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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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There is a way to control your personal data in Facebook, and that is to use a fictitious name. That way, you connect only to the people you really want to connect with, and not to random, barely remembered people from your past.  No one needs to remember that "Dale Evans McGillicuddy" is your alias if you're in their friend list... especially if you put a real picture of yourself.

Above all, your personal data is perfectly safe, and you have all the facebooky connectedness with the people you really care about.

I realize I am commenting very late on this... but if you read Facebook's Statement of Rights and responsibilities here: http://www.facebook.com/terms.php?ref=pf although you can select a username for your account, you agree "You will not provide any false personal information" and "You will not create more than one personal profile". Keep this in mind.

In order to comply with their terms, personal data is not necessarily perfectly safe from mining since you must provide real data in the first place, or risk termination of your account if it is discovered you have violated the spirit of the agreement between you and Facebook.

This is the fallout of social networking "transparency" on the web.

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How about reverse engineering to a good interface (the old one) on that nasty viewer 2 that NOBODY but the designer likes?

(I discount the little boot lickers that always suck up to LL on the forum)

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OK. Improvements but..

Whether 42 groups or 4200 are allowed is almost totally irrelevant if you have a decent database architecture.

Region crossing of late is more problematic than I have see it in some time.  "No valid agent id" started appearing crossing from my own region to the one next door for no apparent reason.   The reason there is so much handoff overhead is a matter of architecture.  Good to see some of it is cleaned up but a lot more could be.

If I wanted my avatar hooked to my iRL identity I am more than capable of doing so myself.  If I wanted more FB in my SL world I can easily do that now.  That said it would be fantastic if you could connect a SL meeting (local or group chat) so that it was optionally accessible from other chat systems or IRC.  I have hacks to do that with local chat but not with group chat.

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The answer to (Second) Life, The Universe, and Everything is related to "So long and thanks for all the Hippos" not Fish... 

 

The update is nice, but I would have liked to have known how things stand on the Mesh Beta....

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It would be nice if LL would hire someone who could actually fix the Homestead server code so the Time Dialtion is not rubberbanding all the time for every single region on a server.

Why should 15 customers suffer due to one customer's inability to properly manage textures,scripts, and whatever else in their region that causes memory swap?

This is a core process LL has been ignoring for a long time.

Stop blaming the customers!

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ok not to be rude or anything but how do i stop the emails from THIS  alone? I want the emails from my groups and such but i have gotten my answer now so i don't need to have the emails from this anymore.

 

P.S thank you for the VERY VERY VERY helpful info

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It's a bit cumbersome to find, but this is how:

Click your name in the top-right corner of the page. Click 'Manage email notifications' from the 'Actions' menu on the left hand side of your profile. Find the post in question in the list and click the checkbox next to it, and then click 'Remove selected notifications' below the list.

- Luc -

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While you're at it, think you could add more available positions within each group too?

 

Currently each group can only have like, what, 10 different titles.. or is it 9+owner?  Either way, totally insufficent, forcing people to have multiple groups for the same group - just for titles.

 

Otherwise good changes.

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I am excited to hear about the increased groups! Thank you!

My biggest concern with SL in general is lag. In my two years it seems to get worse and worse as the months go by, so I really hope the new changes help with that. My experience will be so much more enjoyable if I can walk .

All the features of  the new viewers sound great, but in all honesty I have never used them because I really do not like the interface of the viewer. I wish there was a way to incorporate all the new stuff without having had to change the look so drastically. I have never posted here before but just wanted to add my two cents because I think a lot of people feel the same way - nice features but why change the design so much. Everything is so small and compacted and I just don't enjoy it. I use Imprudence, and although rezzing is terribly slow and I see grey people, I use it because it's familar and the same basic set up as 1.23. If all the viewers move to the new look/format and there is no other option that resembles the old viewer, I really dont' know if I will be in SL nearly as much because it's just too frustrating to get things done with the new viewer.

Just my opinion/thoughts and I hope it's taken into consideration.  Anyway, thanks for all the hard work and effort because I love my SL! Here's hoping for the best.

P.S. I really hope the improvements work because it's sad to see so many people moving to other virtual communities due to issues like lag, not liking the new viewer, and much MUCH cheaper land tiers along with rediculous amounts of prims (hmm I still wonder about that. I dont think the grass is greener over there and once they get more people all those prims are gonna come back to bite them in the butt in the form of a lag monster). I have friends who left along with businesses. I'd like to see SL carry on for many years and continue to prosper but that's not gonna happen unless the people stay here.

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Maeve - there are many reasons why you may be experienceing this but it sounds like it may be computer-related. Generally lag and 'greyness' has reduced in the last year in sl.  But here are a few practical things you can try:

- Clear your cache

- Make sure you have 'HTTP textures' enabled in Imprudence (and if you hadn't turn it on and clear the cache again)

- Try another viewer - doesn't have to be Viewer 2 - just try another 1.* TPV viewer

- Try another computer - or use your computer at a friend's house if it is portable

Hope some of this may help.

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Thanks for the advice Hitomi. I clear cache regularly but was not aware of the http textures, I will certainly do that.  My pc meets all the requirements but I do think it still has a lot to do with my issues, so eventually I hope to have another one.

Thanks again.

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I use Phoenix and it is so much better than the 2.0 viewers.  You keep coming up with new features that are of no value to me.  Linking to social media on the web is a waste of time for me.

I wish you had really listened to what long time users wanted.  Now they are all on Phoenix, and you waste time on new features for 2.0.

 

I love you guys and I love SL, but 2.0 is a bad viewer in my opinion.

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Con respecto a Grupos

(Mensaje para los desarrolladores del programa Second Life)

Bien por el aumento y es posible que en el futuro lo aumenten más, así no nos sentiremos tan limitados, pero, para alguien que gusta de visitar muchos lugares le resultará muy incomodo tener que cambiar de Grupo cada vez para poder acceder y, si mientras más Grupos hay, más costará encontrarlos. Una idea que podría solucionar esto, es que la selección de Grupos sea automática al ingresar a cada área.

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Your stated deadline for XMPP rollout has come and gone.  I understand that it takes time to do things right, but can you give us an update on status and a new ETA for rollout?

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Hi FJ

Your said in the post "Group Chat System Will Launch Gridwide By March 31st" instead of last december, because of last minute licensing issues. 

But, err.. we're in april now, and the groupchats are still pinging and randomly throwing "error recipient" messages... 

I guess the "last minute licensing issues" have been solved, maybe some other trouble raised since then, but considering how painful the groupchat errors are, it would be nice to have some info and/or agenda...

Thanks.


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