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Archive for November, 2010

Display Names and new SL Account names explained…

There has been a lot of confusion and even panic recently in regards to both, the new LL feature called Display Names and new account signup names. I’m going to attempt to clear as much of that up as possible to the best of my ability.

DISPLAY NAMES
First of all, what are Display Names?… Display Names is a new feature designed to allow users to create a name of their choice. Not to be confused with a (user name). The user name is the name you signed up with to LL. This is the name you sign into the viewer with and this cannot be changed.

A Display Name can be just about anything up to 31 characters long. Only people on viewers that support display names will be able to set and see display names on other avatars. If you are on a viewer that supports display names, there will be options to see either display name only, display name AND user name, or just user name. If you have display names enabled, while on LL V2, the chat you see from users who have a display name set will reflect that display name and not their user name (from what I understand). If your on a viewer that supports display names, and you have it set to only show display names, you can always open a users profile to see their original user account name.

The next release of Phoenix Viewer expected out in the next few weeks will have support for display names a well, however you will have an option to list users in chats by their user name, display name & user name or just display name.

There has been a lot of negativity surrounding Display Names, and while I don’t entirely agree (personally) that display names are a great idea, I will say that they are NOT evil! They do have some good use cases like for Role Playing, or simply fixing a typo in your user name. Married couples can now have a common last name, etc. Yes, display names can be abused and used for malicious behavior, however this is no different than most any feature in SL. The vast majority of users will be using display names appropriately and as they were intended to be used.

I’ve heard reports first hand that people are passing out scripts that auto ban anyone using a display name. While land owners do have the right to ban/eject anyone they wish for whatever reason they choose, I strongly urge people not to do this to users just because they have a display name. There are many valid reasons and uses for display names and I suspect a lot of people will be using them. However if you see someone who has set their display name to your account name, with the intention of impersonating then I would strongly suggest you abuse report them. Ejecting and banning accounts who do this from your land.. in that case.. I think would be reasonable.

NEW ACCOUNT NAMES
LL has made some changes to the sign up process. No longer will last names be available primarily because Display Names allows users to create whatever name they want. Old accounts signed up with a (firstname lastname). New accounts only have a first name and the last name is automatically “resident”. This has caused a lot of confusion among people who have recently signed up with one of these account names and dont know how to log into older viewers that have a (Firstname Lastname) login field. Simply login with your first name, being the name you chose when you signed up, and use “resident” as your last name. For example, if your username is thejoesmith: First Name: thejoesmith Last Name: resident

Old users who have a firstname lastname might notice that logging into secondlife.com website no longer has firstname and lastname fields. You guys log in using firstname.lastname. So for example I log in as jessica.lyon

I hope this clears up some of the mass confusion going around about display names and new account names.
Here are some links with more information.

LL Documentation on display names: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Display_Names

Must see Torley Video on display names: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGoHjGz2OaQ

A must see follow up Torley video on Display Names: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNH-3IPTrjc

Documetnation on SL Usernames: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Usernames

Sincerely,
Jessica Lyon
Phoenix Viewer

The Phoenix Hour – Support, Your questions answered!

We’ll be doing our 4th televised Office Hour with Rezzed.tv tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2pm SLT. Aside from a few announcements we’ve decided to open most of the hour to your questions. The theme will be primarily focused around support, and will have some of our best support people on the panel. We will be discussing some of our most common support issues and resolutions as well as taking your questions relating to anything you want an answer too!

As usual, you can join in the live discussion either in world at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Rezzed%20TV%20Island/60/188/25 . Or you can jump on the live stream at http://phoenix.rezzed.tv OR watch it from your sl tv’s using this url. http://streams.rezzed.tv/rezzed.mov. And if you can’t make it for whatever reason, don’t worry! it will be recorded and posted at the rezzed.tv website within a day or two at http://rezzed.tv. We hope to see as many of you there as possible and answer all of your questions!

The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

What is Firestorm Viewer….

There has been a lot of confusion in world from our users between our Phoenix Viewer and our up coming Firestorm Viewer. I will try to explain as best I can. Currently we have the Phoenix Viewer, this viewer is based on the LL Snowglobe code base. This is the viewer our users are all currently on. We have a new release to this viewer in progress and hope to have it out within the next few weeks. This will have some great new features and bug fixes.

Within the next year or so, LL will be essentially breaking all 1.23 and snowglobe based viewers with features they are rolling out in their Viewer 2 which won’t work in 1.23 and snowglobe viewers. Because of this, and because we want our users to be able to take advantage of those new features we will be starting up a second viewer called Firestorm Viewer.

Our Firestorm Viewer will have all the features the LL viewer 2 has, plus we will be moving our features from Phoenix Viewer into it. So our users will get the best of both worlds. Moving to V2 codebase is a must because of the inevitability that 1.23 and snowglobe based viewers will no longer work in the not so distant future, including Phoenix. Our primary focus for Firestorm will be with making some big changes to the UI in the hopes of making it as familiar to our users as possible. We won’t be able to make it look exactly like the Phoenix interface but we will do our best to make it look and function closely to what you are used too.

We will continue development of the Phoenix Viewer until it no longer works, but will be dividing our efforts between Phoenix and Firestorm viewers. This means you will see less frequent releases of the Phoenix Viewer but they will not stop completely.

We will have TWO viewers on the Third Party Viewer Directory when Firestorm is released, however we don’t expect a solid release for Firestorm for at least 3-6 months. We have a LOT of work to do on it. To be clear, we are NOT forcing our users to use the Firestorm Viewer, however in time when Phoenix no longer works, we will all have to move to it.. or another V2 based viewer.

We have collected hundreds of emails resulting from our Firestorm Poll, listed in a previous blog post, thank you all for taking the time to send them. We will be using the results of that poll to determine what priorities we shall make in the development of the Firestorm Viewer. We will not be able to move ALL our Phoenix viewer features into it right away, however in time we hope to have all your favorite features in Firestorm along with an interface you will enjoy using. 

Sincerly
Jessica Lyon
The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.