Category Archives: Second Life Blogs

A look back at 2016 in Second Life – Year In Review


10 years later

My 10th rezday – 31st October 2016

This is my special year in review post looking back at the biggest news, events and more during 2016 in Second Life. There have been so many good memories and some not so good ones during 2016. See the bottom of this blog post for month by month highlights of 2016. 🙂

Improved communications

I do think communications between the lab and the Second Life community have greatly improved during 2016 through various channels like the official Second Life blog, on the Second Life status grid reports page, via Twitter and inworld.

The lab have already posted their highlights of 2016 here including raising the land prims limit for the mainland/private estates, introducing the new horizons experience, adding 360 snapshots, extending Bento, adding new community gateways and much more.

Horizons

New Horizons Experience

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Improved grid status page

State of the grid in 2016

The amount of Main Grid regions and private estates have declined further during 2016 which is not good news but that’s what’s officially happening. I hope that in 2017 there will be some sort of region growth because that would be cool. The lab needs to work out and try to come up with workable solutions to stop the decline happening.

Back on 3rd January 2016

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 24, 886
  • Private Estates: 17, 775 
  • Linden Owned: 7, 111

As of 25th December 2016

  • Total number of Main Grid regions: 23, 975
  • Private Estates: 16, 792
  • Linden Owned: 7, 183

There have been many well known places that have closed down this year in Second Life because of various reasons and some places managed to be saved.  Yay! 🙂

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Mont Saint Michel

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Insilico

Amazing Events This Year

There have been so many enjoyable events that have happened during 2016 including the Second Life 13th birthday celebrations, One Billion Rising, Lab Chat events, the VWBPE conference, Relay For Life of Second Life events,

Don’t forget the incredible Bay City 8th anniversary, BURN2 events, the annual faires and the list goes on.

Thanks to all those that organised and volunteered these amazing events this year. 🙂

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Fantasy Fair 2016

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Bay City Eighth Anniversary

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Second Life 13th Birthday

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RFL of SL 2016

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London City 7th birthday

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BURN2 2016 Festival

Sansar is almost ready 

There was huge interest this year for Sansar with hundred’s signing up for the Creator Preview and testing it out. The lab have released various interesting Sansar photos, demos and updates during the course of 2016.

Sansar is due to open to the public sometime in January 2017.

Some shocks in 2016

The big shock of 2016 has to be when Donald Trump won the US Election 2016 and will become the next US president from mid January 2017.

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Donald Trump supporters area

Another big shock of 2016 has to be the terrible Orlando shootings earlier this year because that was really sad. In Second Life the community came together and raised L$ to support the victims.

Orlando Shooting SL_001

We lost some great talent during 2016 

Sadly a few well known residents that I knew in Second Life passed away during 2016. If anyone knew anyone else that passed away in Second Life during 2016 – please let me know so I can add it below!

  • Ladyslipper Constantine  Involved with Virtual Ability events, Virtual Worlds Best Practices education events, One Billion Rising, BURN2 events and she was involved in past Second Life birthday celebrations
  • Latif Khalifa – Developer of the Radegast Metaverse Client, Singularity Viewer and Replex Viewer

Here is a month by month highlights during 2016 on what happened in terms of big events and news. All links below are from my blog posts 🙂 

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

2017: the year ahead

I hope everyone has enjoyed reading my blog posts during 2016 and I am looking forward the blogging more in 2017. I will be covering Second Life, Sansar and OpenSim next year. Wooot! 🙂

I hope 2017 will be a good year 🙂

Linden Lab posts about Recent Second Life Developments


On 2nd August Linden Lab posted a blog post on the Recent Second Life Developments – What’s New and What’s Coming. In recent months the lab have been working on a lot of projects and improvements in Second Life. There are updates on Project Bento, the Visual Outfit Browser, the Quicktime replacement, updates on Learning islands & Social Islands & Gaming Island, Group Chats and much more.

It’s worth a read if you are interested in staying updated on active Second Life projects and improvements that are in the works. Please spread the word about the recent Second Life developments. 🙂

The latest updates are as follows:

Project Bento – extended Avatar Skeleton

Bento is making great progress! Week by week, the collaborative efforts between the Lab and Bento content creators and Resident testers continue to improve this project. We couldn’t be more excited about working with creators in making Second Life avatars better than ever! Stay tuned for updates or join us at our weekly user group meetings! We’re getting very close to promoting the Bento-capable viewer to Release Candidate status, the next step in making it a part of everyone’s Second Life experience.

Visual Outfit Browser

We realize Second Life Residents have dozens and dozens of outfits and looking at a list can be boring and uninspiring, not to mention difficult to remember what is what (imagine that you couldn’t look at the clothes in your own closet at home, but instead could only see a list of their names!). With the new Visual Outfit Browser, you’ll be able to see your outfits via an all new gallery-style display, making selecting outfits a snap. You provide the images that are displayed for each outfit or try out VOB’s new snapshot utility. Playing dress-up has never been so easy and fun! You can download this viewer now by visiting VOB’s Viewer download page.

Quicktime Replacement

Apple recently withdrew support for the Quicktime player for Windows, which has in any event been a steady source of security vulnerabilities over the years. This project replaces that plugin for the Windows Viewer with newer and more robust media support (the Mac Viewer will also get this new tech soon). It will play some media that Quicktime would not, but will not play some older Quicktime-only media. Content creators that incorporate media should be testing with this Viewer to see if the media they use is supported. In general, we recommend upgrading any shared media to mp3, mp4, or any HTML5 compatible format for best performance and stability.

Learning and Social Island

The latest Learning and Social Islands launched in March – the first to utilize Experience Tools as part of the new user experience. Early results have shown the new Learning/Social Island setup outperforming all previous (both Linden and Community) introductory setups in some key retention metrics.  We’re continuously making optimizations to that experience based on the data.

Gaming Island

We launched Gaming Island – a new Linden Lab region dedicated to educating Residents about skill games in Second Life.  On this region, anyone can learn how to play all available games of skill in a free-to-play setting. If you want to then go play the games for Linden dollars, the Portal Park makes it easy to find them.

Server Robustness

Over the last several months we’ve been working to make Second Life servers more robust with new limits and checks to manage bandwidth usage and CPU resources between Residents. This is to make sure that a shared experience will not turn into a shared crasher, and in addition to improving stability for everyone, these changes make things more difficult for would-be griefers.

Group Chat & Bans

We found a way to finally fix a long-standing issue with group chat and bans. Group moderators have the ability to remove troublemakers from a group; with the new change, this causes them to be immediately removed from the group chat and prevents them from returning or causing further disruption in the group.

Quick Graphics & JellyDolls

In order to give Residents more control of their graphics/performance balance and improve their performance, we released the JellyDoll Viewer which allows Residents to set limits on the amount of avatar complexity they render in their viewer. The Quick Graphics feature lets you save optimal presets for all different occasions.

TLS Update

We implemented TLS 1.2 for state of the art security to protect SL users’ financial transactions.

Verified Emails

As part of our continued efforts to improve security and reliability of our services, we’ve set a goal of only sending emails from Second Life to verified email addresses. One step on the road to achieving this goal has just shipped – we now request all new accounts to verify the provided email address. Keep an eye out for the next steps!

CoreHTTP

For improved performance and stability, we replaced the old HTTP infrastructure of the viewer – no small feat, but one that we know was much needed. This has resulted in fewer problems with high volume operations like loading inventory, and has significantly reduced certain kinds of load on the simulator hosts (leaving more time for actually simulating). It’s also made the viewer code easier to maintain and extend.

Marketplace Search

In November we introduced BetaSearch for the Marketplace with a new search engine and infrastructure.  Though it performed much better in some regards, Merchants also let us know about some issues, so we’ve proceeded carefully.  We’ve utilized Merchant feedback to refine and optimize the experience, and now we’re close to promoting the new Search.  Additionally, we’re looking forward to getting off the ageing infrastructure that’s been causing nightly service lockups.  We’re excited about providing better search results and a more reliable service.

Bug Fixes

We’ve been putting in a lot of effort to be more responsive to bug reports and improve turnaround time on fixes.  We triage bug reports daily and you can often see a fix in a public code repository within days of filing a bug.  We carefully consider feature requests and are always thrilled to accept and follow through when we can.  In addition to the focused projects above, just on the Viewer side we’ve had 3 Maintenance Viewer releases this year, with a 4th one in RC, fixing more than 200 bugs in total. And of course, we do try to introduce fewer than we fix!

Lab Chat #3 starts at 10.30am SLT on Friday 6th May 2016


Linden Endowment for the Arts Theatre

Linden Endowment for the Arts Theatre

Lab Chat #3 will be starting at 10.30am SLT on Friday 6th May 2016 over at the Linden Endowment for the Arts Theatre (SLURL) in Second Life. See the announcement about Lab Chat #3 here.

Ebbe Linden, Oz Linden and Troy Linden will be answering questions on Second Life and Project Sansar etc. It’s going to be interesting to hear the latest developments going on with Second Life and hopefully we will hear more on Project Sansar.

Lab Chat #3 will be recorded as audio only this time and transcripts will be released soon after the show has finished recording. If you are interested in attending then it is best to arrive early.

Please spread the word about Lab Chat #3 🙂