Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 SL Year of the Mesh

Mesh is here and here to stay! According to Charlar Linden from the January 30, 2012 Content Creation/Mesh Import User Group meeting ( 70% of SL residents have updated to viewers that let them view Mesh.

Like the adoption of any new technology growing pains are to be expected. After the hurdle of simple adoption the next on the list is issues with rigged Mesh. Rigged Mesh is a special use of static mesh where parts of the Mesh are associated with the bones used to size and animate the SL avatar. One use of Rigged Mesh is the creation of 100% replacement avatars that move just like the default Avatar. There are already many examples of amazing new avatars that would be hard if not impossible to make without rigged mesh. The other major use of rigged mesh is in the creation of clothing.

Rigged Mesh clothing moves with your Avatar in ways not possible with other types of prim clothing. The issue with Rigged Mesh clothing is that it only moves and sizes with your bones. Avatar girth (Fat and Muscle settings) are not taken into account causing sizing issues across the diversity of SL avatars. Currently 2 solutions to this situation are being looked at. The first is Karl Stiefvater’s (A.K.A. Qarl) Mesh Deformer project; currently in Alpha. The project changes or “Deforms” rigged mesh to take into account Avatar girth. You can view a demo of it here… ( Unfortunately with a project this complex it will be many months before it is ready and adopted by enough viewers to be considered a solution. The other solution involves coming up with a range of sizes.

To this end, on Feb 5th 2012 I announced the start of my “Open Sizing” project and started taking Girth numbers from ANY avatars that cared to give them. Number collection is still going on; you can send me, "Roblem Hogarth", your mod shape(s) in world, a notecard with numbers or submit your numbers to one of our online surveys.

Male -

Female -

Numbers collected will be used to create statically balanced sizes representing the wide range of avatars both male and female. These sizes will be released for free for anyone to use as they see fit. Sounds like a great idea right? Well…

Overall my efforts have been well accepted in the spirit that I thought they would be. Of course a vocal minority doesn’t see it that way. There is another size range in place known as “standard sizing” that includes a woman’s sizes XXS-L, and… that’s it. You can get the sizing set for free on the Linden Marketplace here. ( How creating a different system for designers to use that covers larger sized female avatars as well as male, when there is nothing in place for them now, could be considered a bad thing is beyond me, but there it is.

I have been told that creation of my “Open Sizing” system will cause “consumer confusion” when right now, 75% of avatars are not addressed by the other system, many stores have resorted to creating their own systems, and some clothing is only available in 2 sizes while others have put out as many as 11 sizes. I still like to think one open unbiased system will be of use to designers even if it is used only to supplement other systems already being worked on. Again all sizes will be made available for free for anyone to use as they see fit, once they are finished. Hopefully this clears up a few technical questions as well as any ego/drama questions. (ok I don’t think the drama will end, LOL)

Friday, February 3, 2012

LLgiveinventory Throttle info

I’m seeing enough disinformation in both directions regarding the new “LLgiveinventory Throttle“ , I have decided to document what it is and what it does here. DISCLAIMER: This is based on the best information I have to date on this issue as of 2/3/2012. I do not work for Linden Labs (LL) and have not been able to find any “official” documentation from LL other than comments found in the Jira ( “New rate throttle on llGiveInventory”, started by Fred Allandale.

LLgiveinventory is a linden script function used in many devices to give an item to you. LL is putting a limit on the rate items are given out. Go over that rate and the function fails to give any items for a set period of time. This choke is not limited to one offending device but rather is cumulative across all devices using LLgiveinventory rezzed by the same avatar on the same sim.

As an example: A store in SL has a scripted mailing list, scripted product vendors, riot vendors, info givers and the like. The store announces an event (sale, new release, etc.) in its mailing list and customers come to participate. If all the calls to LLgiveinventory go over the limit all use of LLgiveinventory fail, the mailing list continues to run but stops giving announcements, you pay for an item from a scripted vendor that takes your money but fails to give you your item, even simple LM givers fail to function for a long as 90 minutes.

My partner and I tested this with her Sn@tch scripted mailing list and saw all LLgiveinventory functions fail on the sim on devices owned by her at 13% into a 20,000+ list, or about 2,500 names into the list. LLgiveinventory functionality did not return for well over an hour. Luckily we ran the device on a different sim from her main store so her info givers, lucky boards, etc. were unaffected.

Reasons given for this change include back end infrastructure performance as well as preventing “griefing” by spammers. Why this was change was made without any notice or documentation change is anyone’s guess. The Jira was started by Fred Allandale when he found it on the Magnum group of sims, when I heard about it, it had already been rolled out to the entire grid.

Kelly Linden from the JIRA stated “throttle is 5k per hour per owner per region; the maximum burst is 2.5k” but later started sighting a “rolling window” of where old calls to LLgiveinventory would continue to be counted with new calls well after hitting the limit, possibly extending the overall down time of the process.

Solutions to this issue will vary from situation to situation. In our case we obtained a newer slower version of the scripted mailing list device from the creator that we are running on a sim separate from the main store so its use of LLgiveinventory is not added to that of other devices.

Hope this helps.

-Roblem Hogarth