#SL Viewer Problems

If you haven’t run into viewer problems, you must be new. A couple of problems have come up recently. Readers have asked or sent me IM’s on them. So, I’ll mention them because they seem to be biting some people. Also, because when I started experimenting I started running into problems.

Second Life Viewer 3.3.3

In most day-to-day use you are not going to run into these problems. But, it is depressing when you do.


You probably already know large groups, over 5,000, can be a problem and over 10k are a problem. They can be slow to load and nearly, if not completely, impossible to edit and work with.

One of the problems that seems a bit worse is opening a large group can lock up the viewer for over a minute and reportedly in some cases 3 or 4 minutes. I saw my viewer locked up while opening the Phoenix/Firestorm Support group, the largest group of which I’m a member.

See VWR-29124– Severe performance issues on 3.3.2 (258114) Release and 3.3.3 (259197) Beta in “Add scroll list item.” Thanks to Stephan Gaudio for pointing it out.

You’ll notice we currently are past those versions. But, I’ve run into the problem with 3.3.3 (260300) Jun 21 2012.

Baker Linden has been working on the problem for a couple of weeks with some help from other Lindens. But the previous article on Chnages Coming to SL shows there is lots going on. So, I suppose some of of the changes, like fixing groups, are shooting at moving targets.

UDP Throttling

UDP is a protocol for communication across the Internet. It is not error correcting in that a lost packet is not recovered. The Second Life system used to use more UDP for the sake of speed, less error checking to do. To improve reliability and viewer stability the Lab has been changing over to HTTP.

I expected the number of server running the UDP services to be reduced and changed over to providing HTTP services. I’m not sure it works that way at the Lab, but it seems likely to me it would.

Throttling is about setting limits, sort of a speed limit thing. One can ‘throttle’ the number of requires the viewer makes or ‘throttle’ the number of milliseconds a server will spend sending data to a specific user. The throttles will assure the viewer does not flood the server with requests or that no one has to wait too long for the server because it was focused on one user. Generally they make things work better. In some things faster is not always better.

There are some unexpected things happening with how the viewer handles UDP throttling. So, if you are having problems that may be connection related consider this a possibility.

See VWR-29029 – unexpected behavior with UDP throttling when bandwidth is set higher than 1900.

TankMaster Finesmith reported the problem. He is part of the Firestorm Development Team. In general Firestorm support recommends having your Max Bandwidth set at 1,500 or less. I’ve found that to be good advice.

My connection usually tests at 31mb/sec download and 5mb/sec upload. So, theoretically I could move my setting higher. I find I get the best results using 500 to 1,500 for Max Bandwidth. But, according to TankMaster, it seems one needs to use something less than 1,900 for UDP to work correctly.

If you want to know more about the Maximum Bandwidth setting read: Understanding the Maximum Bandwidth Option in the Second Life™ Viewer. It is a bit old. But, I think things work similarly today.


5 thoughts on “#SL Viewer Problems

  1. I always have used the max bandwidth setting (10000Kpbs) in the Cool VL Viewer and I never had any issue (note that I never saw the UDP bandwidth go over 3000Kpbs, so 10000 is definitely an overkill limit that is never reached anyway)…

    Looking at LL’s viewer code, there is however a bug that could explain why their viewer chokes: while they allowed to set the max bandwidth up to 10000Kpbs in the UI (Preferences floater), they failed to update the MAX_BANDWIDTH constant to 10000 in llviewerthrottle.cpp (it is set to 3000 instead), and since this constant is not used to clamp the user-set variable itself (ThrottleBandwidthKBPS), it leads to issues during the throttling calculations…

  2. Hi, I had some REALLY mean and seemingly not very well known problem, that you might want to write about ,too. Look here: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-28843?

    That one gave me 4 weeks of real troubles. reinstalling Windows on 4! machines, because I could just not find out,what was the problem

    No help in support groups, because seems this is not known much at all, but I bet will become a real showstopper, as Skydrive is becoming very popular lately…

    • I already wrote about it…


  3. Hi, Ive ben in SL for over 4 years & lately i am having serious problems. My avatar regulary changes into a women with no eyes and a ‘newbie’ face and I am constantly freezing & crashing to the point i cant do anything. Tonight i re-install Pheonix and was constantly spinning around through my viewer. I am now again going to de-install and I am seriously considering setting up a new account as a newbie, so at least i can do something when i log on.
    I dont recall accepting any scammers but i cannot be certain.
    Is there anything at all i can do to clear my problem?
    Much appreciated.

    • read through http://blog.nalates.net/2011/02/22/second-life-clean-install/

      Post you problem IN DETAIL in the SL Forum Answers. Be sure you include your system details from the viewer’s Help->About…

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