SL project updates 42/1: server, viewer, viewer-driven Marketplace

Square Pegs in Round Holes, Kashmir Dreams; Inara Pey, September 2014, on FlickrSquare Pegs in Round Holes, Kashmir Dreams (Flickr) – blog post

Server Deployments Week 42

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread for updates and the latest information.

  • There was no code promotion to the Main (SLS) channel on Tuesday, October 14th – this follows from there having been no deployments to the primary RC channels in week 41
  • On Wednesday, October 15th, the primary RC channels should be updated as follows:
    • Bluesteel should receive the CDN texture & mesh fetching capabilities – release notes
    •   LeTigre and Magnum should both receive a new server maintenance package,  which includes a crash fix and improves the delivery pipeline for abuse reports.

SL Viewer

As noted in my report here, Monday October 13th saw the release of the latest version of the Oculus Rift project viewer. Version includes support for the Oculus DK2.

Viewer-managed Marketplace (VMM)

Baker Linden sports a new look, but keeps the hair, shades and bling  - as al lhamsters should!
Baker Linden sports a new look, but keeps the hair, shades and bling – as all hamsters should!

Baker Linden, who has been carrying out a lot of the back-end work on support of the forthcoming viewer-managed Marketplace, was on-hand that the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday October 14th to talk a little more about the project.

He reconfirmed that the new capabilities, which will allow merchants to carry out a number of Marketplace-specific tasks from within the viewer (create new listings with stock, Associate inventory to an existing listing, remove items from a listing, unlist goods entirely) will commence testing on Aditi in November, together with a new project viewer. This testing is liable to run well into the first quarter of 2015, and will involve both Marketplace merchants and TPV developers.

Various additional safeguards are being built into the updated delivery mechanism, both within the Marketplace web interface (which is the responsibility of one of the Lab’s web developers) and the back-end of things. For example, if someone leaves an item in their shopping cart and either the price for the item changes or it is unlisted in the intervening period prior to them continuing to the checkout, they will receive a notification of the change when they do so.

Baker himself is working to eliminate issues with No Copy items, such as preventing a race condition in which a region restart can be exploited to obtain more than one version of a No Copy item. He also indicated that when a No copy item runs out of stock, the listing for it will no longer be delivered to users’ browsers by the Marketplace (presumably until the merchant “restocks” the item) and the listing may even be deactivated.

He also provided more information on the ability to link more than one items to a Marketplace listing, stating:

For merchants, you will be able to choose which “version” is listed so you can have a special holiday-skinned object, and then simply right-click, say “use this version” and then it will start selling the new holiday version of your object!  When you’re done selling the holiday themed object, just switch back to the original version.

However, a problem here is that some people tend to let items accumulate in their Marketplace shopping cart for a period of time – perhaps a week or so – before proceeding to the checkout. It is therefore possible that if they add a “special” version of an item to their cart and leave it there for a while, the merchant may subsequently swap the listing back to deliver the “normal” version of the item – which the buyer will receive when then do eventually proceed to checkout and pay for the items in their shopping cart, leading to complaints and upset. This is something the Lab hadn’t actively considered, so Baker has taken the issue back to the office where it will be given further thought.

The discussion of the new Marketplace capabilities lead to a number of suggestions being put forward, some of which may be on their way to being filed as JIRA feature requests:

  • The ability to mark stores as favourites in the Marketplace
  • The ability to obtain a demo version of an item directly from the item’s listing page
  • The ability to associate different coloured versions of the same product in a single listing
  • The ability to view an item’s contents like the contents of in-world objects can be inspected.

A request was also made for some kind of in-world meeting to discuss the Marketplace. This is not the first time such a request has been made. However, the last time the Commerce Team directly responded to such requests, it was with a refusal to hold in-world meetings. However, there was a lot going on with the Marketplace at that time, which was causing a lot of angst; it’s fair to say a lot has changed since then. Certainly, with an extended period of testing for the new viewer-driven capabilities about to commence, which will involve both merchants and TPV developers, it would seem that putting a mechanism in place by which the Lab, merchants and developers can discuss things would benefit the project tremendously.

5 thoughts on “SL project updates 42/1: server, viewer, viewer-driven Marketplace

  1. Any news about this problem?
    It is becoming impossible to enjoy travelling between sims in any way, LL must really try to find and solve it asap cause the biker, the sailing, the flying or just those who like to travel without teleport, communities in Sl are as much important as the fashionistas ones!
    And is sad that after months of smooth crossing sims, that made a lot join groups and put more then 40 users sailing on a few cruises besides many found out about blake sea and renting and living there, now all is being screwed again.


    1. As the comments on the thread point-out, people’s epxeriences are very mixed. So (including some reacers) are encountering few issues, others are encountering significant issues. In the case of the latter, how many JIRA are being filed with details of the situation – log files, details on the regions / channels concerned, etc? Because these things are so variable, the Lab does need more information than “region crossings on Blake Sea are bad”. Specifics aid investigations significantly.

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