Lab blogs on parent/child script communication issues

© and ™ Linden Lab

On Friday, October 4th, 2019 Linden Lab blogged about the recent script related issues that caused widespread disruption (notably with rezzing systems) across Second Life following the SLS (Main) channel deployment made on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, and which ultimately resulted in a complete rollback from the grid on the 27th/28th September.

As noted in my Simulator User Group Updates, the release that caused the problems  – simulator release 2019-09-06T22:03:53.530715, included a number of updates intended to improve overall script performance, including how scripts are scheduled and events are delivered. However, these changes resulted in an unintended impact which, due to the region sampling, was not revealed by the update initially being deployed to a release candidate (RC) channel on Wednesday, September 11th.

The October 4th blog post from Linden Lab indicates that improvements have been made to the code, and once deployed, these should help prevent a recurrence of the problem. As an aside, it has been hoped that these updates might have been deployed to an RC channel on Wednesday, October 2nd, but a last minute bug prevented this (see: Deploy Plan for the week of 2019-09-30), so the updates will likely be deployed during week #41 (commencing Monday, October 7th).

However, even with the fixes, there blog post goes on to note there are come best practices when using parent / child script communications between a parent object and a child it rezzes:

One common cause of problems is communication between objects immediately after one creates the other. When an object rezzes another object in-world using llRezObject or llRezAtRoot, the two objects frequently want to communicate, such as through calls to llRegionSayTo or llGiveInventory. The parent object receives an object_rez() event when the new object has been created, but it is never safe to assume that scripts in the new object have had a chance to run when the object_rez event is delivered. This means that the new object may not have initialised its listen() event or called llAllowInventoryDrop, so any attempt to send it messages or inventory could fail. The parent object should not begin sending messages or giving inventory from the object_rez() event, or even rely on waiting some time after that event. Instead, the parent(rezzer) and the child(rezzee) should perform a handshake to confirm that both sides are ready for any transfer. 

The blog post goes on to define the sequence of events between a parent and rezzed child object as they should occur, and provides sample code for such parent / child operations.

An important point to note with this is that when the fix from the Lab is re-deployed, any scripts that still exhibit these kinds of communication issues will likely need to be altered by their creator to match the recommendations provided by the blog post.

Those wishing to know more are invited to read the original blog post in full, and address and questions and / or feedback through the associated forum thread.

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Get more from the space you have via Mangrovejane’s video tutorial

via Mangrovejane

Blogger and vlogger Mangrovejane (Groves to her friends) has produced a nifty little video tutorial on using Second Life scene rezzers to help give a feeling of greater space in Second Life by allowing you to quickly and easily change the layout of one or more rooms (or even an entire house) without having to manually swap everything from inventory.

Scene rezzers are not new to SL – they’re pretty much as old as the hills (and again, just for clarity, I’m not referring to temp rezzers here – they are a nasty no-no); however, it is surprising how many people haven’t actually come across them – so Infinite Space: Making Your Second Life Land Work for You is liable to be a welcome eye-opener for many. At 17.25 minutes, it is informative and provides all the essential information on what’s required as well as clear and concise instructions on using the rezzer systems she opted to use (the RF Scene Rezzer and the Optimus Multi Rezzer).

I’ve long been an advocate of using rezzing systems (I save every design of out island home to one, allowing use to easily swap between houses / landscapes if we wish), and have blogged on the subject a couple of times in these pages:

In her video, Groves also discusses the use of the Curio Obscura Anywhere Door by Pandora Wrigglesworth, something I’ve used to create doorways in pre-built structures where doors don’t exist, rather than a TP system as we usually look upon them (see Still messing about in (house)boats in Second Life for example), and can again recommend.

Groves is planning a follow-up article to the video on her on her blog in due course, but in the meantime, I’m embedding her video below for those who haven’t seen and who don’t feel like reading my articles on the subject 🙂 . You can also check out more of her videos via her YouTube channel.

 

Chouchou set to remain in Second Life – and there’s more

Chouchou – to be preserved

Back in May 2019, I was one of a number of SL bloggers who wrote about the possible closure of the Chouchou regions (see: A Farewell to Chouchou).

Designed by Japanese pianist Arabesque Choche and vocalist Juliet Heberle, who together form the successful musical duet of Chouchou and managed by 10223 Resident (aka Tofu), the regions are among some of the longest running, practically unchanged private island environments, to be found in Second Life, and are an absolute delight for all who encounter them.

Following the news breaking on the potential closure (apparently the result of idiots repeatedly being idiots within the regions), there were attempts to try to get the regions preserved via the Lab’s Second Life Region Preservation Society, run by Patch Linden’s land team (I will toot my own horn here, in that I played a very small role in this, helping to bring the potential closure of the regions to Patch Linden’s attention). Contact was also made with Juliet Heberle on the matter (regions can only be preserved through the SLRPS with the approval of the region holders), but at the time she indicated it was the Chouchou team’s preference that the regions close be allowed to close.

However, the regions remained open well past the originally indicated closure date – and as it turned out, talks did commence in the background between Chouchou and Linden Lab. Now, and, as reported by fellow arts blogger, Oema, an agreement in principle between Chouchou and Linden Lab has been reached, allowing the Chouchou regions to remain in Second Life under the remit of the SLRPS.

Oema obtained the news via a Facebook post from Chouchou, which reads in part:

Regarding the closure of the region Chouchou (Chouchou sim, Chouchou V sim) in Second Life, we’d like to report some progress. As a result of our discussion with Linden Lab, we made a decision to maintain our region by joining The Second Life Region Preservation Society provided by Linden Lab …

Right now, we’re in the middle of exchanging contracts with Linden Lab, and it’s taking time for the contract procedures. We’re very sorry for the late announcement.

Chouchou – Memento Mori

Within the post, Chouchou note that it was the outpouring of support for the regions to survive  – see this forum thread as an example – that caused the change of heart on closure and to seek the assistance of Patch and his team through the SLRPS in order for the regions to be maintained in SL.

According to the post, the regions will continue to operate with the support of Linden Lab, but with 10223 Resident managing them. Nor is that all: the arrangement with Linden Lab also means an additional Chouchou region has been returned to Second Life, as the Chouchou Facebook post also announces:

And it is also decided that one of our sims, Chouchou XVI – The Babel – which was closed in 2013 will be back in Second Life thanks to Linden Lab’s kind arrangements.

At the time of writing, Chouchou XVI has been returned to the grid, but was not open to the public.

The three Chouchou regions – including Chouchou XVI – The Babel, last seen in-world in 2013 – once again together on the grid

The decision to allow the regions to continue is exceptionally welcome. As noted, the Chouchou regions have long been a part of Second Life and the Memento Mori build over Chouchou V remains one of the most stunning prim builds to be found in-world. Hence why I again include a short film of it below.

If you have not previously visited Chouchou,  Islamey and Memento Mori – I strongly recommend you do, and take the time to savour them now they look set to remain in SL. Follow the links after the video.

SLurl Details and Links

 

Lab blogs on the SL Web Team’s work, including “last names”

(Copyright Linden Lab)

Early on October 1st, 2019, Linden Lab blogged a update on the work of the Second Life web team and to act as a reminder of the monthly Second Life Web User Group meeting.

The update – Web User Group And Updates! – provides insight into some of the major areas of work the Lab’s SL web team are involved in. The most visible element of this work – possibly the most visible of all of LL’s web services – is the Marketplace (MP). However, the team are involved in all aspects of Linden Lab’s Second Life web properties and services – and this includes the work to move them to AWS cloud services and preparing the ground from the re-implementation of Last Names.

To take the updates given in the official blog post in reverse order:

SL Marketplace

In terms of the Marketplace, the blog post offers a round-up of recent Marketplace changes – notably the introduction of MP Store Manager functionality (see: SL Marketplace: store managers introduced), that is currently being further refined based on feedback from store holders.

In addition, the post indicates a couple of capabilities referenced by Reed Linden, the Product Manager responsible for the Lab’s Second Life web infrastructure mentioned during his appearance on Lab Gab (see: Lab Gab episode 2 with Reed Linden – a summary). These are:

  • In-world purchase notifications: an opt-in system allowing store owners to receive a viewer notification of purchases made through their Marketplace stores.
  • The gifts received listing – allowing users to see the gifts they have received, who sold it, a link to their store, who purchased / sent it, and any accompanying message. Also included is an option to have the item to be redelivered.
Received Gifts (MP → Account Name → My Account Page → Received Gifts) allows users to review details of the gifts they have received, together with the ability (if applicable) to have a gift redelivered (arrowed). Click to enlarge, if required.

Cloud Migration

The work in migrating Second Life services to the cloud is continuing – but as I’ve noted in other reports on this, it is a long-term project; there are a lot of services that need to be translated from operations within the Lab’s dedicated co-location facilities to provisioning via the cloud well before LL reach the point of attempting to transition simulator servers.

Much of the work in moving these back-end services is being carried out by the web team, with the blog post noting multiple web services are now operated through the cloud while others are either being moved from third-party vendors to an in-house implementation or decoupled from their previous dependencies into stand-alone services ready to be migrated to the cloud.

Even so, as Oz and April Linden have indicated recently, there is still some way to go, and the Lab approaching this work from the perspective of not saying too much about which services have been moved, to avoid user reports of issues being swamped by subjective beliefs that problems “must” be the result of X or Y being transitioned or changed.

Names Changes (aka “Last Names”)

The term “last names” really is something of a misnomer for this project, given it offers users the freedom to choose (and change) any first name, and to select (and change) a last name using pre-defined (and routinely updated) lists of names.  Hence why the Lab’s blog post refers to thework as Name Changes

Within the Lab’s blog post, the following comment on the status of the project is offered:

We’re extremely pleased to say that in the last month we’ve made significant progress in laying the foundations for the long-awaited Name Changes feature.  All of our teams have been working hard on preparing the grid and all of our systems to accommodate account name changes, both first and last. We’re not quite ready to release all the details yet, but suffice to say that if you’ve ever wanted to change up your account name for whatever reason (and we know you have!) STAY TUNED.

This would appear to imply the project may be approaching the point where LL are ready to deploy it. In the meantime, those wishing to catch up on the Name Changes project can do so via these links:

Web User Group

The monthly Web User Group (WUG) meetings allow users to meet with members of the Second Life Web Team to discuss the various SL web properties and services, learn about projects related to them, ask questions, etc. The meetings are a combination of the Voice and text (you’ll generally need Voice to hear responses from the Web Team representatives – questions and comments can be made in local chat if preferred).

As noted in the official blog post, the next WUG meeting is on Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 at 14:00 SLT. The meetings are held at Alexa Linden’s barn in SL, and the agenda, if set, is available on the WUG wiki page.

Note: you can also find out about all of the in-world user group meetings via the sidebar on the right of this blog and scrolling down to SL User Groups – hover the mouse over the links for quick information on each of them, or click the link to go to the relevant wiki page.

Second Life Blogger Network: an update from the Lab and some thoughts

via Linden Lab

Roughly 24 hours after the launch of the SL Bloggers Network – and which I reported on myself from the perspective of someone who helped with defining some aspects of the initiative prior to its launch – Linden Lab posted an update on the initiative, in which feedback by the Lab on the programme is given and concerns raised in various channels by bloggers and interested parties are addressed.

In Second Life Blogger Network Update – What’s Next?, the Lab reveals that the initial response has surprised them, and has caused something of a bottleneck:

Since our announcement of this new initiative yesterday, we’ve already had more than 100 bloggers opt-in! 

We’d like to extend a sincere “thank you” to all of the blogging community for the many years of coverage of Second Life culture, communities, creations, and, yes, even controversies …

We do ask for a bit of patience during our launch week as we sort through and strategize how to both efficiently and fairly review the many blogs who have opted-in. In all honesty, we’re a bit overwhelmed by the number of bloggers who have responded in the first 24 hours!

To be honest, the volume of potential material that might become available to the Lab and the challenge this would create was a concern I raised with LL ahead of the launch. When first discussed, the approach considered for SLBN was to have bloggers enrol and, after writing an publishing an article they believe might qualify for promotion by SLBN, submit a link to the post to LL so it can be reviewed and potentially promoted. I was, frankly, surprised when it was decided to go for a “simple” blanket opt-in, just because because I felt it would place a large volume of work on LL’s shoulders in trying to keep abreast of monitoring blogs and selecting posts for possible promotion.

This approach of letting bloggers submit links to articles to me had (and has) merit for a number of reasons:

  • It reduces the volume of potential posts that need almost daily review.
  • It could allow time-limited articles on events, etc., come to LL’s attention sooner than might otherwise be the case, and so get promoted in a timely manner.
    • While it may be a somewhat atypical situation given it was the launch of the programme, the initial post selected from my own blog in some ways evidences this: referring as it does to a series of events, the majority of which had already taken place by the time the post was listed.
  • Most importantly: it eliminates certain anxieties and concerns bloggers may have about opting-in to the process in the first place, including:
    • Fear that being critical of LL or SL could see them disbarred from the programme.
    • Concern that – and despite statements by the Lab otherwise –  in order to participate in the programme, bloggers must change their overall approach to and style of blogging (tone only might need to be adjusted when consciously opting to submit an article for consideration for SLBN promotion).
    • The general concern that by participating, bloggers have the “big brother” of LL constantly looking over their shoulder, monitoring all of their output.

The anxieties / concern are particularly worth referencing here, because as can be seen in the Lab’s September 27th Update post, they have already been raised by bloggers – and they could continue to be of concern for bloggers learning about SLBN in the future.

By having an additional level of “opt-in” through link submission, the Lab potentially helps reduce such anxieties and underlines the freedom bloggers retain in writing posts and determining where they might have them promoted. Further, such an approach might help limit the (inevitable?) incorrect claims that the initiative is just about “LL trying to control the SL blogging community”.

That said, I’m not advocating the Lab should change the approach to SLBN submissions right now; we are, after all, only 48 hours into the programme, and hopefully some of the challenges the Lab faces will diminish somewhat as they gain greater familiarity with the blogs opting-in to the programme. However, I do think it is an option that is kept in mind such problems of volume and the timely review and promotion of posts does continue to be a problem.

In the meantime, those bloggers who have not familiarised themselves with the SLBN initiative and who wish to do so, can follow the links below:

Second Life Blogger Network launches

Image courtesy of Linden Lab

There’s been much curiosity over the last few days about the Second Life Blogger Network (SLBN), and I can now help pass on more information about the initiative – which, alongside two other bloggers and Lab staff, I’ve been able to play a modest role in helping to shape.

Officially launched on Thursday, September 26th, SLBN is intended to be a referral service for bloggers producing high-quality, independent blog content to have their work promoted by Linden Lab through a new curated SLBN feed on the Second Life Community Pages and via Linden Lab’s high-visibility Second Life social media feeds and – in the future – on the Official Second Life Viewer log-in page.

How it works is simple and direct:

  • Interested bloggers review the SLBN Terms & Conditions and SLBN Content Guidelines.
  • If a blogger wishes to participate, they complete and submit the SLBN Submission Form to indicate their willingness to participate.
  • Linden Lab staff are then attentive to participating blogs, and when they see a post that is suitable for promotion, they will:
    • Produce a short summary of the post, generally based on the opening few lines of the article, and which includes the first image in the post (if the article does not have any images, a “blog image” supplied by the blogger via the submission form will be used).
    • The summary and image is  then promoted to the curated SLBN feed and to the various Second Life social media channels, etc., together with a link back to the original article and blog.
  • Those reading the various feeds / channels can then click the link through to the article and blog, read it in full and perhaps explore the blog in more detail.

Content that might be considered suitable for promotion through the programme includes technical reports, destination reviews, reports on events (including music and entertainment events) emerging fashion trends, tips and tutorials, reports on Second Life news, and so on.

Those joining the initiative should note that:

  • Not every post from a blog will be promoted by Linden Lab: SLBN is intended to promote several entries during the week from the pool of participating bloggers, with content selected – as noted above – by Linden Lab.
  • Participation in the initiative is on an opt-in basis, free and – importantly – non-exclusive: bloggers can continue to write their own posts in their own style, and continue to use wherever social media, networks and in-world groups of their own to continue to promote their work.
  • However, there are certain standards Linden Lab are applying to the content they will consider for promotion. These are outlined in the SLBN Content Guidelines linked-to above, which should be kept in mind by participating bloggers when producing content they might hope to see promoted by the Lab.
  • Should a logger decide they no longer wish to participate, they can do so at any time using the SLBN submission form. Linden Lab will cease monitoring their blog for potential SLBN content.

The SLBN Badge

Those participating in SLBN can optionally display the SLBN badge (seen at the top of this article and on the blog sidebar to the right) in order to help promote the Second Life Blogger Network through their blog / website. Copies of the badge can be obtained here. When using it, bloggers are asked to:

  • Hyperlink the badge to the Second Life community pages.
  • Include the following statement directly below the badge: Use of the SLBN logo does not constitute approval by or a representation or endorsement from Linden Lab.

Where bloggers place the badge in their blogs is at their own discretion. Those using WordPress can add it using that platform’s image widget tool.

Personal Commentary

As noted, I’ve been somewhat involved in the development of SLBN since Linden Lab first sought feedback on the idea roughly a year ago, and more recently with two other bloggers in providing more direct feedback to the Lab ahead of this launch. Given this, I have a certain positive bias towards SLBN, aided by the fact that it is a referral service designed to help drive traffic to blogger’s sites (while obviously giving LL access to the kind of content that will help them promote Second Life).

How well the initiative works and what additional adjustment may be be made to it in light of things like the response to it, etc.,  will only become clear over time. My own bias aside, I do hope that overall, bloggers will respond positively, and I look forward to seeing how SLBN develops and the content it generates.

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