Friendly greetings! It’s me again, here with s’more knowledge to make your Second Life easier. My recent posts have all been inspired by questions I get asked a lot by Residents in our community, and the same is true today.
A wiki is a bunch of a web pages with info which you can add to. Simplifying, I know, but you may’ve heard of the likes of such popular wikis as… Wikipedia. Many passionate communities, like the TV show Heroes (which I am an ardent fan of), have wikis.
And since we’re a passionate community who cares deeply when things go right, wrong, and otherwise, we have one too.
The Second Life Wiki is suitably located at wiki.secondlife.com. It’s been viewed over 7.5 million times (more on those metrics later!), and its original purpose was to allow Residents to contribute to our Open Source initiative — perfectly fitting because OS encourages such group participation. Over time, we’ve added more sections, like the Volunteers one — again, another field where people come together to do great things.
On the wiki is a lot of info from Lindens and Residents you won’t find anywhere else, and that’s why I’m here, to take you on a tour of some of the best stuff that hasn’t been the most obvious to find, and save you time.
» The 7 Portals
The wiki has several main themed gateways, or “portals”. Right now, they are:
- Community Development
- Linden Scripting Language
- Market Data
- Open Source
- Quality Assurance
- Web Services
Individual pages can, but don’t have to be included in a portal. The most visited is the LSL Portal, which grew from nothing to become the frequently-consulted guide it is today. Interested in learning scripting? Come!
Check these portals out, see what interests you, then go deeper…
» Viewer Roadmap
When it comes to future features and bug fixes, I often get asked:
“Will we ever get X in Second Life?”
“When is X going to be fixed?”
There’s a lot of ???s about the road ahead, and naturally, when I have info I can share with you, I do.
That’s why I’m happy to broadcast that Senior Developer Steve Linden has started the Viewer Roadmap page, including a Stability section containing both the overarching strokes and finer points of what we aim to achieve.
Note that per the name, these are viewer improvements and not server ones, but over time, if you’re thinking what I’m thinking, I hope these pages will keep growing to be more and more useful in communicating our directions. Now that you know this exists, indulge your curiosity!
There’s also a Render Roadmap, with links to upcoming projects like Avatar Puppeteering and WindLight, both of which are still being actively worked on. Wikis are rich in connections, and once you start surfing, it can be pretty addictive learning.
A lot of those pages have less than 100 views as of this writing, so again, THIS IS WHY I’M GETTING THE WORD OUT FOR YOUR BENEFIT!
And speaking of rendering…
» Sculpted Prims
If you don’t live under a low-poly rock, you’ve probably heard of “sculpties”. And if you’ve never heard of them, then let me tell ya, this part of the wiki is one of my faves, because after Qarl Linden opened the gates… =@_@=
it’s been greatly expanded, many thanx to the numerous Resis who contributed.
With over 100,000 views to date, this is proof positive of how collective knowledge can benefit our online society — see the FAQ if you’re a beginner, learn more about terms used in 3D modeling, and find out about other software you can use to make sculpties.
Learn something of use to others? Take a few minutes and add your legacy to the wiki, future novices will thank you!
Which brings us to…
» Tutorials category
A fledgling but special collection. Admittedly, some of it comes from old notecards and is out-of-date, but since this is a wiki, anyone who knows better can update at their leisure.
I’ve personally started several link lists o’ help:
- Video Tutorials – When words and still pictures aren’t enough… the wiki’s 3rd-most-viewed page!
- Texture Tools – I love textures! Who doesn’t?
- Clothing Tutorials – Making clothing is a cornerstone of SL content creation.
- Snapshots & Postcards – The fine art of inworld photography.
- Debug Help – Need to learn how to find your SecondLife.log or get your Fast Timers results?
As “live documents”, I’m always appreciative of wandering explorers who can help fill in the gaps.
Another highlight is the Voice Mentors’ Getting Started with Voice tutorial. These Residents have translated it into multiple languages so talking globally is easier.
So what’s the difference between content here and our Support Portal‘s Knowledge Base? A couple things come to mind:
- Residents can contribute their own unofficial help, hosted by us.
- You can easily link to these pages directly. (Hopefully, we’ll eventually be able to link to KB articles too.)
So, if you’re thinking of writing up a tutorial, I sure welcome it! It feels great to be a teacher; when I was new to Second Life, a lot of people helped me, and now I aspire to help many more.
» SLDev Traffic
Even if you’re not a programmer, these vivid summaries of Second Life development, involving much discussion between keen Lindens and Residents, are an insightful read — especially if you want to be enlightened about what goes on “behind the scenes”. Begat by Soft Linden, these digests are periodically edited by some of our excellent Open Source contributors.
Employees of Linden Lab hold scheduled inworld meetings with Residents. They’re generally focused on specific topics for productivity’s sake, and because as you know, while we have a shared vision, different Lindens have different job roles. This wiki page shows a regularly-updated schedule of the who, what, and where.
A particular weekly highlight are our bug triages — be sure to see Iridium’s excellent recap — where with Residents’ help, we go through specific bugs on our Issue Tracker (which also has a wiki page) and engage feedback on improving Second Life. If you’d like to get more involved, here’s your opportunity!
And in case you miss a session, some Lindens regularly post transcripts. For example, Zero Linden currently has 40 (!) logs containing a lot of technical gems on the inner workings of SL.
If your fave Lindens aren’t holding Office Hours and you’re interested, send IMs and let them know. 🙂
Yes, you can have your own “home page” on the Second Life Wiki. To get there, just login and go to:
For example, mine is:
Then start editing and adding content! It can be as simple or as fancy as you like. Think of it as an extended profile.
If you’ve never edited a wiki before, there’s help for that too.
A few more tips for your pleasure:
- Second Life Wiki statistics – Visit this to see some metrics on wiki usage. For example, as of this writing, there are almost 5,300 pages in the wiki, and almost 10,800 Residents have logged in (you need to login to edit, but anyone, even those who haven’t joined SL, can browse).
- Better search – The wiki’s built-in search is kind of limited, which is why I turn to a familiar face, Google, for my queries. For example, if I want to search for stuff about textures, I enter this:
You can also use this page to search via Google.
- Customize the wiki’s look ‘n’ feel – Via Preferences, you can change various settings to suit you better.
- Need a hard copy? – On the left of every page is a link that says “Printable version”. Click that to get a formatted version fit for paper.
I hope this has given you a taste of the possibilities our wiki offers.
See you next week,