Archive for category News

Leaving…

Okay, lets be honest, it’s not like I’ve been in-world much for the last few months, anyway. However, I’m formally leaving the Second Life® virtual world (hope I got that last bit right, and legal are happy). This isn’t some huge throwing all my toys out of the pram kind of affair, I’m not in any ruling out coming back, but I am going to be mostly out of SL for the next 18+ months. I’ve got a few months left on my rentals, and I’ll probably extend those further to make sure everyone knows what’s going on. I’ll still be around for the day job occasionally (it’s mostly a lack of personal free time that’s getting in the way). I’ll definitely be working in OpenSim as part of the day job, although not sure that really helps anyone. Sites I run will remain up indefinitely (that includes this one).

Okay, so that’s the bad news. The good news is, I’m releasing all my scripts as open source (BSD licensed). For copies in-world, you can get all of my released scripts from XStreetSL at https://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&MerchantID=99200. If you want copies for use in other virtual worlds, or after I take down my XStreetSL boxes, you can get the scripts at http://xugumadison.org/scripts/ – I’ve only got a few up right now, but more will be coming, including a few unreleased scripts for anyone who wants to try working with them. I’m also releasing all the stuff I’ve worked with, including sign images (the fonts used are Honey I Stole Your Jumper and WC Mano Negra Bta – you’ll need both to make the images render correctly), documentation source for PDF documentation (you’ll need LaTeX), etc.

In terms of support; if you paid for the script, you get support. I’ll be on e-mail. If you didn’t pay for the script, sorry, no luck. The biggest reason I’m leaving SL is lack of time, so I’m really sorry but no I’m not going to take on support requests for freebie scripts.

Lastly, the ranty bit; while the main reason I’m leaving SL is time, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the recent firings of the Lindens heading up basically every project that interested me, chief amongst them Babbage, who was heading up C# scripting, Whump and Zero on interoperability, and Pink on the new marketplace. I personally have little or no faith in the direction LL is driving SL at the moment, and certainly no interest in the product they appear to want to sell. As I said earlier, this isn’t a huge ending thing, I may well be back if things change, but certainly it would be unlikely if the current path continues.

Hope you all enjoy the scripts! I’ll try to update this blog occasionally as I get through milestones in other projects.

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Sample credit card bill

Just got my credit card bill through, which shows a live transaction I did while testing the PayPal vendor. For the curious, here’s what it looks like to the customer if they pay with a credit card:

heres one I charged earlier

To get it to show a meaningful store name, you need to set it with PayPal. Go to “Profile” (under “My Account”), then “Payment Receiving Preferences” under “Selling Preferences”, and finally look for “Credit Card Statement Name” at the bottom of the page.

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PayPal™ vendor release schedule

Due to the changed rollout schedule for server version 1.27, and a desire to ensure that this release is not caught by a possibe rollback to 1.26 in case of any major issues with 1.27, I’m moving the previously announced release schedule for the PayPal™ vendors back slightly. The rollout should complete around 0900 SLT tomorrow (Thursday 16th), at which point the basic vendor will ship out to beta testers. Assuming no last minute problems, it will formally launch on Friday 24th July. The pro vendor is code complete, but not yet finished with internal testing, and should go out to beta testers over the weekend, for release on Friday as well. Work on all other vendors is currently paused pending feedback from the original two, but you can expect to see these in early August.

We’re doing a launch event on Saturday at 1700 SLT, location to be confirmed, with Madame Maracas DJing. Along with a variety of my more recent releases, preview copies of the PayPal vendor will be able to buy for 1/3rd off (with updates for life, as always).

Lastly, review copies; if you’d like a review copy please e-mail me (you can get my address from my SL profile) with:

  • Your name (the name you publish under).
  • The name of the avatar to deliver to, in SL.
  • The URL of the publication you work for.
  • A URL for a piece of work of yours at that publication.
  • If you’re not e-mailing from an address clearly part of the publication, some sort of proof you are who you claim to be. An e-mail listing in the publication, the address at someone clearly attached to the publication who can verify your identity…

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PayPal™ vendors removed from in-world

After careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that for legal reasons I cannot feasibly accept payments for products, in “real” currencies, at this point. As such, I’ve removed the (as yet unused, thankfully) two sample PP vendors from in-world.

I’ll be posting an article on the exact details of real world payments in virtual worlds over the weekend, for the curious. Personally, my issue stems from the fact that I’m primarily in full time employment (with SL as a hobby), and additionally that I am intent on emigrating next year. These factors mean that accepting payments in a real currency would require excessive amounts of paperwork to handle correctly, and expose me to unreasonable levels of risk (of mistakes in tax returns etc.).

Obviously, this is greatly disappointing for me, as it highlights far too well one of the complications with the vendors. I hope you’ll be patient with me in this matter, and with luck I’ll be able to accept payments directly during the financial year 2010-2011.

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PayPal vendors; tentative release schedule

I’ve been working frantically vendors that can be paid through PayPal™ (either from a PayPal™ balance, or directly with credit cards). These vendors do not require any sort of external support, and receive payment notifications direct from PayPal™ using the new HTTP-in support for LSL. Right now, initial test vendors are up in my shard store in Cape Suzette, selling my swing door script and re-color/re-texture HUDs for $1.99 and $3.99 (USD) respectively.

I’m waiting for server version 1.27 to be rolled out across the grid before vendors go out to my beta test group, which should be Wednesday 15th. Assuming no last minute bugs, I’ll be releasing two vendors on Monday 20th:

  • A basic (“value”) model for anyone who is on a budget, or just wants to dabble without committing too much yet. It won’t handle sales in L$, and configuration has to be done by interacting with the script (dialog menus and chat) rather than by notecard. Priced at L$375/$1.49.
  • A pro model, intended to suit the majority of users. Works as a combined PayPal™ and L$ vendor, configured by notecard (so a script reset won’t wipe the configuration). Also adds more detailed sanity checking. Priced at L$750/$2.99.

After those two releases, several more vendors are planned. Aiming for a Friday 24th release are:

  • A menu driven vendor that can sell multiple different items.
  • A touch (single prim, detects touch location on prim surface) driven vendor for multiple items.

Details of further vendors will be released later. Watch this space for more details on the first two vendors, including how to request a free review copy.

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Work in progress, June 23rd 2009

I’ve just added a script to record sales from XStreetSL directly into my own database. This will simplify administration and hopefully make update delivery more reliable. Previous to this, we’ve had to search for the UUID of avatars who have bought items from XStreetSL, to deliver to (LSL only supports delivering to an avatar by UUID, not name). This can be an unreliable process when we’re dealing with several hundred avatars, so having the UUID recorded directly from the original sale will definitely help.

This is also the first step towards better support, by having an easier way for me to track what customers have bought, for when support queries come in. This means when I get vague and ambiguous support queries I stand a better chance of being able to reply directly instead of asking questions in response.

Longer term, I’m hoping to make scripts available from this web site, for anyone who has purchased them. After all, you paid for them, if LL won’t let you back them up, I might as well.

From a script point of view, my current priorities are wrapping up a roleplay “game” safe (I’ll link across to the final product once it’s done), and a rezzing vendor based off the single object rezzer. More details on both later in the week.

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Work queue

For anyone who wonders where my time goes, I thought I’d satisfy your curiousity. Here’s my current to-do list, in vague order:

  • Twitter HUD (paid project with some specific requirements that TwitterBox doesn’t fulfil)
  • Re-texturing/coloring HUD; requested by someone who makes eyes, but will be available as a build-your-own HUD package. In late development, available by request (L$750) for beta, should launch next week at L$1k.
  • Re-texturing tool for builders; intended to simplify tasks such as substituting one texture for another on large linksets. Initial version shipped to customer, going to get the HUD from the above project re-written to drive it.
  • Finish generating signs for all products on XStreetSL; a few are using the “script window” images I started with.
  • Document and release a variety of small helper scripts I have around, for anyone who likes my work. Texture UUID extracter, inventory giver, hovertexts, etc.
  • Write a sale tracking and user support system to handle shipping updates to end users, and re-deliveries on request.

Beyond that, I’m busy with the usual set of the day job, PhD thesis, and trying to be in 5 places at once for my social life. I really don’t sleep any more…

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