New World Studio to get upgrade next month

New World Studio, which is currently the easiest way — by far — to install OpenSim on a home computer, will get an upgrade and some new features next month, said Olivier Battini, president of the Virtus Association, the non-profit behind both New World Studio and New World Grid.

New World Studio currently runs an older version of OpenSim, specifically the Diva Distro based on OpenSim 0.7.1.1, released ten months ago. The latest Diva, release three weeks ago, is at 0.7.3, which includes a number of bug fixes, more hypergrid features and stability, and support for non-player characters.

The New World Studio management panel — a much easier way to run OpenSim than the standard server console.

In April, New World Studio will be upgraded to the latest version of OpenSim, Battini told Hypergrid Business.

“I’m also looking to add an automatic update process, but this may require a bit more work,” he added.

There will also be some new features added to New World Studio, he said, such as a choice of whether to have megaregions or not.

The megaregion dilemma

Currently, the Diva Distro uses megaregions by default. The starting configuration is four standard regions joined together in such a way as to have no border crossings — in effect, OpenSim sees them as one large region. This makes walking around easier, and also allows vehicles to work better.

Many people love megaregions, and they’re a great fit for corporate and school campuses, residential areas, and any kind of activity that involves vehicles or scripts that need to cross region borders.

However, there is one disadvantage to working with megaregions — region backups, in the form of OAR files, work in an unusual way.

Normally, when someone makes a backup of a region into an OAR, everything that’s physically located on that region is saved — the terrain, the objects, and the scripts. With a megaregion, however, all the objects are saved into the OAR of the first region, and the other three OARs are almost empty.

Universal Campus by Oni Kenkon Creations.

One well-known example of this is the Universal Campus OAR — where the first OAR is 70 megabytes, and the other three are just 256 kilobytes each.

People who want to use the Universal Campus OAR have to upload all four OARs, into a similarly configured megaregion.

Someone using New World Studio to create standalone, one-region OAR files would be better off turning off the megaregion function, so that each individual OAR would save properly.

The New World Studio roadmap

Future development plans also include groups and profiles, automatic connection to a bigger grid, pre-made avatars, an easy-to-use button for loading and saving OAR files, as well as inventory archives — IAR files.

“All these features are on the road map,” Battini said. “I also made a quick directory of worlds running New World Studio. People wishing to make their world public will have their world page and info on this website.”

That website will be up shortly, he added.

Folks interested in participating in the development process can attend the next meeting,  on Wednesday, April 4 at 9PM UTC+1 — or 1 p.m. SLT and Pacific time, 4 p.m. Eastern time. The meeting will be on New World Grid, accessible via the hypergrid at grid.newworldgrid.com:8002. Future meetings will be held every two weeks after that, on April 18, May 2, May 16 and May 30.

Another way to participate is to join the New World Studio Facebook group, which is open to the public.

About 15 people attended the last meeting, on March 21, Battini said, and helped produce the road map. They also helped create an online survey for those interested in voting on the features most important to them.

Preliminary survey results show that about a third of New World Studio users run it to have fun, another third use it for building, and the rest use it for professional or educational purposes.

Preliminary survey results.

 

The most-requested features so far are OpenSim version updates, loading pre-made OARs during the install process, and a public directory of New World Studio worlds, in that order.

There are a number of pre-made OARs now available for OpenSim users, most released under the liberal Creative Commons license. They include Linda Kellie’s amazing OAR files, as well as dozens of others from other creators.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Arielle Popstar

    So looking forward to the planned updates of New World Studio. Tried it out a few weeks ago just to see how noob friendly it is and had it up and running within 5 minutes of finishing download. I then linked a couple friends to it who though having been involved with opensim for some time, had never been able to successfully host their own region(s) due to the complexities involved with  both port forwarding and Mysql database install and configuration. In both  cases NWS successfully  routed through the port forwarding maze to get their regions online and accessable after auto downloading  mysql and setting it up. All within a few minutes  of completing  download!!

    My thoughts on the Megaregion Dilemna  is that it really isn’t a problem at all as it takes no more time to save or load an oar on a megaregion then it does an equal number of regular regions. The time saved as my avi  moves  over borders without hesitation more then compensates  for any perceived disadvantages anyway.
    An option I would like to see on NWS though is an option to select how many regions can be included on a megaregion so it can quickly set up 4,9,16 etc regions at once. That would save a bit of tedious work.

    The website  addition for others running through NWS sounds like a great idea too. Another avenue for letting others know us hypergridders are out there :)
    Yes, I am pretty excited about NWS and really looking forward to the planned new features and updates :) Opensim for the masses.

    • Slim Jammies

      unless its somehow changed in 0.7.3 whenver i loaded an oar onto a mega region it was not stable.   Permissions were screwy I had a lot of prims that were not behaving properly among other things and when I went to replace the oar with another one it tended to leave things behind and it was a mess.   So for me unless there has been some dramatic changed in 0.7.2 and 0.7.3 the reason for unlinking mega regions is so that the oars behave like they should.    I had a big mess and had to completely empty everything out and unlink and start over again.   (facebook sign in seems to not be working on this blog)

    • http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/ Maria Korolov

      The issue isn’t the time saved – it’s that all the stuff on a megaregion gets moved over into the first OAR and the other three OARs just have the terrain data.

      Then when you load them back up again — unless you’re very careful to load them back in exactly the same positions as before — it’s going to be a very, very confused place — you’ll have stuff hanging out in the empty air over empty space. 

      If you’re careful, and you know what you’re doing, it can work.

      But for most people saving OARs — say, to send regions to your customers —  you want a region OAR to actually be a region OAR — just the stuff on that region. Then, you’ll want to have megaregions turned off from the start. 

      Once you finish the OARs, and your customers upload them to their campus and rearrange them like squares of a checkboard until they have everything looking right, then they can turn on megaregions to get rid of the border crossings. 

      And if you go back and forth between megaregions and regular regions, all sorts of cooky stuff starts to happen.

  • http://twitter.com/iliveisl Ener Hax

    it’s not easy staying up-to-date!  =)