Turns out that ‘digging’ virtually with the land tools in Second Life is emphatically not a good idea. Things get out of control waaaay too easily. I suddenly had an abyss and a Matterhorn side-by-side in the middle of our plot of land, the bits and pieces of the demolished cabin flying violently about the place… yikes. Throw in a bit of lag and some rendering issues, and I had my own personal Bosch going on.
I tried show-hide scripts, which worked well enough, except I could not then excavate what was underneath, though I could see it. That was because of course the original prim was still in position. D’oh.
What I’m trying to do instead – and it seems to be working well – is to put a ‘fly-away’ script into each prim (representing a single context). When the student touches the context, it repositions itself 10m up in the air, revealing the next context underneath. I place internet-linked objects within the contexts as desired. When the context is ‘excavated’ – touched – the object goes into the student’s inventory. The student needs to rename the objects appropriately – cataloging them – so as not to lose them in the inventory. They can then rez the objects to examine them, which opens up a browser window to the Open Context archive. Next thing to think about is the interface with Nabonidus, whether to try to bring it in-world or let the students loose in their own browsers.
Note also my prototype contexts are just wee boxes as of yet. They’ll get better, promise. I suppose I could combine the show/hide with the fly-away, but then I’d have a devil of a time finding them again to reset for the next student.
Picture below shows the current state of affairs. For reasons I cannot fathom, the regular Second Life client is not loading info from the website, but the OnRez viewer works great. Go figure.