Thursday, August 2, 2007

You have a VOICE in Second Life...

Today Linden Lab proudly announced that VOICE is now LIVE in Second Life. The Official Second Life Blog has a quasi-FAQ posted that is primarily there to quell the many voices of dissent and once again quiet the FENCE SITTERS.

One particularly interesting point being made in the FAQ is:

Voice is hosted on separate servers. Many Residents have expressed concern and confusion as to why voice would be released when Second Life periodically has performance issues. Voice is intentionally designed to run on systems completely independent from Second Life as not to impair performance.

Of course, while this MAY be true (you never know anymore with Linden Lab), what Linden Lab fails to mention is how the VOICE will effect the BANDWIDTH of all Residents of Second Life. While I may choose not to use the Voice Function, everyone else that does will be adding more and more bandwidth congestion to the GRID, which will cause more LAG and PACKETLOSS for everyone, not just the users of the Voice Function. Of course, Linden Lab fails to mention this, since of course they have no answer to this problem. If you haven't noticed, Linden Lab has (at least they say they have) addressed the BUG issues (read past BLOG comments to understand why this isn't as true as Linden Lab wants it to be) and has started to address Server Issues (we hope) after this past weekend, but NO WHERE do they say they are even considering the LAG and PACKETLOSS issues. I wonder just how much packetloss and lag it will take before Linden Lab pulls VOICE?

Let me be perfectly clear, I am ALL for improving the Second Life experience, but NOT at the expense of the current Second Life experience. Adding an enhancement should not adversely effect the Residents of Second Life. When an Enhancement is added to Second Life, that Enhancement should be tested thoroughly of course, but also, it should be closely examined to see what other systems it might adversely effect, and before the Enhancement is added, those systems being adversely effected should be strengthened so the Enhancement doesn't ADD to the woes of the Second Life Resident. This is of course where Linden Lab fails miserably, and continues to do so to this day.

You may have a Voice in Second Life today, but just how long will that Voice last? Does anyone remember WINDLIGHT?


Blip said...

You're pretty wrong about voice causing load on the grid. Voice doesn't touch the grid. When you talk it goes from your computer to the Vivox servers and then to whoever's listening. And when someone else talks the voice goes from their computer to the Vivox servers to you and whoever else is listening.


Bob Bunderfeld said...

Of course Blipper, if what you surmise was true, then someone with Voice Enabled, wouldn't hear ALL conversations in their range.

But since, we can "eavesdrop" on conversations, this means the voice packets are being broadcast universally.

When you think about it a little bit more I'm sure you will see why this is a problem for the Grid and the Second Life Residents.