moved, again

After a few problems last week with the WP 2.1.3 importer choking, I’ve finally managed to get my blog up and running over on As a result, this blog won’t be updated any more, so in the rare event that you’ve still got a bookmark for this URL, point them towards the new one.

In the unlikely event that your DNS server sucks and you’re seeing this post under, do yourself a favour and switch to .

summary of Town Hall with Cory Linden

Database Scalability

Linden Lab hadn’t upgraded to since it’s release as it wasn’t until recently that the performance and stability of MySQL 4 compared to version 5 satisfied Linden Lab’s requirements.

Linden Lab are currently upgrading to MySQL 5.

Linden Lab are putting more effort into more scalable architecture rather than using a centralised database source. Once bugs related to database communication are fixed, servers will be deployed overseas (over 65% of Second Lifers are from outside the US).

Login Throttling

Linden Lab are being careful about using the login throttling features until they’re more sure of when it’s appropriate to use it.

It would be bad for the community as a whole if the length of time free accounts could spend in-world was limited.

Free accounts aren’t as high a load issue as people seem to think.


Internally, development of integration of the Gecko rendering engine into the Second Life Viewer is a little starved for developer time. There is however an external development team working on it.

SL Vox

Voice chat is handled seperately to other grid processes, so there will be minimal impact on the load (e.g. little or no lag).

Note from Marv: Download the Voice-enabled Viewer for the Beta Grid and test it out! the latest preview features voice chat.


Backing up content away from the grid.

Work should start on the ability to back up your full-perms content in Q3 2007.

Inventory Loss

69% of are working on improving the scaling and stability of the grid- this includes the processes involved in inventory transfers.

Linden Lab are also working on the next-gen architecture that will dramatically improve the scalability compared to the current grid.

The suggestion for adding the ability to verify inventory loss has been taken on board.


abuse of the system

Linden Lab are working on a new design that is more resilient to spam-based attacks. More details will be released as work progresses.


The current traffic metric is being removed as part of the new search project, and it’ll be removed ASAP.


Many problems only appear when the grid is under high load- the is there for everyone to stress test and expose problems. The should be used to post new bugs, as well as reproductions/workarounds/fixes for existing ones.

The recent grid expansions haven’t affect grid stability- there were a couple of problems, one of which was removed last week, and another is being removed completely.

World Map

Linden Lab are aware of the bugs surrounding map images not being updated, and it’s being actively worked on.

Note from Marv: I know a bit about this :-D. The process of generating the map images is being upgraded from a two-step process to a one-step process. Bugs in map generation will be ironed out as part of this improvement, as well as part of Linden Lab’s internal bug fixing processes.

Sculpted Prims

Exporters for 3D Modellers other than Maya are expected to be written, and the open source Viewer is also available as a means for the open source community to provide an integrated editor.

Oh Noes! Fizzlezorz :-(

My computer died last night- hopefully it was just the PSU (it had the smell of fizzlezorz afterwards, and I thought I could smell something burning just beforehand).

I’m heading out to Newcastle today to buy a new PSU, so hopefully everything should be fixzorz by tonight- if not, then i’ll be posting on here via my wii again.

Thanks go out to Kai for letting peeps know the reason behind my sudden disappearance last night 🙂

Marv playing about with the Joystick Flycam debug option

Click to Play

Found under the client menu, "Joystick Flycam" is a method of using the axis of your joystick (or any other game controller) to control the camera params. Up to 5 axis are supported currently, but since I'm on an old MS Sidewinder, it seems I can't use the throttle control for the zoom level 😦

SL Metaphors – Webcomics

SL Metaphors – Webcomics

Abducting the Aliens

Afternoon Lag. Because Lag is the cause of all problems.

Summary of meeting with Jeff Linden on the SL Maps API

Jeff Linden on the ‘old’ Linden Lab SL Maps API

In my opinion, we deployed it before we were really ready to scale it. The way it works is kinda awkward, as anyone who’s tried to hack it up can see.

I think, that what we really should be doing, is just giving out a sim image web service, a name to co-ordinate web service, and let Residents do with it what they will.

The SLOpenID SL Maps API

Jeff Linden on the SLOpenID SL Maps API

Well, I think you did pretty good, certainly a better improvement on the API than we did. In any case, I think for the future of the webmap, we’re in pretty much agreement.

SignpostMarv Martin on the SLOpenID SL Maps API

We’re grabbing the sim maps from the 1:1 scale images that the Linden Lab API spits out, then shrinking and compositing them ourselves for the higher levels.

The 1:1 region images are addressed much clearer- ahern.jpeg vs 997-277-1-0 and 992-1023 992-1023.jpeg vs 31-8-6-0 for example. (in SLOpenID’s higher zoom level example, the first two numbers represent the vertical range of grid co-ordinates, and the second set represent the horizontal range of grid co-ordinates- making it easier to figure out what regions are included in any zoomed out texture).

Jeff Linden on the future Linden Lab SL Maps API

Your API does pretty much everything we want in a future API, but in any case we need to solve our back-end problem first- which is “deliver the sim images in a better way“. I’m actually talking about more than just the API. the way we currently generate these images, it’s painful and delicate.

We only have access to jpeg2000 versions. So we regenerate them into jpgs and stick them in a central db. Then each webserver caches locally.

We only use them internally as jpeg2000 because of the world map in the Second Life Viewer. One developer’s finishing up changes to the in-world map image generator, to spit out both j2k and jpg versions.

Unfortunately, the webmap is not one of our top fires. Though it’s pretty high on our list.

I had jokingly offered Jeff the source code for the SLOpenID API, but as he’s said, there’s a lot of work to do before Linden Lab are ready for an upgrade.

The Viewer world map

SignpostMarv Martin on the world map

Here’s a suggestion: Get rid of the j2k version altogether, replace the world map and mini map with uBrowser. Then the load on grid servers will be instantly lifted. the other suggestion of course would be to add JPEG support into the client

Most of the metadata displayed on the world map is already available on the web. If all the data that the world map uses is available as a web service, then the Viewer can have a field that lets the end-user use a LL or Resident-made solution. Either that, or add greasemonkey support to the in-world browser. I’m sure Cristiano would love the in-world map to have a Snapzilla option.

Jeff Linden on the world map

Using uBrowser for the world map would be easier said than done. As long as we finish that one piece of work that will generate jpg map images. Then it’s just a simple matter of finding a place to cache and a lightweight web service.

It may not be too much work, actually- but I’m not the dev working on the uBrowser. However, the viewer is open source now- anything is possible there, right?

Summary of meetings regarding discontiuation of Help Request

The current state of Help Request

  • Live Help/Help Request has not scaled to meet the volume of Help Requests, nor the requests themselves.
  • Not changing with the times means that Help Request was becoming less and less helpful overall.
  • One of the problems with current support/help system is that it’s not targeting the people that need help the most
  • there have been an increasing number of innapropriate help calls like that….again…related to OI, interpersonal disputes, etc

The Ticketed Support System

  • Customer Support will be transitioning to a ticketed support system.
  • Help Request will not be running along side the ticketed system because of the way the new system has to be implemented it wasn’t possible-it would have meant pulling liaisons from the help channel completely, leaving you guys to bear the full load, which we didnt see as a fair alternative The liaisons who man HR now…need to train in the new system we don’t want to leave the system to decline until it collapses on the last few dedicated helpers
  • the new system is a way for people who need help the most to get it, not the last-come first-served method that help request can degrade into at times
  • There will be a gap of 3 to 5 weeks where there is neither Help Request nor the ticketed support system, but we should see Liaison specialists moving in to be available for serious issues at this point Help Request will be removed next wednesday Wednesday 18th April, 2007

SL Certification

  • Linden Lab are looking at creating SL Certification- Like becoming certified for things like Cisco Networking etc, we’d like people to be able to PROVE they know what they’re talking about in SL
    • Blue mentioned that he’d like the Volunteers to help define what certification entails- if you were to be asked if you passed the certification test, it would be cool for you to be able to say…pass it…I WROTE IT
    • the team working towards creating certification will be part of a larger goal towards providing education in SL

Volunteers and the Certification program

  • at this point certification is not related to the volunteer program
  • certification will be an option for residents who work in SL and want to prove their mettle….it’s not something we’re going to be requiring of volunteers, rather it’s something we would like to give volunteers an option to contribute to
  • the certification test would be given by a 3rd party company that specializes in certification, we will just be helping to define the test

Volunteers and Orientation Island

  • The new user experience currently results in roughly 10% retention
  • There are currently too many barriers to entry to find one’s place in their Second Life
  • A lot of Help Requests are things that should or could be answered during the Orientation process
  • Improving the Orientation Process means the newer Residents start off their Second Lives with a better education- getting to them earlier is more valuable to the people who need help the most
  • nobody is going to force anyone to camp the public OI/HI

Linden Lab Improvements

  • we have two teams that are moving into place to monitor the grid and respond to residents
    1. 24/7 replacement for the Grid Monkey position
    2. a Liaison team that coordinates with them and act as Early Responders they will also have 24/7 coverage. you will be able to contact them when there are replicators etc
  • The Liaison response team will be the lindens you can contact directly with issues, but I (Blue Linden) can’t talk with real authority on that as I didn’t work on that directly. I believe they (new Residents) are able to contact Liaison early responders directly
  • There will be 6 Lindens dedicated to the Volunteer program
  • we have 2 tech writers on staff now to help build out the knowledge base
  • expanding the volunteer program in ways that are proactive and produce cumulative effects makes more sense than continuing to try to address people one at a time, while we are quickly outnumbered
  • we are going to be requiring meeting attendance for volunteers….say one meeting every 3-4 months- nothing that will be restrictive to those of you who are regulars, but enough to sort out some of the people who just want the Mentors tag

Note from Marv: would be a good means of allowing Residents to access the self-help resources from within the Viewer.

SL Metaphors – Webcomics

Your World, Your Imagination

Break Point City, episode 103-b.

Ollie Kubrick, Automotive Research Center

  1. Poinky Malaprop

    [10:03] so, with that let’s get started

  2. Ollie Kubrick

    [10:03] Hello Znet

  3. Znetlady Isbell

    [10:03] Hi Ollie

  4. Poinky Malaprop

    [10:03] just as a brief intro

    [10:04] Welcome to this Kuurian Expedition meeting, and thanks all for coming

    [10:04] sorry we havent been having these as frequently as before, hopefully that will improve 🙂

    [10:04] but for today we have Ollie Kubrick

  5. Ollie Kubrick

    [10:04] Hi

  6. Poinky Malaprop

    [10:04] talking about his ideas and projects

    [10:05] and maybe leading us in a Ollieball Deathmatch

  7. Ollie Kubrick

    [10:05] hehe

  8. Poinky Malaprop

    [10:05] so.. take it away Ollie!

  9. Read the rest of this entry »

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