Monthly Archives: August 2016

Automatic World Optimization and Other Improvements

We updated Kitely today with several features that improve the in-world experience, including a system that automatically optimizes Kitely worlds so they’ll start faster.

Automatic World Optimization

A common problem in OpenSim is that objects that have complex physics meshes can cause the world to start slowly. A physics mesh is the part of the object that determines where it’s solid, and where avatars can walk through it. For example, suppose you have a large arch in your world. The object’s physics mesh would also be in the shape of an arch: this is what allows users to walk back and forth under the arch.

Most physics meshes are simple and don’t cause a problem. However, if these physics meshes are very complex (i.e., they contain many triangles), then it takes OpenSim a long time to parse them. This makes the world start slower, because this parsing is performed when the world starts. In some cases we’ve seen worlds that take an extra 10 minutes (!) to start, just because of the time that they have to spend parsing complex physics meshes.

Note that all objects have a physics mesh; not only mesh objects. However, in practice, usually only mesh objects (and some sculpties) can have a physics mesh that’s complex enough to cause a problem.

In the past, when we’ve seen this problem we used to contact world owners and ask them to fix their objects: either by simplifying the physics mesh, or by making the objects phantom (since a phantom object’s physics mesh isn’t used, and therefore it doesn’t take any time to parse during startup). But this took a lot of work both on our part, and on the world owner’s part, who had to track down all of the objects and fix them.

Therefore, in today’s update we added a feature that automatically handles this problem. When Kitely worlds start, any object that takes 1.5 seconds or more to parse is automatically made phantom. Because this is done automatically, world owners no longer need to track down the objects themselves. We also send an email with a detailed list of all the objects that we had made phantom, so if the world owner prefers to optimize their physics meshes and make the objects non-Phantom then they can easily locate the objects in-world.

Here’s an example of part of such an email:

Dear Oren,

Your Kitely world Bridges contains some objects with complex physics meshes. These
meshes were causing the world to start slowly, because of the time that it takes
OpenSim to process them.

[...]

Slow mesh: 4266 ms
    Object:
        Name: Tennis Racket High
        UUID: af322f3d-e937-4876-b060-c908762f8e5f
        Location: (402.1, 249.4, 20.9)

This feature is now live in all Kitely worlds.

Enabled llRequestURL in the Same Region

Before today’s update, there was a problem with llRequestURL: the URL that it returned only worked when it was called from other regions. However, when it was called from a prim in the same region, it didn’t work. This happened due to a security feature in OpenSim whose details are too technical to explain here. If you’re interested, see this forum thread for more information.

We’ve now fixed this problem, by having llRequestURL provide URLs that contain an IP instead of a hostname.

More Offline IMs

Some of our users have said that they often reach the limit on Offline IMs (which was 25), causing them to miss some IMs. Therefore, we’ve increased the number of Offline IMs that are saved for each avatar from 25 to 50. This is the same limit that Premium Account users in Second Life get.

New and Improved Kitely Welcome Center

An important part of the Kitely experience is the Kitely Welcome Center. This world is the main entry point to our grid, and it serves to introduce new users to the wide range of services and destinations available in Kitely.

We are happy to announce that today we rolled out a new and improved version of the Kitely Welcome Center. This updated version was created from scratch, with the goal of retaining the spirit of the previous welcome center while improving its usability and performance.

Kitely Welcome Center

Acknowledgements

The Kitely Welcome Center is the result of an ongoing community project that was first launched in 2013. The current redesign was made by the following people who generously contributed their time:

  • Ozwell Wayfarer: designed and built the new Kitely Welcome Center, using as inspiration the design that Paislee Myrtle created for the original welcome center. Most of the items in the new welcome center were contributed by Ozwell from his Kitely Market store, Worlds End Landscaping & Roleplay.
  • Dot Matrix: was the project coordinator and created the information signs.
  • Serene Jewell: provided usability feedback early on, and was later joined by more than a dozen other Kitely community members in testing the new world.
  • Tocy Sweet: was not directly involved with this project, but she deserves credit for the graphical design of the signs in this world (which were created by Dot), since they’re based on her design for the Kitely Market advertising campaign. Tocy’s Kitely Market store is Sweet Distractions.
  • Dundridge Dreadlow: was not directly involved with this project, but he deserves credit for creating some of the scripts that were taken from previous versions of the Kitely Welcome Center. Dundridge’s Kitely Market store is Dundridge Dreadlow Developments.

Update Your Landmarks Now

If you have any existing landmarks for Kitely Welcome Center then they will no longer work, because this new world replaced the previous one. Please visit the new Kitely Welcome Center by using its world page or its Hypergrid address (grid.kitely.com:8002:Kitely Welcome Center), and create new landmarks to replace your outdated ones.

Likewise, if you’ve previously set the Kitely Welcome Center as your Home in the viewer, then enter the new Kitely Welcome Center and reset your Home to the new world.

Thank You Again

We want to give special thanks, yet again, to Ozwell Wayfarer who spent hundreds of hours creating this new world. While many other people played a part in creating the new welcome center and the ones that preceded it, Ozwell did the lion’s share of the work in making this new iteration possible.

Thank you to all past and current contributors who’ve helped build this wonderful virtual world. We welcome everyone to come and visit!