October 2021 SL Web User Group summary

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, October 6th, 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 embedded at the end of this article (my thanks to her as always!), and the following is a summary of key topics / discussions.

Web Properties Updates

  • Back-end / infrastructure work is still on-going and has taken up a lot of time through August.
  • A focal point of the above has been trying to make the Profiles system a little more robust, work that needs to be completed before the necessary changes can be made is support of moving profiles back into their own floater in the viewer (as per the current Legacy Profiles project viewer available through the Alternate Viewers page).
  • Marketplace improvements:
    • A number of “small” fixes have been implemented through the past month.
    • New feature: the ability to move items from your Shopping Cart to your Favourites (and thence to your Wishlist).

Premium Name Changes

  • A number of Last Names have been retired: Aviator, Caboose, Knickers, Orlando and Primless.
  • New “seasonal” Last Names have been deployed for Halloween: Ghostly, Lecter, Pumpkin, Treat and Trick. These will be available through until November 1st, 2021.

Upcoming Work

  • Once the infrastructure work has been completed, the web team will embark on a complete refresh of all web properties.
    • First in line for this is Search (search.secondlife.com), which includes in-world search as well.
    • The work will include both cosmetic improvements to how Search looks, and improvements to things like search results – relevance, etc.

In Brief

  • No updates for Mobile in the past month.
  • A reminder that multi-factor authentication is now active cross key Account options available through the Second Life dashboard.
  • A question was asked about having separate login names and user names, so the former need never be revealed. While not entirely ruled out, this would require some significant changes to the current log-in methodology and infrastructure (and likely widespread back-end changes across multiple services), ergo, it is not something that is likely to be undertaken in the immediate or medium-term future.
  • The subject of having more general in-world meetings with Lab staff, rather than just the current specialised user groups (e.g. with a mix of people  from the product teams, the engineering teams, the land team, etc), in order to encourage greater attendance by users.
    • This is something that would likely be welcomed by users, but if taken up, unlikely to be a monthly event.
    • Several years ago, LL did re-instigate quarterly Town Hall meetings (to the extent of re-vamping a set of regions to host them), which were immensely people and featured both the CEO at some, and a cross-section of senior staff at others. These were popular at the time, and could be beneficial if reinstated.
  • SL wiki updates (or the lack thereof in the case of many pages):
    • LL re-iterated that the policy is still to move more generic / maintained information to the Knowledge Base, and to focus just on maintaining those wiki pages of particular technical importance (and as the entire scripting portal and pages).
    • A problem with the Knowledge Base is that it is not as relevantly searchable as the wiki. There is also, frankly a vast trove of information on the wiki that, while useful, is becoming increasingly outdated or confusing appearing in multiples places and with different levels of information – a subject oft raised at Content Creation User Group meetings in relation to good building  / design practices, avatar-related information, etc.
    • It was pointed out that those with knowledge and understanding of capabilities, etc., can still apply for wiki editor access via support.
    • As an alternative, those who have specific updates that should be made to wiki pages, these can be e-mailed to Alexa Linden, who has headcount to help with wiki updates as time allows.
  • E-mail notifications based on on log-in location: a lot of web services will send a log-in notification if an attempt is made to access your account from outside of your “normal” location. This is something that could be done with SL web properties, but would require scoping and work. A feature request has therefore been requested for the idea.
  • A request has been made for “official” support for shopping events through the SL web properties. This would require careful work in terms of ensuring fair representation (including for non-shopping events) and how / where it would be presented, and as such a feature request has been asked for, although the matter will be raised internally at the Lab.
  • Marketplace related:
    • Categories and sub-categories were raised. Again, those who feel there should be additional categories or categories that could be better broken-out by sub-categories, are asked to raise a feature request with specific details.
    • As per the September meeting: a feature request, BUG-231142 “Questions and Answers’ tab for marketplace product pages” has been received and accepted by the Lab.
      • This would essentially allow questions to be asked of a product that can be answered by (for example) the listing owner, their appointed store manager(s) or perhaps even a customer who has actually purchased the item.
      • If this were to be implemented, LL would consider some supporting tools – e.g. the option for listing creators to explicitly indicate if they do not want the feature enabled for some of their products, or automatically disabling the option on free items listed on the MP, etc.
    • Animated gifs on the MP: another frequent request. The short answer is that this is not on the roadmap, simply because of the infrastructure required to store the (invariably) large file sizes & make them available to product listings.

Next Meeting

  • Wednesday, November 3rd, 14:00 SLT.

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