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Megaregion?


Harm Xue
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I was reading an article on Hypergridbusiness.com and this is the bit that got my attention:

"

The main difference between vehicles in OpenSim and vehicles in Second Life, he said, is that OpenSim vehicles can’t cross region borders.

Fortunately, megaregions alleviate this problem. A megaregion is a single large region made up out of four, nine, sixteen or even more standard regions — as many as a single server can hold. If the regions are mostly landscape — lots of empty space for car races and sailing regattas — then these megaregions can be even larger.

Since these megaregions act as if they were one big region, there are no border crossings — not for vehicles, and also not for avatars.

"

Now, why can't we have those?!!

I like sailing in SL, up to the point when I give up after the uptenth crash by region crossing. But like the article states, not just for sailing but many other "sports" would surely love that.

And, aren't homesteads pretty much the same thing? Four regions running off the same server...why do we even have region crossings on those?

I can't think this is something so hard to implement, but, I stand to be corrected.

Hey LL, give us all a treat, that would be awesome.

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I just started a topic a few weeks ago, asking LL for gaming sims. This, I envisioned, just as it is described in the article that you are quoting from. Why LL has not already done this, I don't have a clue. It is needed, and would give them another product to sell. It really does kind of make you wonder what goes on at LL when almost a decade in and they have basically the same products that they started with.

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@Harm

This sounds a very good idea.  I would recommend that you raise a JIRA on this subject and then by the number of votes and watchers you will see what sort of support it gathers.

LL will probably ignore it, as they so often do, but at least you would see the level of support your idea would get.

 

When you have raised the JIRA please post a link to this blog thread so's we can come and vote!:smileyhappy:

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Megaregions are fine, but it isn't the right solution to the problem. Regions crossings *can* be fixed, and I know people will laugh at me for saying this, but I think they actually *will* be fixed at some point.

Introducing something like megaregions is fine, but region crossings need to be fixed anyway.

 

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I agree that region crossings should be fixed and this, in no way, should be seen as a solution to a long standing problem.

And I should add the next paragraph of the article I am quoting from:

"

As a result, megaregions are popular for school and corporate campuses, and are a default configuration of the popular Diva Distro version of OpenSim as well as of Sim-on-a-stick.

"

This to show, there is nothing "new" about the technology, it's already being done and freely distributed.

My point is, why not in SL?!!

 

And if I can work out the jira, I'll post the link here.

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I voted and am watching.

I actually think you're on to something here.

Region Crossings have been an issue since before I first came to SL in 2006, and in my opinion LL has shown little interest in fixing the problem.

However, in this same period of several years, I have observed that when given the choice between fixing something to stabilize their platform, and adding some flashy new feature, LL will choose the new feature every time.

My thoughts are that Region Crossings will never get fixed.  But since Mega-Regions would be something new for SL, it's a fair bet that they will at least be given consideration.

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When I raised this with a former Linden a few years ago, his explanation was that there are a large number of places in the simulator code that assume a region is 256m x 256m, and that it would be a staggeringly large project to track them all down and change them to allow for megaregions (or microregions).  OpenSim obviously didn't make the same assumption, but we are where we are with SL.

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Jack

You are a fount of experience in dealing with our Lords and Masters at The Lab....but in all candour I ask you...if the Lab cannot solve this region-crossing issue one way, we must surely find another?

If, and it is a BIG if, the Lab was to actually solve this crossing bug we would all be happier, but realistically...is it likely?

So, logically there must be more than one way to skin this metaphorical cat?

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Not really. What we are talking about here is more space for the same resources.

To translate this in a simple example:

Right now, you rent/buy one full region with 15000 prims available that runs on one server.

The homestead regions, have 1/4 of those prims, because LL runs the 4 homesteads on one server (presumably on the same server, but I have this weird feeling it's not..anyway, that paranoia talking).

What the Megaregion tech does, is, since these 4 regions are already running on the same server, why do they need region crossings between them? They don't, or they shouldn't.

So, in keeping with the 15000 prim limit, the goal here, is get more room, without crossings as long as for the cluster of regions they still keep within the 15000 prim limit. Price wise, it should all remain the same, the resources used are still the same...one physical server.

Which is, what happens now with homesteads, except, they still act as individual regions, subject to hand offs and time outs and all the region crossing problems we all know so well.

 

One a side note, in the jira someone mentioned another option, which is "Variable Regions", again, looks like some OpenSims are already doing this. And again, SL isn't.

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Harm Xue wrote:

Right now, you rent/buy one full region with 15000 prims available that runs on one server.

The homestead regions, have 1/4 of those prims, because LL runs the 4 homesteads on one server (presumably on the same server, but I have this weird feeling it's not..anyway, that paranoia talking).


This is just a myth and incorrect.  LL puts many more regions on a server than 1 full region or 4 Homesteads.  In fact, several months ago they increased the number of regions on a server.  

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LL puts many more regions on a server than 1 full region or 4 Homesteads.  In fact, several months ago they increased the number of regions on a server.  

It is years ago (I think 2010).

As the "Find That Laggy SL Neighbor" page of Ferd Frederix states, there are up to 16 regions per server. The assumption is a server with a 2-core CPU. Every core runs between 2 and 8 regions that duplicate for the CPU.

 

Here is the full list:

SIM Core CPU
OpenSpace 4 8
Homestead 4 8
Estate 2 4
Mainland 4 8
Mainland Homestead 8 16

Source: Find that laggy Second Life neighbor!

 

With mainland homesteads a megaregion could be a 1024 meter square (e.g. in the Blake Sea regions). For the Jira I also Voted & Watching :)

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Ayesha, if I'm recalling the explanation correctly, trying to implement mega regions would probably make sim crossings even worse. They've improved dramatically in the last few years, and I expect they'll continue to do so. We all want things perfect right now, but I take the view that SL is like a dancing octopus. You may may think the octopus dances poorly, but I marvel that it dances at all.

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  • 1 year later...

Megaregions in SL would be a positive development.  It's often struck me as somewhat odd that there are a large number of vehicles available in SL, from cars to aeroplanes that are well scripted for the most par, only to have the whole experience spoiled by poor region crossings for oen thing, and by those selfish people who insist on putting up banlines next to roads and waterways thus causing avoidable issues, (easily solved if they are THAT security conscious - a security orb that gives at least 10 seconds warning). However, megaregions wouldn't solve the problems of mainland road systems, for example the extensive and comprehensive road network on the Corisca continent, which I have driven around frequently, the only traffic I've realy come across for the most part has been tose annoying automatic vehicles that seemingly no-one uses, and just serve to annoy people like me who like to (try) and drive in SL.  I noticed that it must have been planned for the continent of Gata V to have an extensive road network, but at some point a decision was taken to cancel development, as ROute 7 becomes a canal at several points along it's route - as evidenced by a section of abandoned road under the sea just off the coast of the Lenimov region on Gata V on the line of Route 7. I would suggest that vehciles might be much more popular in SL if the region crossing issue was solved.


I do have some experience of running megaregions on the OpenSim server software, as I am a huge fan of whagt is absically a viewer hack that fools the viewer into regarding a megaregion as the same as one 256X256 m region.  It's a limitation imposed by the use of the LL viewer code, which OpenSim used, and as a result OpenSIm has beem limited, (depending on your point of view) as the LL viewer is less than perfect for OpenSim, and a maximum of 25 regions is recommended, though I have experimented with implementations of up to 63 regions running on one instance as a standalone running in my LAN.  I am at the moment building a home hosted 25 region megaregion that is located in OS Grid where I plan an area that will mostly consist of islands and water, where I can practice my flying skills :)  At the moment the default physics engine is ODEwhich, by SL standards is pretty crude, though it does does allow vehciles of many more prims than si the case with 'sit-on' vehicles in SL.  The physics engine issues should largely be solved with the general adoption of BulletSim physics, which, I am told will support SL vehicle scripts with minor modification, which ODE certainly doesn't.  On the one hand we have SL with great physics and vehcile scripts, but lousy sim corssings, and on the other we have OpenSim with megaregions, and Aurora Sim, (a fork of the OpenSim code) with variable regions, but not-so-good vehicle scripts. 

 

Megaregions do have other serious limitations, and one widely held criticism is that it's a 'hack' though I don;t of necessity see this as anything negative, as it's how things develop.  For some people these issues are deal breakers, but for others they offer an at least partial solution to the region crossing issue.  Megaregions don't support parcel media as a default, though Kitely has found a way of implementing this, though this is proprietory to them and as yet have not shared this with the community, though to be fair they have contributed code that allows megaregions to be saved in one file, wheras previously they had to be saved as individual region files - this save a lot of typing in the console! 

 

Though I'd still agree that it would nake sense to implement megaregions in SL I don't see this happening any time soon, as the JIRA demonstrates with only 25 votes, it's not something that is well known.  It's my guess that LL won't implement anything like megaregions until they have haemorraged residents to OpenSim, and that isn't happening yet,. as SL and OpenSIm seem to attract very different kinds of people, and the kind of social environment desired by most SL residents is still largely lacking in OpenSIm, though many of the RP communities are discovering the advantages that OpenSim offers them. With all the improvements that are coming in OpenSim, (and let's not forget that it's alpha software, and nowhere near productiuon level yet) it could yet trounce SL for those communites that wanr to RP or that are based on sports like sailing or car racing. 

 

Personally I think that LL should seriously reconsider it's positon as a 'walled garden' as even though the format is still popular with some, (and especially greedy paranoid creator types who want a captive market and little or no comptition) I think there is a better long term future for 'open' grids, though for me the futire is more likely to be a home-hosted Hypergrid enabled standalone that allows me to teleport to a multitude of likewise connected standalones and grids - just like the World Wide Web. This becomes more and more possible as many of us get the increased bandwidth that fibre-optic allows us, (though it can be done with a decent DSL connection).  Increasingly there are options that deploy the server software with no need of technical knowledge or ability, though manual configuration isn't too difficult once the technofear threshold is overcome.

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