An artistic [ Dispersion ] in Second Life

[ Dispersion ], June 2021 – click any image for full size
Designed by Syna Kiyori / Sônge (SongeFireflies), [ Dispersion ] is an atmospheric Homestead region that offers a lot to take in and appreciate, as  I recently discovered courtesy of another pointer from Shawn Shakespeare.

Syna/Sônge describes the region as a meeting place for lovers of sensuality, inviting them to dance and explore and allow their creativity free reign as they enjoy opportunities for photography. And the truth is, the region offers all of this and more.

[ Dispersion ], June 2021
Sitting under a twilight sky where the Sun is dipping towards the horizon, and the heaviness of sky and cloud give a sense that we’re already in the last light of day, the region is intriguing in its mix of setting and home for art.

From the landing point in the north-east, the region immediately suggests something of a post-apocalyptic / disaster setting: the main bridge leading away from the landing zone is broken and partially collapsed – as is the road beyond. What appears to be a decontamination crew is warning people away from the far side of the broken bridge.

[ Dispersion ], June 2021
Nevertheless, the bridge can be crossed; and despite looking cold, the waters washing over the old road are not deep, allowing the road to be followed to a pair of blocky structures linked by a glass and wood gazebo. This is the home of the La Boite Noir (The Black Box), a gallery space that at the time of my visit was featuring the art photographer Hilaire Beaumont, whilst outside are places to sit and enjoy the view back over the region.

But to return to the landing point a moment. This offers something of an event space, what appears to be disused parking lot (despite the warning it is a tow away zone ) now partially overgrown, a tree having long since taken over the centre of the tarmac. Old televisions hang from the branches of the trees and from another to one side of the the tarmac. Together with the wrecks of old cars and the carcass of an old low-loader for a stage, they present place where the promises dancing can be enjoyed.

[ Dispersion ], June 2021
A gap in the fencing on the west side of the landing access a path leads the way between an old wall and tall trees, passing a long-abandoned swimming pool complete with Cyrillic writing on the roof. Here, and along the path itself, are further displays of art: the old pool house contains images by Syna, and the path is home to sculptures.

Further west, the land opens out a little, home to a domed pantheon. Despite the fact that nature is taking control inside, this is home to a strangely cosy and engaging club-like setting. Chandeliers hang from the branches of the old tree, armchairs and couches scattered beneath its branches and lit by spheres of light.

[ Dispersion ], June 2021
To the south sits an island connected to the rest of the region by two wooden bridges.  Rugged and home to fir trees, an old barn sits just across the bridge, but the island’s delight lies in the orangery standing amidst the trees to the south-west. Again partially reclaimed by nature, it also offers something of a romantic setting, one framed by the westering Sun and with places indoors and out to sit and appreciate the many views to be had.

The eastern end of this island looks back towards the art gallery, close to where another wooden bridge offers a route back to the landing point. A tractor sits on this bridge which, when added to the presence of the barn and the goats, gives the suggestion that a farm once existed here.

[ Dispersion ], June 2021
What may have happened to flood the land and leave it partially broken and with sunken containers washed against the shore, or why a team in hazmats is needed is open to the imagination. However, what cannot be denied is the fact that [ Dispersion ] is a picturesque and captivating  setting and one thoroughly deserving on a visit.

SLurl Details

SL18B: Meet the Moles of Second Life

Friday, June 25th, 2021 saw the fifth and final Meet the Lindens special events take place for the SL Birthday celebrations, featuring Patch Linden and the Moles of the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW).

Unlike previous summaries in this series, this article does note provide a detailed summary of the session, but instead provides some core information on the Moles – who they are, what they do, how to apply to become a Mole, etc., –  before presenting the video recording of the session, which goes into greater detail about the Moles and their work.

Who or What are the Moles?

  • Officially called the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW),  originally formed in 2008. They are managed by Derrick Linden, the Product Operations Manager for Second Life, together with a team of Linden Lab staffers.
  • Moles are residents from all over the world hired by Linden Lab as independent contractors to undertake specific tasks. Their work was originally focused on the Mainland, adding the infrastructure – road, bridges, etc., and the landscaping, as noted in the official LDPW wiki page, although they actually do a lot more than this.
  • Notable major projects carried out by the Moles include:
    • The infrastructure within Nautilus City.
    • The development of Bay City.
    • The Linden Homes continent of Bellisseria (including all topography, flora, infrastructure and housing).
    • The facilities for events like Shop & Hop, the Second Life Birthday, town hall events, the turn-key regions available for businesses, starter avatars, etc.
    • The Lab provided games such as Linden Realms, Paleoquest, Horizons and the grid-wide Tyrah and the Curse of the Magical Glytches – all accessible via the Portal Parks.
  • They also provide support / input for / to technical projects (e.g. Project Bento and the avatar skeleton extension), and work with marketing, QA and other LL teams.
  • In keeping with their name, Moles were originally given a mole avatar, complete with hard hat. However, over the years, most have moved to having a more individual and personal look, although some say with the Mole avatar.
  • As well as being paid for the work they do, Moles also receive and allowance from the Lab, which is primarily intended to go towards the cost of uploads (texture, animations, mesh objects, etc)., but which can also be put towards developing their individual looks.

How to Become a Mole

  • Positions in the LDPW are open to application by residents who believe they are qualified to work in the team, and the team may also approach specific residents and ask if they would consider joining them.
  • Applications are made by dropping a résumé (note card or email) of qualifications / experience (including links SLurls, Flickr, You Tube, etc.) to Derrick Linden ( or to Patch Linden (
  • Applicants have to go through a former interview process.
  • Successful applicants get to pretty much choose their hours of work – providing agreed tasks are completed on time.
  • As they are from around the world, this can allow some projects to move forward on almost a round-the-clock basis.
  • Those who are more fully-rounded in skill sets  – content creation, scripting, etc., – are encouraged to apply, but LL will also take on specialists.
  • Motivated, outgoing, communicative people with a passion for SL and willing to self-teach themselves new skill sets are particularly considered.

2021 TPV Developer meeting week #25 summary

Resilient Station, April 2021 – blog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting held on Friday, June 25th,, 2021.

These meetings are generally held every other week.  They are recorded by Pantera Północy, and her video of the meeting is embedded at the end of this report – my thanks to her for allowing me to do so – and it is used with a transcript of the chat log from the meeting and my own audio recording to produce these notes.

SL Viewer

The Project UI RC viewer, version and dated June 14th, was promoted to de facto release viewer on Wednesday, June 23rd. Note that this viewer also now includes the latest Voice fixes, as recorded in the Fernet RC viewer release notes.

The rest of the official viewers remain as follows:

  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • Legacy Profiles viewer, version, dated October 26.
    • Copy / Paste viewer, version, dated December 9, 2019.
    • Project Muscadine (Animesh follow-on) project viewer, version, dated November 22, 2019.
    • 360º Snapshot project viewer, version, dated July 16, 2019.

General Viewer Notes

  • The Fernet Maintenance RC viewer (40+ fixes and feature requests) will likely be the next viewer to be promoted.
  • Simplified cache viewer and the Mac notifications fix viewer have been held-up in QA.
  • Love Me Render 6 (LMR 6), the next graphics update viewer is still in progress. This should include a fix for the long-time “bendy sky” issue (the sky appearing to form a concave bow when at altitude).
  • There is an exercise in progress to try to reduce the number of viewers in flight within the Lab and as RC / Project viewers (around 13 in various states of development), in order to reduce the volume of viewers in the various pipelines.

360º Snapshot Viewer


  • Work on the 360º Snapshot viewer will be resuming shortly. Specific improvements that will be a part of the work include:
    • A means to better capture the six directional images (N,S,E,W and up and down) without any Interest list culling. This will require simulator-side support.
    • Improved stitching of images from within the viewer.
    • Inclusion of metadata to allow completed images to be shared via sites such as Flickr, Facebook, etc.
    • A much longer-term goal might be to provide a VR  viewer for 360º images captured by this viewer, for those with VR headsets. However, as a “stretch goal”, this may not become a part of the project.
  • No dates are available as to when an updated 360º Snapshot viewer will appear, and some of the required work on the simulator side is still in discussion.

A Note About Mirrors in Second Life

[Video: 22:01-34:10]

  • During the TPVD meeting, further context was added to this:
    • This work is not currently a project within Linden Lab, things are purely at the discussion phase.
    • The Firestorm experiment with mirrors lacks some basic required functionality –  it does not work with Advanced Lighting Model active, which LL  is shooting for as a default for the viewer, for example.
    • To be effective, it requires proper optimisation through the rendering pipe.
    • The code itself has yet to be contributed to LL.
  • There are also performance impacts to be considered – although some of these could be dealt with by making mirrors an option, rather than a default “on” setting.
  • Currently, LL needs to review the code and determine whether  / how it can be integrated into the viewer, and what additional work will be required. As such, it should not be anticipated that mirrors will be a part of the viewer any time soon (or possibly even Soon™, depending on the outcome of any review of the capability).

In Brief

  • [45:25-end  (predominantly chat)] concerning continues to be expressed about Group chat issues causing people to turn away from the functionality and use external services – such as Discord – which may come to impact engagement (if people can socialise on Discord, they may not feel the need to log-in so frequently / for as long, etc.).
  • Firestorm and Catznip are moving towards releases.
    • Firestorm had been treating the LMR5 release from the Lab as their cut-off, although this may be extended to incorporate the latest Voice fixes as now released by LL. There are also a Mac issues which may  / may not delay a release.
    • Catznip are working on a “Mac-like” release alongside their update,  but not release date.