‘Inside the Lab’ podcast with Joe Miller

The second edition of our ‘Inside the Lab’ podcast series is now available. The series started with Philip Linden’s vision for Second Life in 2008. This time we delve into the technical aspects of Second Life with Joe Miller, VP of platform and technology development. Joe talks us through the technical priorities for our engineering team, focusing on four key areas:

  • Sim stability – with the launch of Havok 4.6
  • Sim performance – with the introduction of Mono for script compiling
  • Viewer stability – by introducing a new crash reporter and graphics card drivers
  • Viewer performance – via Windlight and the new Dazzle UI
Joe even sets some goals in terms of performance for the next quarter which we’ll all be able to track from the monthly Quality Metrics we release.
I’d like to thank Joe for his time in talking with me and for sharing some insights into the stability and performance efforts the engineering team is working on. Let me know know in the comments if there are other aspects you’d like us to cover in the next edition.
Until then – thanks for listening!
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ITunes (it can take up to 2 days to index the XML file so please be patient!)
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55 Responses to ‘Inside the Lab’ podcast with Joe Miller

  1. Cat Gisel says:

    the mv4 (mp4?) comes across as m4a….sneaky sneaky…no fair! I dunno what to do with it now, it won’t play on my phone ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  2. catherinelinden says:

    oops, my bad. Thanks for calling that out. It’s actually an m4a file. I’ve just changed it.

  3. Francis says:

    Would it be possible to post a transcript? I can read faster than I can listen. Also, I’m sure text would be better for the hearing impaired ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. MCM Villiers says:

    Is there anyway to stream these into SecondLife with out setting up a server?

  5. Buster McNutt says:

    [audio src="http://static-secondlife-com.s3.amazonaws.com/media/mp3/Inside_the_Lab_Joe_Miller_Jan_08.mp3" /]

    just put that URL in your media stream and stream away

  6. Danball Tureaud says:

    Oh, cool. So its Havok 4.6? I thought we were just getting Havok 4

  7. Tsukasa says:

    Yay podcast!

    Apple should check your XML feed daily. If it’s taking a while for iTunes to notice new episodes, you could ping it when you publish:


  8. jz paine says:

    Some one asked me what I could expect to see in 2008 a while back and I said I hoped HAVOK 4 and Windlight would be 2 biggies to come to the main viewer. Shoot! I missed Mono LOL

  9. mimi says:

    omg this sounds great!!!!!!!!! thanks for the umcoming improvements! yay!

  10. Sean Heying says:

    I also second a transcript, I prefer to read over listen.

  11. catherinelinden says:

    thanks for the comments re: a transcript. We’re looking into it now.

  12. Argent Stonecutter says:

    Thanks, I was about to add my own call for a transcript. Vision has so much higher *human* bandwidth than hearing that podcasts and (ironically) even videos (because most videos are just a podcast with a head) are just a waste of *network* bandwidth.

  13. Drew Dwi says:

    you guys should do this weekly!

  14. SpaceQ Isan says:

    No HTML on prim? :(:(:(

  15. Alisha says:

    Dazzle??? Do We get any other info?

    /me likes things with code words,

    My thoughts wander from comets to weather to shadows….hmmm…..Dazzle…..

    I don’t know what it is, but I want it!!!!!

  16. Pingback: Second Linden Lab podcast available : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  17. Detox Watanabe says:

    I like what I hear. good job! xD
    cant wait to all this implented :).

    (technically, you could apply some EQing on that file, take out some of the noise thats on it. cut at <200Hz and about -6dB for 1Khz plus some more highs worked well for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Geeky Wunderle says:

    Why is it Joe Miller and not Joe Linden?

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  20. Good to know that Mono is still a forethought. I look forward to this more than I do Havok 4. I want my pointers, classes, and direct access arrays. >O

  21. Psistorm Ikura says:

    @20: oh yes, direct access arrays would be a sweet thing to have.
    aside from that, nice outlook for the future ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Klaatu Congrejo says:

    Adding my vote for transcripts of these kind of announcements. As Argent suggested, why waste valuable bandwidth on podcasts? More ppl are likely to read a transcript that is set up in front of them. And some SL customers (I refuse to use the term ‘resident’, makes us sound like inmates in a mental institution. On the other hand…. but no, thats a topic for another discussion!) are either hearing-impaired or simply don’t have a reliable set of headphones or speakers.

    Just my two-bobs worth!

  23. Anti Antonelli says:

    Alisha, and other who may not have heard about Dazzle yet:


    Torley’s take: http://torley.com/introducing-second-lifes-dazzle-user-interface-update

    Yes, there are pics ๐Ÿ˜€

  24. concerned says:

    Great to hear some of the behind the scenes projects and how they are developing.

    Can i suggest to soon get around to explaining the issues with island transfers and making them more secure for all parties involved.submitting tickets and arranging payments independent of that is simply not good enough.island owners/buyers should have a simple and secure system.Island owners bring a lot of money in to linden labs its about time you worked to resolve this issue.

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  26. Hey Catherine,

    Interesting podcast, even that I am not a tech geek, I liked to hear what will be in the interest of Linden Lab and Second Life to stabilise and enhance the technology side.

    May I suggest to make also more podcasts about economical developements and how Linden Lab will try to stabilize and enhance this side as well?

    Thank you

    Marc Montague

  27. Min says:

    Loving the podcasts, they’re a great idea!

    If you need any help with them here are loads of podcasters in SL. Check out Podcast Island or give me a shout ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Balp Allen says:

    Wil the new look on interface finally solve VWR-1076, open and top vote in that area since the release of voice. All Popular 3:rd party viers have changed away from the LL solutions on this matter.

  29. Well, transcript would be nice, but podcast is very convenient for some: on their iPods in the car or while commuting on the train. Plus, nice to hear the voice, as you can’t tell honesty or slimyness from just words…

  30. Creem says:

    Dazzle is pretty and all, but what I’d really like to see in a UI update is the ability to separate chat/IM/script editing windows from the main viewer window. Currently I’m forced to run SL in a window that takes up only 30% of my screen; any bigger and the framerate would be terrible. Of course, SL gets very cluttered when I have multiple IM windows, notecards, and script editors open – it would be wonderful if I could move these text-only windows outside the main viewer window (much like Photoshop’s UI in MacOS). Is there any way to make this happen in the official viewer? ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. Mo Hax says:

    I just have to say, reading this post actually, physically gives me butterflies. The possibilities and potential for 2008 are so wonderful they simply make me giddy, and I’m a dude. Sure it will be rough but oh so worth it. Thank you Philip, Joe, Linden Labs and all those supporting you in this paradigm-changing effort. Second Life has already brought friends into my life that have changed it forever, here’s to everything you do to make that experience more accessible to so many more to come.

  32. Ralph Doctorow says:

    Mono??? Mono…. Mono!!!!! MONO!!!!! MONOMONOMONOMONO!!!!!!!!

  33. Meni says:

    @20 Feynt Mistral: Mono does not give you “pointers, classes, and direct access arrays”. Mono will be used to compile the current LSL code. It speeds up the execution of the LSL code by a factor of 70. Read more at the wiki: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Mono

    Quote: “The Linden Scripting Language ( LSL ) will not change in any way, so all of your existing scripted objects and attachments will continue to function as before, only faster. The key to this improvement is an open-sourced virtual machine called Mono.”

  34. Borat says:

    Great podcast it’s nice to hear what is going on. I just downloaded the new Dazzle viewer and it’s looking good! Still lots to do but definately an improvement on the current viewer (looks wise). Great job LL ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Day Oh says:


    This is good stuff. Expecting fierce competition in your future ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. I rather hope that, in implementing Mono for scripting, JIRA issue SVC-244 is addressed: that would make a great deal of difference for estate owners.

  37. Tasrill Sieyes says:

    To be honest I could care less abou the ui update unless I can shink that stupid chatterbox down. Even if I can havok 4 and mono are what I am realy looking forward to. Maybe then SL will start having some real stablity server side for active regions. With havok 4 sims are almost uncrashable and run much smother and less lagy. Add to that mono with it’s orders of magnatude faster script execution and well even if neither is perfect we are looking at a much brighter sl. Forget windlight and all the shinys like dazzel give me stablity. I am glad to see LL actualy working on the problems open letter and everyone else since then has been demanding.

  38. Willi Willunga says:

    Great to hear that the focus is now on improving stability and increasing performance instead of inventing myriads of new eye-candies which in turn cause decreasing stability and decreasing performance.

  39. Argent Stonecutter says:

    I am so far totally underwhelmed with “Dazzle”. I don’t want to be dazzled by the windows in front of the virtual world, I want them to get out of the bloody way and let me at the world. Any pixels between the menu bar and the chat bar that aren’t occupied by in-world objects should be kept to an absolute minimum.

    Case in point of going the wrong way, Chatterbox. Which you can break up quite a bit using the patches posted to various JIRA entries (mostly closed by Lindens with “won’t finish”).

  40. The Bat says:

    @30 –Totally agree — having to keep all the incidental chat and build boxes INSIDE the viewer window is a pain — why cant they be moved outside the viewer window into clear space or a second monitor if desired –so much more convenient and the full functionality of the new communicate window would be much easier to use if you didnt have to pack it tight to actually see the world properly.

  41. ander says:

    como se registra

  42. Fixyour Product says:

    Excusme me but who cares about these types of broadcast when the grid is in its most instable state since some time in November? Itยดs practically unplayable…Payments & Deliveries borked, tpยดs borked…The sytem cannยดt even retrieve a parcel key…

    But hey Havok4 is going to improve everything. You know any system is just as good as it is rolled out & controlled by people. All I know is that since the early adopter program is being announced…NOTHING WORKS ANYMORE

    Thanx again! Fix Your Product Now!

  43. Hi Lindens, I’ve been off the grid for awhile because I’m on a wireless connection that rejects HTTPS / SSL connections – is there ANY way to login to SL using something that doesn’t utilize HTTPS/SSL?

    Besides that, I am REALLY hoping that you guys will take full advantage of the Havok engine. Some things I would love to see:

    1) True cloth support (not this flexi mockery :p )
    2) Prim types (or default grouped prims) such as realistic chains, hanging (climbable) ropes and springs (NOT THE LOOK, we can do the look – we need the physics interaction). Currently chains are unreliable – break often – and don’t generally act as a chain should. Chains themselves become uber prim heavy and with Havok 4.6 I would HOPE that you could make a chain prim type! (Just like Trees, you multi-primmed trees but made the simulator recognize it as only 1 prim). When you can use chains as avatar attachments (without losing physics interactivity) I’ll be happy : ).
    3) Some sort of light-weight Particle physics interaction (so that particles can bounce off objects, or each other).
    4) Elasticity! Yes – I would like to see prims that can stretch and deform like a rubber band. It would also be nice if it would support multiple link points (so that the elastic prim could be attached between 2 objects and respond to those objects movement respectively.)

    There is another, reaally big request – PLEASE WORK ON DUAL MONITOR SUPPORT!!! Yes, I can stretch SL across both screens – that’s not the issue. What I would like to do is tear off things (such as the inventory screen, chat windows, etc… and place them on my secondary monitor so my SL viewer doesn’t get cluttered. Maybe that would ease the gripes about UI windows being too big? Then you could just say “if you don’t like the UI, get a dual screen setup and drag the UI to the other screen!”

    Thanks for you time and I’ll be back as soon as you tell me how to get into SL without HTTPS/SSL : )

  44. Ric Mollor says:

    Is a transcript coming? It would certainly be useful not only for speed of reading but also for searching and quoting in the future.

    Releasing in audio only format makes it very difficult for writers to quote without attempting their own time consuming transcription. Is that intentional?

  45. U M says:

    Someone tried to say “The stock is trading near an all time high (the all time high was within the last few months), last yearโ€™s profit was at an all time high (on revenue down slightly from the all time high two years before) and employee headcount has increased every year from 1994 to the present, with the exception of a drop of slightly under 4,000 employees in 2002 – to a count of 355,766 employees at the end of 2006 (2007 numbers are not out yet.)”

    Well If you really believe this trend og lies thats ok with me. But it does change the facts that over all grow is even real.

    As for the IBM figures , there are how many VR offices around the world? Shakeshead IBM been doing this for over 20 years.( these are outsourced jobs love ) The Numbers you posted ( or tried to post) doesnt reflect how many works are stable in their jobs. IBM these days don`t hire like they use to. But instead are forcing many who have been long time workers out. Or worse yet transferring them out of their field of specially to what the company needs. Please if you are trying to forced your LL ways of making people believe numbers DON`T. Because FCC doesn`t like these types of actions. Now Love don`t you look silly. Your major mistake in your VR numbers is The amount of outsourced jobs IBM is counting in those numbers. Now don`t you look even more silly. Nice try ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Pingback: Mono coming to Second Life soon — mrtopf.de

  47. interesting listen, but I sure would like a transcript in future. People with hearing impairments may find them useful.

    And transcripts can be translated much more easily.

  48. Alissa Sabre says:

    This is a reminder. On #11, Catherine wrote a transcript is comming. I’m waiting for it. I’m not an English speaker. Transcripts greately reduce my effort listening to spoken English. I believe my case is not exceptional, given the fact that residents from English-speaking countries/regions are not majority today.

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  50. Pingback: Joe Miller podcast transcript now available « Official Linden Blog

  51. Jeska Linden says:

    Looking for a transcript to this podcast? Check it out here:

  52. Pingback: Mono is deployed on Beta Grid « Samurai Pickle

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