2018 SL UG updates #39/2: Web User Group

Peace of Mind; Inara Pey, August 2018, on FlickrPeace of Mind  – blog post

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018.

These meetings are generally held monthly on a Wednesday at 14:00 SLT, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Marketplace

New Deployment – New Features

A deployment to the SL Marketplace was made on Wednesday, September 26th. However, due to some issues surfacing, it had to be rolled back, causing the grid status report of Marketplace Maintenance.

This is actually the update that includes more of the promises Marketplace updates, including:

  • Wish lists.
  • Follow favourite merchants.
  • A new drop-down of people a user must frequently sends Marketplace gifts to.

It will now be re-scheduled for deployment once the issues have been fixed.

Clean-up

The Lab will shortly be starting a clean-up of the Marketplace. This will most likely be done by running different queries with different criteria, and seeing what the results would be in terms of removed listings / stores.

For example, one query might be run against all users who have not logged-in to Second Life or the Marketplace in (say) 10 years or 6 years, and see how many items might be unlisted as a result. If the outcome is thought to be a manageable amount (i.e. not half the Marketplace potentially vanishing), then the query might be run, and the items unlisted. Then the process will be repeated over a shorter time period (e.g. say not logged in for 8 years of 4 years, depending on the original query). Other criteria, such as number of sales of an item over a number of years, or how frequently an item is flagged etc., might also be added to the mix over time.

This does mean that items that still work in SL, but the creator is no longer active in SL or the Marketplace, will likely vanish. However, as items are only being unlisted, and affected merchants will be contacted and advised where possible. So, they will always have the option to log-in to the Marketplace and re-list their items if they so wish.

Web Updates Release Notes

It is hoped that a location will be established for web property release notes, just as there are pages for release notes on SL wiki.

Automatic Landmark Updating

This is an age-old problem: how to automatically update store (or other) landmarks following a move. In 2012, Toysoldier Thor came up with the concept of the Virtual Landmark (VLM) – see here for the essentials – and which eventually lead to Darrius Gothly developing VLM for Virtual Worlds – see here for the essentials. VLMFVW are not ideal (I have not tested them in five years to confirm whether they still work), but at the time they did assist with the problem.

Unfortunately, having landmarks that can be remotely updated is seen by the Lab as requiring an entire new landmark system and (presumably) and entirely new asset type which would exist entirely independently of existing LMs (and so could cause confusion among users), so this is not something that is likely to happen in the short-to-medium term, if at all.

Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018.

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2018 SL UG updates #17/2: Web User Group

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group meetings on alternate Fridays at Alexa’s barn.

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, April 25th, 2017.

These meetings are generally held monthly on a Wednesday, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Meeting Format

A point to remember with the Web User Group meetings is that they are informal discussions on things like the Marketplace.

While the Lab does give information on the work they are carrying out, plans they have in-hand for updates to web properties, etc., equally, a lot of what is discussed is ideas and the taking of feedback from attendees, and should not necessarily be regarded as statements from the Lab as to what will happen, it priority, or anything else.

Within these reports, I try to indicate those plans / actions / projects that are in progress, and offer a differentiation between “firm” plans and ideas under discussion.

Web Updates

On April 16th, 2018, the Lab slipped out an announcement on a number of web property updates, which notably include the following.

Marketplace Guidelines Change

The SL Marketplace Fee and Listing Guidelines have been revised with regards to the policy on pricing products on the Marketplace in comparison to pricing the in-world. Previously, the guidelines stated:

The following actions are disallowed. Note that these actions are disallowed by the Second Life Terms of Service, and are restated here for clarification.

  • Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behaviour. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites”

This has now been revised so that in-world pricing is no longer exempted, thus:

The following actions are disallowed. Note that these actions are disallowed by the Second Life Terms of Service, and are restated here for clarification.

  • Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behaviour. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, or other e-commerce sites”

With the Lab noting:

We’ve removed the section which applied to in-world stores.  This was contrary to your interests and our interests.  Marketplace is a tool to use in your overall product marketing strategy and if you’d like to differentiate pricing between on-line and in-world stores, that’s your decision to make.

Transaction History “Quick Filter” Options

A set of “quick filters” have been added to the transaction history page on the dashboard at secondlife.com. These provide the ability to list all transactions for the current day (“Today”), the last 24 hours (“1 Day”), the last 7 days and the last 28 days.

The new transaction history quick filters available through your Second Life web dashboard

Please refer to the announce for the full set of web-related updates.

Other Items

Legal Question: Resale Prices on Full Permission Items

Is setting a minimum resale price on full permission items legal? this is being referred to the Lab’s legal department. However, such things as recommended retail price options, FTC guidelines on supply chain selling (both of which are slightly different, admittedly), would suggest the practice is acceptable.

Lootbox Legal Status

Questions have been raised on the use of lootboxes in Second Life. In some countries (e.g. China, Japan, Australia, The Netherlands, the Isle of Man (UK) and now Belgium) they are regarded as gambling and subject to regulation / financial penalties. Additionally, lawmakers in the United States and mainland UK are said to be looking at the status of lootboxes. The questions asked in relation to Second Life are being referred back to the Lab’s legal team.

Premium Subscription Changes

At the April 20th, 2018 town hall event, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Linden confirmed that as a part of pivoting Second Life’s revenue generation away from a heavy reliance on land, the Lab are looking at introducing a range of Premium account options which will have different levels of benefits associated with them – see here for more (includes an audio extract of his comments).

While details have yet to be finalised, Grumpity Linden spoke to some of the ideas under consideration at the Web User Group meeting. Because her comments are likely to be of interest beyond that meeting, I’ve provided a transcript of her comments, with an audio recording.

In Brief

  • Need to comment on a JIRA item (bug report or feature request) and cannot? send an e-mail to letmein-at-lindenlab.com giving your avatar name to request JIRA comment access. Note that if a JIRA has been imported by the Lab or had its status changed, you may still not be able to comment on it.
  • Linden Homes size increase: Linden Homes are currently undergoing a face lift, and Grumpity indicated the plan is to increase them in size (presumably to 1024 to match the “free” tier offered to Premium members. There is no time frame on when the updated Linden Home will be available, although it is hoped they will be ready before the end of 2018.

 

2018 SL UG updates #13/2: Web User Group

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group monthly meetings at Alexa’s barn

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, March  28th, 2017.

These meetings are generally held monthly on Wednesdays, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Meeting Format

A point to remember with the Web User Group meetings is that they are informal discussions on things like the Marketplace.

While the Lab does give information on the work they are carrying out, plans they have in-hand for updates to web properties, etc., equally, a lot of what is discussed is ideas and the taking of feedback from attendees, and should not necessarily be regarded as statements from the Lab as to what will happen, it priority, or anything else.

Within these reports, I try to indicate those plans / actions / projects that are in progress, and offer a differentiation between “firm” plans and ideas under discussion.

Marketplace

  • Priority item flagging: under discussion at the Lab is the idea – put forward by Merchants at a previous Web User Group meeting – that “certified” Merchants priority in flagging and the Marketplace reports. This “certification” might be through the payment of a fee.
  • Survey: the Lab is considering a Marketplace survey in which Merchants can indicate their preferences around possible enhancements, etc., to the Marketplace and perhaps submit and idea of their own.
  • Feature requests: specific, well thought out idea for new features for the Marketplace (and Second Life in general) can / should be submitted via the Second Life JIRA.
    • It is preferable that only one idea (or a limited set of related ideas) for new features is submitted per Feature Request submission.
    • Feature Requests are triaged (reviewed) by the Lab on a weekly basis.
The Feature Request form is accessed via your JIRA dashboard – log-in via your Second Life credentials required. Select Create Issue in the top right of your dashboard to open the default Bug Report form. Then click on the Issue Type drop-down and select New Feature Request to replace the Bug Report form with the Feature Request form.
  • Marketplace search: the Lab is aware that there are issues with the MP search function, and hope to be able to improve it. However, reporting that search “is broken” is sufficiently helpful. If there are specific instances where search fails to work as expected which can be specifically defined, these need to be reported via a JIRA bug report, with detailed steps so that the Lab can see (and reproduce) the problem, then take steps to address the issues.

Destination Guide

  • The Destination Guide suffers from a large number of locations listed within it which have ceased to exist in one way or another (the region no longer exists, it has changed hands and been re-purposed; the owner has made it private with access control, etc.).
  • There is curation of Destination Guide entries, but this is described as inefficient as it doesn’t parse all the DG categories “very frequently”.
  • There is discussion at the Lab about automating the curation process to help with the removal of outdated locations, but nothing so far is on the road map for implementation.

Place Pages

For an overview / looking at creating Place Pages, please refer to my article: Creating Second Life Place Pages.

Further development of Place Pages is planned, with one of the first added features, possibly appearing in the near future, is support for land auctions, offering the same functionality as the current auctions. This will be expanded over time to offer resident-to-auctions.

Last Names – Further Information

  • “Original / legacy” last names will not be re-opened for use.
  • New users joining Second Life will still be given the automatic “last name” of “Resident”, but have the option of changing if they wish.
  • The fee for name changes has not been announced, however, at this point the indication is that the fee will be in fiat currency (i.e. US dollars) not Linden Dollars.
  • One of the reasons the return of last names will take time to be implemented is that all of the SL web properties – like the Marketplace – have to be updated to recognise users as they change their names (something which applies across almost all of the SL services when you think about it).

Governance and DMCA

Issues around Governance, the Marketplace and the DMCA process continue to be raised.

Governance User Group?

Often at user-group meetings questions are asked around matters of governance or which may be related to legal / financial issues (e.g. fraud or alleged cases of fraud). All of these matters are overseen by teams outside of the technical personnel who attend the in-world meetings, and so – while it may be frustrating for those raising the questions – cannot comment on or address such issues.

There are discussions at the Lab about holding a Support / Governance user group in the future. There is currently no date as to when this may take place, or whether, if it does, it will be a one-off or one of a series. However, once the dates have been established, it will be announced through channels such as the User Groups wiki page.

DMCA Filing

Currently, the Lab’s Infringement Notification Policy requires that DCMA notices are filed with Linden Lab via mail or fax.In December 2017, it was indicated that this would be revised so that DMCA’s can be filed via an on-line form. The provisional date for implementing this change had been around January / February 2018, however, it has been subject to delay.

Oz and Grumpity Linden indicated the reason the form has yet to be deployed is twofold:

  • The original version of the form was subject to a change in requirements, and so had to be re-worked.
  • The submission process has to be robust enough to prevent abuse (e.g. repeated multiple filings from an individual on the same issue);has to have checks in place to ensure the submitter’s credentials can be verified; and has to meet the requirements for non-Second Life users to be able to file a meaningful DMCA notice (e.g. in the case of an external company finding copies of their copyrighted material is being sold unlicensed through Second Life).

It is hoped that form will be available in the near future.

2018 SL UG updates #7/3: TPV and Web Meetings

Neverfar; Inara Pey, January 2018, on FlickrNeverfarblog post

The following notes are taken from the TPV Developer meeting and the Web User Group meeting, both held on Friday, February 16th 2018. A video of the TPVD meeting is embedded below, my thanks as always to North for recording and providing it. Time stamps in the text below will open the video in a new tab at the relevant point of discussion.

SL Viewer

[0:55-3:02] The Media Update RC viewer version updated to version 5.1.2.512574 on February 15th, and the Nalewka Maintenance viewer updated to version 5.1.2.512522 on February 14th, bringing both into line with the current release viewer (currently version 5.1.1.512121, at the time of writing, formerly the Voice RC viewer).

The rest of the SL viewer pipeline remains as:

  • Current Release version  5.1.1.512121, dated January 26, promoted February 7 – formerly the Voice Maintenance RC.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17, 2017 and promoted to release status 29 November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.
  • Obsolete platform viewer version 3.7.28.300847, May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7.

Note that the voice package in the SL release viewer will not work with older versions of the viewer. A further voice SDK update for Mac systems is also due from Vivox.

Updates should be forthcoming soon on the Animesh and 360-snapshot viewer.

Viewer with 1024 Support for Avatar Textures

[4:33-7:05] A project viewer for handling 1024×1024 wearables should be appearing “soon”, as a prelude to the Bakes on Mesh project (see my Content Creation User Group (CCUG) updates for more on this project). This will have an impact on the avatar rendering cost for system avatars making use of 1024×1024 textures and wearables.

Linux and the Viewer

Also see week #50 2017 and #week 46 2017 TPVD updates.

The goal for a Linux flavour of the viewer is for the Lab to provide a basic Debian build of the viewer, without additional libraries so as to allow TPVs to add the dependencies they require for their flavour of Linux build. Once this has been achieved – with the help of open-source contributions – the Lab will then maintain the Linux build, with the caveat that it will only be subject to cursory QA, and will continue to look to the Linux community for contributed updates and fixes.

[15:44-20:40] The repository for Linux contributions is awaiting update to the current viewer release and needs to be publicly made available. A skeleton build process of the Debian package is available, but again has yet to be made visible.Both of these should happen in the next few weeks.

Several of the libraries which will be used in the build are seen as “problematic” and requiring patches, etc.Until this work has been done, the Lab can’t supply the build process.

One of the problems in seeking contributions is that Linux developers appear to be in short supply – the Lab doesn’t have any Linux resource in-house for the viewer, and some TPVs are finding it similarly difficult to find a resource they can use, and who can provide contributions to the Lab. The flip side of this is the Lab is not seeking contributions that provide a “complete” solution for a Linux build; they would rather people work on specific aspects of the viewer, the only criteria being that:

  • Contributions are in line with the Lab supporting a basic Debian package build process.
  • Contributions do not require changes to the build process which could break the Windows or Mac build process.

Project Arctan

Note: some of the following also appears in my week #7 CCUG meeting update.

[12:01-15:40 and 24:55-28:23] Project Arctan is the code-name for the project to re-evaluate object and avatar rendering costs, and hopefully make them more reflective of the actual cost of rendering objects and avatars and also remove some of disincentives for making optimised content.

  • This work is still in its preliminary stages, focusing on how best to gather the required data.
  • For avatar complexity, it will include evaluating the cost of avatars and their attachments (tri counts, textures, use of alpha layers, skeletal animations used, etc), with a view to adjusting the avatar rendering cost weightings – with the caveat that even when made more reflective of the actual cost of avatar rendering, people will still see some variation in the ARC information displayed by their viewer as a result of using different GPU cards, and how well different cards handle things like alpha masking and / or alpha blending.
  • For Land Impact: LI will be scrutinised as well, to take into consideration texture cost. However, as LI changes could be disruptive (e.g. unexpected objects returns), any new LI calculations will be run alongside the current calculations, to allow LL gather data on if and  how many parcels will be pushed over their LI capacity were the new calculations to be applied (and thus force object returns) and by how much. They then might increase region land capacity to compensate as far as possible. Then, for those who still exceed their limit, there will be a period of grace when they can consolidate and bring their LI use within the limit of the revised calculations before the latter are enforced.

As Animesh will likely be released before Project Arctan is complete, this means Animesh will be released with an initial land impact calculation assigned to it for objects, which may then be revised once Arctan is finalised.

Project Arctan – Oz and Vir Linden discuss (CCUG and TPVD meetings)

Note again: this work is just re-starting, and there will be no immediate or sudden changes made to either ARC or Land Impact.

Other TPVD Items In Brief

Deprecating UDP Messaging for Asset Fetching And Further Inventory Improvements

[7:24-11:05] The Lab is looking to remove the remaining UDP code for all assets now fetched via HTTP and the CDNs from the simulator code, most likely in the June-August time frame. Once this has happened, any old viewer versions not using the latest HTTP asset fetching code will be unable to retrieve inventory assets.   A version of the updated simulator code will be made available on Aditi, likely in the spring of 2018, so TPVs can double-check asset fetching.

A further general clean-up of inventory messaging should follow this work to improve inventory handling and robustness. This will include a clean-up on UDP inventory management paths and the remove of multiple ways of manipulating inventor, and may be a multi-round effort of work.

Abuse Reporting Capability

[39:30-42:26] A new cap is being introduced to the viewer to return the currently accepted Abuse Report categories. This is a change, once available, TPV well be asked to adopt quickly, as it should help smooth the initial triaging of ARs, by reducing the amount of time spent trying to marry old / no longer valid AR categories with valid options, etc. (or risking ARs being closed on account of a filing that appears non-actionable).  For information on how ARs are handled and should be filed, please see: Raising Abuse Reports in Second Life.

Web User Group

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Friday, February 16th, 2018. These meetings are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Meeting Changes

  • Going forward, the Web User Group will meet MONTHLY and on a WEDNESDAY, possibly at 13:00 SLT.
  • Notice of each meeting will appear on the Web forum section and on the Web User Group wiki page a couple of days ahead of each meeting.

Marketplace

  • Marketplace updates:
    • Updates are being planned, and the Lab is keen to receive ideas (even if they cannot necessarily be implemented).
      • Suggestions for improvements / new features should be made via the Second Life JIRA under the Project type BUG Project, and then selecting the Issue Type New Feature Request.
      • Bugs and issues should be raised using the  Project type BUG Project, and Issue Type Bug.
    • Variant of items in a single listing (e.g. different colours for a dress) are being considered as a possible part of the Marketplace updates.
    • Ideas for discouraging “false” listings, etc., are being considered by the Lab, but there is an understandable  reluctance to openly discuss measures until options are better defined, in order to prevent incorrect assumptions and rumours from spreading.
  • Flagging content and “policing” the Marketplace: requests have been made for more flexibly means to flag / report content / stores on the Marketplace, and the Lab is again considering options.
    • One suggest put froward by users is for merchants to be able to police the MP, the level of trust in their reports being based on the number of valid reports they file. The Lab is reticent to allow user-based moderation, as this can become subject of subjective feelings, personal disputes, etc.
  • As part of the overall Marketplace road map, the Lab is considering offering some form of Marketplace-focused benefits for creators and merchant who are / opt to up to a Premium account.
  • Marketplace featured items: a question was asked about how featured items are selected for display on the Marketplace. There is a section in each item’s listing page which can be used to have it displayed on the Marketplace page, a category landing page, etc., for a fee. Those items actually displayed on a page are then rotated by criteria by the Marketing team.
  • Recent issues at Hippo Technologies have seen Hippo legacy web services go off-line with a decision to step back from continued support. This promoted questions about enforced removal of no longer functional products from the Marketplace. This is something the Lab is reticent to do (there’s a risk of functional goods being removed in error, etc.), and would prefer creators to take the responsibility to unlist goods that no longer function. However, this specific matter is being taken back to the office for discussion.

Destination Guide

  • Places to be included in the Destination Guide can be submitted via the Destination Guide application form. General information on the DG, including submissions can be found here.

2018 SL UG updates #3/3: Web User Group

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group meetings on alternate Fridays at Alexa’s barn.

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Friday, December 19th, 2017. These meetings are generally held on alternate Fridays, and chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Not all of these topics will be discussed at every meeting, however, the intention within the group is to gain feedback on the web properties, pain points, etc., and as such is very much led by comments and input from those attending. Along with this are two points of note:

  • Specific bugs within any web property  – be it Marketplace, forums, Place Pages or anything else), or any specific feature request for a web property should be made via the Second Life JIRA.
  • Alex Linden provides routine updates on the Lab’s SL-facing web properties as and when appropriate, which can be found in the Second Life Web thread.
  • Note that the SL forums are not covered by the Web User Group, as the management of functionality of the forums falls under the remit of the Support Team.

Lindens in the Web Team

A number of Lindens attend the Web User Group meetings in addition to Grumpity and Alexa (who are part of the Second Life Product team). While they may not be present at every meeting, Lindens staff directly involved in supporting the SL web services include:

  • Spidey Linden: QA Lead for SL Web and Marketplace.
  • Shrike Linden:  a QA tester on the Second Life web team.
  • Nazz Linden: a web developer who has thus far primarily worked on secondlife.com and the Place Pages.
  • Natty Linden: a web developer with a focus on the Marketplace.
  • Sherbert Linden: a web developer working on various SL web properties.

Support Portal Migration

Some people have reported that their support ticket histories are no longer intact. This may be a result of the ongoing migration of data from the old support system to the new system (see here and here for more).  If there are specific tickets raised prior to the start of 2017 people need to view, a new support ticket, including details of the ticket which needs to be viewed, should be raised, and the support team should be able to access the old ticket and provide any information on it.

360-Snapshot Viewer

Currently a project viewer (version 5.1.0.506743 at the time of writing), this is still in the process of being updated to offer higher resolution 360-degree images taken in Second Life, and for the uploading of 360 images to Place Pages (as well as the other viewer snapshot upload options).

Feature Requests

Feature requests are suggestions forwarded to the Lab on ideas and improvements which might be added / made to Second Life. They are raised via the Second Life JIRA:

  • Go to the SL JIRA – you may have to log-in.
  • Once logged-in to your Dashboard, click ob Create Issue (top right of the window).
  • A pop-up Create Issue form is displayed.
  • Click on the right of the Issue Type box on the form to display a drop-down, and select New Feature Request.
  • When filing a feature request, give as much information as clearly and concisely as possible: what the feature request is, what it is for, why it should be considered beneficial, what it might help improve, how it might work, etc., – as these things apply.
  • If you are requesting a UI change to the viewer, and can include images of proposed changes or new floaters / panels the feature would require, be sure to attach them.
Filing a Feature Request via JIRA – click for full size, if required

In 2017, 383 feature requests were filed via JIRA. Of these, 167 (roughly 43%) were accepted by Linden Lab for transfer into their internal JIRA system. It’s not clear how many of the accepted items were eventually actioned, but the figures nevertheless show that feature requests are triaged and some are taken for current or future consideration and possible implementation at a later date.

 

 

2018 SL UG updates #1/3: Web User Group and viewer

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group meetings on alternate Fridays at Alexa’s barn.

The majority of these notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Friday, December 8th, 2017. These meetings are generally held on alternate Fridays, and chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Not all of these topics will be discussed at every meeting, however, the intention within the group is to gain feedback on the web properties, pain points, etc., and as such is very much led by comments and input from those attending. Along with this are two points of note:

  • Specific bugs within any web property  – be it Marketplace, forums, Place Pages or anything else), or any specific feature request for a web property should be made via the Second Life JIRA.
  • Alex Linden provides routine updates on the Lab’s SL-facing web properties as and when appropriate, which can be found in the Second Life Web thread.
  • Note that the SL forums are not covered by the Web User Group, as the management of functionality of the forums falls under the remit of the Support Team.

Web Single Sign-On

Single sign-on (SSO) should have been implemented for most of the Lab’s web properties (e.g. sign on to your account dashboard and then visit the Marketplace using the same browser, and you should be automatically logged in there) – although there are some properties (such as the JIRA and the land auctions domain) which are not currently part of the SSO process. However, there seem to be inconsistencies in how it is working, with some reporting that:

  • If the log into their dashboard, they can access the Marketplace via the Shopping link OK, but if they attempt to use the Marketplace via a separate tab, they sometimes have to log-in again, or
  • They also have to sign-in to different properties when opening them in new tabs, even if already signed-in elsewhere.

Having very restrictive cookie settings could cause problems with SSO. There may be a specific order of log-in that is required for it to work, which the Lab will check. Otherwise those experiencing such problems are asked to write-up a details JIRA on the problems they are experiencing, and the domains where SSO appears to be failing.

Governance, Legal, Finance and Technical

Often at user-group meetings questions are asked around matters of governance or which may be related to legal / financial issues (e.g. fraud or alleged cases of fraud). All of these matters are overseen by teams outside of the technical personnel who attend the in-world meetings, and so  – while it may be frustrating for those raising the questions – cannot comment on or address such issues.

Marketplace

  • Blank folder names in listings: see BUG-9984 – this is still occurring, and the JIRA has been re-opened for comment, with a request that specific recent instances of the problem are reported (you may need to send an email to LetMeIn@lindenlab.com & request access to comment.
  • Variants in listings: this is a long-standing request – to allow things like colour variants of an item in a single Marketplace listing, rather than having to list the variants individually. This is something the Lab wants to address, although it is not on the short-term list of work they will be tackling, nor is it necessarily an easy thing to implement, but it is climbing slowing up the list.

  • Marketplace Demos: demos are a pain point for some users of the MP, in that they cannot be easily filtered out of searches, even when using boolean parameters. various ideas have been put forward over the years for better handling of searches / excluding demo items. However, most are difficult to implement successfully, simply because of the way the system can be gamed (e.g., boolean exclusion of “demo” can be currently gamed by people listing items as “d_emo” or similar). The Lab is aware of the pain points with demos and free item listings, but again, this are things which have yet to rise to the top of the list of improvements they would like to make to the Marketplace.

Feature Requests

Feature requests – raised via the Second Life JIRA – are the best way of bringing ideas to the Lab’s attention. These are reviewed an assessed (triaged) on a weekly basis. When raising a feature request, remember to state a clear user case: what the issue being addressed is, why it matters, how your idea improves things, an indication (the more detailed the batter) of how the idea can be implemented, and so on. If you’re proposing a UI improvement, then consider including mock-up images of whatever you are proposing; if it is possible to illustrate the idea clearly some other way, do that, and provide an explanation. Try to be as clear and direct as possible.

Place Pages

The Lab continues to tweak and improve Second Life Place Pages, the most recent addition being to the seach option, which now titles thumbnail images and descriptions of places matching the search criteria.

Place Pages search now titles results with thumbnails and descriptions

Other Items

  • The wiki search is currently broken: this is a known issue at the Lab and is being actively investigated.
  • Inventory & load times: The Lab hopes to do further work on inventory, looking to improve things like load times and overall inventory robustness. This work will initially focus on fixing some bugs and deprecating various old UDP messaging, mostly likely sooner in the year than later, before moving on to hopefully making it more performant.
  • Aditi inventory syncing: there is still an issue with synchronising Aditi (the beta grid) inventories with main grid inventories. The latest issues occurred just before Christmas and are still being investigated.
  • Re-activating old accounts: if yo have a Basic account you have not used in a number of years and wish to activate it, it is possible that its associated inventory has been place in what the Lab call “cold storage”, and could subsequently exhibit continued slow response times. If the account is to be regularly use, a request can be made to support to have the associated inventory for the account moved – although this must be done at a time when you are not using the account.
  • Keeping abreast of web property updates: Alexa Linden routinely posts updates on various SL web properties on the forums, where they can be seen and commented on.

SL  Viewer

On Thursday, January 4th, the Nalewka Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 5.0.10.330148. On Wednesday, January 3rd, the follow two viewers were updated:

The rest of the viewer pipeline remains as: