Second Life: the Web Team’s work and “last names”

Early on October 1st, 2019, Linden Lab blogged a update on the work of the Second Life web team and to act as a reminder of the monthly Second Life Web User Group meeting.

The update – Web User Group And Updates! – provides insight into some of the major areas of work the Lab’s SL web team are involved in. The most visible element of this work – possibly the most visible of all of LL’s web services – is the Marketplace (MP). However, the team are involved in all aspects of Linden Lab’s Second Life web properties and services – and this includes the work to move them to AWS cloud services and preparing the ground from the re-implementation of Last Names.

To take the updates given in the official blog post in reverse order:

SL Marketplace

In terms of the Marketplace, the blog post offers a round-up of recent Marketplace changes – notably the introduction of MP Store Manager functionality (see: SL Marketplace: store managers introduced), that is currently being further refined based on feedback from store holders.

In addition, the post indicates a couple of capabilities referenced by Reed Linden, the Product Manager responsible for the Lab’s Second Life web infrastructure mentioned during his appearance on Lab Gab (see: Lab Gab episode 2 with Reed Linden – a summary). These are:

  • In-world purchase notifications: an opt-in system allowing store owners to receive a viewer notification of purchases made through their Marketplace stores.
  • The gifts received listing – allowing users to see the gifts they have received, who sold it, a link to their store, who purchased / sent it, and any accompanying message. Also included is an option to have the item to be redelivered.
Received Gifts (MP → Account Name → My Account Page → Received Gifts) allows users to review details of the gifts they have received, together with the ability (if applicable) to have a gift redelivered (arrowed). Click to enlarge, if required.

Cloud Migration

The work in migrating Second Life services to the cloud is continuing – but as I’ve noted in other reports on this, it is a long-term project; there are a lot of services that need to be translated from operations within the Lab’s dedicated co-location facilities to provisioning via the cloud well before LL reach the point of attempting to transition simulator servers.

Much of the work in moving these back-end services is being carried out by the web team, with the blog post noting multiple web services are now operated through the cloud while others are either being moved from third-party vendors to an in-house implementation or decoupled from their previous dependencies into stand-alone services ready to be migrated to the cloud.

Even so, as Oz and April Linden have indicated recently, there is still some way to go, and the Lab approaching this work from the perspective of not saying too much about which services have been moved, to avoid user reports of issues being swamped by subjective beliefs that problems “must” be the result of X or Y being transitioned or changed.

Names Changes (aka “Last Names”)

The term “last names” really is something of a misnomer for this project, given it offers users the freedom to choose (and change) any first name, and to select (and change) a last name using pre-defined (and routinely updated) lists of names.  Hence why the Lab’s blog post refers to thework as Name Changes

Within the Lab’s blog post, the following comment on the status of the project is offered:

We’re extremely pleased to say that in the last month we’ve made significant progress in laying the foundations for the long-awaited Name Changes feature.  All of our teams have been working hard on preparing the grid and all of our systems to accommodate account name changes, both first and last. We’re not quite ready to release all the details yet, but suffice to say that if you’ve ever wanted to change up your account name for whatever reason (and we know you have!) STAY TUNED.

This would appear to imply the project may be approaching the point where LL are ready to deploy it. In the meantime, those wishing to catch up on the Name Changes project can do so via these links:

Web User Group

The monthly Web User Group (WUG) meetings allow users to meet with members of the Second Life Web Team to discuss the various SL web properties and services, learn about projects related to them, ask questions, etc. The meetings are a combination of the Voice and text (you’ll generally need Voice to hear responses from the Web Team representatives – questions and comments can be made in local chat if preferred).

As noted in the official blog post, the next WUG meeting is on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 at 14:00 SLT. The meetings are held at Alexa Linden’s barn in SL, and the agenda, if set, is available on the WUG wiki page.

Note: you can also find out about all of the in-world user group meetings via the sidebar on the right of this blog and scrolling down to SL User Groups – hover the mouse over the links for quick information on each of them, or click the link to go to the relevant wiki page.