Looking at the Second Life Destination Guide facelift

Second Life Destination Guide refresh

As has been noted through various Web User Group (WUG) meetings, Linden Lab is engaged on a refresh and update of Second Life web properties.

This initially started in November 2021, with an overhaul of the Second Life Web Search, starting with a a facelift the the Search page before moving on to an overhaul of the ElasticSearch engine behind it as well, including the implementation of a scratch-built relevance engine.

Following this, time and effort was put into developing tools and capabilities intended to allow the Lab to more quickly refresh and update all Second Life web properties, and make them more uniformly manageable whilst affording them a newer, more modern look and feel. In February 2023, this work led to the roll-out of the new Land Portal front-end, as I reported in my February WUG summary.

Granted, and like the initial deployment of the Web Search update, there was not really anything behind the initial update – it initially just offers (at the time of writing) a fresher, cleaner portal by which to access the various Second Life web pages dealing with all matters of Land – Linden Homes, renting land, buying land, etc. However, it gave a feel for the direction the Lab is taking with its web properties, and  work is apparently in progress (or about to start) in overhauling the Linden Homes pages  to bring them into line with the styling of the Portal Page, and we will doubtless be seeing the results in due course before the work moves on to other land-related pages.

In the meantime, the Destination Guide has also gone through a facelift, with the new look being quietly deployed in the last week(ish) to present a new look Destination Guide with improved features. This new design follows the broad brushstrokes of the Land Portal in terms of layout – menu bar with logo to the top, large corporate footer area, user sign-in / log-out / sign-up links to the top right, the use of the new colour scheme, and use of large(r) images (than the “old” DG), etc. At the same time, it retains some of the look and feel of the “old” Destination Guide: the left sidebar with its list of categories, with the right side of the page used to display information on locations within the various categories. It also includes a plethora of navigation options and small touches. For example:

  1. Clicking on any category name in the left sidebar will refresh the right side of the page to display locations in that category, and adds the category name to the small navigation bar at the top of the sidebar, between the top menu bar and the Search field.
    • Clicking on the HOME icon on this navigation bar will return you to the main Destination Guide page.
  2. If the Category has sub-categories with in – indicated by the presence of an arrowhead – these will be exposed within the sidebar on the main category name, with the details of locations in the first sub-category/ies being displayed on the right of the page.
  3. Alternately, clicking on the arrowhead will display the list of sub-categories below the main category name without moving you to a display of destinations with the category, allowing you to then display a list of destinations for that sub-category by clicking on the sub-category name.
  4. Those items in the category list which have sub-categories of destinations will also display a small navigation bar at the top of the main page display, allowing you to move back and forth between the sub-categories of destination by clicking on their names.
Second Life Destination Guide refresh

In addition, clicking on the image, name or descriptive text for any destination location will move it to the top of the right-side list of destinations of the given category, together with:

  1.  A full description of the location, as provided by the owner.
  2. A teleport button for visiting the location.
  3. A Share/ embedded option button for creating a widget for the location which can be embedded in web pages.
  4. A list of clickable Destination Guide categories and sub-categories in which the location is currently listed – clicking on any of these will move you to the category / sub-category.
Second Life Destination Guide refresh

Other touches include a little tick mark in the top left corner of the picture for any location currently featured in the Editors Picks section; a much clearer option for submitting locations for inclusion in the DG (Got A Favourite Spot?, at the bottom of every page); the ability to order the listings for a category by newest first, or alphabetically / reverse alphabetically, etc.

Some Grumbles

The new layout also has some irritating features I hope LL will address:

  • No option to view a location on the World Map. I find this a personal irritant because:
    • The Map gives locations within the DG / Second Life a sense of place, that they are part of a world and not just individual environments separated from everything else, suggesting they are stand-alone environments (a critique often levelled at Sansar).
    • Being able to view a location on the Map can answer some basic questions for the SL explorer: is it a standalone region? Is it part of an estate that might be further open to exploration? Is it on the Mainland? If so, which continent, and what might it be close to?
    • Similarly, seeing a location on the map can help determine whether or not it is accessible by means other than teleporting – such as by air, water or road – thus allowing people options in how they visit and (again) offer that sense of interconnectedness between places in Second Life.
  • The menu options at the top of the DG pages – What Next? Shopping, etc., – open pages in a new browser tab.
    • This stands in contrast to the Land Portal, when the options open in the same tab (and so the Back button can be used), which many users likely find preferable.
    • It is also annoying in that one can end up not only with multiple tabs being needlessly opened, but with tabs themselves chomping at a computer’s (potentially limited) resources.


The above grumbles noted, generally, I like the approach taken with the new page format for SL web properties. Fonts are reasonably large and hopefully a lot clearer than the “old” (/current) pages for those with vision impairments, and the use of colour is pretty reasonable as a well – certainly, the use of a lavender pink for the buttons on the pages does allow them to stand apart and be seen as buttons whilst not being as in-yer-face as the orange which has previously been used. That said, the Destination Guide is there for you to poke and decide for yourself as to whether or not you like it.

Borkum’s easy beauty in Second life

Borkum, March 2023 – click any image for full size

Yoyo Collas is back with a new Homestead region design for people to enjoy. Called Borkum, this is an easy place to visit and well suited for helping those of us in the northern hemisphere get ready for the coming of spring and summer and the inevitable thoughts of getting away from it all.

Borkum is a photogenic Island . A great place with many hideaways…time for feelings…dancing…time for two…lonely beaches all by yourself listening to music or enjoying the awesome people and views.

– Borkum About Land description

Borkum, March 2023

This is an easy-on-the-eye place to visit – as is the case with all Yoyo’s designs – offering an entirely natural setting in the form of a sunny island, largely given over to a sandy beach and grassy spine rising from south-west to cliff-edged north-east. The landing point sits to the east side of the island’s hilly back, the beach sweeping around it from east through south to west, the grassland rising gently up towards a little gathering of buildings towards the northern end of the island, the grass hiding a spread of lavender and yellow flowers which are the focus of the local sheep.

The buildings on the island suggest that this might have once been a place for processing fish prior to moving them on the mainland for sale. On the west side, sitting at the southern end of the cliffs, is a former industrial building, now converted into a comfortable apartment-style house, its cosy interior mixing with its slightly run-down exterior offering an attractive personification of shabby-chic, whilst facing a small shed or out-house across the lavender and yellow flowers.

Borkum, March 2023

This outhouse also appears to have undergone a transformation from what might have once been a storehouse to an artist’s retreat, a deck extending from its east side to overlook and overhang the run of the beach as it reaches the start of the cliffs. Further evidence that this might have been a working location sits below the warehouse-converted-to-a-home, where a small wharf has a trawler tied-up alongside.

Beyond the house, the grassland levels into a table of land pointing the way towards the candle-like white lighthouse with its bright red top. The land here forms something of a meadow where horses – a common and welcome element in Yoyo’s designs – are grazing peacefully, a fence along one side of the hilltop preventing them from going down into the shallow valley and upsetting the sheep (or vice-versa!).

Borkum, March 2023

Scattered across the island are many places where people can escape and relax – in the house, along the beach, out in the shallows just beyond the sand, among the horses as they graze or at the foot of the cliffs and so on. There’s also a kiteboarding rezzer located on one side of the islands beaches, but I confess that when I tried, the boards I rezzed refused to respond to my keyboard inputs; you might have better luck on your visit. Further around the shore from the rezzer is a little boat where those who wish can also try a little bit of fishing.

Peaceful and finished with an easy soundscape and with a local EEP which gives it the feel of a tranquil watercolour painting, Borkum is a delightful visit.

Borkum, March 2023

SLurl Details

  • Borkum (Golden Place, rated Moderate)

2023 SL SUG meetings week #12 summary: “Ban the Bots” Simulator Update

Highland Retreat, January 2023 – blog post

The following notes were taken from the Tuesday, March 21s, 2023 Simulator User Group (SUG) meeting. They form a summary of the items discussed and is not intended to be a full transcript. A video of the entire meeting is embedded at the end of the article for those wishing to review the meeting in full – my thanks to Pantera for recording it.

Server Deployments

  • On Tuesday, March 21st, the SLS Main channel servers were restarted without any deployment, leaving them on simulator version 577734.
  • On Wednesday, March 22nd, one half of the RC channel servers will receive an update to their current simulator release, the remainder will gain the Estate Level Scripted Agent Controls (aka “Ban the Bots”).

Estate Level Scripted Agent Controls (aka “Ban the Bots”)

This is the simulator update referenced in the March 10th Lab Gab session – see: Lab Gab summary: Grumpity, Mojo & Patch – SL Mobile, land, bots & more – Bots and Policies.

  • The update includes a console variable that can be set by estate managers to either True or False. When set to True it will prevent Scripted Agents from entering regions in an estate (those required by the estate can be added to the access list so they can continue to access regions).
  • This will be supported in time by a viewer UI update to allow the option to be managed more directly – but it will still be a while before this UI change surfaces in the viewer.
  • There will be a policy change update published soon which will further cover these changes and the operation of Scripted Agents.

Further changes have been suggested within the Lab – notably to traffic – but it has yet to be decided on whether / when these will be implemented.

Viewer Updates

There have been no official viewer updates to mark the start of the week, leaving the various pipelines as follows:

  • Release viewer: Maintenance Q(uality) viewer, version Thursday, February 2.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself).
  • Project viewers:
    • PBR Materials project viewer, version, March 15 – This viewer will only function on the following Aditi (beta grid) regions: Materials1; Materials Adult and Rumpus Room 1 through 4.
    • Puppetry project viewer, version, December 8, 2022.


Linden Lab is going to be picking a date for shutting down LSL XML-RPC functionality completely. This has been deprecated for well over a decade, and and LL has long been warning about shutting it down, and the vast majority of traffic has moved to HTTP-In, as recommended as a secure means of communications. Given the low volume of traffic – given as only a few dozen requests per hour, LL would rather put resources towards new developments, rather than supporting an outdated and insecure service. The next step will be a blog post with a date, and maybe some circuit-breaking exercises where we will shut it off temporarily, to make sure all creators have moved their services away from LSL XML-RPC.

In Brief

  • There was a fair amount of discussion concerning the Puppetry project. However, as this will be subject to a meeting on Thursday, Marcg 23rd, for which I plan to have a summary, I’ll leave updates on this work until then.
  • BUG-227303 – “collisions makes a script stop running and revert its mono status” – this bug is still awaiting work by LL.
  • Please refer to the video below for general discussions.