Monday, April 28, 2008

Oh dear - Check your inventory

April 29, 12:30am Update: Earlier this evening, I received an email from Dizzy Banjo who shared with me that Bid Messmer had just confirmed some problems regarding inventory management issues. I just spoke with Bid, and this is what I learned...

Bid Messmer: I have always worked on scripting exercises and things just to test ideas, I save them for later in case what I learned becomes useful. I don't have to start over. This was a project I did that was based on hive behaviour in physical prims... and I am now working on a project were I have to script a bunch of insects, so it would have been handy not to have to spend another week re-inventing the wheel.

Now I try to rez the object and it doesn't show... I can hand it to others, and they can't rez either. I filed a ticket. Rowen Linden came and she tried to rez things she hadn't rezzed in a long time, too, and her things didn't rez either, so she went and asked the Inventory Management team. She came back to say that she had spoken with the project manager of Inventory Management, and had been told that back on September 12th of last year, Linden Lab had run a program that collected unused objects and removed them from the database.

Back a ways, if an object wasn't rezzed by anyone between Sept 12th and early December, they had a program sweep through and delete it permanently from the server.

How prevalent is that? Have you found anyone else with that problem?

Bid Messmer: Yeah, a few, including Lindens who never heard about this. Their inventory team said it only deleted items that were unreferenced and not in an active account... deleted accounts and such. I am a VERY active account. Here all the time. I have about 4-5 things so far I found that will never rez again. This is just a warning to everyone, if you've got important projects, to rez them every few months.

Which Lindens did you speak with?

Bid Messmer: I am not sure which Lindens were on the dev groups commenting. I had a friend relay for me, but Rowen Linden was my Concierge contact and did the leg work and got the answer. Talked with her today on the phone with a Concierge call.

You discovered this today?

Bid Messmer: No, I first noticed this a week or two ago, but with all the asset issues I figured I'd try again later.

So you kept on trying?

Bid Messmer: Yeah. A few items, all from a while ago. If the item was transferred to someone else, and that other item was rezzed in that time frame, it seems to have protected it from that sweep. So a commercial item is likely not to be affected. If anyone else has a copy, then likely protected. Also, since they admit they run this on deleted/inactive accounts, it's likely a glitch that doesn't effect everyone, but I know damn well I wasn't ever out in that time.

Before and after I spoke with Bid, I rezzed several items to see if I ran into any troubles. I also contacted Tayzia Abattoir, owner of the longest-running museum in Second Life® - the Crescent Moon - since my immediate concern was that valuable and extremely rare pieces of art that she holds in her inventory might have gone missing. I am happy to report that she has not yet found any unrezzable objects. I agree with the two people who commented here that I should have waited until I had more of the facts, but the initial information I received was comprehensive enough for me to believe that the issue exists. Has anyone else experienced troubles with this?


I've just been informed that any object in your inventory that you didn't rez between September 12, 2007 and early December, 2007, may very well be g*o*n*e. While the objects may show in your inventory, they are likely unrezzable. More info soon.

If you find that this has happened to you, would you please let me know?


Anonymous said...

Please give more info. Otherwise it is really irresponsible rumor-mongering, isn't it? Where did you get this info exactly?

Francis said...

I agree with the above comment.

I have just tested with a few things in my inventory that I haven't rezzed in over a year, and they rez just fine.

You should be more responsible and forthcoming with the details when posting something like this.

Pavig Lok said...

Inventory loss is such a mystery and happens for so many reasons that _any_ word from the lindens on possible causes is worth investigation. Personally I've quite a few hundred items that I made myself which have disapeared over the last year due to inventory loss issues, and have always suspected the database cleanups announced during that period may well be at fault.

I've particularly noticed this for original full perm builds and artworks which have been subsequently permed up before placement or gifting. Now full perm editable versions of most of these items no longer exist. As early last year I went through a period of making lots of quick and dirty set dressing elements, I've lost a large proportion of my library of odd items.

It's good to know I'm not the only one.

Gaynor Gritzi said...

Does this apply to textures too?

I've just been looking for a couple of textures that seem to have disappeared from my inventory.

And at least one of those is actually in use inworld as a particle texture and has been for months.

Jaymin Carthage said...

Claim: back on September 12th of last year, Linden Lab had run a program that collected unused objects and removed them from the database.

Status: FALSE

Been discussed on the SL Dev list. The support person who wrote the ticket misunderstood things. Linden Labs did not, and do not, arbitrarily delete items in your inventory. The program in question deleted unreferenced objects. I.e. in no ones inventory, land, or mentioned by assetID in a script.

[We need a SNOPES for Second Life!]

Bettina Tizzy said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. Inventory issues - along with stability - worry us all the most, of course. I know that LL is working hard to make things right. For the record, I love LL. Without them, I would not have my Second Life. You seem confident about what you are saying, Jaymin, and I do like the idea of a SNOPES for Second Life. Mostly, I opened it up to see if anyone else had experienced similar issues with their inventory.

Pavig and Gaynor, I am also missing a few things... but they are gone, not unrezzable. However, I am such a poor manager of my inventory that it is quite possible that I am at fault.

qarl said...

hey all - i can give LL's perspective on the problem.

the "sweep" your referring to is called "garbage collection." but it should absolutely, never ever, remove items that are in your inventory. being in inventory counts as being "used" - even if it hasn't been rezzed in years.

the garbage collection is supposed to remove objects that are TRULY unused - things that are not in ANYONE's inventory, and not in world anywhere.

so if your assets got cleaned - that's a terrible bug, and we apologize and you should file a PJIRA for it.



Anonymous said...

As jaymin and others have said, it's a load of old bollocks.

See the following posts on the SL Dev mailing list thread made by Lindens:

Soft Linden
Phoenix Linden

Dizzy Banjo said...

I think its good this discussion has happened, both on the dev mailing list and in a much more public and accessable form here.

It illustrates the type of mix up that can happen when inaccurate information comes from an actual Linden source ( concierge or regular staff ).

The implications for this kind of error are wide, especially for prolific content creators and can help fuel discontent and dissatisfaction with LL amongst them, which is bad for all of SL.

Bettina Tizzy said...

I do agree with Dizzy. Best to get it out, reviewed, discussed and settled quickly. I'm glad, too, for the general cooperative and insightful tone of your comments. Let's not forget that we are in this together. As for communication mistakes, I believe that Rowen acted and shared information with Bid's best interests at heart. Mistakes *do* happen.

Dizzy Banjo said...

Had trouble making this comment appear properly with Blogger, but here is another post by Sean Linden regarding it:

All I can say is I'm glad its a false alarm, and its good to see the community and LL work together to find out what did and didn't happen so quickly. :)