The beta test of browser based Second Life is here. Also known as Project Skylight. New World Notes has an article; Second Life Launches Beta Web Browser Access Test Using Gaikai Cloud-Based Streaming. NWN points to a more complete write up here: Ch’know’s In Your Browser! The Linden Lab page promoting it is here: Browser Based Second Life.
If you hit the right link window you should NOT see a sign up request. You have no control over which window you get. If you sign up for an account you WILL be asked to pick a user name, password, and provide an email address. If you are asked, you have missed the Browser Based Path. You can stop and retry. Reload the page. Read through the rest of this article for the details and the process.
Update: A WORK-AROUND to reloading the page a billion times has been found. Once on the page paste in this URL:
It does not look like URL, but it works. The brain to figure this out was Marv Martin.
If you sign up, your login information is emailed, but it is for sign up to the regular SL. This is a typical email confirmation type email with a link to click on and confirm you got their email. I used my Gmail account, which I thought may have been a mistake but wasn’t. You’ll see what I mean as you read on.
You should only be asked for an email address then immediately be dropped into SL. You should see something like the above image. The email you get will be a welcome and please join the ‘real’ SL promo. So, you can get by with a through-away email address and never need read the email.
I was surprised when I was first directed to a download. I thought this was about avoiding the download thing. Actually, being told to download is your second clue things are going sideways. If you get to a download page, you can definitely stop. You are absolutely on the wrong path. Skip down to ‘Success.’
There is no download or install if you are on the Browser Based path. If downloaded and you continue you’ll find you are downloading an installer. Clicking the Download button downloads and installer which then downloads the standard SL Viewer and opens an install options window. If you install using the default settings it will install the ‘viewer’ in the default folder (C:\Program Files\SecondLifeViewer2). If you are coming to SL for the first time the default folder is just fine. If you are a current resident then I doubt that is a good move. But, it SHOULD work fine. There is just no point in installing it because you already have it.
There is an Advanced button on the install screen that lets you change the install folder. Install does a quick download with some basic ‘how to’ and promo animations playing. The down load took less than a minute. I got a 684kb file named Second_Life_Setup.exe.
The setup file ran, rather quickly downloading, unknown to me at the time, the regular SL Viewer and I was surprised to find myself in my SL Viewer… 😦 Second Life 2.2.0 (212097) Oct 14 2010 11:29:55. On top of that it was running in supper lag mode. You know, when it takes minutes for any mouse click to register. This is usually fixed by clearing the cache and restarting. I just uninstalled this copy.
A quick look at the install folders shows this is the SL Viewer.
I used my main av’s email address so that might have been the problem, it wasn’t. But, I tried again with another address. Same result, I was still sent to download the SL 2.2.0 viewer and logged into the main grid. It was not an email thing.
Why could I not get the Browser Based connection?
I went looking for answers.
What many are finding is they are arbitrarily sent to sing up and download. Once you get that page, you are not going to get into the browser based version.
It is unclear what causes one to switch paths. I have read several saying they got no sign up screen, but just popped into the SL Browser Based experience. So, how did they do that?
If you get on the browser based path you should just drop into SL. If you are switched to the regular SL Path you are asked to sign up and then your confirmation email will link you to SL, download, and login… nothing new.
The decision as to which path they put you on is not based on; browser, email, IP Address, or anything I can identify. Some get in using Chrome, IE, Firefox, etc. on a first or second try. Some seem to get in using a different browser on a second try. Others say just keep trying, never signing up.
If you visit http://interest.secondlife.com/beta and see this:
You are not going to get the Browser Based version. If you see JOIN, reload the page. This is now confirmed. Keep reloading the page. Eventually you will get this image:
Keep trying. You will likely make it in. I did.
It works very much like the regular SLV2 viewer. However, it is a very stripped down version. You have no inventory and a limited choice of avatars, 20+. You are limited to a 60 minute login. But,you can come back as often as you want. At the end of 60 minuets you are asked if you want to relog. You are signed out. The landing page gives you the option to go again or join.
You get a name like 239108 Guest. When you return you have a different name. Bummer.
You can chat and IM others that you can see. SL residents can IM you using your current login name… if you can get it to them.
No Map or Mini Map. Map Teleporting is out. One can use Destinations for teleport. There is no search and no related teleporting. The Touch to Teleport links to adult areas does not work. Any ‘sit on’ in sim teleports work.
I ran into some lag and rubber-banding. In shops the textures for the …vendors… was downloading in stages just as they do in the regular SLV. I do think it is faster. You have no cash so you can’t buy. Free stuff is something it seems you can be given, but there is nothing you can do with it. Information comes up in chat. But without inventory…
Those using Fraps say the browser-viewer runs at 30FPS. The Anti-Alias (AA) does not work. So, the image is jaggy, not bad. AA does not work in several viewers or is off by default. So, it is not that noticeable. The render window is a fixed size. Network load is about 3mbps.
All the usual camera controls work, Alt-Left-Mouse and etc. However there seems to be no first person view (M does not change the view).
Most media does not work. Streaming parcel music works. YouTube TV’s do not work.
No blue drop down menu dialogs. Beds and chairs with controls using dialogs do not work. One can set on the pose balls if someone else works the menu. Without inventory there is no way to use huds. Dance animations seem to work.
It is pretty nice. It will make for a great way to introduce people to SL.
It is rumored that the test is only for U.S. residents. The more I read the more I suspect a timing thing. The video playing may be used to test one’s connection speed. They have a number of videos. That may be to test the effectiveness of the marketing ideas used in them. I don’t see that being it. Or it could be so that cached files do not give false reading, which I suspect is the real reason.
That could explain why retries eventually get one in. When one hits a video for the second time, the false faster speed gets them in… who knows? Whatever… people with slow connections seem to have more problems. But, several people with fast connections had problems too.
A day after trying the Browser Based version I got an email asking me to take a survey. I did. Like most fixed answer surveys it lacked some choices I would have liked. But, it is a chance to give feed back.