Second Life Inventory Loss 2015

People are losing inventory. In most cases restarts or inventory list cache clears resolve the problem. But…

Chou chou

Chou chou by Makoto Lunasea, on Flickr

A couple of weeks ago the Lab asked for people to report their issues with inventory loss. They got good feedback. Now they are working to fix the problems they found via the feedback. 

One of the problems is around dragging an inventory item from inventory to world. Sometimes it does not render in world and yet disappears from inventory. Usually this can be fixed by flushing the inventory cache and forcing it to reload.

In a few cases no-copy items are actually lost. By ‘lost’ I mean gone forever, unrecoverable. But, you might talk the vendor out of another copy.

I expect to see a fix coming out in 2 to 4 weeks… May be sooner. The Lindens do through some resources at anything that is causing loss.

One of the things related to inventory loss is going away: Restore to Last Position. This is a function I think is only in Tird Party Viewers now. The idea is that if you take something into inventory, like a chair, you can click ‘Return to Last Position’ and have it rez in the exact position where it was. Of course, if you go to another region, where it was is rather ambiguous in the current region. It might be underground or on property where you do not have rez rights. Where is it supposed to go then?

The Lab has not made a FINAL decision on the feature. We have time to change their minds. But, we will have to be convincing. There is a long an sad history of abuse and problems associated with the feature. However, there are people that use the feature. the Lindens think it is a small number. But, they tend to make this kind of mistake and get in trouble.

The Firestorm and third party dev’s REALLY do not want to see the feature go away. They think lots of people use the feature. I haven’t been keeping a track record, but they tend to misjudge on the side of seeing things as too important to people or missing something altogether. But… if you have to put money on it, I’d go with the FS side.

The current Firestorm solution to prevent inventory loss with their viewer and the Restore feature is to have the viewer prevent use of Restore to Last Position on no copy items. That way if the operation fails, there is a copy of the item left in inventory and you can try again. No copy items are too easily lost.

To understand where the Lab is in this process see: 3/13 TPD Meeting. Oz sounds well convinced that the feature should go away. But, he doesn’t need the feature. Of course that begs the question how many people do? I don’t need it. I know people that do use it. But, I have no clue how many actually need it. But, neither does anyone else.

IMPORTANT: IF YOU USE this feature (it is not in the SL Viewer) and have a use case, write it up. You need to prepare a WELL REASONED explanation of why YOU need this feature. Explain in detail what you are doing with it and a step by step  of how you use it. Include an estimate or count of how often you use it.

Once you have it written up, get it to Ed Merryman or Jessica Lyons, Firestorm Team. They will compile these into a report for submission to the Lab. Do not email Oz or flood the JIRA. (So, I’m not publishing the JIRA number.) He doesn’t have the time to process the flood of messages this would be likely to cause. Nor does he want to see the JIRA filling up with useless drama and dozens of the same user case. The result is your work would most likely be deleted as he digs his way out.

This feature is very likely to go away no matter what we do. However, if you have a good use case, the Lab will try to devise another way to handle that case. So, this is a chance to make a significant change to SL and improve your work flow. Also, if the FS team says they are getting 1,000 reports an hour on how the feature is used… that could be convincing too. But, use cases are our best bet for getting something like this feature added.

4 thoughts on “Second Life Inventory Loss 2015

  1. The \restore to last position\ is a very useful feature, but it is (moderately) dangerous.

    Very useful, because when many things gets returned by mistake or accident to your inventory (a full shop, for example, because someone mistakenly flicked the \auto-return\ setting after changing the land group…), then you can restore everything with just a few clicks, instead of painstakingly re-rezzing and moving every (coalesced) object back into place.

    It is however \dangerous\ because, when the restoration happens in a different sim than the one from where the object were last rezzed, risks are that the parcel containing the \last rezzed\ position in the new sim got its ground level above the restored Z position level (and your items will rez bellow the ground… out of your view). Also, if you \restore\ by mistake an attachment (or a returned object that you since attached by mistake), it will rez at position 0,0,0 in the sim. Of course, when the restored objects are no-copy, it may cause you to \loose\ them (or at least to make you loosing track of where they actually rezzed), since they disappear from you inventory when rezzed/restored.

    This said, I thought that feature had already been removed… It stopped working for a while, at least, and when I noticed this (many months ago), I disabled it in the Cool VL Viewer (in which I purposely made it available only from the \Lost And Found\ folder (i.e. where items are returned by mistake/accident), and with an explicit confirmation dialog when triggered, to explain all the gotchas)… Just a #define to flip however, so let’s see what LL will decide…

    • Good explanation.

      The Restore feature has been removed from the SL Viewer. Now they are planning on removing the ability from the server.

      Getting use cases to the FS team for consideration in the debate may get the the various cases handled in other ways.

  2. Darn it, I love Restore to Last Position. I can understand why LL disabled the ability to use it on No Copy items, but I love being able to meticulously set up a build, then take it all into inventory and Restore to Last Position when needed, knowing everything will be in the right place. Not having this option is going to cost people hours of work re-positioning things every time they have to be rezzed. Not to mention the value of quick restoration when you accidentally delete your skybox instead of something sitting in it! Darn it, instead of forbidding tools that might be dangerous but are also Really Useful, why can’t they just put in an Are You Sure? or some such? 🙂

    • To answer your question, it is a support cost issue for the Lab. No matter how many are-you-sure clicks they add people will be at support wanting whatever they lost back.

      There is an alternative. Get to the FS blog and add your feed back. Write a well thought out account of how you use it and why you need it. Plus, some accounting of how often you use it.

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