Playing to a script 2

Today I was presented with another instance of sheer idiocy in SL. I was once again told that “Scripts do not, indeed cannot, cause lag”. That is simply not true.

Every sim server has a given amount of memory which it can allocate at any one instance (frame). That can be made up of prims, animations, pretty well anything and everything on a sim. Now if an avatar is wearing a large number of scripts and they are allocated a certain amount of sim memory, then there is less to go round everything else, and, depending on a complex system of ranking which I do not pretend to understand, that remaining memory is shared out. Now scripts do not run all the time, most modern ones are very efficient in their use of sim time and memory, but nonetheless, if the sim server knows they are there (they are assessed as an avatar rezzes in a sim), they occupy a certain amount of memory. Now if there are a large number of scripted avatars on a sim, as is always the case in a Ponyplay event, the amount of dynamic memory available for physics is limited. So running and jumping animations can be and often are affected. That is simple physics, not magic.
Thus avatars calling on sim resources (i.e. running and jumping avatars) will be affected by script numbers and scripted operations. The avatar may then experience a form of “lag”. To explain this a little better, what I mean is that the avatar will experience a “glitch” in their movement…be it a sudden change (increase) in ping causing increased delay in any action initiated by the user or a drop in the sim physics moving them.

Now note there are other types of latency (“lag”) which are caused by intermediate servers between the avatar’s computer and SL and also the avatar’s computer itself (could be GPU or CPU). The complexity of an avatar is also very much an influence on “lag” since the resources needed to render a complex avatar are considerably greater than those required to render a simple one. So the bottom line is that scripts can and do cause lag, and so do many other things. Render weight/cost is no myth, it is a fact of how SL works. So is the script drag or lag that can and often does occur.

I just wish this was better understood and that I could explain it better. I cannot, sorry. But I have experienced all manner of sim and off-sim lag in SL and I know that it exists and that it is not equal for all. A little consideration for those less well-equipped by us all would be desirable and I am guilty as charged since my avatar is laggier than many due to its sculpted prims, mesh and shiny parts.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on August 10, 2014.

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