A Chinese Garden in Second Life

There are many spiritual centres throughout Second Life offering a range of environments and opportunities for rest, spiritual comfort, recovery, teaching and more.

One such region is Qoheleth (Hebrew:  gatherer / assembler; an assembly). I’ve been drawn there a couple of times over the course of the last year – although admittedly not out of any spiritual want or needs – because the region is largely given over an oriental theme, something of which I’m rather fond. In particular, it includes A Chinese Garden, designed by Camryn Darkstone with the assistance of region holder Grath (Grath Helgerud), as it is this garden which has tended to attract me.

Surrounded by tall walls, through which circular gateways provide access to the rest of the region, A Chinese Garden offers visitors a place to wander under sky and along open-sided passages, look out over quiet waters, and generally relax and enjoy themselves away from the demands of the rest of Second Life. It is, in a word, a peaceful setting.

What makes it particularly attractive is not only that it works well under a range of windlight settings, but the outside of three notable building and things like handrails, almost all the structures within the garden have been designed and built by Camryn, thus harking back to the days when so much in SL was very much DIY, rather than prefabricated.

In an age where so much creative expression in Second Life has perhaps shifted towards being more about landscaping and object placement (which can be as creative and rewarding as gluing prims together, make no mistake), it is good to visit places like the Chinese Garden and be reminded of just what can be done with the humble prim and a little time.

The Sino-Japanese theme continues beyond the immediate walls of the garden, as does the broadly spiritual theme of the region, operated by the Psychoanalytic Round Table discussion group – about which I know little beyond that provided in an information note card. However, just outside of the immediate Garden grounds is a Chinese theatre, again designed by Camryn, and woodland tracks leading over bridges and under trees to other locations of interest, such as the Nanyangong Citadel, and the Stone Circle, where one can learn about Ubuunto – “what it takes to be human”.  There’s even a companion house sitting among the trees beyond the garden walls for those seeking company – although I have no idea how active it might be.

For those seeking spiritual rest or renewal, Qoheleth sits amidst three over regions with community / faith / spiritual leanings. These I have not explored, but leave it to those who might to do so. As someone who does enjoy oriental themed locations in SL (and I have a couple more lined-up for upcoming posts!), A Chinese Garden makes for a charming and relaxing visit.

SLurl Details

2016 SL project updates 34 (1): server, viewer, wiki

Binemust; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Binemustblog post

Things are still a little quiet, so not a lot to report at the start of the week.

Server Deployments

There are no scheduled deployment for week #34.

SL Viewer

No changes since my last SL project update, leaving the current official viewer list as:

  • Current Release version 4.0.7.318301, dated August 8th promoted August 11th – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer
  • Release Candidate viewers (refer to my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Visual Outfit Browser RC viewer, version 4.0.8.318686, dated August 17th – ability to preview images of outfits in the Appearance floater
    • VLC Media Plugin RC viewer, version 4.1.1.318504, dated August 15th – replaces the QuickTime media plugin for the Windows version of the viewer with one based on LibVLC
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Bento (avatar skeleton extensions), version 5.0.0.317597, dated July 14th – incorporation of final skeleton and slider updates from the test viewer
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

SL Wiki

As noted under a separate article, the SL wiki is currently locked from public editing due to spamming issues. There is currently no ETA on when it will be made generally available for access. Those with a definite need to have edit rights should raise a support ticket requesting access.

Second Life authors and writers: submissions for Quill and Pen 2 open

Click image to open Quill and Pen volume 1

Click image to open Quill and Pen volume 1

In June, Kultivate Magazine published the first volume of Quill and Pen, a new twice-yearly publication focusing on the work of writers and poets from across Second Life. It features short stories (including flash stories), non-fiction and poetry, and is published each June and December.

You can obtain  / read this first volume in a number of e-formats on-line and on mobile devices:

On August 22nd, 2016 Kultivate announced submissions for the second volume of the journal are now open, with the publication date set for December 5th, 2016. Writers and poets from across Second Life are invited to submit their work for consideration / publication, with submissions are welcome in the following categories:

  • Poems: one poem per page, single spaced and left justified, maximum of six pages
  • Non-fiction: one essay up to 3,000 words, double spaced, no extra space between paragraphs, white space for section breaks only
  • Fiction:
    • Full-length stories:  one story up to 3,000 words, double spaced, no extra space between paragraphs. White space for section breaks only
    • Flash fiction: up to 700 words, double spaced, no extra space between paragraphs. White space for section breaks only.

To submit your work, please complete the Quill and Pen submission form.

Please do not copy  / paste your work into the form when applying. All work should be made available via Google Documents or a similar service, with the link to its location included in the submission form. Kultivate will then download your work from the provided link, thus preserving formatting for publication. Thank you.

Second Life wiki: editing locked for now

secondlifeCrap Mariner has been working on a new Arts wiki page on the SL wiki – on which I’ll have more in a future article – when he contacted me earlier in August to let me know that SL wiki editing had been locked to a limited number of permitted editors / users.

The locking has since become more widely seen, prompting Soft Linden to issue an e-mail update as a result of enquiries on what is happening, made via the open-source dev e-mail list. In the e-mail, Soft states:

There is a ridiculously persistent party who uses numerous wikis to promote fake Microsoft support phone numbers. Given the fraud or malware potential, we couldn’t let that keep returning.

There’s a less intrusive long-term solution in the queue, currently blocked by other work.

Hopefully, whatever is blocking the long-term solution will be cleared soon, allowing full edit access to the wiki to be restored.

In the meantime, those requiring urgent access to wiki pages to maintain data  / information, are asked to create a support ticket (I’d suggest include which pages need to be accessed and why, rather than just raising a generic request to gain access). Third-party viewer developers who require wiki edit rights can also contact Oz Linden to request access to their wiki pages.  If you only require access to update you profile or add a discussion point to a page, etc., it might be advisable to wait until after the wiki has been re-opened to all, rather than filing a support ticket.

This isn’t the first time the wiki had to be placed in lock-down. In October 2014, a lock-down was initiated while the wiki underwent an extensive security update, resulted in limited edit access for users through until January 22nd, 2015. Hopefully, this current period of lock-down, which started in early August, will not be for as long.