You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2007.

I’m not sure why, but this struck me as oddly amusing. It is also, however, very clever, and immediately useful for anyone who is new to scripting.

May I present Ann Enigma’s LSL Script Auto-Generator!

In fact, even if you are not new to scripting, but you want to quickly generate a relatively simple script (possibly as the starting point for something more elaborate), this might well be useful.

Don’t miss Ann’s main blog, either, if you have any interest in virtual worlds:

One common item which you will find around Second Life is the ‘owner on-line’ indicator. There are various different versions of these, but most of them change color and display some floating text to say whether the owner is on-line.

Here is a script which implements this. It uses the llRequestAgentData function to find out whether the owner is on-line. This reports the information back to the script via the dataserver event, which then changes the text message and the color of the prim appropriately.

string ownerName;
key onlineQry;
 // Store the owner's name.
 ownerName = llKey2Name(llGetOwner());
 // Send a request for the information. This will
 // be sent back in the dataserver event.
 onlineQry = llRequestAgentData(llGetOwner(), DATA_ONLINE);
 // Start a timer to regularly check the on-line
 // status.    
 on_rez(integer r)
  onlineQry = llRequestAgentData(llGetOwner(), DATA_ONLINE);    
 dataserver(key query_id, string data) 
  vector prim_color;
  if (query_id == onlineQry)
   // The data parameter holds TRUE if the owner
   // is on-line.
   if ((integer)data == TRUE)
    // Change the text.
    llSetText(ownerName + " is on-line", <0.0, 1.0, 0.0>, 0.5);
    // Set the object color to green.
    prim_color = <0.0, 1.0, 0.0>;
    llSetColor( prim_color, ALL_SIDES );
    // Change the text.
    llSetText(ownerName + " is off-line", <1.0, 0.0, 0.0>, 0.5);
    // Set the object color to grey.
    prim_color = <0.5, 0.5, 0.5>;
    llSetColor( prim_color, ALL_SIDES );
 changed(integer change)
  if (change & CHANGED_OWNER) 
   // We have changed owner. Reset the script to
   // make sure that we pick up the change
   // correctly.

This is the last of this series of blogs from Better World Island. I have spent this vacation in a house specially build by Riversong Gardens, the owner of Better World Island, so it seems appropriate to conclude with a brief tour of this extremely attractive house.

Starting at the outside:

House front

The clean vertical and horizontal lines, combined with the use of a dark wood texture, give the house its distinctive and appealing Japanese look. Builders will probably also note that these simple lines help to keep the prim count down!

There are two sets of doors, one set opening on the living area, the other on the bedroom. A couple of views of the living area first:

Living Area (1)

Living Area (2)

Once again, the clean simplicity of the lines gives the room a consistent look, relieved by the Japanese prints and bas-reliefs. This same approach extends to the furnishings, which are again minimal but attractive, and show the attention to detail that marks a good build:

Furniture (1)

Furniture (2)

 Going through the side doors we enter the bedroom:


The bedside lamp and the patterned bed cover prevent this from looking too austere or uncomfortably angular. Instead, there is a relaxed, peaceful feel to the room (and indeed the whole house), which fits well with the intent of Better World Island itself.

If you like this house, Riversong Garden intends to start selling it from her store — I’ve included the SLURL for the store in the links below.

And finally

I’ve had an excellent vacation on Better World Island. It’s been fascinating, informative, and engaging. If you’ve been following these blogs, I hope I’ve given you a taste of what Better World Island is all about. If you’re a resident of Second Life I hope I’ve encouraged you to visit it yourself!

I’ll conclude by thanking Saffia Widdershins of PrimPerfect for providing this prize, and Riversong Garden for providing a lovely house and a fascinating island.

My vacation might be over, but I don’t doubt that I shall be paying return visits to Better World Island in the future. I hope to see you there!


Photo Album

SLURL for Riversong Gallery @ Secret Smile

Riversong Garden’s blog

PrimPerfect Magazine web-site

SLURL for Better World Island

My time on the island is drawing to a close. There are still places that I haven’t covered, so I thought that for this blog I would take you for a quick run round the island and point out some of the other areas.

If you teleport to the island, you will arrive at the main hub, which conveniently has local teleports to some of the main areas. Instead, though, step onto the wooden walkway that runs round much of the coast, and follow it counter-clockwise.

Not very far from the hub, you will pass a windmill, and just beyond that is a large blue-walled building. This is Quixote’s, a relaxing place to sit with your friends, listening to the Spanish guitar and eating burritos. There are tables downstairs, and comfortable sofas and chairs upstairs.


Leave Quixote’s and continue along the coast. Just across the sea to the right is the small island of the Center for Water Studies (see my earlier blog), and on the left you will see the Peace Tiles project (and a small wishing well just up the hill).

Further along the coast you come to the back of the Centre for Performing Arts. If you wish, you can leave the path and explore the centre, though at the moment there doesn’t seem to be much to see there.

Centre for Performing Arts

As with a number of places on the island, the Performing Arts Centre overlooks the central lake. On the far side of the lake you will see, the independant news broadcaster.

The lake itself is well worth a stroll around, just to enjoy the peace and stillness. Try not to disturb the deers!

Better World Island lake

With that, I will end this tour of Better World Island. I am going to do one more blog relating to the island, because the house that I have been staying at deserves a post all of its own.


As before, here are links to my snapshots from my own visit to the center, along with the other areas of Better World:

A Better World Island snapshot album

And to visit the Better World Island itself (if you have Second Life installed):

Better World Island SLURL

Here is a very simple way to create rippling water for a pond or swimming pool. It uses the water textures which are in the Second Life standard library, so you don’t have to spend money uploading any textures!

To make this work, create two prims. For the sake of this example, I’ll call them Water and Ripples, just to make it easier to identify which one I am talking about.

Make them both the same size, and flatten them as thin as possible — they are going to combine to form the water surface.

Place them so that the Ripples prim is just above the top of the Water prim.

In the Second Life texture library, find the Waterfalls folder. Texture the Water prim with the “Water – ripple layer 1” texture, and the Ripples prim with the “Water – ripple layer 2 texture”.

In the Water prim, create a new script, and replace the script contents with the following:

        llSetTextureAnim(ANIM_ON | LOOP | SMOOTH | ROTATE, ALL_SIDES,
                        1, 1, 1, 1, -0.025);

This will slowly rotate the texture.

In the Ripples prim, create a new script, and replace the script contents with the following:

        llSetTextureAnim(ANIM_ON | LOOP | SMOOTH | ROTATE, ALL_SIDES,
                        1, 1, 1, 1, 0.025);

This will slowly rotate the texture, but in the opposite direction to the texture of the Water prim.

The result, to my eyes at least, is a very convincing rippling water effect. You have to look at it very carefully to spot what is actually happening.

The Peace and Justice Center

Colours to the mast: this particular blog entry was a little awkward to write, because although I sympathise with the sentiments expressed in this area of the Better World Island, I don’t actually agree with them. For what its worth, my own view is that the US and UK should never have gone into Iraq in the first place, but now that they are there it would be wrong to just pull out (I believe that if they do so, Iraq is likely to collapse into civil war, making the situation even worse than before). If my blog comes over as less than enthusiastic (I hope it doesn’t), this is the reason.

The Peace and Justice Center overlooks Better World Island’s central lake, a peaceful location that only underlines the message of the center, which is that the world — and at this specific moment, Iraq — is anything but peaceful.

Along with the calls for action (although some of these seem to be out-of-date), there are many, many notecard givers with extracts from on-line chats and emails with ordinary people in Iraq. To read them is to have a glimpse of what it is like to live in such a war-torn country. They do not make easy reading — which is, of course, the whole point. The center is not designed to make you feel comfortable, it is designed to make you think, and to think hard.

A nice touch is a small area of cushions inside the center, for the express purpose of letting you sit down and think.

Whatever your views on Iraq, you owe it to the people who live there to read what they have to say about their life, and about the profound and painful impact that the past years have had on them.


As before, here are links to my snapshots from my own visit to the center, along with the other areas of Better World Island:

A Better World Island snapshot album

And to visit the Better World Island itself (if you have Second Life installed):

Better World Island SLURL

Ha Makhata

On the far side of the Better World Island is an area that is rather less dramatic in appearance, and less attention-grabbing in content, than the others that I have blogged about, but which deserves a thoughtful visit.

This is the Gardens of Hope area, dedicated to a schoolhouse project in the African state of Lesotho. To describe what it is about, I think I can do no better than to quote from a website about the project (there is a link to this site at the end of the blog):

Near the village of Ha Makhata, Mamello Lehlotha has been working since the year 2000 to give a safe haven to the mentally and physically handicapped. As founder and director of the Phelisanong Disabled HIV-AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children Community Project , she oversees a resource center for disabled adults and children, several HIV-AIDS support groups, a farm, a pre-school, a handicraft cooperative and an outreach program that serves twenty villages in the area.

These kind of self-help projects, whose good effects can last not just for years but potentially for generations, always engage my attention. It is hard to explain precisely how I react to them, but let’s say that they strike me as the best hope for a better life for those involved.

The island area itself may be undramatic, but it is very well put together (the wandering turkeys amused me!), and if you notice a wheelbarrow…well, that is my own small contribution!


The Ha Makhata Schoolhouse Project

As mentioned in my previous blogs, there are snapshots from my own visit to the island, along with the other areas of Better World:

A Better World Island photo album

Better World Island SLURL

Center for Water Studies logoIn contrast to the previous two locations, the Center for Water Studies was a much more relaxing time. There is a still serious intent behind the area, though — the word “Studies” should be a clue to that!

The Center for Water Studies is dedicated to increasing the understanding and appreciation of water habitats. There are several builds here, each depicting a different water system, from the ocean (surrounding the island) to a mangrove swamp. The main island is quite small, if rather rugged, and you quickly move from one habitat to another – each one signed with floating text to let you know what area you are now in.

The builds are very detailed, and active. Badgers swim round their dam, ducks paddle round the pond, dolphins and shoals of fish swim in the ocean, and if you look up you will see birds circling the island.

There is also an event venue – a platform floating above the ocean just beside the island.

A notecard is available from the beach area which gives much more information and background about the Center – don’t miss the chance to read it. And if you visit the event venue, do make a donation there for the work of the Center.


As usual, there are snapshots from my own visit the island, along with the other areas of Better World:

Better World Island photo album

And of course you can visit Better World Island if you have Second Life installed:

Better World Island SLURL

Camp Darfur

My second destination on the Better World Island is if anything even more powerful and affecting than the first. This is Camp Darfur, based around the terrible events in the Sudan.

This is going to be a shorter blog post, because I am reduced to silence. Words and pictures can’t adequately convey the impact of this particular exhibition (and “exhibition” really seems the wrong word), I can only encourage you to visit it yourself.

As with the Baghdad Streets area, it includes some practical ideas, in this case mainly by way of links to websites where you can sign petitions or join groups to support the work of others.


SLURL for Better World Island

This will take you to the hub. You can explore the island from there, or use the teleports.

My album of pictures from the island

Baghdad Streets Exhibition

The Better World island exists, in the words of its owner, Riversong Garden, “to network, nurture, and build awareness about groups, individuals and issues that affect our world.” (Quoted from the September edition of PrimPerfect magazine).

There are various different areas on the island, most of them dedicated in one way or another to raising people’s awareness about situations that exist in the real world, and encouraging them to get involved in actions which can help.

For my first day on the island, after taking a stroll to watch the sunrise, I made my way to the Baghdad Streets exhibition.

“Exhibition” is the wrong word. “Immersive experience”, perhaps. Not quite a simulation (though there are elements of that), but more than just a static collection of pictures.

Even before you enter through one of the stone archways, you can see the flames rising from the street, and hear the sounds of guns, of people sobbing…it is a deeply involving experience.

At various places there are notecard providers. One of them, for example, is from an Iraqi student describing her own experience and feelings (bringing an immediate and highly personal note to the exhibition).

At one place there is a rather incongruous tip-jar, above which floats the message “But what can I do?” And this is the other point about this exhibition. It is not there simply to bring home the suffering of the ordinary people in Iraq. It is there to encourage you to do something about it, and to suggest what you could do.

I think I can do no better than to reproduce the contents of the notecard here. For my part, I don’t necessarily agree with all the views of the creators of this exhibit (but that is a complicated area, and this is not a political blog, so I’ll refrain from further comment), but the simplicity and direct practicality of these suggestions certainly wins my support and admiration:

Notecard from Baghdad Streets exhibition

But What Can I Do?

So you have opened your heart.
So you have felt compassion.
So what?

Turn your feelings into a simple gesture:

Send an email to an Iraqi student and break through the depth of
isolation that comes from living in a war zone:

Contribute to 121Contact with a generous donation into the tip jar
behind this notice. Help this program continue to heal the trauma
engendered by the US occupation of Iraq.

Send a check to:
Bruce Wallace
523 72nd Street
Brooklyn NY 11209

Call you political representatives and ask them to move toward
withdrawing our troops from Iraq as soon as possible.

Be peaceful in your self; with your family; with your friends;
with your enemies. It all starts with you.

In loving kindness, 
PT Witte


You will find an album of my pictures from the Better World Island here:

There is an article about the Better World Island in the September edition of Prim Perfect magazine, which gives much more of the background to island:

Prim Perfect Magazine, September 2007

The owner of the Better World island is Riversong Garden, who has her own website/blog here: