Shug Maitland asked me about a subject that came up in the Phoenix Hour. I’ve been busy with RL this week and not keeping up as much as usual. I had no clue what I was being asked about. I took the time to see what the New Web Profiles fuss was that came up. Also see: New Second Life Web Profiles on Demo
Link to video: July 12 Phoenix Hour
0:00 to 4:36 is about Phaylen’s bake fail.
4:36 – Jessica says Firestorm Beta 2 now has 25,000 users and growing. Jessica says they see lots of new users that have not used Firestorm before. My immediate question is how they know if you have used Firestorm before or not?
5:43 – Firestorm and Phoenix support confusion, people forget to say which viewer they are asking questions about in the support group. Remember to give them a hint when asking questions.
6:50 – Phoenix update, no date for the next release. They do plan to support Phoenix until the grid makes it obsolete. Obsolete being when it fails to render the world correctly and the Lab services it needs go off line. While Linden Lab has said they will not block series 1 viewers, they do not plan to provide the support services they need forever.
7:20 – Animation crasher, someone made an animation that crashes your viewer. Some sick people are passing it around. The fix to avoid a crash is in Firestorm and will be in the next Phoenix maintenance release.
8:15 – Region Windlight, this is a feature the Lab has recently completed. I understand it is in the current SL Beta Viewer. Firestorm and Phoenix viewers do not yet have the feature. The next releases of both will have it. Note: the feature is mostly for Estate Owners, but SL users will be affected by it as their viewer will see the estate owner’s settings rendered for the environment. There are some user controls so you can force the environmental to appear as you choose.
9:45 – Sell Object or Seller Protection, the feature is needed as there has been a small window between when you check the SELL Enable box and set the price in which people can quickly purchase the object for L$10. That is being fixed by the Lab and the fix will appear in the next Firestorm and Phoenix viewers. An Apply button is used to delay the enable setting until you have the price set.
10:40 – Future Plans – The Firestorm team plans to make a simple system to easily control all the different volume settings without having to go into Preferences. Jessica says lots of other new stuff is coming to the viewer in the future, but she did not itemize.
11:20 – Firestorm Classes, the Firestorm Team provides classes in how to use the viewer. The team offers private classes for various groups in SL, like Role Play and Combat groups. While the team has a classroom, they will come to a group’s region and provide the class. If your group is interested in private classes contact Ed Merryman to arrange a time.
14:30 – New video coming on how to V1-ify your Firestorm viewer. Watch Phoenix’s YouTube channel.
15:00 – Bake Fail Land (Hippo Hollow), Oz Linden and the Lab have provided Third Party Viewer (TPV) Developers fee land in SL. This is land to be used for providing help. If you are having bake or inventory issues this is a place to go and try and resolve it. Some TPV Support people will send you there to resolve problems. It is not a hang out place. So, once you have resolved an issue, leave. For this place to work it needs to be deserted and empty of objects. The Lindens have allocated priority services to the region to achieve the least lag possible and minimize texture upload and download issues. Use the resource wisely.
18:00 – New Web Profiles 2, the big issue in Second Life. Rather than quote Jessica and transcribe the video I’m just going to write my comments about the new profiles.
To see the new web profiles in Firestorm click Preferences -> Network & Cache -> Built-in Browser (Enable) -> Apply. Then in chat paste in this URL: https://my-demo.secondlife.com/fredrik.linden
Eventually something like this will be the profile panel that opens in your viewer. For now you can only open it in-viewer via the in-viewer browser. But, that is planned to change.
You can see this is very much a Facebook like feed. It is live. You have some control over who can post on your feed; Everyone (meaning everyone on the internet – if I understand correctly), Second Life (meaning just SL residents that have logged in), and Friends (meaning those in your Friends List).
There are controls to let you opt-out of profiles. You either have a profile and it has this live feed or you don’t have a profile. As I understand it now there is no way to have a profile and not have a live feed. For now only those in ADITI (the Preview Grid) have this style of profile. As this develops it is likely the Lab will allow a profile option to enable or disable the feature.
This is an early model. As yet your in-world-mute does not keep the muted from posting on your profile. You can delete posts. But, a determined griefer could force you to turn off your profile.
As of now the Lab has not created a set of API’s (tools needed to access the information by third party tools). This is too new for that level of development. This means that TPV’s can only open a panel and present the Linden web pages in-viewer. No customization possible yet.
I am pretty sure something will change. As currently implemented, if you open a Profile you see the feed first. You have to click the about button to see the usual profile information. This will throw existing users a curve. Presenting the feed is just out of context in SL. It seems illogical. Some other form of presenting user information and user social chatter is needed for SL. I look at profiles when I am hit on. I want to know something about them, picks, groups, interests, and language. Those are the important items in making a decision. Random chatter doesn’t give me the quick information I need to decide if I want to talk to them or politely brush them off.
It may take the Lab some time to figure this out. Also we may not have the whole picture yet.
The Firestorm/Pheonix team is going to be running a poll on web profiles. So, learn what you can and participate in the poll. It will at least influence TPV development.
In conjuction with this Hamlet at New World Notes has posted: Linden Lab Adds Social Network-Style SL Friend Recommendations and Friend Requests to User E-mail. Obviously more social networking features are coming.
45:30 – Q&A Starts, Most of the questions are about Phoenix features that have not yet made it into Firestorm. The answers are all, yes they will eventually make it into Firestorm.
The BIG thing is text display problems that some are having with SLV2 series viewers. The team is offering a bounty of US$500 for a fix. This is a complex issue that needs a fix in the render pipeline. It is a heavy challenge. Contact the FS/PH team if you are into the SL render pipeline.
A question came you about group chat lag – it is fixed. Didn’t you know? Actually, the problem that the Lab ran into in the whole XMPP Chat change over is the only part that is fixed. It is a significant fix. But really large groups are still seeing problems. So the Phoenix Support group and other large groups have problems. The Lindens plan to do more work on the problem. The priority has downgraded as most users are not seeing the problem. Also remaining fixes are complex. Jessica characterizes the current fixes as the low hanging fruit. However, considerable work had to be done just to find the problem in the forest of services that make up SL. Sort of like looking for potatoes, which are buried. Not in site like an orange.
59:00 – end video
Thanks Nal – as good an explanation as I have seen given the incomplete information we have atm. I sure hope LL makes it so I am able to opt-out and still have a profile.
The Best thing would be if these features were opt-in — newbies and the careless will get Zuckered into more SL -> RL exposure than they are aware of.
Exposure of iRL personal information is already a disaster. The ID theft rates of 10 million thefts per year reveal how bad it has gotten. Anyone that puts their real life information online is a novice Internet user.
Game players often use pseudonyms to remain anonymous. That Linden Lab would like to tie SL and RL together thinking that will help player retention is, IMO, misguided. Balancing the need between anonymity and being held responsible for actions is no simple issue. LL has to figure that out. I don’t envy them that task. I just think they fail to consider it in any light other than in the light of their recent ideas, which seems to walk them into walls.