Lab seeks assistance with improving land bans in Second Life

secondlifeDuring the Third-Party Viewer Developer’s meeting on Friday, June 5th, Oz Linden raised the subject of making improvements to the current way in which land bans  – both region-wide and for parcels – are presented and managed within Second Life.

In doing so, he invited open-source developers to work with the Lab to help improve how the ban functionality is presented through the viewer, and how it works in general, indicating that those wishing to provide assistance would be able to work with the Lab to improve the viewer-side tools while the Lab’s developers work on the simulator end of things.

His comments came at the 17:58 minute mark of the video from the meeting, which was recorded by Chakat Northspring, and I’m providing his core comments  in audio and text below for reference.

 

One thing that I wanted to talk about was ban lists; and i’m referring to ban lists for land here. Right now … we certainly don’t have a good mechanism for managing the ban list. That is for looking at it and figuring out who are the least important people on it that you can get rid of to make room for more, that sort of thing.  I am putting out a general call for people to think about, and especially to contribute to implementing an improved ban list management mechanism.

Oz Linden - looking for open-source developer support for improving land ban management capabilities in Second Life
Oz Linden – looking for open-source developer support for improving land ban management capabilities in Second Life

At this point, several suggestions were put forward – such as having a note field in the list where the reason a person has been banned can be recorded, and / or adding a means by which a ban can be specified for a length of time before expiring, etc. Oz then continued:

So here’s what I’m really most interested in getting, is somebody who is interested in doing the UI and front-end work, in collaboration with us doing the back-end work for an improved ban list managed interface. So I’m putting out a call for volunteers and if you volunteer and want to put together a specific proposal,  we will evaluate whether or not we can get that much work done on the back, and how quickly, and do all that good stuff.

So that’s an opportunity to make all land owners think that you’re a wonderful person, and of course it comes with the usual inclusion in the contributor’s list and all that good stuff that goes with that.

Open-source contributors willing to assist in this work should probably, in the first instance, contact Oz through the usual channels to indicate their interest.

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A fractal Metropolis in Second Life

Met-1_001
Metropolis

At the end of 2015, the population of the world will reach 7.3 billion human beings, among which more than 50% are in urban areas. In 2050, UNO forecasts, as a central scenario, 9.6 billion people, with 2/3 living in cities, which therefore will have to host 2.5 billion additional inhabitants in the next 35 years. Tokyo gathers more than 35 million people, while New Delhi, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shangaï and Osaka account already for more than 20 million.

Thus Gem Preiz describes the theme for his latest exhibition of fractal art, Metropolis, which opens on Saturday, June 6th at the Influence Art Community.

Those familiar with his work know that Gem’s fractal art often suggests huge architectural landscapes and forms: towering fingers of colour and light, sweeping cityscapes frozen in time, a glimpse of places of the future and perhaps of worlds away from our own – as much in time as perhaps in distance.

Metropolis
Metropolis

With Metropolis, as his opening description suggests, Gem presents nineteen of these magnificent vistas to comment on the increasingly teeming nature of our global civilisation as more and more of just enter the world, live longer and bring forth a need of ever bigger and more complex cities, which themselves become ever more indistinguishable one from another as our reliance on technology homogenizes them such that shopping malls, business centres, even our lifestyles, become as standardised as everything else we reply upon.

The pieces are arranged in such a way as to suggest the visitor is within the huge metropolis of the exhibition’s title. Spread across multiple levels, linked by catwalks and teleport elevators, the images are suggestive of huge, glass-fronted towers and views across a gigantic cityscape.

Metropolis
Metropolis

To give a senses of scale to this “city”, and to link back to the theme of our ever-expanding and increasingly technology and business-driven civilisation, the squares and levels through the exhibition space are filled with the black silhouettes of people all apparently moving hither and thither, carrying briefcases, pulling travel cases, hurrying to this or that appointment, talking on their cellular ‘phones, haling one another and … occasionally, trying to catch-up with news the old-fashioned way: leafing through a newspaper, or holding a hand to their chin as if pondering – or lost.

So it is that Metropolis works on two levels. Taken as a whole, it admirably stands as an installation that reflects the central themes of Gem’s introductory notes; it demands one cams back in order to take in all of the scenes presents as broadly as possible, to witness this as a a city awash in activity. At the same time the images demand our studied attention, because they are all individually quite simply breathtaking in scope and form; there is a wealth of detail and complexity within each that is truly magnificent. So real do they feel, that it is hard not to wish you could step into them and walk along the halls and corridors that seem to lie behind their tiered, windowed facades, or wander the avenues and paths that sit between their ornate structures.

Metropolis
Metropolis

This is another masterful display of fractal art by Gem which will remain available for at least the rest of the month. Not only has he provided the art and the theme for the exhibit, Gem has also provided a suitable musical track on his You Tube channel which can be listened to while exploring the installation. Recommended.

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Viewer-Managed Marketplace update

secondlifeViewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) is a new set of capabilities designed to enable merchants to manage the creation and management of Marketplace product listings through the viewer, bypassing the need to use the Merchant Outbox an have copies of items stored on the Marketplace inventory servers), or using Magic Boxes located in-world, as VMM fully supports the sale on No Copy objects.

As most (all?) merchants are aware, it has been undergoing beta testing since the end of 2014, initially on Aditi (the Beta grid), and more recently on the Main grid, and there have been several feedback session on the work, either directly with merchants and those involved in the beta testing, and / or through the Lab’s Third-Party Viewer Developer meetings (see my VMM updates in this blog for specifics, together with the main VMM discussion thread on the Commerce forum).

The general feedback on the beta is that it has been going very well, with reported issues being dealt with by the Lab.

Automated Migration Notes

As a part of the transition to VMM, the Lab is offering merchants an automatic migration of their existing Direct Delivery items to VMM (items in Magic Boxes must be manually migrated to VMM). It is this automatic migration process that has been undergoing the most recent and extensive testing, and details on the process are now beginning to emerge, which can be summarised as:

  • The automated migration process for all merchants will start no earlier than June 20th, 2015
  • The automated migration process is capped at a maximum of 5,000 items per merchant, and the Lab has been notifying affected merchants of this, and what actions will be taken for those with more than 5,000, namely:
    • Any unlisted items held by the merchant will be removed from the Marketplace as returned to the Merchant’s Received Items folder
    • If the above fails to reduce the item count to below 5,000, any listed items held by the Merchant which have not had a sale in the past year will be unlisted and returned to the Merchant’s Received Items folder.
  • Those merchants with more than 5,000 items on the Marketplace who do not wish to have their items pruned by the auto-migration process are being encouraged to carry out any pruning that may be required to get their numbers below 5,000 ahead of the start of the auto-migration process, or to carry out the migration of their Direct Delivery items manually and alongside any Magic Box items they may have.
VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths
VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths

For those who wish to do so, manually migrating Direct Delivery items to VMM is relatively straightforward. All you need is the VMM project viewer (currently version 3.7.28.300920, although this may update shortly – see below), and you can use the Associate Listings capability within VMM to easily link items in your Marketplace Listings panel with you existing MP listings without having the re-create the latter, as shown above.

One point to note when moving DD items to VMM is that if you use multiple sub-folders within a current Direct Delivery folder, you may have to re-arrange things to avoid VMM treating the sub-folders as individual versions of the product.

Additional Notes

Some concerns have been raised over goods from merchants which are still popular in terms of sales, even though the Merchant may no longer be active in Second Life. It would seem that if these items meet the criteria for automatic migration, then they should continue to be available following the migration process. However, if they are only available via Magic Boxes and are not migrated manually (or fail to meet the automatic migration criteria), then will cease to be available as the switch-over to VMM runs its course.

The UKanDo viewer is one TPV to have already implemented the viewer side VMM updates. Out of curiosity, I used them alongside the project viewer to convert my own Marketplace items
The UKanDo viewer is one TPV to have already implemented the viewer side VMM updates. Out of curiosity, I used them alongside the project viewer to convert my own Marketplace items

For those who would prefer to use the viewer they are most familiar with in order to migrate their items to DD, rather than use the LL viewer, it is anticipated that the latter will undergo a further round of minor fixes, and the updates version either issued as a release candidate viewer or promoted to RC status shortly thereafter.

Once at RC status, the VMM code will legitimately be available for incorporation into TPVs as well. However, some TPVs have already adopted the code – the v3-style UKanDo viewer being one, for example.

One additional point of note here as well is that just because the viewer code may go to RC status fairly shortly, it does not mean the Lab are suddenly going to declare VMM is “live”. Lead times have been promised and adhered to throughout testing, and as noted earlier in this article, the only time scale that is confirmed for now is that the automatic migration process for all Merchants will not commence before June 20th.

While my own feedback may be of limited value, as I only have a small store and do not classify myself as a Merchant, I have used both the project viewer and UKanDo to manually migrate my items (and have removed various items out of choice, even though my store was well below the automatic migration threshold). By using the Associate Listing capability in VMM, I found the entire process to be relatively issue free – the only problems I did have were the result of silly mistakes on my part will flicking back and forth between the project viewer and UKanDo to test the functionality of the latter against the former.

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