For us mainlanders, how about raising tier limits?

So the other weekend the Lab had a big sale on estates; waiving the renormous setup fees that they usually charge, for all normal or Homestead estates sold on the weekend.

Which is nice, if a bit gimmicky, if you’re someone who wants to own an estate. (Or if you’re a speculator who wants to buy a bunch and them flip them next week for people who missed the sale, for a reduced setup fee, or something Wall Street like that.)

Less gimmicky, and for the benefit of Mainlanders like me who love living in the thick of things, I would recommend that the lab raise the amounts of (main)land that people can own at each level of tier. In the current schedule, for instance, someone paying US$40/month in tier can own up to 8,192 square meters of mainland (plus 512 square meters of tier-free Premium land). At US$125/month, it’s 32,768 (half a sim); at US$8/month, it’s 1024 (one sixty-fourth).

Mainland is quite cheap now, 1L per square meter or under in many places without direct water access. And even at that price, lots of it sits around unsold, I suspect because tier is inflexible, and hasn’t gone down with the falling economy like land prices have.

One approach would be to just lower the prices at each tier, of course; make it US$30 and US$100 instead of US$40 and US$125, or whatever.

I think it might be more interesting to raise the allowed amount of land at each tier, though, and leave the amounts the same. It more or less amounts to the same thing, but psychologically it’s simpler. Someone currently paying US$40 per month and with their tier maxed could immediately go out and buy more land, without having to think about it; whereas if the tier for their current holdings just went down to US$30 instead, they might take that extra ten bucks and buy a fancy new yacht, or even (horrors!) a couple of RL coffees.

What would the benefit be to the Lab? In the short run it’s revenue-neutral, in that they are still getting the same tier payments, and all they have to part with is lots of unowned mainland that isn’t doing them any good right now anyway.

In the medium term there’s some opportunity cost, as some people who would have decided they really did want more land and tiered up won’t do that, since they can have more land now without paying. But on the other hand there are also more sales of Lindens as all those people who now have more land go out and buy stuff to put on it.

In the long term, I like to think that having that land occupied by people who will be doing interesting things with it, rather than lying fallow and empty, will draw more people to the mainland, and to SL in general. Retention is likely to be higher if people see interesting things than if they see empty abandoned or For Sale land. And that’s certainly a benefit.

So how about it, Labbies? Can I have, say, 12,288 square meters for my US$40/month? Be your best friend! :)


So I looked at the Picks of a random interesting person met at Originalia, and went there (it was very neat, but I’m not weblogging it right now), and then she arrived also and we IMd a little, and she recommended another interesting place, and it was like wow.


This is only a few of the pictures I took; a few more are in this flickr set I made for them.

Wizardhat 5

It has little dancing and cuddling spots, a sailbaoat you can sail, a couple of small art galleries, lots of gorgeousness to look at; it even has its own Facebook page!

Wizardhat 6

Go there!

But not too many at once, eh? :)

New Originalia show opening tomorrow

I got an invitation to, and then got confused about dates and so missed, a blog-o-sphere preview of tomorrow’s opening of a three-artist show on the Originalia sim. But I have snuck in :) between the preview and the opening, and can confidently recommend that you go.

(I notice that it’s currently an Editor’s Pick in the Official SL Destinations (which is possibly a bit premature since it doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but hey), so it’s not like they’re going to be hard up publicity-wise, but still…)

Here is also Chestnut on the show.

Here is The Official Poster:

And the Announcing Notecard, lightly edited for weblogifying purposes:

‘Travel to Originalia’ is the newest art exhibit on Amase Levasseur’s Originalia sim.

The show includes three exciting exhibits by award winning artists. In keeping with the theme of the sim, the exhibits include fresh new work that has never been seen before in Second Life.

‘Travel to Originalia’ includes “Postcards Home” by Callipygian Christensen, “Adapt or Perish” by Cherry Manga and “Gateway to Hell” by Fuschia Nightfire. As a special treat, visitors will also be treated to a reprise of the much loved exhibit “The Docks” by Scottius Polke.

‘Travel to Originalia’ opens to the public on Saturday 10/22 at 1pm SLT

Follow the SLurl below and enjoy your “Travel to Originalia”.

All of the creations are well worth a visit. Calli Christensen has some lovely SL landscapes intriguingly cast as postcards home (we only get hints of what’s written on the backs), and “Gateway to Hell”, “Adapt or Perish”, and “The Docks” are all, well, not to spoil the experience… all builds eminently worth seeing.

So go! Tomorrow at 1pm or later, that is!

(And don’t mind the newborns who clicked on it in Destinations and are now wandering randomly or standing in Edit Appearance for hours; they’ll get the idea eventually…)

Steam Horse

So I’ve been meaning to do a weblog posting about Carriage Trade forever (I have some really nice pictures), and this still isn’t it :) but I got a chance to ride on a very cool Steam-Horse, and I got pictures of that, too.

Steam Horse!

(Click through to flickr for larger versions.)

The horse is actually an AV (and I am riding it through the usual trick of that we are actually both sitting on a rezzed invisible vehicle), so one can also have fun being the horse and riding around solo.

Steam Horse!

In the background of that shot, you can see another rider, riding an also very impressive skeleton horse. (Even further in the background you can see my Dreamliner parked over the Park, and not quiiite rezzed yet.) These horses and various other Hallowe’enish and otherwise things can be found at Carriage Trade North.

Steam Horse!

So very SL. :)

(Oh, and I will proudly mention that I did a little script to fix the rotation of some of the gears on the steam horse. Yay, me!)


So normally I go barefoot (or in socks if it’s chilly) in SL, sort of like in RL, because well really why not, and especially heels make my feet hurt.

But well I’ve been on sort of a clothing-acquiring binge for a few days now, as mentioned in the previous post, and somehow this led to my acquiring some very (very very) nice boots.

(Not that I don’t have some other nice boots that I have acquired from various hunts and chairs and stores and friends over the years, but…)

I mentioned this on Twitter, and a certain fictional character (John Carter, Mars, get it?) had the nerve to demand evidence.



Silvana tights (in Forest) and Lavinia top (in brown, with feather collar) from Kunglers.

Amazing BAX Prestige boots, also in brown, also from Kunglers.

See? Boots!

The boots (which somehow don’t make my feet hurt hardly at all) were actually the finishing touch on this to-die-for Autumn outfit:


Silvana tights (in Forest) again and Lavinia top (in brown, feather collar off this time) again, the latter mostly hidden by the lovely Brigitte knit coat in Moss.

And the amazing boots again.

I can’t usually wear high-waisted stuff like this, but somehow in glorious warm earthtone knits I adore it.

The boots are amazing not just because they look so grrrrrr, but also because they have like a zillion options and things, including optional walking sounds, two different optional AO walks, being able to have the sleeve at the top up or down, or put on rolled-up denim for wearing with jeans, and four different basic brown shades and the ability to recolor like every tiny little detail.

Usually I keep them basic brown and black, but if one wanted to get a little crazy…


Lavinia top again, this time with adorable little Gigi sequined shorts (skort?) in Garnet (from Kunglers yet again), and with the boots set so that the zipper and edge details are in metallic gold, and the soles largely in red.

Not only do the boots make me six inches taller (six foot three, yipes!) and maybe a little hawt (blush), but with these shorts my legs look, like, five miles long.

Woot woot!

Oh, and if it occurs to you that I don’t generally have nearly this much fashion sense, you’re entirely right. :) Introduction to Kunglers, as well as quite specific suggestions on what would look good, are all owed to v nice an’ well-dressed friend Michele again (in fact as I recall this latest burst of acquisition was because I admired the Brigitte knit that she was wearing (hers in purple), and she said, ya know…).

I am becoming such a lil clothes-horse! :)

My poor inventory!

Shortly after I logged in tonight, nice friend Michele IMd that she was on a hunt, and being in that sort of mood I said Oooh tp me. :)

It was a fun hunt, in three locations of the same store (starting here), each one containing a (tiny tiny tiny) pumpkin with some fun stuff in it, and a special bonus (with a nice extra prize) at the end once you have all three. (They’re Japanese stores, but they are named “Shön”, which isn’t a terribly Japanese name!)

Hunts are fun!

That’s the red gown that’s the final bonus prize, plus the hat from the first of the three stores. The other two stores have matching tops and bottoms in the same color scheme that make up a fun casual outfit in Hallowe’en colors.

And then when I admired Michele’s hat and wings she took me to the places she’d gotten them. :)

Fall Fairy, with added hat!

I madly lurve this outfit. It comes with like three different skirts in various lengths, two different pairs of wings (one of which drops these lovely autumn leaves constantly), and this gorgeous top (which is actually a separate shirt and jacket, either of which can also be worn alone). It’s “Fall Fairy”, from Angelwing (or Angelwings? I forget). It was only like 200L!

And the hair-with hat, for like 250L, where both the hat and the forelock have various different available colors / textures via a texture menu, is from Ivanka Akina. (Also, I think, Japanese despite the name.)

An’ Michele saw the hair-an’-hat on Harper’s weblog. Everything is connected! :)

And in various of those places I bought various other random things, some of which I haven’t even gotten around to trying on yet, and my inventory is even bulginger than ever. But it is fun!

The secret is out! “Placemaker: Plazas” released to worldwide acclaim!

Well, I’m sure there will be worldwide acclaim soon, anyway. Probably!

Placemaker: Plazas / publicity shot

There is the publicity shot for Placemaker: Plazas (Basic Edition), just released onto the SL Marketplace.

For a mere 400 Linden-dollars, you can own a device capable of producing literally a whole lot of different and sometimes even interesting (and in any case full-perm) plaza-like structures!

I have no doubt if that price-point makes any sense :) but I thought I’d give it a try.

So buy it if it sounds interesting! Let me know if it works for you, if the instructions were confusing, or anything else. If I continue to find the general idea interesting, maybe someday there will be a “Placemaker: Houses”. That was actually my original thought, but that turned out to be a little grandiose to code from scratch, so I started smaller…

SL Merchants: stop with the cruft!

… and in this case I don’t mean the mediocre-quality 2007 freebies on sale for 99L.

The cruft I’m referring to here is (are) the unnecessary scripts that many of your vendor devices are delivering to customers’ inventories, with names like “Floating Text” or “rotation script” or “vendor script – delete me”.

(Or most adorably of all, “New Script”.)

Vendors all too often deliver this stuff along with the stuff that the customer actually wanted (and sometimes annoying non-script cruft like pose stands, multiple landmarks, and so on), and they (you) ought to stop. Not only because it’s annoying to customers, but because it makes you look sort of clueless and unprofessional, and because annoyed customers are that much less likely to be repeat customers.

Why does this cruft come up in the first place? A little background: there are two different basic ways a vendor can work:

  • Vendors that you buy things from with the “Buy” option on the menu, where you get a little popup that says “Buy a copy of Whatever and its contents [list of contents] from Whoever Resident for 235L?” or “Buy contents [list of contents] from…”; we’ll call these “Buy vendors”, and
  • Vendors that you buy things from with the “Pay” option on the menu, and you get a little popup asking how much you want to pay, usually with just a single button with the price on it, but no list of exactly what you’re getting; we’ll call these “Pay vendors”.

A vendor can be set up so you don’t need to select either Buy or Pay, but you just need to touch it, and it acts as though you’d selected Buy (or Pay). You can still tell a Buy vendor from a Pay vendor, though, by the kind of popup you get after you touch it: either the list of contents that you are buying, or just an amount to pay.

(Not being much of a Viewer 2 or Viewer 3 user, I haven’t verified the exact contents of these popups on those viewers, but I think they are similar; feel free to leave comments if things are significantly different there.)

But anyway!

The interesting difference between the vendors for our purposes is this:

  • a Buy vendor always delivers everything in the prim to the buyer, but it doesn’t need to contain any scripts at all, whereas
  • a Pay vendor does have to contain scripts, but it has total control over what it delivers to the customer (so in particular it doesn’t have to deliver any unwanted scripts to anyone).

So the two primary sources of cruft are:

  • Buy vendors that contain scripts that they don’t need mixed in with the goods, and
  • Pay vendors whose scripts are poorly written, and deliver stuff (often including themselves!) that shouldn’t be delivered.

So how do we fix these things?

Remove the scripts! (Buy vendors)

So Buy vendors don’t need to contain any scripts at all in order to sell things (they just need to have the appropriate “For Sale” boxes filled in in the Edit window). Then why do we so often end up with useless scripts in our inventories when buying from Buy vendors? Because sellers put scripts into the Buy vendors in order to get various effects (floating text, spinning, etc), and then they leave the scripts there, even though they don’t actually need to.

If a box that is a Buy vendor has a Floating Text script in it whose only function is to make the box say “Awesome Blue Hat 240L” in floating text above it, the merchant should remove that script; the floating text will stay (it’s like, after you paint a wall, you don’t have to keep the paintbrush around for the wall to stay painted).

If a box has a rotation script in it whose only function is to make the box rotate around in an eye-catching fashion, the merchant should remove that script; the rotation will continue. (This is true for the common ways that people make sale boxes rotate; there are some kinds of rotation that will actually stop if you remove the script, but your sale box is unlikely to be using any of those.)

If a box has that ubiquitous “anim SMOOTH” script in it that makes the textures on the box rotate around, the merchant should remove that script; the cheesy attractive texture animation will continue.

If a box has a “New Script” in it whose only function is to make the box shoot pretty colored sparks out the top, the merchant should remove that script; the particle display will continue. (Again this is true for the common kinds of particle-displays. More elaborate kinds may stop if the script is removed, but in that case you should consider switching to a Pay vendor instead, or moving the particle script to a different prim, or otherwise avoiding delivering it to your customers.)

The result of removing these scripts is that when your customer buys one of your products from your Buy vendor, they get only the product, and none of those baffling and annoying extra scripts. They get a more satisfying shopping experience, and you get a higher customer retention rate. Goodness all around!

Don’t deliver the scripts! (Pay vendors)

Okay, so for Buy vendors the important thing is to just take out all of those visual effects scripts that don’t need to be in there anymore. What about Pay vendors?

In a Pay vendor, there’s always at least one script involved, with the job of noticing when someone has paid money to the vendor, and figuring out what to do about that. (For Buy vendors, SL itself takes care of seeing the buy action and delivering the goods.)

The script in the Pay vendor can do basically anything it likes; it can deliver copies of the items that are in the prim’s contents, it can deliver just the single boxed item that was selected at the time, it can contact some central server that will handle the actual delivery to the buyer. (That last kind is what you are using when you use a Pay vendor to buy something, and the actual item is sent to you by “Fred’s Central Vendor Server” or whatever.)

So if the script in a Pay vendor can control exactly what is delivered, why do these vendors also end up delivering unwanted cruft? Because so many Pay vendor scripts are incredibly simple and basically just deliver everything found in a particular prim. So this can include both all of the kinds of unnecessary scripts that Buy vendors tend to deliver (Floating Text and family), and also the vendor script itself!

This is easy to fix. Typically your vendor shouldn’t be delivering any scripts at all, so you or your friend who scripts can just look in the vendor script, find the place where it’s making a list of prim contents to deliver, and be sure not to add any scripts to that list.

So for instance if the script has a place that says:

    integer n = llGetInventoryNumber(INVENTORY_ALL);
    for(i=0; i<n; i++) {
        items += [ llGetInventoryName(INVENTORY_ALL, i) ];

that is building up the list of things to deliver, you can change it to:

    string item_name;
    integer n = llGetInventoryNumber(INVENTORY_ALL);
    for(i=0; i<n; i++) {
        item_name = llGetInventoryName(INVENTORY_ALL, i);
        if (llGetInventoryType(item_name)!=INVENTORY_SCRIPT)
            items += [ item_name ];

which leaves any scripts (including itself!) out of that list.

(If you do need to deliver scripts, you can use llGetInventoryName() to find out the name of the vendor script, and at least not deliver that. More sophisticated vendors have a configuration notecard or something like that, so you can explicitly tell them what to deliver; those don’t generally have the problem of delivering extra script cruft in the first place.)

Waring: llAllowInventoryDrop (PSA for all)

As an Extra Bonus for those who have read (or even just skimmed) this far, here’s a Public Service Announcement and a warning.

There are a bunch of legacy “copied from person to person for years” scripts out there that contain the line:


I’ve seen this line in at least some Floating Text scripts; it may well occur in some other kinds of scripts as well.

While I’m sure that whoever put it into the original script had some good reason to do it given what that particular script was intended for, it’s definitely not something that you want in a random vendor.

If you have a script in a vendor that contains this llAllowInventoryDrop TRUE line, you may be opening your customers (and therefore yourself) up to being pranked and griefed in ways that might range from amusing to very harmful, depending on the prankster and the point of view.

(I’m not going to go into detail here on the exact vulnerability to avoid encouraging pranksters and griefers; a few minutes of web searching will find all the necessary information quickly enough.)

And if you do have one or more of these it’s not enough to remove the script or to remove the offending line from the script. If you find one or more vendors of yours have this line in a script, and you don’t know exactly what it’s doing there, you should change the TRUE to FALSE and re-save the script. So instead of the line above, it should say:


You should also check the contents of any vendors that you find the dangerous line in, to make sure that they don’t contain anything that you didn’t put there.

And about those posing stands…

Okay, that’s all for the “avoiding script cruft” issue. But while we’re on the general subject, I doubt I’m the only one that’s annoyed when Every Single Item I buy at a store comes in a box that also includes a posing stand with the store’s logo, and two or three landmarks for the store and its various branches (and the owner’s boyfriend’s Rock club, and…). I mean sure, have a little vendor that gives away free logo posing stands to people who want them, and by all means have a landmark-giver in the doorway, but if I buy five items from your store, I don’t want five copies of your posing stand, ‘kay?

So could y’all please leave those out, too? :)