As I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t been in Second Life much in the last year, and in the last month I’ve been relearning some stuff, and catching up on changes regarding other stuff. Several changes in how Linden Lab runs the underlying software of SL have rendered some old methods for reducing lag completely unnecessary. I’m not the only one behind, it seems, since Gwyneth Llewelyn saw the need to post an article dispelling lag myths. I’m almost embarrassed that this article dates from Feb. 2008! However, I’ve recently been to a meeting where they were still trying to enforce some of the old rules.

In summary:

  • Scripted attachments haven’t really contributed to lag since 2006.
  • Particles don’t contribute to server lag. If you experience lag from particles, it’s a matter of adjusting the settings on your own graphics card and in your own SL viewer preferences.
  • Primmed hair doesn’t really contribute to lag on the server or the client side.
  • Most of your lag issues can be addressed via custom settings in the preferences of your viewer.
  • Even if you are experiencing lag, Alt-zooming in on just what you want to see is likely to cut down on it.

Some of the other stuff is out of the viewer’s hands. If you’re a scripter, one bit of advice is to recompile your scripts to use Mono. I’ve found that to make things run tremendously faster. I still run into lag on certain sims, but it’s not nearly as often nor as problematic as it used to be. I think LL’s changes indicated above must have a lot to do with that.

She followed up with an interesting guest post historical-to-modern perspective about how LL’s changes have affected lag in an article called “Anatomy of Lag.”

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