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Ever since I joined SL, people (residents) have been advising me and others to clear their cache every so often. Not only to clear some space, but also to help things run smoother. Now, just last night, I was in a Firestorm support chat, and someone had a question about memory, things being a tad rough, etc. I had suggested they clear their cache every once in awhile. After doing so, I was bombarded with IM's and replies (in chat), hostilely telling me NOT to advise people this, and Firestorm "never suggests anyone EVER clear their cache". A phrase that was given was, "clearing your cache is like throwing away all the good food in your refrigerator".

Just wondering, can someone tell me what is advisable and what's not? For one, I don't want to advise wrong things. Two, I don't understand why I'm being told these two contradicting actions. The only thing I can think of about the comment stated, was that if you illegally use a texture stealer. Then I can understand why clearing your cache would be harmful.
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The discrepancy is largely historical: For years and years and years, the viewer would routinely corrupt its cache. Like, all the time. That happens much less often now.

It still does happen, however, and the "never ever clear cache" religion is just as superstitious as the old cult of clearing cache at the drop of a hat.

Also, there's a popular bit of wishful thinking that what's in cache is of tremendous value to viewer performance. It helps some, sometimes, but if you move around the grid much, the cache's utility is pretty fleeting.

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Hello sweetone14,

Clearing cache generally only resolves issues related to the cache itself, such as textures failing to load. It is not advised at all to clear it to attempt to address performance issues, as the cache is actually meant to improve performance. When you clear it, you are forcing your client to re-download all the data from the sims from scratch, resulting in worse performance and more strain on the servers.

I recommend setting the cache as high as your hard disk allows, and to only clear it when you are sure that your issues are directly related to the cache.

Some people still think it is wise to clear your cache sometimes, as when SL was young, it was known to cause performance issues. However, it is far more stable, and less likely to cause performance issues. So, don't listen to the people who tell you to clear your cache. It's nothing more than snake oil these days.

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Hi, I often feel like yelling at people whose first response to any problem is " clear your cache", but mostly I don`t.

Here`s a snippet from the frirestorm wiki, it applies to all viewers btw:

 

When NOT to clear your cache:

Don't clear cache as a matter of routine maintenance. If there isn't something actually wrong with your cache, then this does nothing beneficial.

Don't clear it for problems unrelated to the cache. It won't help for:

  • teleport issues
  • asset upload issues
  • movement or communication problems
  • most kinds of lag
  • most kinds of crashes
  • a vast majority of bake fails
     
     
     

 

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Thank you all for that. It makes a little better sense now. But in the same turn, even when I do have MINOR issues, such as a friends face texture not loading or something, a quick relog fixes the issue. So... Would you still advise cache clearing for textures not loading? I mean, if it's so helpful to keep (cache).

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sweetone14 wrote:

Thank you all for that. It makes a little better sense now. But in the same turn, even when I do have MINOR issues, such as a friends face texture not loading or something, a quick relog fixes the issue. So... Would you still advise cache clearing for textures not loading? I mean, if it's so helpful to keep (cache).

If someone elses textures are not loading with Firetstorm, click on them, in the Pie Menu, click "more," then ""more,"  then "Tex Refresh."  Can save you from having to relog.

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Another thing to remember about SL is all advice should be taken with a grain of salt.  Everyone has their own idea on what works and what doesn't and in a lot of cases you should find a possible solution and test it to make sure it works for your specific situation, every time.  I clear my cache somewhat regularly like you do and I refuse to be swayed otherwise.  For instance, it doesn't make much sense to me to have a cache full of textures from a single trip to some tacky store I'll never visit again.

Am I misinformed?  Probably.  Do I care?  No.

Do what works.

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My own bugbear is when someone advises another to "do a clean install" when I can see that is unlikely to fix the problem. 

And I am like Janelle in the way that I still clear my cache on a regular basis, maybe not as often as I used to though, because I rarely have the same problems as I used to, since getting my internet service a kick up the botty.

If I feel a cache clear will help someone, and if I feel it will be easier to explain than giving them reams and reams of verbose geek-speak, then a cache clear is what I will advise, whether or no any Firestorm "expert" decides to come down on me like a ton of bricks.

So if you feel a cache clear is appropriate, continue with that advice, but keep an open mind, and work out logically in your head if there is another option to offer someone.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

The discrepancy is largely historical: For years and years and years, the viewer would routinely corrupt its cache. Like, all the time. That happens much less often now.

It still does happen, however, and the "never ever clear cache" religion is just as superstitious as the old cult of clearing cache at the drop of a hat.

This.

The problem is most users are not savvy enough to know when to do it or when not to.

That said the view that what is in cache is valuable is going to get a lot more correct as people download the new viewer update. It will be another 4-5 months before its true for Firestorm users though.

Also, textures failing to load is more often caused by having bad settings between http textures, maxmeshconcurrency, texturefetchconcurrency, rendervolumeLOD, and maybe a few others...

(rendervolumeLOD won't prevent textures from loading, but it might LOOK that way to a user who doesn't understand what they see on screen and just realizes that whatever it is, it is some kind of wrong that for some objects can end up looking similar to a failed texture download.)

 

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"all advice should be taken with a grain of salt".....Sorry to disagree there but it`s just not true, I understand what you say in that there`s so many variables in sl and some fixes work for one where others might not, but "clear cache" as a fix all for everything is outdated and bad advice. I`ve got a lot of good tips from reading these forums and again you`re right that theres some bad advice here too.

Clean install only applies to when you update firestorm as far as I know. Jessica Lyons admitted in one of the firestorm question and answer sessions that the installer doesn`t do a good job of clearing everything out. Personally I`ve done plenty of dirty installs and gotten away with it ....so far.

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SaraCarena wrote:

"all advice should be taken with a grain of salt".....Sorry to disagree there but it`s just not true, I understand what you say in that there`s so many variables in sl and some fixes work for one where others might not, but "clear cache" as a fix all for everything is outdated and bad advice. I`ve got a lot of good tips from reading these forums and again you`re right that theres some bad advice here too.

Clean install only applies to when you update firestorm as far as I know. Jessica Lyons admitted in one of the firestorm question and answer sessions that the installer doesn`t do a good job of clearing everything out. Personally I`ve done plenty of dirty installs and gotten away with it ....so far.

Like you, I live dangerously and don't do clean installs and so far have not been bit.

I would never say never clear cache, nor does the FS team say it either.

It's people using it as a knee jerk fix that is the problem, and if the cache is not the cause then they only create more problems for themselves like a week ago when SL was experiencing network isues.  The number of people who I heard did that during that time was quite high.

There used to be a line on one of the FS trouble shooting pages that said at the end, "After doing this you should be back to normal, whatever normal is this day for Second Life."  :)

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Ummm.....wonder if those networking problems were coz everyone cleared their cache at the same time and stressed the servers re-downloading what they`d already downloaded anyways.....actualy, don`t wonder that....jus saying.

Oh sod it let`s live dangerously and crash sl...everyone clear cache on count of 3

1...

 

 

 

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I am a cache clearing junkie.  When SL messes up, and a relog will not fix it,  I log out, manually remove the cache folder, and log back into a nice quiet linden sim, and wait for my inventory to rebuild.

Why do I do such a thing?  Is a magical cure all?  Of course not, but for me it clears about 90% of my issues.  I don't have many issues, but when I do, it is pretty clearly related to my ISP.  And info gets mangled.  And cache gets corrupted.  (The other 10% are when my settings.xml file gets randomly trashed, same ISP issue).

And it is worth noting at this point that a whole lot of people have connection related problems.  Now if your connection is good enough that it never garbles a packet, it may seem like superstition, clearing the cache as a first reaction.  But if you have a connection like mine, it makes a lot of sense.

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I'm not a cache clearing junkies, and I've literally only done it twice. I don't automatically do it as a fix. I usually just relog and all the issues are fixed. But the times that I HAVE done it, I had the same opinion as some people here. I don't see why I should let the cache have hundreds or thousands of textures from stores, places and homes that I will never go to again. You go to a new club you hear about, download all the 850 textures (that's a tiny club), then never go back. That's lots of space just wasted. That was my thoughts anyhow. I tend to just log in, or relog, and I'm fine. My connection handles pretty much anything. The only thing I can't seem to withstand is medium to large size clubs or places that have more than 15 people in them. Only thing that comes to mind is a script overload. I mean, people dancing, on top of whatever they're wearing, on top of the clubs lights, dance balls, screens, and a number of other things running at once. But maybe my thoughts on that are way off.

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sweetone14 wrote:

I'm not a cache clearing junkies, and I've literally only done it twice. I don't automatically do it as a fix. I usually just relog and all the issues are fixed. But the times that I HAVE done it, I had the same opinion as some people here. I don't see why I should let the cache have hundreds or thousands of textures from stores, places and homes that I will never go to again. You go to a new club you hear about, download all the 850 textures (that's a tiny club), then never go back. That's lots of space just wasted. That was my thoughts anyhow. I tend to just log in, or relog, and I'm fine. My connection handles pretty much anything. The only thing I can't seem to withstand is medium to large size clubs or places that have more than 15 people in them. Only thing that comes to mind is a script overload. I mean, people dancing, on top of whatever they're wearing, on top of the clubs lights, dance balls, screens, and a number of other things running at once. But maybe my thoughts on that are way off.

Actually, you may be on to something here.

I'm very interested now because this sounds very similar to a problem I have.

If I may ask, which Viewer are you using and what if any error messges you are seeing when you crash at a busy club?

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