Grids drop Second Life viewer

Kitely, an on-demand OpenSim grid, cut off support for the official Second Life viewer today, as did the Brazilian social grid Meet3D.

“We had to take this step because Linden Lab, the creators of the Second Life Viewer, have released a new version that no longer works with OpenSim,” Oren Hurvitz, Kitely Ltd.’s vice president for research and development, said in the announcement.

“Linden Lab’s decision is a desperate attempt to curb the growth of OpenSim, which they view as a threat to their business model of charging very high fees for virtual land,” he added.

Meet3D president and founder Fabio Bastos called Linden Lab’s move “aggressive and ineffective against OpenSim.”

“We will not allow more hits from the official Linden Lab viewer and will also will adopt Firestorm as our default viewer,” he told Hypergrid Business.

Kitely switched to using the Firestorm viewer earlier this year as its default viewer. Firestorm is a modern viewer, based on the latest V3-style user interface, and supporting all the latest features, including outfits, mesh, and media-on-a-prim.

Previously, Kitely used the V1-derived Imprudence viewer, which is no longer being worked on and was last updated more than a year ago. Imprudence does not support mesh or media-on-a-prim.

Kitely, the largest commercial OpenSim grid by land area, offers cloud-hosted on demand regions. It recently added support for megaregions.

Hurvitz also released viewer usage statistics for the previous month. Firestorm was used in 56 percent of all visits to Kitely, Imprudence was second at 21 percent, the Kokua viewer was third at 8 percent, and the official Second Life viewer was in fourth place with 5 percent of visits.

Ilan Tochner

According to Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner, some customers use both the Firestorm and the Imprudence viewer.

“For example, people often start with Imprudence to import content into Kitely then switch to Firestorm once they have finished the migration,” Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “I think you’d see a lot more people using Firestorm from the get go if it included Imprudence’s content import and export functionality.”

OpenSim users aren’t the only ones stepping away from the official Second Life viewer.

Ironically, the official Second Life viewer isn’t popular even on its home grid.

Firestorm is the most popular — and the most stable — viewer in Second Life, as well, the Firestorm team announced earlier this month. It recently took the lead from its sister viewer, Phoenix. The official Second Life viewer is in third place, and is used by a minority of residents, New World Notes reported earlier this year.

But Firestorm has a special relevance for OpenSim users since its developers decided to create a version just for OpenSim users.

In April, Linden Lab told third-party viewer developers that they had to drop support for OpenSim if they wanted to get access to proprietary new pathfinding functionality from Havok. The company announced last month that its official viewer would also end support for logins to the OpenSim grids.

That new version of the official viewer was released today, Hurvitz said.

“Since the Second Life viewer automatically updates itself, most people will get this viewer ‘improvement’ even if they don’t want it,” he wrote.

In addition to Firestorm, Kitely also offers users the option to select the Dolphin viewer, Imprudence, Kokua, or Teapot. Both Teapot and Dolphin are V3-based viewers which support mesh and media-on-a-prim. Full list of supported viewers is here, as well as instructions for how to connect to the Kitely grid directly, bypassing the company’s plugin.

Currently, there are two ways to use a viewer to connect to a grid. One is via a user-friendly grid selector accessible on the viewer’s login screen. This is the method commonly used with Firestorm and Imprudence.

The other option is to edit the shortcut path to the viewer to include the grid’s loginURI. This is the method that needed to be used to connect via the official Second Life viewer and other viewers that haven’t been customized to work with OpenSim.

Kitely’s plugin requires the loginURI option to work in order to connect users automatically to their regions.

The plugin gets a list of approved viewers from the Kitely server, and this list can be changed at any time.

“When additional third-party viewers drop loginURI support, the Kitely plugin will be remotely configured to stop using them,” said Tochner.

 

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.

  • Meet3D

    On behalf of Meet3D Games Ltd., announce that: Because the decision announced by Linden Lab’s, which we believe aggressive and ineffective against the growth of Opensim, we will not allow more hits from the viewer official Linden Lab’s and also will adopt the Firestorm as our default viewer .

  • Sim-on-a-Stick does not support the Second Life viewer either. Enclave Harbour does not as well (it’s undergoing serious use-case testing in November).

  • The reason SL had to cut off open sim usage on its viewer is due to a license problem with HAVOK. SL had to choose either to allow open sim users to still be able to use its viewer or go ahead with the new feature SL is developing called PATHFINDING. This was not an aggressive move against OPEN SIM at all.
    The new Pathfinding feature requires a new interface inside the viewer which is made from HAVOK. Therefore SL had to cut off open sim from its viewer.
    Second Life has nothing to be afraid of. Open Sim has not achieved or it is anywhere near the amount of communities and different social groups that currently exist in Second Life.
    Like I said before. Second Life is like a rope. Open Sim is composed of many strings. Rope meaning where everyone goes in one only place. String means each of the over 200 open sim supported grids. A string is much weaker than a rope.
    In other words; Because open sim is composed of many spread out grids around the world and everyone can have one free; it makes it almost impossible to create GATHERING of multiple communities and groups of different interests.
    Second Life has acomplished that very well. It also created a stable and balanced economical system where it allows the poor, the middle class and the rich to play or stabilish a society.
    A society needs to have the poor, the middle class and the rich in order to survive and achieve a well balanced economy.

    Open Sim has not achieved this and it will not ever achieve it. Like I said above. It is too spread out and therefore a community cant be built.

    InWorldz and Avination.
    These two are attempting to create community. They may even have achieved a small very small number of it but then they have the MOTHER SHIP hoovering around them and that is Second Life. Plus they have not put in place a well balanced economical structure. That is also because they cant. If they do people will choose to go to Second Life.
    Example.
    If I have to pay a lot of money I rather go to a place where there is a stabilished community.
    So Inworldz and avination are really in a dead beat scenario. First most people can place a grid online and regions. Second they cant charge enough to create balance in their economy so that the poor, middle class and rich can thrive. Creating a well balanced social economical environment. That creates value and markets necessary for a society to thrive and grow. Developments and creations.
    Third they have Second Life as competitor.

    I am not saying Second Life is 100% correct in what they do. I have also analised it very well and I see many mistakes being made.
    But they have the community. That is worth millions!

    So…as I was saying; Second Life has millions of dollars and they have created a new feature that is name Pathfinding. That is the main reason they had to drop Open Sim. Otherwise HAVOK would not allow it.

    Take care!

    • Did you fail to make AVworlds pay off quick enough Alex?

      What you missed in that rather bitter analysis was that Opensim is a long term project and Rome wasn’t built in a day. You are better off in Second Life though and in the short term you might even make some money out of it since that is what motivates you. I recall you had high pricing. Anyway, I think you need to slow down a bit Alex and look at your business methods or you might forget which project you are working on. Good Luck!

      Oh, I do like Alex’s comment, quote “It (Second Life) also created a stable and balanced economical system where it allows
      the poor, the middle class and the rich to play or stabilish a society.”

      I wonder if Alex was around at the time of the Open Space scam when LL got back 1900 sims from people that could not afford the heavy price hike and many others had to cut their losses and sell off their sims for next to nothing to land Barons. That really helped the poor he delighted in mentioning. They lost their sims and all their hard work as well as a lot of money. Some had just paid the setup fee too and got hit with the new pricing almost right away. No warning!

      Linden Labs can continue for a while but they are loosing 100 sims a week and traffic has been falling since the start of the year.

      Not such a rosy picture, eh Alex?

      • Yes GAGA…I can place a region or a grid online using OS. then what. hear the winds? Or get a WILLSON BALL like in cast away and start talking to the ball? WILLSOOOOONNN!!!
        OS is a good tool dont get me wrong. But lets face it….It can be used in schools, universities..etc. But as a SOCIAL NETWORK place where people want to meet new people, find love and have excellent quality content and scripts that work 100%; they go to SL.
        Anyway. If OS does it for you ok….Its your choice. I am just saying OS cannot compete with SL. At least not now.

        • lol, I notice you only talk about SL as a social network and glorified dating service not as a place where people might want to role play, learn or do other creative stuff. As for scripting you are full of disinformation because OS is far richer in scripting capability than you try to make out. Apart from LSL and it’s own functions you can use other scripting languages that can NOT be used in SL such as C#.

          There is only one technical thing that SL has that beats OS presently and that is Havok physics but bullet and PhysX are on the horizon so it just a matter of time to solve that issue.

          Yes, OS dose suit me fine but I also have regions in SL and I don’t limit my activity to just one world and nor do the role players I support. This is the difference between you and I. You want fast profits and I want to give value and gain rewarding experiences. Your view of the Metaverse is just too basic and limited for me. And from all you say I can tell your business acumen leaves a lot to be desired too.

          • wild monkey loving also possible in OS =D

          • Ener, you crack me up! *laughs loud*

    • Arielle

      Opensim doesn’t have to compete with Second Life on a social economic level to cause them losses. The free or low cost virtual land is more then enough and if LL isn’t looking for ways to stem the current exodus of land owners, they are even crazier then many already think.
      They may have millions now (doubtful) but at the present rate they will have lost an additional $350-400,000 in revenue in a year from now and likely the rate of the exodus will increase as more and more either can no longer afford the tier or see no reason to keep a presence for S/L’s dwindling population.

      Without a doubt, S/L’s rope is unraveling and the Havok licensing is a handy way of tying a knot in it without having to divulge whether Opensim was starting to be a threat. Opensim can survive as strings whereas S/L cannot.

      • My String theory…LOL….I heard this somewhere…LOL.. Anyway my string theory was not meant for survival analises. SL has big problems and I am not saying it does not.
        I meant to explain why SL has a community. Why people go there. OS cant achieve a community because it is spread out like strings from a rope and that make it weak. You need many strings tied together in order to make a strong rope.
        SL is a rope. OS is composed by many strings around the world. So therefore you will never have over 1000 people in one place. Or even 10000 in one place at once. Its spread out. Because of that you cant attract more people, content creators etc etc. You need a community in order to achieve VALUE.
        And if you do achieve then you will be competing neck to neck agains the mother ship who is SL and Avination and Inworldzs and kitely are all facing this problem. You see 200 people or 50 never more than 250 or 400. Yes people will sign in once. They will see that there are no groups or their groups from SL does not exist there.
        Pretty soon mark my word here. These grids will start loosing more and more ground.
        Their LAND market is weak. People can give up easily because it only cost them maybe 75 dollars? No investment. Easy to give up.
        Not like in SL. There if you want to buy a region you need to spend 1000 dollars. That is an investment. You will not give that up easily and if you do SL has the TRANSFER market. Where you can sell it.
        So…I dont mean to be braking balls here….WILLSOONNNN! where are you WILLSOON….and thats my point.
        Want to use OS as a hobby or school project? Yes! Good… But if you are building a closed commercial grid then you have a lot of work ahead of you. And the results may be failure. Sooner of later.

        • Minethere

          ‘Their LAND market is weak. People can give up easily because it only cost them maybe 75 dollars? No investment. Easy to give up. Not like in SL. There if you want to buy a region you need to spend 1000 dollars. That is an investment. ‘

          Actually, and I don’t know you and don’t mean this as an ad hominem attack at all, but for those who have found OS grids, it is very easy to think that paying land rates that sl charges is, frankly, well, very stupid. For example, http://www.islandoasis.biz/LandInfo.aspx offers beautiful sims for as low as 15 usd…and that grid is doing very well lately [no, not in sl terms but very well, regardless].

          ‘Want to use OS as a hobby or school project? Yes! Good… But if you are building a closed commercial grid then you have a lot of work ahead of you. And the results may be failure. Sooner of later.’

          Anybody that has experienced OS grids properly knows that there is no failure that is going to happen at all…and you might be surprised at all the content creators who now have shops in them, as well as the many who know they can create more detailed builds, with no upload fees and in reality then take them back to whatever interests they have left in sl.

          The sl mentality that OS grids somehow offer less is a fallacy…many of the top creators who started in sl have moved to OS, and create awesome and detailed builds that in sl they could never do. .001 x 256 m prims and no upload fees are only two of the primary reasons…it’s simple, really.

      • Why would I want a sand box? Create something perhaps? And with whom would I share it? OS is good in many ways. Dont get me wrong but all I am saying here is that SL has nothing to fear against OS. All these stories regarind SL viewer change is bull. SL did and OS grids dont even need SL viewer.
        So I dont know what hype is about it.

    • Dan

      Hi Alex,

      Inworldz and Avination are just two Opensim based grids with their own strategies, Opensim has many instances of people who are not wishing to create large communities or make a fast buck, the extreme Capitalism of Second Life does not inspire all of us.

      You said Opensim grids have Second Life as a competitor.

      Yes and Second Life has Opensim and it’s more numerous grids with free and cheaper land prices as competition, in addition to Support which Second Life has all but done away with.

      You finally and somewhat enthusiastically said that, Second Life has a community that is worth millions!

      Agreed but… you are not going to get any of those millions, infact you will find it very hard to make a decent profit there now as the market is swamped and advertising is next to non-existantant.

      What you failed to mention is that Second Life is now 90% full of people who never have and never will buy a single Linden dollar.

      • I disagree with you. I pay Second Life about 400000 per year for my regions. Now; I would never be able to pay for that if my tenants did not pay me for their land tiers.
        Actually the SMALL guys in Second Life are the ones who support my business and eventually SLs millions in profits.
        Without the tenant I would be lost. My business in SL would not survive. So yes people are buying lindens and a lot of them are.
        I cant do that in OS. Cant. Simply cant. I tried trust me.
        In order to create a well balanced economy I would need my regions to cost at least 200 or more per month not because I am greedy…. Because if I make it so cheap then everyone would have land. That causes an instability in the markets.
        No one will want to pay for more than 200 dollars for a region in OS. Not until a grid can create a 10000 or more community that can attract more people, creators etc…And by saying that I mean over 10000 people inworld at once.
        OS cant do that because it is spread out around the world now. Everyone has one. And hypergrid travel did not do and will not do the job so that we can all be part of a monster grid…. Human behavior will stop that. And it has already…
        So people that love virtual reality world will continue to go to SL. Like it or not.

        • The problem is you have a rather blinkered view of Opensim and Hypergrid. You make comparisons with the Second Life business model when Opensim is a totally different animal. Second Life is run as a single grid with many sims under the control of one company, Linden Labs. Opensim is run as many grids where some, not all, might be connected by Hypergrid travel. These grids are also owned by many individuals and companies so will have differing policies. Any comparison between the two as a business model is flawed thinking because the open Metaverse works in different ways. Much of the commercial business arises within certain well-developed grids like Inworldz and Kitely who have their own small but growing communities. Setting up a new grid like SimLife3D and expecting Open Metaverse travelers to come flocking in was your first mistake. Setting a high setup fee when all around well established hosts do it for free was your next mistake. Others have spent a number of years developing their grids and you seem to expect it to happen for you just by opening your door for business. Your whole approach to Opensim is based on your experience of Second Life and that is where you fell down, lost money and grew bitter so that now you want to blame Opensim when you should go back to Second Life and quietly blame yourself for not doing your homework before investing in something that dose not bring quick returns.

          Second Life is in crisis anyway. It’s in serious decline loosing up to a 100 sims a week presently and the traffic has been static around 60k for a number of years now. In the last six months it has dipped even lower to around 55k average and falling and many people are leaving to explore other grids and opportunities not least Opensim but, sensibly, others don’t expect immediate profits as you did. Opensim is a long term development involving the open source community. It will continue to grow and develop without any central controlling grid operator and that is what gives it a more certain future. Second Life is in the hands of a single profit hungry company who put their bottom line before yours. Just remember that. They can put you out of business tomorrow where you are the master of your destiny in the open Metaverse.

          Just don’t knock Opensim because you failed to understand it or put in the time and effort to develop your interests here.

          • ya for my Gaga! =)

            different business opportunities exist for OpenSim that are not possible via SL

            it’s not a matter of who is right or wrong – it’s what people do with it

            we have not seen all possible use-cases for OpenSim. i do believe we have seen all for SL though . . .

        • Dan

          Alex, I fail to understand why anyone who pays Linden Labs 400000 USD a year for regions would have the time or interest in OpenSim. I do wonder how much of the 400000 USD is profit for you.

          You mentioned that it’s the “SMALL guys” who are the ones who support your business and basically that they are not available in OpenSim in sufficient numbers to allow you to exploit them. (I take it that you are not a creator and provide nothing of value to Second life).

          I did so much love your comment previously about there being a class system in Second Life, the Poor, the Middle and the Upper Classes, I guess the Poor are the “SMALL guys” you referred to.

          I happen to like statistics, unfortunately Linden Labs has always been good at hiding it’s statistics and airbrushing them and as they are the ones that release their Metrics for Second life we should take them with a pinch of salt.

          Walking around popular regions in Second Life take a look at the avatars and their profiles, you will see most wear freebie skins, have no payment on file, many males have ripped skins and do not rent a home, they don’t have two Linden Dollars to rub together unless they pole danced or begged someone for them.

          While Second Life has an alleged 10’000 registrations daily currently it is failing to retain those new? people and how do we know that? By the logged in statistics which Linden Labs now hides on viewers.

          By luck I have them for you, so 54’000 Logged in at a busy period and deduct from that people running multiple viewers and large numbers of bots and the figure is even lower. Where are the many millions that joined Second Life since 2003? How many regulars are there now 250’000? You will never see that figure logged in the same day so it’s hard to tell.

          Currently Linden Labs Metrics state that 34421 own Linden homes, have you ever been to a Linden region where they have those homes? You will notice they are always empty of people. Compared to online virtual entertainment like World of Warcraft, Second Life is a total failure and not because Second Life is not a good idea or did not have potential to be great but because of bad management, bad decisions, greed and continued unwillingness to listen to the wishes of its users.

          From June 2010 until September 2012 Second Life has lost 25% of unique private region owners, leaving 21603 regions owned by Second Life’s 500 or so Land Barons who now form 1% of the population.

          It goes without saying that nobody in their right mind will pay an OpenSim grid owner 200 USD for a region and why should they when they can host it themselves for free or find a willing host for a fraction of that amount.

          Gaga points out that OpenSim is different from Second Life in that OpenSim is more likely to attract users for different reasons than Second Life now does, I agree with her.

          I will say lastly that as Linden Labs has declared war upon OpenSim that we should retaliate and one of the best ways of doing that is by removing OpenSim compatiablity with Second Life.

          Sources: http://gridsurvey.com/

          • No matther what you say. SL is not afraid of OS. OS cannot compete with SL. at least not yet and it wont due to the fact that it is spread out. Hypergrid Travel works but human behavior will stop it from been successful.
            Bottom line is SL has the development and money to compete. OS grids do not.
            I love OS! Dont get me wrong. I still would like to use it someday. But I cant just be blind and not realise the differences between the two platforms.

        • well put – you are clearly a better estate owner than i was (19 sims for two years). SKL is a business opportunity and for those with the proper acumen, it can be profitable. it was not for me but it seems like OpenSim might be

          OpenSim won’t translate to an SL estate business, but not all things that make money in the virtual world need people to buy land. our opportunity is one that could not be done inSL and is only possible in OpenSim

          both have opportunities and both can be made successful

          i firmly believe SL’s days are numbered and with a loss of 8.3 sims per day this last year, i’m afraid math will eventually prevail

          in the meanwhile, keep it up Alex! =)

  • At the risk of getting shouted down…

    Alex is correct: LL’s move is as a result of a sub-licensing deal with Havok. While I support Kitely, I believe Oren is making a biased comment in his statement with regards to LL’s reasoning.

    While the sub-license arrangement does encompass pathfinding, it’s probably worth pointing out that it potentially could do far more than this.

    Finally, Lance Corrimal has also posted that Dolphin will be ceasing OpenSim support (http://dolphinviewer.eregion.de/2012/08/18/dolphin-viewer-and-support-for-opensim/), although the current release of his viewer does still include a Grid Selector (possibly due to the slow-down in SL viewer releases of leate due to other issues). Others are free to fork his code to continue to support OpenSim.

    • Good tactic, Inara to start your comment with “At the risk of getting shouted down…”

      Thus any questioning of your disinformation will be seen as shouting – so you hope. However, not withstanding that, I wont bother to answer you as it has been answered elsewhere and, besides, we all know you are an SL fan and apologist for their disreputable behavior towards so many paying customers.

      • First of all Inara is correct and you GAGA are wrong. My comment here was about the comments being made about SL shutting down Open Sim from its official viewer because SL is afraid of OS. And this is bull. First of all none of the grids that are saying they are shutting SL viewer off from their grids are doing that. SL did that not them. Its done. Even if these grids did nothing it would not do any good. SL did it. Not them.
        Its not because of competition and that SL is afraid. SL has nothing to be afraid of.
        And the funny thing is that as soon as I placed my comments here people are already saying that ohh….noo……OPEN SIM is a different type of business platform….
        Bull! Open Sim can be used for more than one type of platform.

        So the correct reason SL DID cut off Open Sim from its official viewer is because of the HAVOK licensing agreement for the new feature called pathfinding. Which OS will not have or at least not now.

        Stop coming here saying oh yeah….I am cutting off SLs viewer from my grid. Thats bull and its the other way around it.
        You dont even need to do anything if you have a grid. SLs viewer updates automaticaly so anyone who has that viewer will no longer be able to login in any OS grid period. And the grid itself does not need to do a thing about it. it wont work.
        Gaga please. Get informed.

        • my Gaga is never wrong to express her opinion and her perspective. only Gaga can have her perspective and anyone saying that someone else’s perception is wrong is a dufus (yes, a big mean dufus)

          people can certainly be wrong (i am more wrong than right i expect) but their perceptions are just that – a perception

          i an Gaga’s biggest fan (well, i love her and respect her)

          yay for respect and big whoop on SL – they can do what they like despite what anyone else thinks

      • You really need to understand what has caused LL to discontinue OpenSim support. No disinformation there. It’s the Havok sub-licence arrangement, pure and simple.

        If you’re unwilling to educate yourself as to the reasons, that’s your problem, not mine.

        And as for being an “apologist”, I’ll point out I’ll critique LL – and do critique LL – as and when warranted, and I’ll let my blog speak for itself in that regard. What I refuse to enter into, however, is the kind of misguided and misinformed attacks on the company which are all too often undertaken by some.

        But thanks for the ad hominem attack.

        • Now I feel like I am being shouted at by Inara but there is a difference between what I say and she says. I say what I think is the case as an opinion while Inara states her views with the certainty of an insider with privileged knowledge when in fact she knows no more than anyone else who reads the Linden statements. I chose not to believe Linden Labs in every detail because they are a business with a vested interest in being sketchy with the truth.

          One never likes to be spoken down to about educating themselves, as noted in Inara’s comment, so I will dismiss that sentence with the contempt it deserves and simply say Linden Labs has every reason to thwart the progress of Opensim since in the long term it does threaten their monopoly. Opensim is getting better with every release while SL’s future has never be more uncertain given the rapid decline it’s experiencing right now.

          • Dan

            We wil probably never know the real reason why Linden Labs released the Second Life Viewer Code as Open Source, but I would bet it was to get IBM interested, same for the travel test between Second Life to OpenSim and it was after that when Linden Labs ceased it’s supposed friendship with OpenSim.

          • Gaga,

            When you’re in a hole, it’s always best to stop digging ;-).

    • I think they are both potentially right, and the only “wrong” here is to claim someone is wrong here. No one really knows what motivates LL unless you are there for the decision-making internal discussions. Gaga was speculating that the true motives weren’t the stated ones; Alex was speculating that the stated motives were the true ones.

      Personally, I’d suspect that the truth is somewhere in between. That discussions with Havok led to a desire to tighten or clarify the terms of use, and that this put LL in a very convenient win-win situation. They could increase the cost to TPVs of supporting alternative grids (maintaining parallel development projects is very costly), or the TPVs could abandon one or the other. Then, regardless of which alternative the TPVs chose, LL was a winner. If the TPVs chose to support SL, they’d have dealt a blow to alternative grids. If TPVs chose to support only the alternative grids, LL would have managed to wrangle the source back from that TPV alternative to their own. While this might not have been a deliberate attempt to force changes, I see it as an opportune moment for LL and they grabbed it with both hands. I do believe that many inside LL consider the open sourcing of the viewer to have been a mistake. That in the long run, they’d love to bring it back in-house (only). Also, I have to wonder how many of those open source proponents are still with the company? Probably not many at all. They can’t really lose on this one. They can claim they are just the bearers of bad news, and technically that might be true. I don’t really think it’s the whole story though, and the truth is somewhere in between. It’s brilliant really.

  • Hi Inara. I knew many would feel the need to express some sort of hitting back at me.LOL… But the truth will set you free.
    SL is not cutting off OS from its viewer because of competition. I have explained on my first comment here.
    I have analised both SL and OS and my answer is also posted below.
    Second Life has the money to invest and create new features. They cant wait for OS and plus the licensing with HAVOK.
    It is not I repeat it is not a competition move by SL.
    OS is a free open source code and yes even if it hurts your feeling by me saying that OS cant compete it is the truth.
    I see that people are saying SL cut off OS from its viewers because they are threatened by OS…This is only so that whoever is saying this can feel big and maybe create a false narative about OS. To make us who use OS feel big and strong. The truth is hard but even I had to admit. SL is strong, has money and developers. OS is about 10 years behind SL at this point and it will continue to be until MONEY is invested on it.
    Then it would not be open source anylonger….:)

    • You are very good at pulling numbers out of the air Alex saying Opensim is 10 years behind SL but there are just so many ways that is wrong. What you don’t mention is the many ways OS was ahead of SL like the introduction of MESH and MOAP to name just two examples. LL just needed an excuse to cut out Opensim from the viewer code when they could have put in other blocking code that left grid manger in tack. They needed an excuse to kill the grid manager because it advertised the Open Metaverse to every SL user. It would have been too obvious before and it didn’t have priority until the Havok coding needed doing. Remember also they put the grid manager coding in when they believed in developing interpolarity. Now they just want to bring down an Iron curtain to keep a declining population in a shrinking world. For all your complaints about Opensim here you are just expressing your failure to understand it or exploit it which is what you hoped to do with SimLife3D. Enough said.

    • Minethere

      May I beg to differ [and interject–lol] that opensource software is simply a different paradigm.

      If you drop on by this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software you may note some quite successful opensource software.

      In any case, my personal ‘not-really-knowing-much-on-all-this’ opinion is that when anybody makes their company less transparent and/or reduces effects of competition [of any size–see microsoft takeovers], it is an obvious attempt [to many] that they are having troubles and wish to try to do something about it.

      But it is human nature to defend the indefensible when it is in the best interests of the person. In any case, sl will be around for a long time, maybe not in it’s current form [and as many have bemoaned–a not better form], but it will be around.

      Time will tell, of course.

  • @Alex A society needs to have the poor, the middle class and the rich in order to survive and achieve a well balanced economy.

    All I have to say to that is that it’s complete and utter bullshit.

  • Ok Virtual Clover. If everyone is rich in a society who will want to drive a bus, clean the streets or even cook in the restaurants, serve people? That is a society without the poor.
    Without the rich…hmmm….Ok who will buy the restaurant, invest money so new businesses are built who will run the bank etc….
    Middle class lets see hmm….Who will spend the money so all these places where the poor work and the rich invest can keep the doors open for business?
    Just saying….

    • Dan

      Alex, or should I call you Wilson?

      OpenSim and Second Life are not real so we don’t have Street Cleaners, Cooks or Bus Drivers although I have seen Camping instances run by mean people who like to humiliate others so that the newbies can get a few measly Linden Dollars.

      As Gaga pointed out to you previously, OpenSim is not primarily a business tool although it can be used for that and many other possibilities. Being Open Source I doubt the developers code it with exploiters of the less fortunate in mind or to deliberately create a virtual class system.

      so… you and your get rich quick buddies are out of luck.

      It’s apparent that you not only misjudged OpenSim and maybe lost some money invested in your land rental scheme, but also have little idea about Political and Social Ideologies.

      You said (sounding a bit mortified) “Unless your type of society has everyone living like ants. People would be born to do certain things and die. A very totalitarian society worst than communism. Just like in the movies. A species that live for the survival of its own kind. No interest no dreams nothing. A center government that controls all. That?”

      Sounds like a great system Alex apart from the no dreams aspect, but the central government that controls all aspect does sound a bit like Linden Labs in Second Life too…

      As you like movies so much I will leave you with a quote from one of my favourite films:

      Captain Jean-Luc Picard: The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.
      Lily Sloane: No money? You mean, you don’t get paid?
      Captain Jean-Luc Picard: We work to better ourselves.

      • You cannot educate someone when it’s in their vested (business) interest to be oblivious. In other words, trying to educate a get-rich-quick
        wannabe land baron is total folly. “Never wrestle a pig; you just end up muddy and the pig LIKES IT”.

        • Dan

          You got that right 🙂

  • Thumper Love

    All said and done, Inworldz give ya more prims for 70 bucks a month, and its growing, if you think 300 is a deal in SL thats great, while you run a virtual club ill drive my new car i got with that payment… lol. I think sl needs to rethink filling thier pockets like most CEOs of today and make it reasonable…

    • Minethere

      hey thumper…u know i luvs ya…but no, inwz isnt growing…sims are down actually and another article here even has some stats on the matter…the exodus has begun, mostly driven by the unfulfilled promises of physics which have yet to happen when the entire metaverse has physics….and other things [but I digress–lol]

      • Thumepr love

        Hate to disagree alot has happened since you have been banned from IW, and its growing and things selling and our sim is doing very well but i know people love Second Life and i did too till i saw how much money they taking from you….as i say to each thier own, and of course there is Island Oasis now with same payment rate….

        • thumper love

          Unusually for me, I’m just gonna let the facts speak for themselves…

          The Prim.

          In SL the smallest prim is 0.01 x 0.01x 0.01m, in IW it’s 0.001x 0.001x 0.001m

          In SL you can hollow out a prim 95%, in IW it’s 99%.

          In SL the largest prim is 10x10x10m, in IW it’s 128x128x128m (256x256x256 if you use the Impudence viewer.)

          In SL you can link prims upto 32 meters apart, in IW you can link upto 256 meters apart.

          in SL a mainland prim costs 13 cents per month, in IW a mainland prim costs 2 cents per month.

          Time for the Boys to improve the facilities?

          InWorldz wins currently, hands down.

          • Minethere

            Actually, I am not banned from inwz now….I got another grid owner to get me back in..but all that isn’t important. Anybody can see my profile there. [well, I wan’t banned as of yesterday…lol]

            Island Oasis, point in fact, has much better land rates than inwz…just as an example, inwz has the newish scenic sims they recently created…however, they cost 20 usd and are VERY limited in many ways…island oasis has 15 usd sims that are fully usable sims with 5k prims.

            All the other prims numbers are the same and in addition there is physics…instead of inwz where you have to wear a motorcycle to ride it, in IO you actually rezz it and drive it…as slians are used to.

            So, altho this has nothing to do with the article…take these facts and couple them with the other facts I posted…this is why IO is doing so very well now.

            btw, Thumper and I are friends and he is on IO also…smiles

          • Dan

            Why does Island Oasis offer 15 USD sims with so few prims?

            Although I dislike the pay for time strategy that Kitely uses, they do provide an impressive amount of prims being 100’000 and up to 16 sims as a Mega Region if you so wanted.

          • Minethere

            Well, those are 2 different business models. As I have noticed all grids have different goals.

            I do not know why IO decided upon their particular pricing structure.

            Pricing & prims all seems to be a bit arbitrary to me, really [within the structure of the code of course]. I would imagine grid owners would decide upon pricing relative to their wealth goals, life experiences [as in how much they have made and feel they can make], and personal feelings.

            I read about kitelys megaregions and find it very interesting. The free time they offer to ‘check it out’ didn’t seem enough to me & as well, I am a bit of a capitalist, so closed commercial grids appeal to me.

            But several of us decided upon IO and since I was/am inwz also…I just speak to those grids, and what little I recall of sl…lol

          • Dan

            Hi, Well you cannot be that much of a Capitalist in OpenSim currently, if ever. But yes the prim allocation is probably based upon the fact that the more prims used the slower a sim becomes, and it’s highly likely there are many instances sharing the same server.

            Regards mega-regions, anyone running OpenSim can have them and set up Amazon Cloud, but the latter is a lot of extra work for the average user of OpenSim.

          • Minethere

            Your right, of course, as OS, relatively speaking, compared to sl, is all just small players at this time,

            However…what people make is also very relative…and some ppl don’t really care, they just like to see their products purchased, help friends, and have a little fun. Capitalism is the small single shop owner to large multi-grid multi-shop owners. And some just have more time…lol

            For example, I got one friend to come into IO…when I contacted him with the idea I really thought he would be to busy [he is a large content provider in sl and less so inwz]. He is very much the businessman, and he actually enjoyed coming into IO…I was very pleased.

            Another creator of skins I think are very good just would rather spend her time in rl. Tho she could be a very popular seller if she wanted to spend all that time in grids.

            Some ppl like to have Shops all over the metaverse, even if they don’t even sell all that much. Some ppl create in OS and import into various grids.

            So it is all relative and individualistic, really. The cool thing is that we have so many choices…I, personally, like that quite a lot.

          • Minethere

            Well, for example http://www.islandoasis.biz/LandInfo.aspx has 3 land options. Why they picked 40k prims as their top option I have no clue…except possibly [as you point out] their own server capacity [and how often they wish to purchase more of them].
            inwz offers as their top region seller a 35k prim for 75 usd…and give breaks in price and additional prims as you purchase more of them. They also offer some other options. So, heck, who really knows but the grid owners why they setup various pricing/prim structures.
            But as we all know, sl only has the 15k prim full sims…which is really quite pathetic…when a person gets themselves out into the metaverse prims really are not much of an issue anymore…it is quite freeing, let me tell ya.
            As to setting up with Amazons cloud service…well, I expect there is a fee to this that may be a bit steep for most ppl…especially startups…and it is not really needed anyways for most.
            I do not know how amount of prims correlate to server load and slowing of sims..but I do know that sims with 40k prims can run better than sims with 15k prims in sl….so it is a matter of the amount of sims a grid owner wishes to put on each server. This would have to do with what profit margins they wish to maintain.
            –regards

          • Hi Dan,

            FYI, Kitely now also offers 1-16 region worlds for a fixed monthly price (ranging from $40/month for 1-region worlds to $100/month for 16-region worlds).

            For details see: http://blog.kitely.com/2012/10/03/unmetered-regions-for-40-month-much-less-for-bigger-worlds/

          • Dan

            Hi, that’s a great addition to the system you already offer, I think you just became the host of choice for those wanting a solution taken care of by a company instead of hosting OpenSim on their own computer. Best of luck Ilan.

          • Thank you Dan 🙂

          • How come when I go the your website all i get is a spinning globe? it never loads

          • Hi Raul,

            Are you behind a Firewall?

            What operating system are you using?

            What web browser are you using?

            What antivirus do you have installed?

          • Dan

            Actually in Second Life the largest size prim you can make is 64 meters, they increased it awhile back but only because Mesh required it and suddenly Linden Labs admitted that prims over 10 meters are stable but for years they made everyone use silly 10 meter max sized prims when really it was just to make people need more prims to build anything halfway decent.

      • I’m not sure where you get your (mis)information from or if it’s made up, but to say that InWorldz is not growing would be completely false. To use a word like “exodus” just reveals your extreme bias.

        Here is a chart of the so-called exodus:
        http://www.gridmonkeyz.com/stats.html

        In the last 5 months, InWorldz has grown regions by 38.44% and users by 19.04%. Those are hard numbers, hard facts.

        • Minethere

          That’s easy..but unimportant also…numbers are easy to see…even within this website…or simply watching private sim numbers on the inwz splash page…

          I’m not interested in belaboring the obvious…any discussion/comments i made concerning inwz were peripheral to the main discussion here.

          Attempts to obfuscate the obvious are great for many ppl, but not all….there are smart people around who know better.

          Your hard facts are not so hard as they include the ‘inworldz sponsored sims’…a number not many people know what it is made up of and one which fluctuates wildly as anyone who watches can easily see.. As well, they do not include those sims given away or steeply discounted…but let us not go there ok? I sure don’t want to.

          As well, those are your numbers, a person who works for inworldz. Tho I am sure they are real, for what they propose to show some people.

          There is in fact an exodus [well, maybe that is to strong a word]..let’s just say then, lots of people looking at other places, some giving up sims inwz, and buying them elsewhere…..how’s that? I suppose ‘lots’ could be to strong a word…so maybe, a few hundred? Maybe ‘some’ is to vague…so, maybe, about 20?

          And as i know for a fact other things I have mentioned here, such as a mention of more lands than people to fill them. I think we should not go there either, shall we?

          No need to get so defensive…ya know.

          As for a bias…surely…I prefer another grid…heck…sorry…lol

          Doesn’t change the facts tho. And I am not interested in being involved in what I am sure will be the inwz believers joining you soon here…the rest of any discussion on this I will no longer participate in. People can see for themselves.

          • Okay, if you continue to claim InWorldz is in a decline, and in fact repeating your *ridiculous* “exodus” claim — in spite of the the actual growth statistics — let’s go there.

            Yes, the numbers are right there on the login screen. And those are the numbers I’ve been recording from that login page stats, every 15 minutes, for the last 2 years. Those are the same numbers I’m reporting here.

            There’s a difference between being defensive and correcting a blatant falsehood. Yes, the counts include InWorldz-sponsored regions like the Events regions and the InWorldz Straits (water sims around the continents). But relative to the totals, those numbers have remained more flat. Those are overhead numbers and the larger they are, the more they
            dampen the growth statistics. (If I was trying to be misleading, it
            would have been better to remove them first.) So as a result, if you factor those out, the growth rate is even HIGHER than I previously reported.

            Without the InWorldz sponsored regions, the region count is up 42.9% in the last 6 months (734->1049). Feel better now that they’ve been removed from the stats?

            I’m being up-front on this. I just don’t see how you can claim 38% or 42% growth is a decline, let alone an exodus.

            InWorldz is also the undisputed most popular alternative grid, in terms of active users. It’s active users are roughly the same as all of the next 3 closest grids (OSGrid, Avination, and Island Oasis) combined. See http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/09/opensim-gains-record-breaking-2177-regions/ for the actual numbers there.

            No hard feelings; the information you were providing was just wildly inaccurate and just something that needed to be corrected. If you have ANY stats to show otherwise, please present them. It’s clear from your answer above that you were pulling numbers out of the air, and while that might be your true impression, it’s a false impression.

          • Minethere

            http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/09/opensim-gains-record-breaking-2177-regions/

            “With the exception of Island Oasis and Kitely, commercial grids lost active users this month. Avination lost 32 active users, 3rd Rock Grid lost 31, German Grid lost 30.

            The big gainer was Island Oasis, a small commercial grid of just 90 regions, which gained 341 active users. In fact, it gained more active users than all other top-40 grids combined.”
            As well, as of yesterday, IO had 121 sims up [yes, I know to sl people all these osgrid numbers are minuscule–lol]

            When Maria posts Septembers numbers it will be quite interesting.
            There is much more that could be said about differences in grids that has much more to do with other issues than numbers, customer service [as it truly is] being one. I am not interested in getting into that…frankly, I do not think any inwz ppl would be interested in that either [a hint not to go there–lol].
            The IO numbers are a recent uptake…the thing is that when some people find a good grid, they bring others to see it, those bring more…and with their free parcels and entry level 15 usd FULLY usable Sims, its quite easy to settle in and enjoy a vw as it should be.
            Personally I have found tho as with all vws there are bugs, the bugs are easily dealt with and much less than ppl deal with on other grids all the time [even to becoming inured to them].
            In addition, I had forgotten how fun it is to have physics and sail or ride my new motorcycle [having had been inwz for about 1 1/2 yrs–and only dropping into sl using radegast for some time now]. Yes, inwz has some nice non-physics scripted vehicles but anybody knows this is nothing compared to real physics enabled vehicles.
            As well, Jim does not mention the fact that inwz has been promising physics for a long time [I think I have 500 some odd days there], often saying it is right around the corner. Many people have come there on this promise, and left. Personally, I will believe it when it actually happens, and if it actually works. Talk is great, action is better, reality even more so.
            ugh..I posted on this again…but heck, more facts seemed needed.

          • My comment was only to counter your false claim (twice now) that InWorldz was facing an “exodus”. The region count has grown 38% in the last 6 months. If you want to discuss another grid now in response, or physics vehicles, feel free but I’m not going to comment on completely different stats related to a completely different grid. I’m happy when all the grids are growing as fast as InWorldz. it’s not going to change the fact that your exodus comments are completely false. I can tell you now that the September numbers are flat: somewhere between 1245 and 1250 each month. Including that just means InWorldz has grown by 38% in the past 7 months (i.e. no new gains in September). That’s the typical variation and not completely unexpected with all the back-to-school and other temporary distractions as the summer ends and people’s focuses change. That is likely to completely explode in huge growth when the PhysX support is released soon. The next server update will also support many other long-desired features like inbound email to prims, Media-on-a-Prim, projection lighting, and soon another very big one that hasn’t been announced yet. I fully expect the growth rate to complete take off over the next 6 months.

            I will comment on your physics redirection: InWorldz had ODE physics at the start, but it came at a significant cost to region stability so it was disabled until such time as it could be replaced with something more stable and reliable. Again, InWorldz focuses on providing a reliable platform. That replacement was developed from scratch after a huge development effort and is now running on the beta grid and should be available on the main grid soon. Here’s a video of some fun tests with basic prims as vehicles. I think you’ll notice a few things that go beyond ODE (OpenSim) and even Havok (SL): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy4-yKFW_Ew
            This is InWorldz; this is real physics. More real and higher performance than anywhere else in the virtual world.

          • Dan

            I visited Inworldz recently, for a Commercial grid that’s been around so long I found it laggy despite there being few avatars present and those that were mainly were Inworldz Mentors.

            All the avatars with the exception of one female called Zip? looked terrible, I kind of felt sorry for them, the freebie shop was okay but offered very low quality freebies, probably why almost all were kitted out like vagrants.

            As regards Physics, I don’t know what’s going on there because my avatar was jumping up and down like a yo yo at times and on a couple of occasions even started sinking through the ground.

            All in all cannot say I was that impressed Jim.

          • Yes, understood. The new user first experience is great in terms of mentors and social but not in terms of default avatars and some quirks we’re still suffering with. I find the freebies are better than most freebies (when you find the good ones) but you can only go so far with freebies. The new user experience is something that only lasts a short time, then you aren’t a new user anymore, so the priorities are skewed away from that, towards the sustainability of your inventory and other data, stability, fundamental features. So other than trying to make sure there are mentors there to assist, that new user experience has been a secondary priority to date. That’s changing when the new initial default avatars and new avatar picker are added to the registration page on the website (work in progress).

            I’m not sure why the welcome area would appear laggy; that has not been my experience at all. Did you also switch to the InWorldz viewer at the same time? It has some network-related performance fixes and improvements, but any viewer switch would also do things like reset your network bandwidth and graphics settings, which might be different than what you are used to using. I usually find any lag in InWorldz is one of those two. These are the kinds of things that tend to get worked out after you’ve been in-world for a little while and have gotten some feedback from other users.

            The new physics hasn’t been rolled out there yet. Even when it is, there are a few quirks that still persist. Those are being worked on one at a time and eliminated, but some that are mostly cosmetic have been around a long time due to prioritizing of work. We’re almost caught up not in terms of replacing the less scalable components, plus the script engine, and soon the physics. You’ll really see things take off starting… the very next release. For example, it will support media on a prim, projection lighting, inbound email to prims, and a large collection of convenience fixes.

          • Minethere

            It’s good when ppl who know better go to check things out for themselves. I think it is a VERY good thing to do.

            unimpressive is a perfect word…

          • Dan

            Hi Minethere, Unimpressive is not a word I used though, that would be invalid and unfair, Inworldz are like all of us, working with software that is work in progress although stability of current OpenSim releases is a lot better than earlier versions and can even be less laggy and more stable in some ways than Second Life.

            I think and I may be wrong, that Inworldz is using a early release which they have modified heavily, there are pros and cons to doing this with software at the alpha stage.

    • Dan

      In my opinion, InWorldz does not have the amount of regular users to warrant charging 70 USD a month.

      • Minethere

        I totally agree with ya there!! hehe

        However, he was referring to the price if you purchase [as I recall] 3 or more sims there. The base price for a non-mainland sim is 75 usd.

        inwz has always had more land than renters for them, more clubs than ppl to go to them, more malls than shop owners…makes it VERY competitive. [and causes LOTS of problems]

        Again, it is all relative tho…as ppl who come from sl oh and awww over having so many prims and for such a low price inwz…the same is said of IO.

      • Since everyone else is doing it, I figured I’d drop in and offer an explanation for our pricing model.

        InWorldz is hosted in a professional data center with multiple redundant links to the internet. We’ve invested heavily in our infrastructure to prepare for growth when we begin advertising (see: http://inworldztech.com/techblog/2011/09/14/internet-scale-architecture-and-inworldz/ ). We’re not a commercial grid hosted on a residential cable modem (Yes, they exist. Do a whois lookup on some login server IPs, you might be surprised).

        Though we do have some downtime, following our twitter will show you we have much less downtime than average in this area. We’ve built our systems and services to be redundant and fault tolerant because we know that the people who use virtual worlds have their homes there, and it is important that their homes always be available.

        We’ve been through the paces and we know where the bottlenecks and problems show up. We host 5 TB of user assets and keep them protected. Consequently since we’ve been stable in many areas that matter to people the most, we have the highest monthly unique users of any single grid (last month was around 6600).

        $75/mo is about sustainability. We have employees and contractors and will be doing a big round of hiring soon to bring on four more people to help us on our software and services. We have people working full time, every day to make InWorldz better, and while there have been (and will be) bumps in the road, we’re actively working on issues and problems instead of passing the buck.

        Our PhysX beta 2 is coming up and I have a feeling it’ll really demonstrate a realism and stability that people are looking for in virtual world systems. A small group of people like to point out how delayed this is, but they don’t mention that we worked hard on keeping their inventory and assets secure FIRST before working on this system. It’s been a long road, but it has paid off.

        We’re not here to try and be the cheapest. We’re trying to build a business that can sustain itself and the families of it’s contractors and employees. I think that having a first class staff that is happy and healthy is a sure win in the long run.

        As I think we’re all realizing by now, due to the nature of this business, developments can run on a glacial scale, and complex systems take time. But I can say now that we have the right people, and development is only going to accelerate from here.

        • ZZ Bottom

          For now Sl is still my grid of choice, even if i host 4 sims from my home computer on Osg!.
          But the only reason, it has physics and mainland continents that any can explore without the need to tlp!
          Its not about community, i found a much better, friendly and supportive one on OSG!
          Its not about reliability, the path find road is being made using users as guinea pigs, same as merchants and market street always the same with the Lab, they just don’t care about its user base, other grids do!
          Its’ not about better scripts, Npc’s are a reality on my OSG regions, where can i have them on SL?
          But as long as LL does not screw all for good and keep at least a few continents linked and traveling between them possible without tlp, that’s the place ill be!
          And i wish that Inworldz really place its physics engine as faster as it can, as the same with other grids, cause Sl is dying not cause Open sims are competition but cause its rulled by a bunch of incompetents, period:

          • Minethere

            yes…those NPCs are cool. I went to a club in island oasis and the bartender sent me a beer…lol

            As soon as they are available to buy I want a few to keep me company!!!

          • >Its not about community, i found a much better, friendly and supportive one on OSG!

            Anyone whose familar with me knows I’m all about OSGrid. That said, I don’t think your comment about it being *better* than OSGrid is fair or accurate.

            I’ve had much more acceptance and encouragment when it comes to roleplaying as a child avatar on Inworldz. I have gotten into a couple of heated arguements while hanging out on Inworldz Desert Island. But even considering that, I felt like I got a lot of support, acceptance and encouragement.

            I’m not really playing a kid avi outside of SL any more, but I still view the Inworldz community (at least that I met at IDI) as being open minded (“but not so much [their] brains fell out”) and supportive.

            If I had more mental and emotional energy I would probably be on inworldz simply because (at least when I was there) they DO have an awesome community there. Every bit as good as OSGrid’s community.

          • If I understood you wrong, I’m sorry –I thot you were talking about OSGRid versus Inworldz. Personally, I get a lot from the communities I have ties with in both OSGrid (where I chill) and SL (where I do my family RP).

  • @Alex R Ferraris I find it very unlikely that you spend $400,000 USD on your sims in Secondlife. If that is true, I have to ask what kind of return you get on your investment? If you meant you spend 400K Lindens that is more believable and would amount to something like $1500 USD. Even that is ludicrous to me. The prices Linden Lab expects people to pay for tier is unsustainable.

  • This response might definitely be in the TL;DR category, but here goes.

    Alex, you’re mentioning things that it seems to me aren’t really relevant to many alternative grids. Whether SL feared these grids or not is not the basis for their existence. The fact that there is a much larger grid with a long history just provides guidance for the mistakes they made to avoid, especially in technical focus and customer relations. Likewise for repeating the Havok licensing claim, which is merely your opinion that the *stated* excuse for those changes matches the actual internal rationale.

    Relative sizes are also irrelevant for many grids. Their goals are often not to be the biggest grid on the Internet, but rather to provide an alternative to the big one, with some specific differences (and often some similarities). In other words, a specific focus. Sometimes, some of that overlaps with SL, but that doesn’t mean the grid is trying to beat SL at it’s own game.

    As a general-purpose alternative grid, InWorldz for example provides most of the same things SL does, community, social and commercial possibilities, but the main difference, in my opinion, is the management priority on *enabling* the user population. There’s no goal for the grid itself to make a lot of money, not even a goal to grow and be the largest grid (although I think in the long term InWorldz is on a slow steady course to still be around when others have bloomed and shriveled).

    But rather, I think the goal of many alterantive grids is to provide the best environment for a specific segment, wither that is science-related, German residents, the gay community, whatever… And as a general-purpose grid, InWorldz similarly wants to provide all the things a general purpose world needs to provide in order to *enable* the users to build a world of their dreams. I believe that was one of the key goals of SL back prior to about 2007, but somewhere in there I believe that LL became a little too dependent on their investors, and priorities changed.

    To enable residents, InWorldz specifically avoids mucking with policies that interfere with business plans, something Linden Lab completely failed to do (repeatedly) and was the reason I eventually gave up on my business and land in SL. As I mentioned to you elsewhere, InWorldz won’t get into the (parcel) landlord business, as that competes directly with their commerce-based customers. That is something SL has done directly now, in creating their wasteland known as Linden Homes, and something I think you were planning to do with your grid until I pointed out to you that this was a bad idea for a grid owner. These are exactly the kinds of business model / owner interference that drive businesses away from grids. Alternatively, anything that enables content creators, social interaction, business opportunities and individual user experiences receives top focus.

    Technical stability, performance and reliability are a key part of that last one for all users. That requires a professional infrastructure so that the investment of both indidual users and business owners is not lost on an unexpected failure of hardware or software, and so that the grid is ready for unexpected required increases in capacities. InWorldz has seen this several times when SL has problems, or is down, and their residents flock to try out InWorldz for a virtual world “fix”. InWorldz has also seen it when a bit of press presents that world to new readers, or when another grid has troubles with growth and can’t cope.

    To enable stability during high growth, InWorldz has invested unprecedented time, money and resources into rebuilding many OpenSim components that are quite capable for their typical uses, but just not strong enough for a large professional grid. Completely new scalable, redundant, high-performance asset servers written from scratch. Completely replaced inventory storage with custom code to interface between IW servers and an Apache Cassandra (NoSQL) super-scalable back-end storage. A brand-new ultra-fast Phlox script engine, allowing scripts to escape the performance and other traps of running under a third-party virtual runtime environment, with open-ended constraints on the threading and at the same security level as the core region servers themselves. Completely rewriting the permissions system to both close the security loopholes and provide stability for growth in a world supporting commercial investment by those interested in capitalist projects. And new physics support the likes of which no virtual world (including SL) has seen, without the limitations of ODE and Bullet, and without the license constraints of Havok. (The physics effort is now in beta and coming to the main grid soon.)

    It costs money to provide the full-time staff needed to pull this off. Yet the overhead is considerably lower than that of Linden Lab, so InWorldz can offer 3 times the prims at one quarter the price of SL (12 times the prim per dollar). But it’s still costly to produce a professional grid that will be there for the long term, and built on a solid foundation to handle the dynamic changes this industry will see. So when you see a grid offering “comparable” regions at a fraction of the cost of InWorldz, and almost free compared to the cost of SL, ask yourself if you can rely on that infrastructure there. If you builds are throw-away. What they are using for a pipe to the Internet, and will it survive 100 people logging in at once? Like Tranq, I’m not going to single out by name any grids and point out they are on a residential cable modem. But do a WHOIS on the login URI to your favourite grid. I’ll tell you that InWorldz is hosted in a professional facility with fully redundant power and network feeds, and redundant fat pipes to the Internet capable of growing at least by an order of magnitude *tomorrow* if necessary. What would happen to your favourite grid if it underwent the growth that InWorldz is going through? Is it still using MySQL for inventory storage? Hmm. Okay. Good luck with that.

    Second Life is not a competitor. They are blazing the trail, educating more users than ever about life in a virtual world. I don’t think alternative grids could ever pay for the kind of customer education that Second Life provides to the world, and the community it creates. I sure hope Second Life is here for a long time. And while it is, the other grids will provide alternatives with different focuses and priorities than those of Linden Lab. This is a good thing. I see growth in the industry as that way to establish the community that Alex claims is impossible to achieve, but that I feel has already been more than established. I see the choice of grids with different priorities and focus as a good thing. No one grid can serve all customer markets as efficiently as a special-purpose grid, provided it doesn’t grow too much. When it does, that grid better have done the kind of investment that InWorldz has done to prepare for *many* special-focus groups, as well as the general community looking for an alternative to the Big Grid.

    • Dan

      Hi Jim, I agree with some of your comments but far from all of them.

      While OpenSim has many Commercial Grids all keen to become their own better version of Second Life, this I argue strongly, is not what OpenSim is about.

      My feeling is that just because someone has suffered the tyranny of Linden Labs does not mean that they will not also want to do similar given half the chance.

      As you are a developer of InWorldz I was slightly surprised that you wrote that Second Life is “blazing the trail, educating more users than ever about life in a virtual world”.

      You were kidding right?

      Maybe you should ask all the Education Sims that quit Second Life, I mean education in Second Life these days is “wanna sex?” and how to jump on a pink or blue poseball.

      While you state you hope Second Life is here for a long time to come I am of the wish that it dies as fast as possible.

      There are a lot of highly technical and otherwise talented people still addicted to Second Life who would be an asset to OpenSim, helping it develop and grow faster.

      • I don’t think I said OpenSim commercial grids were all keen to become better versions of Second Life. If I implied that anywhere, I didn’t intend to. In fact I spent a fair amount of time mentioning all the different focuses each grid can have. The nice thing about the alternative grids is that it’s a chance to do it all over again, learning from those who have gone before.

        And yes, I meant the “blazing the trail” comment, although perhaps I
        wasn’t clear what I meant by “educating users” about virtual worlds. My reference to “educating users” was not in any way related to using virtual worlds in an educational (schools, training, etc) environment.

        Perhaps it’s my history. Back in the first half of the 90’s, before this thing called the web browser existed, I worked on a product that provided email and instant messaging. But that term did not exist yet. We had trouble explaining to users what online chat was about. There were no “social networks”. Then some others came along and coined the phrase Instant Messaging, and the IM was born. Not really, we had been doing it for years. But it took someone big, like Yahoo IM (I think it was Lotus Notes actually) and others to educate the users as to why they might want this “new” Instant Messaging feature, and to educate the general population on the concept in general. That made it so much easier for us to walk into an organization and say “we offer email, Instant Messaging, and other features”. And have the potential customer understand, instead of spending an hour trying to explain what it was and why they might want it.

        In the same way, Second Life’s reach to millions of users has educated them on one concept of what virtual worlds can be. Of course, SL may have soured them on that, and provided a narrow focus of how it might be used, but at least the user may be somewhat familiar with the overall concept of a virtual world. Normally that kind of mainstream educating of the concepts would cost a company (or community of companies) millions of dollars in marketing. I don’t know how many times someone has asked what I work on and I start by… “Have you ever heard of Second Life?” Then I have to follow that with all the contrast between worlds. So yes, they have blazed the trail for years ahead of our eventual entry into overlapping markets. They have provided the mainstream with a concept that we can use as a landing point upon which to start our more specific discussion. In some ways, other quite different products (like World of Warcraft or The Sims) have also introduced contrasting concepts that help frame discussions of virtual worlds.

        In regards to your last comment, I agree in a lot of ways. I want to see SL as an organization and world continue, as I continue to believe their existence helps the overall virtual world industry. But I also think that it is somewhat inevitable that over time, the best people there (in both LL and SL as users) will migrate to other grids. Hopefully much of that talent will be retained in the community, as happened with Pathfinder, Qarl and so many other users, contributors and content creators. SL will continue to be the reference platform for some time, although I suspect it will be more and more of a hollow shell as time passes. But that’s pure speculation on my part, and wishful thinking in terms of retaining some of the best folks from SL. I sure hope so.

        • ZZ Bottom

          I cant compare Inworldz to Osg, just cause i never visited Inworldz in 1st place!
          And i don’t want to make any thinks that SL community is not as friendly as Osg, is just that the amount of users is so higer there,m that you will find as much as amazing users as bad ones (and i believe that even when role playing some of your basic instincts will show, so when i mean bad users i mean bad real life people, the kind that you would never wish to cross paths with!)
          Sl has the problems due to its dimension as griefers, assholes and all the scum is present in a way or another in all metaverses, is just that in SL we will find them faster!
          But it also means you will find amazing persons, faster then any other grid?
          No, cause the smaller based grids are made from a diff kind of blood, the ones that created or use them, love rally virtual metaverses, so its much easy to find a bigger amount of friendly and helpfull residents on Kitely, OSg, Inworldz, Avination or whatever , even if the number of users is much smaller then Sl!
          And in the end, if non sim on Sl can take more then 25 avatars before crashing most of times, the number of users online at a single moment does not mean any!
          Unless!
          Mainland, that LL still wishes to screw (see yesterday’s roll out of Le Tigre, that show to All that the main grid is not used a a beta tester for whatever and bugs are just growing as users ans sims are vanishing!) is the only real advantage that Sl can offer and if the Lab does not understand it, then for sure it does not deserve the good users that still struggle there!
          Unless!
          Sl has so far another advantage, its huge 1!
          The freedom any feels when it comes there!
          You can still come and log in , don’t reveal any of your RL and still be accepted and participate!
          That i felt less on OSG, as most use ir connected to their RL identity, can’t speak about the rest of the open sims grids!
          As long as there are ppl that really will not let their Rl identity be mixed when they enjoy the pleasures of virtual metaverses, Sl will be the 1st choice, no matter how LL will screw it!