A Mediterranean Soul2Soul in Second Life

Soul2Soul Med; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrSoul2Soul Med – click any image for full size

In February 2018, I wrote about a visit we made to two Homestead regions designed by Minnie Blanco (Minnie Atlass): Soul2Soul River and Soul2Soul Bay (see here for more). While I’m somewhat hesitant about blogging regions that are intended for rental purposes, but both Soul2Soul River and Soul2Soul Bay were so beautifully designed and offered sufficient public spaces, I felt comfortable in writing about them.

Since then, Minnie has added a third region to her group, Soul2Soul Med. As the name implies, this homestead region has something of a Mediterranean theme to it. Once again, the region in part offers properties for rent to those looking for a home; although at the time of our visit there were only three such properties on the region, leaving the greater part of it open to public exploration.

Soul2Soul Med; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrSoul2Soul Med – click any image for full size

Visitors arrive on the southern most of the two island the regions has been split into. This points roughly south-west to north-east, a rocky shoulder of land on which is perched a little hamlet sitting above a beach and pier for boat moorings. Gaily painted houses run along the upper street, although the paint on some of them is showing signs of fading under the bright Sun. Cars are parked along the little street, flowers are in full bloom, while the café half-way down the slope to the beach presents a welcome rest-stop from explorations.

A second rocky island crosses the first to the north, forming a “t” to its base. A narrow channel separates the two islands, turning south to run between them to the east, a single bridge spanning it.

Soul2Soul Med; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrSoul2Soul Med – click any image for full size

This northern island is given over to the rental properties.  All three are spread far enough apart to offer those renting them a fair amount of privacy, while roads leading from each of them come together before the bridge, offering a direct connection with the little hamlet on the southern island.

There’s a feeling of life that has been added to the region: boats are moored down on the water; bicycles and vehicles are scattered around, and a couple of maintenance chaps are performing repairs here and there. Meanwhile, and on the edge of town is the ruin of a house where a group of mannequins appear to have set-up home, complete with a bed on the upper floor and a broken-down truck parked out back. It’s a further quirky addition that gives the region additional atmosphere and depth.

Soul2Soul Med; Inara Pey, May 2018, on FlickrSoul2Soul Med – click any image for full size

With its rugged, coastal look, mixed flora, hilltop hamlet and surrounding hills, Soul2Soul Med is delightfully picturesque, and matches both Soul2Soul River and Soul2Soul Bay in the level of detail and styling put into the region. For those looking for somewhere to live, the rental parcels are well placed and offer a lot of room. For those looking for a place to explore – remembering that there are private residences on one of the islands – and take photographs, Soul2Soul Med offers an ideal destination.

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2018 SL project updates 20/1: Simulator User Group meeting

The Apothecary; Inara Pey, April 2018, on FlickrThe Apothecaryblog post

Server Deployments

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

  • On Tuesday, May 15th, the Main (SLS) channel received server maintenance package 18#18.05.07.515224, which includes two new LSL functions: llRequestUserKey and llName2Key –  see below for more.
  • On Wednesday, May 16th, the Release Candidate channels were currently marked as TBD at the time of writing. However, during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, May 15th, Rider Linden indicated there would be two RC deployments:
    • The BlueSteel and LeTigre deployment should comprise internal fixes, together with simulator-side updates for better management of estate level ban lists – although these will require a viewer update to be visible.
    • The Magnum RC update should comprise the same internal fixes, together with the simulator-side updates for abuse report categories.

llRequestUserKey and llName2Key

llRequestUserKey and llNameToKey, both of which will be across all RC channels following the Wednesday deployment, are in connection with the upcoming return of Last Names (see this blog post and this blog post for more). These functions can be summarised as:

  • llRequestUserKey:
    • Requests the Agent ID for the agent identified by name from the dataserver. The name given may be either the current name of an avatar or a historical name that has been used in the past. If no agent can be found with the supplied name this function returns the value NULL_KEY.
    • It returns a handle (a key) that can be used to identify the request when the dataserver event is raised.
    • Note that agent being searched for with this function does not need to be signed on to Second Life.
    • See the llRequestRequestUserKey wiki page for more.
  • llName2Key:
    • Returns a key the Agent ID for the named agent in the region. If there is no agent with the specified name currently signed onto the region, this function returns the value NULL_KEY. Names are always provided in the form “First[ Last]” or “first[.last]” (first name with an optional last name.)
    • If the last name is omitted a last name of “Resident” is assumed. Case is not considered when resolving agent names.
    • Uses a different mechanism to look up agent information to the older llKey2Name().
    • See the llName2Key wiki page for more.

Abuse Report Category Capability

As I’ve noted in my TPV Developer meeting updates, a new capability is being introduced that will allow the viewer to call abuse report categories from the simulator, rather than having them hard-cored into the viewer itself. This will help ensure abuse reports are filed using valid AR categories, while at the same time making it easier for the Lab to maintain the AR categories.

The deployment to the Magnum RC is the first phase of this work to be made to the grid. Once the simulator changes are available grid-wide, a viewer with the new capability should be made available, with a request that TPVs adopt the updates as soon as they can in their own release cycles.

SL Viewer

The Ouzo Maintenance viewer has updated to version 5.1.4.515016 (dated May 7th, but the update wasn’t listed in the Alternate Viewers page until week #20).

The Animesh viewer updated to version 5.1.4.515420 on May 15th.

The rest of the viewer pipelines remain as:

  • Current Release version 5.1.3.513644, dated March 27, promoted April 13 – formerly the media update RC.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer, version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Other Items

Mesh Pivot Points and the Uploader

A long-time problem with the mesh uploader is that it ignores pivot points set within tools like Blender when a model is uploaded to SL. This means, for example, that doors set with a pivot point in Blender won’t work using that pivot when uploaded to SL. A feature request to enable the uploader to recognised pre-set pivot points in mesh objects was raised in 2015 – see BUG-37617 –  and more recently, Beq Janus has been looking to add further information to it.

Region Crossing Updates

Code to improve communications during region crossings went grid-wide in week #19. A further round of simulator-side updates is likely to be deployed in the next few weeks. In the meantime, Joe Magarac (animats) believes most of the minor issues relating to “partial unsits” can be handled with changes to scripting / the viewer – see BUG-214653. He’s offered to rally support to help the Lab dig more deeply into this issue, by arrange group tests, etc., if the Lab can made simulator-side changes to help improve things.

Three major issues for vehicles are No Script parcels / regions, ban lines and scripted security systems. The  former can be harder to deal with, as there is no advanced warning that scripts are disabled until the boundary is crossed. Scripted security systems tend to provide some warning which can generally allow those straying into a private area time to get out (unless the delay time has been set ridiculously short). Ban lines are somewhat insidious, however, as they can physically “snag” a vehicle whilst ejecting the occupants – with the vehicle often remaining in place with no auto-return.

There has been a feature request to handle ban lines better (BUG-216276), with another request for ban-lines to “deflect” vehicles, rather than allowing vehicle to cross them and becoming snagged when the occupants are ejected. It’s not clear if the Lab will adopt these ideas.