Over the holidays I started a little project to take some of the building topics that I discussed in my 25 entry blog series on Second Life last year and turn them into an online book. This will allow me to update and improve those pieces, and expand into other areas of building. I reworked a few of the sections on doors and I’ll be adding more over what I assume will be an extended period of time as my schedule and interests permit.
The brief and provisional introduction says:
Welcome to Building in Second Life, By Example, an online book designed to walk you through simple and advanced tasks in designing, constructing, and scripting buildings and other architectural features in Linden Lab’s Second Life virtual world.
Rather than be a reference that exhaustively talks about each individual feature in Second Life, this book will show you how to build by example and in context. While we might occasionally break out into a discussion on the finer details of some feature we are using, the goal is to show you how you can build real (well, virtual) things that you can use. Those can then be the basis for extensions or incorporation into larger projects.
I looked at using a wiki for this but ultimately decided that I didn’t want to have to be online all the time. Another reason is that I wanted to heavily use PHP to dynamically generate parts of the book as well as normalize embeddings of code, links, and so forth. This is in conjunction with my normal use of CSS on this website.
One of the earliest things I tackled was automatic generation of tables of content and navigational aids. It’s just too tedious and error prone to do that by hand, and it takes less than a second to regenerate them all correctly.
The newest section is on toggling the phantom and transparency properties of a door to “open” and “close” it.