final assembly of the avatar texture to the one place they knew they'd have all the assets... the viewer. Now that SL occupies an ever decreasing physical footprint (declining concurrency/regions divided by increasing server packing density equals much smaller physical footprint) and networking speeds have increased (10G between servers these days?) the equation now favors baking the textures in the server. I haven't heard any talk about SL server locations in ages, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are all now in the same building, rather than split between Austin and SF Bay (as I once heard they were).

It would be ironic if the reason SL performance finally improves is because it's shrinking.

I'm just making all this stuff up, but it sounds good to me!

ETA: It's interesting to watch the borked avatar baking process. You can see the rebaking progress through various stages of the progressive texture download. Just moments after the final, full resolution textures bake, it all starts over again. That's a hell of a lot of work being done by the entire SL system to effect what is truly (again unless I'm missing something) a simple set of pixmap operations. I hope server side baking works. I don't believe anyone at LL knows why viewer side baking does not.

I enabled anti-aliasing. Why is Snugs still here?
Please give generously to the McMasters Institute for the Advancement of Harmless Flirtation™.
Contributor
Theresa Tennyson
Posts: 2,292

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

Reply to Madelaine McMasters - view message


Madelaine McMasters wrote:
ETA: It's interesting to watch the borked avatar baking process. You can see the rebaking progress through various stages of the progressive texture download. Just moments after the final, full resolution textures bake, it all starts over again. That's a hell of a lot of work being done by the entire SL system to effect what is truly (again unless I'm missing something) a simple set of pixmap operations. I hope server side baking works. I don't believe anyone at LL knows why viewer side baking does not.

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SUN-57

Go to the bottom of that JIRA. Problem found, problem fixed in beta. Doesn't requre server-side baking.

 

Madelaine McMasters
Posts: 7,387
Registered: ‎10-20-2010

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

Madelaine McMasters wrote:
ETA: It's interesting to watch the borked avatar baking process. You can see the rebaking progress through various stages of the progressive texture download. Just moments after the final, full resolution textures bake, it all starts over again. That's a hell of a lot of work being done by the entire SL system to effect what is truly (again unless I'm missing something) a simple set of pixmap operations. I hope server side baking works. I don't believe anyone at LL knows why viewer side baking does not.

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SUN-57

Go to the bottom of that JIRA. Problem found, problem fixed in beta. Doesn't requre server-side baking.

 


The problem described in that JIRA isn't the one I've been seeing for the last year or two. Last night I watched the top of my avi rebake for the duration of my hour or so in-world. It was not a matter of not baking at all, I watched the entire progressive download and bake sequence repeat endlessly.

I also witnessed the de-texturing of things that went out of view. If I spin around, I can catch the viewer repainting stuff that was fully rezzed a moment earlier. This has been described as an interest list issue. And I routinely find myself having to cam around a place to force everything to rez.

It would be ironic if client side baking was fixed for good on the day before that entire code path is retired, only to be replaced with server side baking that has its own issues.

;-)

I enabled anti-aliasing. Why is Snugs still here?
Please give generously to the McMasters Institute for the Advancement of Harmless Flirtation™.
Honored Resident
TwoIron
Posts: 16

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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The two of us have been experimenting the last couple of days.  Both of us are still having the same issue, when trying to put together new outfits, our avatars simply will not bake.

 

The problem seems to be created with things like "glossy skin" add ons and tatoos...also having to "stack" alpha layers seems to cause the issue as well.  It's a significant problem as people unwittingly buy tattoo layers and clothing that use alpha layers...then when trying to use these items they now have the problem if thier avatar not being able to bake...

Honored Resident
TwoIron
Posts: 16

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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Oh and the problem is NOT fixed in beta...we are both using the beta viewer and still have the same problem.

Contributor
Cerise Sorbet
Posts: 2,480

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

[ Edited ]

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TwoIron wrote:

Oh and the problem is NOT fixed in beta...we are both using the beta viewer and still have the same problem.


Yeah, it looks like only one of two batches of Sunshine patches made it in before the most recent beta was built. I am seeing a big improvement with the most recent Snowstorm build, which has the rest of the patches, so hopefully the next beta will get that too.

Honored Resident
TwoIron
Posts: 16

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

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I don't care.  I really don't.  In fact I now hope you don't like it even more.  The software does not work as advertised.  Full stop.  Let me repeat this so you get it...I hope you have a signifiacant problem with this statement.  I hope you can't sleep at night because of it.  THE SOFTWARE DOESNT WORK.

It's a very simple concept.  Us two new players paid for premium service, bought really nice skins and a bunch of clothes in the store.  Since we have done that, we have been in the spots our premium subscription gave us, struggling to make sense of the process of customizing our avatars.  That's broken software.  It's unacceptable.  In fact I'm convinced there would be more players if the avatar process wasnt so darn difficult - steep learning curve and broken software to aide in the confusion of getting set up.  Yes, It's bad.  Broken even.  Deal with that reality.

Once again...I REALLY REALLY hope you don't like me pointing out this simple reality, because believe me, this is not my problem, it's yours.  

 

Reply to TwoIron - view message

Well to me your comments sound like complaints. I'm sorry **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/html/assets/emoticons/mattemotes/don't_cry.png" border="0" alt=":matte-motes-dont-cry:" title="" />. True, some comments you recieve on the forums may be "ridiculous" but what can you expect by posting negative comments about SL on the forums? You better be prepared for just as much, or more, negative feedback.

 

 

Does SL have flaws? Yes, of course. However, just getting vexed about those issues does not make them disappear or result in a solution.

 

All I can say is be patient and if you really feel that strongly about it then say something to the Lindens since THEY have the authority to make the changes and not us.olution to your issue and hope you have a good day! **Only uploaded images may be used in postings**://secondlife.i.lithium.com/html/assets/emoticons/mattemotes/smile.png" border="0" alt=":matte-motes-smile:" title="" />

Perrie Juran
Posts: 9,439
Registered: ‎10-16-2009

Re: Having to rebake textures constantly...

Reply to Madelaine McMasters - view message


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Perrie Juran wrote:

Madelaine McMasters wrote:


Server side baking really feels to me like a "We don't know how the current scheme works, so we can't fix it. Let's replace it and hope something completely different works better." I can only hope they have better luck than with their various forum system replacements over the years ;-)

 



Actually it makes sense.  They are moving a computationally expensive function from 1000's of computers that they have no control over all the variables to the Servers where they can control and optimize the computations and hopefully supply the necessary resources.


Merging avatar texture layers should (if I'm missing something, somebody let me know!) be pretty easy . It's just a bunch of pixmap operations done on on a sorted collection of textures. The CPU and network overhead for sending all those textures to the viewer seems to me to be in the same ballpark, if not greater, than processing the pixmaps locally. This would always have been true... unless those textures were distributed across a network of asset servers, and aggregating them in one place for baking was difficult. This was the theory I esposed earlier to explain client side baking. If there never was a good reason to push baking to the client, that would suggest some degree of incompetence during the early days of SL's design.

I can only imagine why certain decisions were made more than a decade ago, but I'm going to hold onto my theory. I believe it was too difficult for the original SL asset servers to deliver all the required textures to a single CPU in the server farm for baking. Since all the mechanisms for delivering assets to the viewers had to exist and work well for SL to operate at all, they chose to delegate final assembly of the avatar texture to the one place they knew they'd have all the assets... the viewer. Now that SL occupies an ever decreasing physical footprint (declining concurrency/regions divided by increasing server packing density equals much smaller physical footprint) and networking speeds have increased (10G between servers these days?) the equation now favors baking the textures in the server. I haven't heard any talk about SL server locations in ages, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are all now in the same building, rather than split between Austin and SF Bay (as I once heard they were).

It would be ironic if the reason SL performance finally improves is because it's shrinking.

I'm just making all this stuff up, but it sounds good to me!

ETA: It's interesting to watch the borked avatar baking process. You can see the rebaking progress through various stages of the progressive texture download. Just moments after the final, full resolution textures bake, it all starts over again. That's a hell of a lot of work being done by the entire SL system to effect what is truly (again unless I'm missing something) a simple set of pixmap operations. I hope server side baking works. I don't believe anyone at LL knows why viewer side baking does not.


We can postulate a lot of ideas about the original decisions by th eoriginal architects but in the end, only their hair dressers know for sure.

Now, I will again say that I am technically completely out of my league here and also I don't have links to document this.  I'm just working off of general memory of what I have read.  The issue as it exists is because the Server is having to wait for the Client AND then redistribute the information to all the users on a SIM, it is creating extra overhead and traffic (internet and internal) for the Server.  All of this is taking CPU cycles and the idea is that (in theory) the ultimate outcome i sa reduction in Server Load.

This is a very interesting study, Scalability for Virtual Worlds, that I think offers some great insight into the complexity and difficulties in improving performance in Virtual Worlds.  It also gives a lot of insight into why you really can not compare games like WOW to SL.  While this study was done in 2009 and hardware and infrstructure have improved vastly since then, it's interesting to note that at the time of the study they set 25 to 30 Avatars per SIM in SL as the maximum that could be handled efficiently at that time.  It was simply put, a hardware and infrastructure limitation.

"Collaborative software such as Wikipedia is highly scalable because user actions involve only simple computations. MMO Games with a static environment such as World of Warcraft require comparatively more computational resources, leading to a drop in scalability. Simulators, particularly military simulators such as SIMNET, are even more “real” than virtual worlds, in that users can interact with the virtual environment (e.g., destroy buildings); the result is even less scalability. Finally, user-designed virtual worlds such as Second Life allow objects to be created, modeled, and scripted by the users at run-time. This flexibility comes with high computational complexity; for example, the resulting scalability of Second Life is on the order of at most 25-30 users per server. If the player-to-server ratio of collaborative software were possible in a net-VE with the flexibility and degree of immersion of virtual worlds, this would allow for a user experience beyond the reach of current systems. (my bolding).

Right now LL is attempting to do things that were described as "beyond the reach of current systems."

So while some things can be really frustrating to deal with, especially things that we think on the surface should be "no brainers," there is a lot they have to deal with to make the system run as smooth as possible for everyone using it.

Personally I find all of this stuff fascinating.