Ethos Erlanger's Virtual Building Blog

Building in Virtual Worlds

Archive for February, 2010

A Challenge to OpenSim Developers

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 17, 2010

Now that Hippo and Meerkat have dropped out of the viewer scene, what is the viewer that is considered the officially approved viewer for Open Simulator use?  You know… the one that can be mentioned in bug reports without the real bug being excused away and dismissed by some developers because I was not using the right (official) viewer.  I sure hope my last bug report isn’t dismissed because it is a viewer crash.  The viewers do not crash when I am in SL doing uploads of textures, so I feel the bug is with the OpenSim server software. All I’m doing is uploading texture images into OpenSim.

I know you have a lot on your plate, but please address bugs that happen to all the viewers, not just your favored one. And tell me…. what is that favored viewer these days?

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes, Virtual Building | 2 Comments »

Bugs Abound in OpenSim

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 15, 2010

First, I want to send a big THANK YOU to the many hard working developers of Open Simulator.  They are  squashing bugs and making things better for all of us that are the users of an OpenSim server.  They are allowed to think outside the box that the Linden corporate employees are trapped in.  The one thing they have given us in OS that I truly appreciate is control over the velocity of the avatar walk.  Linden Lab should make this available to region managers in Second Life.

Now, I will step down off my soap box and get back on topic.  As a builder, I use the OpenSim Server Software to create a sandbox region on my local computer.  I am actually using the Diva Distro and enjoy the seamless region crossing, and the large open space that I have to work with.  As a builder, I enjoy collaboration and actually thrive on the inspiration I get from creative texturists and other builders.  I prefer working with a friend rather than working alone.  Here is where the bug I refer to is causing us serious difficulty.  I think we can refer to this bug as the Edit Permissions Bug.  I cannot edit the prims that have been created by my co-builder.  As friends, we give each other permission to edit each others objects, but that just isn’t working in OpenSim as it does in Second Life.

One of the key reasons for having my own sandbox is the desire to leave things out to be worked on by my collaborator.  Without this feature working, we are simply working independently on our own builds and would just as well be working in a vacuum except for the occasional useful comment (or cheeky remark) back and forth to each other.  This bug needs to be squashed.

The next issue is the bug I experience when trying to import large prim-count builds into OpenSim.  I have used the Meerkat and Imprudence viewers to import builds and they each deal with permissions differently, but after the export, the import is simply a matter of the viewer interacting with the Open Simulator Server.  Open Sim will crash with either of the viewers when I attempt to import objects with significant numbers of prims.  This bug is being investigated by one developer, and I wish him all the best for his efforts.

When creators of content are able to move their artistic endeavors back and forth to Second Life with a minimum of difficulty there will begin to be a larger use of the OpenSim as a tool that can be used by those who are creating content.  It is that creativity and the resulting content that will drive the Virtual Economy in the future for all virtual worlds.

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in OpenSim, OpenSim Crashes, OpenSim on a Local Server, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | Leave a Comment »

It’s Not About the Viewer – The State of Motion in Virtual Worlds

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 12, 2010

Time for a short rant.  A new viewer will never make virtual worlds any better than they are.  What we need are better motion controls.  Does this sound like a broken record?  It is.  All my searching has been in vain.  There seems to be no way to truly exert the proper motion control over an avatar that adequately simulates walking up stairs or the side of a hill.  There seems to be no way to simulate the grip of your hand if you were climbing a mountain.  The granularity of all of the various virtual worlds is still extremely “course”.

Based on the apparent lack of interest in true simulation of body mechanics, my prediction is that 2 or more years will pass and I will still be in search of a “slow walk”.  A walking speed suitable for a leisurely stroll through a park or museum.  I am looking for an avatar speed slow enough to feel like the underwater simulations of swimming with the ocean marine life is slow enough to be believed;  Or, the altered physics and slow motion of a moon walk as we saw it on television 40 years ago.

Have you seen the speed of the old person in a walker?  Or an octogenarian with a cane?  It is not captured properly in virtual worlds.

See you in two years and we can catch up on the status of the State of Motion in Virtual Worlds.  (unless I reprise this topic sooner)

Enjoy your Virtual Life,

Ethos Erlanger

Posted in Education in Virtual Worlds, OpenSim, OpenSim on a Local Server, Second Life, Virtual Architecture, Virtual Building | Leave a Comment »

Thank you Rosalie

Posted by Ethos Erlanger on February 3, 2010

I want to thank Rosalie Oldrich.

Rosie is a friend in Second Life who tirelessly works on behalf of the Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum.  I have come to know her best out of all of museum board members.  As the activities at the museum expanded I became acquainted with  the other board members in their roles on the board.  But the day I got the phone call from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation was the day I turned to Rosalie because I knew her enthusiasm and commitment to the museum would carrying the ball down the field.  No, she did not carry the ball alone.  I called her on the phone that day and she acted as the consumate team member .  Willing to hand things off to other members of the board whenever their talents would be the choice for the task at hand.  Rosalie will always let others shine and stand in the limelight.  But I see her talent shine as well.  Always.

Thank you, Rosie

Posted in The Frank Lloyd Wright Virtual Museum | Leave a Comment »