An Open Letter to Firestorm and Linden Lab

(Yes I know LL won’t read it but it makes ME feel better.)
As nearly anyone who logs into SL with any regularity will know, there are quite a few BUGs afflicting SL at present. Most are concerned with attachments becoming detached from avatars as they pass from one simulator to the next, either by crossing sim boundaries or by teleporting. Since SSA code was introduced to SL, it had been the simulator that determines what actually leaves one location and enters the next, without reference to the client. This has resulted in incomplete transfers of all attached objects, be they locked or otherwise. The issue seemed to get significantly worse as elements of Project Interesting were introduced to the server code and most recently the introduction of LL’s much trumpeted Augmented Inventory System 3 (AIS3) which was both server and client side code changes further worsened the situation.

Now the upshot has been a plethora of issues affecting worn attachments, which either become detached in a third party’s view or simply stop working, in the case of HUD objects. These items are still (for the most part) shown as attached locally to the client but since they have become detached as far as the receiving server is concerned, they lose any functionality. This discrepancy can only be resolved by a relog, when the server and client communicate. Now to most folk, this is at least inconvenient and at worst embarrassing. To RLV users, however the situation is far worse: the least that can happen is that a relog is needed to get a locked item to reattach, but prior to that all restrictions or other attributes of the attachment are lost and in most cases if the attachment is visible to third parties, it disappears. It may still be visible to the local client, but it becomes non-functional and nothing short of a relog will cure that. In some cases the attachment may reattach incorrectly and if it is locked it immediately signals that it is incorrectly worn, but again, it is irremovable.

Various JIRAs (BUG-6925 and BUG-7761 to name but two) cover these phenomena, and at least part of the issue is addressed in a test-viewer release candidate code named “Big Bird” from The Lab. Now until this viewer has been assessed and the code adopted into a full release by LL, the modified code is unavailable to Third Party Developers and thus its effectiveness under RLV is completely unknown.
RLV users that have bemoaned this in both the JIRAs and a leading TPV’s Support group inworld have been told curtly that RLV is “irrelevant”. It is NOT. What seems to be happening is that as the leading TPV becomes more and more popular, the support and development personnel (yes I KNOW they are all volunteers, that is irrelevant to my point) have seemingly forgotten that TPVs were born out of minority needs and many of Firestorm’s excellent innovations came from non-mainstream suggestions. As a result I hear the staff saying that RLV is “irrelevant” to them also. If that has become true then it seems to me that they have forgotten their roots. The closeness between elements of LL and elements of FS may indeed (or so it is rumoured) be leading to the adoption of FS as the official “default” SL client (though I find that highly unlikely myself).

What does strike me is that FS is no longer pressing LL to solve issues that are “mission-critical” to a significant minority of SL users. These BUGs break and render pointless many aspects of Roleplay in SL, and I see little consideration to this being given in the Support Group in SL. To just throw one’s hands up and say “It is nothing to do with us” is disingenuous in the extreme, and frankly I find it insulting. Just how long this state of affairs will continue is anyone’s guess, but I see no concern shown by FS Support and that is a pity.

~ by Ayesha Askham-Ezvalt on June 25, 2015.

4 Responses to “An Open Letter to Firestorm and Linden Lab”

  1. Reblogged this on ZZ Bottom misadventures in Virtual Worlds!.

  2. Move to Henry Cool vf viewer. It is the oen with the most actualized rlv code.

    • ZZ, that is a good, valid point except for a couple of things:
      1 – Henri’s codebase is v1 and has its own BUGs
      2 – the BUGs afflicting FS and all other v2/3 viewers are LL’s responsibility and they affect EVERYONE to some extent.

      • I still think that some bugs are solved on rlv and not on rlv(a) but in fact the dismiss of the importance of rlv by the lab can only be figured if one thinks about the experience tools and that they are trying to enforce those instead.

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