It has been a very interesting week!
On Thursday the Lindens made 2 announcements:
NewOpen Source Project to Improve Graphics Rendering Performance is a project initiated by the Exodus Viewer team for which the lab will be developing the server-side code. This will use features inherent to most graphics cards to greatly improve the appearance of mesh builds. If I understand it correctly there will be very little lag or impact on your computer performance. It basically loads another texture in a similar way to what sculpties do, except this texture defines such things as reflectivity of individual surfaces and even pixels in the mesh. (The sculpty map texture tells the viewer how to distort a prim).
Second Life is Expanding to Steam pretty much says it all, although exactly how it will be implemented is as yet unclear.
One thing is for sure, these 2 announcements taken together with implementation of pathfinding and gaming tools mark a clear bid for hard-core gamers to at least give Second Life a look.
I hope the next group the Lab looks to is the tired, poor, huddled masses who frequently find solice in Second Life using computers and connections that are near the low end of what LL defines optimistic as minimum. I know the Lindens wish it was otherwise, but these people are the core of Second Life; it is time for a viewer and/or service that will allow them to enjoy SL with modestly priced equipment and connections.
Recent bugs have also been interesting:
Account recovery questions are now useless is a gem! You will have to read it. No way you would believe me if I just told you!
I recently discovered why my framerate was lagging so badly at the Cafe`. I had put a “dark prim” (a complex sculpty) under the water layer of the pool to simulate water. Once I picked it up my framerate went back to normal. SL Water prim and Anti-water prim is a jira post requesting a water prim, probably one of the oldest feature requests in SL. It is a technological challenge but I have no doubt the guys in the back room could come up with a fix if they were properly motivated. (Just say “yes Ma’am” and get to work boys).
Excessive “ParcelOverlay reliable” messages sent by regions since last rolling restart and kittycorner region is not visible both have to do with problems involving diagonally opposed regions. The first of the two is the more serious since it can drive usage rates way up for people who’s internet access is metered or capped. It is a wide spread problem that many people are not aware of. I would beware of the SW and SE corners of regions. The Lindens are WorkingOnIt. I have seen the second issue myself, with the region in question not rezing until I actually flew into it! Again the region is SE of my home region.
May you live in interesting times.