Archive: 2008


Meet the MISTER


My favourite avatar in SL and a talented scripter, Sql Miles, has created the coolest SL transportation system ever. It's a recreation of MISTER - Metropolitan Individual System of Transportation on an Elevated Rail. In real life the system consists of electrically powered gondolas gliding on a rail track suspended overhead. In SL it looks similar, except the gondolas are powered by LSL scripts :)

Sql created this system for COP14 conference island in SL (The 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The track goes around the island and there are four stations where you can get on/off (the main areas of the island). Once you're there, just sit in a gondola and choose where you want to go. Fun! :)

Mister 1

Mister 2

The COP14 island, where MISTER operates, was developed by Bodeha Zapedzki. It is worth to explore it and learn how to be eco-friendly in everyday life. Let me give you a bit more information about the conference:
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is one of the most important environmental agreements to lay down a framework for international actions to address global climate warming. On the basis of the agreement adopted in the course of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992), the objectives and principles were set for the cooperation among the States to prevent climate change and to mitigate its adverse effects, e.g. by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As a result of negotiations, political decisions and legal instruments emerge to ensure the implementation of the provisions of the Convention, such as e.g. the Kyoto Protocol, which set out the States’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
There's lots to see on the island, including constant weather changes every few minutes and an art installation 'The Last Fir Tree' by SL artist Poid Mahovlich. Oh, and if you come across Bodeha on the island, ask him to show you the tornado ;)

COP 14 Island


Mistletoe and wine


I know it's not the time for Christmas yet but I just couldn't wait with these news :) My friend, Cytryna Matova, together with her artistic group Mechaniczna Cytryna, has recorded a cover of Cliff Richard's Christmas song - 'Mistletoe and wine'. She decided to make a videoclip to the song in Second Life with a plan to air it in Polish national TV during Christmas time. The idea of the video was to show Polish SL community, things we do, things we like, all in Christmas spirit. The project involved a lot of Polish avatars, and several days of recording and post production. My avatar appears in a few scenes, and that is the wedding scene (as the maid of honour - in teal dress), the carousel scene (in red jacket and yellow scarf) and together with Sql in a scene where we go up the mountain on a skilift and then slide down on sled. I think the video turned out very nice, so here it is for you to enjoy:



Newbie's nightmare ;)


Reading your comments under my rezday post was really fun - it's great to listen to other people talking about their early experiences in Second Life. So I decided to post one of my recollections of Ayumi's newbie days, hoping that you'd do the same :) Here's the task: share your first 'noob-scary' experience in SL ^^ Here goes mine.

During my first week in SL I mostly explored the world. One day (and it was very early, I think it could be my second day in SL or so) I arrived at a beautiful shop. It was furnished in Arabic style. The floors were covered with embroidered carpets and numerous pillows, heavy curtains were hanging on sandy walls and the place was full of decorative vases and other atmospheric accessories. Somewhere in the middle of the shop, there was a big mirror with a sign saying 'Touch me'. Now, what would you do? I already knew that touching objects in SL would start-up interaction. The place was really nice, so without much thinking I touched the mirror. And there I was... not graceful as a belly dancer... but walking around like a baboon :P A baboon! One hand on the hip, one hand scratching my head. At first I laughed and the joke seemed hilarious to me. Then I decided to stop the animation. I touched the mirror - nothing. I touched again, and I kept touching and touching and nothing happened. I was a baboon! When I started panicking, a girl teleported to the shop. Full of hope I asked her what I should do. She suggested trying "Stop all animations" option from the menu. I did... and still - I was a baboon. And that's the time I really started panicking ;) The previous day I spent a lot of time adjusting my avatar's appearance, and I thought I'll need to create a new one, adjust all the sliders again - and I wouldn't even have the name I wanted. Haha, how could I know that relog would help? :P

PS. I did relog - intuition I guess ;)


Second Rezday ^^


Yup, it's been 2 years since I've become a resident of Second Life. And SL changed so much since then. When I meet newbies I feel like saying "when I was your age..." ;) I've been reflecting on what actually has changed and came up with a pretty long list, which most likely is incomplete. So... When I was your age:
  • Group limit had just been extended from 15 to 25 groups
  • Flexi prims and local lights were relatively new features
  • Profiles had a built-in rating system, to help residents build their reputation. There were three things you could rate: behavior, appearance and building skills, costing 25L$ each. Here's how it looked like.
  • There was help through live chat for everyone, started from SL viewer
  • The first land program (getting 512 sqm of land for free) was still on
  • SL newsletter, Second Opinion, was still active. Here's the issue from the time my av was born ;)
  • Meeting someone from my country was almost impossible. Now there's a huge amount of Polish residents, and more coming in, each time a TV show about SL is aired. There's a rumour that last time LL registration system crashed due to a huge number of Polish people trying to join SL.
  • Banking and gambling were flourishing. In fact I camped for the first time at a casino :)
  • There was no VAT for Europeans
  • Shop OnRez was called SLBoutique at the time and took commisions
  • SL hit 1 million Residents the previous month (sounds pretty small now, doesn't it?).
  • Avatar's height wasn't so close to RL as it is now. If you look around, you'll see older avatars are taller (unless they adjusted their height to the new trend).
  • There was no such thing as optional SL update :) All updates were mandatory and usually happened on so called 'Update Wednesdays'. At the time you never ever scheduled your important events on Wednesdays ('SL Update… Coming to a Wednesday Near You!') and T-shirts with 'I hate update Wednesdays' prints were selling like hot cakes.
  • There were no sculpted prims! No, really. No sculpted clothing, no sculpted furniture, no sculpted trees :) I think more residents from that time know how to manipulate prims into unusual one-prim objects, like a leaf or a flower, while nowadays people don't, since they never really had to learn that (not that sculpties are easier to learn, they're not :P).
  • No windlight (how beautiful SL is now!)
  • No web tab in your profile
  • SL was much more unstable and a lot of things would constantly break. Imagine that in-world search doesn't work, you can't buy land (not to mention that your Linden Dollars balance isn't showing up), the map is not loading, teleports and money transfers are failing, a lot of regions are unavailable, a lot of regions keep crashing, and most of all, inventory loss happens all the time. That was everyday life in SL. You'd constantly read on the official blog about 'database issues' and 'grid temporarily down'. It changed, a lot, for better. I see people complaining now that SL is unstable. Believe me - one stale transaction is nothing.
  • At those times logins were often closed to all except Linden staff. If you were logged in and managed to stay in-world somehow, SL would become quiet and tranquil - quite an interesting experience.
  • Oh, right, there was also that "shoe-in-your-bottom" bug, also known as "hair-down-there" bug ;) Who remembers that? If you often teleported, you'd notice all your attachments would be stuck in your... erm... pelvis attachment point :P So anyway, despite what you may think, there's been a huge increase in stability, and ocasional problems that might occur are nothing in comparison to what used to happen around the grid. Oh, those were the funny days.
So that's pretty much everything I recall at the moment. That's a bit of SL history, isn't it? :) Who remembers more?


Fashion: Sporty Glam


Fashion: Sporty glam

Outfit details:
  • Top: Last Call (Gabrielle Beater from Gabrielle outfit)
  • Jacket: Bijou (Cruise Jacket from Cruise outfit / in Sky Blue & Red)
  • Pants: Armidi Limited (A001 Jeans / in Dark Classic - Skinny)
  • Earrings: Yummy (Summertime Flexable Tassles / in Silver)
  • Necklace: Yummy (Multiple Chain Necklace)
  • Ring: No idea where the ring is from ^^ (Ring that knows deep love S&Y)
  • Belt: Fancy Schmancy's (Boucle Belt)
  • Fanny Pack: Yummy (Fanny Pack EXTREEEME!!! / in Mysterious Black)
  • Glasses: PrimOptic (Globe glasses)
  • Shoes: Periquita (Funny Girl Flats / in Red)


Tiny Nation


They're cute. They're small. They're trying to take over the world.

Amazing machinima by Ill Clan, shot in Second Life. You should go watch the movie on their website since it's bigger there. I had to scale it down so that it fits my blog size. But in case you're too lazy:



I'm impressed.


New release: Halloween Party Hat at Magic Nook


Since Halloween is coming, today I released Halloween Party Hat. It's funny yet fashionable sculpted witch hat with pumpking poofer.

Magic Nook - Halloween Party Hat

I gave the hat as a gift for my update group (not available for redelivery), so maybe it will tempt you to join (terminal available here) for future gifts ^^. In the meanwhile, you may buy the hat in-world, through Xstreet SL and through OnRez.

Have fun at your Halloween party and don't forget to eat some pumpkin pie :)


Developer's Manual: the full collection [UPDATE]


[UPDATE: September 13, 2008] Since Flickr resized my files from 2048px to 1024px making them hard to read, I decided to make a file pack with the articles, which you can download here.

[UPDATE: October 20, 2008] I re-uploded the file pack to a new server, this time it's reliable (thank you, Sql!) :) Sorry to those who couldn't download it earlier and thanks for the heads up everyone! Here's the new link.

As most readers of this blog know, I used to be the editor of Developer's Manual section in SL'ang Life magazine. Since the magazine is closed now, I decided to make all my Developer's Manual articles available here (don't worry, I have the permission to do that ;)). They feature some useful SL knowledge that might come in handy every now and then. Another reason is that my scripting article (the one written for sixth issue of SL'ang Life) got quite popular - it was linked on a few blogs, and I recieved some nice feedback in-world, so I want more of that too ^^. I guess there's always a need for education in SL (how positive!). So without further ado, here are the articles:


SL'ang Life no. 01: It all starts with a cube

It all starts with a cube 01

It all starts with a cube 02

SL'ang Life no. 02: Textures explained!

Textures explained 01

Textures explained 02

SL'ang Life no. 03: Copy, modify, transfer... velocity?

Copy, modify, transfer... velocity 01

Copy, modify, transfer... velocity 02

SL'ang Life no. 04: Your first sculptie

Your first sculptie 01

Your first sculptie 02

SL'ang Life no. 05: Client parameters

Client parameters 01

Client parameters 02

Comments are welcome!


Paris, Paris


Some time ago I was asked to recreate the lamps from Place de la Concorde - one of the major squares in Paris. I was going to blog them once they're set up in-world, but actually I totally forgot about them. A few days ago though I came across them while cleaning my inventory and thought 'oh well, why not blog them now'. Thus, here they are.

This is how the RL lamp looks like:

Paris Concorde Lamp RL

And here's its SL equivalent:

Paris Concorde Lamp SL

You can see the lamps in-world at Concorde sim.


New release: modeling poses for friends at Imagimations


I just released a set of modeling poses for female friends:

Imagimations - Friends Set - Carefree (Modeling Poses)

Imagimations - Friends Set - Close (Modeling Poses)

Imagimations - Friends Set - Models (Modeling Poses)

Imagimations - Friends Set - Outgoing (Modeling Poses)

Imagimations - Friends Set

Come to the shop and check them out! ^^ They're also available on SL Exchange and OnRez.


llThankYou(Linden Lab);


I came across an interesting project called Project Thank You Letter, initiated by MadamG Zagato. Basically the idea is to say 'Thank you' to Linden Lab if Second Life enriched your life in a way (and I'm sure it did, one way or another). A 'thank you' for making some nice things possible, for giving new opportunities or simply for their hard work and dedication. Here's the official info:
Tis the season to give thanks! As we reflect upon all we have to be thankful for this season and throughout the years, for many of us Second Life has been a blessing. Whether SL has enriched your life, boosted your income, or provided other additional opportunities you may not have otherwise had, sometimes a simple "Thank you" is appreciated to those who have made it possible.

Project Thank You Letter is a way you can say "Thanks!" to Linden Lab for their dedication, hard work, and focus.
The project has a website www.projectthankyouletter.com where you can view the signatures. To sign the letter, go to SL Exchange, buy the letter for 0L$, rez it in-world and click it. You can also place it in your venue for others to sign.

Project Thank You Letter


UI redesign


Every now and then the SL blogosphere creates a lot of buzz and interest around the topic of Second Life client UI redesign. I must say whenever the topic is mentioned I'm getting worried. Almost each time a change to the UI was introduced, it was for the worse (note I didn't say 'always').

I really wish Linden Lab stopped thinking about UI redesign and didn't listen to people who complain. I don't want an oversimplified UI design - it would be much more difficult to use because you'd have to SEARCH for every option, while now you just have them in the menu. Can you imagine Photoshop with four huge icons? And using those icons to find the options you need? I really don't want that to happen to Second Life viewer.

Right now people don't know what some of the options are for but they can test them once they become comfortable with the idea. If you hide the options, they won't even know they're available. Moreover, when they would want to find a certain option, they'd probably search the Internet and it would only make things more confusing ("What Advanced menu? I don't have it...").

People take part in UI redesign contests, blog their ideas and post pictures of proposed viewer appearances - and while some of their ideas are interesting, in most cases what I saw is quite scary. Huge icons filling half of the screen, CAPITALIZED menus, chaotic build menus, Advanced menu gone (I use it daily!), camera controls float which takes up 1/4 of the screen... OR there are also overly textified versions where half of the screen is filled with text. And I mean the little (like little little) text plus miniature icons, each one looking like a dot, or a blob in some cases. I saw weird and unnecessary tabs like Worn which is supposed to show what you are wearing (like I can't type 'worn' in the inventory search). I saw mini map changed into a radar thingie... Whyyy? Why would I want that? I want to see objects on mini map like I do now, with directions NW, N etc. It's a map, not a radar... please. I've also read some people want to remove the Notes from avatar's profiles. I use them frequently! I even use my own profile notes. I don't think they should be removed, actually I think they could be improved a bit (more space for notes, built-in search etc.). So with all those proposed changes I see more clicking, more searching, more time needed to learn! And less functionality, unfortunately.

I want the UI to take minimum screen space (but to be clear and legible at the same time) to have as much of the screen as possible for other uses. The current two bars on top and bottom are just perfect. Actually, the current SL interface is a lovely mix between functionality, usability, intuitive design and the calm blue color. Some minor changes could be made (more on that later) but a redesign is not needed.

I love this UI

The problem with SL interface is not really the interface itself. It's the people who use it. They don't look carefully, they don't follow the tutorials. If only people were willing to learn and to read with understanding, there would be no need to think about redesigning the UI. I don't want to grumble, I know these people are SL users too and it's important for designers to think about them. But it's important not to fall into extreme thinking as well. I know it's easy to criticise and you could say "make your own UI then"... but hey, didn't I say I don't want the interface redesign? Besides, residents are not usability experts, so I think they should have the ability to make their own skins (not only the colours but also the layout - like Winamp skins for example), but not influence the default look of the viewer.

I think it would be a good idea to make a newbie/light viewer for those less comfortable with advanced menus. I've also read somewhere about an idea of switching between three levels of interface, from an easy one, to a more sophisticated one. If you can make the third level look like the interface now, that solution is fine with me.


I also would like to say that good UI design is not all about the looks. The look IS important, but it's not the only thing the interface design is about. I don't really mind that the current SL buttons are not shiny (and I really like the way they look now). The menu is extremely intuitive (4 hours! come on! try to learn any other complex application in 4 hours) and that is what counts. Actually, shiny would be distracting (like the eye-dazzling Dazzle - it does have pretty buttons, but they are totally out-of-place in the viewer). What also counts is the efficiency - once familiarised with the menu, how fast we can do stuff. The viewer gets a pretty good score in this test, I think.

It seems that most UI redesign discussions focus on wrong issues as to what SL UI needs. When people state their needs, it's not required to do exactly what they say. What's needed is the answer to their requests, but not necessarily the way they imagined it. Jakob Nielsen (usability guru, very often quoted on my uni lectures) says you should pay attention to what people do, not what they say. How true is that? He actually wrote 10 usability heuristics and my favourite is the one that says you should let people choose instead of making them remember. I'm not saying everything should be visible (so it's OK to hide the Advanced menu for example). But don't hide the options that are needed just because they make menus a bit more complex.

Finally, I want to list the positive suggested changes - the ones I actually liked:
  • ability to copy, cut and paste in the inventory (Ctrl+C/Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V)
  • ability to relog without the need to close the viewer
  • ability to hide the "Release Keys" button
  • a drop down list of recently visited places (like a history of visited websites in a web browser)
  • a third tab in the inventory, called Favourites, listing items you marked as favourites (for items you use frequently)
  • ability to group people on the friends list into your own tabs
  • ability to set the range of the mini map (to more than one sim for example)
What I would also like to see introduced:
  • ability to find doubling items in the inventory (could be done by UUID)
  • ability to browse objects in the inventory by creator
  • ability to decide where to place the item you are given by another avatar (so that they don't go to the default folders but where you actually want them to go)
  • a Windlight preferred setting option in the Environment Settings menu - without the need to click your way through the Environment Editor OR/AND the ability to make your SL start with your preferred Windlight settings
  • a link provided with every error message that takes the user to the appropriate knowledge base article
  • undo inventory move - how many times have I accidentaly moved one folder into another and kept searching which one that was and where I've put it
  • marking recent items so that they don't show up anymore in Recent Items tab (sometimes there's too many recent items, and you might want to remove some this way)
  • ability to decide whether the viewer should auto-hide the Tools menu (according to JIRA, the menu won't be hiding anymore in 1.21, which would be just perfect)
  • ability to set IM autoresponder
  • ability to switch between different built-in follow cams
  • ability to add people to existing text and voice conferences (currently when someone crashes you need to re-start the conference for everyone)
Anyone has anything to add to the list? :)


Scripting summer drinks


This is an article I wrote for the latest issue of SL'ang Life magazine. Since it never came out, I adapted the article a bit and decided to publish it on my blog. If the tutorial gets popular, I might write some more :)

Don't get scared or discouraged seeing all the code here - the tutorial is aimed at people who never scripted before, so I'm sure you'll understand it, just go bit by bit. And you are welcome to ask questions in the comments of course. So, here it is.

Summer Drinks

When the weather is hot and sunny, avatars can cool off by drinking refreshing beverages. Unlike real life, after they make their yummy drink, they still have some work to do before it's ready. It's because objects in SL that are supposed to interact with avatars must be scripted. Today we'll learn how to script and animate a summer drink - the easy way!

The first thing to do is to create the drink object. This is where you let your creative power flow freely - I'm sure you'll come up with a yummy looking juice or ice tea. This part is up to you - the tutorial will focus on scripting only. Take time making your drink object, and once you have it ready, let's script!

PREPARATION
Rez your drink on the floor (or table, if you prefer), right-click it, select Edit from the pie menu and go to Contents tab (if you don't see the tab, click the blue More button). You will see there's a button that says New Script - click it. The drink will greet you with 'Hello, Avatar!' phrase and you'll notice a new item in the contents, named New script. Right-click it, select Rename, type in any name you want (for example Drink script) and press Enter on your keyboard. Right-click the script again and this time select Open. You'll see a window with a default LSL script. This is where we are going to work now.

Delete the whole default script (all the text), so that you start with a blank page, and type in:


default
{

}

This indicates the default state that every script must have. When the script is first run (or reset), it enters this state and does what is listed in here. The brackets indicate where the list of tasks starts and ends. We are going to put our tasks inside the brackets.

PERMISSION TO ANIMATE
The first thing we need to do in our drink script is to check whether the object (drink) containing the script is attached to an avatar. We'll use attach event handler, which is activated when an object is attached to or detached from an avatar.

default
{
attach (key id)
{

}
}

Attach event handler has one parameter - a key named id. Parameters in LSL are used to store values important for various functions, in this case a key. Each avatar has a unique key that identifies him in Second Life. So in this case the id parameter stores the key of an avatar who attached the object with the script. If the object is not attached to any avatar, the id parameter will store an empty key: NULL_KEY. We can use that information to tell the script what to do in both cases. If the script finds out that the object is not attached (id stores NULL_KEY), we're not going to do anything (for now). Otherwise (if it is attached), we want the script to ask the avatar for permission to animate him.

default
{
attach (key id)
{
if (id == NULL_KEY)
{

}
else
{
llRequestPermissions (id, PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION);
}
}
}

Note that we use "==", not "=" to compare whether two values are equal. The latter ("=") would assign the value to the parameter.

When an avatar attaches an object, the permission to animate is granted automatically (user don't get the dialog box with the question), but the script has to ask for the permission first anyway. To ask for permission we'll use llRequestPermissions function. It needs two pieces of information: whom to ask (we need to give an avatar's key) and what type of permissions it should ask for (there are various types of permissions, like permission to animate, permission to track avatar's camera, permission to take money etc. - they are all described in LSL Portal). We want to request permission from the avatar who attached the object, so we will use the id parameter here. And since we need a permission to animate him, we'll use PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION flag. Remember you need to place ; (a semicolon) at the end of every function, otherwise you won't be able to save your script (it will give an error).

HOLD THE GLASS
Now we have to tell the script what to do when the permissions are granted. We need the
run_time_permissions event handler, which is triggered when the avatar responds to permissions request - either gives or doesn't give the permission. That's why we also have to make sure the permission was granted. Run_time_permissions event handler has one parameter - perm. If no permissions are set, this parameter has value of 0. Otherwise it stores the granted permissions flags. So, what we need is a situation where perm == PERMISSIONS_TRIGGER_ANIMATION. To check that we'll use an if statement similar to the one we used in attach event handler (note that else statement is optional).

Once we're sure the permission was granted, we want to animate the avatar, so that he is holding the drink. You can create your own holding animation and place it in your drink's contents or use one of SL built-in animations (they are listed on the wiki). The built-in animation "hold_R_handgun" is perfect for holding a drink and that's what we are going to use. To start the animation, use llStartAnimation function.

default
{
attach (key id)
{
if (id == NULL_KEY)
{

}
else
{
llRequestPermissions (id, PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION);
}
}

run_time_permissions (integer perm)
{
if (perm == PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION)
{
llStartAnimation ("hold_R_handgun");
}
}
}

LET ME TAKE A SIP
So far, so good, but we still need a bit more scripting. Holding animation is not enough, as we want our avatar to take a sip every few seconds. That's why we are going to set up a timer in our script. Let's say we want the avatar to sip the drink every 15 seconds. We'll use llSetTimerEvent function (set to 15 seconds) in run_time_permissions event handler, right after we start the holding animation. So now when permissions are granted, the script will start the holding animation and then will start up the timer. And you probably have guessed now that we need another event handler: timer, which will be triggered every 15 seconds (the time we set) and where we'll list the tasks to be done. Timer doesn't have any parameters, as it doesn't really need any. Inside this event handler we only need one task: trigger a drinking animation. We'll use again a built-in animation: "drink", but you might want to create your own animation and drag it from your inventory into your object contents.

default
{
attach (key id)
{
if (id == NULL_KEY)
{

}
else
{
llRequestPermissions (id, PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION);
}
}

run_time_permissions (integer perm)
{
if (perm == PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION)
{
llStartAnimation ("hold_R_handgun");
llSetTimerEvent (15);
}
}

timer()

{
llStartAnimation ("drink");
}

}

I FINISHED DRINKING
The script is almost finished but there's one more thing we need to do - tell the script what tasks to perform when the object is detached from the avatar. We are going to place these in the attach event handler. If the script finds out that the object is detached (id stores NULL_KEY), it should stop the holding animation, stop the drinking animation and stop the timer. To stop the animations, we'll use llStopAnimation function and to stop the timer, we'll set the timer event to 0.

default
{
attach (key id)
{
if (id == NULL_KEY)
{
llStopAnimation ("drink");
llStopAnimation ("hold_R_handgun");
llSetTimerEvent (0);
}

else
{
llRequestPermissions (id, PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION);
}
}

run_time_permissions (integer perm)
{
if (perm == PERMISSION_TRIGGER_ANIMATION)
{
llStartAnimation ("hold_R_handgun");
llSetTimerEvent (15);
}
}

timer()

{
llStartAnimation ("drink");
}

}

SAVE
Our script is now ready to save! Click the Save button at the bottom of the window. You should see a message Compile successful, saving... Wait until you'll see another message: Save complete. Note: if you can't save the script because it gives you a syntax error, or any other error, make sure you typed everything correctly. If you accidentally omit one semicolon, or make one spelling mistake, the script won't save. Just go through the script, try to find your mistake (there might be more than one) and click the Save button again.

Once the script is saved you can close the window and take your drink object to your inventory. Right-click it in your inventory and attach it to your right hand (you need to do it only the first time - later you can just use Wear option, as the drink will remember where to attach). You might need to rotate and adjust the glass while it's attached to your avatar. And that's it. Your drink is ready and your avatar should be holding it and drinking properly. Congratulations, you have compiled your first script!

OH, THE POSSIBILITIES
Note that you can script ice cream cones exactly the same way. It's a basic script for eating and drinking in Second Life, although many designers come up with their own, more sophisticated scripts. Which is something you might want to do as well. Just do trial and error, lookup new functions on LSL Portal or try various animations. Scripting is easy and fun and I'm sure you can learn it fast.

If you have any problems with this tutorial, you're welcome to ask a question in the comments. And if you decide to throw a party and serve your freshly scripted drinks, be sure to invite me!


Fashion: Summer green


A look inspired by recent hot summer days. I can't dress my avatar warm when it's so hot in RL :)

Fashion: Summer green

Outfit details:
  • Top: Last Call (Luciana / in Verdant, do not wear the skirtbase with this outfit)
  • Leggings: Camie Cooper (Lace Trimmed Leggings / in Cream, tinted black)
  • Earrings: Earthtones (Retro Rounds / in Black/Gold)
  • Necklace: Chicoco (Red Plastic Ring Necklace)
  • Bracelet: U&R (FREE Necklace and bracelet)
  • Shoes: Aphrodite Creations (Sasy Chic / in d'Or)
PS. I changed my avatar's skin ^^


When avatars live a life of their own


Aaaah, so yesterday my avatar stopped listening to me. She was partying without me (I know that, cause people saw me online) while I was struggling to login. I was going to ask you that if you came across me in-world those days, tell me to come home, cause I missed myself ;) But it turned out she only did that because she wanted me to study for my driving licence exam ;)

Finally with friends - Morri, Uzi, Linc and me

PS. No, I wasn't online constantly for the last 24 hours. That was her ;) And I wasn't ignoring you when you IMed, I just wasn't in control of my avatar for a while ;) Luckily, it's OK now.

PPS. Linden Support rules. <3 Thank you Francesca, Eilyn, Lotte and everyone who worked on this issue.

PPPS. Yes, I passed the theoretical internal exam and I'm going to actually start learning to drive! Ha! :)


One year blog anniversary


Yayness! :) Precisely one year ago I started this blog, not knowing if I would have time for it at all. And now, one year later, it still exists and it is more popular than I thought it would be (I even noticed some visitors from Linden Lab). The blog evolved a lot since I wrote the first post and seeing the number of readers increase so much over time, I assume it evolved the good way :)

Today I rummaged through blog statistics a bit but I'm not going to bore you with them, except a few bits that I think might be interesting for you, or just look colorful because they have a graph (joke ^^).

The number of readers
The number of unique visitors last month was 887 (with page views that's 1205) plus those who read my blog through various RSS readers (they're not counted into statistics since the sitemeter resides in my blog's sidebar). Amazing! The last few months I see a lot more people coming here, so the monthly unique visits will probably be above 1000 somehow soon :)

Readers location
Readers location
This graph looked a bit different a month ago. The number of Polish readers averaged about 25% if I remember correctly. It changed when we opened the Polish Republic. I met so many Polish residents in SL after the opening, that I actually lost track how many that was, which is pretty cool, I love meeting new people :) /me waves to new friends!

Browser share
Most of the visitors here use Firefox, which is great because my blog looks a bit better in Firefox. It's OK in IE too, but some spacings are bigger and the profile text is aligned to the left while it should be justified. I tried all possible changes in Blogger template and it won't allow me to fix that, so please use Firefox, cause I'm a perfectionist and I want you to get a perfect experience :P

My most popular posts
  • Oh hai, I has shadows! (this actually was the most popular blog post of the year on this blog and brought in an awesome crowd! hello new readers ^^)
  • Finding Magellan Linden (possibly the biggest roleplay in SL since quite a long time, basing on the story of Magellan Linden... started by long-time residents of SL, but even some Lindens took part in it; fun fun fun and I made some good friends too!; greetings to the explorers ^^)
  • Scripting made easy (a shout-out about Ann Enigma's wonderful scripting tool)
  • Plopp goes the sculptie (very simple sculpties creation through PloppSL)
  • SL'ang Life is here! (oh, you know... our beloved magazine about SL; who would've thought we'll have to close the project only after six months - that's a lot of time in SL, isn't it?)
The most popular search terms
These are the terms that made people click the link and visit the blog (pretty much consistent with the most popular posts).
  • ayumi cassini (ha! who's googling me? :P)
  • second life shadows patch (yup, I love SL dynamic shadows too)
  • magellan linden
  • simple scripting in second life
  • sl'ang life
So, that was a little summary. I'm really happy I've got a lot of regular readers and I've always wondered how they came across this blog. Randomly? Through recommendations from friends? A link from another blog? How did YOU find my blog? :) Whatever reason it is, I'd like to thank all of my readers for coming here, reading my posts, commenting, discussing and motivating me to write more!


Changes, changes ^^


Those of you who visit my shop regularly probably noticed that some time ago I opened two new shops next to Magic Nook and I rebuilt the area completely. The shops were quite empty for a while, as I had other things on my mind: we had to close SL'ang Life, I've been building the Polish Republic sim with others, and so the area at Clay was waiting for finishing touches and the announcement on the blog. Today I finally finished everything in there!

I called the area Ayuca Shopping Plaza and now my shops are:
  • Magic Nook - fun scripted gadgets
  • Imagimations - animations and modeling poses
  • dell arte - stylish furniture and decor for home and office
I decided to setup a subscriber system for all shops instead of using the traditional SL group for updates as I used to. With 25 group limit most people can't join my update group and I want to make it available for them. If you want to join Ayuca Update Group, come to Ayuca Shopping Plaza and touch one of the terminals.

I'm also working to put all my items on SL Exchange and OnRez, but it's a slow process. If you've ever done that, you know how boring and time consuming it is.

So, come on over to Ayuca Shopping Plaza, see my new shops and new products and leave a comment if you want :)


A new place on the map


I've been super busy lately, together with a few other Polish avatars. In two weeks we created an island, which we called Polska Republika (the Polish Republic). It's a Polish place (the official language is Polish) where it's the community who decide about the growth and development of the island. The island is going to have its own government (chosen by the community and led by the queen - Uzi, who is the owner of the island) and constitution (currently in the making). We have the preamble ready and it goes like this (more less, I translated it from Polish):
We the Founders of the Polish Republic in Second Life, not professing any rules except ToS and Big Six, linking to the best traditions of Second Life, where everyone is free and even, and decides about oneself, bound by friendship ties with every avatar, we set up the Constitution of Polish Republic as the basic law and hand over the land to all of you to administer. All avatars who, for the good of Republic, will follow the constitution, we call to do that towards the common good and common fun.
Yesterday we opened the Republic and I must say it was a huge success. Here are a few pictures from the opening academy:

Polish Republic Town Square
Polish Republic Town Square, right after opening the island to the public

Photo with visitors
Photo with visitors

Queen and the Ladies - Uzi, Morri and me
The queen and the Ladies - Uzi, Morri and me

In front of the royal palace
Group photo with visitors in front of the royal palace

Right before cutting the band
Right before cutting the opening band - the preamble is read on voice

Right after cutting the band
Right after cutting the opening band... Yes, Uzi did that with a katana :) And the royal fanfare was played.

Right after cutting the band 2
Right after cutting the opening band... Uzi and Dru.

During the concert
The island (note the shape) was full during the concert. The limit was set to 80 avatars (to keep the lag to minimum) so we kept getting IMs from people to let them in. What a success, eh? We need another island ;)

The island is open to everyone, so I'd like to invite all of you to come and see it. Particularly I invite you to our public library because I manage it ^^ and because the books in there are mostly in English, so you may use them freely and learn a bit about Second Life. Some of the library staff might not know the English language though, so you'll need to get by yourself if that's the case :)

Library
The public library

As always let me know what you think.


Fashion: Corsico white


I miss being fashion editor at SL'ang Life, so I decided to post a little fashion entry every once in a while. These won't be as extensive as I did in the magazine, but I will show you my favourite outfits from time to time. Also, don't worry, this blog won't turn into a fashion blog - there are too many things I want to write about.

So here's my first fashion entry in here:

Fashion: Corsico white

Outfit details:
  • Shirt: Fashion Forward (from Spring Fling outfit / with self created underpants tinted: R: 230, G: 230, B: 230)
  • Pants: Elephant Outfitters (Gaucho Pants / in White)
  • Belt: Gentil (Hoop Belt / in Gold)
  • Earrings: Yummy (Gypsy Hoops)
  • Necklace: Muse (Gold and Freshwater Pearl Necklace / asymmetrical)
  • Bracelet: Armidi Gisaci (Metallic Tres Bangles)
  • Glasses: FD (Ultimate Bugeye Glasses / light frames)
  • Bag: Armidi Gisaci (Porta Corsico Bag / in Creme & Blue)
  • Shoes: Shiny Things (Spring Stilettos / in White)


Moving on


Slang Life Island 01

Slang Life Island 02

Slang Life Island 03

I get nostalgic easily these days.


SL'ang Life bye-bye event and the after party


So yesterday we said goodbye to SL'ang Life and to our readers. A big and warm thank you to those of you who came for all your kind words and the support you gave us.

SL'ang Life bye-bye party

SL'ang Life Team

The bears we are holding are SL'ang collector bears. We gave them to people at the concert as a thank you gift. If you want to have them, they are still waiting at SL'ang Life Plaza (near the stage).

When the event was over, we felt a little down. So together with people who stayed longer we started fooling around. That included flying all over the island, playing African drums and using various gestures to the extreme. A typical night on our island ;)

Playing African drums

But most of all, it included this:



Oh joy, it was like in those movies where everyone knows the steps :) Yes, that cheered me up :)


Bonfire night


Yesterday Morri invited me over to her new place - a wonderful Mexican themed property. I'm not sure what I like more - the beautifully decorated house or the lazy and laid-back atmosphere of the backyard.

Hammocks at Morri's place

We've been chatting on the hammocks, catching up with news, sharing recent stories and planning a party, when Morri's friend, Amon, TPed over. Before we realised, we had a completely spontaneous bonfire get tegether, and soon we were joined by Daniell, another Morri's friend.

Morri quickly prepared some sausages to roast, but we had to put them on a stick ourselves. No, really :)

Bonfire at Morri's place

Later Amon had to go, but Morri invited Zik, and we continued the party late into the night. Morri played her guitar and sang for us (on voice), and I can't possibly explain how nice it was, so instead, just watch this short movie (she's singing in Polish). I'm sorry for the sound quality but my Internet connection was a bit unstable for some reason. And so was my camera :)



I had a wonderful time - I even managed to stop thinking about Slang for a while. So, yup, when it's party at Morri's, count me in :)


SL'ang Life no more [UPDATE]


[UPDATE: March 29, 2010] I removed all SL'ang Life links - they don't lead to SL'ang Life website anymore (since it doesn't exist), but to one you wouldn't want to go to ;)

I can't believe I'm writing this, yet it did happen: our beloved magazine is closed now. We've been struggling to save it for the last few weeks, but there's no way to keep it operating unless we find a new investor.


Working at SL'ang Life was an amazing experience. I love all the people I met and worked with, and I have some great memories to treasure. I was very proud each time I said I worked for SL'ang Life magazine - was it RL or SL. And I did shed a tear (not only one tear, actually) when I realised we have to put the project on hold.

Lighthouse

Now I feel as if someone has taken away a part of my identity - I'm no longer SL'ang Life journalist. I need to find a new way in my life which I'm sure will be great, but I'm sad for the things I need to leave behind. The most scary thing of all is the possibility of splitting with SL'ang Life team - we come from different cities and some of these people have never been in Second Life - but I do hope we will manage to keep in touch. I really got to like them a lot.

We did a lot of fun stuff together. I'm going to miss those crazy nights at our island - fooling around, laughing and chatting on voice with our readers. I'm going to miss even more the meetings in RL, which were full of laughter as well (and silly silly activities at the hotel). I feel connected to these people and I want to keep that connection. If you guys are reading this, I love ya.

If you love SL'ang Life as much as I do, come to SL'ang Life island on 10 July 2008 at 10 AM (SLT) - we're planning a little goodbye party for our readers. I hope to see you there. Let's have fun and remember SL'ang Life the happy way.


An evening at Getsuei Okiya


Where do you go when you want to drink some really good green tea? A Japanese tea house of course! Geishas are masters when it comes to preparing tea, as well as singing and giving performances. Yesterday evening, together with my friend Uzi, we decided to visit Getsuei Okiya to see geishas performing traditional dances and playing instruments. We dressed up in kimonos and geta sandals, and went to Antiquity Township East where the tea house is located.

Getsuei_Okiya_01

Getsuei_Okiya_02

The atmosphere of the place is indeed very Japanese. Upon arrival we were greeted by blossoming apple trees and the tranquil mood of the area. One of the geishas invited us inside, to the room decorated with tatami mats, paper lanterns and incense sticks. We took a sit at one of the tables and watched geishas prepare for the performance.

Getsuei_Okiya_03

(Yes, I took that picture to show the beautiful back of our kimonos :))

I tasted a California roll and then decided to drink tea, while Uzi enjoyed her hosomaki.

Getsuei_Okiya_04

As more guests arrived, the show started and we spent the evening listening to music, watching the performance, talking and enjoying ourselves.

Getsuei_Okiya_05

Getsuei_Okiya_06

There's one thing I missed though - there should have been a third geisha, reading haiku or some Japanese stories. It would complete the evening perfectly. Also, the number of local lights in there could solve the energy crisis, but I guess that's a result of 'old client to Windlight transition'. Nevertheless it was a nice experience. And we took some pictures in the garden after the performance finished.

Getsuei_Okiya_07

Getsuei_Okiya_08

Getsuei_Okiya_09