Tag Archives: SL Community

A Meeting with the Big Cheese


I attended this week’s Server/Sim/Scripting user group meeting today. Oz, Simon and Kelly Linden were there for the entire meeting. Ebbe Linden arrived about half way through and stayed for nearly half an hour after the meeting closed, fielding general questions, suggestions and comments.
Probably the most significant announcement was that the server code for Group Ban will be grid wide after the RC sims roll tomorrow. There is a Linden viewer with the appropriate code available at the Alternative Viewer Downloads page. You will need this viewer to use the group ban features but your actions will be in force no matter what viewer anyone else is using, even if you change viewers after taking the action.
There was a discussion about problems when terraforming land with pathfinding enabled.
[12:18] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): so if we do a significant amount of terraforming we should restart the region before continuing with whatever we are building?
[12:19] Mona (mona.eberhardt): Not exactly, Shug.
[12:20] Mona (mona.eberhardt): If you do a significant amount of terraforming, it’s advisable that you do NOT rebake the navmesh before you’re done. And when you’ve rebaked, do a region restart. Because, if you rebake repeatedly, you’ll eat up the memory that can be allocated and you won’t be able to rez a thing.
I am not sure I fully understand all of that since I do not use pathfinding, but you should look into it if it pertains to your work.
From Ebbe:
[13:06] Ebbe Linden: Experience tools are getting closer…Simon may know better how close….we just did a big test of them earlier today…but I’m not sure when they’ll be ready for prime time…soon I hope…
[13:07] Simon Linden: It’s getting closer but I’m not familiar with the plans on making them available for others
[13:07] Bagheera: yes please, what are experience tools?
[13:08] Simon Linden: They’re a set of functions and permissions that lets someone build a more immersive experience. So things can happen that won’t nag you with permissions — you opt-into the experience, for example, and a few regions later it can still animate you without re-asking all the time.

[13:11] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): re. new avatars; can we expect more sliders to work in time
[13:11] Ebbe Linden: Shug? Sliders work now….
[13:11] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): not all of them
[13:12] Ebbe Linden: face?
[13:12] jira.phoenixviewer.com (whirly.fizzle): Well not all of them. You can’t for example mod your face with the sliders like you can with a classic avatar
[13:12] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): yeah
[13:13] Ebbe Linden: Yep, face is not doing anything with the new avatars…bummer…we’re looking at that to see if we can get eyes and mouths cranking again…
[13:13] Nal (nalates.urriah): That would make lots of people happy
[13:13] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): that’s good news, the face mods are probably the most important for individualizing your av.
[13:14] Shug Maitland (shug.maitland): and I should point out, face customization is one thing SL was way ahead of everyone else on in the beginning.
[13:16] Ebbe Linden: I agree face is critical and having a stone face like my current avatar is not cool…a couple of steps forward and a step backwards…

It was very encouraging to see Ebbe interacting with those there. Is it possible that the us vs. them divide is getting smaller and the ivory tower is, if not crumbling, getting more accessible?


ps. I took some editorial liberties with the clips from transcript, consolidating thoughts and correcting spelling for example.

“Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.” Dale Turner

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An interview with Flat Ebbe


Strawberry Singh suggested that we should share our thoughts about second life with you. Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule. I hope you are comfortable talking at our office here in Brocade.

Interview with flat Ebbe_004 cropped

Since you are still new to Second Life, I would like to take this opportunity to explain my perspective of why most people who are in SL for more than a look around stay.

Whether we see SL as therapy, fantasy, business or entertainment; we are almost universally fulfilling in a virtual sense what we can’t or won’t in RL. The graphic artist who sits under-appreciated in cubical all week gets to express themselves and perhaps make some money. The frustrated business person who will never make it beyond lower management can prove themselves as a land baron or marketing executive. The socially challenged often find that they blossom in SL. Those who long, from a stuffy apartment, for a home of their own can build castles, or live on a tropical island. Yes, for some it is about the sex they would rather be having in RL. I could go on and on – – .

There has been much made of the new user experience and how SL is hard to learn. More to the point, people need more information about what Second Life is! Much more needs to be done with advertising and publicity to overcome the tawdry reputation we have gotten due to Linden Lab’s lazy PR. You need to be asking who stays in SL, not for a day or two but for months; these are the people who keep the SL economy going, and who are most likely to move beyond the most basic accounts. It is a hard nut to crack, I know. A positive attitude and PR promoting the best aspects of SL will go a long way.

Thank you for coming Ebbe, you are a very good listener.

Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner

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Filed under Advertising SL, Blogger Challange / Meme, Linden Lab, Newbies

Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the Wackadoodles!


 

The blogs are full of the news that Rod Humble has “moved on” from Second Life. I first saw it at New World Notes.

Remain calm. Take a deep breath. We have been through this before. Don’t believe the rumors, the sky in not falling!

Linden lab will eventually let us know what is happening and what their plans are.

“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war” William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar

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Best of Second Life, 2013


The development which has had the greatest impact on my Second Life this year was actually introduced in 2012!

Mesh finally came into it’s own the second half of 2013 and the difference has been dramatic! For the first time I bought a house rather than making it myself from prims. The level of detail and complexity of shapes simply could not have been made from prims and the land impact (LI) is several times lower than any crude prim equivalent, even using convex hull!

The real surprise came when I furnished it. Even loaded with mesh furnishings, knick-knacks and houseplants and fully landscaped it barely tips 1000LI! This effect is accelerating as creators get better at making more complex yet efficient stuff. I recently saw a cupboard, fully loaded with dishes of various shapes and sizes with a LI of 1. Smaller individual item are showing up in marketplace quickly now (any bets we are seeing homework from students in graphic design?).

The only down side I can see is that some people with lesser graphics cards have difficulty, often lagging even with very low draw distances. Only the inevitable march of hardware obsolescence will fix this.

I miss making most of my own stuff (Blender totally befuddles me), but that happened with the introduction of sculpties, mesh just takes it to the next level. The quality and low LI of what I can buy compensates my ego though.

I look forward to this trend continuing into 2014. It could get exciting.

 

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Arthur C. Clark

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Lag at SL10B–What we’re doing and what you can do.


SL10B

This is a rewrite of a blog entry we feature every year. Some matters of lag have changed substantially in SL, and we have tried to address those but the fundamentals remain the same. There are two kinds of lag: server side and client side. We have done *everything* we can beyond telling people not to build or have scripts to lower lag as much as possible. I personally have spent time on each and every sim with graphics on ultra with shadows and smoothing and experienced no lag with the sims having few avatars. The sims are running well.

One of the biggest concerns with any event is the issue of lag. Lag is like the US Federal deficit—it seems to be getting worse and worse and definitely impinges on our enjoyment.

A lot has been written about lag, and there are a lot of myths and half…

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In Retrospect – Post#50


Observations and lessons learned since I began this blog.

On the Blog:

1- Most hits via search engines: FREE SEX BED – but… Lesson learned; be careful how you use the word sex, especially in titles. This post still gets hits, almost all frivolous.

2- Most comments: There is need for a “Lite” Second Life Viewer This post is still alive in comments after nearly 8 months. The topic is as valid now as it was then. It continues to come up in other blogs and around the SL community. The fact is, most computers sold today are incapable of running Second Life at a graphics / performance level that will make a newbie want to stay. Combined with wired internet connections being something many young people consider archaic, Linden Lab has got to do Something! I am not an expert in such things, Streaming from the “cloud”? A bare bones, extremely efficient viewer? If something is not done SL will fade into oblivion.

Linden Lab:

1- SVC=7125 Bring Back Last Name Options! Is still one of the most active jira articles with new comments almost daily. In spite of the overwhelming demand for this Rod continues to stand by his whine “it’s too hard and someone somewhere will complain”. Time to grow up, admit to the mistake of removing last names and fix this!

2- Communication with the Development team, mostly via regular in world meetings has come a long way. The minutes are then hashed over and commented on in the appropriate blogs, and social media. This system seems to work!

3- Communication from the top (yes Rod, I mean you). Sucks. Occasional comments in social media is far from sufficient. Put it in your schedule: Quarterly Update in the Official Linden Blog (turn comments off so the wackadoodles do not have a chance and we will handle them in our blogs).

4- Development Direction: Project Shining lays out the next year’s work for the development and hardware teams. It is a good plan, tackling core SL problems (although see my Lite Viewer comments above). Not everything will go smoothly of course but the goals seem realistic to me.

Community:

1- SL9B was a rousing success in spite of LL pulling out at the last minute. The organizers and participants deserve hero status! In the future it is unfair to rely on sim owners to donate the land. LL should contribute the regions to a development group, then get out of the way and let them organize and run it.

2- SL Community Convention: Another case of LL effectively pulling out at the last minute. This time there is no way the residents can step in, they probably never will be able to. Maybe LL could set up a smaller “traveling road show”. Smaller events could be set up by residents in their RL communities and 1 or 2 Lindens could come, give a talk and share a meal. That might actually work better than a huge convention.

My Second Life:

We now own all of Brocade (except the road) and about ¼ of Herald. There is the Cafe` of course and 6 little gathering places for people to sit around and socialize (ideal for guiding newbies through their first steps). Also our unique shooting range and the little Pandora Mall. Stop by and look for the “touch for Region Information” (Brocade in a box) sign for a note card with pictures and LMs.

Have you checked out “petite” mesh avatars? While these tiny avatars lack appearance customization they allow you to do an awful lot on a very small amount of land, especially when combined with well made mesh and sculptie furniture etc.

All in all we have been having fun in our second lives, I hope you have been too.

Shug.

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SL9B, Yes We Can!


This year Linden Lab chose not to supply the regions for Second Life’s 9th birthday party. For a while no one knew if there would even be a central party at all, but some residents with regions to spare pooled their resources and a resident run event was off and running! And I do mean RUNNING; with only weeks to organize everything they have been busy campers.

Today I was able to wander around the area with my press pass and I am impressed! Maybe it is that sculpties have truly come into their own. Maybe it is the advent of mesh. Maybe it was the challenge. There are some inspiring builds, even the “routine” stuff seems to me to be up a notch or 2 from previous years.

Of course there are little automated vehicles that will take you for a tour, and there are event stages (I was especially impressed with the Lotus Stage). My old friend RacerX has a Giant Snail Racing build. Breedable Hippos made me smile (hippos have a very long tradition in SL).

There is the inevitable lag, after all there are thousands of textures and objects in every region. It is best to be patient and keep your draw distance low (even 64M would be sufficient if you walk every street).

Slurl to the welcome area: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/DreamSeeker%20SL9B%20Nove/8/117/21

You should see this, it is worth the time. Way better than any SLB’day event I have seen in past years!

p.s. We can not rely on the goodness of sim owners in future years. It would be better if LL simply turned a group of regions over to a birthday group and then get out of the way. We have proven we can organize, create and police the event ourselves.

p.p.s. There are also lots of individual SL9B events throughout SL this week. Check event listings.

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This is a very thoughtful analysis of Mainland vs. Private Estates from the Linden Lab business perspective. The conclusion is very surprising, but hard to argue with.

Pussycat Catnap's thoughts

A not entirely complete thought here. But one I’m working on.

I’ve seen it written many times by residents of Second Life that estates are the land-profit center for Linden Lab, and the loss of estates while mainland is growing is a bad thing for the health of the grid.

I’m not convinced. But I am open to seeing numbers that show me where I am missing the point.

Here is how I see it:

Volume is what is key. Better to have a lot of low paying customers than one higher paying one.

This is both good in raw profit numbers, and stability.

Show me the the money:

How many mainland residents does it take to equal one estate?

If we assume the average mainlander owns 2048+base 512 (probably they own less, but some own vastly more…) for $15/month – and if we assume every one of…

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Happy Rez Day To Steller Sunshine & Us!


As the story goes, Steller Sunshine signed up for the early alpha of what was then Linden World on March 12, 2002; the very first resident!

One weekend the Lindens went home without turning the servers off and she created the Climbable Bean Stalk; the very first resident build! (It is still there, some later mods have effected the build date when you inspect it, but it is the first build according to the official story). As Tateru puts it  “It was on”. Stellar went on to create the Governor Linden Mansion, also still there, with a display of historic pictures in the basement.

From the time Steller signed up until today this has not been Linden Lab’s Game, it is OUR WORLD!

A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.
Mahatma Gandhi

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No return to Last Names, a disappointment


Rodvik’s decision last week not to bring back last names rings a bit hollow, especially in the face of the massive community support for returning to them (the jira post has 2453 votes and 737 watchers). His primary reason not to make a change is that it is inhibiting to new sign-ups; a valid point, but easily resolved with a simple (optional, you can do this later or not at all) in the sign-up process. One of the reasons for the changes in what is required of Third Party Viewers was that newbies were being harassed based on the viewer identified in their tag (unfortunately this has been independently verified). I am sure there is even more widespread discrimination based on “Resident”. Simply removing the Resident or .resident in as many places as possible will only help a little, we are not fools, anyone without a space in their name is a newbie! Display names only confuse things, for all practical purposes we must see actual names in order to know who someone is, display names and appearance are too ephemeral.

I suspect that one of the unspoken reasons for not re-implementing last names is that coming up with continuing supply of acceptable names is a time consuming pain in the ass for the Lindens.

A better way:

  1. Allow deferred last name adoption at sign-up.
  2. Create a database of names suggested by the SL community, something similar to a jira where we can not only suggest but comment on suggested names. Make it searchable and so it can be ordered alphabeticaly, by most recent, or by most recent comments. That would provide a continual supply of names for LL to choose from. Preload it with existing names (marked “taken”) and vet it occasionally would be all the maintenance LL would have to do. The list would, of course be clearly labeled as suggestions. What names are used and why is solely at LL’s discreation.

This would result in last names reflecting the time frame when names were adopted, rather than rez date but I suspect there would not be much difference.

Lastly, this IS win/win. It will get the community off your back (this will not go away until you address it constructively) and we get last names back.

Proper names are poetry in the raw.  Like all poetry they are untranslatable.  ~W.H. Auden

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