• 15Dec

    If you used the SL Public JIRA (highly recommended for all Resis, it’s neat!) then you might be familiar with the various states an issue can have. But you might not really know what those states mean.

    What’s the difference between “Resolved” and “Closed”? When is something “Fixed”, and why do some issues seem to get stuck in “Fixed Internally” for a long time?

    Read on to find out!

    Continue reading »


  • 01Dec

    This should help anyone who wants to make images to be displayed in the SL (classifieds, picks, etc.) and not have them be horribly stretched or squashed by Linden Lab’s inconsistent use of image aspect ratios. I don’t bother to cover aspect ratios for textures to be used on prims, as the proper aspect ratio in that case depends entirely on the prim’s dimensions.

    If you’re making an image for…

    • a classifieds listing … use 10:7.
    • a parcel snapshot … use 10:7.
      (But know that it will be stretched horizontally in people’s picks.)
    • your own pick … use 16:9.
    • a 2nd life profile … use 4:3.
    • a 1st life profile … use 1:1.
    • a group insignia … use 1:1.
    • an invitation or ‘view me’ image … use powers of 2.
      E.g. 64, 128, 256, or 512 pixels wide/high.

    List of Aspect Ratios & Notable Places They Appear

    • 16:9 (1.78:1) — Profile (Picks)
    • 3:2 (1.5:1) — About Land (Options / Snapshot)
    • 10:7 (1.43:1) — Search (Classifieds, Popular Places, Land Sales, and Places), About Landmark
    • 4:3 (1.33:1) — Profile (2nd Life)
    • 1:1 (1:1) — Group Insignia, Profile (1st Life)

    Corrections? Questions? Tips? Leave a comment!

    Update, Dec 6:

    • Torley pointed out that Profile Picks are 16:9 (1.78:1), rather than 7:4 (1.75:1) as I had previously thought.
    • Lex Neva pointed out that 40:28 is equivalent to 10:7.
    • I’ve also corrected About Landmark, which displays at 40:28 (1.43:1), rather than 4:3 (1.33:1). Accordingly, I’ve changed my recommendation for parcel snapshots to 40:28 instead of 4:3, as it does not seem to be displayed anywhere at true 4:3.
  • 22Sep

    Vint Falken has a very good tip for SL photographers who want to hide poseballs and other obstacles from a composition without time-intensive photo-editing.

    But, she opines:

    Note: I’ve tried this on avatars and prim clothing and it does not work on those. Bummer. :p

    Well, glorious day and jubilations, because I’ve found a way that it will work! Just toggle on `Client > Character > Character Tests > Allow Select Avatar’, and you’re ready to go! You can now select avatars and their attachments — and so, in combination with the `Client > Rendering > Hide Selected’ option, you can hide them!

    Here’s an example: This annoying avatar was absolutely ruining my composition:

    Shot With Avatar

    So, I selected her and her prim hair, thus dramatically improving the quality of my snapshot!:

    Shot Sans Avatar

    Unfortunately, to hide the avatar and all attachments, you have to manually select each attachment (luckily not each individual prim!), which can get tedious!

    Fortunately, with the `Allow Select Avatar’ option turned on, you can just select the offending avatar and move it (along with all its attachments) somewhere else where it won’t be in your way! The movement is client-side only, so if the avatar moves (walks, turns, jumps… animation movement doesn’t count), the server will send an update to your client and the avatar will pop back into its old position. But, it should be enough to get your shot in!

  • 25Jun

    “Edit Linked Parts” Menu Item (new in!)

    You might notice a new entry in the Tools menu for SL Edit Linked Parts!

    That’s right, the feature I added back in March and submitted to the JIRA has now made its way into the official client release! The menu item works just like the checkbox in the Build/Edit floater, allowing you to switch between editing whole linked sets of prims, or editing the individual members.

    Not good enough? You want more?

    Well then how about I tell you guys how you can add your very own keyboard shortcut… in just 3 easy steps?

    1. Open the Second Life/skins/xui/en-us/menu_viewer.xml file in your favorite text or XML editor.
    2. Go down to line 695 (or do a search for “Edit Linked Parts”) where it says shortcut="", and type in your shortcut between the quotation marks! For example, to bind it to Shift-L, you’d type in shift|L!
    3. (Re)start Second Life, and enjoy!

    A word about the format for shortcuts: Put the modifier keys first, separated by the pipe character, | (Shift-Backslash, above the Enter key). The standard order for modifiers is control|alt|shift, but I’m not sure the order matters too much. For Macs, “control” means the Command key.


  • 14May

    One of the small tweaks I’ve done to my client is to increase the precision that is displayed in the edit window for object position. The normal client only displays 3 digits of precision, while mine displays 5 (this makes me 1000× better at building, I think! Or else 0.001×… Hmm!). (If you want to change this yourself, just edit skins/xui/en-us/floater_tools.xml around lines 588-596. Just change where it says decimal_digits="3" to decimal_digits="give me plenty plzkthx"! You can do it for size and rotation and other stuff, too!)

    In addition to being a darn spiffy development in itself, this tweak has revealed an interesting little factoid about prim position and prim drift… which I will reveal after the fold!
    Continue reading »

  • 10Mar

    Open source is all about sharing what we learn! I have been helped in the past by this wonderful process, and I have found that it gives me warm fuzzy feelings inside to help keep it going by being helpful and sharing with the world! Yay! Hugs for everyone!

    Continue reading »


  • 22Jan

    You know that really loud and annoying typing sound? The one that plays whenever anybody starts to chat? The one that used to ruin in-world live music events? The one you muted all sound effects to get rid of?

    Yeah, you know the one. Well guess what: you can replace it with the sound effect of your choice, or just get rid of it entirely. You don’t even have to change any code in the viewer source; we could have done this all along. (Which really rubs salt in the wound, doesn’t it?)

    Here’s how:

    1. Enable the Client and Server debug menus with Ctrl-Alt-Shift-D.
    2. Client > Debug Settings (second entry from the bottom)
    3. Type or find “UISndTyping” in the drop-down menu box.
    4. To get rid of the typing sound: clear the text entry box at the bottom. To use a different sound file, paste its UUID into the text entry box. (You can get a sound’s UUID by right clicking it in your inventory and choosing “Copy Asset UUID”.)

    That should save the setting to your user_settings.xml file:

        <!--Sound file for starting to type a chat message (uuid for sound asset)-->
       <UISndTyping value=""/>

    This only changes what you hear from your own client, which means everyone else will hear whatever they set. And best of all, you won’t hear typing from other avatars, either! Now that’s music to my ears!

  • 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

    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 »

  • 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 »

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