The well known YavaScript Pod Tours in Second Life have now been suspended according to the system’s creator Yavanna Llanfair via note card which has been sent out to all members of the Pod Riders group this week.
There was a issue with Yavanna’s account and her recovery from COVID-19 is still not complete. Hopefully Yavanna will get well soon and that she will make a full recovery. This is a big loss for Second Life and it’s a shame that this has to happen now around the 10th anniversary of the YavaScript Pod Tours.
There is discussion going on now on the Second Life Forums and you read that here.
Here is the full announcement…
Dear pod riders,
Today is the 10th anniversary of the first road pod – “YavaScript Pod V5.0 (MCT)” – MCT standing for Monowai Constant Tour, which I put on the road in the morning of Saturday 21st August 2010. I have set that pod running again; it will run until it is swallowed by some random event (like a sim restart or a crash).
However, I am sorry to report that it is also the last day of the pods as we know them today. I have made the decision to suspend all services as of later today. The reason is as follows:
For the entirety of the running of the pod service, I have said I will only run the service where I considered I had the approval of the Lindens and the community. Whilst there have always been a few who would criticise (sometimes quite vocally), they have been a very small minority. And I have always felt that the Lindens have tacitly approved of them, though they would never say so directly. Certainly a number of moles have expressed their approval, and to them I am very grateful.
On 27th July, my account was suspended for 24 hours because of a pod crash in Mieum (on the Wellington Road). At least, that is what I traced it to, because the Linden who suspended me would not tell me of the reason – merely that the object was returned to me. I explained that it is impossible to avoid crashes in all circumstances. I raised a ticket to the LDPW asking them to let me know if this meant my pods were no longer welcome on the roads. I said that I would take anything other than a positive to be a negative. My ticket was closed without comment.
It would have been a shame for the pods to have fallen short of their 10th anniversary, and so I have continued the service until today. And for now, I will merely suspend all operations by flicking a switch on my server. This means that the road pods will still rez, but de-rez shortly after (within 5 minutes). Pods will also still be available from the pod stations by clicking on the rezzer. But this is not a sustainable situation, as the vast majority of people come to know about the pods by seeing them pass on the road, so without that, the service is far less likely to be sustainable in the longer term.
I announced back in June that I was stepping back, due to a long Covid-19 recovery. That recovery is still not complete; whilst I have made progress, I still have some issues, mostly neurological. And stress is therefore something I have to avoid at all costs. Therefore I am not willing at present to fight anyone on this. Maybe one day I will. If the Lindens wish to get in contact to ensure me that the pods are welcome again, I will of course re-instate them. But I suspect that is not likely to happen.
I will continue to support pod owners who run their own systems.
Thankyou to each and every pod rider for coming along on the journey with me. It has been exciting and a lot of fun. It isn’t necessarily over, but for now autonomous vehicles from the YavaScript stable will no longer be on the SecondLife mainland roads.
Thankyou, Yavanna Llanfair 21st August 2020
Hopefully the pods will come back someday in the near future because it’s a wonderful way of exploring the mainland of Second Life. Hopefully the lab will get involved now and support this sooner than later.