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An Update on Several Improvements to Second Life

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Linden Lab

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As of today, several projects have reached the Project Viewer stage, and we wanted to share a bit about how you can expect to see your Second Life experience improve with these initiatives.

Graphics Settings Benchmarking:
This is a new way of figuring out the best default graphics settings. Maybe this has happened to you: you got an awesome new graphics card, fired up SL… only to discover your graphics settings are set to Low, and can’t be changed? No more! This Viewer does away with the old GPU table and instead uses a quick benchmark measurement to detect your GPU to assign appropriate default graphics settings on startup. The settings on shiny powerful hardware should really let that hardware shine. Get a Project Benchmark Viewer today and help us gather metrics!  Please file bugs in JIRA if you find them.

Installation and Login screen changes:
A new look for the login screen is coming in stages. We’re tweaking the login screen and A/B testing the results. We’ve simplified the new user login screen to remove distractions, and we’re adding instructions for new downloads and installs. We’re also streamlining the returning user login screen to help you get where you’re going faster - or find a new place to visit. You’re likely to see some incremental changes continue over the coming weeks.

Performance Improvements:
Two complementary projects are going in neck-and-neck:

  • A new texture and mesh asset service (a CDN) is in testing on a limited set of regions, and so far it’s showing encouraging results. Particularly for those who login from places far away from our US data centers, this has the potential to significantly improve how quickly textures and meshes load. In the coming weeks, we will expand the number of regions using this new service as the next step in our testing.

  • We’re also taking the next step with the HTTP project - Pipelining. We will soon put out a viewer that will pipeline HTTP requests for texture and mesh fetches, improve inventory folder and item fetches, and have some general adjustments for using a CDN-enabled grid.

Separately, each of these will improve texture and mesh loading performance, but put together, you should really see some exciting improvements in how long it takes to load new areas and objects - making touring the many fabulous places in Second Life you have not yet visited even better!



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