Lots of things are changing. They aren’t visible changes that offer us new buttons or things to do. They are things that improve the operation of Second Life. I’ll point out some of the changes in the recent server updates.
The code preparing things for a change over to XMPP Chat have propagated through the main grid.
The Estate Management controls for handling special users, think teens but its not limited to teen, to deal with access, L$, chat and etc. are in the main grid now. I’m not clear if the new viewers, think Development and Beta, have caught up with the change. So, residents may not be able to use the features yet.
The Release Channel is testing the new inventory API’s. This allows inventory requires and downloads to use gzip, a common technique for compressing data downloading via HTTP. While it is nice this is on the server side, I am unaware of any viewer that can currently use the feature.
If you are wondering how one tests a feature the viewers can’t use… good thinking. The test is about side effects and unexpected problems with existing systems and viewers. They will see if this breaks anything in how existing viewers use inventory.
We’ll see a Development viewer and then a beta viewer that can use the new feature. Inventory download performance should improve.
In here somewhere is the changeover to allow 10,000 items per folder… which just boggles my mind as I think about my current inventory. We are going to need better inventory management.
The Maint-Server upgrade is in testing again. This upgrade is more for the Lab and estate owners. I haven’t been interested in this, so I’ve mostly forgotten the details. As I remember this is more about allowing the Lab to know about what is going on than providing more tools for land owners or simulator owners.
Threaded Rez fixes are installed. Threaded Rez is about allowing a server to feed multiple channels of information to the viewer so it can run multiple threads to rez the world. Or something along that line. This has been more difficult than one would expect and the feature has been going in and out of the Release Channel for weeks.
There are changes to the server Configuration files and Security fixes in testing on this RC too.
More inventory stuff is in testing here. What has been labeled Monty’s “Fast Assets” Project is in testing. This feature does not change the HTTP and UDP stuff as much as it allows viewers to bypass the simulators and send …some?… requests directly to the backend servers. Plus it adds concurrency and what I’ll call roll over to allow sims with long queues to hand off assets requests less busy servers.
More and more I am thinking the there is more going on than we are seeing. There are so many possibilities and small pieces of information popping up… mesh, Facebook, chat, and more are changing and all these open up possibilities.
This is an interesting year to be in Second Life.