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Separating Cache


Lena Anthony
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I've heard things about separating the cache for viewers, but is this something that needs to be done for each avatar?  I have three.  Two of them are used from time to time, one often.  My oldest has the largest inventory and it takes forever to load it when I sign on as her.  Since I don't use this avatar, I'm slowly thinning out the inventory, but I wondered if I have the cache set up correctly.  I use the Phoenix Viewer 1.5.2.1102 for all three avatars.  I understand that the cache is where things are stored, and I see that each of my avi's has a folder set up in their name.  Is that enough?  Is there more I can do to move the inventory loading along?  
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Actually it's best to have one cache for each avatar. The cache is by default not per avatar, thus it's getting mixed up with data from each avatar you run. Easiest thing to seperate things is by using a different settings file for each avatar so you can specify different cache paths: Make a unique shortcut for each avatar and add the --settings parameter to the linked executable, for instance: <your viewer path here>\Phoenix.exe --settings settings_avatarname.xml

This gives you also the advantage to be able to make per account settings that usually are not per account, for instance in case of Phoenix the selection beam shapes and colors or busy/away messages...

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You definitely need a separate cache location for each viewer, especially if you are planning to hop between V1 and V2 viewers, which structure inventory in very different ways. If two viewers share cache, that increases the probability of inventory loss, among other things. The major third party viewers automatically create cache in unique locations now, so you shouldn't need to worry much about this unless you are hopping between, say, LL's V2 and their own 1.23 viewer.  Those two do still share cache by default, I believe.

Several things are stored in local (cached) copies on your hard drive or in your graphics card's memory.  The purpose of cache in all cases is to speed access to commonly used information by letting your computer remember it locally instead of having to ask for downloaded copies from LL's servers over and over again.  The downside is that local copies can become corrupted and get out of sync with the source information on the servers.  When that happens, your computer tries to display a texture or modify your av and the servers don't know what it's talking about.  Hence the need to clear the local cache and force your computer to rebuild it by downloading fresh information from SL.  Hence also the wisdom in avoiding things that corrupt your cache in the first place --- like using it for two viewers.

Having a separate cache for each avatar (as opposed to each viewer) shouldn't be necessary.  As Ansariel says, though, it's not hard to do and it might actually speed up access, in theory.  If you have two avatars and your cache contains a copy of the inventory for each of them, it should take slightly longer to search that one large cache for information than it would to search a comparatively smaler cache for only one av.  My guess is that it's only a small advantage, but who knows?

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