Second Life: What is the BEST use of Outfits?

I use outfits… reading in the forum I find there is a mix of people using and not using and sort of using outfits. With the Visual Outfit Browser feature being added to the viewer, I wonder if it will change how people will use outfits? I’ll get into LAG and USE.



After a bit over 8 years playing the Second Life™ inventory game (See: Is Second Life a Game?), I’ve tried a bunch of different inventory tactics. I am finding how I use inventory and outfits evolves with time. Am I winning? Maybe. I see that ‘evolving’ seems to be true for others too. So, how does one make the best use of inventory and outfits? Is there a lag factor from inventory? 


This past year changes have been made to inventory in the viewer and server side too. At one point that was because people started having problems logging in because inventory was taking too long to load into the viewer. People with 30,000 or fewer items were having problems and people with >100k weren’t… What’s with that?

Seems it was those with too many items in a single folder that had problems. More than 5,000 items in a single folder and your connection became a big factor. Now the viewer and server compensate and limit the number of items per folder. But, you can have 5,000 folders each with 5,000 more folders each with 5,000 items for 125 billion items… well the system probably won’t handle billions… But, that you can have folders filled with folders filled with folders filled with stuff means pretty much unlimited inventory. But, at some point the system will likely fail to carry the load of a ji-normous inventory. That ‘limit’ point is apparently far beyond what anyone is doing.

The only consistent lag from inventory is during login as the inventory list downloads. However, it is a multi-threaded process so, we are only delayed if we have a large inventory and want to open right after we login.

2016 Outfits

2016 Outfits

If you have had inventory problems you may have cleared your inventory cache, separate from the viewer’s main cache, and then logged into a deserted region to reload it. With some viewers you can watch inventory count change as it loads, which shows that process is in a separate thread.

Inventory uses memory but, inventory is basically a text-list of your stuff. I’m not sure how many characters are used for each item. It appears to be 256 or fewer characters but, I have no hard information. I suppose I could dig it out of the viewer code… boring.

So, large inventories do use memory and can theoretically slow the viewer when you open and work with inventory. I can’t see a difference between how the inventory and the viewer perform with my main avatar, 40k+ items, and my alternate avatars with <5,000 items. But, the SL wiki warns slowing is possible.

Outfits and Lag

Outfits also use inventory entries. The outfit entries are different than item entries. They are a link or pointer to an item-wearable in inventory. The entries take up space that requires download time and use memory. They are no better or worse than any other inventory item.

The advantage in using links/pointers is that multiple outfits can use the same no-copy items. You can use the same pair of no-copy shoes in several outfits, which is not possible without links.

Link for more pages below…

2 thoughts on “Second Life: What is the BEST use of Outfits?

  1. “Inventory uses memory but, inventory is basically a text-list of your stuff. I’m not sure how many characters are used for each item. It appears to be 256 or fewer characters but, I have no hard information.”

    Each inventory item is a LLFolderViewItem a collection of around 80 bytes of data (for v1 viewers, around 128 for v2/3/4 viewers), plus a few std::string’s (for the label (i.e. the name of the item), the tool tip, the sort/search strings, etc). But it’s not finished: a LLFolderViewItem is in fact a child class of a LLView, and there, you must add even more bytes (around 100 more bytes of data, plus strings, vectors/maps, etc). All in all (with the strings, 16 bits padding bytes, etc), you can count around 250/400 bytes per inventory item (closer to the maximum for v2+ UI viewer and to the minimum for v1 UI viewers)…

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