Friday, July 16, 2010

Gathering Hardware and viewer statistics on SL users

Today in Avatar Makers Guild group chat Just a bit ago I got this group notice from a user called Stickman Ingmann:

I made a Jira requesting LL collect and expose useful information for inworld developers.

Oz Linden mentioned that there's internal discussion about a script function to test the viewer for certain capabilities (avatar alpha support, multiwearables, etc), but knowing what the average user can do would help us design products.

Have a read. If you agree, give it a vote. If you don't, leave a comment with feedback if you'd like. Thanks!

I have to highly recommend voting for anonymous statistics collection. It's a way to get software developers that write viewers to make secondlife suitable for common hardware and exposes statistical information for content creators who make graphically intensive stuff(such as hair with the Max Prim count, all Flexi, and glow...nothing lags a video-card like that) and to top it off unlike that zf redzone I mentioned in a previous post, It don't violate anyone's privacy, Sounds to me like this anonymous statistic collection will make a great alternative to a totally idiotic unthoughtful scripting function used to gather information on another users viewer capabilities, I mean such a scripting function, paired with the media system, to gather information, on a specific users viewer, can be used for vulnerability assessment purposes, this is definitely not a good thing. so if your a secondlife user reading this blog post, vote for that Jira article, and leave a comment, tell them you don't want a scripted function that can do this, and you would much rather see what Stickman Ingmann suggested than such a scripted function.

Just in case of editing by any party here is the Jira Article as it stands at time of posting this Blog Entry:

Having more information about what hardware and capabilities the average users of Second Life have would greatly aid in the designing and marketing of products.

Steam conducts a monthly hardware survey, asking random members of the community if they'd be willing to divulge hardware information to Valve. The survey is made public to aid not only game developers in planning and spotting trends, but to aid community awareness on what types of systems people are using.

Gathering and distributing similar anonymous information from the Second Life community would be not only aid Linden Lab in its development choices, but would aid the inworld developers and standard users. As an example, if glow is only enabled by 20% of the users, it may be beneficial for LL to figure out why, and would be beneficial for inworld developers not to rely entirely on it. It would also let the standard user realize that the glow they are emitting may not be visible by everyone.

Besides the information contained on the Steam survey, the follow information specific to Second Life would be useful:

* Feature Support
o Glow/Shader Support
o Transparent Avatar Support
o Media-on-a-prim Support
o Multiwearables Support
o Restricted Life Support
o Etc
* Second Life Resolution
* Second Life Fullscreen/windowed status
* Texture Memory
* Viewer Brand/Version
* Viewer Diversity (if people use more than one client or are loyal to just one)

Information also available on the Steam survey that could be gathered includes:

* Operating System and version
* System RAM
* CPU Count and Speed
* Video Card Identifier
* Video RAM
* Display Resolution
* Multimonitor status
* Microphone (not detected, asked)
* Language
* Free/Total HD space (not immediately useful, may be useful if the cache is improved)
* Network Speed

you may wish to tell Oz Linden it's a bad idea to implement a scripting function to gather viewer information as it can be used for vulnerability assessments when paired with gathering information via media functions, you can find his office hours here: and please if you do say something to Oz please link him to the above mentioned Jira article here: tell him its a much better solution without all the nasty drawbacks of having such a scripting function.

No comments:

Post a Comment