Tuesday, November 17, 2009

we're on the move again, join in or step aside

There are several useful tips on how to make blog posts more accessible in a Bitch Magazine article; I'm not doing quite a few of them. I'll work on that but the first one, right up, is light-colored text against a dark background--and in my case, a patterned dark background. This is not likely to ever change.

And Dragonfish signs a contract for international payment processing with Linden Labs. For the life of me, I can't decide if that's a good thing, or a bad thing.

In other news, Peter Strindberg says most SL relationships, on average, last about nine months. But that's not what I wanted to bring up.

Pointed my way by Ciaran Laval, Peter Strindberg actually has a very interesting post on inventory and IMs. Namely, delivery failure due to IMs capping...and what, in world, constitutes an IM.

Some things I never expected are on that list. For instance:

* Port requests. We're actually IMing the sim, asking for a transfer; the port is the sim's answer of that call.

* Force teleports--those click-and-go devices mostly used in roleplay sims and scavenger hunts? Those are IMs.

* IMs from objects. Things like, "Lady Disdain Welcome Sign gave xXladygagaXx Nacht a notecard" (not a real name) and "Cyro Ripper called Brokencyde Moonwall yelled the AVkey of Zion Zemenis" (actual names).

* Friend requests. Every time someone asks to be my friend; every time I turn down a friend request or accept it; those are all IMs, on the system side.

* Inventory offers. Any time a designer sends you a notecard; a group gift; a landmark; those all count as individual IMs.

I'd hazard a guess that group invites also count; I know subscribe-o-matic sends count.

Here's something I didn't know; while no one is quite sure of the number, the number is vanishingly low for our IMs capping.

"There is a limit to how many IM's an avatar can receive while being offline," Strindberg says. "I did not find an official statement as to how many IM's it takes to cap, several discussions on forums and the JIRA suggest that the cap will happen after 15 IMs. While you still get offline-IM's that you received something, what you actually find in your inventory is different."

That is insanely low. That is frighteningly low. What do they expect folks to do, log in every two hours for ten minutes and clear any backlog?

In my mind, the whole Subscribe-o-Matic system only exists because the Lindens refuse to up the amount of groups each avatar can be in. If there's not a rational, technical reason why they refuse to do this (and by 'rational' and 'technical' I mean, "If we do this the grid will fail and here's why"), then they have no excuse.

"In the recent survey, Pink Linden asked whether merchants would welcome a system that guarantees delivery. Yes, of course we would, but not at a 15% premium. Inventory transfer is a basic functionality of SL, and to say it bluntly - it is broken! Fix it! Asking a premium for guaranteed delivery strikes me as - well - unethical. I think it is Linden Lab's obligation to fix the functionality that is there, and not ask money for a workaround."

It strikes me as very unethical, which now puts the little mutant Linden-bunny in two distinct camps. Either she is:

* Completely clueless (in which case she has no power in the Linden substructure, and why is she talking to us? It wastes our time, and hers, and gives no one benefits. Also, if she's the bunny in charge of XStreet, when is the blatant and, by the way, constant copybotting going to cease over there? It wasn't good before LL bought it out; but ever since they have, it's gotten worse in spades)


* Deliberately malicious (in which case, she needs to stop and snap out of it, and again is wasting our time with the survey of stupidity, because she's only going to do what she and the Lindens want to do anyway, and it doesn't matter what anyone says. Reference the entire Zindra catastrophe, and how fast Blue Linden went from 'helpful forum guide' to 'evil mind-controlled Renfield'. How long did that take, again--four weeks? Three?)

In short, it seems to be we have very few options, all of them grim:

* Ditch objects that IM us. There are workarounds, we need to find them. Most of what we have IM us is not necessary. This may involve a ton of work, how'ver, and for some of us, investing in new scripts to replace the old scripts we didn't write, and can't modify, so we get one that stops announcing every time a script event happens.

* Unsubscribe from high-traffic/high-notice groups. But even that is going to be tricky, because some of the high-notice groups we're in could be land groups, or our own shop groups, or groups we really want to remain in.

* Unsubscribe from Subscribe-o-Matic based groups. (And having done that, I am here to tell you that is INSANELY difficult, because we have to remember which group IMed us, track down their main store, track down their Subscribe-o board, and unsubscribe. Napalm-rinse-repeat.)

In short...it seems we take the road of cumbersome difficulty, and pare it down to the base essentials, and risk getting capped again anyway from the groups we can't ditch, or insist that the Lindens fix the broken aspects, and that's never going to happen, so we really just have the first option.

Y'know, just once, I'd love to have a day where someone saw a problem with functionality, and some Linden noticed that, and FIXED. IT. That would be great, really.


Sphynx Soleil said...

yellow/white/cyan on a black background work wonders. :)

Emilly Orr said...

They do, and apart from updating the code and exchanging links, it's kept a very consistent look to your webpage.

I dunno, I think I have the base tone--without the background--set to dark brown, here, but I wonder if it would be a problem if I set it to black?

Eileen Villiers said...

You do not have to leave high traffic official groups. Go into info and change the setting so you do not get notices. Then check notices when you log in.

Emilly Orr said...

I know, but I forget to check so often.

That's a good way to deal with actual in-world groups, but that still leaves the problem of subscribe-o groups--many of which wipe notices after a send, or only keep up to ten notices, and have to be re-gained or re-seen by going to that store's physical locale and clicking that subscribe-o board.

Sphynx Soleil said...

Yea, black background would likely work.

Trouble is, when Photobucket kacks, it throws up WHITE "file not found" error images, and makes *everything* hard to read. :( Noticed that when you moved...

Emilly Orr said...

Yes, which is part of why I moved the background images to a server that won't kack. But it is a problem.

Peter Stindberg said...

Thanks for reflecting on my post. There is one aspect however I need to clarify. In-sim teleport system where you "sit" on the teleporter (the pie menu often changes to "teleport") will not generate IM's. It is simply that the prim you sit on gets quickly moved to the desired position. Also - as long as you are actually logged in - IM's won't cap as you receive them right away. Except for the cases where the sim can't find you for whatever reason (mostly during teleports) and they end up in offline-emails.

Emilly Orr said...

While logged in, yes. But everyone sleeps sometimes. And not just that, but I've capped in two hours, on occasion, just from people wandering around my store and picking up notecards.

So it's worth it to me to wander a bit and track down sources that IM me, and ways I can reduce traffic, but it's still a weird thing to make your base.

Fogwoman said...

I have been trying to figure out how to get out of several groups I have evidently been subscribed to by simply buying something or even picking up a free publication. Trying to track down what it was in my inventory that I bought when so I can IM the creator and ask them to PLEASE stop spamming me is a touch irritating :)
Thanks for all the good info, I am going to do some pruning this week!

Rhianon Jameson said...

Well, that might explain why the Guvnah doesn't seem to like me - I seem to keep missing his group notices. :) (It's a joke, Guv, honest.)

Emilly Orr said...

Miss Jameson,

To give you a serious answer to your funny comment, sometimes, even when we're logged in, we miss group notices, and that's because the group notice/group chat system is still bugged.

And has been bugged, off and on, since 2007 at least.

Emilly Orr said...

Lady Fogwoman,

And that's a new one for me--I've never just bought something, and been subscribed to anything--that I can recall. I'll have to check and see if that's been happening to me, too!

Another tip to remember, as Miss Villiers said, we can just unclick "Receive group notices" on the group info page. But I always forget to check when I do that...

Dale Innis said...

Note that what Peter said was that *his* SL relationships, on average, last about nine months. A much less ambitious claim. :)

I am frequently baffled by how badly, at least from the point of view of myself and the people I communicate with, the Lindens do at decision making and communication. I wonder if, somewhere, there is some large group of Resis of which I am ignorant, for whom all these weird actions and awkward statements are Just The Right Thing?

Emilly Orr said...


That is true, but we spoke on it a bit after this post, and I realized many of my relationships, in SL, have stopped, faded, or outright burned to the ground between eight months and one year in.

And gad, I hope not, because that would be a group of residents I have no understanding for--if there are people for whom everything done in the name of Zindra, and XStreet, makes sense...I don't want to know them.