May 31st 2023: Reminder: Second Life Marketplace Upgrade

A quick reminder that the Second Life Marketplace will be undergoing infrastructure upgrades for an estimated period of one hour, commencing at 10:00 SLT on Wednesday, May 31st, 2023.

This work will involve, among other things, a reset of the shopping cart functionality, and any items users may have placed in their shopping carts for future  purchase will not be saved.

To to avoid any upset in having shopping carts emptied, Linden Lab recommends shoppers take one or both of the following steps:

  • Finalise all purchases ahead of the maintenance period, and complete pending transactions to clear your shopping cart.
  • For those items you are not in a position to purchase ahead of the maintenance period, or do not wish to purchase at this time but would like to keep recorded for future reference, list them either in your favourites or your wishlist.

During the maintenance period, the Marketplace will be unavailable for either shoppers or merchants to access. For complete details, please refer to this official blog post, and to the SL Grid Status pages for updates.

Scripted Agent Access control for Second Life regions

via Linden Lab

Updated: Yay! between drafting this, having dinner and coming back and publishing, LL have updated the Scripted Agent Policy – see: Linden Lab Official:Scripted Agent Policy. There is also a discussion thread on the forum.

Tuesday, March 28th, 2023 saw the Scripted Agent Access control – also known as “Ban the Bots” update – became a grid-wide capability in Second Life.

Designed as a means to provide estate / region holders with the ability to prevent unwanted scripted agents (“bots”) from accessing their regions. It is a response to increasing concerns over the use of scripted agents to gather data – including user data – from across the grid and send it for processing / viewing outside of the Second Life.

It is an issue most recently brought to the fore by the BonnieBots system (see these locked forum threads: Has anyone else noticed the B[xxxx] accounts?Sorry. This is not OK. B bots profile scraping and Questions for the Lindens), and the new control was first mentioned as a coming feature during a March 2023 Lab Gab session (see: Lab Gab summary: Grumpity, Mojo &; Patch – SL Mobile, land, bots & more – Bots and Policies).

The following is quick overview of the functionality as it is now – full information can be found in the Scripted Agent Estate Access FAQ from Linden Lab.

How does it Work?

Currently, the Scripted Agents Access control uses an estate-wide flag called deny_bots, which for most viewers is currently accessible as a Debug Console setting, although a viewer UI update is available in the most recent official RC viewers found on the Alternate Viewers page, and will eventually be coming to the official release viewer and TPVs as they adopt it.

  • When ON, the flag prevents any properly indicated Scripted Agents from accessing a region. The only exceptions being:
    • Those listed on the region’s access list.
    • Scripted Agents specifically granted Estate Manager privileges.
  • It is region / estate wide, meaning it cannot be set at / excepted from individual parcels within a region.
  • When the the flag is OFF, all Scripted Agents are treated the same as any other avatar with regard to estate access.

Setting the Flag

The flag can be set in one of two ways: via the Region Debug Console or (for those viewers that have the update) via World Region / Estate (CTRL-R).

Via the Region Debug Console

  • If you do not have the Develop(er) menu option displayed, reveal it in one of the following ways::
    • Go to Advanced → Show Developer Menu.
    • Press CTRL-ALT-Q.
    • Go to Preferences → Advanced Show → check Show Developer Menu.
  • With the Develop(er) menu displayed, either:
    • Select Consoles → Region Debug Console from the menu, or:
    • Press CTRL-SHIFT-`
  • The Region Debug Console floater window will open; in the input field at the bottom of the console, type:

set deny_bots TRUE

  • Press ENTER. If the command is accepted, the floater will echo:

estate setting deny_bots = on.

  • If the console fails to echo for some reason, type the following and press ENTER:

get deny_bots.

  • The console floater should respond with the Estate setting message, above.
  • If you do not have permission to set the flag, the console will respond:

unknown or unauthorized parameter “deny_bots”

Left: the Region Debug Console, showing the deny_bots command options. Right: denying scripted agents option within the Region / Estate floater (when available in all viewers. Images via Linden Lab

Via the Region / Estate Floater

Again, note that this option is currently being rolled-out on Linden Lab RC viewers, and may take time to reach all third-party viewers (TPVs).

  • Type CTRL-R to display the Estate / Region floater.
  • Click on the Estate tab to open it, if required.
  • Look for the option Must Not Be A Scripted Agent, and click the check box to mark it.
    • If there is no such option, use the Region Debug Console option, as described above.
  • Click Apply.
  • Close the Region / Estate floater.

Additional Notes

  • If your estate has multiple regions, it may take time for the setting of the deny_bots flag to propagate out to all of them.
    • If a region does not appear to update with the flag being set, try restarting it, this should force the update.
    • If you have attempted to set deny_bots with the region console but the region continues to fail to reflect the change, please contact support.
    • If you get the error message “Estate already allows bot access, no change”, please try restarting the region, and then toggle deny_bots again. If you’re still having trouble after restarting, please contact support.
  • Note that the flag only applies to registered Scripted Agents (and all bots should be properly registered as such via the account’s Scripted Agent Status page on the account dashboard); it will not prevent unregistered bots accessing a region / estate. However:
    • It is a violation of the Second Life Bot Policy for anyone to operate a bot or bots which are not so identified. Failure to do so on the part of a bot operator can result in an account suspension.
    • If you have set the deny_bots flag, but believe your region is being repeatedly visited by an unregistered Scripted Agent, file an abuse report under the Disturbing the Peace category with the scripted agent’s name, where (region name) and when (date / time) it was seen.

SL Scripters / creators: LSL XML-RPC shut-down

via Linden Lab

Further to comments passed at the March 21st Simulator User Group, Signal Linden has formally announced the shutting-down of the LSL XML-RPC functionality.

A method for enabling communication between remote systems and LSL scripts, LSL XML-RPC has been deprecated since the introduction of HTTP-In back in 2009. As noted at the SUG meeting and again in Signal’s post, requests using LSL XML-RPC have dwindled to just a few dozen requests per hour.

As a result:

  • Rather than use development resources into maintaining it, LL would prefer to focus their resources on developing new features.
  • Recommend that those users / creators with functionality that depends on XML-RPC, migrate your scripts and supporting services to the more secure HTTP-In.

To allow time for those still using LSL XML-RPC to ensure their scripts are properly migrate their scripts, and to ensure there are no services users may have forgotten about and which might otherwise break if LSL XML-RPC were simply shut-down, the following time frame for the terminating use of the functionality.

  • April-May 2023: one or more unannounced circuit-breaker exercises will be performed by temporarily blocking incoming LSL XML-RPC traffic. This will give residents and Lindens a chance to experience XML-RPC shutdown and perform any required corrective actions (Upgrading scripts to HTTP-In, etc.) before permanent shut down.
  • June 1st, 2023: incoming LSL XML-RPC traffic will be permanently blocked.

For further information, please refer to Signal’s blog post. Questions / concerns about this move can be raised at any Simulator User Group meeting. These are held every Tuesday at 12:00 noon SLT, at Simon Linden’s meeting place. I will also update status in my weekly SUG summaries.




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.

December Premium / Premium Plus land offer in Second Life

via Linden Lab

On Thursday, December 1st, 2022, Linden Lab announced a suspension of set-up fees for regions ordered during the month of December – but only for Premium and Premium Plus members placing such an order with Linden Lab.

The offer means that a Premium / Premium Plus subscriber renting any Private region from the Lab stands to make the following first month savings:

  • Homestead region: US $40.
  • Full region: US $120.
  • Skill Gaming: US $245.

Additional notes:

  • All land fees are subject to VAT or Australian GST where applicable,
  • The requirement to hold at least one Full region in order to be able to hold one or more homestead regions still applies to Premium subscribers throughout this offer period (Premium Plus subscribers are exempt from this requirement).

The announcement reads in part:

Premium and Premium Plus subscribers will pay no setup fees for any new regions purchased during the month of December. Only pay the first month’s maintenance fee and move right in.
Here’s how to take advantage of this offer:
    • Have a Premium or Premium Plus account
    • Order a region between December 1 and December 31, 2022 by filing a support ticket with your order request using the Land and Region -> Order Private Region ticket type
    • Region delivery will occur within 2 business days once all details have been verified. For quickest delivery:
    • You will be billed for the first month’s maintenance fee at the time of delivery
For more information about Private Regions, please review the Private Regions knowledge base article and Private Region Pricing.

It is at times claimed that the set-up fee is often the reason people do not obtain their own regions from the Lab (although it is more likely the reality of having to pay the monthly tier has a far greater impact on people’s decision on whether or not to keep their region once rented); so it will be interesting to see what short and longer term impact this may have on region counts within Second Life, as reported monthly by Tyche Shepherd through her Grid Survey.

Linden Lab updates Second Life Terms and Conditions

via Linden Lab

On Tuesday, October 25th, Linden Lab announced changes to the Second Life Terms and Conditions, which will formally come into effect from November 1st, when users will have to accept them in order to access Second Life.

These updates appear to be in the light of the changes to Tilia LCC’s status following Linden Lab’s partnering with JP Morgan Payments (see the official Tillia notice on this here, and my own blog post here).

As noted within the official SL blog post on the update, the changes are specifically related to:

  • A  clarification of certain functions associated with the LindeX as well as the terms applicable to orders placed on the LindeX.
    • These changes can be found in section 3.2 Second Life may offer a Linden Dollar exchange (the “LindeX exchange” or “LindeX”)
  • The addition of a new section to the Terms and Conditions, describing the terms applicable to your use of Stored Value Accounts, including your relationship with Tilia LLC.
    • These  changes can be found in section 4. Stored Value Account, comprising four sub-sections:
      • Section 4.1 – outlining the general relationship between Second Life and Tillia LLC, and the definition of a “Stored Value Account”.
      • Section 4.2 – covering the specific relationship between Tilia LLC and your ability to purchase and hold Linden Dollars on account, as noted in section 3 of the Terms and Conditions.
      • Section 4.3 – which will be of particular note to those who (regularly or otherwise) process credit out of Second Life (aka “cashing out”) Linden Dollar values to fiat money values.
      • Section 4.4 – the overall status of funds held within a Stored Value Account and their relationship with Tilia LLC.

These changes do not appear to make significant changes to how people use Second Life or obtain Linden Dollars. They do, however, better outline the process credit operation, including general time frames involved, although reference should also obviously be made to any documentation offered in respected of the actual process credit operation and within the Tilia Terms of Service relating to same.

Questions on the changes should be addressed to SL Billing Support directly; I cannot respond to questions through these pages, and is unlikely that specific questions posted in the comments below will be seen by members of the SL billing team.

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