What’s all this then?

Hiya!  I suppose that it’s traditional that I introduce myself and ‘splain what this is all about, so…

I’m Wilhelmina – “call me Mina” – Hinchliffe, a cloud of prettily arranged pixels and bondage scripts in Second Life.  If you don’t know what that is, well we all think that they have issues with marketing so that just goes to confirm it 🙂

When in SL I spend roughly equal amounts of time building things, sailing, and trying to get tied up.  Yep, the internet, arguably the most complex and far reaching achievement of humanity and I mainly use it to pursue my kinky fun time.

But I also sail!

Oh and build things, which is why I’m here.  See I have three friends in SL who have been after me to box up some of my goodies and try to sell them.  One of the main excuses reasons that I haven’t done so until now has been documentation.  See inside SL there are really only a few options for adding instructions to something.  I could:

Have the object “say” the instructions as a text dump.  Trouble is that there’s no formatting to speak of, no way to include images, and each line of chat text is limited to 1000 characters so it could conceivably have to chat a ton of information.  Oh and script memory is a finite resource in SL so putting a ton of instructions into the script would needlessly increase it’s memory usage.

I could also drop all the text into a note card which is the most common way people provide documentation.  If there’s a size limitation I haven’t hit it yet, and note cards don’t effect memory usage so that’s not a worry, but there’s still no formatting to speak of and while I could include textures they would have to be opened individually as opposed to being part of the document.

Just ditch the text entirely and create one or more images with the documentation on them.  The trouble with this is that textures in SL load like a glacier going up a steep hill.  They’re also limited in size to 1024 x 1024 which means more than a few things would require multiple textures each with their own painfully slow load time.

Or use a web page for the documentation and when someone clicks the Help button just send them to the specific web page.

Can you guess which one I picked 🙂