At this weeks Third Party Developers’ (TPD) UG meeting Brooke Linden provided an update on Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM).
The VMM beta has launched on the main grid. They are limiting access to the beta for now. Also, VMM is currently only in English. In a couple of weeks the localization (multi-language support) will be in place. You can get more information about VMM in the wiki’s VMM FAQ. Additional information is in the Knowledge Base: VMM. And there is technical information on the VMM API here.
Drax has a video interview with Brooke, Radio Hour #65. Watch it here. 49 min. Brooke reveals that the Merchant Outbox is going away. VMM will also finaly eliminate Magicboxes.
A feedback on VMM meeting is tentatively planned for next Friday, May 1. Brooke will be getting word out to those involved in VMM testing and viewer developement.
There are rumors of problems; regions crashing and the Marketplace servers going down from VMM… however, the Lindens think they have those problems solved. Oz Linden thinks the beta is pretty safe. So, they feel there should be little concern, at least no more than with any beta software.
If you have worked with the commerce team before, you’ll likely have some doubts as to how safe it may be. I know from information on about the Next Generation Platform (SL 2.0) that teams have changed and personnel has shifted around. I’m not sure if that ‘shifting’ is true for the commerce team. I do know Oz was looking for web designers (the heavy duty backend type designer) and I believe hired one or more. So, we’ll just have to see how this new market place roll out goes. I’m willing to ‘hope’ things have improved.
We do need to remember that Direct Delivery has been a significant improvment over the previous marketplace system.
One of the things VMM will do is eliminate some uneccessary steps. The Merchant Outbox sends the items to the marketplace so they can be sent back in-world to another user. That step is being eliminated. In VMM items will transfer from user to use in-world under marketplace control.
A big change is the ability to update a product, with a new version, from the viewer and not have to do the marketplace dance we do not. Just change the contents of the Listings Folder for the product.
The limit on the number of people they are willing to allow into beta testing is a sign the Lab being cautious. Once they have things working well with a small number of users, they will increase the numbers in a series of iterations until it finally goes public… open to all.
As of Friday the Project Managed Marketplace Viewer version 22.214.171.1240920 is current with the main release viewer: 3.7.28-300918.
Will there be an app for the SL Marketplace? Brooke says this is in the cue. The priority is behind that of getting a well functioning marketplace and building the ability to handle more users reliably.
SL Search… Brooke explains, in the Drax interview, the difference between SL and Google search. There is an improved search coming for the marketplace. Heaven knows we need it. The project is nearing the point it will become public.
Once search is better, they will be doing more category clean up.
Loki Eliot asked about customization for merchant stores. Look and feel of this site is 5 or 6 years old. So, getting a new look is a good idea. But, having things working better and more reliably is the current priority. But, look design is in the cue too.
Loki would like to see the merchant store listings sort different ways. There was once such a project. But, prioities pushed it down the list…
Drax asks about the General and Adult content speration in the marketplace checkout. With a General setting, adult items are appearing in the checkout process. Brooke thinks the basic problem is how the merchant has catagorized the product.