New Second Life Search Beta

Today Linden Lab announced a new search has been rolled out and is in use. This new search has taken longer to arrive because the Lab elected to make a large change rather than a series of smaller changes. A test group has tested this new search and found that it gives better results than the search we are using 75% of the time. Really?

New Second Life Search

Where is this Search?

Didn’t notice it in your viewer? That is because it is not there. One must get the Search Project Viewer to see it work.  Download: Search Project Viewer Oh boy, another install… In Windows it installs the viewer in: C:\Program Files\SecondLifeProjectViewer-Search. This means it should NOT affect your other viewers. This version is: Second Life 2.6.9 (230635) May 23 2011

The viewer starts in Basic Mode. Change the mode and restart the viewer. For a viewer targeted at testing search starting in Basic Mode seems like flub up. The Destinations panel and button are there by default. But, in Basic Mode they seem to assume search is not needed. There is no search button and right-clicking the bottom menu is disabled.

Changing the Mode now forces the viewer to close. You get a Quit prompt.

The viewer is fast. In a shopping mall (Tall Poppy in Joki) I am getting 55 FPS on the standard High settings.

Once you get the viewer open in Advanced mode… there is no search button… consistent aren’t they? Right-click the bottom menu in an empty space then select “Search” to reveal the search button. If you don’t know, you can drag buttons to arrange them. You can turn on and off the other buttons, like that useless Speak button.

Once you make it to Search and open it you’ll find it still takes 10 to 15 seconds to populate. It’s still slow opening. The interface is different. It took me a second or two to find the search field to type in a search. It does not stand out like I’m used to seeing. I suppose if I was new and had never seen Search before I would not have expected something else. Some contrast could be used to make it stand out.

Search opens with Events. You’ll see the events in the middle panel and Classified in a bottom scrolling panel. Three Events and five Classifieds. Changing to Destinations changes the middle panel.

First Search

So, I search for me, Nalates using Everything, to the right of the search input is a drop down for selecting filters; Groups, People, etc. No joy. I’m not there. I am using Nal as a Display Name just now. Try that. Bingo. That works… Well… this seems awkward. Each time I change my Display Name to anything other than Nalates Urriah people that see that name in the Market Place won’t be able to find me in-world. Note cards in products… this will mess up much of my marketing strategy.

Second Search

I’m a member of D’ni Refugees, a group for fans of the Myst games. If I search on D’ni I get 25 hits and the group is listed 3rd. If I search on Dni, I get 68 hits and the group is second. While it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me it is working.

Third Search

Let’s try Dove freebies to see if I can find a long time favorite of mine, The Free Dove. That works and in 7 hits they are last.

Other Searches

Enhanced Search Layout

I tried a bunch of product searches, free skin, free hair, hair, etc. I notice the results are not returning merchant names I know.  The results do at least make some sense to be now. I search on Animations and get a list of animation merchants. Yay! The items in the results are not as animationie as I would hope, but the top listings took me to places that were primarily selling animations.

Searching on stiletto I found Stiletto Moody Shoes. I would expect that. This is good. In the current search that often fails… so often in fact that I gave up using SL Search some time ago. Looks like I may soon be able to start using it again.

When I teleport the search window closes. When I reopen Search, my last search is still there. BIG YAY! Having to start over every time I open search has been horribly annoying. However according to Blondin the results are only saved for 15 minutes. After that Search opens on the home page and you start over.

If the search panel is minimized for a time, it is slow opening, but it opens to the last search.

Features

Those with real estate for sell need to check the Search Project FAQ. There are keywords you need to use to be found.

The filters on the left work to thin results after you make a search. Some of the filters like Places and Real Estate have added filtering abilities.

Summary

This seems to be an improvement over the current search. Soon it will roll out to the main SL Viewers, except the 1.23 version is not going to be upgraded. I expect Third Party Viewers (TPV) to get the new search within days of its release.

This new search window layout has possibilities. It will take some time to see how well it actually works.

2 thoughts on “New Second Life Search Beta

  1. “according to Blondin the results are only saved for 15 minutes. After that Search opens on the home page and you start over.”

    This really sounds like an annoyance to me, to my mind there is little difference between losing the results after a TP or after 15 minutes. I’m wondering just why the results can’t be made to persist till the user initiates a fresh search which is what most people would expect to happen.

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