Many of you may have heard of Caledon Oxbridge. Originally part of the Linden Lab Community Gateway programme, even since that has been closed, Oxbridge has continued its mission to help new residents with instructions, classes, freebies and even accommodation. It’s a very popular place – and even well-established residents benefit from its classes on advanced building, scripting and other such topics.
Recently, two classes were planned. The first was a scripting class.
Caledon Oxbridge Class: Intro to LSL (Linden Scripting Language) Part One
Instructor: Frigid Cryotank
Learn about LSL, the Linden Scripting Language, the programming language used to create all the amazing scripted effects you see in Second Life. This class covers the basics of LSL syntax and provides you with a host of resources on where to learn more.
Note that this is a voice class. If you do not know how to make voice work in Second Life, please come about half an hour early and someone at Oxbridge will try to help you set it up.
You must have some scripting knowledge for this class.
This class is held at the Caledon Oxbridge Lecture Hall.
Please contact the instructor, Frigid Cryotank, with questions about this class; not the event poster.
The second class was one of the popular Caledon classes, where new and existing residents can learn more about the Steamlands/Victorian themed area.
Caledon Oxbridge Class: What to Do in Caledon?!
Instructor: Lucien Brentano
Things to do in Caledon
So, you’ve taken the walking tutorial. You’ve picked the freebies clean. You know all about Avatar Safety, you can wield prims with the best of them, and you have an idea of how to make some spending money.
This class aims to showcase some of Caledon’s more interesting activities. Part tour, part lecture, we show students how to look for a party and give them a calendar of events.
Class materials will include landmarks and links to Web-based resources like the Caledon Calendar and the Steamlander forums.
This class is held at the Caledon Oxbridge Lecture Hall.
Please contact the instructor, Lucien Brentano, with questions about this class; not the event poster.
Now, both of those sound … innocuous, don’t they? Your response to them may range from “Ohhh … that sounds interesting!” to “Classes … what a bore!” but one thing I am pretty sure of … neither of those descriptions make you think “Phwoar! That sounds HOT!”
So when Jayleden Miles, one of the volunteers whose devoted work make Caledon Oxbridge the success it is, set out to post those notices to Linden Lab Events, he wasn’t expecting to encounter problems. Caledon Oxbridge is a PG sim, largely because it caters to the educational market, and so these were being advertised as PG Events. But the content was hardly racy, so Mr Miles was a little surprised when these two events were spurned by the automated dictionary censor for being inappropriate for a PG sim.
Being Caledonian to the core, he took this problem to the Caledon social chat where, at that time of the day, sleepy Californians and breakfasting Europeans meet, while Aussies look in as their supper is cooking. And everyone had helpful suggestions.
But the trouble is, the more you look at words, the more the potential for secondary hidden meanings becomes more obvious. After a while, even the most innocent of phrases began to sound lewd. Was it the name of the instructor, Frigid, that was ringing alarm bells? Or was it the invitation to the voiceless: “please come about half an hour early”? And what was wrong with the walking tour? Was it the offer to show “some of Caledon’s more interesting activities”?
The mind boggles.
As Hypatia Callisto commented: “Goodness you have to develop a dirty mind to figure out why the censor automation does what it does!”
But this is where it becomes Kafkaesque. There are NO guidelines for what actually constitutes PG suitable language. You are supposed to deduce that for yourself. And, of course, one can never be entirely sure whether it is an unintentional double entendre on your part, or the software is, in fact, broken, and would reject a nursery rhyme as being unsuitable.
(I was going to use the words “Mary had a little lamb” instead of “a nursery rhyme” in the last paragraph and then thought, no. Don’t go there.)
There is, as any philosopher or communication studies student can tell you, no such thing as purely objective language. Perhaps there’s no such thing as purely PG language either. But expecting residents to flounder without guidance while supplying just a vague “you know what we mean” isn’t good enough. Clearly, we don’t – and we’re not sure Linden Lab does either.
Mr Miles spent well over an hour struggling to translate his already drafted notices into something that the Events form would deign to accept. An hour is, of course, the length of time one might spend teaching a class and imparting a great deal of knowledge. He finally managed to post this for the first event:
Wednesday 7pm Caledon Oxbridge Class: Intro to LSL (Linden Scripting Language) Part One
Learn about LSL, the Linden Scripting Language, the programming language used to create all the amazing scripted items you see in Second Life. This class is held at the Caledon Oxbridge Lecture Hall.
He never managed to find a form for the second class that was acceptable, and finally gave up.
The event calendar has been a source of frustration for years. Even simple problems like pasting in curly quotes cause it to spew error messages with no indications of *why* there is a problem. We won’t even get into the spam it contains. Like the search engine, I feel like LL has chosen to ignore the problem.
http://www.obairlann.net/cgi-bin/filter.cgi – I fed it through the filter called Censortron. it came up with
…. This cl[Censored] aims to showcase some of Caledon’s …..
Guess Class is Out 😉
This kind of thing> really blows me away. It can be hard to feel your way through such a black hole. It leaves you groping for safe words.
I know, Miso. I was concerned less the third image I chose should be regarded as overly suggestive too.
And as for all those dreaming spires!