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Technology Improvements for Q1 Including Raising Group Limit to 42

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FJ Linden

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As we begin 2011, I want to share the progress that we’re making on several important technology enhancements that I discussed in my last post.  As I mentioned, we are focused on improving the overall performance of Second Life while addressing some long standing limitations such as  raising group limits, improving the chat system, and reducing lag.

Group Limits Raised to 42 Today

In October, we committed to increase group limits from the current 25 up to 40 in the first quarter of 2011. As of today, group limits have been raised to 42! To add groups beyond the previous limit of 25, you must be using Viewer  2.4 (or a more recent version). And if you’re still using Viewer 1.23, or a third-party viewer based on Viewer 1.23 code, then you can add more groups in Viewer 2.4 and they will still be accessible when you switch back to Viewer 1.23.

That said, if there is an unexpected load, then we may need to lower the group limitation to maintain acceptable performance levels across the grid. If we decide to do that, then any Residents who have up to 42  groups will not lose their memberships. But, other Residents will not be able to exceed the new limit.

Group Chat System Will Launch Gridwide By March 31st

We were set to deploy a prototype of the new group chat system in December, but last minute licensing issues were found with our chosen open source library. Now that a solution is in place, we expect to have the prototype available by the end of this month and an industry standard and high performing group chat system available by the end of this quarter.

Performance Improvements When Teleporting and Crossing Regions

As you teleport, or cross regions, all of your avatar data (often a very  large amount of data) needs to be processed by both source and destination regions. In order to streamline this process, we are now compressing avatar information, making your teleports and region crossings faster and more reliable. In fact, we’ve found that teleport failures, due to avatar complexity, have dropped 40%. See the graph below for a more detailed view showing how much we’ve shortened region crossing time.

region_crossing_compression_2011_01_11.jpg

Viewer 2.5 Beta Releasing Soon

We will soon launch the latest version of the Second Life Viewer -- Viewer 2.5 Beta. In addition to more performance and stability improvements, we’ve added enhanced web-based profiles, accessible both on the web and in the Viewer. And, if you wish, you can even connect your Second Life profile to other social identities including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn! You will also have the option in Preferences to choose your first inworld destination from the saved Landmarks in your Favorites Bar. This is very handy when you need to get to a specific destination quickly.

Also, one of the most important new features added to Viewer 2.4 was the auto-updater capability. If you're using Viewer 2.4 or higher, then you won’t be inconvenienced by the notification and download process when we release a new Viewer.

Planning to Implement Significant Grid Infrastructure Enhancements in 2011

We’re planning significant grid infrastructure enhancements throughout the year including technologies to speed server-side rendering (SSR) and server virtualization (web and simulator services). We are also exploring new storage and asset delivery systems. Some of the benefits will not always be noticeable, but they are foundational platform changes that set the stage for rapid performance and scalability improvements. We will continue to keep you updated as we roll out these systems.

I’m pleased with the progress that we made across the platform last year and I'm looking ahead to newer technologies that we will deploy in 2011 to enhance your Second Life experience. As always, I'll be watching for your feedback and thank you for making Second Life such an amazing place.

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Ouch!

They're taking a huge gamble, aiming for the mobile market. If they can pull that off they're not really competing with SL. But they can't afford to fail.

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And lastly, Facebook, My Space Et all.  Never been there. Couldn't care less about them. Twitter? why would anyone care that Joe is eating a sandwich and watching football ATM? Why would I want to go to Twiter to see that Joe's avatar is dancing at club Somewhere and he is eating a sandwich?

I personally don't want anything to do with all that facebook and twitter stuff either, probably cos i do not have the need to share unimportant insignificant stuff to the whole world all the time. I wont go further then the occasional forum/blog post

Still, all those social media sites are very popular. So if LL thinks they can bring in fresh residents by promoting and linking to those sites then I am all for it. As long they do not make it mandatory to join those sites and do not bother me with those sites.

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The Improvements sound great.. But March for group chat to be fixed? Eeek. I just find the process a little backwards. What good does it do to be in a bunch of groups that you can not have a decent conversation in?

Any word on fixing group loading and member maping on groups over 20,000 members? Groups basicly become unuseful and unable to manage if over a certain amount of members. I have to create several groups just for 1 group to be able to properly manage it.

Heh The important functions of collaboration tools should be the top priortiy And Quantity of groups second

Somehow I see this putting more load on current group chat system currently in place

 

But great to se a little progress and Upcoming Features....

Peace to All

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And lastly, Facebook, My Space Et all.  Never been there. Couldn't care less about them. Twitter? why would anyone care that Joe is eating a sandwich and watching football ATM? Why would I want to go to Twiter to see that Joe's avatar is dancing at club Somewhere and he is eating a sandwich?

I personally don't want anything to do with all that facebook and twitter stuff either, probably cos i do not have the need to share unimportant insignificant stuff to the whole world all the time. I wont go further then the occasional forum/blog post

Still, all those social media sites are very popular. So if LL thinks they can bring in fresh residents by promoting and linking to those sites then I am all for it. As long they do not make it mandatory to join those sites and do not bother me with those sites.

Well, wouldn't it be nice to read on Twitter you are AFK because you are sitting on the toilet? And then read if you've been successful or not?

Anyway, I thought this Viewer 2 thingy with all the Facebook and Twitter bling bling was aimed at those social web people!? Didn't work out, eh?

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No meshes again, no multi-texturing again, no cloth physics ... I'm fully disappointed.

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ha-ha-ha, very funny.

I'm reading the title : "Technology improvements for Q1", and what I see here? 42 groups? Yep, great improvement. Lag reducing? Its not the technology improvement, this is DUTY. What else they plan to give us in these 3 month? Facebook and twitter. Yeah, we are waiting fb for so long time.

Technology improvements are : support all the today, oh no, not today, yesterday standards for 3D game content. Moreover all these features are supported by HAVOC 7 game engine. But instead this we will obtain FB connect. For the world where in "First life" profile section users write something like "I separate RL from SL". Very nice and long time waited feature.

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>>> As of today, group limits have been raised to 42! To add groups beyond the previous limit of 25, you must be using Viewer  2.4<<<

I just gave it a try: I use 25 groups and the actual SL Viewer 2.4. When I tried to add one more group, I got the message, that I can not have more than 25 groups.

So unfortunately the increase of group limit is only on paper so far.

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Performance Improvements When Teleporting and Crossing Regions...


um....What's up with all the new "No valid agent id" errors when I cross region boundaries?

I end up partially disconnected or in a demi-crashed state and have to reboot.  This is happening at least once a day on my own land now.

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Your not liein Quirk .. i wish theyd go back to reg interface & improve that viewer ..

I FEEL soo bad i cant even Help Newbies with things, cause they are useing v2 and

I wont touch that viewer with a 10ft pole :/      I felt like I was in a Tunnel few times I logged on there .

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When I log onto SL I cannot see my avatar just a white oval not a cloud an oval like when your messing with the paint program on windows, everybody else can see me but I can't. And some of the other people appear as white oval's as well not all of the people just a few. What can I do?  I already uninstalled it and reinstalled SL I tried both firefox and internet explorer, It was working fine yesterday now its not what should I do.

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Hmmm....Guessing I must not be that much of a "joiner"... 3.5 years here and I've yet to have more than 20 (I think) groups.

Sim crossing improvements yay!

Keeping inventory in 4 digits has always helped that.

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Randi hit the nail on the head-'His' paranoia is palpable due to the fact he cheats on his family and son--several can attest to his 'goals' of lining up RL meetings.

SL is just a forum to meet and greet and don't confuse it with the real world. But also don't use it as your personal dating pool to use women for your personal gain and then scream on here I MUST HIDE or THE TWO CANNOT MEET!

Do us a favor and grow up-or is it the fact your 'balls' in SL are as fake as your RL ones.

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Please clarify that your are NOT talking about ME being a cheater....because I have no clue who you are and I simply cannot be a cheater for the simple fact that I live alone RL and have been single for 3 years.And I keep to myself on SL and build, thats all I do. I hardly EVER leave my sim.

Your post makes it sound like you're talking about me. Please clarify exactly who you are talking about here. I believe you're talking about Varian, but it doesn't look that way.

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Randi hit the nail on the head-'His' paranoia is palpable due to the fact he (abusive and unverifiable statement redacted)

If you'd bothered to read the post I was replying to, you might have noticed that Randi was arguing the exact opposite - that she has nothing to hide, and thinks those of us that prefer not to link our RL & SL must be criminals or immoral. Without debating her concept of morality, I was trying to point out that there can be other reasons.


SL is just a forum to meet and greet and don't confuse it with the real world. But also don't use it as your personal dating pool to use women for your personal gain and then scream on here I MUST HIDE or THE TWO CANNOT MEET!

Oddly, Randi didn't argue that, nor did I. I'm wondering what post you think you read...

And, SL may only be 'just a forum to meet and greet' to you. (You'll find that much easier on Facebook or Twitter or Foursquare, or even on older services such as Usenet or IRC.) But to many of us, it's a virtual world in which we can create and learn and play.

Your last line (omitted) is only abuse, of course. But I can't help wondering who it's aimed at. Perhaps you have a problem with your eyesight.

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Unless you're running a Mac, then your "new tech" crashes every 5 minutes.

Even on a Windows box, until these things can be performed with the same ease as V1, there's no way most of us who actually perform these tasks will move to V2:

Hosting Events

Being a DJ

Playing Live Music

Building

Operating an Entertainment Venue

Operating a Retail Business

Operating an Estate

Scripting

As you see, those that attract people to SL and provide the content for the masses to enjoy are the ones left to adjust to all those bad decisions by the Lab Policymakers.

I am enjoying the server improvements - and when Kelly gets back we hopefully *fingers crossed* will get the now-failed MONO project fixed (finally) so we can start having large events and less script lag again. This will be a huge deal, fixed only 2 years after we started having problems with it...

As much as we've seen things start to move in the right direction after Kingdon was booted out, there's a long way to go before I'm convinced policy is being made by competent leadership.

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My biggest concern here, what with all the childrens bein' allowed in and all:

Is anything being done about profile ratings?  This conversion to a new, web-based system seems like a great opportunity to let us voluntarily censor ourselves by rating parts of our profiles PG/Mature/Adult, or even "Private" or "Friends Only" like many of the social networks you're emulating.

Would be great for anyone with stakes in an adult business, or who have information regarding adult activities in their profiles (whether it's advertising "services," or just a funny quote that's fine for adults, but really shouldn't be seen by the kiddies).

I know this has already been done for the Classifieds, but are we going to see anything for the rest of the fields/tabs?  Or the opportunity to provide alternate PG/Mature/Adult versions of certain fields, depending on who's viewing the profile?  Imagine someone with adult and non-adult business, who wants to use their Picks section, or their main profile page, to explain relevant information?  They might not want non-age-verified users to just see "CENSORED."

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Yeah, theres a great many profiles I've seen that have stuff clearly not suitable for RL kids to see.  Some of it in the About: and 1st Life: fields, some of it in Picks and stuff.... and quite a lot of this probably in profiles belonging to ppl who haven't logged in since dirt was in beta.  Awhile back, I came across a Brazilian lady in world who had in her 1st Life pane, a PHOTO of (presumably) herself.... with her privates plainly seen, and her 1st Life photo was of her and some other naked people.  I remember looking at that and thinking "Gee, I'm not offended myself, but some RL kid's mother or father is going to have a conniption fit if they see that over their kid's shoulder!"

For 7 or 8 years, SL maingrid was specifically limitted to 18+, and all those gazillions of parcel and sim descriptions, profiles, and whatnot were written accordingly.  It is going to take a LONG time for all that stuff to get weeded out.  It would make sense for all prior-to-the-changeover-to-teens-here profiles to be made hidden by default, at least to RL teens, until each individual user manually changes the flag back to visible again, presumably after he's taken anything adult-ish out of his profile.

And, on a different note.... WHY the bleepity bleep does this blog STILL default to you receiving email notices of every post here after you post?  I have to come in every time and turn it OFF again!  I want to turn it off and have it STAY off!

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Officially allowing the teens in before dealing with profiles is part of the reason why I say the whole business is irresponsible, the main grid is not a suitable environment for minors and LL have done nowhere near enough or worked hard enough to make it so.

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Great news about the groups! I'm always having to leave groups every day and go through the nuisance of rejoining them again, even my own groups for land and activities, because of the limitations. So this will really be a huge boon! Thanks! In fact, I'm surprised not to see more gratitude here because people have asked for this for years, furiously. Guess it's the rising tide of expectations!

I realize you are following the stampede everywhere on all the platforms to increase traffic and sales by linking Facebook. But I do wonder if these new web profiles can EASILY be an OPT-OUT or even better, an OPT-IN (always preferable) for *Google*.

Currently, avatar profiles show up in Google. Do they have to? Yes, there is a check mark that I know can be eventually accessed to shut this off. But is it really easy for everyone, especially new people?

For all those preparing their little lectures to the effect "Don't go on the Internet if you don't like exposure," um, no, I don't need to do this. I'm all over the Internet, with my blogs, and with my RL and SL unfortunately linked (because of vicious people long ago on the forums who forcibly linked me, so I've had to resign myself to it).

The reason I ask is that recently, as you must know, there was a lapse and an exploit. Hidden groups that people checked off as hidden as founders/owners, i.e. groups that *themselves* are not in inworld search (as distinct from any group that an individual may chose to hide on his profile) were suddenly visible via the web -- and visible in Google. This was fixed within a day, but still, it's disturbing. Second Life is a world; it is not a web page. If we wanted to be on web pages, we'd be on Facebook or a forums.

The other issue I have to raise (since I continue to be arbitrarily blocked from the JIRA) is the loading of groups. In a word -- they don't. The chat issue is one thing -- but name lists and land are yet another.

Currently, in groups with lots of land and lots of people (I have about 600 in one of my largest, and about a  quarter million meters or so in it), the list of people are never searchable by alphabet. I can type in a person's name in the box, and even if they are in the group, they will not return as a search answer. I can sort by alphabet and try to search, but the group hangs, shows blanks, and sometimes then finally aligns, but often is unusable.

The land also never loads so you can see if all the tier is covered and tell when someone has pulled or added a donation. It says and never shows.

So how do you think that will go with 42 groups -- will the land groups also load?

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Yes, I insist on having open groups.

There should be a toggle -- invite only or open.

The one boon I would like is to have the ability to ban people even from open-membership groups. I'd like to keep the convenience of open groups for the majority of people who are law-abiding, but still be able to keep out frequent-flyer griefers who just join open groups "because they can" to be annoying.

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