There is a bit more news on the Thursday service outage. A firmware upgrade in the routers is the likely problem. Other data centers have seen similar problems. Today, Monday, they downed the system from about 7 to 9 AM PDT. The revised upgrades presumably made it into firmware and we are back up. And that is about all we are ever likely to know about the event.
Magnum Release Channel
This channel is running the update package many Second Life® users are waiting for. This is the one with PRIM_SLICE, HTTP header size control, and llGetAgentList(). Unfortunately this package is having problems and is not likely to make it to the main grid.
The problem seen is attachments fail to attach/rez. In some cases they rez but the scripts fail to load.
A few people have noticed that the servers running Linden Realms are getting behind, not being updated. They are in a special server update channel. So, they do not update with the rest of the grid. That is going to get looked into to see if they can be updated.
Land Impact Costs
Questions are coming up on the change Falcon Linden announced. See: #SecondLife Land Impact Costs to Change.
Once of the questions is whether or not the change will apply to sculpties. The answer is that change is being discussed. While the Lindens have come to consensus on the need for the change to influence script use, they apparently have not come to consensus on exactly how to handle sculpties.
Falcon Linden said, “Prims (i.e., anything that isn’t a mesh) will have their Download/Streaming Weight capped at 1.0.” This brings up the question of whether this statement was intended to include sculpties. Because there is a ‘sculpty map’ texture included with the download of every sculpty prim the streaming cost is more than it is with a plain prim.
Nyx Linden added some information, “The proposed streaming cost cap, if implemented and deployed (nothing is final until it is released), would affect legacy prims – streaming cost of meshes would not be capped. It would affect legacy prims even if they are linked to meshes (and thus fall under the new accounting system). Please note that this is a proposal, and we reserve the right to change any part of it if necessary before release.”
“Whether sculpties will be considered “legacy” or not in this context is not 100% determined yet. Since they do require more texture data to display properly, we need to carefully consider exactly how to weight them. The proposed server cost change would be independent of prim type. It’s still in the early stages so bare with us if we end up needing to make tweaks between now and release, but we wanted to let everyone know that changes would be coming.”
“The new accounting system is not intended to be used exclusively with linksets that include meshes – if you use the new physics shape types, it will enable the new calculations as well.”
“I don’t want to speculate as to the exact status of sculpties under the new streaming cost rules, as we’re still discussing it internally, but your concerns are being considered when looking at the numbers and algorithms.”
This is an old and problematic issue. Some want to change how the invisi-prims and alpha textures work on prims. Something more like how alpha layers work on avatars.
VWR-6713 – Allow Alpha Channel of Textures to be used as a 1-bit Mask (Alpha Masking).
The Lindens are aware of the problem. It is just such a low priority in their list of things to do they don’t see anything being done on it anytime soon.
As Nyx Linde said, “It certainly would be a nice feature to have, to allow content creators to choose between masking or blending. It would require a protocol-level change to add additional flags to the prim/face definition in order to implement, which is no small task. we already have alpha masking on our avatars – supporting it in the engine is easy. Its changing the object definitions to include extra parameters that takes more time. Either way it has neither been forgotten nor prioritized over other work. We’re still aware that it would be nice to have.”
We won’t know until later tomorrow whether or not we will get a roll to the main grid or not.
The Lindens are having problems getting server updates out. We have had way fewer this first quarter of 2012 than in the last quarter of 2011. They have plucked the low hanging fruit and working on more of the complex problems. The current changes seem to be base infrastructure things, which affect many parts of the Second Life system making them harder to get right.