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It is indeed so bad it is not even worth haranguing Lindens any more. 

The ones remaining really are not up to the job of renovating the partly broken SL systems that have become so obviously in need of work since thw uplift to AWS.

I think Oz can count his lucky stars that he retired when he did.  I suspect the road back to a fully functional SL will be a long and bumpy one.

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I see people blaming the uplift for the group chat system and I can understand that association for them but in reality this problem has been going on since long before the uplift happened.  The groups I am in had exactly the problems that we are seeing today way back then.  There has been some variance in the severity since then with things working in a half-assed fashion for a bit and then going back to being totally borked but that is still the case even now.

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Yet no one wants to hear (let alone acknowledge) that the problems with Groups/Group Chat are primarily caused by their misuse.

Were it doable, a secondary system ought to be put into place for all non-land management related Group functions while leaving the existing Group system intact. There is no need to yank the existing Group Chat system out in such an instance as it would be relegated to its initial, intended functions.

Like so very much over the years Second Life has been around, this is a problem caused both by the Lab and the users. The Lab for not foreseeing how the Group and Group Chat system would be used and the users for the direction of (mis)use that was taken.

ETA: For clarity on the additional system, it should include its own Chat and be purpose built for social interaction and all other functions the existing system was never meant to actually fill.

Edited by Solar Legion
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AAAAARRRRRGGG!!!  I've been noticing this highly useful feature not working and thinking there was a new bug.  I would never have suspected anyone would have removed this on purpose - I use the membership list in groups all the time!  I kind of depend on it.

Reading the other comments, it sounds like the thing that someone was trying to fix didn't really get fixed by sacrificing it anyway.  But even if there was something gained, I don't get why you would have to go from one extreme - sending out update messages to everyone any time every other single member in the chat group logged in and out - to the other extreme - no update messages other than moderators ever at all.  Couldn't a server somewhere collect a list of currently logged-in group members and periodically update everyone?  The updates could be sent less often in the more extreme usage conditions.  Our group chat membership lists wouldn't necessarily be accurate at any given time but at least we'd have _something_ that was hopefully when a few minutes or some time period of being accurate.

 

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I'm not one for using group chat a lot, but on occasion I have needed help with an item and the people in the groups were very helpful. As of yesterday, I can no longer use group chat, it opens, I post and it never comes up. I hope this does get fixed, as it will be hard for other that need to help on an item to get it, and it's so odd to be inworld and group chat NEVER pops up. Too quiet for me. LOL.

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Things have been improved to the point of near uselessness with Group Chat.  Things have been improved whereby we don't even get the courtesy of the system telling us that our message has been munched.

 

This should be simple.  I would think it is Open Chat with an alternate list-look-up

...you have a list of who in the group is on-line

...you accept a message from Chat Group-linked chat box

...you turn around and send that message to everyone in the on-line group (that wishes to receive Group Chat posts).

This just a 'strip and print' routine.  Nothing is being processed other than Group List/on-line status/Group Chat Post status

 

Is Group Chat more difficult than EEP?

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On 4/14/2021 at 3:13 AM, Solar Legion said:

Yet no one wants to hear (let alone acknowledge) that the problems with Groups/Group Chat are primarily caused by their misuse.

Were it doable, a secondary system ought to be put into place for all non-land management related Group functions while leaving the existing Group system intact. There is no need to yank the existing Group Chat system out in such an instance as it would be relegated to its initial, intended functions.

Like so very much over the years Second Life has been around, this is a problem caused both by the Lab and the users. The Lab for not foreseeing how the Group and Group Chat system would be used and the users for the direction of (mis)use that was taken.

ETA: For clarity on the additional system, it should include its own Chat and be purpose built for social interaction and all other functions the existing system was never meant to actually fill.

@Solar Legion You keep on banging on about the group chat system not being capable of what the users are using it for. You put part of the "blame" at LL and rather baffling at the end users. I don't follow that logic. If the end users seemingly misuse this function, don't you think LL had roughly 18 years now to make the group chat system more robust and... i don't know... look at how the users use the system and anticipate for that? Isn't that the line of business LL is in? Providing a service to its users?

 

While the argument you make was true in the beginning of SL, it can't be excused in 2021 to still limp along on ancient code or how it was meant to be back then when todays usage of it isn't up to what it is actually used for.

 

The argument you make blows my mind. We're all abusing the group chat system... Incredible...

 

 

Oh and LL, keep your pants on, i'm not "attacking" anyone in this post, well, maybe you just a little bit. but calling out your failures you see as "attacking" regardless, so lose lose really.

 

mindblown.gif

Edited by CaithLynnSayes
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Just pay Discord to run the back end chat service, they seem able to manage chat rooms with thousands of people in and manage presence notifications (and various other things).  To be honest a whole bunch of technologies that achieve this have come and gone over the decade and a half (and then some) that group chat has been unreliable.

 

(Edit: Yes, not entirely a serious suggestion, Discord likely doesn't run a service in a way that could be used as a subcontracting service for another system entirely, so everyone would have to register and bind discord accounts and probably other things, point more is how frequently other solutions have managed to cope with all these issues while group chat has barely progressed despite its obvious repeated issues)

Edited by Iain Maltz
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On 4/14/2021 at 3:13 AM, Solar Legion said:

Yet no one wants to hear (let alone acknowledge) that the problems with Groups/Group Chat are primarily caused by their misuse.

Were it doable, a secondary system ought to be put into place for all non-land management related Group functions while leaving the existing Group system intact. There is no need to yank the existing Group Chat system out in such an instance as it would be relegated to its initial, intended functions.

There is one thing that I feel like I have to ask about this argument of yours, because it is either only unclear to me, or there's some lack of connection between your argument and the current issues. So if the "intended use" of groups was only land management, then why are group features virtually unlimited? Yes, I know, there is no such thing as "unlimited" in reality, there will be some processing or storage limit eventually. However, the group system wasn't designed with limits. All limits have been apparently implemented one by one when the Lab determined it would be necessary to do, like the recent changes now, the limit of 5000 members above which the member list doesn't get sent to non-moderators, the group notices only kept for 14 days, etc. The group notices are interesting in particular, because earlier this year (I think it was in January, and lasted until the first week of February) the 14 days expiration limit wasn't imposed, and group notices were kept from even last December. I would even imagine the notices are kept forever on the servers anyway, they just don't get unnecessarily sent to all members when they call the list of past group notices. Same with group proposals. Where are they? Have they ever been implemented at all? It exists, though, so if groups are only meant for land management, what would a group use the voting system for? To decide if they wanted a potted plant or a small statue at the entrance of a clubhouse?

To me it seems like the group system has been designed to be robust and able to deal with anything the users would try to use it, but obviously not in a volume of 70000 people in a group, with 2000 of them online at the same time. Prove me wrong though, if you have the resources to show us the groups were really only meant for land management and nothing else, I am eager to see that.

Another thing that just doesn't check out with this concept is, if we stick to the logic of "land management groups as the intentional use of the group system", then land management groups should keep working fine, and only those groups that misuse the service would fail, like you could use the chat of a small group with no issues, but the chat of a huge group would constantly fail. This is not the case. It doesn't really matter how large the group is, and how many members are online that would become the active participants once one member initiates a chat session. The issue has an entirely different root as it seems. I also doubt LL would think the same way, because in that case they'd tell us to go use Discord or anything else, instead of forcing group chat to work as we want, and it is definitely not the case, they want it to work just like we do. I'll paste the Jira bug report I made earlier today, and Maestro managed to sort it out as much that I can receive group chat properly again. His comment is more interesting there, which can actually take us closer to understand what is going on when things are failing. I believe that is still just the tip of the iceberg, but you have to make the first step somehow. https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-230576

Edited by AlettaMondragon
mixed up two words in a very funny way that needed to be corrected...
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2 hours ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

@Solar Legion You keep on banging on about the group chat system not being capable of what the users are using it for. You put part of the "blame" at LL and rather baffling at the end users. I don't follow that logic. If the end users seemingly misuse this function, don't you think LL had roughly 18 years now to make the group chat system more robust and... i don't know... look at how the users use the system and anticipate for that? Isn't that the line of business LL is in? Providing a service to its users?

I think the issue here is that the devs designed the group system around land management and that's why each region is handling the groups instead of a centralised server (if I got that right from previous readings) and so by design it isn't meant to scale.  Things like chat were to allow people who essentially share land to communicate.  The group proposals were so the users of a group could vote on things to do with the land they were sharing including who were the officers (if again I am remembering correctly).  Apparently you could be voted out of being an officer of your own group at one point (again from bits of knowledge I have previous read).  The anticipated amount of people who share land(s) in a group was expected to be quite small in the majority of cases.

You are right though, it was easy to see where things were headed a long time ago and nothing much was done about it by LL.  That is for LL to bear the responsibility for kicking the can down the road.  I don't think users should be blamed.  Most don't know that this is an abuse of the group system, they just see a group system and how it *could* be used without understanding the design limitations of it.  I am a firm believer in the principle of if you don't want something being used a certain way, make it impossible for it to be used that way or at least provide a damned manual that states the proper way for it to be used.

Edited by Gabriele Graves
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Funnily enough it did not take much for another poster to understand. Thank you @Gabriele Graves.

What quite a few do not seem to grasp (or understand) is that the entire Group System is intrinsically tied into the land/parcel management system. This seems to be something that a few have great difficulty wrapping their heads around. As does the notion that there could ever have been a point of no return in the development and deployment of Groups.

That point was reached very quickly after the introduction of Groups and the Group Chat system.

Point blank: The End Users are not without blame. Period. As far as I am concerned here, there isn't a single argument that can be made otherwise.

As for the amount of time it has been this way and the possibility of developing a new system or fixing the existing one in that time ... I've been around long enough at this point to know that Linden Lab has gotten incredibly gunshy over the years when it comes to making changes to such a base level system (and Groups are such, became such quite quickly). The backlash they have gotten .... It often makes the backlash they get now for these issues look tame by comparison.

At this point they'd be much better off creating a secondary group system that is not tied into the Land/Parcel Management system and encouraging Store (Sales/Announcements), Support, Social and all other non Land/Parcel Management related Groups to migrate over.

I will finish this off with the following: If you are still convinced that the existing system can be reworked/fixed easily, there is no point whatsoever in responding (to me) - especially if your entire basis for such an assumption/thought process comes from outside of Second Life. The systems being used do not operate the way they do under other services and some have cross links that are utterly unexpected/baffling.

I am all for solving the issue. I am not going to pretend it is a simple one nor am I going to pretend that blame is solely on the company here.

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@Gabriele GravesI already knew that the issues with the group chat system were not as simple as many people so far appeared to think but you gave a lot of background info on the origins, purpose and the overall system which I was not aware of and now I have a better understanding of the problem.

And with all this in mind, I think that the only true solution for the group chat is something which I have been saying for a long time, and that is to completely rewrite the group chat system from scratch and this is no simple task.
Even if a new group chat system would be ready tomorrow, it will still have to be compatible with existing viewers and that would require the new system to basically pretend to be the old system and that in itself may be much more complex than most of us could imagine. For example, if the new system were to be centralised then the viewers would still connect to the land management stuff of the regions, but then the simulator would hand off the connection to the centralised server. The thing is that for this to work, viewers need to be able to handle such a handoff and I don;t know if current viewers would know how to handle that.

The problem is definitely much more complex than the "just fix it" that I have so often see people say and your post made it more clear than any other post I have seen before this.

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@Solar Legion As you no doubt have already guessed, I disagree with the point you keep raising that the users are also to blame here. You've explained in great detail what the original purpose of the groups "was" and i get that, i really do. But the group chat isn't used in this way. 18 years have passed since SL has launched and as you mentioned, LL soon found out that the group chat system isn't up to what it quickly turned out to be used as. They had years, let's be generous and say they had 10 years now to come up with an alternative that lets SL user communicate on an "inworld global" scale.

At this point i don't really care if they (as you lead on) "rework" the current group chat system, or introduce a new one. SL advertises itself as a social virtual platform, yet communicating with people is a hit and miss, and more miss than hit as of late.

You seem to think that we the users have the answers, we don't. I don't, what i see is that the users use this group chat system to communicate globally inworld. LL should have taken that hint years ago. You can keep telling me over and over again that the group chat system isn't used what it was meant for, but that is NOT the fault of the end users, at all. This is LL letting its users use it in what they would see as an unexpected use and just sit by doing nothing about it until everyone complains about it not working anymore.

 

 

this is fine.jpg

Edited by CaithLynnSayes
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4 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

Point blank: The End Users are not without blame. Period. As far as I am concerned here, there isn't a single argument that can be made otherwise.

 

4 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

There's noting to discuss/argue with you, you absolutely refuse to listen. At all.

This... Ladies and gentlemen, is what we would classify as hypocritical and the pot calling the kettle black...

 

 

Just making a point LL, calm down...

Edited by CaithLynnSayes
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Except that each and every response you have had has been to refuse any notion whatsoever that the end users have had any hand whatsoever in this. That all blame lies with the company and development team.

That is not the reality - at all.

I will not discuss/argue that - which is exactly what the quoted bits are saying. What I am open to discuss is the degree to which such is the case. There is a difference.

ETA: As a preface, the degree of blame the end users have is not zero. That really is something on which I will not budge one whit as it is simple reality.

Edited by Solar Legion
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On 4/14/2021 at 4:13 AM, Solar Legion said:

Yet no one wants to hear (let alone acknowledge) that the problems with Groups/Group Chat are primarily caused by their misuse.

Then they should prevent misuse all together: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_limitation

Preventing software misuse usually software designers (UI designer's) job.

UI designer usually limits UI based on software limitation and build UI based on this limitation so user can't abuse anything. Ofc.. if you want keep your support center busy 7/24 you can ignore this step :P 

Note: I am not criticizing LL but they already know when something problematic people will abuse it.

This is why LSL have so many safety throttle (HTTP request limit, IM sleep, llEmail sleep. etc.), they probably have their own reasons about group chat.

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@Solar Legion I'm sorry bud but your logic doesn't make sense. Couple of posts back @Fritigern Gothly said she didn't even know that is what the group chat system originally was meant to do, and right there lies my point. People don't know how the group chat system was meant to be. All they know is, it is a means to communicate with a wider group of people outside local chat or IM. Right there is my argument, simply that the users don't know it was never meant to be an inworld global chat system, yet it is capable of it, sorta, so it's being used that way. My argument is that LL had a hell of a lot of time to see this happen and foursee the trouble we're facing with it failing today. they knew. They knew it wasn't capable of handling that volume of users using, or "misusing" it in that way. By that definition no blame can be put at the end users. I'd really like to see you dance around that one and come up with an actual good point. I'm really serious. Make me see what you see and what i'm apparently unable to see here.

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Just now, RunawayBunny said:

Then they should prevent misuse all together: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_limitation

Preventing software misuse usually software designers (UI designer's) job.

UI designer usually limits UI based on software limitation and build UI based on this limitation so user can't abuse anything. Ofc.. if you want keep your support center busy 7/24 you can ignore this step :P 

Note: I am not criticizing LL but they already know when something problematic people will abuse it.

This is why LSL have so many safety throttle (HTTP request limit, IM sleep, llEmail sleep. etc.), they probably have their own reasons about group chat.

The ship for that sailed a very long time ago and the backlash if they had gone ahead and applied any sort of limitation to the system would have made what we have seen in recent years absolutely pale in comparison.

Something I already covered earlier.

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Just now, Solar Legion said:

The ship for that sailed a very long time ago and the backlash if they had gone ahead and applied any sort of limitation to the system would have made what we have seen in recent years absolutely pale in comparison.

Something I already covered earlier.

So what are you suggesting then? What should we do, shut the hell up and not question LL and why it keeps charging us for a dead end piece of outdated software they desperately want to keep afloat? Seriously, i want to hear your view on this.

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2 minutes ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

@Solar Legion I'm sorry bud but your logic doesn't make sense. Couple of posts back @Fritigern Gothly said she didn't even know that is what the group chat system originally was meant to do, and right there lies my point. People don't know how the group chat system was meant to be. All they know is, it is a means to communicate with a wider group of people outside local chat or IM. Right there is my argument, simply that the users don't know it was never meant to be an inworld global chat system, yet it is capable of it, sorta, so it's being used that way. My argument is that LL had a hell of a lot of time to see this happen and foursee the trouble we're facing with it failing today. they knew. They knew it wasn't capable of handling that volume of users using, or "misusing" it in that way. By that definition no blame can be put at the end users. I'd really like to see you dance around that one and come up with an actual good point. I'm really serious. Make me see what you see and what i'm apparently unable to see here.

I have covered this already. It was partially explained by others already as well. Outside of historical data, understanding how we got to where we are and feasible future steps, knowledge of the system and its design and intended purpose has no other relevance and thus no user is going to know unless they go looking or are inclined to examine the history of Second Life (among other things).

Linden Lab's initial failure was in not providing proper documentation or warnings concerning the system and how it was integrated. The end users initial failure was in making assumptions in how the system worked.

By the time it became clear that the system was not being (or going to be) used for the original purposes, it was too late to change the existing system. Further at that time there was no indication that the way it was being used would cause the problems we see today (so no, they did not know - they assumed it could/would scale). That came much later and by that time the earlier mentioned gunshy attitude had set in.

Some projects were still pushed through, most of which were ones that were believed would not generate nearly as much backlash as they would see - should something break and need fixing - as they'd see if they tackled such an integrated system.

At least one example that stands out in terms of backlash that fostered their approach was when they upgraded the physics engine in 2007/08. Quite a great deal of content was broken by that upgrade and yet that was nowhere near as bad as it could get if something had gone wrong.

Honestly to understand where I am coming from, you'd have to have experienced some of this directly or done a bit of digging around. Sadly for some of it .... data has been quite lost over time. In some cases never properly recorded either.

I will reiterate something from a more recent post of mine: I am in no way arguing against the notion that something should have been done sooner. I am explaining part of why something was not done sooner.

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15 minutes ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

So what are you suggesting then? What should we do, shut the hell up and not question LL and why it keeps charging us for a dead end piece of outdated software they desperately want to keep afloat? Seriously, i want to hear your view on this.

I have already made my suggestions. Are you quite done asking loaded questions? Done reacting to what you believe I have said as opposed to what is in direct text in front of you?

I will make it very clear: What we should be doing is suggesting/spitballing steps forward. Beginning and end.

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