I thought it was about time to re-visit an area of unresolved frustration that I had been (intentionally) avoiding for a while. The Second Life JIRA.
There are many unresolved product issues that have been reported by residents over the years. Shortly after Acoustic Alchemy was launched, we began to encounter various problems with the SL viewer client sound system. A few of these “quirks” could not be avoided, were identified as product bugs, and documented in the SL JIRA. Group members were called upon for assistance to add their votes to the JIRA tickets and to voice their desires to have permanent fixes resolve the problems. A separate page on this website was added to track sound related JIRAs for visitors.
Now begins the exercise of frustration. One of the oldest sound bugs still remains unresolved to this day. In fact, this bug has remained unresolved for FOUR years as of today. For your consideration, I present JIRA ticket VWR-291. Here is a brief rundown of the issue.
- Description: Sound Files Often Not Downloaded
- Sound file downloads can be aborted when SL asset severs become lagged. If the download is aborted, the SL client inserts a period of “silence” for that queued sound clip. This can be observed in the SL client debug view (CTRL+SHIFT+4) as the “BOOM — Abort Transfer” error message. Whenever that sound clip is triggered, only silence will play. This is significantly damaging listening to a long multi-file sound loop.
- Workaround: The only way to re-download the proper sound asset is to dump cache and have the sound asset re-queued.
This issue has been around for four years, which means that it was first encountered even before the 1.20 client was released. The ticket has garnered over 250 resident votes. Since the last several product releases, the rate at which this bug surfaces has been less frequent but the problem still exists and affects many residents. We have attended the Linden bug triage meetings more than once asking for escalated attention but the ticket has never moved beyond “WorkingOnIt Linden”. A second issue was then discovered (VWR-8147) where the SL viewer client would delete all cached sound data at every shutdown. This appeared to be a band-aid measure to obscure the main VWR-291 issue. This by itself induces a huge amount of unnecessary asset server downloads and performance.
Esbee Linden closed the JIRA ticket VWR-291 in November 2010 with the paltry comment of “This ticket hasn’t been updated with any repros for recent Viewers. Closing as unactionable.” We were able to get the ticket immediately reopened and (politely) asked that the ticket be given further consideration and at the bare minimum that the developers should at least verify that the viewer 2.x code base does NOT insert the “10 seconds of silence” when a sound clip is aborted. The issues remain unresolved and we continue to receive reports from other residents that the issue persists in Viewer 2.x.
Soundscapes are a vital element to virtual environments and we will continue to lobby Linden Labs to address these issues more proactively.
If you find value in soundscapes and sound effects for your products or projects, please continue to add your votes and comments to the JIRA tickets.