Hypergrid 2.0 coming soon, no ‘Export’ permission

The new version of the Hypergrid protocol is coming soon, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes announced today. Lopes is also a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine.

Crista Lopes

It will include controls that grid owners can use to restrict hypergrid travel in and out of their grids, and also to control movement of objects between grids.

However, the most-anticipated feature of HG 2.0, a fourth permission setting that would allow creators to decide whether their content is allowed off-grid or not, will be delayed until HG 2.5, she told Hypergrid Business.

“We need a user interface for that, and that still doesn’t exist,” she said. “For the time being, policies are grid-wide.”

Suitcase updates

The most visible change is that the Suitcase folder will no longer be a top-level folder in the inventory, but will be inside the user’s “Inventory” folder.

This will address the single biggest problem that users had with HG 1.5 — that they could not get to the items in their suitcase. For example, if someone teleported to another grid, and bought a “no-copy, no-transfer” item, they would not be able to move it from their suitcase folder to their main inventory, making it unusable.

The suitcase folder will be the only folder that other grids can access while an avatar is traveling to other grids, with the exception of appearance items. However, grids that offer proprietary avatars to their users can choose restrict clothing, attachments and other appearance-related content from traveling to other grids.

Grids can also choose to use HG 1.5-style configurations, or even have no restrictions on their content at all.

According to Lopes, most of the new code is already in place.

“85% of it is already in the developers code and working,” she said. “The next official OpenSim release will have the complete HG 2.0 package.”

Backwards compatible

The switch from HG 1.5 to HG 2.0 will be simple and straightforward, she added.

During the previous hypergrid update, from HG 1.0 to HG 1.5, users were not able to teleport between grids running different versions of the protocol.

The only thing grid owners will need to do when they upgrade is pay attention to a few extra configuration variables, she said.

“If they don’t do anything, all will continue to work at the most permissive level, as it is now,” she said. “But even the most permissive level will have increased security regarding inventory.”

Commercial grids that want to keep their local-only content separate from content that is allowed to travel will need to set up two separate databases, one for each type of content, and adjust the configuration settings accordingly.

Dilemma for grid owners

The lack of full content control in HG 2.0 poses a problem for some grid owners who promised their users hypergrid connectivity when HG 2.0 comes out.

Kitely, for example, has long had hypergrid support in its roadmap, but is also a big proponent of securing content.

Last year, Kitely created, and donated, code that allows grids to filter region exports. When users save their regions as OAR files, grids that have filtering enabled can, for example, allow only content to which the user has all permissions to be saved. On Kitely, the OAR filtering is set up so that users can export their own creations, as well as items with both “Copy” and “Transfer” permissions — everything else is filtered and stays local to the grid. This means that content creators can protect their creations from export simply by setting them “No Copy” or “No Transfer.”

Now Kitely has to make a decision — will it continue to wait for HG 2.5, or build a hypergrid filtering system similar to its existing OAR filtering?

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner

“On the one hand there are people who are sitting on the fence waiting for us to add hypergrid support, but on the other hand I’m not sure if HG 2.0 will provide the type of content protection that is required in order to make content creators feel safe in providing content on hypergrid-enabled grids,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “Without the ‘Export’ permission being added, we may have to modify OpenSim to prevent items without ‘Copy’ and ‘Transfer’ permissions from being copied to the new ‘My Suitcase’ directory, or filter these items out during hypergrid travel. This would be consistent with how we handle OAR export — and how we will handle IAR exports when we add that functionality to our control panel.”

Tocher added that it’s too early to say whether Kitely will be donating any hypergrid-filtering code it writes, if it decides to write it.

“It will most likely depend on how much work it is to make these changes,” he said.

Another grid that promised hypergrid connectivity is Avination, ranked the second most popular commercial grid this month after InWorldz.

Currently, InWorldz has more than twice as many active users as Avination, and has been pulling ahead in terms of land area as well. Both grids make money from land sales. By enabling hypergrid and inviting in visitors from other grids, Avination stands to benefit significantly. Its merchants could draw on not only local customers, but on customers on over 100 other grids which are hypergrid-enabled, totaling more than 6,900 active users — out of a total of 110,709 registered users.

The prize at stake is to become the crossroads of the hypergrid, the go-to destination for shopping, events, networking, gaming, and socializing. The grid that gets there first will have the opportunity to market its currency to hypergrid travelers, and also to promote residency and land ownership.

Today, OSGrid is that crossboards by default, as the largest hypergrid-enabled grid. However, OSGrid is a non-profit, doesn’t encourage commercial activity, doesn’t have its own currency, and doesn’t have dedicated, paid staff in place to promote and market the grid.

Avination has marketing staff, a currency traded on an outside exchange, and a large community of in-world merchants. If it can successfully take advantage of the opportunity, Avination stands to become more competitive with respect to InWorldz and other non-hypergrid commercial grids.

Avination founder and OpenSim core developer Melanie Thielker has stated previously that her grid will become hypergrid enabled once the technology is in place, and, in fact, has worked with Lopes on the hypergrid permissions project.

As of this moment, Thielker hasn’t responded to our requests for comment.

Kitely significantly lags behind other grids in terms of active users. This month, it was the ninth-most active grid, with about a tenth as many active users as Avination.

However, it offers extremely low rates to region owners — for $35 a month, a customers gets unlimited use of Kitely, and 20 regions of 100,000 prims. Each additional region is just $1 a month.

However, a region is only loaded up when people visit it, which adds a little delay to inbound teleports. In addition, visitors either have to have Kitely accounts, or region owners will have to pay for their visitors’ access charges, at a rate of about 20 cents per hour per visitor. This may discourage the use of Kitely regions as clubs or commercial shopping destinations, unless Kitely begins offering flat monthly pricing, as well.

Under its current pricing structure, it’s unlikely that Kitely will become the commercial hub of the hypergrid. However, hypergrid connectivity could make Kitely land ownership more attractive to more customers.

It might also inspire more people to sign up for Kitely’s free plan, which offers two hours a month of use — six hours the first month — and one free region.

By comparison, commercial grids like InWorldz and Avination typically charge around $60 a month or more for a single region, but that region is up continuously and there is no additional charge for visitors.

One possibility is that users will pick and choose. They might have their low-cost, residential regions on Kitely, attend events on OSGrid, have a store on a hypergrid-enabled commercial grid, and socialize and play on grids dedicated to those activities.

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.

You may also like...

  • http://twitter.com/hanheld08 Han Held

    I read the announcement and as an end-user I’m very concerned. I’m still mulling over this development and trying to make sense of what this will mean to me -and people like me- who are just ordinary, run of the mill opensim consumers.

    Speaking as a grown adult, I do not like the idea of an administrator sitting in their office deciding “yes, you can go to X grid, no you cannot go to Y grid”. It’s my expectation that this will mostly be used to corral users away from competing grids (eg hypothetically blocking visits to Inworldz from Avination –assuming both were HG 2.0 enabled).

    I don’t think that strategy would work very well for any grid that chooses to use it; but in the meantime it could prove damaging to the spirit of openness and the potential for creating a shared metaverse that opensim represents, I worry that opensim will end up focusing more on adding tollbooths than strengthening the information highway itself; and that would be a very sad way to go.

    Companies should offer their customers more choice, not less. As an end user and gadfly I intend on supporting companies that offer the best, most varied experience and boycotting those who chose to censor their customer’s travels.

    • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

      I think those restriction options are meant to assist education institutions who have children to worry about, Han.

      • http://twitter.com/hanheld08 Han Held

        I know that’s why they were put there -that’s why I qualified with “speaking as a grown adult”. That doesn’t change how they’re most likely to be used outside of academia: as a way to be “free” without really being free (again, you can visit all of the hypergrid –except anyplace threatening to our business interest).

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

          There are benefits to both kinds of grids. Grids that limit inbound traffic can protect residents from outsiders — such as griefers — or offer unique content to residents, or other premium services.

          And if a particular grid doesn’t give you what you want, there are dozens of alternatives. Actually, a couple of hundred alternatives or so.

          Some grids will compete on openness, others on providing a safe, controlled environment…

          If a particular approach doesn’t meet the needs of its users, they’re going to vote with their feet and leave. But arguing personal preferences is kind of pointless. People like different things. The more interesting question is to what degree individual grids do those things well. Which grid, for example, provides the nicest, closed secure environment, compare to other closed grids.

          Like — it makes sense to compare different Android phones, but if you start comparing Android to Apple, you’re going to get into an impossible debate. Some people prefer the safety and usability of the iPhone, and others prefer the openness and lower cost of the Android phones.

  • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

    Hi Maria,

    Just a couple of clarifications I think are worth mentioning regarding your comment about Kitely significantly lagging behind other grids in terms of active users:

    1) In your last report Kitely was ranked 9th in active users out of 194 public grids which were active this month. Which means Kitely had more active users than 95% of the active public grids. I would say that hardly justifies labeling it as significantly lagging behind other grids. :-)

    2) When it comes to number of regions hosted, Kitely was the largest commercial OpenSim grid with 2,493 regions hosted, which was more than double the number of regions hosted by Inworldz, the second largest commercial grid in land size.

    • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

      How many simulators were used? Your definition of regions slurrs the simulator definition.

      • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

        Kitely is a private company co-owned by two business partners, its effect on the GDP and general job creation is irrelevant to its long-term survival, the only relevant question is whether it makes financial sense for its partners to keep the business going.

        The majority of Kitely’s active users are paying users, either paying Kitely for being on a premium plan or buying Kitely Credits to pay for the time they spend inworld. The revenue they create more than covers the cost of providing them the service. After more than 4 years of bootstrapping, Kitely would no longer be in business if that were not the case.

        Each Kitely world (1-16 regions in size) runs on its own simulator when
        active. Kitely hosts between 1 and 4 active worlds per server. Most
        other OpenSim hosting providers place more than one region per OpenSim instance and more than 4 sims per server. Counting sims is therefor not really indicative of anything. It provides no more than a rough estimate of how many servers the company needs to pay for. Two different companies hosting the same number of regions will have a different number of sims, a different number of servers, and very different expenses.

        What is important for determining whether a company is sustainable is how much money the company has coming in and how much it spends to remain in business. Sims running when they are not in use just increases costs and reduces a grid’s profitability. Kitely doesn’t suffer from that problem, it can host many more regions, serving many more paying customers, using a fewer number of active servers it needs to pay for.

        • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

          I disagree, counting wasteland is not indicative of anything for client procurement.

          Again, the Number of Simulators are a comparable and discrete statistical entity. You have not made your entities comparable with other entities… you are slurring your definitions in order to over-inflate your picture as salesman.

          The Number of Simulators is a definition, which also benchmarks with the number of gamer simulators purchased. Gamers don’t have “land counts”. As far as I can tell, gamer land is mostly infinite anyway.

          It’s about compliance with buyer-side procurement requirements and specifications, and not about lack of seller-side transparency.

          So, what is the Number of Simulators?
          What is your level of Sustainabiliy?

          I mean drilled down now – not merely generalizations.

          That’s up to you. Sustainability is in your interest.

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

            James –

            First, there is no reason to use a simulator as a standard measurement. ScienceSim has more than 1,000 regions running on a single simulator. Some hosts run just one region, for maximum stability.

            Second, even if a simulator was a standard measurement, it’s irrelevant because no grid releases those numbers. But more than 150 grids do release their region numbers.

            Finally, region numbers are straightforward to check. You go on the grid, and see if the regions are there. There is no way to double-check simulator numbers. At best, you can count server numbers — which, again, vary greatly by size. And counting them would be a herculean task that I’m not up for. If you know of anyone doing that, I’d love to publish their results.

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

            James, I know you have some kind of problem with publishing monthly region and user counts. I can’t figure out what that problem is. But feel free to come out with an alternative way to track the health of the OpenSim ecosystem and put out a monthly report.

            I would LOVE to see more data coming out. If you can figure out a way to get data out of grid owners, you would be doing a great service to the community as a whole.

          • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

            Your problem is seller side logic in a buyer’s market. That idea is not consistent and stringend from the very start.

            No Industrial Association operates like that. You can show me if you find a bona-fide one.

            A buyer-side market starts with Requirements Management and enables traceability, its even in Wikipedia…
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requirements_management

            You keep censoring the concrete example I give you.

            Here is it is:
            http://www.theesa.com/facts/econdata.asp

            There is not one shred of gamer land count… They start with Revenue Sheet data… it is tangible proof…

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

            James — I’m not actually censoring you right now. I think other people are voting down your comments because they don’t make any sense. The data I think you’re hoping for (if I’m interpreting your comments correctly) just isn’t available right now. If you can figure out a way to get it, that would be fantastic. But, right now, all we have is the vendor data.

            If you keep posting the same comment over and over again, I will moderate them, however. I don’t mind constructive criticism. If you are able to find an alternative source of data, that would be fantastic.

            I already explained why Google Trends isn’t appropriate in this context. A survey-style approach also won’t work because there’s aren’t enough users yet. You could survey a million random people and still not get enough OpenSim users to make up a statistically useful sample, so Nielsen-style ratings won’t work. We run annual grid and hosting surveys here, and will be doing another set this fall, which I guess is the closest we’d get to buy-side data. But only a proportion of OpenSim users read Hypergrid Business, and only a small proportion of readers take surveys, so the end results have their own accuracy issues. As the market expands, that will improve, but, right now, all we have is proxy numbers — like region and active user counts.

          • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

            @Maria Of course it makes sense…

            Gaming Industry Associations do it all the time… They handle buyer markets like buyer markets…

            They don’t try to bend the SL 2006 honeytrap logic of Seller markets, and propose dubious and non bona-fide conclusion-making into Buyer markets.

            Again that’s called Consumer Detriment. That logic has been a proven flop since 2006.

            Gaming Industry Associations say:

            - Units Sold (=Simulators) * Price = Revenue

            Break-even Revenue Sheet data & Sustainability are the bottom line issues for a healthy industrial format.

            There is no land counting in Gaming Industry, you are off track in the whole Statistical Systems Logic…
            http://ow.ly/dXgHc

            @Mr Concerned

            This sub-thread is about Kitely’s attempt to honeytrap us into a false and skewed Seller-side view of things…

            Even HG2 developer issues need the Buyer-side of things, and stop the blind-eye about Requirements Management.

            HG2 developers are not there to develop for developers, and shop talk in their sandboxes about nice-to-have belly-button bells and whistles.

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

            The reported you cited pools data from vendor sources (unit sales data), US government statistics, and retail surveys. The latter two sources of data are not available for OpenSim customers. In fact, even for the gaming report, they had to adjust the data — the US government statistics, for example, covered the software industry as a whole, and they did statistical adjustment to get estimates for the gaming industry.

            But, in general, survey methodologies which work for large industries, where a random sampling of consumers — or retail stores — will yield useful data — does not apply to niche sectors.

            Finally, surveying vendors is a common practice in many industries. IDC and other analysts regularly track units shipped in many sectors. This is not the same as units sold — just as regions on grids is not equivalent to regions actually rented.

            I know you’re looking for better data. I swear, everyone is. I guarantee you that every vendor out there would love to have an accurate estimate of the size of the virtual worlds market, and have growth projections for it. But unless you define this market to be really really wide — wide enough to include WoW and IMVU and everything similar — the data just isn’t there.

            Say I had a staff of 1,000 full-time researchers. And they spent every day on the phone to corporations asking them how much money was in their budgets for immersive environments. Chances are, they wouldn’t know. A large corporations has many departments were such a decision would be made, and the data would be buried inside departmental budgets. It wouldn’t show up in any top-line report. The best you could do would be, say, to survey HR managers in mid-sized firms, and hope that enough would be forthcoming to provide a statistically useful result.

            Surveying retail customers would be completely hopeless — you’d have to talk to millions before you’d find any OpenSim land buyers at all. But it’s a moot point because all we have a budget for here is a couple of part-part-time freelancer writers. And nobody else I know of is tracking this. However, if you want general virtual world statistics, you can look at the K-Zero reports.

          • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

            Well its time to take those out-of-proportion honeytrap statements from developers and seller’s into proper statistical scrutiny, and uncover the logical flaws.

            The Buyer’s market viewpoint counts…

            We have seen enough of that 2000 Dot-Com bubble and 2006 SL honeytrap bubble…

          • http://twitter.com/RULosingHair RULosingHair

            You keep censoring my response
            http://www.diigo.com/item/image/30fh/oajh?size=o

            Gaming Industry does it
            http://www.theesa.com/facts/econdata.asp

            Not a shred of gamer land counting is there, they start with Customers & Revenue Sheet data.

          • concerned metaverse resident

            James
            WTF have any of your comments got to do with HG2?
            There is a serious discussion to be had around HG2 and your monomaniacal hijacking of threads to promote your subject du jour is extremely unhelpful to the general OS community.
            As for the new pseudonym look a bit below URHair to see what you are losing – please dont reply to this.

    • Dan

      Kitely is fundamentally flawed although I really do like the idea you implemented with the Cloud and other aspects, however it’s doomed with the present strategy because pay by time will not appeal to a large enough user base to ever allow it to grow, if you change this aspect I think your active user base will increase a lot.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lawrence-Pierce/1527884925 Lawrence Pierce

        Varying business models that create an ongoing range of
        productive activities for both provider and consumer are not flawed. When I was deciding on a host, I choose Kitely because it provided the ideal environment for my projects. I further considered its benefits for distinct industries, such as education, which I wrote about in HB. And nobody would say the education market is small or incidental to the growth of virtual worlds.

        Kitely has grown tremendously in the last year, in regions,
        members and services; therefore it’s not possible to accept your statement without a response. I’ve written because there is often an expressed, as well as implicit argument that there is only one right way to offer and manage and pay for virtual world services. I believe this kind of narrow vision is actually part of what holds virtual worlds back from broader acceptance.

        Consumers like choices above all other considerations. We
        often think price or simplicity is the single driver of success, but what I see as most exciting for consumers is choice. The world is far more complex than any single business model can handle over time. Companies rise and fall. Apple almost disappeared once, now look at them. In the early 80’s IBM was the preeminent PC computer game in town (and one of the largest corporations in the world), now few consumers think of IBM when they go shopping. Those companies are not flawed, but what they are doing is surviving in a world where needs and wants constantly vary.

        If you are trying to say Kitely won’t appeal to the largest
        number possible of the masses, that may be true, but that’s a bit beside the point. In a “metaverse” with connectivity, Kitely could be huge and so could others, yet each with a different model for services and costs.

        • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

          Thank you Lawrence :-)

        • Dan

          Hi Lawrence, I was not trying to say anything other than what I said in plain English, have a re-read.

          And I agree for some Kitely is probably the best solution available, it really depends on the number of visitors you wish to aim for on a regular basis and other factors.

  • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

    Personally, I am disappointed that the one thing many of us have been talking about, letting content makers decide if their products can leave a grid, will not be in HG2. Diva has explained it must be left for HG 2.5 when ever that will be. She said this will probably need help from a TPV developer, Quote;

    For the time being, asset access control is done in bulk, based on asset types, and specified by the grid operator. There is no fine-grain asset access control [yet]. What this means is that grid users cannot express their own policies regarding their own objects, they are at the mercy of the grid operator. Bringing that specification up to the users will require some User Interface work (possibly on the viewers) that isn’t done yet. We’ll leave that for HG 2.5.

    I am really grateful to Diva for her work of course and, from what she says, HG2 will give more controls to the grid operator but that simple idea that the content makers would have final say if the items they make can leave a grid would have sent such a strong message that Opensim Hypergrid is ready for business (yeah, I wish!).

    I have to see what HG2 really means yet but I can’t see me coming off the fence and investing more money than I need to yet. I want to see a number of things but Hypergrid security was top of my list. I have to admit it is frustrating and sometimes I wonder if it wouldn’t just make more sense if Opensim forced platform operators to use a centralized cloud-based MySQL asset server that is under the control of the foundation and fix the content security issue once and for all (yeah, it’s not going to happen).

    I want to see a viewer developer get serious about supporting Opensim and Hypergrid too, and not just that, but also by taking new steps towards interoperability with other platforms as well. It would be great to see Unity open up in the viewer and not left to MOAP daftness. I mean, seriously, it’s about time the viewers could switch screens between a tabbed web browser and the Platform viewer be it Opensim, Unity, webGL and others. And the web browser should be able to open platform screens at locations specified in the web links similar to the way Teapot dose it because we also need grid search in the viewer and capabale of finding and opening platform locations (yeah, I don’t want much).

    I also want to see Opensim Physics replaced with Bullet or PhysX, And what about an open ID to use across all platforms? Surly that would be the unifying factor (yeah, wouldn’t all this be nice?).

    • Dan

      Yes that would be very nice and an actual advancement instead of just following Second Life’s dubious lead. A web interface for general use and users and a creators viewer for those so inclined. A good way of starting that project would be writing down all the proposed features, forming a developers and supporters group(s) and doing a visual mockup in photoshop.

      • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

        As it happens, Dan I aim to do that on my blog. In fact I have already had something to say about the grid manager in the past and Armin Weathewax – a TPV developer – did pick up on these ideas which lead to the extended grid list in Teapot viewer. I am also currently working on an extension of that idea myself. I am coding a php/MySQL grid search engine that will open a grid list popup that can load destination splash pages and setup data in the viewer menu. I will blog about it very soon and make to experimental version available to test in a viewer. Actually, tests in Teapot have worked well (see pics).

        Anyway, this is just one of the ways we need to advance. I agree with Whitestar above too, we need the export perm now. We are being forced to develop our own viewer as Linden Labs sinks into siege mode. SL is in crisis but Opensim and Hypergrid can go it alone than thrive with the right features in place and a renewed drive towards interoperability.

        We can’t afford to drag our heals!

        • Dan

          Hi Gaga, That looks very promising as far as grid choice and selection goes, so long as it don’t include Second Life :) You know Opensim and I include Aurora in that category because it’s based on Opensim, has a lot more talented coders potentially than Second Life has. Unfortunately Opensim has grids like Avination, IO, Inworldz and Kitely that do not work together or contribute firstly to the advancement of Opensim but rather to their own advancement, this is a major error because it’s limiting what can be offered by their grid’s, it also limits their advancement as alone they won’t pull in the required regular user base to be any competition to SL let alone be the next evolution of the Metaverse. It’s very Myopic of them but I hope this stance will change.

          • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

            Hi Dan,

            Other than two proprietary OpenSim modules Kitely developed and kept private, we contributed all the improvements we’ve made to OpenSim back to the community. Kitely’s cloud-based asset service and our Advanced Megaregions are both stand alone modules that integrate cleanly with standard OpenSim. Kitely can therefore continue using the standard OpenSim releases. We are not limited by us having some advanced architectural improvements over the standard OpenSim ROBUST architecture.

          • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

            Hi Dan. I think Linden Labs have already excluded Second Life from the search engine themselves since any Opensim viewer the search might be used in wont be allowed to be used in SL so no point in me adding them But I must say it is a shame really when you consider LL, in desperation, has gone cap in hand to Steam and asked to be let in to their video gaming list. But hey! one day, if SL survives, they could be knocking on the door of the open Metaverse asking to be let back in *smirks*

            To be honest though, I don’t want to show any bias against adding grids as that would, in my view, be against the spirit of an open Metaverse. I am aware of the commercial interests of many grids including the ones you mention but Avination and Kitely do contribute code and they do say they will open up to Hypergrid when more security is in place. Even InWorldz’ Tranquility Dexler has gone on record saying they will contribute code and enable Hypergrid if enough of their residents ask for it. And you know what? I wouldn’t even exclude SpotON3D even though they have done all they can to alienate themselves from the wider community by their own actions. You see, the open Metaverse is way bigger than any single walled garden grid and will continue to grow. I believe it will be in the best interests of the commercial grids to open up to it’s broader market eventually or find themselves isolated and in decline – just like what is happening to Second Life right now.

            And all the Aurora grids will be included too. Absolutely!

          • Dan

            Hi Gaga, I don’t think LL us quite as desperate as you indicated there, the reason for the interest in Steam is the current strategy to try to attract gamers, a bit like how they flirted with Facebook but then FB got worried (probably quite rightly) that LL just wanted FB users.

            SL has some 28’000 regions, it gets a lot of new signups but retaining them is a problem because SL is not a entity that gamers are used to, no points or levels, a few games within it and the childlike Linden Realms won’t exactly appeal to real gamers, so after awhile of indulging in pixel porn they get bored and leave.

            Current logged in figures on a good day is around 55’000, which includes bots and people on multiple viewers.

          • Dan

            Hi Ilan, Yes I appreciate that although not used those improvements myself so far am sure many others have and it was very nice of you to provide them.

            My point was though that you are doing your own thing, fred bloggs is doing his own thing instead of all working together on a central project to advance Opensim – while still doing your own grids.

            So, if for example a group gave you a web based viewer, would you be willing to donate a cloud asset based module and advanced megaregions?

            There are always going to be people who are non-creators or just not interested in it and people that want a region hosted instead of hosting their own, but for numbers I think the Hypergrid and massive promotion by all grids on the internet is the only way all can grow, and be like the borg, all compatiable with each other.

            As a side note, IO has a vampire bloodlines like system and combat system for ages now and I bet someone somewhere has got vehicles working flawless.

          • http://www.kitely.com Ilan Tochner

            Hi Dan,

            Most of our development work is on our control panel, and on our proprietary on-demand scalability and billing infrastructure – none of which have anything to do with the OpenSim codebase. Both our proprietary OpenSim modules leverage our core technology so we can’t share much more without open sourcing it as well. We’ve spent the last 4 years developing the technology that enables us to offer a unique service to earn our keep so giving away what makes us special is not an attractive proposition, even for a promise of a good web-based viewer.

            We welcome collaboration with other OpenSim developers, are active on the OpenSim developers mailing list, and have contributed almost everything we could have contributed without spending a lot of time separating dependencies between our proprietary OpenSim modules and our core non-OpenSim system. That said, we run a business that needs to feed our families so our focus when working on OpenSim is always going to be on developing the things that are the highest priority for the success of our own company.

          • Dan

            Hi Ilan, I understand and agree it is your right to choose what to share and what not to, I also take into account what you mention about it being your source of income and the years you have invested in to your business.

            Thanks for the insights.

          • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

            Ilan, I keep wondering if there isn’t a market for your cloud-based database services for private label grids? The logical extension of that idea is virtual content would be secure as it moves between grids that use the same service. No grid would have control of the data other than Kitely – assuming they provided such a service – and be held responsible for any breach of trust. To my mind a centralized cloud asset service like that would give the kind of security of a walled garden while not in itself providing the actual grid simulators (this is pretty much what SpotON3D is aiming at only they want to monopolize the service and control the grids too which amounts to a close Metaverse subject to their rules and charges). I think the asset service can form a business in itself which Linden Labs could have set up long ago and be profiting from today. But whatever…

            Personally, I would be more than willing to pay top money for a secure universal asset service where goods can flow between my grid and others on the same asset service including Kitely.

            Seriously, I think the secure movement of virtual content is now more important than the actual movement of the avatars on which it depends. Avatars need reasons to travel like events to attend, places to explore and other things like roleplay and shopping but the power of Second Life which the open Metaverse still lacks in any semi-secure form is a vibrant economy and trade in virtual content. From all my experience over the past five years in Opensim worlds I can not believe the open Metaverse will grow significantly without a workable solution to secure content storage across many grids.

  • WhiteStar Magic

    In recent months I have seen amazing & positive progress within OpenSim and it’s functionality and was anticipating the new HG 2.0. Yet I am saddened that the Export Permission flag is omitted, as I truly believe that is one point which would have served a multi-purpose role for not only grid operators but also the creators overall. This in part addresses some of the Creator’s concerns about controlling export of content which they do not want exported or shared without restriction. (copy-bot reduction) While no method is perfect, it is certainly a correct step in the Best Efforts category and shows a positive response & listening to the content creators which everyone wants to see join into the OpenSim family, where LL is constantly “bashed” for not listening to it’s user’s.
    The Export flag concept had been put forward 2 years ago and discussed then with various viewer Dev’s and Armin even took the time to look into the code base of the viewers and came to the conclusion that it really wasn’t that difficult to add that capability into the viewer and even did a semi functional test of it.
    The show stoppers were at that time, as is now, no support within OpenSim codebase so it could not be implemented. (it was partially conceptually tested with a prototype Aurora-Sim codebase) The viewer requires a specific patch that was for OpenSim Only and not applicable to SecondLife(TM) which would have resulted in a level of confusion for the user population and likely would have created some additional support issues..
    Now that SL is clearly delineating their viewer code base and further continuing to “part ways” from allowing the LL Viewer to be used for OpenSim connectivity, this split for all intents & purposes, now creates a situation where the TPV Developer’s will have to produce 2 flavours of a viewer, 1 being for SL and 1 for OpenSim. In some instance we are already seeing for OpenSim Only viewers starting to appear which contain many extras that are unique to OpenSimulator and not applicable in SL. This seems to be an opportune time to implement the Export Flag option into the viewer and interconnect it with OpenSim. As these “patches” for OpenSim unique functions are being implemented, I have to wonder as to the logic of having to wait for HG 2.5 … There appears to be something else amiss here and certainly an opportunity for implementation being missed in any case..
    For reference, this is the last Mantis pertaining to the Export Flag option which I filed back in March of 2012. http://opensimulator.org/mantis/view.php?id=5892

    • Diva Canto

      There’s nothing amiss. Fine-grain asset control was not part of the plan for HG 2.0 — see my blog back in April where that is clearly stated (
      http://metaverseink.com/blog/?p=299 ). I don’t know where people got the idea that it was part of the plan for 2.0.
      It’s not hard to do. But it requires some coordination between viewer devs and OpenSim devs that realistically doesn’t seem to be in place. If I see that checkbox coming to the viewers that I use soon enough, in a proper way, maybe it will happen for the December release; otherwise, it will have to wait until I have time to think about how to do it [without the viewers first, but in a way that viewers can pick it up later].
      Needless to say that OpenSim is always welcoming good patches that do the right thing. There’s only so much time I (and others) have to donate free work.

      • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

        Ah yes, I can see where you dismissed fine grain asset control, or the export perm, when you wrote back in April. I guess we all got caught up in wishful thinking but it dose go to show the strength of feeling on this issue. Perhaps it also comes from fending off the critics of Opensim too who always point to the security weaknesses. Anyway, lets hope by December there is a breakthrough. Thank you for responding Diva.

        • Dan

          Actually Opensim is much more secure against theft than Second Life is, other than the fact that a Grid Owner has access to all users inventory, but then so do Second Life Linden staff. In tests I have found that copying content on one grid to export to another is a great deal harder and much more likely to be noticed on Opensim, but in Second Life I can walk around and just take anything I wasnt, clothes, skins, shapes, hair, buildings, jewellery, animations etc etc etc. So if creators want a more secure environment to sell their junk, Opensim is the place :)

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

    Update from Justin Clark-Casey and Crista Lopes — HG 2.0 will be available as part of the next experimental release of OpenSim, but won’t be in the general release until December of this year.

    The December release will also include all other OpenSim updates made up until then, Clark-Casey said.

    He added that one alternative to changing to the viewer might be to access the hypergrid “Export” permissions and other OpenSim-specific functionality might be to use the built-in Web viewer.

    • http://twitter.com/Gaga_Gracious Gaga

      Hi Maria

      You quoted Justine, saying;
      “He added that one alternative to changing to the viewer might be to
      access the hypergrid “Export” permissions and other OpenSim-specific
      functionality might be to use the built-in Web viewer.”

      That all seems a bit vague. Perhaps Justine might explain it in more detail if he happens to read this?

  • hack13

    I know this might be hard for some believe, but Aurora-Sim already added the Export flag to their code a long time ago while they were working on their own version of HyperGrid called IWC(Inter Worlds Connector) and they have just been waiting for someone to push it into a viewer so they could take advantage of this. Honestly I think it is time for both groups to come together on this, as both Aurora-Sim and OpenSim are great products, and Aurora-Sim, it trying it’s hardest to make themselves hypergrid compatible. Which it does work on some instances with a plugin now, but I have been working with one of the developers and since they already have the flag in their code. Why not take how they did the flag so aurora doesn’t have to do more work on changing flags again.

  • http://twitter.com/VirtualClover Virtual Clover

    Why not just leave it alone and see what happens with it…maybe it won’t be an actual issue in application. I think some creators are just a little self righteous to be acting like digital cartoon products are as valuable as real world valuable items.

    People just need to lighten up. Stop being so anal retentive about things that honestly do not matter in the grand scheme of things. So somebody swiped a copy of your cartoon tree. If you have a meltdown about it, the problem lies with you, not “content theft”.

  • James Munger

    I would hope that the content is listed as hyper-grid transferable before it is sold. this way people can decide to either buy from a content creator who is either with moving forward, or avoid the content creators with restrictions that are holding the hyper-grid behind.