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Recent updates to the group chat system


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1 hour ago, Solar Legion said:

Not idle chatter

This,.especially in store groups, is why I finally disabled nearly ALL group chat.  Heaven forbid I actually had a pertinent question about something.  The chat was often full of chit chat with nothing to do with the group.  This isn't how I remember in years ago.  Moderators would discourage idle chatter.  Some groups ended up turning it off altogether.  It was never intended as a place to do your socializing.

 

 

 

 

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@Solar LegionIt was a gentle joke at your and Caithlynn's bantering.  No offence was meant so do not take any.  Your are not the only one to find CaithLynn's remarks "offputting"!!

As to group chat, it was so bad at stages tonight that I am sure someone was down in the belly of the beast "Banging on things". At one point I was moved to raise a ticket on the matter on Firestorm Support English's behalf, since only myself and one moderator could make the damn thing work, and intermittently at that.

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1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

This,.especially in store groups, is why I finally disabled nearly ALL group chat.  Heaven forbid I actually had a pertinent question about something.  The chat was often full of chit chat with nothing to do with the group.  This isn't how I remember in years ago.  Moderators would discourage idle chatter.  Some groups ended up turning it off altogether.  It was never intended as a place to do your socializing.

 

 

 

 

@Rowan Amore Is the ability to disable group chat a Firestorm feature? I use the LL Viewer and I don't see that feature, the only thing I see possible, is disabling group notices.

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Tok Takeda said:

@Rowan Amore Is the ability to disable group chat a Firestorm feature? I use the LL Viewer and I don't see that feature, the only thing I see possible, is disabling group notices.

 

 

I have no idea as I haven't used the official LL viewer in years.  Sorry.  I don't disable from preferences but in the about group window.

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58 minutes ago, Tok Takeda said:

@Rowan Amore Is the ability to disable group chat a Firestorm feature? I use the LL Viewer and I don't see that feature, the only thing I see possible, is disabling group notices.

 

 

I disable group chat for each individual store group (and any others I don't need chat from) in both Firestorm and Catznip.  I Don't know about the LL viewer.

Group chats keep turning back on and I turn them off again as I receive any group chat I don't want.

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I believe that this a very difficult time for both LL and its users. For many years now, SL has been slowly growing out of its clothes as extra facilities have been bolted in and users find ever more uses for things. Fortunatley, the clothes have been stretching to accomodate this, but now they are tearing at the seams and ripping apart. The need for some pretty major overhauls seems to have arrived - just as staffing levels are reduced? 

Given that premium members have taken a damn near 30% hike in annual charges while watching performance sliding downwards, its no surprise that annoyance amonst users is swelling - for one reason or another. The new Linden Homes have been a big hit but it's hard to appreciate that when everything else seems to be letting things down. I've no doubt that LL aren't exactly having a ball at the moment either!

The one big thing that would help, in my opinion, is better information being pushed out. There may well be things that LL need to keep under wraps for the time being - it would be great if there were! But resolution of issues that are affecting day-to-day usage really would maybe benefit from better and more widely promulgated explanations. It shouldn't fall on forum members to have to defend what is going on (or not!).

Right now though, users need hope.

Edited by Odaks
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  • Administrators

I really shouldn't need to remind folks at this point, but here it is anyways.

Let's not derail topics with arguments between each other, we have a private messaging system for that, but really we encourage you to just ignore each other if it comes to that point.

I am not going to lock this thread, I do however expect that I won't have to return to clean up more posts after this because every post will be on topic, and appropriate in its response.

-Tommy Linden

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I don't know if it helps but I have a few suggestion:

- Add a option to disable sending notices to offline group members not every group needs to inform offline members.

- Disable sending group notices for users who is inactive in SL for long period of time.

- Add option to limit people who receives group IM (only moderators can see group chat message and reply it via IM) this will help support only groups with staff members who does not want "random volunteer help" also reduce chat IM traffic. This is how actual support system works on websites you click on chat bar ask your question and authorized staff can reply but others cant see what you are writing.

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This is only my opinion but I would rather LL spend the development effort on a new chat system feature that can cope with the volume rather than adding extra features to the existing chat - even if it is to try to mitigate chat volume issues.  Those are good feature ideas but I would like to see them on a fit for purpose chat system not as a band aid to the existing one.

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On 4/5/2021 at 11:12 PM, Maestro Linden said:

I would expect this change to remain in place in medium term - there are currently no plans to revert it.  That said, I would not declare the change as ”permanent” - group chat will continue to evolve as Linden Lab evaluates its performance and tweaks the design.

Instead of baring everyone but moderators to receive the list of the group IMs participant, what about updating that list as a slow trickle (group server load permitting), serving first people who do post in the group session (so that at least they receive the full list every few minutes or so) ?

Also, I believe that at least the moderators list should be transmitted to everyone (it is important to know who are the online moderators if you get grieved, for example).

Finally, the Cool VL Viewer has, for years, been adding automatically posting group members to the ”speakers” panel list when they are missing: such a feature could be added to other viewers as well, so that at least all people who posted in the group are (locally) listed for everyone.

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On 4/5/2021 at 8:36 PM, Maestro Linden said:

The Second Life group chat servers has been modified so that large group (over 10 online at once) will work so that only moderators get the full list of everyone online.   Non-moderators now only see online moderators listed in the group chat participants list, for large groups.   Groups with 10 or fewer users online should not be affected by this change.

@Henri Beauchamp At least part of your requirement is precisely what LL are doing.

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  • Lindens

Re:  "Uplift is done."  While it's true we managed to move out of our old place, we now find ourselves in a new apartment surrounded by stuff still in moving boxes and slowly realizing some of our old decorating choices really haven't aged well.  Not an excuse but it is where we are.

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5 hours ago, Monty Linden said:

Re:  "Uplift is done."  While it's true we managed to move out of our old place, we now find ourselves in a new apartment surrounded by stuff still in moving boxes and slowly realizing some of our old decorating choices really haven't aged well.  Not an excuse but it is where we are.

So it's like dragging with you the 78 nova you promised your wife you would finish one day and now that you gotten rid of it, you realized you needed parts off of it.     

 

 

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Alright, here we go again. I was happier not to come to the Forums for a while since Oz retired, since seeing these misleading, false, or directly lying, or largely incompetent and useless posts is more than disappointing. Oz at least answered questions and tried to help. Without that help, there's not much to hope, but what is enough, is enough, so it has to be addressed.

 

I mostly stayed away from complaining here because at least I was less affected by these technical issues. Of course there is no usable world map, I wrote long pages on that so who cares. Teleport failures and group chat issues were mostly resolved in the last months, though, at least since those "Group chat and agent presence" maintenances were done from time to time, group chat of most groups worked fine. Until this last one which didn't do anything else but just cut a useful function. And thanks to today's rolling restarts and the latest simulator server version, now I don't get any group chat conversations again, and if I open one and try to send a message, IT DOESN'T SHOW. If I log in with an alt to test it, even in my own group with only my main and the alt in it, the alt can receive and send messages properly (and I can see it on the main - however, only if I opened the group chat manually first - but whatever I say with my main won't be visible on my screen, only for my alt. HELLO, Linden Lab, you have resolved this issue in last October, why is it suddenly back? This has been an issue since last August, multiple accounts got affected by it, and it got sorted out entirely until late November, when you started doing those agent presence related maintenance sessions. Did you forget what you fixed back then, and how, and did you manage to accidentally revert it? Or intentionally, to see how much trouble you can cause again? There is a reason I have to keep saying all you keep doing since last November is nothing more than DAMAGE. This situation with not only the intentional blocking of the participant lists from being sent, but bringing back an issue that was resolved for almost 6 months, is the perfect example of that.

 

It also shows that blocking the participant list from being sent was an absolutely unnecessary move, and it doesn't prevent group chat from being entirely broken. Maybe it even contributes to it. More likely you managed to break something else during the rolling restarts today, but how would we even know? If we look at the release notes https://releasenotes.secondlife.com/simulator/2021-03-31.557694.html it only says "This release contains some internal tweaks." Really? And what kind of tweaks? Is this just pure laziness, not writing proper details in these notes lately, or are we considered so dumb by the Lab that we wouldn't understand it anyway, so why would you let us know what you are tweaking - and breaking - this time?

 

Many people in SL seek and provide help in groups, through group chat conversations. I'm one of those, on the providing side. How am I supposed to help someone with an issue, if I can't see when they ask something in a group? I usually even leave my avi logged in all day long, even if I'm not at home, so when I get time to read group chat later, I can even return to people with unresolved issues hours later. I can't do that if I don't get those messages delivered. Did anyone at the Lab think about this??? That we need that working group chat system, and the excuses and failing attempts are more than enough at this point? Or even a better question: If group chats were working properly in March (because they were), why did you have to keep tweaking the service further?

 

Also, hello, why don't you listen to what we're telling you? We've been suggesting since last August, with proof, that all these issues - failing teleports, failing sim crossings, errors thrown on sim crossings (vehicle out-of-sync), failing group chat and IM delivery, failing to retrieve parcel details from an adjacent region, "very slow asset loading", agent info not getting retrieved after a sim crossing or teleport, regions being inaccessible while showing parcel info of a random other region on the map - are caused because when you changed things to prepare the simulators for the Uplift, the simulator servers started to communicate erroneously, between each other, the agent presence service, and the clients, and so the simulators and certain services like group chat and IM delivery don't know that the agent is online, and the message has to be sent, or in other cases, the simulator doesn't recognize the agent being there after a teleport or crossing. Oz eventually confirmed some of these, but still, we can't see any improvement on any field. Vehicles are still throwing errors on crossings because they can't find the driver, region corner crossings instantly unsit the driver because the handoff is just too fast, regions, both Mainland and private, get knocked out randomly with apparently no reason, sometimes you have to wait several minutes before you can open the details of a parcel, and hey, how great, now group chat is just as bad as it was in last autumn! I wasn't able to participate in any group chat for 2 weeks back then, for some people it took more than a month! Will it take so long to fix this again? Or longer? Like the world map?

 

In addition, picks from what Maestro said, and opinions, questions in regard:

 

On 4/5/2021 at 9:36 PM, Maestro Linden said:

Last week, we updated the group chat servers in Second Life, with a change designed to improve the performance of the chat service.

It's good to know it was at least designed to improve things. It didn't improve anything. As others above commented as well, group chats were working properly before that maintenance. Now, there's not only the participant lists missing, but people are not getting ANY GROUP CHAT CONVERSATIONS AND CANNOT SEND MESSAGES IN ANY GROUP CHAT CONVERSATIONS AGAIN. Wake up.

 

On 4/5/2021 at 9:36 PM, Maestro Linden said:

Second Life has historically listed all the people online in a group or ad-hoc chat session.  In an effort to improve overall chat performance, we have limited when these updates are sent.

You limited these updates because you can't figure out what is causing the issues in the first place. So you decided to cut seemingly not essential functions in hopes of magically getting some good results. No wonder it doesn't work. It doesn't even work in the way you expect it to work. For a few hours last Sunday, we were able to see the entire list of the participants in groups of any size that we weren't moderators of. After that, the limit seemed to be around 1000 members. And only then went down to 10. However, just an hour ago when I was suddenly disconnected from my home region when it went down to restart without a restart warning and timer, and I managed to log back into another region that was online, and I opened the chat of a group with over 3000 members, the entire participant list of the chat got sent to my viewer. It didn't do any good or bad though, what I wrote in the chat, I couldn't see. Great job, it really tells you guys know your stuff over there.

 

On 4/5/2021 at 9:36 PM, Maestro Linden said:

No, regular chat messages are unaffected by this change - any group member with the "Join Group Chat" ability will be able to participate in group chat just as before.

If regular chat messages aren't going to be affected by this, then why am I not getting any group chats and am unable to see my messages sent in any group chat I open myself, since the rolling restarts? Group chats were working just fine before 14:00 SLT. Since I was disconnected by the fabulously done restart, nothing.

 

On 4/5/2021 at 9:36 PM, Maestro Linden said:

Broadcasting the online members list has been a significant performance drain on the group chat service, particularly for large groups.  Prior to this change, the volume of messages required to inform chat participants of all other members' online/offline transitions dwarfed the volume of actual chat messages sent in groups.  When the group chat service experiences performance issues, chat messages can be severely delayed in delivery, or dropped completely.

This change was driven by the belief that it is more important to be able to send and receive messages in a chat session rather than view the full list of participants, especially when the list of participants is very large.

You have one point on that. In really large groups, the full list of the chat participants is rather useless, especially since the viewer cuts that list anyway (100 names by default if you don't change that setting, I believe). Also, it is probably rather rare you would directly have to search for someone that isn't a moderator, if you aren't one yourself. It is usually good to know who you are talking to, even in a group, though. You know, it is a community thing, knowing who you are speaking to, instead of talking to the wall, like here on the Forums. The real problem comes in another aspect, though: Just like now, in this reproduced situation from last year, where certain accounts (like mine) don't get ANY group chats delivered at all, and can't see their own messages once they try to do so, we now can't even see if the group chat should work! When the participant list normally gets sent to your viewer, if there is a routing error, you don't see the participant list in a conversation you opened. If the participant list might be empty on your side by default, since there isn't any moderator online and participating in that chat, you can't tell the difference! It's just shooting yourself in the leg again with this move, since nothing actually improved by it, but we lost a function that was, if nothing else, a good diagnostics tool when something was wrong with a group conversation. And of course, it was another good move in the progress of ruining the community, to prevent people from seeing who they are talking to. But oh well, it's not a surprise, you don't know or care about the community anyway.

 

On 4/5/2021 at 11:12 PM, Maestro Linden said:

I would expect this change to remain in place in medium term - there are currently no plans to revert it.  That said, I would not declare the change as "permanent" - group chat will continue to evolve as Linden Lab evaluates its performance and tweaks the design.

In your carefully engineered language, does this mean we can expect more function cuts in exchange of better perf... oh, no, I mean, in exchange of MUCH WORSE performance, like this situation now with not getting any group chat at all?

 

Oh and hey, please fix the map too, we've been waiting 5 months for that as well. Wake up.

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As of today the situation has grown so bad that groups are being forced to use notices to communicate. People are giving up.  In this age of cell phone calls and texts around the world, Zoom, Instagram, etc.  Linden Labs can not provide a reasonable communication system for the residents.  I was led to believe nearly 15 years ago that the residents created this world. But back then we were at least able to communicate.  I know group chat was broken some times in those days but we didn't have anyone telling us it had be uplifted(fixed) and then have it crash so badly.  And don't even get me started on the maps.  Seriously, how much longer do you expect us to pay higher premium memberships and bring USD's  in here??

 

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