Fair Winds

Second Life sailors will have noticed that boats move according to wind patterns that vary over time and across the continents. That's possible because the Second Life simulation includes wind. In a recent Forums thread, https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/451524-sl-wind-variance-between-sims , we explored a bit more about how that wind simulation behaves.

Although all regions have wind that varies over time, it seems that some have wind that also varies over the region at any instant -- and some don't. The thread shows a few scripters figuring why some regions have wind that varies across the region, and it's a good example of loose but effective teamwork investigating the phenomenon. (It turns out that isolated island regions, surrounded by void, do not get the spatially-varied wind, and the ones that do are seeing patterns that propagate across region borders, covering whole continents of connected regions.)

There are several little scripts in the thread showing approaches to quick-and-dirty data collection, interspersed with digging into dusty scrolls in the Forums archive, the jira, the wiki, and old release notes.

It's not exactly Indiana Jones or a Dan Brown novel, but it kinda makes me want to dress my avatar as Holmes -- or maybe Watson.

Besides sailboats and the beautiful particle effect that introduced the thread, SL wind also affects ambient sound in the viewer, flexiprim movement, and scripted things like windsocks and weather vanes. It used to be an option to see Linden trees moving according to wind conditions but we found that was removed in early 2012 to reduce viewer lag. I've also used wind as a sort of whimsical "switch" for a space heater that turns on when it's "windy" -- the SL "weather" simulation doesn't include temperature... or anything else except wind.

There could be an opportunity here if anybody can think of a product that could benefit from a semi-randomly fluctuating property that varies over time and space.
Reporter Qie Niangao

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