New region and parcel access controls coming to Second Life

At both the Server beta meeting on Thursday, April 6th and the TPV Developer meeting on Friday April 7th, Grumpity Linden and Oz Linden revealed more about the upcoming changes to region and parcel access settings.

The server-side update for thee control are currently on the three RC channel (server maintenance package (17# – but the changes as a whole will not come into effect until after there has been a significant UI update to the viewer.

So what is changing?

In short, the new controls – once they are available through the viewer – will mean that when a region is explicitly set to Public Access via the Region / Estate floater, parcel owners will no longer be able to unhceck Allow Public access or set other restrictive access (e.g. Group Only) in the About Land floater for their parcel – so no more ban lines on regions explicitly set to Public Access. However, parcel-level ban lists will still apply and if things like security orbs are allowed with the region in question, they will still work as well.

Note that no change will occur where Allow Public Access has not been explicitly set within the Region / Estate floater. In these instances, parcel owners will still be able to set their own access.

This change is being made for several reasons. For example, it is something many region owners (and those who sail / boat / fly  / drive through ostensibly public regions) have requested; it is also something many estates have in their covenant but cannot actually enforce; and so on.

With the upcoming changes, if an estate is set to Allow Public Access (top), parcel holders on that region will no longer be able to override the public access using the About Land access options (above). However,the parcel ban list and and installed security system will still apply

These changes mean that the viewer UI – as noted – will be undergoing some significant changes.  Exactly how extensive thee changes will be is unclear. However the Lab is conscious of the need to ensure there is no ambiguity in the controls, and that issues such as BUG-4994 which results in a parcel being set to Group access (and gaining ban lines) if both the Public and Group access options are checked, are also resolved as a part of the work.

At the Server Beta meeting on Thursday, April 6th, Grumpity Linden commented on the UI updates thus:

We are trying to find the best way to express the access sets most clearly … The UI is changing to better convey what your actual settings permit …

1) EO & EM can now force parcels to be no more restrictive than the Estate level setting.

2) UI for both Estate and Parcel access management is confusing. We’re making changes to make it less confusing. The weirdness where you check “Public access” and “Group access” and end up with group ONLY unless you also check “PIOF” and then you get group + public w/PIOF … that will not stand.

UI will grey out unavail options; also, estate level setting will include a warning dialogue to hopefully deter EM from messing with this override willy-nilly.

It is anticipated that a viewer (project or RC) with the required updates could be appearing in week #15 (week commencing Monday, April 10th).

The changes and the upcoming viewer UI updates were also discussed at the TPV Developer meeting, from which the following audio excerpts were extracted and put together.

These comments can be heard in full on the video of the TPV Developer meeting, commencing at the 4:45 time stamp.