Thursday, 26 May 2011

Return of the lag monster

Lag is the plague of any most users of second life at some point or another and here at the GFC we are no stranger to slothness of the lag monster. To tackle this problem an Anti-Lag groups was set up and headed by our resident lag sleuth Bigmoe Whitfield, who can detect a laggy prim from a mile away hidden in a lead bunker underground guarded by two dragons, a lion and an hyena with predilection to laughing.

There has be various pieces of advice to help reduce lag in a sim, but the more active a sim and the more items you put into it the chances are the laggier it will get. This seems more prevalent in Aeon then the other 3 sims which seem to not have the same problem or a least not noticeably.

Scripts and memory monitoring boards Aeon sandbox
Saying that, Aeon is nowhere near as laggy as many places in SL where your character seems to be moving around in perpetual slow motion and the fact we have 4 sims is an advange as we can spread things out somewhat without the need to pack everybody in one place. For instance if we were to have a big concert where a lot of avatars would attend and cause extra strain on the sim it wouldn’t affect what happens in the other sims much.

Yesterday we got a message sent in galaxy chat channel that boards monitoring scripts and objects were being placed in the Aeon sandbox. These boards are a bit of an eye opener because they do make you aware of just how many scripted objects you may have running on you and also what around you is using memory and scripting cycles.

To some there has been a bone of contention that this was kind of sprung on people, though i don’t think any malice was intended and the group message did state “The boards DO NOT collect data and DO NOT store Data” and they were here to help people understand why the sim maybe laggy and what they could do to help improve it.
BigMoe examines the results from the monitoring board.
Lag isn’t as black and white as people think, there are all sorts of reasons. Some people thinking particles effects are laggy, but infact they don’t effect the sim at all because they aren’t created in the sim, they are only created in the viewer so if its affecting your experience then it could be a combination of a slow computer or less powerful graphic card.

Interestingly enough you can see how two devices in the sandbox uses the same amount of memory, though the leader board does more with less scripts. The device called portugal has a staggering 12 scripts which seems to indicate every flag on the device you click has a script and a notecard in it. Infact this could be done with one script a lot more efficiently and would have that device way down the the board. Its unnecessary because it mean the server has to access all these scripts in a cycle even if the script is seemingly doing nothing.
Language sim rule giver
Leader Board

What the monitor board does do is give you a snapshot of the memory and amount of scripts used, the only problem with this is unless you know what your looking for you may not understand what the data is telling you nor does it indicate how laggy a script is because certain script functions require more calculation from the server than others so a person could run less scripts than another but the ones they are running could have a more adverse affect on the sim.

The important thing is lag has been given the attention it deserves and it gives us a chance to look at ourselves and how as a group we can do something about it, but also those of us who are scripters have a responsibility to write more efficiently and its not just what people wear on themselves its also items which are permanent features of the sim.

By snapper Desade
(for GFC News)

No comments:

Post a Comment