Linden Lab launches SL Share and a look at the viewer

As spotted by Daniel Voyager earlier in the month, and reported here as a result, the Lab has now officially launched SLShare, which they describe as, “an easy way to share to Facebook while In-world.”

Now, before people start getting all worked-up about Facebook, being “outed” and generally getting knickers knotted, there are a couple of points which need to be understood:

  • SLShare is opt-in. If you don’t want to use it, you don’t have to, you can ignore it
  • SLShare will only work if you actually have a Facebook account – so LL aren’t doing any “sneaky back-door outing” or “forcing” anyone into Facebook.

The blog post announcing the feature reads in part:

SLShare is a new, 100% opt-in Viewer feature that will allow you to easily update your Facebook status, share photos, and check-in from Second Life locations to your Facebook wall.

Whether you’re at a great in-world event and want to let your Facebook friends know where to join you, want to show off a photo of your avatar modeling your latest Marketplace purchase, or just share a thought inspired by your in-world explorations, SLShare makes it easy to share pieces of your Second Life experiences with your Facebook network.

The blog post also notes that the feature “isn’t yet available for everyone”, however, the release candidate viewer with the SLShare capability – version 3.6.7.281331 – can be downloaded via the SL wiki.

If you do opt to manually download the RC viewer, note that it will, by default, overwrite your current release version of the SL viewer (if installed), so please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to avoid this.

As noted in my original report, the Facebook capabilities are contained in a new floater, accessed via Me > Post to Facebook …, which in turn comprises four tabs.

The four tabs of the SLShare floater
The four tabs of the SLShare floater

The tabs are:

  • Status tab:  allows someone to post a text comment via their Facebook account
  • Photo tab: allows someone to upload a snapshot to their FB account. As with the current Profile Feed option in the snapshot floater, the resolution of the image can be selected at upload (minimum 800×600), and an optional SLurl / comment can be included with the image
  • Check-in tab: allows someone to share the SLurl for their current in-world location via Facebook, together with a short comment on the location and a map image if they wish
  • Account Tab: will allow those with a Facebook account to connect their SL account to it for the purposes of posting from SL to Facebook.

The last option will open a browser window allowing a user to log-in to their Facebook account and link their Second Life account to it for posting purposes (this must be done for any of the other tabs to actually communicate with a Facebook account). In addition, to make accessing the floater easier, the viewer introduces a dedicated Facebook toolbar button.

To help explain the new functionality, Torley has produced another of his TuTORials, and there is also a Knowledge Base page explaining the capability and its options.

Again, please remember that this is an opt-in capability, and no-one is being forced to use it. Whether SLShare will evolve to include other social media sharing, or whether additional capabilities for sharing with other social media platforms will be added to the viewer remains to be seen.

In the meantime, SLShare is available via a release candidate viewer, as noted above, and will be progressing as the de facto release viewer in due course.

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SL projects update week 39 (1): server and general items

Server Deployments – Week 39

As always, please refer to the week’s forum deployment thread for the latest news and updates.

Second Life Server (Main Channel) – Tuesday September 24th

The main channel updated to the server project that was on Magnum last week, comprising:

  • A fix for the llXorbase64 issue reported on in my week 35 (2) update  (BUG-3763)
  • A fix for an issue where an avatar sitting at high altitude may appear to be located at 0,0 on both the world map and mini map (BUG-3332)
  • A fix for “llReturnObjectsByID breaks on string uuids”
  • Fixes for a number of JSON function issues:
  • Nerfing of recursive rezzing. Again, this was outlined in my week 35 (1) report. Under the new code, the copy of the original object will inherit the temp-on-rez and parcel time of the originating object and so be returned at the same time
  • Users who are on a parcel’s “Allowed Access” list now correctly bypass other parcel restrictions (such as “Payment Info On File”) when entering the parcel
  • Crash mode fixes.

Second Life RC BlueSteel, RC Magnum, and RC LeTigre – Wednesday September 25th

All three RC channels should receive the same update package as deployed to the Main channel (see above for a summary of changes). Release notes: BlueSteel, LeTigre, Magnum.

Region Restart Issues

The last few weeks have apparently seen an increase in the number of reports being filed against regions restarting in an unhealthy state following a restart. Talking at the Simulator User Group on Tuesday September 24th, Whirly Fizzle related the problems thus:

After rolling restarts, many regions come back in an unhealthy state in that no mesh will rez on them, you appear offline to all your friends if you are on said region, your friends lists & groups lists don’t load, you cannot initiate IM sessions & you usually disconnect when attempting to TP out of those regions. (Caps fail I guess?). Restarting the region fixes it. As far as I know this used to happen rarely after rolls but now it appears pretty common.

Some people have reported increasing issues with regions immeidately following a rolling restart
Some people have reported increasing issues with regions returning in an unhealthy state immediately following a rolling restart

Both Simon and Andrew Linden leaned towards the problems being indicative of a caps fail issue, with Simon speculating, “I suspect the caps system is overloaded in a server restart … there may be too many regions coming up at once, doing all the housework to get into the grid, etc, and it falls apart.  That’s just a wild guess, however.” He also pointed to the problem possibly being connectivity-related.

As a result, Andrew has said he’ll look deeper into the problem and also check with LL’s Release team, who actually handle the rollouts to see if they have any insight into what may be happening, and if it is a broken caps issue. In the meantime, those experiencing issues of the kind indicated by Whirly should file a bug report, making sure they include the server names (e.g. simXXXX.agni.lindenlab.com available in Help > About Second Life) both before and after running a manual restart.

SL Viewer Updates

There has been no release candidate promotion to the de facto release viewer as yet in week 39. However, the remaining two release candidates updated recently as follows:

  • The Maintenance release RC (support for new particle capabilities; automatic avatar render limit and feedback system) updated on September 20th to version 3.6.7.281236, and then on September 24th to version 3.6.7.281385
  • The Snowstorm contributions RC (request teleport feature) updated on September 20th to version  3.6.7.281199.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 39 (1): server and general items”

The Verge: an astute look into Second Life

Hazardous
Hazardous

The Verge has an article out about Second Life. Second Life’s Strange Second Life may not sound the most promising of titles, and the opening paragraph may not make for the most inspiring of reading material:

Do you remember Second Life? Set up by developer Linden Lab in 2003, it was the faithful replication of our modern world where whoring, drinking, and fighting were acceptable. It was the place where big brands moved in as neighbours and hawked you their wares online. For many, it was the future — our lives were going to be lived online, as avatars represented us in nightclubs, bedrooms, and banks made of pixels and code.

However, never judge a book – or in this case, an article – by its title (or its opening paragraph!). What follows is actually an astute look at the platform, as seen through the eyes of a newcomer, Chris Stokel-Walker, a freelance writer in the UK, and through those of long-time resident Fee Berry, as well as a few others.

Rougham Town
Rougham Town

Fee, who lives in Middlesex, England, is actually none other than Caliandris Pendragon, also once known as Misty Mole. She’s  been involved in Second Life since 2004, having migrated from the worlds of games such as Riven and Myst. She’s been both a resident of SL and she’s been employed – until June of this year, at least – by Linden Lab. As such, she is eminently qualified to talk about SL from all sides.

The attraction which brought Fee to Second Life is more than likely the very same attraction which brought each of us here in the first place and caused us to “stick”, as Stokel-Walker relates:

“It’s like every toy you ever had, all rolled into one,” she tells me in awed tones, recalling the power of the game to keep her playing nearly a decade on. It’s also liberating, she explains, allowing her to forget about the kids, the responsibilities, and the extra few inches she’d rather not have. It lets her cut free.

Fee provides a very clear and concise view of Second Life, one we can all perhaps identify with: the wonders that it presents to us; the opportunities for discovering new friends, learning new things; the initial shaping of the world by Linden Lab – and the fact that, when all is said and done, it’s entirely possible that not everyone at the Lab really gets the in-world culture the company gave birth to simply by allowing Second Life to be so open-ended.

Musiclandia
Musiclandia

It is this examination of the cultural and historical aspects of Second Life, unburdened by bias, that helps to set this piece apart from the more usual offerings the media serve-up when talking about the platform. Not only do we get Fee’s perspective, we also get to hear from Hunter Walker. One of the original Lab employees working on Second Life from before the launch, but since departed, Hunter also provides insight into the early days, again as Stokel-Walker relates:

It was conceived as a space that gave you a set of choices that were missing from reality. “In your first life you don’t necessarily get to fly. Here you can fly. In your first life you can’t choose what you look like. Here you can choose what you look like — and it’s malleable.”

Nor does it end there. This is a piece which has not been written as a late-coming feature built from SL’s tenth anniversary infographic. Rather, it is a piece that has come about through experimentation and research, with Stokel-Walker spending time in-world, going through all the pangs, trials and tribulations of a newcomer to Second Life. He is clearly someone who is attracted to the platform without – at least initially understanding why. And this brings an added element to the article, because his story will be so familiar with many of us:

For the longest time I didn’t get it. I’d spent several weeks pottering about, teleporting from one place to another. I stood on a dock of a bay, overlooking an azure sea and hearing the whistle of the wind. I walked through a cold, gun-metal gray futuristic world full of walkways that reminded me of any number of first-person shooters. I’d chased a woman, inexplicably sprinting, arms flailing, through the palazzos of Milan, looking at the fashion boutiques. I’d visited London — in reality a tired collection of worn clichés, a cardboard cut-out of the Beatles crossing the street down from a roundabout with a red telephone box on one corner. It was kind of cool, but it was also corny.

Continue reading “The Verge: an astute look into Second Life”