The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, March 28th, 2017.
These meetings are generally held monthly on Wednesdays, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.
A point to remember with the Web User Group meetings is that they are informal discussions on things like the Marketplace.
While the Lab does give information on the work they are carrying out, plans they have in-hand for updates to web properties, etc., equally, a lot of what is discussed is ideas and the taking of feedback from attendees, and should not necessarily be regarded as statements from the Lab as to what will happen, it priority, or anything else.
Within these reports, I try to indicate those plans / actions / projects that are in progress, and offer a differentiation between “firm” plans and ideas under discussion.
- Priority item flagging: under discussion at the Lab is the idea – put forward by Merchants at a previous Web User Group meeting – that “certified” Merchants priority in flagging and the Marketplace reports. This “certification” might be through the payment of a fee.
- Survey: the Lab is considering a Marketplace survey in which Merchants can indicate their preferences around possible enhancements, etc., to the Marketplace and perhaps submit and idea of their own.
- Feature requests: specific, well thought out idea for new features for the Marketplace (and Second Life in general) can / should be submitted via the Second Life JIRA.
- It is preferable that only one idea (or a limited set of related ideas) for new features is submitted per Feature Request submission.
- Feature Requests are triaged (reviewed) by the Lab on a weekly basis.
- Marketplace search: the Lab is aware that there are issues with the MP search function, and hope to be able to improve it. However, reporting that search “is broken” is sufficiently helpful. If there are specific instances where search fails to work as expected which can be specifically defined, these need to be reported via a JIRA bug report, with detailed steps so that the Lab can see (and reproduce) the problem, then take steps to address the issues.
- The Destination Guide suffers from a large number of locations listed within it which have ceased to exist in one way or another (the region no longer exists, it has changed hands and been re-purposed; the owner has made it private with access control, etc.).
- There is curation of Destination Guide entries, but this is described as inefficient as it doesn’t parse all the DG categories “very frequently”.
- There is discussion at the Lab about automating the curation process to help with the removal of outdated locations, but nothing so far is on the road map for implementation.
For an overview / looking at creating Place Pages, please refer to my article: Creating Second Life Place Pages.
Further development of Place Pages is planned, with one of the first added features, possibly appearing in the near future, is support for land auctions, offering the same functionality as the current auctions. This will be expanded over time to offer resident-to-auctions.
Last Names – Further Information
- “Original / legacy” last names will not be re-opened for use.
- New users joining Second Life will still be given the automatic “last name” of “Resident”, but have the option of changing if they wish.
- The fee for name changes has not been announced, however, at this point the indication is that the fee will be in fiat currency (i.e. US dollars) not Linden Dollars.
- One of the reasons the return of last names will take time to be implemented is that all of the SL web properties – like the Marketplace – have to be updated to recognise users as they change their names (something which applies across almost all of the SL services when you think about it).
Governance and DMCA
Issues around Governance, the Marketplace and the DMCA process continue to be raised.
Governance User Group?
Often at user-group meetings questions are asked around matters of governance or which may be related to legal / financial issues (e.g. fraud or alleged cases of fraud). All of these matters are overseen by teams outside of the technical personnel who attend the in-world meetings, and so – while it may be frustrating for those raising the questions – cannot comment on or address such issues.
There are discussions at the Lab about holding a Support / Governance user group in the future. There is currently no date as to when this may take place, or whether, if it does, it will be a one-off or one of a series. However, once the dates have been established, it will be announced through channels such as the User Groups wiki page.
Currently, the Lab’s Infringement Notification Policy requires that DCMA notices are filed with Linden Lab via mail or fax.In December 2017, it was indicated that this would be revised so that DMCA’s can be filed via an on-line form. The provisional date for implementing this change had been around January / February 2018, however, it has been subject to delay.
Oz and Grumpity Linden indicated the reason the form has yet to be deployed is twofold:
- The original version of the form was subject to a change in requirements, and so had to be re-worked.
- The submission process has to be robust enough to prevent abuse (e.g. repeated multiple filings from an individual on the same issue);has to have checks in place to ensure the submitter’s credentials can be verified; and has to meet the requirements for non-Second Life users to be able to file a meaningful DMCA notice (e.g. in the case of an external company finding copies of their copyrighted material is being sold unlicensed through Second Life).
It is hoped that form will be available in the near future.