• 24Dec

    Happy Patiday

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  • 20Dec

    Some excerpts from the Technical Town Hall transcript that I found particularly interesting or insightful, for whatever reason. Quotes are sometimes followed by my comments, when I have something to add. All emphasis in the quotes is mine.

    Server scaling, other than the centralized services issues I just covered, is primarily a function texture prioritization/downloading, script processing, physical simulation, and interest list calculation.

    The phrase interest list calculation gave me a fascinating little peek at how the servers prioritize what content (esp. animations, sounds, and textures) to keep ready-at-hand to feed to your viewer. It also explains why editing or hovering your mouse cursor over an unrezzed texture often makes it rez faster. And why textures you haven’t accessed in a year take longer to rez than textures a dozen people see every day.

    We had a serious bug through october and november that was crashing sims in the messaging code. That bug is now fixed, so sim crash rates should drop. As we find them we try to kill them.

    Background: for several consecutive weeks in November, the sim where I host my Advanced Building class would crash 3-4 times within the 2-hour class session. On more than one occassion, I strongly considered retiring from teaching in SL, simply because of this issue.

    I will say that we are trying to update our messaging system to more properly leverage existing standards rather than our hand-rolled one. … Doing this is, as you might imagine, a tremendous amount of work, because we have to start by taking message template out behind the shed and shooting it. Then, we need simulators and viewers to be able to discover what features they have, be able to fall back gracefully, etc etc.

    I would ask folks to remember that when we undertake major changes, it is a little like trying to rebuild the engine of a car. While driving it. And changing to a hydrogen economy. Without hitting anyone, losing control, or breaking the car.

    If they [libsecondlife developers] break the terms of service we treat them like any other resident, but just because they tinker does not make them criminals.

    Speaking of hiring … to reinforce what Philip said, if you and a friend are somewhere other than the Bay Area, we still should talk. We are already a distributed company and I see no reason why we can’t become more of one.

  • 17Dec

    Have you ever wanted to gather all your favorite and most-used items from Second Life’s main menus, and put them all in one place for easy access? Well, you can do exactly that by editing SL’s XUI files!

    Continue reading »

  • 06Dec

    There are specific things that I want to accomplish which drive me to poke my nose in SL’s XML User Interface (XUI) definitions.

    Continue reading »

  • 06Dec

    Ok, so I changed the Second Life XML User Interface files to change some text labels and names in the Toolbox (Edit window). This was just a simple matter of reading through the floater_tools.xml file and changing a few words here and there. No biggie. (No, I did not add a new prim type!—I just renamed “Sphere” to “Watermelon”. It’s much nicer, don’t you think?)

    But aside from the obvious comedic value, what can changing the UI do for us?

    Continue reading »

  • 06Dec
    Uncategorized 3 Comments

    Torus Much Improved
    Watermelon Prim Type?
    (Write-up and useful changes to XUI tomorrow.)

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  • 04Dec

    Today, I was writing up a huge post about custom keyboard shortcuts. I was covering all the bases: why keyboard shortcuts make everything happy and warm, the ways in which SL’s shortcuts are poo, and how Linden Lab could and should implement custom keyboard shortcuts. During my research into this last aspect, I realized something:

    I can do it myself.

    Continue reading »

  • 24Nov

    The sun and moon in Second Life are unrealistic and just plain ugly.

    That’s right, I said it. I went there. Ugly!

    Continue reading »

  • 21Nov

    This is not a rant. This is a cautionary tale.

    I have done all my ranting about this issue in private conversation; ranting in public would do nothing to help it. I will not be naming names, and I ask that anyone familiar with the situation refrain from the temptation as well. I am not writing this to attack any individual, but as a general warning to others, and a reminder to my future self.

    Over the past month, I have been working with an individual, “X”, to thrash out the design for a large-scale building project. We went through several iterations of the design as I began to understand what X wanted. Finally, X was satisfied with the direction I was taking the design, and asked me to submit a formal bid—how long it would take to build, and how much I would charge to build it.

    I mulled it over for a couple days, and sent my bid to X: estimates for what work I would be doing, how many hours each part of the work would take, when I would start construction, and when construction would be complete—along with my fee (regardless of how long it actually took to build). Given the number of hours of work estimated, I was charging about US $15/hour for construction, texture treatment, and scripting (my design allowed for the layout of the building to easily change with the client’s needs).

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  • 12Nov

    Linden Lab recently announced that it would be ceasing the instructor subsidy program effective December 9—after that date, Linden Lab will no longer pay L$500 per class an Instructor teaches.

    Apparently, this both upset and surprised a number of instructors! To them, this is the latest in a series of moves by Linden Lab to destroy everything we used to love about Second Life.

    Me? I don’t really care. I have never requested any subsidy payments for my teaching. I don’t want hand-outs, and I’m not teaching as a favor to Linden Lab, so they can keep their money.

    Continue reading »

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