Category Archives: News

Lab seeks assistance from Linux developers

Linux-SLDuring the Third-Party Developer (TPVD) meeting on Friday, April 24th, Oz Linden put out a request for assistance from members of the SL Linux community in order to ensure that the Linux version of the SL viewer continues to be developed.

His comments came as a part of a discussion on media work within the viewer in general, and can be heard in the video of the meeting provided by  Chakat Northspring, starting at the 9:10 mark.

For ease for reference, I’ve extracted the comments into an audio file (with a little clean-up to remove repetition), which is embedded below, any timestamps in this article refer to this audio.

 

Essentially, given the “extremely low” number of users running the Linux flavour of the viewer, and because the Lab wishes to focus on some “really cool things” for Second Life (no details on what these are), a decision has been made to remove Linux from any major focus of the Lab’s attention. Therefore, the Lab is looking to the TPV and open-source community to help ensure the Linux version of the viewer is maintained and moves forward. In making the request, Oz said in part [00:38]:

I just don’t have the time to put people on doing a lot of Linux work. I just don’t.  So, if there’s going to be a working Linux viewer, the Linux user community is going to need to pitch-in and help get it done, because frankly, if it doesn’t work, I can’t afford to fix it.

I have not been getting Linux contributions. What I get is occasional complaints that this or that thing doesn’t work in Linux … and the ethos there is that the community is what makes it work, and what I’m saying to the Second Life Linux community is, if you want it to work, you’re going to have to help.

The Lab will integrate and provide build services for Linux, and publish the results, but the Lab is no longer going to pursue development of the viewer on Linux, which means that if things are not working in the Linux flavour of the viewer, and there is no inwards support to fix them, then they’re unlikely to be fixed.

This shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the Lab is trying to “kill off” Linux support; it is a matter of focusing resources to serve the community as a whole. In this respect Oz added [01:55]:

And I hope that having said this, I will get a bunch of people step-up and start doing things and give me a lot of integration work to do. That’s my fondest hope. So next time you hear someone complaining about things not working on Linux, tell them i invited them to help.

 

Viewer-Managed Marketplace: brief update

secondlifeFurther to the recent launch of the Viewer-Managed Marketplace public beta test on the Main grid, Brooke Linden provided third-party viewer developers (who will need to integrate the viewer-side VMM changes into their viewers) with an update on the state-of-play with the project at the Third-Party Viewer Developer (TPVD) meeting on Friday, April 24th.

Her comments came at the opening of the meeting, which can be seen on a video provided by  Chakat Northspring, and are summarised in my overview of the meetings. However, as VMM is of interest to a broader community than viewer developers, this article is intended to provide a slightly more detailed summary of her comments. Timestamps to the relevant points in the video are further provided for ease-of-reference.

Follow-up Meeting

[00:08] The Lab is planning a follow-up meeting to the current Main grid beta activities. This has been provisionally scheduled for 11:00 SLT on Friday, May 1st, but is subject to final confirmation. Formal confirmation of the meeting will hopefully be given through the existing Merchants’ Forum post (or at least through a fresh post) nearer the time, and I’ll endeavour to post word on it when it is announced.

The aim of the meeting is to gain general feedback on the VMM from those who have been able to try it as a part of the beta and to hopefully update on the status of any issues so far reported and which are being addressed, and to answer questions.

Automated Migration

[00:53] A number of requests have been made through the forum thread for the automated migration process for Direct Delivery items (Magic Box items require manual migration) to be trialled among a selected group of merchants prior to being enforced for all merchants.

Brooke indicated that this would be the case, and will be seeking volunteers to help with this nearer the time.

VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths

VMM includes an option to manually associate existing MP listings with VMM items in your inventory, which will help ease part of the the migration process for those concerned over automated migration paths

 

Other Items

[01:27 and 02:58] The beta programme will be opened to broader access than the current sign-up process, allowing for broader testing as things progress towards a “full” release.

[01:54] The language-localised elements of the work are expected in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, those trying the beta are requested to keep filing bug reports on anything they find (and can preferably reproduce).

[02:06] Incoming bugs on the project JIRA are being watched and investigated, including a couple of edge-case crash situations. Further bug and issues reports are still welcomed on the JIRA.

[03:56] As an aside to the main points, the VMM code has been merged with the current viewer release code as a part of the Lab’s now viewer development process (although the code remains available only via the project viewer for the time being).

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Skill Gaming: CapEx moving to the Internet, with important changes

Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab's Skill Gaming Policy

Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab’s Skill Gaming Policy

As regular readers know, I’ve been reporting on the Skill Gaming Policy changes, including the situation involving the stock market simulation game Capital Exchange (CapEx), operated by Skip Oceanlane.

Since my last report in December 2014 there have been a number of updates from Skip on the matter to keep CapEx members informed of progress, of which the April 18th, 2015 is the most important.

If you are engaged with CapEx, and you’ve not already done so, please ensure you read the April 18th update in full. What follows is a very high-level summary:

  • With as yet no confirmation or rejection of the CapeX Skill Gaming application by the Lab, the decision has been made to move the game to the Internet and away from Second Life
  • This does not mean, at this point in time, that CapEx is ceasing trying to gain approval as a Second Life Skill Game Operator (SLSGO)
  • A new website is being developed to support operations, and once available, all existing CapEx URLs (www.onlinecapex.com. slcapex.com and capex.biz) will redirect to it. It is planned to have this up and running in June, 2015; until it is officially announced, users are requested to keep using slcapex.com until otherwise directed
  • As a game of skill under United States law, the new Capital Exchange website will not be accessible to people reisding in the following state: Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, South Dakota and Tennessee
  • Game players will be able to register via the website, with the option to connect to a virtual world avatar if they choose to do so – but it won’t be mandatory
  • A valid e-mail address will be required for registration with the new website – players who have not entered an e-mail address against their current CapEx details are asked to add one now, to ease transition. Instructions on doing so can be found in Skip’s update
  • The Linden Dollar will be replaced with the new CapEx Dollar (CD$). The value of the CapEx Dollar will initially be pegged at 250 to the US Dollar, in order to ensure stability with existing stock values
  • The new website will operate using HTTPS, and will be connected to a merchant account linked to VISA authorize.net to allow payments using major credit cards
  • The initial means of cashing-out will be via PayPal. The cash-out fee is liable to be “significantly” less than the current 3.5% fee with the Linden Dollar
  • Future options may include the ability to support additional currencies – GBP, the Euro, etc., and other virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.
  • At a future date yet to be determined, the CapEx Dollar will be freely traded on a currency exchange, and CapEx may may allow multiple currency exchanges to free float CD$
  • Should Linden Lab grant CapEx authority to operate in Second Life as a Skill Game, the Linden Dollar may be accepted, and thoughts to how this might be done have been given. However, it is currently Skip’s intention to operate CapEx without support for the Linden Dollar
  • There are significant changes coming to CapEx ATMs and funds held through them (see below)
Skip Oceanlane - moving CapEx to the web and away from SL. Projected launch date: July 2015

Skip Oceanlane – moving CapEx to the web and away from SL. Projected launch date: July 2015

The new service currently has a projected start date of July, 2015.

An important aspect of this news is that all existing CapEx ATMs are to be withdrawn from Second Life on Sunday, May 10th (unless CapEx gains authorisation to operate as a Skill Game in SL before then). Users can opt to withdraw their L$ amounts held by CapEx ATMs ahead of that date, or can opt to leave them on deposit. L$ values will then be used to purchase stock in a yet to be named fund, and stock in this fund will eventually be able to be sold once trading restarts. In stating this, Skip goes on to note:

Now for you “old-timers” I already know what you are thinking – this is what was done when SL banks failed in 2008 at the old “SLCapEx” as well as a defunct fund at a defunct exchange called the “World Stock Exchange”. Deposits were converted to worthless stock, and no one ended up getting their Lindens back. Well this time, it will be greatly different. I will be maintaining a Buy Order at roughly 5% above the value of what was created/purchased. So anyone that wishes to “cash out” will actually make a profit, if they do not withdraw before May 10. It’s also an incentive for people to stay with Capital Exchange, and to continue playing the game. Note that I plan on adding assets to this fund, so it will be generating a monthly dividend.

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Bright Canopy: first in-world Q&A, Saturday April 25th

Bright CanopyBright Canopy, the company working towards offering a new streaming access service for Second Life and OpenSim has announced its first in-world meeting and Q&A session.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 25th, starting at 11:00 SLT, and will take place in Thorncliff, Second Life. The meeting announcement reads in part:

Please join us for our first in-world Q&A at our shiny new, Bright Canopy Meeting Hall.

How This Works: To make sure everyone gets a turn to ask their question, please take a seat when you arrive. When we get everyone settled, we will begin taking question. If you have a question, please stand and I will call on you. Please ask questions in text chat so that we can keep a transcript.

Please be aware that we will be keeping a log of the chat and will be posting it to the website. We respect your privacy, but want to share the discussion with people who can’t make it

Seating may well be limited, depending on the numbers attending, and will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. All things being equal, I’ll be attending myself and will be producing a full transcript of the meeting, which will appear both in the Bright Canopy blog and here.