User:Babbage Linden/Office Hours/2009 03 18

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Transcript of Babbage Linden's office hours:

 Topics
 * MONO scheduler will change. If you using memory nealy 64K,
   you should check your script on Preview Grid. LINK
 * Script memory limit per percel, per avatar. LINK
[3:59] Babbage Linden: thanks for coming

[3:59] Babbage Linden: i moved my office hour to 3AM SLT last week

[3:59] Roberto Salubrius: geez it's 5am here but good to know

[3:59] Babbage Linden: and then managed to miss it this week due to UK daylight saving not happening yet

[4:00] Babbage Linden: it's 11AM in brighton where I'm based

[4:00] Susan Whizenhunt laughs

[4:00] Babbage Linden: which is the best time for me as I don't have meetings with the US lindens until the afternooon

[4:01] Nock Forager: Timezone difference is one of big problem in SL :)

[4:01] Susan Whizenhunt: I've never met a Linden before, so I'm kind of in awe

[4:01] Babbage Linden: yes, this time is probably bad for most us residents

[4:01] Babbage Linden: but hopefully will be convinient for some people

[4:02] Susan Whizenhunt: Or it could be that I haven't had coffee yet

[4:02] Babbage Linden: so, normally i talk about what we've been up to regarding scripting

[4:02] Babbage Linden: and what our plans are

[4:02] Roberto Salubrius: good

[4:02] Babbage Linden: and then we talk about any scripting or technology issues people would like to discuss

[4:03] Babbage Linden: so, the biggest thing that happened this week is that the new mono scheduler past internal QA

[4:03] Roberto Salubrius: ohhhhhh

[4:03] Roberto Salubrius: care to share the ins and outs and implications

[4:03] Roberto Salubrius: or what can we expect

[4:04] Babbage Linden: the plan is that we will deploy that code to the beta grid after the 1.26 server release

[4:04] Babbage Linden: it's a set of bug fixes really

[4:04] Roberto Salubrius: now new limitations that we should be aware of ?

[4:04] Babbage Linden: previously it was possible to exploit the scheduler to get long time slices

[4:05] Babbage Linden: that should now be fixed

[4:05] Babbage Linden: also, it was possible to temporarily use more than 64K with mono scripts within a time slice

[4:06] Roberto Salubrius: mmm

[4:06] Roberto Salubrius: do you think that that might break content ?

[4:06] Babbage Linden: yes, it will, that's why we're running a beta

[4:07] Babbage Linden: so that residents can test their scripts

[4:07] Babbage Linden: scripts that are most often affected are those which use list operations like this

[4:07] Babbage Linden: l = llListSortList(l);

[4:08] Babbage Linden: during the evaluation of that expression there are 2 lists

[4:08] Babbage Linden: the copy passed to llListSortList

[4:08] Babbage Linden: and the current value of l

[4:08] Babbage Linden: after the expression there is only 1 list, l

[4:08] Babbage Linden: the copy passed to the function is freed

[4:08] Babbage Linden: previously you could get away with this

[4:09] Babbage Linden: but the new scheduler checks whenever a script might use too much memory

[4:09] Babbage Linden: the advantage of this is that scripts will no longer be affected by scheduler changes

[4:09] Babbage Linden: but when we make this change there will be some scripts that break

[4:09] Babbage Linden: so, anyone who pushes the limits of script memory in mono

[4:10] Roberto Salubrius: ListRandomize, ListFindinList ? those will be affected ?

[4:10] Babbage Linden: and uses long lists or strings as arguments to functions should be checked

[4:11] Babbage Linden: any scripts containing function calls which take strings or list parameters might be affected

[4:12] Babbage Linden: all scripts which run ok on the LSO VM should be fine

[4:12] Babbage Linden: but scripts that specifically take advantage of the extra memory mono provides might be affected

[4:12] Babbage Linden: it's unfortunate that we're having to make a change which might break content

[4:13] Babbage Linden: but hopefully this will be a one off

[4:13] Roberto Salubrius: mmm that worries me, not because I have done it "explicitly" but since I don't check ram as often it might hurt some content

[4:14] Babbage Linden: then i encourage you to check your scripts on the beta grid when we get the code there

[4:14] Roberto Salubrius: yea good to know I hope you make a big announcement

[4:14] Babbage Linden: we will make sure we communicate it widely closer to the time

[4:14] Babbage Linden: and we'll make sure we run the beta for a good while so people have time to check their code

[4:15] Babbage Linden: these changes won't make it on to the main grid until 1.27 server at the earliest

[4:15] Roberto Salubrius: will there be "brustable" moments

[4:15] Babbage Linden: ?

[4:16] Roberto Salubrius: meaning that if a script goes over 64K

[4:16] Roberto Salubrius: for a small period of time

[4:16] Roberto Salubrius: it can burst to 65K for instance

[4:16] Roberto Salubrius: then go back to the original 64K ?

[4:17] Babbage Linden: memory can only be tested when the script is not running

[4:17] Babbage Linden: but what happens now is that the script will yield whenever it might have gone over 64K

[4:18] Babbage Linden: whereas before the script would yield at the end of it's time slice

[4:18] Babbage Linden: and if you had dropped back down below 64K by then, you got away with using more than 64K

[4:18] Babbage Linden: but that meant if anything changed to change when your script yielded

[4:18] Babbage Linden: you might stop being lucky and so run out of memory

[4:19] Babbage Linden: these changes decouple scheduling and memory accounting

[4:19] Babbage Linden: which means that if we need to change the scheduler in future

[4:19] Babbage Linden: we won't break scripts

[4:20] Roberto Salubrius: mmm well I guess we have to check then

[4:20] Babbage Linden: yes

[4:20] Babbage Linden: sorry for the extra hassle

[4:20] Babbage Linden: it's the right thing to do in the long run

[4:20] Babbage Linden: and it's best to do it now

[4:21] Babbage Linden: when only 10% of scripts are mono

[4:21] Babbage Linden: than when 90% of scripts are mono

[4:21] Roberto Salubrius: do you have a percentaje of the ram that people get to use

[4:21] Roberto Salubrius: I mean

[4:21] Roberto Salubrius: do you have a number and say ok some people go up to 65K

[4:21] Roberto Salubrius: or something like that ?

[4:22] Roberto Salubrius: I am going to the fact that is it possible to change the scheduler and while you are at it give us more ram

[4:22] Babbage Linden: yes, that's possible

[4:22] Babbage Linden: i'd like to see how many scripts are affected first

[4:23] Roberto Salubrius: that will allow a change for the scheduler, and well not break any content

[4:23] Siann Beck: So long as your script isn't using, say, 128k :)

[4:23] Roberto Salubrius: well it's good to know you are considering it

[4:24] Babbage Linden: there is a separate project we're working on which we limit script memory based on parcel ownership

[4:24] Roberto Salubrius: the problem is that we have no idea of how much ram a script might be using... or what is the real limit on the scheduler right now

[4:24] Babbage Linden: and give avatars and allowance for attachments

[4:24] Babbage Linden: which will work like prim limits

[4:25] Roberto Salubrius: so limit ram and or script time per avatar

[4:25] Roberto Salubrius: and per parcel ?

[4:25] Babbage Linden: yes

[4:26] Babbage Linden: when scripts are running in world, they will request memory from the parcel's script memory pool

[4:26] Babbage Linden: when scripts are attachments, they will request memory from the avatar's script pool

[4:26] Roberto Salubrius: mmmm.... I guess you guys are studing what an average avatar uses right now, add some and then limit up there.

[4:27] Siann Beck: Wouldn't you have a problem then of a script working in some places but not others? How do you communicate that effectively to non-techie customers?

[4:27] Babbage Linden: if the memory is not available, scripts won't rez

[4:27] Babbage Linden: the idea of having a constant size avatar pool is that if you can attach an object, it will work wherever you go

[4:28] Babbage Linden: with land pools, the process will work the same as with scripts

[4:28] Babbage Linden: instead of being told you don't have prims available, you will be told you don't have script memory available

[4:28] Siann Beck: Right, but if I'm selling a script or a scripted object, how do I tell prospective buyers, "This may or may not work on your parcel".

[4:28] Nock Forager: hmhm

[4:29] Roberto Salubrius: I really think that will make a lot of people angry

[4:29] Babbage Linden: you will need to sell it as a 6 prim, 16KB object

[4:29] Babbage Linden: people are widely aware of prim limits

[4:29] Siann Beck: Sure, but not memory limits.

[4:29] Roberto Salubrius: babbage so are we going to get the thing we have asked for a long time, to get to know the "script rendering cost" and now "memory cost" of each script ?

[4:30] Babbage Linden: "memory limits are like prim limits: you get them with your land"

[4:30] Babbage Linden: yes

[4:30] Babbage Linden: the first phase is to do the accounting, to work out how much memory scripts on avatars and parcels are using

[4:30] Babbage Linden: the next phase is to make that visible

[4:31] Babbage Linden: the final phase is to enforce it

[4:31] Siann Beck: And what happens when you implement it, and someone's existing content suddenly is over the memory limit?

[4:31] Babbage Linden: so, there will be a long period where you will be able to see how much memory is being used on your parcel

[4:31] Siann Beck: And they come screaming to the developer?

[4:31] Roberto Salubrius: Babbage I mean from your POV and me being a system adminstrator also and a RL programmer I understand, why this is being implemented

[4:32] Roberto Salubrius: or being looked at

[4:32] Babbage Linden: and if you're over you'll be able to reconfigure your land

[4:32] Roberto Salubrius: but from the other side of the fence, as a user, I see this as a possible form of mayhem

[4:32] Babbage Linden: the reason this is being worked on is that currently you can use as much memory as you like for scripts

[4:32] Babbage Linden: where regions have lots of scripts running, they cause simulators to swap

[4:33] Babbage Linden: which destroys the performance of all regions running on that simulator host

[4:33] Babbage Linden: in order to avoid lag we need to limit the size of the simulator processes

[4:33] Roberto Salubrius: but your virtualization system ... that already does not implement limits on the simulator usage ?

[4:34] Babbage Linden: it only enforces per script limits currently

[4:34] Babbage Linden: which is both annoying (because you can't make a big script)

[4:34] Babbage Linden: and useless (because you just add more scripts, memory usage is not limited)

[4:35] Babbage Linden: once we have parcel and avatar memory pools we can actually limit script memory usage

[4:35] Babbage Linden: (which stops the simulators swapping)

[4:35] Babbage Linden: and we can allow scripts to use more memory

[4:35] Roberto Salubrius: ok so the core of the issue was a problem implementing the virtualization when SL was convieved

[4:35] Babbage Linden: we could add library calls which request more memory for a script

[4:35] Roberto Salubrius: concieved

[4:36] Babbage Linden: yes, the LSO memory limit made it easy to implement scripts that can move around between simulators

[4:36] Babbage Linden: you just ship a 16K block to another machine

[4:36] Babbage Linden: with Mono there is no reason to limit a script to any amount

[4:36] Babbage Linden: big scripts will take longer to ship to another machine

[4:36] Babbage Linden: but some scripts should just be able to sit in a region using 2MB of memory if that makes sense

[4:37] Babbage Linden: but, you can't allow scripts to just keep requesting memory

[4:37] Babbage Linden: you need some kind of overall simulator limit

[4:37] Siann Beck: I'm going to have to run. See you all later!

[4:37] Nock Forager: bye Siann

[4:37] Babbage Linden: and the fairest way to do that is based on parcel ownership

[4:37] Babbage Linden: bye siann

[4:38] Babbage Linden: thanks for coming

[4:38] Roberto Salubrius: I know this is an open forum to talk about things, and this are just "ideas" right now, but I have to say, that well scripting on SL has never been easy, we get a lot of limitations, but now to also limit ram usage, like this, will make things a real nightmare for us coders.

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: ok now I have a question, as we all know scripts grow

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: or can grow

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: for instance a simple visitor counter

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: when you rez it it has a requirement of 2K of ram

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: then it logs 100 visitors

[4:39] Roberto Salubrius: and it needs 4K of ram

[4:40] Roberto Salubrius: what is the scheme planned for issues like that one ?

[4:40] Babbage Linden: yes, so what you'd like to be able to do

[4:40] Babbage Linden: is rez the script with a default allocation of memory

[4:40] Babbage Linden: then have a library call that can get the current memory usage

[4:40] Babbage Linden: and another that can ask for more memory if required

[4:41] Babbage Linden: instead of running out of memory at 16KB or 64KB, it can grow as needed

[4:41] Babbage Linden: only running out of memory when it can no longer ask for more

[4:42] Roberto Salubrius: ok so we are gonna have to implement something like malloc, and free for our scripts

[4:42] Babbage Linden: up to you

[4:43] Babbage Linden: most people will want to build objects that have a fixed memory and prim requirement

[4:43] Roberto Salubrius: how will that work with previous content that have no idea of memory managment and renders it all to the server side ?

[4:43] Babbage Linden: "this object needs 6 prims and 64KB"

[4:43] Roberto Salubrius: renders memory usage to the server side I mean

[4:43] Roberto Salubrius: ugh memory managment

[4:43] Babbage Linden: but others will want to allow dynamically growing scripts

[4:43] Babbage Linden: depends what you're building

[4:44] Babbage Linden: previous content will just use fixed amounts

[4:44] Babbage Linden: LSL scripts will need 16KB

[4:44] Babbage Linden: Mono scripts will need 64KB

[4:44] Babbage Linden: but for new scripts you will have much more flexibility

[4:44] Roberto Salubrius: and that will be set per prim or per script ?

[4:45] Babbage Linden: and not need to chop your script in half and use link messages every time you need another 16KB

[4:45] Babbage Linden: scripts will have a memory requirement

[4:45] Roberto Salubrius: ok

[4:45] Babbage Linden: parcels and avatars will have a memory pool

[4:45] Babbage Linden: in order to rez a script you need to have enough memory available in the pool to fulfil the requirement

[4:46] Babbage Linden: just like a prim limit

[4:46] Babbage Linden: but separate

[4:46] Babbage Linden: you might have a 1 prim object that needs 1MB

[4:46] Babbage Linden: or a 100 prim object that needs 16KB

[4:46] Babbage Linden: depends what you're building

[4:46] Roberto Salubrius: no I understand the implementation, I am worried about the implications of this

[4:46] Babbage Linden: if you want to find out how it will work, go and play with HTTP In

[4:47] Babbage Linden: which uses this system to ration public URLs

[4:47] Roberto Salubrius: yes I worked with it already

[4:47] Babbage Linden: and was a good first resource to limit as it is a new resource

[4:47] Babbage Linden: so, you know how this is going to work already then

[4:47] Roberto Salubrius: I posted to the jira that how it was implemented I was able to render a sim with 0 http-in connections

[4:47] Roberto Salubrius: with one script

[4:48] Roberto Salubrius: i hogged all the connections

[4:48] Roberto Salubrius: for the sim ( when peri asked us to do the closed beta test )

[4:48] Babbage Linden: which is much better than being able to rez 100,000 scripts making the sim swap and completely unusable for all users

[4:48] Babbage Linden: ;-)

[4:48] Babbage Linden: which happens currently

[4:49] Babbage Linden: not having limits doesn't work

[4:49] Babbage Linden: so we need to have limits and make them as workable as possible

[4:49] Babbage Linden: you could only hog all the connections as you were using a sandbox presumably

[4:49] Roberto Salubrius: ok I insist I do understand it all form a system admin POV, but as a user, I think it will be hard on people

[4:49] Babbage Linden: and also, you couldn't hog all the connections for all the avatars

[4:49] Nock Forager: Do you have in your mind the limitation numbers? KB/sqm or something.

[4:49] Roberto Salubrius: specially non techs

[4:50] Babbage Linden: we're currently analysing the script usage across the grid

[4:50] Babbage Linden: to come up with numbers that will break as little content as possible

[4:50] Roberto Salubrius: remember when http-in was first first implemented the first draft it had the connection limit based on the sim not on the parcel

[4:50] Babbage Linden: there will be edge cases were people are running 2000 scripts on a 512m parcel of land

[4:51] Babbage Linden: those will stop working

[4:51] Roberto Salubrius: ok

[4:51] Babbage Linden: but we should be able to make nearly all parcels work fine

[4:51] Nock Forager: 2000 on 512sqm lol

[4:51] Babbage Linden: by picking the right numbers

[4:51] Babbage Linden: and actually, running tons of scripts on a tiny parcel is griefing all the other parcel owners anyway

[4:52] Roberto Salubrius: yes of course

[4:52] Babbage Linden: i agree that this will require lots of communication to get right

[4:52] Babbage Linden: but ultimately we need to do it

[4:52] Roberto Salubrius: and there are some attachments that will bring a sim down to it's knees like some multitools out there

[4:52] Babbage Linden: and second life will be a better place because of it

[4:52] Babbage Linden: exactly, those will stop rezzing

[4:53] Babbage Linden: but again, we will pick numbers for avatar pools that will mean that most people can continue to use the scripted attachments they currently use

[4:53] Babbage Linden: only extreme edge cases should be affected

[4:53] Roberto Salubrius: ok

[4:53] Babbage Linden: and if you set your land to not allow other people to rez objects

[4:53] Roberto Salubrius: well I guess we will have enough time on the beta grid to test it

[4:54] Babbage Linden: then you should be able to set up a parcel with a set of scripts

[4:54] Babbage Linden: and it will just keep working

[4:54] Babbage Linden: without swapping

[4:54] Babbage Linden: regardless of who turns up[

[4:54] Babbage Linden: yes, there will be lots of testing time

[4:54] Susan Whizenhunt: I'm not sure if this is off-topic, but is memory usage the main cause of lag? Or are there ways in which a simple script can be as taxing on a SIM?

[4:54] Babbage Linden: and lots of communications

[4:54] Babbage Linden: CPU time is already limited

[4:55] Babbage Linden: a sim will only run scripts for a few ms per frame

[4:55] Babbage Linden: but, when you have tons of scripts in memory

[4:55] Babbage Linden: and cause the simulator host to swap, everything lags

[4:55] Babbage Linden: for all regions running on that host

[4:55] Babbage Linden: making servers touch their hard drives is horrible for performance

[4:56] Roberto Salubrius: Susan you can basically crash a sim on 1 script

[4:56] Babbage Linden: so, if you have scripts that sit in tight loops doing complex calculations

[4:56] Babbage Linden: they will slow each other down

[4:56] Babbage Linden: but non-script performance should remain fine

[4:56] Babbage Linden: if you have lots of scripts filling memory

[4:57] Babbage Linden: then the performance of every aspect of every region on the host will be affected

[4:57] Babbage Linden: ok, we're just about out of time

[4:57] Babbage Linden: and i need to get back to work

[4:57] Babbage Linden: thanks for coming everyone

[4:57] Roberto Salubrius: one last question

[4:58] Roberto Salubrius: when will we see httpd in

[4:58] Roberto Salubrius: on the main grid

[4:58] Babbage Linden: 1.27

[4:58] Babbage Linden: ok, i'm off

[4:58] Babbage Linden: hope to see you next week

[4:58] Nock Forager: THanks for the meeting Babbage.

[4:58] Susan Whizenhunt: Thanks

[4:58] Roberto Salubrius: thx

[4:58] Roberto Salubrius: have a nice day

[4:59] Roberto Salubrius: geez that only wories me

[4:59] Roberto Salubrius: or you guys as well ?

[5:00] Nock Forager: Need time to educate others...
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