Knowledge Base Article of the Week: Undo, or undo not. There is no try.

Hello everybody! This week, we’ll take a look at a skill that’s essential to any Second Life Resident’s repertoire: intimate knowledge of the undo function! If you’ve ever used a graphics editor or a word processor, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “undo”. However, if you tried using Second Life’s undo function on your own, you probably noticed that it’s a bit more complicated than your trusty word processor. Fear not!

If you’ve ever been confused by undo‘s idiosyncrasies, or if you’d like to learn some neat tricks undo can do for you, check out this week’s Knowledge Base article, featuring a fantastic video by our own Torley Linden: How to use Undo – with Video Tutorial

I’ll be flying solo at this week’s Documentation Office Hours, but don’t let that stop you from dropping by with your questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions! I’ll be at our usual pier in Beaumont at 2pm on Friday. See you there!

Jeremy Linden

This entry was posted in Community, Customer Service, Resident Experience, Tips & Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Knowledge Base Article of the Week: Undo, or undo not. There is no try.

  1. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    the link doesn’t take me the info, only to the login for the support area

  2. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    Just in case anyone else is as dense as I am today (blaming it on my cold) just login to the support/knowledgebase and it goes right to the linked info. (I feel stupid now) *wanders off*

  3. Jeremy Linden says:

    Doh! I neglected to mention it this week, but the usual process for accessing the KB article applies. When you click the link, you’ll be taken to the Support Portal login page, and once you’ve entered your information, you’ll be taken to the article.

    Sorry for the confusion!

  4. Tosh Snook says:

    Do you ever plan on making a tutorial in a text format we can reference easier? Also, why do you have to log in just to view a help tutorial?

  5. Jeremy Linden says:

    @4 Tosh

    This is a perfect issue to bring up at Office Hours. I’d love it if you can put together some examples of what you feel to be a more effective text format, and/or bring your concerns on exactly what doesn’t work in our current format.

    We’re always looking for new ways to improve the KB! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Cat Gisel says:

    See, YOU needed an Undo for this blog entry ๐Ÿ˜›

  7. hiri nurmu says:

    Totally off topic, but are we ever going to get the economic stats for November, which are now approachin two weeks overdue by your usual standards?

  8. ChatNoir Moonsoo says:

    @5: everything that has been presented as a video would be better presented as a plain text, maybe with screenshots of crucial steps, IMO. Using the medium video is not only overdoing it, considering the information content that easily would fit into a screenful of text, it also makes it unnecessarily hard to locate the information or reference it when you’re in the process of doing xyz..

  9. Tosh Snook says:

    I’m not sure what you mean by office hours. Is there a name I may look for and send a message to them? Do I need to send an email to someone? Should I go message someone inworld?

    #8 seems to have the same idea. I’m thinking if two of us have already agreed on this, there must be others out there who do also.

  10. Jeremy Linden says:

    @9 Tosh and @8 ChatNoir

    Noted, on your thoughts regarding the article. Documentation Office Hours is a weekly event where you can come chat with me and Jon in realtime in Second Life. The details (time and location) for this week are in the last paragraph of this week’s blog post. I hope to see you there!

  11. Zephy Toshihiko says:

    I agree that having to log in to see the knowledge base seems a bit crazy. Why is that done?

  12. Stephe Erhler says:

    I actually found the video easier to follow by showing examples rather than text as this is a bit confusing. I do agree that it seems silly to have to log into a system to view these. What is even stranger is I am logged into the web site as Stephe Ehrler and then have to log in to a seperate part (support) using the same user name and password that I just logged into the web site using? Seems a bit redundant.

    BTW I love Torley’s videos, just someone there needs to make sure he doesn’t get one drop more coffee or he might explode ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stephe Ehrler

  13. Jeremy Linden says:

    @11 Zephy

    Heh. Believe me, it bothers us just as much! We’re working to establish a safe way around the KB login- it WILL happen, but I don’t have an estimated time to completion for you just yet.

    We’ll keep you posted!

  14. mimi says:

    I always love video.. so much easier to follow than text.. however this one won’t load for some reason. The website doesn’t loads, is it just me or have more people this?

  15. In this case, I don’t think there’s anything in the video that’s not in the text (although the video does emphasize that each object has its own, independent chain of undo-able actions in a way that’s easy to miss in the text).

    @5 Jeremy: Since I cannot attend a 2pm SLT event on a Friday, your response to @4 Tosh is pretty much useless to me, although I share his concerns. Can you suggest how people in this situation *can* respond to your posts, if not here in the comments?

  16. Jeremy Linden says:

    @15 Otenth

    If you’ve got concerns that are longer than a paragraph or two, and you can’t make it to Office Hours, it might be worth your while to file a ticket at the Support Portal under the category “KnowledgeBase Suggestions”. We read all those tickets on a regular basis, and we really enjoy getting helpful input! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Blinders Off says:

    Jeremy, I’m not much satisifed with someone having to look up office hours just to file suggestions with Linden Lab, nor please that we have to log in just to view a Knowledge Base article (I mean, no biggie, but a bit of a pain just to look up a simple bit of info. Unnecessary step).

    What I *am* satisfied and pleased with, is the fact that you posted 5 replies above. Kudos guy. That’s all customers are really looking for, is for LL to listen to them. You’ve been listenting. Pat on the back.

  18. Bucky Barkley says:

    Wild Suggestion:

    Put KnowledgeBase articles in the Wiki.

  19. Damona Rau says:

    Jeremy, hit the undo button for the last changes. SL isn’t fun since the downtime, after that i will look at your article…

    What shall we do with all this things, if the grid isn’t stable enough to try out?

    i’m sure this is an article to pull down all bad articles in the past, nothing more…

  20. Milo Bellow says:

    Dear Jeremy, Is It LL Policy To End All Posts With An Exclamation Mark?

    Or Is That A Personal Fetish?

    I Like Question Marks, How About Letting Me Post Some???

    Thanks!

    :p

  21. Jeremy Linden says:

    @20 Milo

    Wow, good eyes! I didn’t even notice that. I guess I use exclamation points to indicate that I’m trying not to communicate in a formal monotone. I’ll see what I can do about drafting a formal policy :-!

  22. smiletenshi says:

    Hey guys, I know this is totally off topic – but it would REALLY ROCK if you put this IM Broadcasting bug on top priority. I’ve had private IM’s suddenly be sent to a bunch of people I don’t know since the last update. Happened yesterday, and again today. It looks like it might be related to my avatar.

  23. michi lumin says:

    Jeremy — Just an FYI.. I’m on my 5th year in SL here, and I still to this date do not understand Undo’s odd mechinations.

    Maybe I’ll understand them more after this but, it is an odd thing.

  24. Melanie Milland says:

    Well, it seem undo is a capricious thing. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
    For a single prim,it often works for several steps back, but if you move a huge group select (I sometimes move 1000+ prims), it mostly doesn’t work, or works only on part of the prims.
    It pays to give larger selections a period to “settle down” in, to make sure viewer and server agree on the position of each prim.

    There seems to be a bug in there somewhere as well; it appears that if undo is pressed when a prim has been moved in the viewer, but the object update message has not been sent by the server, and undo is pressed, the prim is correctly moved back in the server, but object update is never sent (as the server thinks there is nothing to update) and the viewer sees the prim in it’s “new” location until leaving the sim and returning.

    Observed, but no repro ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  25. Alger Meads says:

    @16 Jeremy

    In addition to (or even instead of) submitting a ticket for suggesting ways that LL can improve SL, I’d highly recommend that residents submit the suggested improvement on JIRA .

    In JIRA, other residents can comment on, suggest changes to, and voice support for your change. It’s a collaborative process that involves both residents and Lindens alike for both improving SL and fixing existing bugs.

    …and you don’t even need to have a premium account to submit (whereas the support ticket options for us couch-SLurfers are extremely limited).

  26. GrainneFae McGinnis says:

    I really like the tips videos. However, as I am hearing impaired, I have no idea what people are saying on these videos. Thankfully, the tip videos I’ve seen so far have been so well done, they’ve been almost self-explanatory. After watching a video several times, I usually get the idea you’re trying to express. But I know I’m always missing useful information. It would be great if you could somehow program subtitles into your videos.

  27. Joe Silverstar says:

    Did anyone else here lose half of their inventory after the maintenance day? I logged on today and half of my stuff had disappeared. I made sure that no one had hacked it and no one had. Is there a bug that is hiding our inventory?

  28. Jeremy Linden says:

    @26 Alger

    Quite true! That’s exactly what the Public Issue Tracker (JIRA) is for. However, we don’t currently have a JIRA component for the Knowledge Base. Because the Knowledge Base is integrated into our support solution, we’ve been taking suggestions using the existing ticketing system.

    For everyone- Is a Knowledge Base component in public JIRA something you’d like to see created?

  29. Argent Stonecutter says:

    Why not just use a mirroring tool to create a mirror of the data in the support portal that doesn’t need protection (like, the knowledge base and FAQs) on a plain-jane webserver. For straight text file serving, which is what this would be, I recommend thttpd (tiny HTTP daemon) by Acme Labs (yes, really).

    Not in Jira, not in anything that involves portals and servlets and php and all that web 1.5 stuff: if you’re just serving a mirror of plain old dumb files, you don’t need a lot of horsepower.

  30. James Seraph says:

    Yeah….for example there is a multi minute video on turning off the “flapping your arms and typing” animation which comes down to three steps…

    Select Client from the Grey Menubar
    Select Debug Options
    Type Playtypinganim
    Set to false

    Really why did we need a video to learn that? It’s four lines…I understand some people aren’t good on menu options but…I could do with more info faster…not sitting through videos.

  31. JetZep Zabelin says:

    Undo is very important in editing. ctrl-Z, one of my favorite keystrokes! =D

    Jeremy, instead of a KB component in JIRA, couldn’t the wiki be used to develop proposals for the KB?

  32. Pepper Haas says:

    No, please, don’t put anything in JIRA or even as here, more than one click away from where it’s mentioned. I like it when tutorial videos just have a play button on them, right here on the blog, thanks.
    As for JIRA, I still find it strange that a software company would make its customers do its beta testing and then they have to vote on what bugs they want fixed? Lindens get told all the time in these blogs what bugs we want fixed and also issues on the JIRA that have many votes, still don’t get taken care of. So what is the point of that? Keep us busy and distracted while doing only and exactly what you want to do? Sorry to be cynical.
    I do notice you work hard and that SL is great and you are trying to make it better. But, please, you’re a big company now, and you need to have professionals in charge of prioritizing bug fixing and not some vague Tao and pages and pages of JIRA and wiki for people to have to plow through when all they want to do is play SL without crashing or having their attachments up their butts.
    Thank you, and Merry Christmas etc. to you all anyway

  33. FD Spark says:

    I understand the ticket system needs to be password protected but I don’t entirely understand why the Knowledge base being open to public access is security issue?
    Can someone enlighten me on this topic?

  34. Fox Nadir says:

    Bring back Live Help …… That would be very useful

    the lack of inworld help is the worst thing about SL now help tickets are not much use if you have to live witha problem for 3 days or longer before some one deals with it

  35. Hewitt Huet says:

    Jeremy – thanks for an interesting and USEFUL post, any chance you could do the tip of the week as well? XD

  36. Alias Schilling says:

    Don’t know about other people but…

    “I HATE to JIRAte!” (ed: Yep, I AM thinking of having that made into a T-shirt…!)

    SURELY a viewer base fault/bug issue logger which generates a trouble ticket would be SO much simpler, with the possibility to AUTOMATICALLY capture geometrics, web conditions, locatio, etc, etc within the viewer code?

    so many times I just don’t bother logging stuff that would probably generate really useful data if it was just a few keystrokes away…

    Second Life – it’s for living, not just for nerds…

  37. Amanda Ascot says:

    I have to completely agree with FD Spark @33. The Knowledge Base should be completely publicly accessible. There is no security issue that should require a passcoded log-in. There is precious little real documentation on Second Life as it is, and being able to browse some *before* you decide to join is a Good Thing. I don’t know any other widely-used software or service that can’t be researched before deciding to use it, but people come into Second Life clueless and many manage to escape Orientation Island just as clueless. A great many people learn best by having written documentation to read — not by playing games in-world.

    I have long called for a comprehensive in-viewer “Help” system such as is built-in to virtually every major software product I know. The Knowledge Base and Wiki articles could easily be integrated into this, and since that information would exist on the users hard drive it wouldn’t even be necessary to connect to the Internet to access it. It’s time Second Life came out of the documentation Stone Age and joined the rest of the world. We’ve had in-application documentation since the Days of DOS.

    Host videos on Youtube or something like that, like everyone else in the world does. Again, logging in to access them means a lot of people just aren’t going to bother. Sure, you’re tracking who accesses what in the Knowledge Base (obvious, since I can see a list of articles I’ve read when I log on there), but I have to wonder why Linden Lab does that, anyway.

    And, finally, in lockstep with nearly everyone else, video tutorials need to be accompanied with simple text explanations detailing the information in them. I have yet to see a single video tutorial that couldn’t be condensed into a couple of paragraphs. Videos are nice, but are not usable by everyone, and, besides, for those of us who actually do enjoy them, they are poor candidates for documentation. I learn a lot from some of them, but if I need to refer back, I’d really rather just look up a text file — preferably one I can keep on my hard drive.

    And, Jeremy, you are to be commended staying on top of your blog thread. I wish every Linden that started one would check back periodically and respond to comments other people post. Sometimes we think we’re just being ignored and it seems like threads are open to comments just to let us blow off steam in a vacuum. It’s refreshing to see at least a few of you care enough to keep the communication channels open.

  38. Capt Carroll says:

    Video vs text … Different people learn in different ways, so ideally providing *both* formats will help the greatest number of people. For me, text format is much better because it’s easier to follow along at my own speed. Also I can easily copy/paste the key points into my own cheat sheet.

    More importantly however, text in web pages is much more indexable by search engines. Which is another powerful reason to make them public (no login).

    For good examples of how to describe complicated procedures in text format, look at the photoshop community. The magazines (Photoshop User, Layers, NAPP) have been doing this extremely effectively for some time, and publish gobs of techniques online in both formats. Do whatever you want, as long as you give me concise attractive text in web pages! lol

    Jeremy – love your work, keep it up!

  39. Irene Muni says:

    About Video versus Text, i think that video is a very visual help for understand the explanation.

    But please: remember that english spoken people aren’t the only users of SL. There are people who can read english language. But maybe they have problems listening english.

    ยฟVideo or Text? Both, please ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Anylyn Hax says:

    I feel free now. there are so mny things to undo. I like to start by undoing the globalisation ๐Ÿ˜‰

  41. Prodigal Maeterlinck says:

    I discovered this by force of habit; CTRL-Z maps to ‘Undo’ in just about any text, code or graphics editor. I thought it was considerate and intuitive design on LL’s part.

  42. Furniture says:

    The knowledge base and Wiki should be merged. Linden Lab can always make Wiki pages un-editable if they do not want the content changed. However, allowing the community to edit the knowledge could benefit everyone. There are a number of out of date pages in the knowledge base compared to the Wiki and vice-versa.

  43. mimi says:

    Totally off topic but I just tested the windlight viewer THE AVATAR IMPOSTORS ARE AMAZING! GREAT!!!!!!!!!!

    I was not sure if they were in the new viewer, but when i disabled them i saw the difference!

    OMG they bend in so smoothlessly! GREAT FEATURE!

  44. Chaz Longstaff says:

    >> Cat Gisel Says: See, YOU needed an Undo for this blog entry

    Line of the day, LOL! 10 points!

  45. Amanda Ascot says:

    Seeing as how this thread is still open and didn’t get filled up, yet, I’m going to throw in a couple more cents’ worth of comments that are actually totally on-topic.

    1) ctrl-z, as pointed out already, is a pretty standard keyboard shortcut, and I love that LL incorporated this (if only it also worked on my electric typewriter). This is so much more convenient than multiple clicks to access a menu. We need keyboard shortcuts for *everything* in SL! OK, maybe we need bigger keyboards to do that …

    2) Multiple undo — YES! This has been a gamesaver for me more often than I can remember.

    3) Undo memory: I didn’t know what to call this, but I’m talking about the fact that every edited object has it’s own undo “tree”. I don’t know how deep it is, since it’s always been able to fix my own buried mistakes, though. What is ultra-cool about Second Life’s undo feature, though, is that it (sometimes) will persist even after logging out and logging back on, again. I suspect this comes under the category of “undocumented/unsupported feature”, even though it is mentioned in the Knowledge Base article, so don’t complain if it doesn’t always work. It won’t.

    4) Did I say “Knowledge Base article”? Yes! I do believe I did! This is actually one of those *useful* articles, even if many residents don’t, for whatever reason, bother to access the Knowledge Base to look it up (log in, search for “undo” and, voila!, you’re there).

    All in all, “Undo” is something Linden Lab did right, and for those of us prone to errors, it’s a very good thing they did. I have a few issues with it, though.

    1) I really don’t know the technical details behind implementing an undo in Second Life, but I really wish that various object parameters, besides positioning, could be reverted by this function. I would think that this would be relatively simple to implement. I can understand the additional database load this could cause, but that could be at least partially resolved by not remembering changes across “sessions” — a “session” ending upon log-out, taking the edited object into inventory, or transferring it to another person.

    2) There should be a way to “skip” a specific undo step in a chain of undo events.

    Other than these issues, I like my “Undo”!

  46. Manjagan says:

    Sorry for the off topic guys, but i dont know where to ask…
    I havent been on sl for a couple of months (rl issues) and now, when i try to log in it says waiting for โ€œregion handshake,โ€ then it says log in failed try again later or click help. The help button didnt work, I got a blank screen. I also uninstalled and re-installed Second Life, but to no avail. I still cant log inโ€ฆ Can anyone tell me what to do?
    It seems this was a problem some time ago, so im wondering if i am the only one who dont know what to do abt it, since i wasnt here when it was a “common” problem.. Thanks

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