Tag Archives: Group Ban List

Group bans: an overview

On Tuesday June 17th, Linden Lab released the Group Ban project viewer (version 3.7.8.290887) which, as the name suggests, allows group owners (and those they nominate by role) to ban individuals from their group.

Group bans, which are enforced server-side, like parcel and estate bans, are intended to remove troublemakers from a group / prevent them from joining the group. This article will hopefully provide an overview of the group ban tools within the project viewer (and which will eventually progress to the release viewer).

The following general points with group bans should be noted:

  • By default, only a group’s Owners role has the Manage Ban List ability for banning other avatars from a group /removing avatars from the ban list
  • The ability can be granted to other roles, if required
  • Roles which are granted this ability are also granted the Eject Members from this Group and Remove Members from Roles abilities
  • The ban list for a group can store a maximum of 500 entries. When this limit is reached, some avatars must be removed before others can be added
  • Group Owners cannot be banned from a group (just as they cannot be ejected)
  • When a group member is banned from the group, they are automatically ejected and will receive the usual ejection notification, but will not receive any notice that they have also been banned
  • A user who is banned from a group cannot join it either directly or through an invitation
  • If a group member is banned while using group chat, they may be able to continue using it until they close the group chat window (this problem also exists when ejecting someone from a group when they have the group chat window open)
  • Any attempt to invite one or more banned avatars into a group, whether individually or as a part of a list, will generate the message:  Some residents have not been sent an invite due to being banned from the group.

The viewer itself includes the necessary options to allow a group owner (and those they nominate by role) to:

  • Add or remove avatars from the group ban list
  • View the group ban list
  • Add the ability to ban avatars from a group to any other roles within the group, if required.

Applying Group Bans

Avatars can be banned from a group in one of two ways:

  • By selecting them in the group members list if they are already a member of the group
  • By using the Group Ban Picker to ban one or more avatars from a group, whether or not they are already members.

Banning via the Members List

  • Display your groups list (CTRL-SHIFT-G), select the required group and open its profile
  • Click on Roles & Members to open it, and then click on the Members tab
  • Locate the first avatar you wish to ban and left-click on their name
  • If there is more than one avatar you wish to ban, press CTRL and left-click on each of the remaining names
  • Click on the Ban Member(s) button
  • The highlighted avatars will be ejected and banned from the group, and you should see the normal confirmatory notification(s) that they have been ejected.
Banning someone from a public droup via the Members tab (l), and confirming they are listed as banned on the Banned Residents tab (r)

Banning someone from a public group via the Members tab (l), and confirming they are listed as banned on the Banned Residents tab (r)

To confirm the selected individuals have been ejected and banned, click the right scroll buttons at the top of the panel to scroll / jump to the Banned Residents tab. This should display the name of all avatars banned from the group. If the name(s) of the avatar(s) just banned do not appear to be listed, wait a minute or two and click the refresh button in the lower left corner of the panel. Continue reading

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SL projects update 25/1: server, viewer, pathfinding and surprise guest

The Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th was busy even before the unannounced guest dropped in (see below)

The Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th was getting busy even before the unannounced guest dropped in (see below)

Server Deploys, Week 24

As usual, please refer to the server deployment thread for the latest information.

Main (SLS) Channel

On Tuesday June 17th, the Main channel was updated with the Group Ban project, which was previously on the LeTigre RC.  As the name implies, this project adds the ability to ban users from groups (see also SL Viewer Updates, below) – release notes.

Release Candidate Channels

On Wednesday June 18th the three RC channels should be updated as follows:

  • LeTigre should receive a new server maintenance project this week, which comprises an anti-griefing measure – release notes
  • BlueSteel should remain on the Sunshine / AIS v3 project, the viewer for which was promoted to the de facto release viewer (version 3.7.9.290582) on Monday June 16th. In addition, BlueSteel should receive the Main channel update with the Group Ban project and the anti-griefing update deployed to LeTigre – release notes
  • Magnum should remain on the Experience Tools project. In addition, Magnum should will receive the Main channel update with the Group Ban project and the anti-griefing update deployed to LeTigre – release notes.

SL Viewer Updates

Release Viewer

On Monday June 16th, the MemShine release candidate viewer, (version 3.7.9.290582, was promoted to the de facto release viewer. This viewer includes the final Sunshine AIS v3 updates (promoting the Lab to issue a blog post announcing the long-running project Shining is now complete), and also a series of memory leak fixes to help stabilise the viewer and hopefully reduce the number of memory related crashes.

Group Ban project Viewer

As noted above server-side support for the Group Ban project is being deployed to the main grid. To coincide with this, the Lab issued the Group Ban project viewer (version 3.7.8.290887) on Tuesday June 17th, which provides the necessary viewer-side support for accessing group ban functions. Initial instructions for using the viewer can be found in the release notes, and I’ve provided an overview as well.

Group Chat

Simon Linden recently completed an initial amount of work on group chat, implementing some small-scale optimisations which, while not expected to have “fixed” group chat, should have improved some aspects of using it, reliability-wise. He’s more recently had to work on what have been viewed higher priority items, but is hoping to make a return to group chat in the very near future and dig into it some more. “I learned a lot on the first pass,” he said on the matter during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th, “we got a lot more information on where the load is.  Thus I have hopes the next round will be better.”

Other Items

Pathfinding and Terrain Editing

BUG-772 “Simulator refusing to rez objects after 10 hour timeframe” was raised at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 17th. This is an issue where if you are carrying out terraforming work on a region with pathfinding enabled, and are also making frequent Pathfinding navmesh updates, your region will rapidly run out of memory. the way to avoid this is to complete the terraforming activity, then rebake the navmesh and restart the region.

LSL Enhancements

Ideas were tossed around the Simulator User Group meeting on the limitations of LSL, many of which may only be resolved through a complete re-build of LSL, something which is unlikely to happen, as Simon Linden indicated in the meeting, “I don’t think we’re going to touch the internal design of LSL if we can help it.” Which doesn’t mean there will not continue to be enhancements to LSL functions etc.

One suggestion made to get around some of the issues was for the development of a viewer-side scripting language which might handle certain local functions and abilities. Responding to this, Simon would only say, “That would be a wonderfully big project :).”

Continue reading

SL projects updates 23/1: server, viewer, group bans

Simulator UG meeting (stock)

Simulator UG meeting (stock)

Server Deployments Week 23

As always, please refer to the server deployment thread in the Technology forum for the latest updates, news or changes to the deployment schedule and for any issues which may have been reported.

Main (SLS) Channel

There was no main channel deployment on Tuesday June 3rd. Instead, the maintenance work which had been scheduled for May 22nd, but which had to be postponed due to problems earlier in the week, took place. Some of us who report on server updates, etc., had mistakenly believed that this maintenance work was actually carried out May 28th; so ho-hum on that score!

Release Candidate Channels

The release channel updates for week 23 will be:

  • BlueSteel will remain on the inventory update project, and will not be rolled this week.  This project enables support for a new version of the inventory service, AISv3.  To make use of this new feature, login with the Sunshine RC Viewer
  • Magnum will remain on the Experience Tools project, but will gain some minor changes related to the project – release notes
  • LeTigre will move to the “group ban” project.  As the name implies, this project adds the ability to ban users from groups (more below)  – release notes

The release candidate channel rolls (Magnum and LeTigre) should take place on Wednesday June 4th.

SL Viewer

On Tuesday June 3rd, the Lab released the MemShine release candidate viewer, version 3.7.9.290582. This viewer combines updates from the MemPlugs RC viewer (a variety of fixes to address memory leaks in the viewer and to improve crash rates), and the Sunshine / AIS v3 RC viewer (additional server-side appearance improvements and AIS v3 improvements aimed at outfit changes). Both of these RCs also remain listed on the Alternate Viewers wiki page at the tim of writing.

For the status of all SL viewer releases, please refer to my Current viewer Releases page.

Group Bans

As noted above, the server-side code for group bans is due to start its deployment to the main grid. This functionality, which comprises both server-side and viewer updates, provides the means for owners (and selected roles) in an open enrollment group to selectively ban people from either joining / re-joining their group, in order to help with issues such as group spamming.

The following general points apply to the group bans functionality:

  • By default, only the Owners role is assigned the ability to ban other avatars from a group
  • The ability can be granted to other roles, if required
  • Roles which are granted this ability are also granted the Eject Members and the Remove Members from Roles abilities
  • Group members with the Manage Ban List ability will be able to add or remove other users to and from the group ban list
  • When a group member is banned from the group, they are automatically ejected
  • A user who is banned from a group will not be able to join it either directly or through an invitation (once the capability is fully deployed)
  • The ban list for a group can store a maximum of 500 entries
  • Group Owners cannot be banned
  • When a user is banned from a group, their viewer version does not matter; they will be ejected and banned whether or not they are also using a viewer with the group ban ability
  • Additional notes on the capability can be found here.

The code is initially being deployed to the LeTigre RC, and the remaining RCs and the main channel will follow in due course.

There is currently no formal release of a project viewer able to use the group ban functions available via the Alternate Viewers wiki page. According to Baker Linden, speaking at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday June 3rd, the project viewer will most likely be formally released once the server code is fully deployed across the grid.

Group bans provides the ability to ban (and remove, where appropriate) people from a group. The Group Bans prject viewer contains the necessary updates to manage the ban process.

Group bans provides the ability to ban (and remove, where appropriate) people from a group. The Group Bans project viewer contains the necessary updates to ban individuals or lists of people from a group (whether or not they are already members of the group) and to view the names / dates of all those banned

However, those wishing to test the capability can obtain the current version of the project viewer (Windows / Mac / Linux). If you opt to do so, please keep in mind that until the server-side functionality has been fully deployed across the main grid, group bans will only be enforced by simulators which support the feature.

This means that user who was banned from a group may still be able to join or re-join the group by moving to a region running on a channel which does not currently support the group bans. This may  result in them appearing on both the Members List and the Banned Residents list, so once the project has gone grid-wide it might be necessary to either eject or re-ban them once more.

I’ll be providing a complete overview of the group ban function once it has been fully deployed to the grid and the project viewer is officially available via the Alternate Viewers wiki page.

SL projects updates 21/2: grid issues, server updates, viewer

Server Deployments week 21 – Recap

On Tuesday May 20th, the Main (SLS) channel received the server maintenance package deployed to Magnum in week 20.This includes a bug fix for a networking-related issue that sometimes affects busy sims. Issues encountered during the deployment, but unrelated to it (see below) meant it had to be curtailed.

As a result, the Main channel deployment resumed on Wednesday May 21st, with the result that the deployments scheduled for the 21st in fact took place on Thursday May 22nd, as follows:

  • The BlueSteel and LeTigre RCs remained on the Sunshine / AIS v3 server-side code, and received the networking-related bug fix deployed to the Main channel
  • The Magnum RC received a new project, which includes changes related to the ‘Experience Tools’ project.

More on the Log-in and Grid Issues, Tuesday May 20th

Simon Linden identified the issue which caused log-in issues on Tuesday May 20th

Simon Linden identified the issue which caused log-in issues on Tuesday May 20th

During the Server Beta meeting on Thursday May 22nd, Simon Linden, who identified the problem, gave a further explanation of Tuesday’s grid issues, which prevented people from logging-in to SL.

Essentially, the log-in server was failing to give the viewer the correct token for it to connect to a region, so people actually got through the log-in phase when starting their viewer, but never connected to a region. “The conversation between the login server, your viewer and the region didn’t work any more,” Simon said.

Maestro then added, “After logins were restored, there was a period where the inventory servers got pretty ‘heated up’, probably from people logging in after hours of downtime, so inventory was bad for an hour or two.” It was apparently at this point that the decision was taken to suspend the Main channel server deployment and resume the work on Wednesday May 21st, pushing the RC updates into Thursday.

It is not anticipated that the problem will recur now it has been identified and rectified.

As a result, the scheduled maintenance that had been planned for Thursday May 22nd was cancelled. This work has yet to be rescheduled, and is apparently to be focusing on the database hardware. “Sims should have slightly faster access after the maintenance,” Maestro said of the work, “though I wouldn’t promise anything major.”

The Grid Status page will carry the revised date and time of the work once it has been rescheduled.

SL Viewer

As noted in these pages, The Lab released its Oculus Rift project viewer to the public on Wednesday May 21st, with an announcement in the main blog. The viewer, version 3.7.8.289834, is aimed at getting people started on using the Oculus Rift in Second Life, rather than at providing a finished product with UI optimisations, and appears to be aimed towards encouraging early adopter of the Oculus Rift to try-out Second Life.

Also on Wednesday May 21st:

  • The Zipper viewer for faster installation was promoted from project viewer status to release candidate status with the arrival of the Zipper RC viewer, version 3.7.9.290133 in the release channel
  • The Sunshine / AIS v3 RC viewer returned to the release channel in the form of version 3.7.9.290131, referred to as “Sunshine v2”.

These two viewer updates see the total number of release candidate viewers in the release channel rise to four once more. As also, details of updates in my Current Viewer Releases page.

Group Ban list

One of the required central updates for the group ban updates was deployed to Agni on Wednesday May 21st. A further update is needed before a server RC with the group ban code gets deployed, however. These updates are related to the central service to manage group bans.

 Other Items

LSL Functions for Materials

Not a lot to add here. As mentioned in part one of this report, Simon is now actively working on this functionality. He didn’t have too much to add during the Server Beta meeting, other than Maestro Linden has also been looking at the work Simon has done and has fixed a few issues. There’s still no date when the work might become visible for people to poke at.

LSL Functions for Projected Lights

Talk of LSL functions for materials saw talk of LSL functions for lighting projectors resurface (see SCR-163), prompting Simon to ask, “Does anyone have ideas how people might cause trouble with the projector LSL functions? I wondering how it might cause problems, other than lots of updates … and if it would be any different from rezzing stuff?” Nothing of any serious impact could be identified, although it’s not clear whether the Lab will poke at that or not once the materials LSL functions have been sorted.

Hiding Objects from View and Parcel Privacy

BUG-5671 is actually a feature request, and concerns the provision of a check box in the viewer’s Parcel Properties so that all objects outside that parcel would be not be rendered for anyone within the parcel boundaries. The request appears to be for a server-side function, and the JIRA has seen some heated debate on the matter.

Simon Linden revealed that while working on the parcel privacy option (which hides avatars inside a parcel, and blocks their chat from those outside of the parcel (and vice-versa), he looked at also blocking object views, “and even played with a prototype,” he said. “It’s pretty ugly because you end up with nothing there … at least in my simple code. “Then you walk onto the parcel and all the trees and house and stuff pops up … it was odd.”

However, he revealed the request has been imported by the Lab, so there might be some interest in doing something with it. Part of the debate around the idea on the JIRA has been on whether the setting should be enforced server-side or just within the viewer (so the user retains the choice as to what they see outside a parcel). Commenting on this, Simon said, “server-side would be better so you wouldn’t get updates for things you can’t see, but a cosmetic viewer-side option might be possible.”

So that’s another one to watch out for.