From the Third Party Developers’ meeting last Friday we got some new information about inventory and the viewer caching system.
Second Life Inventory
The Linden engineers are still looking at inventory loss issues. A few weeks ago they asked for feedback from those losing inventory. How did you do that, type stuff. Ever since they have been working on fixing those things that lead to inventory loss.
One cause is apparently something to do with how inventory is organized. You may remember that one can be blocked from logging in by having too many items in a single folder. Somewhere above 5,000 items in a folder can be a problem depending on your connection and computer speed.
We (us users) have also learned that the entire directory structure is sent at login. Then the viewer uses that list of folders to pull the contents of the folders. Make over 200,000 folders and you too can block your login. It doesn’t matter how many levels of subfolders, levels do not matter, just the total count. If it takes too long to load the tree list, you are screwed. (I think it was Whirly that tested this.)
The Lindens are thinking it may be time to add some server side enforcement of how inventory is organized. We are talking rules to stop illogical arrangements, like NOT allowing more than 1 trash folder.
Also, they are changing all inventory operations to use the API calls for AIS3. They will be closing the other API calls. So, viewers not using AIS3 will break… some day. Not soon. This isn’t something that is ready to roll out next week. It is going to take some time, but may be this year.
Another reason for server side enforcement of inventory arrangement/structure is some third party viewers are using some code that is pretty bad. The Lindens were not willing to name names. It was understood in the Developers’ meeting which viewers those are. But, no one was talking. I guess it is a cast the first stone thing…
Also, they plan to do more validation of things being uploaded. Apparently it is possible to upload some things that have malformed data. As it is now much of the data is expected to be properly formed by the viewer. But, with open source viewers that cannot be guaranteed. So, they plan to add server side validation for the various data formats.
Another change is more of the Second Life assets will be delivered via the CDN (Content Delivery Network). Eventually everything will go through CDN; sounds, animations, etc. For now it is mostly mesh and textures.
Additional pages, link below…