Getting Your Delivery Box Right

January 21, 2013 by
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, New Products, SL Marketplace 

Selling your products in Second Life is a surprisingly complicated process that involves many different activities. From making sure you have all the proper parts in the box, to setting the proper permissions, to naming things and labeling things so they make sense, it’s a sometimes tedious process of double- and triple-checking mundane details.

It’s long been our belief at DGP4SL that the real purpose of computers is to help us poor hapless humans do things better and with less error (and more speed when possible). Because computers are tireless and don’t get bored or bleary-eyed, they make excellent detail checkers. Most everyone is familiar with common spell-checkers; some folks are even experienced with grammar checkers. But very few of us are familiar with other forms of automated detail checkers.

Getting the Delivery Box Right

Since people first started selling things to others in Second Life, the standard means of delivering the product has been to put all the myriad parts into a single prim, stick a texture on the outside, give it a suitable name and then use it as a “Delivery Box”. The advantages are many, a single-prim delivery box allows the Seller to collect everything necessary into one item then deliver that one item very easily. It also has the advantage to the Buyer of having a single repository of everything included in the purchase.

But making sure you have all the right parts in the box, and furthermore making sure you have all the necessary Permissions set properly can be a real headache. The Viewer provides a function to view all the contents and their permissions, but most people don’t know how to use it or even know that it exists. There’s also the issue of Buyers not understanding what to do with “this stupid box” once they receive it. So there has to be a way to help get the details right for the seller and give the buyer some basic info on what to do once they make their purchase.

Enter the “Delivery Box Preparation Script” …

Delivery Box Contents and Permissions

The DGP4SL Delivery Box Preparation Script is a simple single-script solution that can help in a lot of the detail areas by performing several actions automatically. Once the script is added to the Delivery Box, it begins by listing (in the Nearby/Local Chat window) all the contents of the Delivery Box prim. Each line of the listing includes the type of the item (e.g. Animation, Gesture, Object, etc.), its Next Owner Permissions, and the name of the item. The list makes a handy reference for the seller to quickly review that all the parts are included and that they all have the proper Permissions. Because it lists the Next Owner Permissions, it shows what permissions will be in effect once the buyer opens and retrieves all the items.

Default Click Action

A little-known feature of a Prim is the ability to set what action is performed when the prim is “Touched” (single-clicked). The default action is simply “Touch” … basically nothing unless used to trigger some script action. However there is also an action called “Open”. When the Default Click Action is set to Open, a click on the Delivery Box Prim will cause a Contents window to appear. This window shows all the contents of the Prim along with their Permissions. This is the most effective means of setting a Delivery Box as it cuts down on the buyer’s confusion. If they just goof around and click it once … Presto! They see everything inside. They also see two buttons that allow copying the items listed into their Inventory. Again this is an excellent way to automate retrieving the items from the Delivery Box.

The Delivery Box Preparation Script will automatically set the Default Click Action to “Open” after it has listed the contents. So rather than forcing you to remember to set it using the standard Edit controls, the script sets it automatically for you.

Floating Text Instructions and Labeling

Floating Text, basically words that hover above or in front of a Prim, are a source of much controversy in Second Life. Because the words have a tendency to “poke through” walls, floors and other solid objects, they can be quite visually annoying. But they can also be very helpful, especially in situations where they provide basic instructions and information. They are also usually acceptable in cases where the Prim they adorn won’t be staying in-world but will be removed shortly after use. Delivery Boxes are used in this exact manner; they are rezzed, emptied and then Taken or Deleted. So really if they have a bit of floating text that gives basic use instructions, it’s not often a problem for anyone.

The Delivery Box Preparation Script sets Floating Text on the Delivery Box. After listing the contents and setting the Default Click Action, the script will prompt you to enter a line of text into Nearby/Local Chat. That line of text is used to set one or more lines of Floating Text on the Delivery Box Prim. The first line of the text is also used to set the name of the Delivery Box Prim. You use the Pipe “|” character to separate multiple lines in the text you enter. This allows you to include basic instructions, display version numbers … basically anything you want to be shown to the buyer as soon as they rez the Box.

Cleaning Up

Once the Delivery Box Preparation Script is all done, it will delete itself from the Delivery Box Prim. That ensures that you don’t have to do any last minute clean-up; it’s all handled automatically. You just have to Take the prepared Delivery Box back into your Inventory, double-check that its permissions are set properly (the Box’s Permissions, not those of the Items inside) and then put it into your Vendors, upload it to the Marketplace or any place else you need to use it.

Getting The Script

As mentioned at the start, the DGP4SL Delivery Box Preparation Script is a Freebie. It’s available on the SL Marketplace. It does require just a tiny bit of work as it is delivered on a Notecard. It has to be delivered this way because it self-deletes after running. Thus trying to put it into a box and deliver it that way causes it to vanish as soon as it’s dropped into the delivery box. But full instructions are provided that explain step-by-step how to create the Script for yourself.

We hope you get good use from the Script. It’s saved us a lot of time in standardizing our delivery boxes. You’re also welcome to pass it along to your friends in case they might find it useful too. Enjoy and … play nice!

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