Monday, 15 March 2010

mega prims

Well, I was, as usual 'listening in' to the chat on Builder's Brewery and the subject of mega prims came up. Not for the first time I heard a number of Old-Wives-Tales about how megas cause lag etc, etc.

So, I thought I would try and get to the bottom of it having lived and built with megas for over two years now and, with a 128 graphix card, I, more than many others, should be a fair judge of the lagging effect of megas.

I went to the LL webpage, (sorry, silly me, they are all Wiki now, not webpages), here... and, under the subject title ...

Prim density and lag

The following was written
"Using a mega prim instead of multiple regular prims (for a wall, a floor, etc), decreases the number of faces which need to be drawn by the viewer (or, depending on how "smart" is your graphic driver, the number of occlusions to calculate so to avoid drawing hidden faces) can be reduced dramatically. "..
.. OK, so rather dodgy grammar, but the point is, as I suspected, that there is no known relationship between lag and megas, they can possibly reduce lag.

but.... there may be downsides....

1. "Very large mega prims will not be rendered at all sometimes by the Viewer. The only approach to fix this would be to increase draw distance, therefore increasing lag. " ... sorry, Boys, that is complete BS. The draw distance I use is never dependent on the presence or absence of megas. That is only ever going to be a building issue, never a day-to-day one.

2. "Some problems with mega prims are obviously related to their huge size. They can reach far beyond parcel borders and disturb neighbors with their presence. Residents might not even recognize that it is a mega prim which is hindering them, since they might be inside the mega prim and therefor won't be able to see it." ....sorry...I'm not buying that excuse either. That point relates solely to very mega megas, not to anything under 50 meters in size.

In fact, the objections and excuses are ALL related to huge megas, there is, as far as I can see no good reason why LL has dragged their feet on resolving this issue.

Other grids have scalable prims.

So...the history is such.....

"In a Town Hall discussion at December 20th 2006, Linden Lab announced that they were going to allow the use of mega prims on private estates."

It was further discussed in 2007, 2008 and, even last year 2009 there was talk about owners of 'private estates' being allowed to use them, again...boringly enough, the huge megas were used as an excuse...

"While Linden Lab is still not supporting or endorsing the use of mega prims, developer Andrew Linden talked about future plans on what he called the "liberation" of mega prims. He is planning to
Allow parcel owners/managers to move (or maybe just return) objects that overlap their parcels.
Provide UI feedback to the Resident when moving their objects, indicating whether they overlap neighboring parcels.
Maybe provide real-time enforcement of parcel permissions. That is, allow parcel owners to set a paranoid bit “I don’t want anyone, or these specific people, from putting stuff on my parcel”
He noted that "once that is done then perhaps we will allow you to make prims/objects as large as you want as long as they fit on your parcel."

Now, that is just not good enough.

There is nothing to stop LL from increasing the scalable size of megas bit by bit. The next viewer could easily allow a 12x12 meter prim....the following viewer a 15x15 meter prim...etc...etc.

Bettina Tizzy has been campaigning for years on the NPIRL blog for scalable prims with no success. I will not be starting a crusade, I have better things to do with my time..... but, I do have to say that I think it is totally negligent of LL to dismiss, ignore, and sweep this topic under the carpet.

There is no excuse.

Shame on you, Boys.



  1. A few days ago you wrote here "I am not a geek (i.e. I don't understand much)". I agree with that.

    Go back to Andrew Linden's office hours and learn better :P

    Stating that "there is nothing to stop LL from " only shows you don't understand the complex nature of the Second Life platform.

    I'm sure this won't make me popular, but still. Sorry for my unkind words, you're still a great uilder an artist.

  2. Opensource I always appreciate anyone who is as direct as I am in their opinions, so thank you, I don't need protecting from criticism.

    It is speculated that the lab earns about 1,000,000$ per week, and, while I am very prepared to accept that I do not understand how complex the grid is, there are other grids that do manage to allow users to scale prims beyond 10 meters. Obviously they are smaller grids with smaller numbers but, surely, a milllion dollars a week buys a bit of expertise?

    I do accept that the complex nature of the grid makes it v difficult to wipe out lag, but I do not accept that excuse for a poor reception for noobs in their first hour, nor do I think that scaling prims up to 12 meters is beyond the possible changes LL could make if it had that as a priority.