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Kadah Coba

Year on: Anyone using XPtool for anything major? Too limited to be useful?What happened to phase 2?

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Its been a year now, or so, is anyone making much use out of experiences? I haven't really seen many creators making them. The few uses I've seen have all fixed single locations; mostly just for intra-region teleport and a couple semi-Linden realm type things with most having fairly high prices to play (which is understandable giving the land requirement and the high cost of land).

What's going on with phase 2?

Are we only limited to one experience per premium account? I could not find any non-beta info related to this.

Really? KVP is limited to land that has explicitly allowed the experience? Ouch.

What happened to Grid Scope Experiences? I couldn't find any non-beta info relating to them.

Personally, I've looked at it myself a few times for things I was working on that were not for fixed location use, and there were too many limitations over using existing options.
KVP seemed like it could be nice, but the limits and exclusions are insurmountable, mostly all due to the requirement for land allowed experiences. For about as much initial effort, setting up an external mysql server would allow more functionality without the limitations KVP has.
The experience permissions feature set seems like it be useful for basic stuff like teleporters and simple games, but is either too limited or completely unneeded for anything I've poked at in the last few years now. I can understand the land restrictions on this.
I've started to look at it again in the context of fixed location use, and not really much difference. I do actually have a region, which after many years does have a public element now, and I'm possibly going to setup an experience for some teleporters. Beyond that I'm not seeing much else I could do within the context of the place (much preexisting use of RLV).
The more I think about it, the more I can see why the few resident created experiences have rather high prices to play and maybe why where are so few. An experience would have to make around $61/week to break even on having a single region. That's a pretty big gap to jump to make something.


(I had forgotten how awful Lithium forums where to use.... I ended up having to type this whole short post in notepad instead of starting over constantly. Ugh.)

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You brought up a lot of really important issues.

The two problems I've thought about a lot are the KVP store not being a separate premium feature, and not being able to transfer a key to another account.

Not many people are able to create experiences in the first place, because they need a premium account to get a key.  The best thing about groups in SL is that one person can own the land, and everyone else can contribute in other ways.  So the worst part of experiences is that the premium requirement is due to the storage requirements of the KVP store, which most people don't even need or use.  I know it works a lot better for me to use external webhosting with a mysql database, for a few major reasons.  The first is that I can send and receive the data using less script memory (the script memory limit being another issue), than I would by having convoluted methods of dealing with the KVP store.  The second is that I actually have interfaces to the data, and it's actually possible to manage it effectively.  It's scary to imagine having to manage data on the KVP store for anything non-trivial.  So the KVP store isn't useful for any large-scale application, but it's the deciding factor in limiting experience keys to premium accounts.

You can sort of collaborate with people within a single group, which is an annoying way to share it but that's not a major issue.  The major issue is that the entire experience depends on the account that created it, due to it not being transferable.  So it's very time-consuming to create experiences for other people, if you want to sell them without the scripts being full-perm.  You need to have them create their own experience, and add you to a group with a role that lets you contribute, and recompile your scripts.  So it's not possible to simply sell an experience-based product on the marketplace.  You have to include a note about contacting the creator in order to have them set it up...and hope that they understand your language.  Then you have to rez your own copy that you'll transfer later, after setting it up with their own key, after they add you to their group.  Because you can only compile a script with an experience in a rezzed object.  So if we could create a separate key for every product, it would be possible to sell an experience-based product with much less hassle.

So these two issues alone cause an experience to require a very dedicated collaboration, where it doesn't matter who owns the key, or require one person to simultaneously be owner, operator, designer and programmer.  It's not something you can easily buy or hire an unknown third party to work on.

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Sayrah Parx wrote:

The two problems I've thought about a lot are the KVP store not being a separate premium feature, and not being able to transfer a key to another account.

I agree, KVP by itself would really handy for a lot of other projects. If it was also a seperate feature, that would be nice, even if it has far less than the apparently 128MB storage limit (this limit is not documented...).

 

As for transferring KVP to another account, I think you could work around this by using llKeysKeyValue and llReadKeyValue to export the KVP everything in database. The only issue I can see would be due to the limitation of llKeysKeyValue and KVP would need to not be getting any keys added or removed while running the export.

 

 

 


Sayrah Parx wrote:

I know it works a lot better for me to use external webhosting with a mysql database, for a few major reasons.  The first is that I can send and receive the data using less script memory (the script memory limit being another issue), than I would by having convoluted methods of dealing with the KVP store.  The second is that I actually have interfaces to the data, and it's actually possible to manage it effectively.  It's scary to imagine having to manage data on the KVP store for anything non-trivial.  So the KVP store isn't useful for any large-scale application, but it's the deciding factor in limiting experience keys to premium accounts

Agreed.

The nice part about using sql is that you can have very script efficient to get and update data. KVP works like a shared string indexed 1D array with entirely async access. Its only main advantage is the slightly quicker initial development cycle to setup: convoluted data access methods vs setting up external mysql host.

 

 

 


Sayrah Parx wrote:

You can sort of collaborate with people within a single group, which is an annoying way to share it but that's not a major issue.  The major issue is that the entire experience depends on the account that created it, due to it not being transferable.  So it's very time-consuming to create experiences for other people, if you want to sell them without the scripts being full-perm.  You need to have them create their own experience, and add you to a group with a role that lets you contribute, and recompile your scripts.  So it's not possible to simply sell an experience-based product on the marketplace.  You have to include a note about contacting the creator in order to have them set it up...and hope that they understand your language.  Then you have to rez your own copy that you'll transfer later, after setting it up with their own key, after they add you to their group.  Because you can only compile a script with an experience in a rezzed object.  So if we could create a separate key for every product, it would be possible to sell an experience-based product with much less hassle.

Had to reread that a couple times to realize you meant selling a product for others to make their own experiences. And yeah, that would be impossible under the current model. Another way I could see this working is that the product relies on full-perm relay script which the buyer would recompile using their own experience key and that all the other scripts would access in order to do any experience based actions. Very messy.

I would be wrong to sell an experience like you exampled that uses the developers experience key instead of the buyer's who's bought the product for setting up an experience on their own land. Its bad for the developer since they responsible name for the experience somebody else is running. Its bad for the buyer since what happens if the developer stops paying for premium?

 

 


Sayrah Parx wrote:

So these two issues alone cause an experience to require a very dedicated collaboration, where it doesn't matter who owns the key, or require one person to simultaneously be owner, operator, designer and programmer.  It's not something you can easily buy or hire an unknown third party to work on.

Another issue about collaborating and single experience per account, KVP doesn't offer any security. If you have perms to (re)compile a script for the experience, you have full permission to all of the experience owner's KVP data. Since there is no built in export or backup, or a way to reliable do the workaround export I mentioned above without some means within the experience's scripts for suspending KVP key changes, a disgruntled collaborator could completely destroy the owner's KVP data.

Indeed, the commissioning the creation of experiences is limited by the current design to rather close and trusted collaboration. I can't simply be "unbox, rez and enjoy" without the developer literally selling access to their experience or doing fully custom compiles with full interaction between the buyer and devs.

I was going to say that what you example doesn't personally apply to me or was something I considering in my original post. But after thinking about it while writing up this response (in notepad, using html, because Lithium), I've realized that one of the future products of a project I've been working on actually is a perfect example for a packaged and customizable "build an experience" product.

Great, now I'm in both camps, experiences are unsuitable for building my own experience outside of use as teleporters, and experiences are unsuitable for use in a sellable product. Ugh.

((Wow. I think I've never made a post here that Lithium hasn't eaten at least once. So glad I wrote this in notepad instead. Literally went Refresh Page > Reply > Paste Message > Post and got auth token expired.

ETA: Right after I posted this, I went to subscribe to the Experience Tools Forum, got the auth token expiry error again and I was logged out from community.secondlife.com. Wow this has gotten so broken. lol))

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Sayrah Parx wrote:


"At least you tried."

Honestly, I think XPTools development is dead and final. It was too little, far too late. Like many server features in the last number of years, it seems like it went stale on a shelf for a very long time after the initial project, then got the one cycle dust off and pushed out.

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On 12/11/2016 at 10:03 PM, Sayrah Parx said:

So the worst part of experiences is that the premium requirement is due to the storage requirements of the KVP store, which most people don't even need or use.

You do know they are trying to sell Premium accounts.

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17 hours ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

You do know they are trying to sell Premium accounts.

The larger issue is that they can't be effectively managed for anything non-trivial, because  you can only make one with any account which is tied to that account.  So if you're not premium then you can buy a month of premium for an account to make a key on it, and then you have the key and don't need to be premium anymore.  But you can only retain the key with that account, and need to link it to a group to use it with your main account.  So it's really not a good system for anyone, and isn't helping them sell premium accounts at all.

If they made the keys a one-time purchase with L$ that can be transferred like groups, with the storage on it being unlockable with L$ as outlined in the JIRA idea, they would actually get the income and sustainability they're trying to achieve with the premium gate.  Currently you can make one for free per account if you're premium, without the option to buy more.  They could charge more (or at all under the current system) to create them for someone who's not premium, but oddly they are choosing to not make them purchasable at all.  No one is asking for it to be free.  It's bizarre to set up something incredibly useful that can't be paid for or managed effectively.  There are many issues with SL that aren't really worth complaining about or criticizing, but the experience permission system itself is so revolutionary for SL.  People put a lot of work into it, and making it more accessible at a reasonable cost would do a lot to keep SL thriving and competitive.

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1 hour ago, Sayrah Parx said:

If they made the keys a one-time purchase with L$ that can be transferred like groups

You mean a monthly fee.

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1 hour ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

You mean a monthly fee.

My idea for the L$ option is based on the fact that currently anyone can:

Upload an image for L$10
Upload a sound for L$10
Upload an animation for L$10
Upload a mesh starting at L$11 with increasing cost based on complexity
Create a group for L$100

If the operational cost for experience keys is really high enough to justify a premium gate, a key could cost the L$ equivalent of a single month of premium since you keep the key when not premium.  That would currently be L$2500 and will be increasing to L$3000.

However, you can only own one per account and it's not transferable.  They would need to make improvements in the management of the keys before it's viable for serious long-term projects, regardless of whether there's a premium gate.  That is the bigger issue.

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Those are not fees their are throttling measures. The real costs of running all this is expressed in the region and land fees.

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it can..or even will be, me... but really was this section here all the time?...can't remember ever seeing it...i'm confused now.

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I think a big problem with a lot of SL's features is that you are required to know how to script to take advantage of them.

Most creative tools these days (many since the 90's) have a "visual scripting" interface of some sort. Drop down menus to apply  attributes to an object. Being able to draw a path for NPCs and apply it to a character.  Building scripts via linked nodes. Tools that are much easier for those of us who aren't all that familiar with coding.

 Case in point, I was at the content creators group meeting this week and discovered that to apply shapes to animesh objects you will be required to create the shape via a script. It sounded like there were no plans to develop it further than that. LL needs to realize this mindset has severely hobbled their ability to draw in new users. (One of many issues.)

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I also have the feeling that a lot of the really talented scripters have moved on from SL years ago. I see way too much "mushing stuff together" together than i'd like.

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There is also a broad fear of experience tools, the permissions dialog is very scary. Yet people will happily grant debt permissions to random objects without a second thought.

I have used them for a few projects (mainly personal use quality of life stuff), got some others in the works but debugging multi user systems can be complicated and time consuming.

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Another funny thing is that when you require an experience the first reflex of people is to find a way "around" it.

In my zone they typically try to glitch through the experience gate, only to get booted by the experience checked 4 meters later.

There is an interesting "culture" in SL where people are very very resistant to giving up their (perceived) rights when visiting a place as a guest.

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:28 AM, CoffeeDujour said:

There is also a broad fear of experience tools, the permissions dialog is very scary. Yet people will happily grant debt permissions to random objects without a second thought.

This has been my experience too. It's rather limiting

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I was hoping that LL would add land access restriction based on experiences at the parcel level but it appears that it's not on the menu so you have to puck around with secorbs.

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