Thursday, May 24, 2007

Talk to me

or, the best feature of the new release.

Ok, please put your geek glasses on and we start.

The best feature of this release. No, you guessed it wrong, not sculpted prims - I just barely figured out building a cube, so for me it is still too much of a rocket science. I'll wait for someone to teach me before I can do anything meaningful with it :)

llRegionSay - that's really the killer feature.

Why ?

Okay, let's take a look at what we have at our disposal to make the scripts talk to each other.

llSay - fast, works well, but... the range is limited by a 20m sphere.

llShout - same as before, but the radius is a bit bigger.

So, what if I want to have a bigger range ?

The answer is: It's a pain. The pain (a.k.a. shooting the canaries with a nuke) can be self-inflicted in two ways:

  • llEmail, and juggling with a huge delay that this incurs
  • llHTTPRequest, deal with a an interesting throttling mechanism, and set up your own server. And poll this server from all around. This just does not scale at all...

Both provide unlimited range, and both come with a huge price - throttling, rate-limiting, etc.

However, with the new llRegionSay everything is very simple - just use it where you'd use the normal llShout or llSay. I went up to 4km, and was still having the communication between the two test objects working just fine. The specs claim it will work anywhere within the sim :-)

Indeed, now the crosstalk will increase, so it is important to properly filter and authenticate the messages, to ensure your script does not collide with anything else.

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