The Kokua developer team has just posted an announcement stating what they now plan to focus on. Here is the list they published...
1. Focus on the next generation Kokua client rather than Kokua & Imprudence
2. Continue to support Linux 64 bit
3. Keep it easy to explore alternative grids (ie not Second Life proper)
4. Mesh support in Second Life and OpenSim
5. Support older hardware
6. Experimental builds
I was, in fact, beginning to wonder if the Imp/Kokua team was on the point of breaking up so it was a pleasant surprise to read the latest news. To be fair they did ask for user comments on what they thought the team should concentrate on at the start of the month but I was very late seeing it which probably reflects how far down in my consciousness they had sunk. Well, I did have high hopes at one time that the Imprudence team would come up with a solution to a pet wish of mine - improved grid manager - and, to date, it has never happened despite some noises during the past two years that alluded to the possibility it was being worked on - maybe.
Regardless of all other options I think it is vital that the Imp/Kokua team maintains and even increases their support for the Opensim and Aurora-based grids. The open Metaverse is expanding steadily and hypergrid travel is on the increase so we need a viewer that gives maximum support. Second Life is well catered for with something like 10 TPVs and the V3 official viewer but the open Metaverse is reliant on just few usable viewers including Imprudence which is probably the most widely used for Opensim. Personally, I think we have to move on now and Kokua is perhaps the best way to go if, and ONLY if, it puts a renewed focus on Opensim apart from support for many of the things expected of a V3-based viewer such as Mesh, Mesh upload, Moap, multi attachments etc. Making it possible for users to configure the UI windows, buttons and menus goes without saying but the kind of support that the viewer can give the open Metaverse should, MUST, include a Grid Search function to replace grid manager where grid owners can add their own grid address, info and logo/image. Currently, all the grid owners have to explain to noobs on their web sites how to add an address and it is probably a serious stumbling block to recruitment.
What I would like to see is an improved grid manager with a search function and method for grid owners to add their own grids and standalone sims so new users don't have to add grid addresses themselves which a lot wont have a clue about but rather they can simply enter some key words to find grids of their choice. You need a registered name to login of course but why not allow logins to hg-enabled grids by adding the hg info to the user name regardless? That is, for my name, Gaga Gracious@hg.osgrid:80 for example. The grid manager could do this and I would log into OSgrid at a Plaza without having my name actually registered there (technically, I realize there are problems to solve in this method like obtaining login authorization via a back end data server but I feel sure it can be done). I think this could be the single most helpful feature that would benefit Opensim users and grid owners as a whole. By this method the grid list would always be up to date and noobs would never need to enter an address. I believe grid owners would welcome this feature and promote the viewer since they would be able to direct their new sign-ups to it knowing their grid is already featured and set up to go. No more need for grid owners to get someone to tweak the grid list and release a cloned viewer that does nothing for the Metaverse as a whole but is doing exactly what I am saying - only just for their own recruits. The sort of thing that would suit a grid Like SpotON3D that has no interest in supporting the rest of the open Metaverse unless they are in overall charge and profiting by it.
For the rest of us who believe in a free and open Metaverse where there is room for commercial interests and those who prefer mutual sharing then we need a viewer that is built with features that support multiple grids. The problem is, of course, the developers have their own preferences and ideas about what makes a useful viewer and not every developer is capable of delivering workable solutions to the huge wish list out there anyway. Even worse is that all to often we find that some, not all, but some developers suffer bouts of egotism especially when dealing with one another and cause projects to go awry and even fail possibly leading to a break up of the team. Some have even used their coding skills to hack and do bad things - Emerald Viewer being a case in point. But, with those cautionary words said I do think the Imprudence team genuinely want to work on solutions their users really want.
I have been plugging away at the grid search idea for a long time. Two years ago I asked for it on the Imprudence forum and the response was positive yet nothing has happened to date. In the last year I became involved some with the Aurora development team and the lead developer, Revolution Smythe did actually agree with me and went so far as to recommend work be done on Astra viewer to explore the grid search idea. Rev thought Grid Hop could be used and actually did some work changing the grid manager window in preparation but adding Mesh support seems to have occupied the developers since that time and, while I still get promises that the grid search feature is on the work bench, still nothing has happened to date. So that is where we stand and I can only hope the Imp/Kokua team do actually revisit these ideas.
The open Metaverse needs it's own viewer. That's what I think and sure it can be compatible with SL but the focus needs to be on Opensim grids. Too many developers, and I think some members of the Opensim team are guilty of this too, slavishly follow developments in Second Life as if they were the benchmark for virtual worlds. The grid manager and search would benefit the whole community and be a highly visible statement that Opensim can stand on it's own and become the prefered platform of the free Metaverse.
Track back to Friday, 29 April 2011...
One alternative could be a small installer program that grid owners can distribute to their users that automatically downloads and installs Imprudence and adds their grid as the default grid.
Any centralized grid management system would quickly fail -- there are already more than 100 active public OpenSim grids -- and that's not counting all the standalones and private grids. If each of those grids have to be added to some list, we'd have hundreds now, and probably thousands by the end of the year.
Plus, I'm sure that there will be grids -- private company grids, school grids, or personal grids -- that wouldn't want to be included on any list.
An easily-configurable launcher program would fix that.
I believe this is -- sort of -- what Kitely does, and it seems to be working well for them.
Personally, I don't like the installer program method as it boils down to grids thinking only of their own interests which is the stuff of wannabe Second Life walled gardens and anti-open metaverse. Those programs are little different from cloning a viewer, re-branding it and distributing it with one basic change - your grid has been added to the grid list. SpotON3D has done exactly that with the Phoenix viewer and so too has Avination, InWorldz and others. I don't think any of them are remotely interested in hypergrid or assisting the free flow of traffic.
As for the grid list and search feature I propose there is already an example in the form of Grid Hop but my idea is that owners can add their grids and sims to the list directly in the viewer including a logo, info, keywords and the address. MySQL databases are robust enough to handle tens of thousands of entries so I don't agree it would fail. And, in any case, since the grid owners have to add their own grid they only appear in the viewer search if they, themselves, have chose to be there.
From what I am seeing too much of the open Metaverse is hidden for lack of supporting viewers and affordable promotion and this is what my proposals attempt to address. To grow the open Metaverse it needs help and it's not going to come from the inward looking walled gardens who have their profit line to worry about.
wow, no Imprudence viewer dev? or am i misunderstanding that?ReplyDelete
i like Maria's idea because i would like to give parents a viewer that connects to our grid without the need for anyone to figure out how to connect. i don't mind if it allows for other grids like in your mockup Gaga - i think that is important too
For closed shop purposes sure an installer program is fine. Kitely use one and so dose SpotON3D although in the case of SpotON it's not really that small since the viewer is actually included in the package.
What I want to see is a way to help the hidden Metaverse of sims and grids to find a common gateway right in a popular viewer. Something that is easy for new sign-up's to fathom and of course easy for grid owners to add themselves.
I want a viewer that gives me search options and information about grids before I consider one to register with, log into of even hypergrid to. What I don't want is the developer's preferences in a pre-configured list and I would also like the benefit of a search engine to help me find the many grids out there. A re-worked grid manager could do this and, in my view, it would help the open Metaverse to grow that much faster.
Only closed grids have the problem you mention, of it being difficult to add a grid to the grid manager.
Hypergrid-enabled grids can be found by simply teleporting in, via The Hypergates or the new hyperports I've just set up on my Hyperica grid.
You don't need to have an avatar on every grid -- in fact, people will probably have just one main personal avatar on a large, well-supported grid (like OSGrid) and rent residential land or stores wherever they want. (Plus a work avatar or school avatar on their company or school grid, and some alts for dating sites, roleplaying, etc...)
It's much more fun to discover new grids in-world. Grids should promote themselves with billboards on other grids, hypergate exchanges -- you put up a gate to my grid, I'll put up a gate to yours -- and hypergrid destination boards like Craft has in its welcome region.
It would be nice to be able to create spiders that find grids automatically -- but that would mean some modification to the OpenSim source code so that grids would provide key information (such as destination lists) when queried.
Hypergrid and Hypergates have been around for some years now and they have had made very little impact on traffic or attracting new users. I noticed too that travelers who use hypergrid don't even contribute to the traffic metrics of the grids they visit.
Walled Garden grids will not likely ever open up to hypergrid travel anyway until the security holes are plugged so the best way to keep them in the open Metaverse is to have the search feature in a viewer so users can find all kinds of grids and sims.
I really don't think it will make any difference to hypergrid travel anyway since that is something experienced resident engage in in-world. Noobs, which is who my search proposal is mainly directed at, need the easiest route into our worlds in the first place and anyone opening a viewer with search will see that box on the footer bar with its button that says "Search". I am certain most, if not all, will explore it and eventually use it. Noobs will be there first because it's easy and grid and sim owners will populate it because it a great way to promote what they have on offer - what better way is their than in the viewer itself?
I don't see any need for a web crawler to seek out grids either so long as it is easy for grid owners to enter data themselves right there in the viewer too. We can already enter grid address' anyway so what does it take to put a button on the interface to send that data to the server? They shouldn't even need to go to a web site to register their world.
I see the grid search as complimentary to other methods of discovering grids and sims and, primarily, it is aimed at total Noobs who probably know little or nothing about hypergrid when they first arrive.
Too much is hidden from those we need to recruit and the viewer is the best place to put a focus on it. The viewer needs to have the means in it to promote the Metaverse, open it up and show the worlds is made of in the simplest way possible.
"The open Metaverse needs it's own viewer."ReplyDelete
That's it in a nutshell.
Excellent summary of the current problems and possible solutions, Gaga!
Personally, I think the best way for viewers to support being easily extended to have a known grid to connect, is for viewers to support grid definition files that can just be added, or double-clicked on to add, by users or installers.ReplyDelete
Similar to the Windlight settings files, but providing viewers with grid definitions.
Really it only needs the Login URI, and ideally the viewer would do the Get Grid Info automatically when a user double-clicked on a grid definition file/URI.
Speaking of N00bs...ReplyDelete
Not new to VWs in general, been an SL resident since 2006, but brand new to OpenSim and the grids. Here's what I face here and now, with the difficulty of liberating my stuff from SL it forces me to start completely over. I've been to Linda Kellie and the other *online* sites offering downloadable stuff but if there is an in world option, it's completely hidden, not readily available, or intuitive.
This OS viewer should provide functionality for a "second inventory" that can automatically detect products that are transferrable from grid to grid. Maybe they show up in the inventory as a different color, so we can select all and drag to the second inventory folder and when we go back to our home grid or world, even if it's closed like Kitely is at the moment, we have the stuff in the SI folder to use, and it would include not having to create accounts on every grid and generate a new avatar - I don't want 16 different avatars. I want ONE avatar that I can use anywhere and everywhere...I want all the clothes, hair and accessories available. When I develop and export content, I want whoever gets it to be able to use it where ever they want, so the file formats are compatible.
We need a resource though for new people to OS in general to find the stuff that we can use all over the place. If all of us at Kitely who aren't skin makers go to Linda Kellie, then we're all basically going to look identical and wear all the same stuff. We need a better variety or more content devs to make things available on the CC sites for download if it's technically not possible to do within the viewer.
Until Kitely gets the intergrid teleporting and hypergrid functionality online, I guess I'll keep walking around like a Ruth N00b with a chicken up my butt ;-0
It's good to know you agree. Thank you!
Hi, thanks for commenting and offering you own suggestion Jim.
Welcome to the hidden Metaverse, VC. I agree, Opensim is, in many ways, very messy so to speak but I have to say that is the nature of open source. On the other hand we get better value for money than we get from Linden Labs. We also enjoy a great deal more freedom and we absolutely know that what we create dose belong to us. Hell, even as creators everything on the Second Life grid is only licensed back to us!
One of the best viewers for exporting content was Meerkat and I think Astra viewer uses similar methods for export. However, nothing is going to get your stuff out of Second Life unless you created every part of it so there wont be a viewer capable of doing so. LL TOS just wont allow it. On the other hand, moving stuff around the open Metaverse is somewhat easier in general because the security is less effective unless you stay on a closed grid like InWorldz. An Open ID for use across many grids would be good but, in a sense, we already have that in the hypergrid protocol since you can travel to any enabled grid with the name you use and, provided the outward bounds permissions allow it, take the stuff you acquire with you when you leave the grid that grid. All grids running Opensim, or forks of Opensim, have the same content formats as Second Life so are compatible on all grids.
I agree that more content makers are needed in the open Metaverse but I do assure you there is a whole load of content both paid and free throughout the grids. Check my top links for vendors and other resources. I have sims on OSgrid which I think is the grid to watch and sort of unofficially the hub of the hypergrid - all roads lead to Rome as they say. But, anyway, there is a whole lot of stuff to be had free on OSgrid - probably more than any other, and much of it is good quality. Certainly, a lot of visitors from the hidden Metaverse frequently visit OSgrid via Hypergrid teleport to go shopping!
Hey, you don't need to walk round like a Ruth Noob. Meet me on OSgrid and I will take you shopping and get you fixed up good.
Hahah. I signed up a bit after this post and rezzed as an ugly guy ;-p Just what a girl wants to see in a new land! I'll sure take you up on it, though I'd still like to get my Kgirl fixed up good.ReplyDelete
Do you know of any vendors in OSG that allow full perm exports so we can upload the stuff back to Kitely?
I also liked some of the skins from Total Avatar Shop and uploaded funds to paypal but have to wait a few days for that to clear. I'd be totally willing to free host a kitely shop for any vendor willing to put stuff out there for Kitely peeps in the mean while. I'll go out of my way to help promote them if they're willing to add Kitely worlds to their list of outlets. I'll build them a store if that's what it takes but it'll help reinforce the "open" in open metaverse. If you know of any, please pass the word, send them to me. I'll sure set them up free of charge if they're willing.
You have some interesting ideas on how to implement a better grid manager there Gaga. It's something I am want to see us work on more in the future. Though for the immediate we will probably focus on getting out a stable Kokua viewer, we may play around with some of the ideas you have here.ReplyDelete
Hi Virtual CReplyDelete
I am often at OSgrid's Lbsa Plaza or my own sim there, Outlandzero which is sort of an asteroid floating in the Lani Global cluster of Sci-fi sims. I have a spaceship wreck there as my away home *grins* Well, actually, it crash landed there which is my excuse for being in OSgrid currently and involving myself in Lani's Dune space opera. Anyway, I try to be at Outlandzero between midnight and 1 am GMT which I think is around 6 to 7 pm in America. I'm not so clever at working out international times. Just type Outlandzero into the main map search box to find it.
As for full perm vendors in OSgrid there are some. Linda Kellie is offering all her collection full perm and no restriction whatsoever but you can get her stuff on Kitely grid too I think. But, anyway, most stuff can be taken in an OAR file if you own a region. Generally, you will find some stuff that is full perm if you look around but most often it is no transfer at least. Some creators don't mind you taking their products to other grids so long as you are not selling it. Most would be very upset, and rightfully so in my view, if their stuff turned up in Second Life or elsewhere for a price - believe me, I know of cases of this happening!
Total Avatar Shop is great and Sunny will even deliver personally to most grids I have read. If she don't have a shop at Kitely I am sure she might take your offer up but, in any event, it's good to let others know what you can offer.
Okay, hope to meet you some time.
I am honored that you took the time to comment here, ZATZAi. It means a lot to me to have a member of the Kokua team acknowledge what I am suggesting. I do understand you have a lot of work to do but it's still good to know you will be looking at the grid manager later and generally giving more support to the Open Metaverse. Thank you so much!
We discussed this issue a bit at out meeting today. You can find it in our meeting logs which are posted to our wiki.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the link ZATZAi. I will follow with interest.ReplyDelete
Imagine your web browser would have preferences for each web server where the user can fill in where to fetch the images, the style sheets, the fonts, ...ReplyDelete
Doesn't sound conveniant? Thats exactly the functionality current "grid managers" provide. Yes, some developers may need to have some access to such data - but not users. With Teapot (and Linux versions of Kokua from 2011), you can just add a grid from a loginscreen - the only thing that is missing is a web page that provides some grid list with "links" to the according hop://my.loginuri.org/My%20Region/128/128/0 ... and if you have the hop:// scheme registered in your web browser to open Teapot on click - you can even add new grids from there (already also works with Firestorm and Kokua from 2011).
I have a list of 140+ active grids, with login URI info for most of them... I could post it, the way I now post the monthly grid stats...ReplyDelete
Gaga, Armin --ReplyDelete
I just posted the full list of the currently active OpenSim grids (141 total): http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/statistics/active-grids/
I included their loginURIs and hypergrid addresses and website links.
I can turn the loginURIs and hypergrid addresses into live URLs, if there's a specific format you'd like me to use.
This is a static page address, so you can link to it. I'll be updating it each month when I do my monthly grid report, so these addresses will always be up-to-date.
thank you Maria. I will look at that.Delete
I'm sorry. I don't really understand what you are saying or are you actually saying Grid Search is not worth attempting?
I'm not a developer and I don't know how the viewer code works but, as a user, I know what I want which is fully explained in the blog article here. Several coders have told me that grid manager could be re-worked to offer grid search and enable users to bring up a selected grid address and even some kind of info page about the grid I might want to visit. Ideally, a grid owner should be able to add their own grid address and info including an address to call a picture for display inside the Grid manager. Grid owner should be able to either, add the info directly in their own viewer for inclusion on a back end database or go to a web page to do it.
The important thing is users should never need to add grid addresses themselves but rather use Grid Search to query the database and find grid to visit.
Whoever achieves this I think stands to gain many users and that opens the possibility that the Grid Manager window could even carry rotation banner adds to help pay for the back end server.
I think it might soon be a moot point. There are already 70+ grids that are hypergrid-enabled (compared to some 20 or so non-HG closed commercial grids).
If you want to just go around and visit grids, you can use the Hyperica hyperports, or Sanctuary, or The Hypergates, or the HG teleport boards up at Craft and on some other grids. One click, and you're somewhere else -- no need to pull up a new grid, create a new user account, log in, and dress your avatars.
The few grids that remain off-the hypergrid will be either internal school or company grids -- that don't want the public to find them -- or proprietary social or roleplaying grids with exclusive content who market themselves heavily and release pre-configured viewers to make it as easy as possible for new customers to log in for the first time.
Meanwhile, I keep an eye on the other directories -- Grid Hop in particular has a lot of out-of-date listings (all the Cyberlandia, Grid4Us and WorldSimTerra links are dead, as are many of the others). So does the OpenSimulator wiki page -- counting on the grid owners to add their grids and keep their listings up-to-date is mostly a lost cause.
I think we can agree the metaverse is growing and I think grid search will make it a lot easier for people to find grids so it should be easy enough for grid owners to add their address and info as it is done on GridHop. We add grid addresses now so what's in a button to send it to the server?
And, what is wrong with a server admin checking addresses from time to time to find dead links? At least they don't have to add all the new ones. Look at Neb on OSgrid killing dead sim slots by the thousand every few months.
I think there is a case for experiment here.
Gaga what your describing here sound almost exactly like what Thomax OH / Tx Oh did with GridHop, see here:ReplyDelete
http://www.gridhop.net/cgi/gridhop and here
http://www.gridhop.net/cgi/cwick.pl?GridHop <-- more detailed info.
I'm not sure of the ongoing status of GridHop but I do recall Tx saying that he did it open source & it is shareable, likely could be modded a little to encapsulate the remaining data needed. Thomax would have to be contacted for the site info & files.
It has the links, images, tags and numerous other useful things built into it already.
The only potential caveats with something like this are:
1) it needs a central point of contact (for inputting the grid data, images etc) and then a Viewer-Data-Retrieval page.
2) The central point would need to be a reasonable web-server to be able to run this as the queries hitting the server could likely get pretty high, as well as serving the images out.
3) Constant hits (big queries) against that server is likely the least efficient method in general terms, so possibly use an update tag that the viewer stores to compare against the website, if new entries are on website update the local viewer list with the additions. The format might be in the form of just the URLS, Tags & link to image(s) in the web-server EXAMPLE: http://www.gridhop.net/cgi/showimg?id=74 gives you the image.
4) Data distribution issues could arise later, so a facility that can be replicated / mirrored out to various locations globally. Alternately, possibly set this up on a Cloud like Amazon EC2 making it globally accessible with minimal latency. Amazon does have that free 1 year EC2 setup which could be used to get this running & operational, and would also provide good usage metrics for costing planning & scaling etc.. which is excellent for future planning.
Thank you WSDelete
Thank you for giving this issue some serious thought and I think you have highlighted ways to make it work as well as the pitfalls. I agree it needs a central server but if the Metaverse continues to grow which seems to be happening then there is the possibility of displaying banner adds on the grid manager search pages or even offering priority placements when the list gets big.
I want to see the least pain possible for noobs opening the viewer and faced with where to go and what to do. The viewer is initially a browser and the grid's welcome pages are called up where some even make it possible to register. Grid manager dose this already but the noob has to add an address if they don't see one they want.
My view is that as the Metaverse grows so it will become more diverse and people should be able to search out the grids of interest right there in the viewer and not be limited to the developer's choice or have to understand how to add an address themselves. Use keywords to search and life is easy for everyone. And it's a great way for all grids to promote themselves.
GridHop also needs some capability to week out dead links. It's tricky, because some grids are only up part-time -- you don't want to delete them out of the database. But right now, a very high percentage of its links go to long-dead grids, which is frustrating for users.Delete
I did say something about that in a previous comment...Delete
"And, what is wrong with a server admin checking addresses from time to time to find dead links? At least they don't have to add all the new ones. Look at Neb on OSgrid killing dead sim slots by the thousand every few months."
" I'm not sure of the ongoing status of GridHop "Delete
While GridHop is there, I don;tthink that Thomax maintains it anymore as many have moved off to "The Hypergates" and others. The essence of what GridHop did is why I highlighted some of it's capabilities, as they are suitable examples of what could/should/maybe be done.
With regards to "aging out" dead / non-responsive grids, that can be accomplished with a Polling Process every day or two run from the server and "If NoAnswer for 5 tries Then remove Grid from DB" or something similar. It is a simple matter of poking the http://address:port to see if there is a response.
gridhop.net is great. But there is a problem: Currently webkit (the viewers built in browser) doesn't "understand" hypergrid uris, not sure if that can be fixed with reasonable effort. However adding a new scheme (scheme means the part before the "://" in a "web address", e.g. "http" or "ftp") to webkit isn't complicated at all (talking about development). For that LL and "third party" viewer support the secondlife scheme so that you can teleport within Second Life by clicking what LL calls a SLURL - like secondlife://Ahern/128/129/0 - which TPs you to the region Ahern at the coordinates x=128 y=129 z= 0. With viewer 1 based viewers that used to work also on opensimulators.ReplyDelete
In viewer 2 that protocol got redefined - now secondlife://Ahern/128/129/0 also chooses a grid: Second Life main grid. Which means: If you click secondlife://Lbsa%20Plaza/128/128/0 in OSGrid you get a dialog box saying that the destination is on a different grid using a LL viewer. If the override for the loginscreen using the command line wasn't that much of a hack you'd see it there, too: With proper access of the login screen clicking secondlife://Lbsa%20Plaza/128/128/0 on the login screen Second Life would be selected as grid. I'm not sure if that protocol change was on purpose or just a bug, however I decided a year ago that I don't care, but to use something that is out of LLs decisions.
OpenSim developers and users already where asking for a new scheme for a long time, anyway (see for example http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/mmox/current/msg00018.html). About how to "format" these new uris anybody proposed loginuri/region/x/y/z - alone about the name of the scheme anybody talking about it had a different proposal (rezzme, goto, tp, x-grid-location-info, ... ) - no way to find out which was the first or to have a democratic decision, so I picked "hop". "hop" is short, so good for developing when you have to type it, its already known through the meerkat viewer and "gridhop.net", its intuitive, and in networking the word "hop" already stands for a generic switch from one server to another.
Ok, so we have hop now. Which is kind of a magic wand: It doesn't only teleport you, but also can bring up login screens, add new grids to the users grid list, and will maybe in future also show profiles of users of other grids, or even the map of other grids. An example is: hop://login.osgrid.org/Lbsa%20Plaza/128/128/0 which teleports you to Lbsa Plaza in OSGrid using a viewer that supports it. That are Firestorm based viewers (to my knowledge partial support, clicking a hop in chat will TP you within the same grid, no support in the built in webbrowser), the Kokua of 2011 (same partial support as in Firestorm, the Linux versions also support the browser; current versions don't have opensim support at all) and Teapot (no mac version sadly, Linux and Windows versions have full support of the hop scheme and "TP" (rather it is an automatic relog technically) you cross grids). With hop support in the built in webbrowser you can add a grid from the login screen just by clicking the hop.
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