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Will DIRECT INVENTORY DELIVERY be mandatory?


Toysoldier Thor
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So I know from LL comments that an alternative to MagicBoxes is quietly being tested somewhere in the beta sites of SL (at least I hopes its being done in the beta grid).  And eventually the concept of direct merchant inventory transfer/delivery of SLM sold items will eventually go live.  No clue when...

BUT...

For us Merchants that - for a few reasons - would rather stay with the MAGICBOX delivery solution and not migrate over to the new LL Direct Invesotry Delivery system, will we have the option of maintaining out MAGICBOXES?

I know serveral of my fellow Merchants seem to constantly complain that Magicboxes are so terrible and unreliable and cant wait for the new alternative.  But, personally, MagicBoxes have not been a problem for me at all.  Yes there is the rare occassion when a delivery of a SLM sold item is slow but this is not often for me nor have 99.9% of my customers ever complained about it.  In fact I have has almost as many inworld basic prim vendor issues as I have had magicbox issues.

So for me - Magicboxes work great.

If they work great for me - I do not want to take on the substantially increased risk of having LL's SLM Sold Item Delivery applications now performing transaction DIRECTLY from my avatar's core inventory (i.e. pulling out - transfering out items in my avatar's personal inventory) and sending it to my customer. 

WHY?  because history has shown that LL does not have a good track record of proper Software development - followed up by having an even less mature software deployment and quality assurance testing methodolgy.  So... even if initially at a very small scope and with very limited situations, the new Direct Inventory Transfer application appears to work, the chances are good that in the larger deployment - things will break.  AND... even if somehow LL pulls off a miracle and the direct delivery solution V1 rolls out without a hitch, any future tampering of this code by LL could break this solution.

The reason I am VERY CONCERNED about LL making mistakes here (which again histry says there are good odds) is that their mistakes will DIRECTLY IMPACT MY CORE INVENTORY.  Scary example:  "Ooops - we had a bug in our delivery application and it ended up transfering in the avatar's inventory to a customer or it exposed/delivered something to the customer that was not intended".

With the Magicbox solution - AS MUCH AS MANY MERCHANTS HATE IT - at least the scope / scale of the impact of a mistake by the LL delivery system is only with what is in my Magicbox.  There is a clear layer of seperation between the SLM applications and my Avatar's general and most critical/personal inventory.

Its like my Credit Card being hacked/compromised versus my Bank Card being compromised.  If someone hacks my CC - the damage is limited to the credit limit of the CC and I have 30 days to rectify the issue before I might be forced to actually pay.  With a Bank Card, the damge is done directly to my primary source / store of funds.  Its immediate and dangerous damage!

So... I would like to know that LL will give us Merchants that would rather not trust LL's new method, the ability to stay on the Magicbox model.

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It seems that it will be optional at first while it's being developed, which means that those with hesitations can wait it out until it's more mature, as stated by Brooke at the last user group meeting:

[17:52] Brooke Linden (brooke.linden): initial public roll out will allow merchants to either list in item with AIS delivery or Magic Box delivery

As decent as a scripted delivery system "can" be, it has inherent problems. We use networked vendors and most of the devs seem to share some common failure rates.

The idea here is to bypass the inworld calls where possible I believe, which means eliminating some points of failure. Pretty sure this will prove to not only be more reliable, in being able to access data directly and bypass in-world scripts, but should also be "much" faster.

Other than that, not going to fret about tomorrows problems today. Looks like a public rollout that makes sense so far, being optional at first and giving people some time to try it out.

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Toy, until we know exactly how this is going to work we're spinning our wheels here. Heck the UUID for the items in the Magic Box is unique and calls for a sub-set of UUDIs below it. Perhaps they will port existing configurations of our products from the boxes? Who knows, certainly not me :smileywink:

 

BTW.. what does AIS stand for? Asset Inventory Server?

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I am not sure what you mean by Direct Delivery, if this means merchants will have to be logged in to SL and actually transfer the items purchased to a customer, then this is a bad idea and will FAIL. I mean who wants to purchase something and wait for the merchant to come online to deliver the item?

If by DIrect Delivery you mean there will be a way where the items will be directly pulled off our inventories via UID of some sort then this I can live with. 

As for magic boxes, I am convinced that the failed deliveries issue has more to do with the website than the magi box itself. I never had any delivery problems with the old Xstreet. 

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@Darren: Piecing it together from various conversations by Lindens, direct delivery seems to work like this:

You put your item in a folder of your own under a special folder (say #Marketplace) in your inventory (assuming folder name becomes the name of your product listing)

Any items in that folder are delivered as a folder to the buyer (you don't need to be logged in, this is direct database transfer from one users folder to another), no scripts or in-world mechanics needed.

There was some mention in a blog post of a configuration notecard that you could put into that folder to give it specific instructions I believe.

By doing it this way, some other things become possible that we'll hopefully see like an actual receipt of delivery of items. Verified delivery would be a huge bonus!

Or being able to use textures in your product inventory folder as product images, etc.

Updating your items would be as easy as updating the product folder, such as renaming, swapping out a landmark or notecards or objects, etc.

Could be a bit off about some of the finer details, will see how that shakes out as we go.

Would save enormous amounts of time packing products as well.

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Argus Collingwood wrote:

BTW.. what does AIS stand for? Asset Inventory Server?

 

Accidental Inventory Smashing?

Automatic Invasion of Security?

Amazingly Inconvenient Shopping?

Sorry .. having a light-hearted moment. I haven't the slightest idea what AIS stands for.

Personally I am a big proponent of Direct from Inventory Delivery. I do see some issues with it that have been mentioned many times before, and I am very hopeful the dev team has those firmly in mind as they get closer to rolling this out. But Thor's concerns are valid. We've seen a lot of "Really Good Ideas" go right off the edge and into oblivion before. When it comes to poking around in my personal (and dang well better be private) Inventory, I would seriously hate to find out that my private contents were inadvertantly delivered to someone because of a glitch in their system. The damage from that could be incalculable.

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Argus Collingwood wrote:

BTW.. what does AIS stand for? Asset Inventory Server?

According to Sea Linden at the last office hour, AIS stands for Agent Inventory Service

I remember reading Toy's guess in the transcript which was AIS = Anti Implementable System.

That cracked me up.

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I can understand your hesitation - the C Team have a E minus  grade when it come to introducing major changes. However so long as the Inventory to Inventory delivery scheme  just send our original packs then  I'm sure it  will be ok BUT there was a scary monster  rumor a few months back where the brainiacs decided that it would be better to deliver the box contents direct without the need for  a customer to rezz and open  our delivered packs at the other end.

That scares me!

If that crazy  scheme is still on the agenda then you can say goodbye to nicely crafted delivery boxes and a whole lot of box contents  disappearing into the asset servers black hole and cheerio to notecards that pop up to highlight Conditions of Sale or Important user info.

The deliver box is as much a brand item as it is a container - a plain old boring utility folder has no visual benefit and no pazzaz and unless they retain the blue pop-up accept button the item could easily be missed - even if deliveries are made direct to an exclusive market place folder.

Somehow I can help thinking this is just another step towards forcing the horrendous viewer 2 down our throats.

 

^L^

 

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Lasher Oh wrote:

I can understand your hesitation - the C Team have a E minus  grade when it come to introducing major changes. However so long as the Inventory to Inventory delivery scheme  just send our original packs then  I'm sure it  will be ok BUT there was a scary monster  rumor a few months back where the brainiacs decided that it would be better to deliver the box contents direct without the need for  a customer to rezz and open  our delivered packs at the other end.

That scares me!

If that crazy  scheme is still on the agenda then you can say goodbye to nicely crafted delivery boxes and a whole lot of box contents  disappearing into the asset servers black hole and cheerio to notecards that pop up to highlight Conditions of Sale or Important user info.

The deliver box is as much a brand item as it is a container - a plain old boring utility folder has no visual benefit and no pazzaz and unless they retain the blue pop-up accept button the item could easily be missed - even if deliveries are made direct to an exclusive market place folder.

Somehow I can help thinking this is just another step towards forcing the horrendous viewer 2 down our throats.

 

^L^

 

If that is the case it would be easy to work around it, just make your box the content? Then the customer still would get the fancy box they have to rez.

 

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@Lasher: Pretty sure it's supposed to be just an inventory -> inventory transfer with the folder, although that's a good point about people not using product boxes and branding as much.

I think for me it would depend on the product whether I put the item in a box in the folder, or just put the item in the folder as-is with notecards and such at top level. It would be even better if it handled sub-folders for neater organization of items.

Mostly, for the sake of convenience though to customers I'd nix the product box just to make the customer see my brand. I already sold them the item, the brand name is probably in the folder name (because I'd put it there), and they really want to get to playing with my item rather than looking at a box with my brand on it. Kind of a win-win for me and the customer in that they have the convenience of just rez-and-go from the folder.

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Well I know all the promises that this should be simple and a no brainer and and and...

BUT I would rather maintain my healthy level of mistrust of LL's development processes and application development - for obvious reasons (history).  It is this healthy skeptical self protection I have with LL's application / systems development / operations AND even out of the blue policy changes that I have maintained a scheduled rules based model of liquidating my $Linden account to the $100L whenever my account reach $27,000L ( ~ $100US) and cash out into paypal.  I do this so that in the unforseen event that LL screws up or a virus or hacker inside the SL systems/grid happens to penetrate what is VALUED to my SL Avatar, the damage would be minimal.

So will it be the case for this situation.  I personally want isolation and demarcation of my SL AVATAR/ACCOUNT from my SL business transactions with others in an automated way.

So.... knowning that AIS will eventually become mandatory and Magic Boxes will be shut down - I am not going to sit and wait until LL tells us all "ohh ok in the next 2 weeks we will be shutting down magicboxes".

I will be working on a plan to create a new TOYSOLDIER-MERCHANT Avatar which I will use as my new MAGICBOX.  Anything I have on SLM for sale - the AIS can target this business only inventory - no other inventory will be in this new avatar.  In this way, anything that potentially happens to the AIS can only have an impact at the scope of my SLM items - like my magic box.

Argus, I dont think thinking ahead of LL doing backroom work and simply waiting for LL to tell us with only weeks of a window to transation is considered SPINNING OUR WHEELS.

Sadly not all of us havbe a full understanding of what Brooke's team is doing with AIS.  Those in the Beta do know all the details and likely are under informed non disclosure to know whats coming our way.  I am not one of them that is in the know and I am not going to sit around waiting.  I need to protect my interests.

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Argus, I dont think thinking ahead of LL doing backroom work and simply waiting for LL to tell us with only weeks of a window to transation is considered SPINNING OUR WHEELS.

Sadly not all of us havbe a full understanding of what Brooke's team is doing with AIS.  Those in the Beta do know all the details and likely are under informed non disclosure to know whats coming our way.  I am not one of them that is in the know and I am not going to sit around waiting.  I need to protect my interests.

 

Toy, that was my thought too. I already created the poor guy..lol he is a penniless, inventory less lacky who only comes in to ski jump once in a while. The work of changing permissions will be tedious. Too bad I can't just stuff the magic box into his mouth and let him digest it.:smileywink:

 

Thanks for the acronym expansion. Agent Inventory Service it is then.

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:ndow to transation is considered SPINNING OUR WHEELS.

Sadly not all of us havbe a full understanding of what Brooke's team is doing with AIS.  Those in the Beta do know all the details and likely are under informed non disclosure to know whats coming our way.  I am not one of them that is in the know and I am not going to sit around waiting.  I need to protect my interests.

 

I didn't even know there was a beta testing going on for this. I wonder why we were not informed about a beta going on.

I'm not looking forward for this boxless future. I also have the fear that it will not function without any problems... and who is going to clean up the mess then. I have been cleaning up twice in one year already now, and I really don't feel for another cleaning round now that all is neat en clean again in my listings.

I'm also see a danger in walking around with all your merchandise with you all the time. We have to deal with enough holes in security yet, in a world where our IP rights are protected on the lowest level possible. This time it are copybots, next time it are copy clients, and what will the future bring? Copy direct from creators inventory bot / client / script / hud? Find inventory by IP adress, through a hole in the security maze?

And what about the plans we heared about in the past like script limits and inventory limits? How long will it take before they are going to force us to pay for holding items a shop above certain limits in our inventory?

 

 

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Madelie...

I didnt know either except when Trilo mentioned he was in the beta testing this AIS system that LL has already developed and is testing.  so I am not sure if the new system can point to a specific avatar account even if another avatar account is the SLM store owner.  I would hope that these requirements have been thought of by the LL Team.

But since the LL has not openly asked anyone what requirements this new direct sales delivery from the merchant's inventory should have - there is no way to feed these requirements in to LL unless you are in this beta (which I also dont know how ppl like Trilo were asked to be in the beta).

I would hope the new AIS has the ability to set the name of the SL Account that the SLM service will transfer inventory from.  If so, it wont be too difficult to create a new SLM MERCHANT Account for me to replace the function and protection that the MAGICBOX currently offers me.  As was already mentioned - the only tough part will be transfer of SLM items for sale to this new AVATAR and make sure the permissions will be set right for transfer to my customers.

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Don't shoot me for this but ...

This would be a perfect and very legitimate use for a Copybot Viewer. (Transferring your "For Sale" inventory to an Alt)

All you'd need to do would be to export the items you have for sale now, change their Creator/Owner info to that of your Alt, then import into the Alt's Inventory.

Just remember not to DMCA yourself and you should be safe. ;^)

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Nothing to shoot you for.  There are actually leget purposes to copy contents with all permissions in place from one account to another - copybotting viewers are just viewers used for illegal purposes.

BUT that is a good idea to think ot - there must be legit versions of this kind of viewer / application.

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Whatever happens,

Once Linden deems the System ready (if it is, or not), it will be implemented, if you want or not.

 

I think, technically, seen on the Level of your whole Av, and all it owns as 1 Data-File, the Delivery out of an Item you own, or out of your inventory isnt at all so very diffrent.

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And what about inventory loss?

I have never lost a magic box. But a part of my inventory has been lost for a while. It were about 6000 items, among those was some of my merchandise. First I tried clean cache, install fresh viewer and things like that, but there was no way to get my inventory back. So I uploaded the most important things that I was missing again. Then after about three weeks my inventory came suddenly back... and I guess I have been lucky it came back at all. I have heared from others who had inventory loss that never came back.

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Only tangentially related, but perhaps of passing interest anyway, there's a new inventory API that will be used for populating inventory windows in the viewer.  It's based on http over TCP (cryptographically secure, I gather not https).  Some may remember that they tried something similar a while back, unsuccessfully, to replace the hideous mess that the current UDP transmissions make of cached inventory listings when connections hiccup.

It's mildly diverting to look at the data structures to see all the yummy stuff we knew had to be in there, some of which some TPVs let us see.

More to the point, however, is the potential this has for a possible future web-based Inventory management interface.  Lindens aren't talking about that yet, but one can dream.

(My natural instinct was to start begging for a secure script interface to this cap, until Kelly casually hinted about stack/heap collision. Doh!)

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Madeliefste -

this is a concern for me too.  I've not had that full inventory show up for months.

Recently, have only been able to load about 9,000 out of 25,000 items.  Can't even get home to my villa in Costa Rica, because forgot name of sim, and LM won't appear.

Creation halted, because anything I built for the last year doesn't show up.

Prior to that, I would box up and package a set - major time - then load it into magic box.  Forgot to leave copies on store floor - then next day it is missing from inventory.  Never shows up again.  So have to repackage and rebox.

Some items just disappear forever.  Fortunately, can pull them off store floor.  Now, my workshop is storage space - have to leave every single item out on floor, in case it disappears from inventory.  This will become expensive due to prims needed.

This concept is really scary.

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I am glad some of you are seeing some of the initial concerns I have about LL's MAGICBOX'less new world.

LL and so many other can all get so wrapped up in their historical pains of current systems (like magicboxes and like the evils of copybotters) that they run too fast to come up with solutions that initially appear to be the MAGIC BULLET (pardon the pun) that will solve all their woes. 

Without a deepdive analysis of the solution design based against a full set of CASE CASE scenarios as well as the environment that you are applying the technology too, and if you are only using your sheltered internal development team to validate the solution (I say sheltered because most LL developers have never been well established Merchants - or even Merchants at all), and a very small team of hand-picked merchants that may know how to do business on SLM but have no strong understanding of systems designs...  it seems we will all be heading toward another  "out of the frying pan and into the fire" scenatio.

Why did I say magicboxes & copybotters?

-  Well this AIS has been devised as a response by LL to address the complaints about MagicBoxes...

-  RedZone has crept out of the crevasses of the "hacking world" to address the frustrations of CopyBotting...

Both ideas looked like such perfect solutions to address the problem they were solving.  We now all have seen how NON PERFECT that redzone has ended up - and if RZ came into the market with more transparency for the larger population to assess - the experts would have told the zfire's and zfire's naive customerbase how bad and non effective and dangerous the solution was/is. 

The subject matter experts and the larger merchant community are starting to get peeks (hearing through non formal channels) how this new non-magicbox solution might work and we are already seeing potential risks.  I sure see the risks.

The fear I have is that - like all of LL's past development / deployments of "good ideas" - by the time we formally hear about the details of the solution from LL, we will only be a few weeks away from LL's commited deployment.  We all know full well (like we did when Brooke dropped the SLM MATURITY FILTER solution bombshell on us in January that LL NEVER BACKS OUT OF A BAD IDEA at that stage of the game. 

With AIS, It will be exactly what Brooke told us with the SLM Maturity Filters, paraphrasing:  "ooops we made a bunch of mistakes and maybe this was not the greatest idea but we will not be backing out now so deal with it - we will just tweek it a bit for you all"

THAT IS WHY I AM TRYING TO BRING UP THIS CONCERN NOW - even though I still have not heard any formal details about this solution from LL... if I dont get people thinknig about this now - it will be too late for all of us if we hear about it formally from LL - if its not too late already since I understand that Merchants are already in closed beta with LL on this solution.

:(

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The number of layers that the current system has to process, and the number of hoops it has to jump through, are far more prone to error than a simple inventory-to-inventory transfer. I'm in favor of the newer approach. I can't wait to ditch magic boxes (even though mine has never failed to deliver, not once) and forget packing up little boxes, and all that jazz, and just drop items into a folder. The ease of use for both me, the merchant, and for the buyer will far outweigh any potential negatives.

Magic boxes worked pretty well on XStreet because users could only purchase one thing at a time, thus providing large gaps of time between deliveries. Now that orders can be bundled, boxes fail as they try to do too much at once. Inventory transfers won't have those issues, the asset server is moving inventory millions of times per day routinely. This will just be another instance, the same as if you gave someone an item directly. The number of points of failure will be drastically reduced -- there will not need to be any in-world messaging, boxes won't have to listen for notification, sims going down won't affect deliveries (your inventory is independent of the state of any sim,) you won't need backup boxes, a whole bunch of things that are weak points in the box delivery system will just disappear.

However -- I do want the same reporting features as the ANS system currently provides. I believe that's Darrius' territory. Darrius, do we know anything about that yet?

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