New web client for realXtend released

Adminotech Ltd., a realXtend vendor, began publicly testing its WebRocket browser-based viewer for its Meshmoon virtual world today.

The viewer is in its very early stages, however. It supports text chat and basic movement controls, but has no in-world building tools, avatar customization, user inventories, or voice.

Jonne Nauha

Jonne Nauha

“This is not a standalone web client or just loading a static scene,” said Adminotech lead programmer Jonne Nauha in today’s announcement. “We are actually connecting to a live hosted Meshmoon server that serves the same scene and protocol messages as it would for desktop clients. Web and desktop clients can see each others’ avatars, see their live movement and chat with each other.”

WebRocket can be accessed via the latest Firefox and Chrome browsers, he said. “We might add Mac OS X Safari support later.”

Unlike the Tundra and realXtend technology on which it’s based, the WebRocket client will not be open source, he told Hypergrid Business.

“The WebRocket development has been done out of our own pockets, not with any open source funding, so for the time being this part of the implementation will stay closed source,” he said. “The development has been driven by Meshmoon and there are Meshmoon hosting specific things that make it work so great, so in essence it would not be that useful to others without some or major modifications.”

Currently, the only place available to visit is

Currently, the only place available to visit is the Virtual German Fire Fighting Museum, still under construction. My avatar is the scruffy guy in the pink shirt with his hands on his hips. He moves like he urgently has to go to the bathroom.

There is currently only one virtual location accessible via WebRocket, and that is the under-construction Virtual German Fire Fighting Museum.

More public environments are available via the traditional standalone viewer, which is available for download here, but I was not able to get the viewer to work.

Like the recently-released PixieViewer for OpenSim, WebRocket uses WebGL and HTML 5 technology and runs in modern browsers and mobile devices without a plugin or downloads. However, PixieViewer has some features that WebRocket lacks, such as in-world building and texturing tools.

The realXtend platform is a branch of OpenSim that split off in 2008 when it added mesh support to the platform, years before Second Life or mainline OpenSim did so. The realXtend platform was difficult to use, however, and incompatible with existing Second Life and OpenSim viewers, so adoption was limited to embeds in other projects.

Today, the best known of these are the CyberSlide and CyberTeam products from Oulo, Finland-based CyberLightning Ltd., and the Meshmoon virtual world environment from Adminotech Ltd., located nearby in Kempele, Finland.

Even though Second Life and OpenSim now have mesh support, realXtend has evolves into a different direction, with a different approach to both mesh and avatars. There is a modrex module that added realXtend-style mesh support to OpenSim, but it never got any traction.

There are no large public social worlds running on the realXtend platform.

Possible obstacles to deployment include the lack of OpenSim and Second Life compatibility, and the need to use professional 3D modeling tools to create content.

However, Adminotech has begun working on in-world content creation tools, the company said in a newletter. The first phase is in-world environment editing such as sky, water and light settings.

Those interested in setting up their own private environment can get a free space that holds up to three concurrent users and has 100 MB of storage. The price goes up to 20 Euro per month for up to 20 concurrent users and five spaces, and 99 Euro per month for up to 50 users and 10 spaces. More pricing options here.

I’ve tried to sign up for this to test it out but, again, couldn’t get the regular downloadable viewer to work.

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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

5 Responses

  1. Ener Hax says:

    dang! this sounds like it couldl give the PixieViewer a run for its money!

    realExtend has never caught on like “normal” OpenSim but, if this viewer ever went open source, that would quickly change

    good luck Jonne! =)

  2.' Gaga says:

    I am sure by the end of 2013 we will all be viewing Opensim worlds in a browser and the top contender for providing that viewer is without doubt, Pixie viewer currently and, provided the developer stays on course to add Opensim support, I would say that development has a head start. Meshmoon and Cloud Party are both enterprise deployments and are unlikely to ever support hypergrid teleports although I, for one, would welcome it. Opensim Virtual in Google Plus is demonstrating there is a substantial open Metaverse community and it is squarely based on Open Simulator and the feedback shows many Opensim owners would use a web viewer. Some of the TPV developers will probably move to webGL as well before long as the shift to webGL gathers pace.

    •' Minethere says:

      ah…a precog-)))

    •' WhiteStar Magic says:

      Just got in with Pixie V2 and gave it a good run on my dev server using Firefox and such progress in so short a time… Smooth, fast rendering and TP’s were excellent. The switch to iconic buttons was a good move and the UI is pretty good for such an early stage.
      Seeing how Viewers which support OpenSim are dropping like flies after being squirted with Extra Strength RAID, the choices / options are dwindling quickly.
      Singularity, Cool VL Viewer work but V1 UI… ughhh At least Singularity is working on Export Perms, while Henri (Cool Viewer) won’t adapt XML import/export licence for others use, etc…
      FireStorm for OpenSim (the after thought viewer) with V3 UI.
      Zen dead, Angstrom without attention (dead?), Teapot abandoned and no other contender’s.

  3.' Toni Alatalo says:

    just a note for completeness to this old post: the WebRocket core and the essential plugins are now also open source realXtend things in the WebTundra project (which has since this post gotten also EU funding, but there’s been some nice normal commercial dev too). WebRocket on Meshmoon uses what’s in the dev2 branch in the WebTundra git now,

    .. and on Meshmoon there are now quite many scenes, and growing, publicly accessible with the web client too.