These Really Weren’t The Droids I was Looking For

Second Life has a very diverse community, or should I say collection of communities, because we’re not all one big happy family, some of us loathe each other … actually like a real family, but much larger! Anyway it’s not hard to see why Linden Lab want to tap into this wide ranging appeal of different experiences by asking people to submit blog posts. However it’s also very easy to accidentally stumble into matters you weren’t expecting, which is what happened to me yesterday, this was not what you’d call a Daniel Linden predictable experience.

So there I was keeping up with the latest news on the third party viewer policy discussion and reading a post over at New World Notes, which linked to a post by Emilly Orr. Now this is where degrees of separation get awfully short, because whilst being a nosey parker and reading other posts on Emilly’s blog, I found myself going to another blog of Emilly’s, which is all about massive boobs .. from what I could make out! Prim boobs for clarity and it looks pretty mature rated rather than adult rated. From third party policies to boobs in three easy clicks, this is what makes Second Life great.

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Oz Linden “We hear what you’ve all said”

The ongoing hoo-ha over the proposed solution to revealing a resident’s true online status has generated a lot of feedback over the weekend on Jira SVC-4823. The issue, about online status being respected has morphed into something else with lots of use cases being cited for keeping this function alive. Oz Linden has now made a plea to try and help improve feedback as well as assuring people that The Lab are listenting:

Everyone…. I don’t know if this will help or not, but I’m going to give it a try and see….

We hear what you’ve all said, we understand the issues, and we’re going to discuss what we can and should do about them.

Nothing is final.

We appreciate that Phoenix is moving appropriately to remove the privacy violation from their next release, and hope that they’ll do that soon, but we understand that these things take time.

In order to help us to have a better understanding, I appeal to the many of you who are posting messages that essentially say “I agree – this will be bad for me too” as opposed to describing a specific use case not already described here (and thank you to the many posts that have done a good job describing use cases): please stop with these “me too” posts – they just make it harder to read the full stream (and yes, I at least am reading all of every comment). We know that for every use case there are many users… we don’t need each of them to post something.”

I would advise those concerned with this issue to help Oz here, because filtering feedback becomes difficult when the same use case keeps getting cited, but what are the reasonable use cases?

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Received Items Beta Testing

So I decided this evening to dip my toes into the received items beta testing, if you are unaware about this, there’s a blog post, a forum post, a wiki article and a very brief knowledge base article. I would suggest the Wiki article is the most important to get you started as it tells you how to login to the Beta Grid (AKA Aditi). You will also need to use the beta viewer or a TPV that supports the new received items folder, I went for the beta viewer.

Basically this is a new way of receiving items, it will be released in conjunction with marketplace direct delivery but this folder will be for all new received items, not just marketplace deliveries.

First things first, they don’t make things easy do they? I downloaded and installed the beta viewer, followed the instructions, and couldn’t see a received items panel. I then went and downloaded the direct delivery project viewer, thinking the beta viewer wasn’t the right one, and found no received items panel. I eventually found out what the problem was because I saw a post over at SLUniverse about it, Innula Zenovka explained:

I eventually got the beta viewer to show me the received items folder by going to the “Quick Return” parcel, rezzing a prim and and waiting for it to be returned. That created the folder and then it worked pretty much as expected.

So three cheers for Innula! This did indeed work, the quick return parcel Innula talks of is listed on the wiki page, it’s a green parcel. So finally I could get on with the show.

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Proposed Online Status Fix Will Break Content

This is a difficult one, over at SLUniverse Bronxelf has posted that Linden Lab are going to fix an issue that allows people to find out someone else’s online status, this is detailed in Jira SVC-4823. I agree that someone’s online status should be what the person themself set it to, so if you set your setting to friends and groups only, that’s what should be respected. People would like to see this go further and have an invisible to everyone option, currently you seem to need to do this individually for your friends, but we’re looking at the privacy settings in preferences such as this:

Image For Privacy Settings Should go here
Privacy Settings

The simple fact of the matter is that your privacy settings can easily be made useless by some simple scripting and people, rightly don’t like this. I agree with Bronxelf on this issue, the settings should be resepected, if you want to appear invisible, you should. Linden Lab agree too, but the solution is now creating a great deal of gnashing of teeth, because the solution will break content if Linden Lab go ahead with it, they might not yet go ahead with it.

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New TPV Policy Raises Innovation Concerns

Changes to the Third Party Viewer Policy have been announced and they are contentious. Crap Mariner has a post with links to other blogs with good discussion on the issue. The most startling issue for me is whether this will hit innovation, as @SecondLife so well puts it:

BREAKING NEWS: Linden Lab changes Third Party Viewer Policy to ensure that all viewers suck as much as their own.”

The part of the policy that leads to these concerns is :

2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

Exactly what this means is where matters get vague, however in the recorded meeting, which is long but you can listen to here, Oz suggested that Parcel Windlight settings and avatar physics, which were initially exclusive to third party viewers, would be forbidden under the new policy.

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