Whither SL or Wither SL?

Sorry if that title is a bit cheesy, but some recent events have got me wondering just where 2013 will take SecondLife.

Early- to mid-February should see one of the biggest leaps in functionality that Linden Lab has made with SL. Server-side baking is, we are told, the cure for that dreaded “Bake-Fail” that we all, now and again, suffer from. I have occasional total “Orange-cloud” logins, and now and then I wear an item and it refuses to bake until I do a texture refresh. I know my connection, computer and viewer set-up is as good as any around and yet this still blights me. Others with less good sets-up are blighted far more often; I know from comments in the Firestorm Support Group.

Now server-side baking of textures ought, in principle if not in practice, totally eliminate the connection to the viewer aspect of baking, and for many that will be a great day – providing that it actually does work! How often lately have functions of the server not worked as intended? Since the roll-out of the new Havok to compliment Pathfinding, there have been a great many issues concerned with viewer-server communication. I really hope that server-side baking can and will work and that it will not overload SecondLife’s already creaking servers on Mainland.

Since the deliberate castration of the JIRA due to (officially) excessive ranting by residents, it has become increasingly difficult to report transparently any failures in processes within SL. If this big leap does NOT work; because the baking function is, as I understand it, incompatible with the intended new viewers that will be needed from day one; if the code change fails, a roll-back is not possible and baking client-side will be lost forever (unless everyone is ready to re- “downdate” their viewer). Frankly Linden Lab’s recent record does not fill me with optimism.

Rod Humble’s “take it or leave it” attitude to users will only work if the coding of SL works. A failure at this stage would almost surely lead to the destruction of SecondLife as we know it. I really, really hope they get this one right. Recently I have seen little indication that Humble actually cares for much, other than what he has decided is right for SL.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on December 26, 2012.

One Response to “Whither SL or Wither SL?”

  1. Well written and thoughtful. My rant was not against server-side baking or mesh specifically. It’s more about the ever-increasing cost of entry into SL.

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