Space Sunday: exoplanets, dark matter, rovers and recoveries

An artist's impression of Proxima b with Proxima Centauri low on the horizon. The double star above and to the right of it is Alpha Centauri A and B. Credit: ESO
An artist’s impression of Proxima b with Proxima Centauri low on the horizon. The double star above and to the right of it is Alpha Centauri A and B. Credit: ESO

On August 15th, I wrote about rumours that an “Earth-like” planet has been found orbiting our nearest stellar neighbour, Proxima Centauri, 4.25 light years away from our own Sun. The news was first leaked by the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel, which indicated the discovery had been made by a team at the European Southern Observatory’s (ESO)  La Silla facility – although ESO refused to comment at the time.

However, during a press conference held on August 24th, ESO did confirm the detection of a rocky planet orbiting Proxima Centauri. Dubbed Proxima b, the planet lies within the so-called “Goldilocks” habitable zone around its parent star – the orbit in which conditions are “just right” for the planet to harbour liquid water and offer the kind of conditions in which life might arise.

Comparing Proxima b with Earth. Credit: Space.com
Comparing Proxima b with Earth. Credit: Space.com

The ESO data reveals that Proxima b is orbits its parent star at a distance of roughly 7.5 million km (4.7 million miles), at the edge of the habitable zone, and does so every 11.2 terrestrial days and is about 1.3 times as massive as the Earth. The discovery came about by comparing multiple observations of the star over extended periods using two instruments at La Silla to look for signs of the star “wobbling” in its own spin as a result of planetary gravitational influences. Once identified, ESO called on other observatories around the world to carry out similar observations / comparisons to confirm their findings.

Although the planet lies within the “Goldilocks zone”, just how habitable is it likely to be is still open to question. Stars like Proxima Centauri, which is roughly one-seventh the diameter of our Sun, or just 1.5 times bigger than Jupiter, are volatile in nature, all activity within them entirely convective in nature, giving rise to massive stellar flares. As Proxima-B orbits so close to the star, it is entirely possible that over the aeons, such violent outbursts from Proxima Centauri have stripped away the planet’s atmosphere.

Proxima Cantauri compared with other stellar bodies - and Jupiter (Credit: Space.com)
Proxima Cantauri compared with other stellar bodies – and Jupiter. Credit: Space.com

In addition, the preliminary data from ESO suggests the planet is either tidally locked to Proxima Centauri, or may have a 3:2 orbital resonance (i.e. three rotations for every two orbits) – either of which could make it an inhospitable place for life to gain a toe-hold. The first would leave one side in perpetual daylight and the other in perpetual night, while the second would limit any liquid water on the surface to the tropical zones.

Nevertheless, the discovery of another world in one part of our stellar backyard does raise the question of what NASA’s upcoming TESS mission might find when it starts searching the hundreds of nearby stars for evidence of exoplanets in 2018.

Juno’s Second Pass Over Jupiter

NASA’s Juno space craft made a second successful close sweep over the cloud-tops of Jupiter on Saturday, August 27th to complete its first full orbit around the planet. Speeding over the planet at a velocity of 208,000 km/h (130,000 mph) relative to Jupiter, Juno passed just 2,400 km (2,600 miles) above the cloud tops before heading back out into space, where it will again slowly decelerate under the influence of Jupiter’s immense gravity over the next 27 days, before it once again swing back towards the gas giant.

“Early post-flyby telemetry indicates that everything worked as planned and Juno is firing on all cylinders,” said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as telemetry on the flyby started being received on Earth some 48 mins after the flyby, which occurred at 13:44 UTC.

A twin view of Jupiter captured by Juno on August 23rd, when the spacecraft was some 4.4 million km (2.8 million miles) from the gas giant and approaching Jupiter to complete its first full orbit. On the left is a colour image from JunoCam, on the right an infra-red image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
A twin view of Jupiter captured by Juno on August 23rd, when the spacecraft was some 4.4 million km (2.8 million miles) from the gas giant and approaching Jupiter to complete its first full orbit. On the left is a colour image from JunoCam, on the right an infra-red image. Credit: NASA/JPL / SwRI / MSSS

All of Juno’s science suite was in operation during the passage over Jupiter’s clouds. However, due to speed at which the gathered data can be returned to Earth, and given it cannot all be relayed in one go or necessarily continuously, it will be a week or more before everything has been transmitted back to Earth. Nevertheless the science team are already excited by the flyby.

“We are getting some intriguing early data returns as we speak,” Scott Bolton, principal investigator of Juno from the Southwest Research Institute, stated. Some of that data included initial images of Jupiter captured as Juno swept towards the planet during the run-up to periapsis. “We are in an orbit nobody has ever been in before, and these images give us a whole new perspective on this gas-giant world,” Bolton added.

Continue reading “Space Sunday: exoplanets, dark matter, rovers and recoveries”

Of hounds, time, mysteries and awakenings

It’s time to kick-off a week of story-telling in voice, brought to our virtual lives by the staff and volunteers at the Seanchai Library. As always, all times SLT, and events are held at the Library’s Second Life home at Bradley University, unless otherwise indicated.

Sunday, August 28th

13:30: Tea Time at Baker Street

Tea-time at Baker Street returns for the summer, featuring a new location – 221B Baker Street at the University of Washington iSchool in Second Life. Caledonia Skytower, John Morland and Kayden Oconnell invite you to join them as they return to what is quite possibly the most famous of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s works, and present their fourth reading from The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Baskervilles-1902The third full-length novel written about Sherlock Holmes, this is likely to be the one Holmesian story which – at least in outline – known to most, whether or not they have actually read any of Holmes’ adventures.

But how many of us know the story as it was originally written? Over the decades it has been adapted for film and television more than 20 times, starting as early as 1914/15 with the 4-part series, Der Hund von Baskerville, and continuing on through to Paul McGuigan’s The Hounds of Baskerville, featured in the BBC’s brilliant Sherlock series.

All of these adaptations have offered their own take on the tale. Some – such as McGuigan’s, have simply taken the title of the story and used it to weave a unique tale of their own; others have stayed true to the basics of the story whilst also adding their own twists and turns quite outside of Conan Doyle’s plot in order to keep their offering fresh and exciting to an audience.

So why not join Cale, John and Kayden as they read from the 1902 original, and discover just how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle unfolded this apparently supernatural tale of giant hounds and murder, and the pivotal role played by John Watson himself?

18:00: Magicland Storytime

It’s a Small World of Folktales at The Golden Horseshoe in Magicland Park with Caledonia Skytower.

Monday August 29th, 19:00: The Crucible of Time

crucibleGyro Muggin’s takes his audience into the fix-up by John Brunner. First published as two-part story which appeared in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, it’s an ambitious tale of alien intelligence which grew to a series of six linked tales pushed as a single novel in 1983.

Far off in space is an alien race which is so much like us, yet so un-alike. From the birth of their earliest civilisation through to their attainment of star flight as their star system passes through the galaxy, we follow their development through the ages.

Aquatic by nature, this race presents some significant challenges well outside the realms of anything encountered by humanity. But they are also driven by all too familiar hopes, fears, desires, needs, wants, prejudices, impact of religious ideologies, and the quest for knowledge we have experienced in the growth of our own civilisation.

Charting six periods of time, each a thousand years after the previous, the six stories focus on the efforts of a group of individuals in each era as they face one or more challenges, their success in overcoming these challenges inevitably leading them towards a greater understanding of their planet’s plight, and ultimately, the ability to deal with that plight and the survival of their civilisation.

Tuesday August 30th, 19:00: TBA

Please check the Seanchai Library blog for updates.

Wednesday August 31st, 19:00: A Monstrous Regiment of Women (Mary Russell #2)

MonstrousReturn to 221B Baker Street at the University of Washington’s iSchool, Second Life, for the latter-day adventures of Mr. Sherlock Holmes (retired) and his young orphaned protégé, Mary Russell, originally from the United States, as written by Laurie R. King.

Taking a trip to London, Mary encounters Veronica Beaconsfield, a friend from Oxford, who in turn introduces her to the charismatic and enigmatic Margery Childe, leader of something called “The New Temple of God.” Sect-like, and seemingly involved with the suffrage movement, the New Temple and its leader offer both curiosity and intrigue for Mary, who is not convinced either are entirely above-board.

Her suspicions appear to be correct when several of the Temple’s wealthy young female volunteers and financial contributors are murdered. With Holmes keeping a watchful eye in the background, Mary turns her curiosity into an investigation; in doing so, she faces her greatest danger yet.

Thursday, September 1st, 19:00: Rey’s Story from Star Wars the Force Awakens

With Shandon Loring (In Second Life and Kitely. Check Kitely event announcements for specific grid location).


Please check with the Seanchai Library SL’s blog for updates and for additions or changes to the week’s schedule.

The featured charity for July-August is WildAid: seeking to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes by reducing demand through public awareness campaigns and providing comprehensive marine protection.

Additional Links

2016 SL project updates 34 (2): TPV Developer meeting

Arranmore; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Arranmoreblog post

The majority of the notes in this update are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, August 25th. The video of that meeting is embedded at the end of this update, and references to it are indicated through the use of time stamps in the paragraphs below. My thanks as always to North for recording and providing it.

This is not intended to be a transcript of the entire meeting, which featured discussions of some situations specific to individual region rather than SL as a whole. However, key discussion points have hopefully been highlighted.

Server Deployments

There were no scheduled deployments for week #34.

SL Viewer

Release Candidates

[00:15] Both of the current release candidates – the VLC Media Plugin replacement for Windows and the Visual Outfits Browser viewer, have elevated crash rates. Each is liable to receive a further RC update in week #35 (week commencing Monday, August 29th).

[00:53] There will be a new Maintenance RC viewer appearing as well.

64-bit Viewer

[00:58] Progress is being made on the 64-bit versions of the viewer, and these are expected to surface (Windows and Mac) as project viewer quite soon.

Bento Project Viewer

As noted in my Bento update #24, the Bento project viewer was issued in what is hoped will be the final project viewer iteration before it progressed to Release Candidate status. Version 5.0.0.318969, released on August 25th, includes the following updates among its changes:

  • The latest viewer updates body size less frequently (starting / stopping an animation) so vertical height repositioning should be less jarring.
  • During mesh upload, SLM files are by default not created and not used. This can still be overridden by changing the debug setting MeshImportUseSLM
  • The show bones display has been modified to use colors differently, distinguishing between joints that are skinned to, joints that have position overrides defined, and all other joints.
  • Animation of collision volumes has been fixed.

Voice Updates

[02:17] The voice updates are progressing, but is not expected to appear in a project viewer soon due to some remaining issues which need to be resolved.

[03:56] There are some server-side voice updates currently on Aditi undergoing test. When these will be moved to the main grid is subject to further discussions with Vivox, which are due to take place in the forthcoming week. When these updates are enabled on the main grid, they will be gird-wide.

[33:10] Oz offered a reminder that in-world / region issues are unlikely to be related to / cause Voice issues in the majority of cases where the latter are being experienced, as the only way the simulator and its host server are involved in voice is when a user is initially connecting to Voice (the simulator provides the channel addresses to the viewer). After this, all communications are between the viewer (via the SLVoice plugin and the Vivox voice servers.

[34:10] As a part of the ongoing work to better monitor and control Voice, the Lab will be introducing improved logging on exactly what the viewer is doing when connecting to Voice.

Exceptions Handling, etc

[02:44] As noted at the last TPV Developer meeting, the Lab is going to be making some source code changes, including a clean-up of asserts in the viewer and how exceptions are handled (the latter to try to prevent the viewer crashing as a result of encountering an exception), and further rendering pipeline clean-up. These will be showing up in a project viewer at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Accessing Crowded Regions & Increasing Max Number of Users Per Region

[08:30] Trying to access a crowded region for an event is often a matter of pot luck. when full, you have no real choice but to get re-trying via teleport or crossing  a region boundary. As a result, the Lab has frequently been asked to add some form of access queuing system to regions.

While a queuing system has been considered, the Lab feels it brings with it may questions around how it work to present an optimal solution for users. As such, while they are open to proposals for a queuing system, optimally, they’d rather work towards trying to increase the number of avatars regions can support. This is something also being looked at from time to time (see my May 27th, 2015 SL project update as an example), although there is no work actively being carried out on it right now.

Abuse Report Categories

[17:00] As indicated in my last TPV Developer meeting update, the Lab will be introducing a new region capability to handle abuse report categories. Once implemented, TPVs will be able to adopt the use of this capability, rather than having abuse categories held within the viewer, where they may get out-of-step with the categories supported by the Lab.

There is also a reminder in the meeting that abuse situations should be reported ASAP after the event, so that the Lab can refer to the related simulator logs during investigations, and that there is a L$10,000 bounty payable on SEC JIRAs which identify actual or potential abuse vectors  / exploits which the Lab can act upon to close.

AMD Graphics Issues

[26:10] Many users with AMD GPU (notably the RX400 series) have been experiencing glitches and “tears” appearing in their world view  – see BUG-20057 and FIRE-16829. User Hurana Ugajin reports she is having a dialogue with AMD on the issue, and a solution may be forthcoming soon. When / if available, a request has been to post it to the SL technology forum.

Region Resource Allocations

[36:19] A question is asked on whether it would be possible to allocate simulator resources (script usage, etc), on the same basis as object land impact – thus allowing resources to be assigned / capped by parcel size, etc.

The Lab does not believe this can be done without significant changes to SL, as a lot of the underpinning resources are not location-based (e.g. scripts are run on the basis of where they are). Instead, the Lab is focused more on penalising individuals for excessive use of resources (e.g. if you run a script which abuses resources in a region, all your active scripts are throttled, not just the offending script). Such abuses can also be AR’d by those noting them.

Other Items

Aditi Access

[04:42] Some users are apparently being told that in order to access Aditi, they require Payment Information On File (PIOF) and to have completed a tutorial. These are actually part of the requirements to be able to upload mesh. No special requirements are required to access the beta grid other than your user name and password.

There is , however a problem with new user accounts not showing up on Aditi when they should, and a request has to be passed to support to enabled them. This is down to changes in how the Lab is handling account data, which has left Aditi in a state of flux, but a fix for this is in the pipeline.

Account Management

[06:22] The account work mentioned above is part of ongoing back-end work the Lab is carrying out related to personal data is handled and stored even more securely, and help resolve some account management issues. One outcome of this will be a single change to a user’s password will be applied pretty much immediately to both Agni and Aditi.

Large Texture Over-Use

[43:40] A continuing problem in SL is the over-use of large (1024×1024) texture on every surface, no matter how small. While this is a bad content choice, it has been suggested that to discourage this, LL should consider charging differently for different texture sizes. This has been discussed by the Lab, with the admission that given the already low cost for uploads (L$10 per item), there is a certain lack of conviction that introducing a nominal fee scale based on image size will do much to discourage the practice.

Avatar Complexity Calculations

[48:18] As noted at the last TPV Developer meeting, the Lab will be carrying out further refinements in how Avatar Complexity is calculated. A suggestion put forward at this meeting is that as well as having a per avatar limit, if a scene-wide limit could be defined / set. This is viewed as an “interesting” idea.

Immaculate perceptions and reflections in Second Life

Immaculate Perception - Immaculate Reflection
Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection

“There is no truth, there is only perception … immaculate perception,” Krystali Rabeni enigmatically states in her introduction to Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection. “What you see is what you thought before you looked … The immaculate perception of it is an immaculate reflection of the viewer. A very interesting abstraction proving that there is no truth, only perception.”

It’s a provocative statement leading the way into a surreal and thought-provoking setting, one complete with touches of abstract and the absurd – but one which is also compelling, given the artist’s statement. Across a watery landscape sits a host of vignettes drawn from multiple sources. Pieces in some of them will be familiar to visitors, others will be wholly new.

Immaculate Perception - Immaculate Reflection
Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection

All present some curious scenes: animals hanging from balloons, a pair of women in 50’s style clothing walking a pair of hot-dogs, skeletons watching TV, chess pieces from one side pinning the king from the other side under a net, a pat of flamingoes examining images of other flamingoes; pocket watches with starfish, the list goes on.

However, what is important here is not from whence they came or even, necessarily, what the artist may have intended each to represent – but how we perceive them, and how that perception may be informed by the shadows of our own thinking even before we see what is in front of us.  Of course, how we perceive and interpret any art is a matter of personal reflection, but it is generally a subconscious process; here we’re being asked to consciously think about that process – which in turn further influences our perceptions.

Immaculate Perception - Immaculate Reflection
Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection

In this, the track of thinking can become recursive: we question whether or not how much of what we’re perceiving in one vignette is shaped by our prior thinking, and then as we move on,  how much of that thinking is influencing our perception of the next vignette we see, which in turn calls into question our perceptions of the next vignette, and so on. Thus observation becomes as much introverted act, as it does a consideration of the art itself.
Within the installation, the potential recursiveness of our thinking  is perhaps enhanced by how the various vignettes are  placed. It is almost impossible to observe one without seeing two or perhaps three others, thus shifting our attention, directly or subliminally, influencing our thinking on the piece at hand, and thus influencing our perception of it.

Immaculate Perception - Immaculate Reflection
Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection

However, and with all that said, we can leave the deeper considerations about Immaculate Perception – Immaculate Reflection to one side, and simply approach each vignette entirely on its own. Each offers a scene captivating to the eye which can be enjoyed in its own right, regardless of what is informing our perception, whilst also allowing us to tease ourselves with possible allusions which may appear to be in some of them which might otherwise be missed in any deeper appreciation / introspection.

However you approach this installation, it offers plenty of opportunity for visual appreciation and / or considered speculation.

SLurl Details

Astralia, Second Life

Astralia; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Astralia – click any image for full size

Astralia is the name of the homestead region held by artist and blogger Oema, and which is currently featured in the August 26th Destination Guide Editor’s Picks. It is offered as a surreal landscape in which visitors are free to relax, roam, take photographs and view the art on display.

Surrounded on three sides by off-sim mountains, Astralia is a water bound place, waves gently foaming in from the surrounding mountains towards a calmer centre while a gentle breeze caresses wind chimes, filling the air with their gentle reverberations. The rich azure of the waters here is a perfect reflection of a cobalt sky flecked with cloud, beneath which a ribbon of aurora ebbs, rolls and curls.

Astralia; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Astralia

Across the region lie nine vignettes, each offering its own unique look and opportunities for photography or relaxation. Some of these feature buildings or structures, some form a small island of grass, some sit directly on the water. They all face or flank a crystal palace which also rises from the water, home to a small art gallery, while a further island sits in the air nearby, offering a further floating sanctuary.

By default, the region windlight presents Astralia as something of a watercolour painting, the surrealist element coming not so much from the watery setting, but from the globe of mighty Jupiter,  who marches around the region behind the mountains, Great Red Spot staring down like an ever-present eye, watching all comings and goings.

Astralia; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Astralia

For photographers, Astralia’s default windlight works well, whilst the region is well suited to a good cross-section of others as well – I used Annan Adored’s Tricoloured II for the images here. For those wishing to simply sit and relax, the region offers plenty of spots to do just that, and presents a smoothing piano audio stream ideal for putting the stresses of life out of your head and simply losing yourself in your surroundings.

SLurl Details

Project Bento User Group update 24 with audio

Bento: extending the avatar skeleton
Bento: extending the avatar skeleton

The following notes and audio were taken from the weekly Bento User Group meeting, held on Thursday, August 25th at 13:00 SLT at the the Hippotropolis Campfire Circle. For details on the meeting agenda, please refer to the Bento User Group wiki page.

Note that this update is not intended to offer a full transcript of the meeting, nor does it present the discussion points in chronological order. Rather, it represents the core points of discussion, grouped together by subject matter were relevant / possible, whilst maintaining the overall context of the meeting. My apologies for the background birdsong. I usually turn off local sounds for these recordings – but in this instance I forgot!

Bento Viewer

The Bento project viewer updated on Thursday, August 25th to version 5.0.0.318969. This release includes the following changes / improvements, but please refer to the release notes for the full set of updates.

SLM Files

Following previous discussions (see my Bento week 23 update), MeshImportUseSLM has been set to FALSE in the viewer, so that SLM files are by default not created and not used. Switching MeshImportUseSLM to TRUE via debug settings will re-enable them once more.

Avatar Vertical Position (height above ground) Calculation

See here for further background noted. Essentially, any position or scale changes for joints that are included in the body size calculation (those up through the left leg from the foot, the pelvis, torso, chest, neck, head and skull. can trigger issues with an avatar bobbing up-and-down unexpectedly as a result of the frequency of the calculation being increased to once per frame. To help compensate, this new version of the viewer only updates the body size calculation when starting / stopping an animation, so hopefully the changes will be less visually jarring.

Overall, however, the best fix is still to avoid using animations that change the positions of the joints used to calculate the vertical position of the avatar.

Two other updates worthy of individual note are:

  • The show bones display has been modified to use colours differently, distinguishing between joints that are skinned to, joints that have position overrides defined, and all other joints.
  • Animation of collision volumes has been fixed.
Teager's Bento Raptor
Teager’s Bento Raptor

Move To Release Candidate Status

Currently, the Lab believes there are no known active bugs which are sufficient enough to prevent the Bento viewer moving to Release Candidate status, potentially in the next few weeks. With the core AvaStar issues also seemingly resolved (see below),  creators are being encouraged to  complete any additional testing they wish to make so that any remaining potential blockers are found before the viewer goes to a wider audience. Move the viewer to RC status will expose it to a wider cross-section of users, allowing the Lab to get a better feel for the viewer’s overall stability or whether any non-Bento regressions have slipped into the code, etc.

Mesh Distortions with Altitude

Vir has looked further into the issue of facial distortions with altitude when software skinning is used (some meshes can also be distorted when right-clicking on an avatar). The problem seems to be in the base avatar mesh itself, although one idea he had for the cause of the problem didn’t pan out.

Cathy Foil demonstrates the mesh deformation which becomes more pronounced with altitude (starting at around 1,000m and getting progressively worse through 4,000m)
Cathy Foil demonstrates the mesh deformation which becomes more pronounced with altitude (starting at around 1,000m and getting progressively worse through 4,000m)

As this particular problem can be overcome by using hardware skinning, and seems to be a subset of a broader issue affecting worn meshes (floating point calculation error), it may not prevent the Bento viewer going to RC, but Vir is going to continue to look at it.

AvaStar Issues

Matrice Lavalle of the AvaStar team believes he’s resolved most of the issues affecting their software (see here for some background), and his testing indicates that bones should now be correctly positioned and adjusted when using sliders, although there are some minor nips and tucks he still wants to take care of. He also noted an issue affecting the torso bone, which came up shortly before the meeting and which may be limited to a particular way in which the torso is modified, and he is looking into that.

Maya / MayaStar Notes

Cathy Foil provided background information on some of the lessons she’s most recently learned in using Maya for avatar models, relating to joint orientation requirements, performing freeze transformations, etc.

Cathy also provided some advice to Maya users on ensuring that facial bones which have a custom position but which are not rigged to, are included in the skin cluster, otherwise the bone will be excluded from the .DAE file, leading to issues with the model in Second Life.

Matrice noted that as a result of Cathy’s discovery, AvaStar has been updated to ensure custom bones without weights are automatically exported.

When she has time, Cathy plans to produce some video tutorials on the lessons she’s learned through the Bento process  to help Maya users avoid issues like these. Currently, she is still working on updating MayaStar to work with all of the new bones, which is currently a manually intensive task.

Bone Position Information and Slider Values

Cathy points to an issue with the neck bone slider, which, rather than having a neutral position of 50 (as with most bones), has a neutral position value of 66.6667, which can lead to neck alignment problems when adjusting the neck bone position. She asked if in the future, the Lab could update the default avatar shape to ensure all slider positions as close to neutral (50) as possible. This initiated a discussion on the feasibility of doing so, and some of the broader issues slider position value calculations.

Matrice also provided an overview of how AvaStar now handles neutral positions and the default avatar, before he and Vir discuss using other tools and the avatar BLEND file.

Following the meeting proper, Cathy and Matrice further discussed the differences between Blender and Maya in handing bone positions / rigging on export through the use of weight maps (Blender) and skin clusters (Maya).

Other Items

Bento Collaboration and Future Projects

Troy reported that overall, the Lab like the outcome of the Bento project, with the level of collaboration and cooperation between content creators and the Lab, particularly vis the user group meetings etc. While not the first time the Lab has worked with SL users on a project, Troy indicated that the approach taken with Bento is something the Lab would like to continue, where appropriate. Vir seconded this view, noting how the collaboration has made Bento a far more usable product.

Bento Content Documentation

An interesting point of discussion with Bento is the need for content creators to consider documentation carefully given the way the bones can be re-purposed – or at least define a common means of annotating how they have used various bones  – in order to help avoid potential conflicts which might arise on those occasions where a user might attempt to use two mesh elements, each of which calls upon the same bone, but require it to be positioned differently to one another.