What RLV is…
RLV = Restrained Love Viewer, formerly Restrained Life Viewer. But Linden Lab® thought that use of the word Life in the name infringed on or put at risk their Second Life™ trademark. So, they pushed on those developing RLV and it changed.
What RLV is, is a set of tools built into a viewer that extends what we can do with Second Life™. The RLV capable viewers have a way for users to program/control each other’s viewers. Just as the Lab’s Advanced Experience Tools (AET) allow a programmer to; attach a HUD to your viewer, teleport your avatar, and do other things without the normal user interaction. So too, RLV allows a programmer to do similar things with your viewer and avatar. The difference between AET and RLV is in the flavor and amount of control the user gives to a third party.
How It Works
RLV was developed long before AET. RLV is also more versatile than AET, meaning we can do more with it and do it in more places. The big advantage of AET and RLV is the reduction in the number of requests for permission to do something. Not having to keep clicking OK very couple of seconds allows us to be more immersed in what we are doing.
In both cases, AET and RLV, some scripted object is giving instructions to the viewer and thus the avatar too. But, the technical concepts between RLV and AET and how they work are different. Here I’ll look at just the RLV process and skip all the deep tech stuff. If you are into that and want to build RLV compatible toys and places, see: LSL Protocol/RestrainedLove API.
The abbreviated tech is the RLV viewers are built to listen for RLV commands. Along with the listening there is a lot of plumbing inside the viewer needed to allow heard commands to be carried out. Plus there is the problem of security. I don’t want just anyone messing with my viewer or trying to take L$. So, in an RLViewer there are a lot of changes and additions to the standard viewer code maintained by the Lab.
With RLV we typically use a relay to catch incoming commands and relay them to the viewer. A relay is some type of attachment. It can be worn by the avatar, like a collar or jewelry, or attached as a HUD to the viewer screen.
The relay injects text commands into one of the viewer’s chat channels. The viewer listens several million chat channels and a modified RLV capable viewers act on a standardized set of RLV commands when it hears them. We can turn the viewer’s response to RLV commands on and off and control the relay, enabling or disabling it. We are ultimately in control of the viewer. Generally it is easy to take control back. But, it is possible to give away enough control so that it is technically complicated and very difficult to regain control.
Different relays have different abilities. The old tkPBA relay, from Think Kink, has been replaced by the newer DEM Relay child. It allows one to set a number of levels of control. With tkPBA/DEM at the most fine grained level, we can see and handle each RLV command allowing or disallowing individual commands, command by command. There are several levels of control we can grant for incoming commands all the way up to full permission for everything along with surrendering the ability to rescind the permission. You can still get control of your avatar/viewer back, but it can be difficult and the relay can become unusable and you may have to replace with a new one.
The ultimate off-switch is to log off and log back in with the Linden viewer. Since the Lab’s viewer does not accept or recognize RLV-commands, you are then free to detach a relay, collar, or other RLV control.
More pages… page links below.