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Prokofy Neva

I Realized One Reason Why A Lot of Inventory Can Seem Lost

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So I realized a thing, and let me see if you experience it also.

I've mentioned in the past how I have lost huge amounts of content from my inventory (once, 15,000 items; another time, about 6,000) and found that either it was somehow put into trash when I myself didn't put it in trash knowingly, or it somehow wound up inside another prim, like the deck of my office or a booth at an event (then neither I nor the sim owners could remove that object and a Linden had to come and try several things to remove it).

This story only incurred guffaws and the usual finger-pointing -- oh, that Prokofy, so ignorant about tech, so clumsy, and probably with a computer that is ready to go to first grade now (i.e. old). 

But because I'm curious and actually admire science and trying to explain things, and don't believe in tech cult religions, I persist on trying to find out why this happens.

So let me share with you a thing I discovered for at least SOME losses (although I'm not sure it explains the huge automatic trashing that remains a mystery -- but at least the Lindens have more error messages now).

I have a huge inventory after 15 years -- it just reached 130,000 despite my determination to keep it below 100,000 and then 120.000. Yes, doubled-up and tripled-up calling cards (some glitch), do account for some of this, and lately I've found deleting the extra name does not stick, it comes back. Yes, repeated landmarks account for this, and repeated notecards and things named "object" account for this -- and you can try to cull this away. But the vast majority of inventory items are things, i.e. objects that rez out in world.

Yes, they are in folders. And yes, I even had the Lindens come and do an automatic inventory sort, which they will do when your inventory is so huge that you can no longer log on, because the world can't load. Yes, that happens. Yes, they sort it into files that say "My Inventory A-K" or "Notecards 2007" which aren't exactly helpful and then prevent you from seeing the most recent things (even when sorted for "recent) but whatever, it's enabled me to log on. I feel like I'm one of those immensely overweight people who has to take a plane to a weight-loss program on TV,  and the flight attendants have them take two seats and then try to find a seat-belt extension for them. Yes, my inventory is obese, but then, maybe yours is, too.

So here's the basic problem. The arrow slips when you are searching. It doesn't "stay" on the thing you searched for. It slips past it. This gets worse and worse as your inventory gets bigger and bigger. And that leads to horrible accidents.

You may be familiar with what you have to do when searching inventory which I do literally hundreds of times a day, especially since I added decorating B&Bs to my little business. You type in the search term, and it arrives on the thing itself if you don't have much in inventory, or on the folder it is in -- if you have a lot of stuff in folders.

When it stops on the folder, you have to double-click it to open the folder, but you can't see anything in that folder until you erase the search term. This seems awfully cumbersome, doesn't it? Yet that's what I and zillions of others have always had to do in SL. There isn't a better way. Double-clicking hard on the folder does not open it to view the list of contents on the regular SL viewer unless the search term is erased. Yes I am not on "recent" but the regular inventory.

So here's the problem: the cursor slips. It may have landed on that folder, but once you erase the search term, it slips. Sometimes completely away, sometimes nearby. You might have to try six times to search and click to get it to stop, sometimes giving it another name close to the thing you need to get it to stop. Hugely annoying. It flutters and flutters, sometimes just never stopping and you have to give up.

OK, this is a given.

Now here's what happens. You searched for the thing. You got it to stop. You double-clicked, you are inside the folder, everything seems fine. BUT...

If you are trying to rez something out inworld, it doesn't rez. Why? It has slipped, now to a folder below where you were, not inside the folder and as everyone knows, you cannot pull an entire folder out inworld, it won't let you. (This is how I discovered this phenomenon. Who tries to deliberately drag a folder inworld? You don't. So that only happens because the cursor slipped between the time you thought it stopped, and you started the dragging motion, while looking at your target, inworld -- but then it slipped on you.)

BUT. You CAN pull an entire folder into another object. Even if it has 900 things in it. Or 6000. Why would you do that? Well, you don't do it, consciously.

What literally happens is this: in between the time your eye and hand have focused on the item you want to put inside a prim -- say a group gift -- and you think the cursor stopped -- and the moment when your eye moves to the prim into which you want to put the thing, the cursor slips. It slips from an individual object in one folder, to the folder below. Dragging them brings that entire folder into that prim inworld.

Terrible, eh? But I've isolated what is happening so I can try to watch for it. 

It's great that the Lindens invented inventory sorting. It does worsen the slippage problem because there are so many more folders, and folders with 1000 things in it (that seems to be their number) and folders with no other label than say "S" or "2006". Even so, it's like that seat-belt extension on that long plane trip to Texas where you're going to be on that show "Big Loser" and lose that weight.

It would be great if the Lindens said, "We cut off inventory service at 50,000. Or 100,000. After that, you are on your own. Yes, the cursor slips, but that's on you." Or even better: "For $10/mo, we will store your inventory online, like on the MP. You can access it any time. Yes, the search will be as slow as the MP is when looking for things that you want re-delivered. But it will be there so that you can off-load half your inventory, like KittyCats going to the Cattery online, and they will be "there" but "not there" inworld, burdening your existence.

This cursor slipping stuff is really miserable. I'm not aware of any solution. But I can become more aware of it as a problem and try to avoid dragging 50,000 prims into another prim.

 

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Posted (edited)

Yes, this happens.  Sometimes I search for a string of random letters to ensure it's all been parsed once before doing a real search.  This seems to eliminate the shifting you describe, which occurs when you make a selection while the parsing is still in progress.  However, I don't have such a huge inventory now, so my wait isn't very long.

Your talk of double-clicking in inventory to open a folder scares me.  I have had a bad experience from double-clicking on a folder.  Viewer decided that meant to add everything in that folder to my avatar.  It was a collection of things I built during a game the hosts called Primtionary.  Not a good experience.  The wearing, not the game.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

Edited by Ardy Lay

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On 1/5/2020 at 8:31 PM, Ardy Lay said:

Yes, this happens.  Sometimes I search for a string of random letters to ensure it's all been parsed once before doing a real search.  This seems to eliminate the shifting you describe, which occurs when you make a selection while the parsing is still in progress.  However, I don't have such a huge inventory now, so my wait isn't very long.

Your talk of double-clicking in inventory to open a folder scares me.  I have had a bad experience from double-clicking on a folder.  Viewer decided that meant to add everything in that folder to my avatar.  It was a collection of things I built during a game the hosts called Primtionary.  Not a good experience.  The wearing, not the game.

BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

I totally understand what you mean about that. And yes I have put houses on myself and messed up my clothes. But most of the time, double clicking on a folder only opens it, but doesn't put it on me. And I don't recall if in fact I turned it off somewhere to make it not do that. I have another thing where each log-on puts a system newbie shirt on me I then have to take off, but that's separate (I think).

Your advice about the "string of letters" makes me recall the trick to try to force up lost things -- first clear cache, the re-log and just type "A" then "B" then "C" etc to force it through a relog. That seldom works but it does enough times to make it worthwhile as a thing to do for lost inventory.

So your idea seems to prime the system to make it "settle" better. The thing is, almost any set of random letters with my huge inventory is likely to turn up actual things in a search. So i'm going to try with random series of numbers with a letter that generally will not turn up anything.

 

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Infinite monkeys and all that, eh?  When your inventory item names are so numerous that they contain every random set of 5 letters you can type ….  hehe.

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