Having a held a few business meetings in OpenSim over the past few weeks, several staff trainings, I’m getting a better idea of the features I would like to see added to OpenSim.
I’m not complaining about what we have so far: it is already making a big difference to me and my company.
But it is my birthday. And I’m making a wish. Four wishes, actually.
This is probably at the top of everyone’s list – and with the recent release of Google O3D, this viewer might be coming sooner than we expected.
I don’t need to see a lot of features here. We don’t need all the building tools that are available in the heavy-duty software download. But I would like to be able to have people come to a meeting, appear dressed, see and hear what everyone else sees and hears, and be able to buy, take, and give items to others.
This will enable sim-commerce, for example – people will be able to take virtual drives in virtual cars.
And easy virtual conferencing and meetings.
As I’m hopping and skipping around the hypergrid these days — a meeting on one grid one day, a shopping trip to another grid the next, a business meeting on my company’s grid — I really miss having a navigation bar, the way that Web browsers have them. Instead, I have to pull up the Map, and type my destination to the search box.
Fix the distance bug
I don’t care if it’s a bug or a feature, but I’m annoyed that I can’t teleport directly from my company’s grid to FrancoGrid if I’m in a mood to speak some French. Instead, I have to teleport to a mid-point first.
That’s the equivalent of only being able to go to websites that are close to you alphabetically. If you’re at ABC.com you can go to Google.com, but not Yahoo!
I hear this problem will be fixed with the next release of Hippo. I’m first in line to update, let me tell you.
As you might have heard, I like to travel the grids. And the addresses are annoying as anything. For example, to go from my company grid to the closest landing point on ReactionGrid, I have to teleport to 220.127.116.11:9009:HG Gateway 2. Trust me, I don’t have this memorized. I used to keep it on a little Post-It next to my computer. Now, I pull up my article about my favorite grids to get the address.
Landmarks — the OpenSim equivalent of bookmarks — only work on the grid you’re on.
That’s like… oh, like being able to bookmark a page on a website, and only being able to access it when you’re on that website. That’s fine if you spend your entire life on, say, Facebook. But trust me, it gets old quick if you ever go anywhere.
In Second Life, if you’re wearing stereo headphones, you can hear which direction voices are coming from. Plus there’s a little graphic over someone’s head when they’re talking.
Both are nice when you’re in a group meeting with people whose voices all sound vaguely similar. Or if, like me, you’re somewhat tone deaf.
OpenSim currently has a voice module, but it occasionally cuts in and out, and it doesn’t show direction or who is speaking.
Really. Those are my biggies. And the middle two are probably a cinch to fix.
And I know that people are furiously working away at both the web browser and on the speech module.
There is some other stuff, but it’s just minor housekeeping that will get fixed and we probably won’t even notice, like large objects not rotating exactly the right number of degrees.
Some of these tiny housekeeping problems will probably be the hardest to fix — and the developers won’t get nearly the credit they deserve.
But the guy or gal who fixes the teleport distance bug will probably be a huge hero for the rest of their life for a few minutes of work.
And to me, they’ll big a big hero to me.
If you’re ever in W. Mass — or, next week, in Shanghai — drop me a line andI’ll buy you a beer any time.
[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.]