In June 2019, Linden Lab released the Legacy Profiles Project viewer, the first step in moving user Profiles back into a viewer floater that does not utilise the web-based profiles that have been in place for the last decade(ish) – see SL Legacy Profiles project viewer.
At the time, it was hoped that the project to move profiles back “into” the official viewer would be relatively easy. However, three years have passed, and it is only now that the work has moved forward.
There are multiple reasons for this being the case: pressure of work elsewhere, the need for back-end updates that were interrupted by the migration to AWS, and so on. So, there was probably an enormous sense of relief at the lab when, on July 21st, 2022, the Profiles Release Candidate (RC) Viewer could finally be issued for users to take a look at ahead of it moving forward to de facto release status.
As with in-viewer profile floaters, this one presents a panel with a series of tabs:
- Bio – for the user’s / avatar’s biography.
- Feed – providing a view of the user’s web-based Profile Feed.
- Picks: the familiar selection of 10 favourite places / other information the user wants to display in their profile.
- Classifieds: for any classified ads the user has created.
- Real Life: a further tab the profile owner can use to provide any additional information they wish (it actually does not have to be “real life” related, which is why I whish the Lab would follow the lead of others and call this “Additional Info”, or something, and let users decide how they want to use it.
- My Notes: a section in which notes can be written about a profile and which can only be seen by the person writing the notes.
Of these tabs, it is very likely that Bio is going to be the most jarring to anyone familiar with viewer-based legacy profiles, as it presents a very different layout compared to other profile floaters – and also includes some useful extras.
The basic info on the profile owner – picture, partner status and age are rather untidily squished into the top left corner of the tab. This is to allow more room for users to write something about themselves / their avatars. While this is welcome – the “traditional” legacy profile always seemed a tad limiting for expression. However, depending on whether or not this layout is adopted verbatim aby TPVs, I do have a small niggle.
People tend to spend considerable effort in getting their bio info laid out in their Profile, and such is the nature of this floater, such work tends to be lost. For example, in Firestorm, Cool VL, etc., my own bio is relatively centred within the provided window – but here, as shown in the image above right, it appears oddly ranged to the left.
This may sound like nit-picking, but it could actually carry some weight: people put great store by what they see in a profile almost as much as in what they read, and what may come over as a slapdash, hard-to read layout on account of different floater window sizes (again, assuming TPV don’t simply integrate this profile floater design into their offerings, rather than continue with their own) might lead to unfair judgements.
On the positive side, this tab includes up to three handy drop-downs:
- Show / Hide: (visible to the profile owner only) – sets whether or not the profile is listed in Search, and is tidier than the old check-box.
- Actions: a context-sensitive menu available to both the profile owner and those viewing a profile, with the menu options (shown left and right in the image above) dependent on who is viewing the viewing the menu.
- Tools drop-down (person viewing a profile only): provides access to “action” options the person viewing the profile may wish to take in reference to the owner of the profile, as shown below:
The remainder of the tabs in the floater are really straightforward and require no real expansion here. As per current legacy profiles, when editing your own, editable fields are show in white for text entry.
What one thinks of the overall layout / appearance is subjective; outside of my little niggle on how information is displayed between different styles of profile floater (again, assuming some TPVs keep to the more “traditional” profile floater design rather than adopting this layout), I’ve no issue with this approach. And like I noted above, the additional drop-down options presented through it are handy to have.
- Second life Alternate Viewer page (look for Profiles Viewer)