Hello again, my dearest dears! At long last here begins my promised missives on Second Life creation. As I mentioned in a previous blog, last summer, while the rest of the holiday making world was working out the twists and turns of the latest romance or crime novel , I spent my lovely, long, lazy beach holiday afternoons with two 400 page official Second Life content creation guides. The inspiration for this post comes largely from scripting your world by Dana Moore (Master of Science degree in engineering, former chief scientist for Roku Technologies, currently a division scientist for BBN Technologies) Michael Thome(degrees in cognitive science from Rochester and Boston Universities) , and Dr. Karen Zita Haigh ( builds robot brains, and was one of the people to whom NASA showed the Challenger explosion data ) . Now, these folks, who are clearly world class math geeks, began this tome by assuring the reader ” You do not need to be a programmer, a mathematician or computer scientist-some parts of this book WILL be slow going if you haven´t any prior experience, but don´t worry, NOTHING HERE IS ROCKET SCIENCE…..” Dream on nerds. I read this book in chunks going backwards and forwards, I took notes, I skipped chapters that just didn’t seem relevant, and by the end of the summer I went from being somebody who didn’t really understand what scripting was, to….
Now- rattle and hum.
CHAPTER I: WHAT THE HELL IS A SCRIPT?
A script is a program. EVERYTHING in our computer generated world that does something has a script, written in Linden Scripting Language(LSL). Often things that don´t seem to do anything, have a position, or texture that is determined by a script. We can access some scripts. If you have an object with permission to modify, this will include adding or changing scripts. Our avatars are obviously scripted, but we are not allowed to modify them. Ever.
Scripts can eat up computer resources like a wildfire in summer. There are limits to how much information any computer can deal with, and poorly written information is one of the the worst things around. A computer doesn’t take a time out and SMS the programmer to say ” Um, excuse me; this seems to be contradictory.” It either won´t read the program at all, or mindlessly pump more and more resources into it´s doomed attempt to decipher mathematical gibberish. And it will do this until it´s power is cut off, or time, as we understand it, ends. We have all been there-downloaded some damn thing that caused our computer to slooooooow down to the point where it is drooling too much to even crash. In Second Life, we call that LAG. Have you ever teleported to an area with tons of people? People who all have flashing, billowing clothes, enormous waving hair… Or you enter a region with a horse farm, a Meero Ranch, any breedable, highly scripted animal. Your computer commences to drool ; your avatar can´t move, nothing loads. Bad lag mojo, caused by excessive, conflicting ,or just badly written scripting.
Most landlords will warn you about leaving complex scripts running when you are offline, or scripting and causing bad lag for your neighbors. 75 percent of sandboxes on the main grid don´t allow scripting. A great many landowners have automatic script checks running. If you are wearing too much scripted stuff, if you are wearing one item that sucks every scrap of cyberintelligence in a three region radius into a script that gives your shoulderbag realistic sway, you must remove it before entering. Juju always passes with flying colors, by the way.
And so my dears, I hope this first chapter has made it clear what a script is. Now for the next step!
CHAPTER II – WHERE THE HELL ARE ALL THESE SCRIPTS ?