Some new news this week. Some of it BIG!
The Maintenance RC Version Viewer updated. The update includes a couple of important crash fixes. Oz Linden is requesting third party developers include one of them as soon as possible.
This past week was a perfect storm for the Lab. A backhoe literally cut a network cable. This cut off a significant number of people, dropped connection disconnects. Of course, for them, it was WTH! They then tried to log in again. The Internet being redundant, as it is figured out a new connection path suddenly thousands of users started trying to log in.
The login servers peaked and started to lag. Low-level code in the viewer’s login process started timing out and retrying the login. The code was very aggressive and thousands of users began unknowingly hammering the login servers. The storm of logins created what was essentially a Denial of Service attack. The result was more and more people were blocked from logging in which resulted in more hammering. A Catch-22.
One of the fixes in the Maintenance RC Viewer is a less aggressive login retry. It is this update Oz is asking be implemented in all viewers, ASAP. Doing so would make for a faster recovery when things go wrong.
The Maintenance RC Viewer is the leading candidate for promotion to the default viewer. We may see it promoted in week 31.
Alex Ivy – This is the 64-bit RC version of the viewer. It has a higher crash rate than the Lindens are happy with. For now, they are making changes to get better data on crashes. That will help enable them to figure out what the problem is.
The 32-bit version of Alex Ivy has a really high crash rate. They plan to get that rate down too. But, 32-bit is ALWAYS going to be more crash prone.
The Voice RC Version… it’s just out there. No new news.
You may have encountered the various SL web sites being down or impossible to log into this week. Those sites are working again. As of the Friday meeting, the Lindens at the meeting still didn’t know what happened.
As of Friday noon, the Lindens were still working on the attachments problem. Oz said lots of people were scurrying around to fix the problem. It was very random. I know I didn’t run into it. My stuff attached and I had no problems logging in.
The recent ToS change did have an effect on logins. They do not know why the system had a problem. Something else they are looking into.
We may see April Linden write and post a post-mortem on the problems. But, the coming SL Planning meetings may prevent her writing one.
Week 31 is the week the Lindens of SL will be meeting to figure out their development and repair schedule for the coming… (you can put some time frame here). I assume 6 to 12 months.
The Lab has implemented the lower volume level as the viewer’s default. This is something the Firestorm team has been pushing the Lindens to do. If you are reading this blog, you probably are not a new user. So, you (and I) have likely forgotten the first time we hit a parcel with sound blaring and went nuts looking for a volume control. If you weren’t a voice user, you may not have encountered the parcel sounds drowning out your incoming voice. While turning down the computer volume stopped the noise it also silenced voice. Screwed.
As Ed Merryman said in the meeting, ‘…at least now they can hear us tell them how to turn down the music volume.’
There is a land-sounds problem. You can limit what sounds go out of a parcel, but not limit what sounds come in. The Lindens are willing to incorporate a switch for sounds coming from outside the parcel. That would be nice.
Sansar is opening Monday and SL is not going away. At least, opening in week 31. See the 16:55 time mark in Pantera Północy’s video (7/28).
Next month the SL side of the Lab has SL planning meeting. They will be deciding what projects and features to develop next. We know they are working on animesh now. Once that is working Vir Linden hopes to move on to full NPC’s.
Also, animation extensions are coming. These would allow for default Bento wings, hands, and face expressions. They could then be controlled in AO’s as walk and run is now. No one has decided how Classic and Bento will work with the new extensions.
Estate Tools changes… Ed Merryman wants to see more than 4 people in ban list. As that makes it very tedious to edit ban lists. Grumpity Linden says a change is in the cue.
The Lindens say there are awesome goodies lined up for Premium users. Whirly thinks a higher attachment count for Premium users would be great. If you have seen how she dresses, that makes sense (picture included)
Not all groups notices are coming through. Not much time has been spent recently on this problem. Notices arrive via UDP. So, some think the new HTTPAssets viewer will lighten the load on the UDP data stream and reduce the number of undelivered notices. Might… but the recent additions are not data heavy. So, Oz doesn’t expect a big difference.
Part of the problem with getting a fix is there is no consistent repro of the problem. A couple of weeks ago they made some changes hoping to reduce dropped notices.
There is a problem in the notices cue, but as it is in a downstream router it is hard to see and analyze what is happening.
So, for the month of August news of Second Life will be minimal. The Lindens will be in planning and then vacations. Also, with Sansar opening, most attention will shift there.