So…LindenLab has not been idle…

Simon Linden revealed today the new feature that will be coming to a sim near you soon: “Region Idling”. I don’t think it is too far a stretch of reasoning to think that most of the kerfuffling (“unplanned maintenance”) in SL over the past month has been as a result of the changes needed to make this work on a fundamental level…the blow-up might even have been due to botched work on the installation, but that is just my speculation.

No one should be critical of LL’s programmers if this plan works, since it will reduce the energy-footprint of SL greatly. We all (those of us that spend a significant amount of time in Secondlife) have seen the vast numbers of empty sims, so reducing the load on the servers of those empty sims sounds a “no-brainer”.

I say “sounds”. If the implementation is properly done and scripts can cope with the high levels of time-dilation that will be occurring, then it is a “win-win” for Linden Lab; their energy bills drop, overall server load decreases and their profits concommitantly increase. However if the implementation is Lindened (ie half-assed), or scripts cannot handle the high TD, we may have problems. It is said that a receiving sim will power-up to running status in the time taken for a TP to occur, ie a couple of seconds. I hope so, but frankly I fear an increase in failed TPs and sims appearing as “offline”.

This is a worthy prize to be sought and I sincerely hope that it is successful…given Linden Lab’s recent track record, I am less sanguine. We shall see.

Edit: I have seen two comments that, in my view, need urgently to be addressed honestly by Linden Lab (and I hope by Simon Linden, since he tends to speak English rather than Geekese).
One observation was that this is a move to allow LL to put more sims on a single server – my only thought here is that so long as it doesn’t reduce sim performance (script runtime) that isn’t a major issue, though a concommitant reduction in tier would be a good move (what?… I can dream!).
The other would be if busy sims could access more server resources if other sims on that server were idle…I see a can of worms here, too many potential issues. What if a previously idle sim became active and “stole back” a busy sim’s server resource; would that busy sim then crash? Would club owners be required to pay extra tier for this facility? I suppose that it would be one way to coax folk back onto mainland, but if any island regions were thus affected I’d be able to hear the yells from the UK! There has to be some reason to pay the extra tier a private non-mainland region costs!

Edit 2 Wednesday midnight BST: So far no-one is screaming “foul”, so I assume the idea is working. I see the arguments pro and con on the Blog, and I cannot help but think that some folks simply do not realise what they are saying. Yes some of those ideas sound great in essence, but once Lindened they are far less attractive and I cannot help but think that all this does is open the door to another form of bullying in SL.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on May 16, 2012.

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