You probably don’t know that Second Life group member lists do not fully load for groups with over 5,000 members, unless you manage a large group. And now the Lab will soon be having the servers NOT send the full list to the viewer. This change is a work-around for a problem impacting group chat.
This coming change is NOT related to the new 60-groups limit. That is having no measurable impact on group chat. But, downloading LARGE member lists is creating a problem, apparently whether 1 or 60.
If you are a group manager, eventually this will not affect you. Group managers with eject and manage privileges will get the full list for the group where they have those privileges. But, for the short term it may be a problem.
But, there is a work around for now. Login some place deserted. Do not move for 12 to 15 minutes and hope/pray no one comes into your field of view. Any movement or change in the field of view can kill the group list download for large lists.
This problem only affects 600 or so groups with more than 5,000 members. The viewers generate numerous queries to these large groups but they haven’t been working for a couple of years according to stats/logs the Lab looked at.
Recent tests show large groups can take 12+ minutes to download. There are groups with a member count in the 6 figure range. That makes for lots of data.
Lab will fix this problem over the next few months. Their plan to improve group chat and still have the group list work as needed for users. They plan to have group officers information download to everyone. Then to download your friends info (based on your friends list) that are also in the group. Then depending on other factors may be some more members. I am guessing some of the efficiencies will only be applied to groups with larger member lists.
This problem has been around for some time. The viewer just was not downloading the full member list. But, most of us probably didn’t notice. I haven’t. So, the problem is not a big issue. But, since the Lab is going to have servers skip more list downloading in a couple of weeks, may be in week 24 or 25, we will probably see a few more people running into a problem.
There are also several places with the viewer triggers a request for all the users in a group. The Lab is taking the ones out where they really don’t need the info. So, it is a complex change and we may notice those changes… or not. But, the result will be a better group chat and viewer performance.
So, the abbreviated take away… new and improved groups stuff is coming and immediately better chat as somewhat useless groups stuff is hobbled.
Experiment done today, with a group holding 49285 member in its list, using the Cool VL Viewer: in SL release server, full members list loaded under 30s (together with full name resolution in the list)… With the same group, in RC Magnum (probably already having that obnoxious change to groups list loading), the members list doesn’t load at all.
I never had a single group members loading issue with the Cool VL Viewer before (but it uses a cleverer, polling method to fill up the name lists, instead of a callback mechanism used by LL that invariably stalls when one of the split requests fails).
Knowing who owners and officers are and when last in is not “somewhat useless groups stuff is hobbled.” to me.
Why not remove avatars who haven’t logged in in ,say, two years from groups? That is harmless pruning.
Yes, owners and officers are handy things to know. Apparently much of what the viewer is repeatedly asking about group members is not being used.
So, I could have worded that last sentence better.