Sunday, May 21, 2006

[Update] Progress on Group improvements.

Kelly 'leaked' some information about the work he is doing on Groups in the Second Life Answers forum.

What we are addressing is group structure. In many ways this needed to be done before many of the others[improvements] could because it changes drastically how groups work.

We are replacing the fixed Officer/Member system with a FAR more flexible roles system that allows for multiple roles per group, each role with definable action powers. Any member in a group is always part of the 'Everyone' role, and can be in 0 or more other roles, and yes the action powers of the everyone role are definable. There is also always an Owner role, which must always have at least 1 person in it and always has full powers. Other than those 2 roles there can be up to {TBD small number, like 10} user defined roles.

There are on the order of 35 - 40 selectable action powers currently. They are additive only - if you are in any role that can do action X, then you can do action X.

This will be excellent, we will be able to delegate tasks to other members without fear of them selling the land from right under you, or any other nastiness. This could even be a boosts to jobs inworld, because we will be able to match the permission to the job, like prim clean up for instance. Only downside having so many powers will be that it could be confusing if not properly explained.

Btw, this sound a lot like what Tiger Crossing suggested a couple of months ago on several blog posts.

There are 2 other new things in this project:
Group Notices: Notices are announcements to the group that may include an inventory attachment. They are sent to email if offline and show onscreen when you next login, or if you are already online. They are opt-outable on an individual basis or per-role as defined above. Past notices are saved for 30 days and available from the groups window.

Finally we don't have to use the voting system anymore. But I'm curious how this will be implemented, will we get announcements through those ugly blue pop up boxes, or is something more fancy in the works. Same goes for the attachments that can be include, another blue pop up box?

Ideally i would like to see a window like in your email client. A list of messages that you can click to read and attachments that can be dragged/clicked in to inventory.

An increase in the max number of groups to 25. Groups are complicated and resource intensive things. Unfortunately the group roles stuff does not improve that. Increasing the max number of groups has a significant increase in needed resources: each new group slot means between 1 and {total number of active residents} new groups. That can be a lot. We will be upping the limit to 25 and we do know there is a desire for more so we will be watching carefully to see what the next step will be.

This project has been progressing nicely, however as you can guess there is significant testing needed and I am not sure when this will reach public preview or release.

Finally another message about increasing groups. I was there when the group increased from 10 to 15, and it took me several months to fill those extra 5. And with all the group chatter you don't want to be in to many groups. But even i have bumped into the 15 groups limit and some extra room will be welcomed by a lot of residents.

This has been long promised and was supposed to be soon after 1.9 . But I suppose that was a llSoon. :P Let's hope it is in 1.10.1. I suppose that at first the group increase was a separate project that they later joined with group permissions overhaul.

Oh, for any one who hasn't noticed, 1.9.1 is renamed to 1.10.

While Kelly wasn't sure when this would reach public preview, Robin on the other hand does has an idea.
the group tools which will help you with organization and management of your groups are in internal preview and will be made available for general preview in the next week (barring some substantial bug that holds it back).
I assume she means here, the week starting from monday the 29th. But anyway, if everything goes smoothly we will be testing this stuff soon.

See you in SL.

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