Caprice: whimsy and wonder with a dash of winter

Caprice
Caprice

I came across Asa Vordun’s Caprice and Easy A entirely by chance, the happy circumstance of flipping through Flickr and bouncing around Second Life. Call it is case of SL serendipity, as I couldn’t have come across both at a better time, thanks to a number of stresses crowding me somewhat of late. Both shooed those worries away and left me smiling.

Caprice is perhaps best defined by the description given in About Land:

Once upon a time in Caprice …a place of whimsy and wonder…beauty and peace…of tales and fairytales…what is real what is imaginary …do you trust what you see…

Caprice
Caprice

It’s a beautiful little corner of a Second Life, featuring houses by Kayle Matzerath, who provided the fabulous Lumenaria at the 2013 Fantasy Faire, arranged around a small square and fountain.

When I first visited, Caprice was enjoying a bright autumn, with the leaves on the trees a golden brown, the air crisp and the sun still warm enough for one to forsake a coat when stepping outdoors. Since then, I gather the time as moved on, and winter is gradually encroaching, the trees now denuded of their foliage and snow drifts laying claim to corners and to the sides of roads. Just as well, then, that a café offering coffee and hot chocolate stands on one side of the square, facing another offering filling snacks and warm drinks over on the other side. Or, if one prefers, apples and hot cider can be had from a wooden stall.

Caprice
Caprice

This is place where friends can meet and spend time seated around the fountain or at the cafés or – if the weather gets too nippy – inside the delightful library. By day or by night, Caprice offers the warmest of welcomes and its whimsical looks and feel encourage you to tarry and forget the bustle and call of the rest of the grid.

From the arch of the arrival point, looking out over a seafront scene with jetty, lighthouse and sail boat, you can meander along the footpaths and the road which catches the square in a paved lasso, wander past the cafés and the library and cider stand until you come to the arch of a narrow tunnel. Here, beside a sign inviting you to breathe, you might want to slip on a coat before continuing through the tunnel and into Easy A.

Here is a place where winter has truly arrived. Asa has done a fabulous  job in creating a wonderful winter tableau photographers could likely have a lot of fun with – and to really capture the atmosphere, I do suggest you try a night / low lighting level with your time-of-day / windlight.

Easy-A
Easy-A

Cottages by Cory Edo and Van Auster sit by the side of a road which circles a high mesa. As the snow falls, a lone truck rumbles along the street, passing under the roadside lamps, headlights picking out the road ahead – you can see why I said Easy A needs a night-time setting to really be appreciated :).

As with Caprice, the attention to detail here means you’re going to need to keep a sharp eye open to appreciate everything on offer, particularly where the cottages are concerned, each of which offers a place to sit and reflect, or chat. Or if you prefer, you can find your way to the top of the tall pillar of rock, crowned as it is by a ring of fir trees, themselves topped and hung about with lights and which surround a secret place to sit and share while coffee and soup bubble on an open fire.

Easy-A
Easy-A

Both Caprice and Easy A offer a small slice of magic well worth taking the time to visit, particularly if you enjoy taking photos in SL.

I have no idea as to how frequently Asa giver her parcels a make-over, but I have to admit that outside of changing them to suit the seasons, I rather hope they don’t often go through too drastic an overhaul – at least not Caprice, given that Easy A is a little more in keeping with the onset of winter in the northern hemisphere and so may change more dramatically as the year passes. As it is, both offer charm, warmth (despite the weather :)) and individual beauty to the passing traveller. Be sure not to miss either of them!

Related Links

And as winter is the theme, here’s another piece by Chris de Burgh to mark the time of year.

Advertisements

SL projects update week 45 (2): Server, viewer and group bans

Server Deployments week 44 – Recap

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

  • The Main channel was updated on Tuesday November 5th with the same maintenance package previously deployed to the three release candidate channels, and which comprised bug fixes and crash mode fixes
  • On Wednesday November 6th, all three release candidate channels were all due to receive a new maintenance package, comprising further infrastructure changes for the yet-to-be-announced Experience Keys (experience tools) project. However, an undisclosed test failure meant the deployment was cancelled.

Upcoming Releases

Week 46 should see a new maintenance package in RC, which will include:

  • A fix for BUG-4152 Sim crossing on vehicle fails when parcel at opposite sim border is full
  • A number of crash fixes, including some which combat a physics griefer object
  • The fix to allow objects rezzed by sat-upon objects should have a fresh auto-return and temp-on-rez timer, This will allow them to last the full ~60 seconds (for temporary) or parcel auto return time. This should help is situations where combat vehicles in regions with short auto-return times can have their ordnance immediately returned when a weapon is fired, and any temp vehicles are unable to rez attachments, even when sat upon.
  • An interest list fix for issues where you don’t connect to regions far enough away when draw distance is set to 512m
Maestro Linden's disco-themed Server Beta meeting venue (stock)
Maestro Linden’s disco-themed Server Beta meeting venue (stock)

Trojan Objects

A further update is a change to try to deal with a griefing situation wherein estate managers/owners can be added to a region’s the ban list or teleported them home with llTeleportAgentHome(). This is apparently achieved through the use of what Maestro Linden refers to as “Trojan” objects, in that the object appears perfectly innocuous until passed to the an estate manager / owner but which, when rezzed, will  the manipulate the ban list via llManageEstateAccess().

Maestro described these scenarios thus:”I could give you ‘cute kitty’ which you then rez on your parcel.  But the script with the ‘purr’ function also has a ‘manipulate ban list’ function. Since you (the parcel owner) own the kitty, the script there can do the operation.”

It has also been noted that the use of such “Trojan” objects isn’t restricted to manipulating llManageEstateAccess(); they are also used to clear-down ban lists using llResetBandList(). In the case of llManageEstateAccess(), the function is being changed so that the owner is notified, and is given the option to allow the function to run in “stealth” mode.

The problem here is that by the time the notification is received, the Trojan script has done its job, so the solution is not ideal; the same would be true in the case of altering llResetBandList(). However, as Maestro put it, “But you’ll know exactly what it did in case you need to undo it.” A further concern in the case of llResetBandList() is that some estate owners use the function remotely to legitimately manage their ban lists, so if anything is done to alter its functionality, it might break existing content.  This led to extensive debate within the Server Beta meeting as to how such matters could best be addressed – or even if they needed to be addressed beyond people taking the proper precautions when receiving scripted objects from untrusted sources.

SL Viewer

Default Region Restart Sound

In part 1 of this report, I noted that a  JIRA has been put forward (STORM-1980) to have a default region restart sound added to Second Life. This would be played automatically by the viewer on receipt of a region restart message, adding an additional warning of an approaching restart for those who may miss the pop-up notices, giving them time to take the appropriate action prior to logging-out.

The work is progressing on this idea, although a suitable sound has yet to be found, and precisely how the region restart messages will be redefined has yet to be entirely settled. Sound-wise, something is required that would universally recognised and which is preferably not language-dependent. One of the more popular ideas at the moment is to have a submarine dive / air-horn like sound (the “A-wooo-GAH!” beloved of films), although there have been some muted concerns about people possibly being offended by the use of “military” sounds. Torley Linden also joined the discussion and, in fun, offered up his own idea  – just make sure you don’t have the volume up too loud before playing the clip!

Torley’s region restart warning

Sadly, it doesn’t meet that criteria of being language-independent, but it’s still fun to listen to.

Script Syntax Updates and Increasing Source Text Allowance

In week 39, I reported that Ima Mechanic and Oz Linden are working to improve syntax highlighting in the viewer’s LSL editor by allowing the viewer to obtain the information required for syntax highlighting directly from the simulator the viewer is connected to. This should eliminate issues of the current, manually updated, files used to manage syntax highlighting falling out-of-synch with new LSL syntax as new functions and parameters, etc., are added.

This work is progressing well, and may now additionally see the source code text allowance in the viewer’s LSL editor increased. Currently, the source code limit in the editor is some 65,000 characters, however a number of scripters having been finding that they frequently are coming up against that limit when writing the source code for their scripts, so it has been suggested the limit be raised to 256,000 characters.

Continue reading “SL projects update week 45 (2): Server, viewer and group bans”