May 2021 SL Web User Group summary with video

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. A video of the meeting, courtesy of Pantera, can be found at the end of this article.

Web Properties Updates

[Video: 1:04-9:18]

  • General post-Uplift internal work is still continuing, but the end is coming into sight. Most of this work in non-user visible.
  • There is also some back-end / infrastructure changes in progress, which are again not visible to users, but are intended to “help in the future” in terms of deploying new feature,  etc.
  • Housekeeping work on tools related to the lab’s management of the Marketplace and other web properties has been continuing.
  • The revamped splash / join / login screen was revamped in April, and has been receiving a lot of (not always positive) feedback on the use of a person, rather than an avatar. My personal take on this is that:
    • a) The image is taken from the upcoming broadcast advert for Second Life, and thus is part of a broader strategy rather than a standalone decision, which some people seem to be missing.
    • b) Why not use a “real” person? After all, a good part of Second life is about setting your imagination free, so to me the image speaks to that and offers an enticement to click to find out more.
The splash page was updated in April, gaining a fair amount of attention in the process.
  • An issue with people receiving e-mail in a foreign language if they’d previously followed a link to an MP listing in that language has been fixed.
  • The issue of people being randomly logged-out of the Marketplace whilst browsing, trying to make purchases, etc., should now be fixed.
  • The April “limited Edition” Last Names  (the OwO and UwU names) have been removed from the Last Names list. These apparently proved to be very popular, so the Lab is considering more such “limited offers” on names with a specific focus (these two having appealed to the furry community in particular).
  • The What’s Hot part of the Destination Guide has been revised so it actually lists places where avatars are actually at when the section is being browsed.
  • Keira Linden is putting together a plan for Marketplace updates based on feedback from merchants / users. This work will not be immediate, but will be commencing at some point in the (hopefully) not-too-distant future. Those with specific Marketplace feature requests in mind are asked to check the Jira before filing, as a fair number are already recorded and Accepted.

Mobile Client

[Video: 11:58-12:24]

  • iOS Version:
    • The App still did not make it back to Apple in April for their testing as a result of LL’s QA finding more issues that needed to be addressed internally.
    • The hope is to get it back to Apple Soon™.
  • Android: nothing to report.

Place Pages

[Video 37:50-52:40 (text chat)]

  • Place Pages have been around for some four years now (see: Linden Lab announces Second Life Place Pages available).
  • They have not received a lot of TLC since they, and it is hard to determine how well they are used (I did provide a short tutorial on setting them up  in 2018 after some updates had been made – see:Tutorial: creating Second Life Place Pages, for whatever that is worth).
  • There is interest at the Lab in probing hold well they are used, and how they might be improved (one issue with Place Pages is that while they have a search capability of their own, they aren’t actually referenced by any of the other common search tools, such as web search in the viewer, which tends to limit their visibility). Some suggestions are made in chat during the meeting.

In Brief

  • Names Changes / Last Names: it is possible that thought may be given to how the Premium member Name Changes / Last Names capability might be enhanced.
  • No further updates on Premium Plus, other than it is still percolating in the background.
  • The question was asked why LL originally stopped allowing last names in SL.
    • The short answer is that studies of users sign-ups revealed that having to pick a first and last name as part of the sign-up process resulted in a high volume of potential users failing to complete the sign-up process – possibly because people didn’t like being limited in their choice of last name.
    • The decision was therefore taken to remove the last name selection process and introduce Display Names, they idea being people could quickly sign-up with an account name of their choice, and then use Display Names to freely create their preferred avatar name.
    • OK, so it wasn’t quite such a short answer…
  • Further language localisation of properties such as the Marketplace is being considered.
  • The ability for a single account to hold multiple Marketplace stores has been the subject of multiple requests over the years (see feature request BUG-226927, for example). Whilst not on the Marketplace roadmap, Keira indicated a willingness to explore the idea.
  • Jira status “Ready for Development” – this started appearing in a swath of bug reports and feature requests fairly recently (both those in progress and those that many have been completed). It appears to be related to a issue with the cloning tool LL uses when producing a duplicate of a report from the public Jira to their internal Jira,  and does not indicate a new workflow status for any given bug / request.
    • In fact, some reports said to be displaying a “Ready for Development” status appear to have reverted to the more usual “Accepted” in the last 24 hours.

Next Meeting

  • Wednesday, June 2nd, 14:00 SLT.