Avatar Script Memory Management

When a lot of people are on a region and script memory usage by various avatars is excessive, the consequences can be extreme SERVER SIDE LAG (slow rezzing, poor response, long hesitations, etc.) Excessive script memory on a region causes the server to have to swap core memory to the much slower secondary storage, resulting in “thrashing”. (CLIENT SIDE LAG is a different problem and is another topic)

In most cases, the scripts occupying memory for each avatar are not necessary. These are frequently due to dance scripts, unnecessary when there is no dancing at the event, BDSM where it is not even permitted, and resizer scripts caused by old or very poorly implemented hair and clothing.

You can identify if you might be contributing to server side lag by doing the following on your viewer:

Top menu - Click [World] and then from the drop menu chose:
     (SL Viewer) About Land
     (Firestorm) Parcel Details

[About Land] window appears
    The first tab is called [General]
    Click the Script Info button on the bottom left corner

[Script Information] window appears.
    Select the second tab called:
    (SL Viewer) My Avatar
    (Firestorm) Avatar

Memory used is shown below "Avatar Script Usage"

Most venues will insist on memory of less than 3 or 4 MB. (3000 kb or 4000 kb). If you are at or well under this limit, you are probably fine. You can try to get it down further, but most venues will not eject you for this. Sometimes they also watch for the number of scripts and script time. These are important, but we will address these only if necessary. They are more difficult for you to identify.

The table below the memory usage shows how much memory each attached object is using.
Objects that are often high memory:

  • RLV Collars (and other BDSM related attachments)
  • Old style hair
  • Older clothing
  • HUDs (especially dance HUDS)
  • Other items that can be configured.

What can you do if your memory is too high?

Resizers – Old hair, clothing, and jewelry (or new poorly scripted hair, clothing, and jewelry) often have issues with resizers where every resizeable piece has a script. Once an article of clothing or hair has been sized, you usually do not need to do this again. Be sure you have a copy of the item in your inventory so you can resize if necessary Delete the scripts on the item you are wearing and save that in a place where you can find it.

Deleting scripts is done differently by various creators. There is often an button with a misleading <Delete?> button. Clicking this will usually explain what will happen, e.g. “This will remove all of the scripts… You will no longer be able to resize. Are you sure?”. Just be sure you have a copy before you do this in case the implied Delete All Prims means what it says!

RLV Collars – New RLV Collars usually start with about 1.2 MB (1200 kb) of scripts, but this can go up considerably with animations, etc. If you are required to wear your collar but you are exceeding the memory limit, don’t go to the event. Accept this as another constraint. Otherwise, remove the collar or use an unscripted version of the collar for that event.

Dance HUDs – Dance HUDs use memory for each dance and those with hundreds of dances will easily exceed memory limitations. For events that have no dancing, such as stage productions, remove the dance HUD. For dance events, set up several HUDs each with fewer dances necessary for that type of event. Alternatively, play the dances from your inventory.

Mesh Body and Accessory HUDs – Remove other HUDs that are not necessary. You don’t need your mesh body or head HUD. Remove your Bento HUDs. If your jewelry configuration memory is high, try to create a COPY if possible without the script. Otherwise, use something else or no jewelry.

AOs (Animation Overrides) – AOs define your personality and waddling across the floor is probably not in your best interest. However, you frequently need to turn them off anyway for the chair and sometimes dance animations. If you are still exceeding the memory limit after doing everything else, just remove the AO HUD and add it back when the event is done. Again, check that your AO HUD does not have excessive numbers of dances. If it does, set up an AO without them.

Conclusion

While you should be able to do anything in SL… you can as long as you don’t interfere with the positive experience of others. For public events, you need to take into consideration the size of your “footprint”, not only in Ville de Coeur, but in all other venues. Helping others to have a pleasant experience is good for the entire community!

Bedrich Panacek
Ville de Coeur