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09/29/2008

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Khamon Fate

Those tracks are built on Linden lab and they can do whatever they want to with it damnit!

Seriously though, GSLR worked very hard for several years to assemble private track land through eight sims to realize the dream of running trains across the Mainland.

If there are enough SLRR enthusiasts, perhaps they can offer to group tier the track land for the Governor. Is privatization preferable to being lorded over by the benevolent lab?

Prokofy Neva

Yes, it may come to that. But it's also possible to have more democratic rule even under these conditions -- it seems like nothing is lost by keeping this guide rail.

Desmond Shang

This whole process is just... meh, painful to watch. Region crossing, multicar trains as a 'stretch goal' - but it's been done! Been running for ages in Caledon. Barney Boomslang's design - free and available to anyone. Get a sharp noob who wants a job and can read instructions, the whole line will be set up without too much trouble.

Not physical, but if someone really cared that deeply they can make a physical train work too, after a fashion.

I hope they work it all out. I have no opinion one way or the other on the 'third rail' - but I do know that once you strip something like that out, it's not going back in without spending a BUNCH of money and time. Might be worth choosing carefully.

Gigs

I used to own 100% of the buyable land in Epirrhoe. It has a full swath of railroad through it.

The scripts in the guide rail prims are not laggy. At all. Full stop.

I know because I controlled the entire sim and could easily see the sim statistics.

If anyone is claiming these guide rail prims cause lag, they are wrong.

Yumi Murakami

I have never tried to make one of these - why can't the two "normal" rails be used for collision guidance?

Khamon

"Region crossing, multicar trains as a 'stretch goal' - but it's been done! Been running for ages in Caledon. Barney Boomslang's design - free and available to anyone." - Desmond

How demanding are these scripts when the train is passing through a sim?

"I know because I controlled the entire sim and could easily see the sim statistics." - Gigs

I wish we could see the estate stats on the Mainland. It's one thing that totally hoses my desire to stay with it.

The contention is that oh you could see which scripts I was running and invade my privacy.

whatever

Desmond Shang

Well you aren't going to get something for nothing scriptwise or physicswise, but it may impress people how ridiculously efficient a train can be. I see lawn ornaments with bigger regional impact, with regularity. Note that the Caledon National Rail goes through openspace regions without problems, and has been doing so for ages.

I don't recall the exact stats for the train - it wasn't a mere feather-tickle but it wasn't lagtastically region-crushing either.

If anyone has a bee in their bonnet about it they can pester me when I'm inworld. I'll grant them estate access for a few minutes so they can check it out for themselves. The trains move around (obviously) so you've got to be kinda quick.

* * * * *

For the rail buffs: The Caledon II line is temporarily down, the Primverness and Loch Avie railspurs are down with it but the main lines from Tamrannoch, Kittiwick, the Cay, Cape Wrath and Caledon On Sea are quite active. Note that the Caledon On Sea line is an older rail engine, not as spiffy as Barney's.

The spectacular SouthEnd On Sea / Caledon Oxbridge line with the undersea tunnel and the multi-region wrought iron Victorian bridge isn't online yet - those tracks were just completed last week, so give us some time. Though if you are wandering around in the rail tunnel and hear a train coming, don't say I didn't warn you...

Barney's spectacular, free, open source creative commons licenced rail system with explanations is available at the Guvnah's Mansion - southeast corner of Victoria City. Yeah, I know that creative commons, free, and all that may find its detractors here. But I personally think there is room for it. Sure, a competing micronation can come by, pick one right up and start running a train tomorrow. They are welcome and invited to do so.

If I think about a world with trains, and a world without - this is one case where everyone benefits. We are all better off. It's not communism, it's philanthopy and good works for the benefit of everyone.

Note that it took a healthy dose of capitalism (land barony) and a healthy dose of philanthropic good works to accomplish the Caledon Trolley (Ordinal Malaprop's) and the train. These systems actually run, across dozens of regions. They work. They are running right now. Which in itself is a powerful vindication far beyond 'woulda, coulda, shoulda' - and a lot of talk.

Prokofy Neva

Yes, Desmond, thanks for pointing out that all this opensource stuff can't work without capitalism subsidizing it -- you're tiering the land, and running a business rerenting the land to others at a profit.

I don't think lag or prims are the real issue with this "guide rail". I think it's simply more about either a) control or b) spite. That's how it usually works in our world. The moles need to be privileged, and having a feature that enables other residents -- not themselves, in the privileged class -- be able to build and run something with Linden content must exasperate them. They want to be large and in charge, and here's a case where the Lindens' co-optation of FIC to run its battles for it against residents is very explicit.

There's a healthy dose of dog-in-the-mangerism here, too. The Lindens couldn't be bothered with this railroad. Nigel bothered because he was a long-time former early resident who then left Lindenhood to go back to being a resident with a large business. After he left, few people bothered. Some residents picked up the slack literally for several years here. Now all of a sudden the Lindens, who have figured out that they should zone the mainland that in fact WE have already been zoning without them (thank you very much!) for all this time have woken up to the fact that they can "run something". So they want their pets, and not our pets, so to speak, to run it.

Ordinal Malaprop

There are certainly all sorts of ways in which public transport can be run in SL; I dare say I count as having _some small experience_ in that context. The majority do not depend on rails.

My immediate reaction to the idea of removing rails, though, is "why? they work! leave them alone!" I have no experience in using them, I have always used other systems, but by god if people have managed to take advantage of and build upon an aborted Linden project then the only proper thing is to leave them to it.

All that will happen if they are removed, in any case, is either (a) they will not be replaced with anything at all or (b) they will be replaced with a system which is not fully utilised and the details of which are not publicly accessible, so we will all be back at square one.

Prokofy Neva

Is the issue that the DPW wants to make a Linden proprietary system? Because the system Jer has is something he says is easy to learn for new people and I think it's in open scripts.

Cocoanut Koala

Square one, yes.

My analysis of all these things is that it usually comes down to one thing: A Linden wants to do something. Or their friends want to do something, or someone convinces them, that something is a good idea and so then they want to do it, and that's that; all other discussion is brushed off.

So then they do it; the end.

coco

Oh - and change is always good, regardless of what it is. If it is something different, then it is always better, and we must not stand in the way of change.

(Until the next different thing comes along, and then the old thing suddenly did not work and wasn't a good idea after all; witness the explanation of the different incarnations of the LL Blog.)

Gigs

Khamon,

I owned the whole sim. I knew how much resources the railroad scripts were taking because I could remove every other script from the sim and look at the overall stats.

Barney Boomslang

@khamon: re the script usage of the caledon national railway, I can't say what the train in Caledon takes up directly, because I don't have estate rights there, but I use scripts based on the train scripts in my birds and did check script resource usage of those quite a bit. They usually stay in the 0.01-0.03 range while cruising, with dips up into 0.08 or 0.09 range from time to time (for example they need to calculate rotations when they turn during their flight). The birds do a little bit more (like flapping their wings, which is done with prim shape transitions), which the train doesn't - the train just receives a notecard, runs through the notecard lines and does what it is told from those lines, so has a rather uniform script resource usage pattern.

Due to being non-physical, there is no physics lag whatsoever (unless it collides with physical objects, of course - I discovered that running over one of those pesky turkeys in Caledon Tanglewood could do even a little dent on the sim FPS back at that time, but that was before H4. Haven't seen that anymore, but well, I guess we killed all the turkeys in Tanglewood anyway - all run over by the train ;) ).

Of course, the downside of non-physical movements is that they are not as smooth as physical movements. On the other hand, it doesn't have the "H4 wiggle" that many physical objects show since the switch to H4 (some birds are especially bad in that regard) when they use llLookAt and llMoveTo. It's allways a question where to make the compromise, not whether to make a compromise at all, with vehicles in SL.

Killing the mainland trains with their guidance system would make me sad, though - if only because I think instead of killing it, they should see it as an interesting usecase of physics. I've seen quite some interesting work done with the guidance system (even with non-physical stuff - Beware Hax has a totally amazing trolley working with the guides that is non-phys and has smooth movements as if it was physical, just without the wiggle!), it would be sad (and, quite frankly, utterly stupid if there is no really _hard_ reason to do so) if those would be killed.

Maklin Deckard

Prokofy, could you or one of the readers here, put me in contact with the source of this railroad scripting? I tried to use the one Barney made that desmond mentioned, but after several successful suborbital launches of an engine, I find I really do not understand the code enough to use it, so figured I might look into a rail-based system

Prokofy Neva

Maklin, you should talk to Jer Straaf.

Maklin Deckard

Thank you, I shall contact Jer ingame. Perhaps my Steampunk Electrical engine may see the light of day after all!

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