#SL Viewer Update Week 45

Teleports failing is another recent problem. The symptom of a failed tp is common and old. The causes are new. Lots of work has be done on the problem and more is in progress. Hundreds of the sailors of SL turned out in last Thursday’s user meeting to show support and concern about the problem of vehicles failing crossings.

In some viewer versions a failed TP results in a logout. Very annoying. I haven’t run into it.

Video problems have plagued us for months now. The OpenGL version that various newer video card drivers used are incompatible with Second Life. The viewer uses calls that have been depreciated and eventually removed from OpenGL. Without diss that suggests LL’s support of OpenGL was lagging. That problem has been in update for weeks now. Many of the fixes are in progress and winding their way through QA to get to a viewer near you. In the mean time it has been a pain.

If you are plagued by video problems, you may want to check out the OpenGL project viewer linked to above.

Mouse Steering is a problem in the new viewers. I ran into the problem weeks ago. The new viewers have what I will call click-navigation. Click some place and your avatar walks there. If you played in Blue Mars you know how it works. You have a choice of single or double click to trigger the navigation.

The problem is that mouse steering in 3.2 gets reversed with single click enabled. You can still click on your avatar to steer with Single Click on Land enabled. But, the effect is your left and right drags are reversed. Plus up and down does nothing. It is worse than useless for mouse steering.

Mouse steering is available in many games (holding W or up-arrow and using mouse dragging left and right). One would expect mouse steering to work similarly in SL by default. But, it doesn’t. So, some of us consider this a bug and Thomas Shikami filed a Jira: EXP-1449 – Left click drag to control avatar not working, when “single click on land” action set to “move to clicked point”. It has a wooping 8 Watchers as I write this. If you would like to see it change, please visit the JIRA and click Watch.


Some users are annoyed by the way chat works in the new User Interface. The Lab has posted more information about the new UI. See: November Update



The development viewers likely have additional debug code and are probably are not fully optimized. Whatever, I find them slow. My Duel Core2 and nVidia 8800 GTS is toward the bottom end of what can run Second Life. With 3.2.3 (244722) I get 5 to 6 FPS in my cottage, not exactly good performance. If I turn Ambient Occlusion and Lighting & Shadows (deferred render) off that jumps up to 15 FPS and the UI+Swap drops to 9ms.

Second Life Viewer

SL Dev Viewer

The viewer render details are showing that on average 104ms of my render time is spent in User Interface (UI) + Swap, whatever that is. I am hoping this gets fixed.

Second Life Viewer

SL Beta Viewer

With the Beta Viewer I get  6 to 7 FPS in my cottage. Again a good portion of the render time is in UI+Swap and the Find Widgets spikes over 100ms.

Second Life Viewer

SL Main Viewer

With the main viewer I get  5 to 7 FPS in my cottage. Again a good portion of the time is in UI+Swap. UI runs 100+ms. The other large item is Deferred Render spiking over 100ms.

I can turn off Ambient Occlusion and Lighting & Shadows (deferred render) and jump up to 20FPS. You can see the difference in the bottom graph of the image. The last part of the graph has both features enabled. But, why that affects User Interface + Swap, I don’t know.

Summing It Up

Second Life Viewers are changing quickly. While the Snowstorm user group is headless and basically gone and the triage group is rumored to have closed too, there is still lots of work going on. We just don’t hear about it as often. Nor is there any good way to communicate with the Snowstorm team.

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