As part of an ongoing effort to understand vehicles and their users in Second Life, I created a series of maps that depict where users of the vehicle that I’ve designed, the Elemental, go while they’re using it.
Currently there are about 100,000 Elementals in circulation on the Second Life grid. About a third of those, or 30,000+, have been active in the last month or so. There may be a better way to understand how many Elementals/users are out there and active, but I will let LL, Massively, and Terra Nova wrestle that out. It isn’t my focus.
When you make a gridwide plot of where the vehicles have been (about a quarter million records), you get a map something like the following, composed in ESRI’s ArcMap:
Using the Elemental use as a proxy for vehicle use more broadly, we see interesting tidbits emerge. The outlines of the “mainland” continents are clearly in the lower right quadrant of the map. Vehicle use on private estates, by contrast, is much much lower. This spatial relationship becomes much more apparent when we use a smoothing algorithm to interpolate densities of use between known points:
View this like a thermal image: lighter equals more dense vehicle use. Black means little or none. This kind of spatial interpolation is something of a ruse, though in the SL grid; vehicle use must be zero in True Void, that is, those gaps in the grid where no simulator is happily simulating away. In practice, so much of the grid is the True Void. In RL, the surface of the Earth has no such gaps. Still it provides a useful visualization of vehicle use on the grid.
Interestingly, it is apparent that only a few dozen private estates feature vehicle use as densely as the mainland. I would speculate that this is due to region contiguity, that is, it is more fun to operate a vehicle on the grid when you have lots of connected sims nearby– you cover a 256m square pretty fast in a vehicle. However, I must underscore that my speculation is just that. Unfortunately, I don’t have an automatic way to evaluate region contiguity yet, or other possible contributing factors.
Zooming in a bit on the mainland areas and cranking down the search radius for the density algorithm, a clear hotspot for vehicle use emerges. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sandbox and vehicle regions in the extreme southwest of the old original landmass are the most densely used areas for vehicle use:
It seems clear that several ingredients are necessary for heavy vehicle use, which also appear to be unifying factors among the sims most heavily used above: clear, open, gently terraformed terrain, powerful servers (except in the case of water void sims, where few collisions occur) , and contiguity.
Note the clear visibility of the marine strait connecting the old main continent to the Lepidoptera continent to the north (lepidoptera are butterflies and moths, etc.). Also, note the small cluster of sims to the far east. I believe those are water voids as well.
Unfortunately, this reveals a powerful quandary in vehicle design: proper enjoyment of this aspect of Second Life requires large open spaces with unmediated access which are very expensive! Given the tight competition of the vehicle market, I would be surprised to see any vehicle makers easily able to provide this kind of resource for customers. Pontiac, a huge RL carmaker, is closing up shop in Second Life, shutting down one of the most active and well-managed vehicle centers on the grid. Lacking these resources, vehicle enthusiasts are more or less forced to rely on the largesse of void sim owners for space to recreate. Food for thought.
Having tea, doing dissertation research with the best girlfriend ever <3
[11:06] Andrew Linden: Last week I offered a limited time bounty for finding new ways to crash Havok4 regions.
[11:06] Andrew Linden: The challenge expired Sunday at midnight
[11:07] Ryozu Yamamoto: Oh, any takers? I think Redux managed to crash it
[11:07] Andrew Linden: I awarded two bounties
[11:07] Andrew Linden: I received a third submission, but the region and time were not included in the info
[11:08] Andrew Linden: and it looked like a duplicate of the second award at a casual glance
[11:08] Andrew Linden: I think Dan Linden sent me some chat transcripts and other info on some other crashes
[11:08] Andrew Linden: it wasn’t clear to me if those were submissions for the bounty or not
[11:08] Squirrel Wood: I tried to find out how many script instructions per second the havok 4 sims would handle… we hold at about 4 million ips ^^
[11:09] Gaius Goodliffe: Can you tell if any old random crash on the beta grid is related to Havok4 or not?
[11:09] Andrew Linden: Squirrel, do you have a comparison of ips on Havok1? I’d imagine the host machine would influence such a benchmark.
[11:09] Squirrel Wood: the crash me sims on the main grid are on h4
[11:10] Squirrel Wood: a class 5 sim tends to max out at 4 million ips
[11:10] Andrew Linden: Gaius, I was checking the coredumps to find out if it was a Havok4 problem specifically.
[11:10] Andrew Linden: Both of the crash modes that received bounties were from running out of memory
[11:10] Andrew Linden: however they went about it two different ways
[11:10] Gaius Goodliffe nods.
[11:11] Andrew Linden: Neither crash mode was something that I have time to fix in Havok4
[11:11] Andrew Linden: however I submitted reports to Don Linden
[11:11] Andrew Linden: who is in charge of the #blacklight studio, and is usually working on important bugs and critical issues.
[11:12] Andrew Linden: There hasn’t been a lot of noteworthy bugs fixed, or development in Havok4 in the last week or two.
[11:13] Andrew Linden: Simon has been tweaking the Runtime Collision Control System and has checked in a few improvements.
[11:13] Andrew Linden: Over the last week or so I’ve been working on some mass-properties utilities
[11:13] Wind Key 2 ~ GAMBIT: BAM~!
[11:13] target-aim 0.3: Hello, Avatar!
[11:13] Andrew Linden: the idea being… we should compute our own mass and inertia instead of asking Havok for that info
[11:13] Seifert Surface: why?
[11:13] Andrew Linden: such utilities will fix about three different bugs, and I’m almost finished
[11:14] Andrew Linden: just writing unit tests now and trying to find one last known bug in the utilities.
[11:14] Andrew Linden: Seifert, Havok’s mass properties utilities have some problems.
[11:15] Andrew Linden: (1) the object must have a RigidBody in the phyics engine before we can query it for mass properties
[11:15] Andrew Linden: and attachments don’t have RigidBody’s any more, and yet the script-energy depends on the object’s mass
[11:15] Seifert Surface: ah
[11:16] Andrew Linden: (2) the values we’re getting from havok are just wrong… they use a surface mass distribution method, instead of a solid geometry system.
[11:16] Andrew Linden: (3) … There is a third problem but I can’t remember what it is atm
[11:16] Gaius Goodliffe: Will it ever be possible to programatically set the mass of an object, so say a bag of sand has more mass than a bag of helium?
[11:16] Ryozu Yamamoto: Though I’d like to mention, attachments in Havok1 never seem to run out of energy
[11:17] Andrew Linden: oh right… (3) the mass properpties computations are somewhat expensive, and I’d like to cache some of them
[11:18] Andrew Linden: Gaius, it won’t be possible to manually override the mass properties of objects until we have our own mass properties utilities
[11:18] Andrew Linden: so… our own utilities will enable:
[11:18] Andrew Linden: (4) manual overrides
[11:18] Gaius Goodliffe nods.
[11:18] Andrew Linden: (5) per-prim density settings
[11:18] Seifert Surface: cool
[11:18] Andrew Linden: However, (4) and (5) would come sometime after Havok4 is actually done
[11:18] Gaius Goodliffe: Of course. First things first. 🙂
[11:19] Andrew Linden: So that is all of the “state of Havok” updates I’ve got.
[11:19] Andrew Linden: Sidewinder probably has some announcements..
[11:19] SL Exchange Magic Box w/ANS: SL Exchange – Delivered item Elemental HUD.
[11:19] Sidewinder Linden: thanks… yes… we are going to reload the beta preview this afternoon, with a different region configuration
[11:20] Sidewinder Linden: this is based ont he chanes that we talked about at the last office hours
[11:20] Sidewinder Linden: i’ll hand out a notecard iwth the proposed new “core configuration”
[11:20] Andrew Linden: specifically, you’re talking about reducing the number of regions to some minimum
[11:20] Andrew Linden: to allow for more private estate trials on the preview
[11:21] Sidewinder Linden: yes… this list is what i came up with for a “core configuration” – reginos that should be there on an ongoing basis for various specific reasons
[11:21] Sidewinder Linden: this leaves a lot of slots for rotating other regions from the main system into the preview so taht we can test completely assembled and operational regions easily
[11:21] Seifert Surface: seems like a sensible thing to do
[11:21] Sidewinder Linden: we also have put up a rack of class 5 servers – i think there are now going to be six class 5 hosts on the preview, which is 24 regions of class 5
[11:22] Kitto Flora: Wish didn’t make it huh?
[11:22] Sidewinder Linden: should it be on the core, or the rotating set?
[11:22] Sidewinder Linden: i can add it if it should be…
[11:22] Andrew Linden: (hrm… I’m pretty sure the last bug in my mass properties stuff is floating point error, exacerbated by adding and subtracting large nearly equal numbers)
[11:22] Sidewinder Linden: btw one thing to know is that now putting new regions on to the preview will be very easy and can be scheduled
[11:22] Ryozu Yamamoto: Can we do half core half rotating?
[11:22] Sidewinder Linden: that is actually *about* what this is
[11:23] Sidewinder Linden: i havnen’t got a final count, but i believe that this is about half of the total region slots
[11:23] Squirrel Wood: furnation… those sims tend to get griefed a lot
[11:23] Sidewinder Linden: the plan is to set up so that regions on the beta preview will run on the same hardware that they use on the public system, so to some degree this will depends on the mappings of region to class of host
[11:23] Seifert Surface: will they get griefed in beta?
[11:23] Sidewinder Linden: yes… there is one furnation sim in the core list… do there need to be more?
[11:24] Sidewinder Linden: probably
[11:24] Squirrel Wood: if its one of the sandbox sims that should do the trick
[11:24] Sidewinder Linden: well i shouldn’t say probably… wouldn’t be surprising, however it would be handled in the same way as main system
[11:24] Sidewinder Linden: and with h4 hopefully it won’t be as successful
[11:24] Andrew Linden: The estate owners can set their regions private if they want… it’s just the Beta
[11:24] Sidewinder Linden: right
[11:24] Sidewinder Linden: oh good point andrew – when we copy a region to the beta, it will automatically pull all of its security settings
[11:25] Sidewinder Linden: so private regions will be private on beta
[11:25] Sidewinder Linden: unless the owner decides to openthem up
[11:25] Sidewinder Linden: does this look like a reasonable core list, with the idea that we can swap in other regions for a few days for specific testing easily?
[11:25] Couples MultiAnimator v2e whispers: * Abranimations Couples Animator Ready…
[11:25] Kitto Flora: Seems like a vast quantity to me
[11:26] Squirrel Wood: looks good to me
[11:26] Ryozu Yamamoto: Looks good tome
[11:26] Sorraya Pera: sissipoo
[11:27] Sidewinder Linden: kitto – too many in the core?
[11:27] Sidewinder Linden: easy to trim it 🙂
[11:27] Velve Hax: ~~*~SiSsssSSssy!!~*~~
[11:27] Kitto Flora: Well any testing I could do there Ive already done. And it only needed 2 H4 sims and 1 H1 sim
[11:27] Sidewinder Linden: we were also thinking that with a lot of people on the beta preview folks will want enough space to spread out at times
[11:28] Sidewinder Linden: oh btw – the havok1 sims are not in this list, but would be maintained after the reconfig
[11:28] Kitto Flora: If one cannot set up large scale stuff on the sim, its pretty much useless for me now
[11:28] Sidewinder Linden: what does that mean kitto?
[11:28] Sidewinder Linden: in other words what would you need?
[11:28] Kitto Flora: Ability to keep stuff around for more than 30 mins
[11:28] Kitto Flora: or 60 mins.. whatever it is
[11:29] Sidewinder Linden: hmmm
[11:29] Sidewinder Linden: well if wish were on the preview you wouldn’t have that problem, right?
[11:29] Kitto Flora: Right
[11:29] Seifert Surface: large amounts of the space generally up on beta seems to be no build (or at least has been in the past)
[11:29] Sidewinder Linden: actually i think i have it in the “resident regions list” to be deployed – just not in core
[11:29] Kitto Flora: Exactly Seifert
[11:29] Kitto Flora: All one can do in suchj places is play with whats there
[11:30] Ryozu Yamamoto: Well, we need no build areas too, as well as no object entry, no script, etc.
[11:30] Seifert Surface: yes
[11:30] Gaius Goodliffe nods.
[11:30] Andrew Linden: We usually pull the regions over as-is, so if they are no-build originally that is how they show up in the preview
[11:30] Seifert Surface: but not entire sims of it
[11:30] Ryozu Yamamoto: As it stands, there is a bug that affects no build areas
[11:30] Kitto Flora: And usually thats not physics critical stuff
[11:30] Sidewinder Linden: ok… so how about this… we start with this list, and then we can tune this to get cloer to “right”
[11:30] Sidewinder Linden: right… andrew’s point is the reason for figuring out “the right core list”
[11:30] Ryozu Yamamoto: Remember, “Physics” doesn’t just affect prims with the physics checkbox checked
[11:30] Sidewinder Linden: the easy and maintainable solution is to pull over the regions that are already configured in the way that is useful
[11:31] Redux Decosta: right; theres an h1 crash that involves sitting inside or walking over natural toruses; its still a massive physics crash even though they’re nonphysical
[11:31] Kitto Flora: Well the GSLR sims are one such – and you got them
[11:31] Sidewinder Linden: ok
[11:32] Gaius Goodliffe: If we have Blue, Mauve, and Lime, might I suggest Mocha? When you’re flying around testing, being able to circle a “four corners” spot can be helpful.
[11:32] Sidewinder Linden: ok
[11:32] Squirrel Wood: h1… all you need is rez two physical tori that are stuck within each other… should cause an instant crash
[11:32] Redux Decosta: has there been any playing with havok4 on void sims yet?
[11:32] Sidewinder Linden: only marginally – that’s why i added the sailing courses those are void sims
[11:33] Sidewinder Linden: and the sailing community is quite sensitive to dynamics (and have some pretty sophisticated sailboat scripting)
[11:33] Sidewinder Linden: so this will let them find problems and retune their boats
[11:34] Kitto Flora: Oh – I take that back. Looks like GSLR sims are not on the list either
[11:34] Sidewinder Linden: k well maybe i misunderstood – which sims in particular are you talking about?
[11:34] SL Exchange Magic Box w/ANS: SL Exchange – Delivered item Elemental HUD.
[11:34] Kitto Flora: Well, guess I get Christmas off. Nothing to do.
[11:34] Kitto Flora: The Sims that the GSLR run throug
[11:35] Kitto Flora: Periwinkle…
[11:35] Ryozu Yamamoto: Welcome Eata, grab a seat 😉
[11:35] Sidewinder Linden: ahh oops – i had periwinkle and purple on the resident list
[11:35] Sidewinder Linden: are those two the ones you meant?
[11:35] Sidewinder Linden: hi eata
[11:35] Kitto Flora: Yes
[11:35] Kitto Flora: purple
[11:35] Kitto Flora: maroon…
[11:35] Sidewinder Linden: ok i’ll pu tthem in the core lst
[11:35] Sidewinder Linden: do we need all three for testing?
[11:35] Kitto Flora: two minimum
[11:35] Eata Kitty: Well I just attempted to try the new windlight but it keeps silently dying before the loading screen gets up
[11:35] Kitto Flora: Need to check boundary crossing
[11:36] Sidewinder Linden: right … periwinkle and purple ok?
[11:36] Ryozu Yamamoto: </3 New login =P
[11:36] Kitto Flora: Yes, periwinkle and purple should be good
[11:36] Sidewinder Linden: “done” 🙂
[11:37] Eata Kitty: Havok 4?
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: ok so otherwise this looks like a decent starting point?
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: yes
[11:37] Ryozu Yamamoto nods.
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: all of the core regions would be set up with havok4
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: and the existing havok1 regions would still be there
[11:37] Gaius Goodliffe: Will they still have the useful warning ground texture saying Havok1?
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: yes
[11:37] Gaius Goodliffe: Excellent. 🙂
[11:37] Sidewinder Linden: oh – good point…. gaius… you may
[11:38] Kitto Flora: Anyone know if Garth Fairchang is still active?
[11:38] Sidewinder Linden: see over the next couple of weeks, some regions with other ground textures
[11:38] Sidewinder Linden: another of the projects may put a few regions on the beta preview, so just make sure to check the ground texture before assuming it’s h4
[11:38] Andrew Linden: Havok4 has been sitting on the preview too long. Other projects need some time there.
[11:38] Sidewinder Linden: anything that is not h4 *should* have a ground texture explaining what it is
[11:39] Squirrel Wood: Mono ?
[11:39] Ryozu Yamamoto: May as well stick the H4 ground texture on H4 sims, heh
[11:39] Ryozu Yamamoto: Just for the sake of clarity
[11:39] Sidewinder Linden: could be 😉
[11:39] Sidewinder Linden: ok… so last chance to hop up and down… any reason not to pull the trigger on this reconfiguration today?
[11:40] Gaius Goodliffe: My apologies for missing the last couple meetings, I may be behind the curve a tad: last time I’d been here, we hadn’t moved on to vehicle bugs yet. Is that still the case, or are we looking at vehicle stuff now too?
[11:40] Sidewinder Linden: ok… so then when i can get things lined up we’ll reload the region configuration. it probably makes sense to have the beta offline for an hour or so to make sure this went right, and i’llbring it back up asap after that
[11:41] Sidewinder Linden: we are getting to the point of digging in farther on vehicles – likely with some more vigor after the holidays
[11:41] Andrew Linden: We’re not quite back working on vehicles yet. But that is next.
[11:41] Ryozu Yamamoto: Before we run out of time, I wanted to ask about the avatar velocity caps
[11:41] Sidewinder Linden: go kitto
[11:41] Kitto Flora: where?
[11:41] Andrew Linden: Ah yes… avatar velocity caps…
[11:42] Sidewinder Linden: @kitto (to your point!) 🙂
[11:42] Andrew Linden: Ask the questions Ryozu.
[11:42] Kitto Flora is lost
[11:42] Sidewinder Linden: /oops – wrong name sorry kitto – thought ryozu’s question was yours…
[11:42] Ryozu Yamamoto: I’ve played with them quite a bit, and honestly, I’m just not happy with them. In Current Havok1, velocity caps are nearly non-existent, and I have no qualms with putting caps into place
[11:42] Kitto Flora: 🙂
[11:43] Andrew Linden: Ryozu, you’ve tested the Havok4 caps recently? (In the last three weeks or so?)
[11:43] Ryozu Yamamoto: Yes, specifically on the Crash me sims and on the beta grid
Learning about Google’s Knol rival to wikipedia