Region Crossing Compression
The Region Crossing news is hot. The new code is in use across the Magnum Release Channel. The stats on the improvement are impressive. The new improvement is referred to as Region Crossing Compression or just Compression.
There are some nifty graphs showing what is happening. Notice a little after ten compression is activated. The graphs take a significant step down.
I usually get better images but the Development Viewer (217920) was giving me problems. I feel lucky to have lasted through the meeting. I upgraded after the meeting (2-5-0-218511). You can see the originals in ADITI/Morris over by the Archery Range in the NE corner. I have no idea how long they will be there.
The graph shows average crossing time going from 1.5 – 2.0 seconds to 0.5 – 0.75 seconds, a shade more than half. Not only is region crossing time down, but the number of failed teleports (tp) has decreased too. It is a little hard to tell exactly from the graph, but it appears that was cut in half.
It appears the average avatar has about 1 to 5 mb of data to carry across to the next region. They also typically have about 10 attachments. Oskar says the compression is squishing the data package by about 90% (don’t read squish with the tech meaning). That will make a huge difference in the data load being moved.
Unless a major bug pops up we can expect this change to roll across the grid next Tueday. If you want to try it out visit any of the regions in the Magnum Release Channel. A handy region for map searching is the Magnum Sandboxes.
These are active across the main grid now. The name server is getting hammered. It swamps and recovers. So, you see blank names or sometimes the dreaded “???”. The Lab is fixing that.
For scripters using the new Linden Scripting Language (LSL) function llGetDisplayName(), be warned; this function is currently behaving erratically. Sometimes it returns an empty string and other times ‘???’. The JIRA item is: SVC-6290. You can watch it to a notice on progress.
Havok is Changing
The new Havok is rolling out on the ADITI grid. There are no new features or changes that most people will notice. The changes have to do with mesh. However, they will affect other objects built and set to physical. So, you probably should be testing your cars, motorcycles, and etc. in ADITI. Anything that uses physical prims could be effected.
Read more about the change here: Testing Havok 2k10
Things in the Pipeline
Working on fix for SVC-6552 – Objects that generate particles no longer display particles above 20m high.
SVC-6542 – Objects derendering at close ranges since deployment of Second Life Server 10.11.09.214391.
There is a plan to start looking at the co-location bandwidth performance and see what can be done to improve its performance.
Some of the in-house code that handles restarting regions is being improved to allow faster region restarts. The idea is to have regions in a server take turns saving state instead of all of them trying to save at the same time. Simultaneous saves on servers with open-space/homestead regions have been exceptionally slow.
This change is to allow region owners and estate managers to setup the Windlight settings. Residents using the viewer ‘default’ Windlight settings will automatically be switched to the region’s Windlight settings when they enter the region.
Mæstro Linden said, “Estate Windlight is supported in the server (and has been for several months), but I think we’re waiting on viewer support.”
The Phoenix and Imprudence viewers have a type of support for something similar. OpenSim grids use Lightshow (do I have that right?) and it is supported by Imprudence. LSL scripts are used to set the region’s Windlight settings. Once Linden Lab gets their Windlight working we may see the open source versions changing over.
This is another improvement for SL. It was tested before the holidays and failed tests. Its being worked on now. At some point it will come back. For now there is no ETA.
The SLV 2.5 versions are supposed to have way better shadows. Getting them turned on on SLV2.5 is a bit trick, but easy. You need the Developer Menu open (Ctrl-Alt-Q – you may have to open the Advanced Menu first Ctrl-Alt-D).
First, in Preferences -> Graphics set your graphics to ULTRA. This drops me from 30 to 40 Frames Per Second (FPS) to 20 FPS. You can close Preferences. Next turn on Develop -> Rendering -> FramebufferObjects. This will enable the setting appearing below it in the same menu. This makes no difference in my FPS. Next turn on Lighting & Shadows, drops me to 15 FPS. Next turn on Shadows from Sun/Moon/Projectors. This is when you will take the big FPS hit. It takes me down to 6 FPS. Optionally you can turn on SSAO (screen space ambient occlusion), it make little if any difference to FPS and helps the appearance of the shadows. The only remaining setting is Global Illumination. You need a healthy video card to even consider turning this on. Doing so drops me to 3 or 4 FPS. But, the render seems to have the shadow and highlights one sees in a forest.
This new feature is live on the Blue Steel Release Channel now. Region owners have to activate it. No, I don’t know how – See Prim Encroachment for more information and instructions.
The feature allows one to return a prim that is only partially on your region or parcel. The system only considers a prim on your parcel if the prim’s, or root prim’s, center coordinates are on your parcel. So, until now one could not return a prim that was 5m wide and only 1m of it was encroaching. Something more than 2.5m would have to encroach before you could return it.
There are complications to this return ability. Sculpties may have odd centers and physics shapes different from their visible shape. The same is true for meshes. They may visibly appear to encroach but the Havok system may not see it that way.
The 64m prim size limit is not active yet. In some future iteration of ‘encroachment’ we’ll get 64m. However, 64m and mesh is in use in ADITI. So, we will at least get 64m prims when we get mesh, which is guessed by Oskar as still a few months away.
40 Groups Change
We are unsure when we’ll see the change. You can check out VIEWER-XMPP to gauge arrival. Once we get the new chat, we’ll see the group limit raise. With the link you can see what is being done on XMPP.
Oskar is figuring out how they are going to test XMPP. One will not be able chat between the existing chat and the new XMPP. So, rolling it out seems to be sort of an all or nothing. We’ll see what they come up with.
Lots of new stuff is hitting the grid.