In the event…

Events. They’re the lifeblood of Second Life.

…yes, granted, so are scripts and textures and physics and prims and who knows what else, but let’s not quibble with the metaphor, okay? Events are important. Events give people something to do. When you want to show off your new outfit, take in a fencing tournament, play a game, meet new people, hear some live music, or just kill time, events are the way to go.

When I first entered the world, and wanted to know where I could get started, what I could do in the bewildering thicket that is Second Life, I was pointed at the event listings. And lo, I found classes, and trivia games. And lo, I learned how to make things, and also won cash and prizes. And all was well.

It’s harder to offer that same advice today. The Event listings are pretty close to useless. (Indeed, St. Torley called them “kludgy” in a recent entry.) And why are they useless? Because you can’t effectively search them. For over a year and a half, event searches have worked only on the first word in the title of an event. If you search for “trivia,” as I did on a day long ago, “Triana’s Music Trivia”—the longest-running such game in all of Second Life—will not show up, and you will not find it, and that will be sad. And this is not a rare exception; the key word in an event’s name usually is not the first word in the title.

What this means is that the only way to find an event you might be interested in is to scroll through the entire listing (itself a challenge; these days, I’ve found I can do this only by doing a search after entering a space into the search box), passing pages of events that are still in progress but winding down before getting to upcoming ones. This is less than practical for spur-of-the-moment visits, and downright excruciating for advance planning.

These days, I find out about most events via groups I’m in and word of mouth. The need to be in groups to be so notified puts more pressure on the 25-group limit, but let’s put that aside for now. This also presents additional barriers for people creating new events without an established network. What if you threw a party (or, say, a church service) and nobody came? This happens dispiritingly often; the open events listing is supposed to give you a fighting chance.

The current state of affairs wasn’t always so. Event searches used to work the way you’d expect, searching the full text of titles and descriptions. And, sure, that allowed for occasional keyword spam, but by and large—speaking both as somebody who ran events, and somebody who attended them—the system worked. And I find it bewildering that, almost a year and a half after event search got borked, this still hasn’t been fixed. It seems as if it should be relatively straightforward to squash this bug, and the impact would be enormous.

With all of that in mind, I urge you to vote for VWR-270 on the JIRA, and tell your friends as well. I filed the issue more than 16 months ago, and while it’s been assigned an internal ID, no action has been taken on it. I think the Powers That Be have forgotten the issue exists. Let’s remind them.

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One Response to “In the event…”

  1. samanthapoindexter Says:

    As a followup… I put this on the agenda for today’s bug triage meeting… you can see the discussion at the end of the transcript. The issue’s internal link has been changed from SL-29268 to DEV-3586. I have no idea what that means, but I hope it’s good.

    Additional votes will still be appreciated. We ain’t nearly out of the woods yet…

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