Kokua viewer branches off OpenSim

imprudence logoThe Kokua viewer team is following in the footsteps of Firestorm developers and creating a new branch of the viewer software just for OpenSim.

Because of Linden Lab licensing issues, there are some features that viewers can only offer to Second Life users. In addition, there are some features like variable-sized regions that are only available in OpenSim and its close relatives, AuroraSim and WhiteCoreSim.

There won’t be any immediate impact from the change, however.

“For now, both the Second Life and OpenSim viewers operate in both grid environments,” said the Kokua announcement.

 

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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.

  • Mircea Kitsune

    I use Opensim viewers on the main grid, since I don’t care about dumb features like viewer-side Havoc physics. Since I use Kokua, I hope their OS viewer will remain compatible with the main grid too.

  • ” …there are some features like variable-sized regions that are only available in OpenSim”
    This could be misinterpreted as saying that variable-sized regions are one of those features that are only found in OpenSim, when, in fact, they’re already in AuroraSim and WhiteCore 🙂

    • Hmmm… sounds like we need a new term to encompass all platforms that adhere to the LibOpenMetaverse standard but are not Second Life.

      Like, for example, both AOL and the Web were “online” but the Web was clearly distinct from AOL, but also was independent of the particular web server — Apache, Windows Server, Sun Server, whatever — that was actually running the site.

      I think the closest parallel would be “the hypergrid” but only after all the security issues have been worked out, and all the public grids switch over to hypergrid access, with some grid areas restricted to registered members.

      Other terms, like “the open metaverse” are equally problematic. Do they apply to Avination and other closed grids? If they do, they need to apply to Second Life, as well. If they don’t, they miss a big chunk of OpenSim activity.

      Any suggestions? Or do I have to step up and invent something?

      • Geir Nøklebye

        For the time being I think SecondLife qualifies as belonging to the free metaverse in the sense that both content and skills are close to 100% transferable (as is the viewer code at 100% open source.) SecondLife just happen to have a closed business model as does other grids mentioned over. The closed grids are, however, not navigable for metaverse travelers in much the same way as when you come to a closed country border.

        Someone mentioned above that SecondLife would have to be open source at the server backend, but to does not. We have plenty of other examples of systems people use every day that are closed source (Windows and MS Office is just about as close sourced as they can be), yet they can both navigate and exchange content with very diverse systems.

      • Han Held

        I’d suggest “libre metaverse” (even if the implementation is closed -such as avination, the underlying software is still libre IE free-as-in-free-speech), “larger metaverse” (since we are larger now), “wider metaverse”; there’s also “non-SL metaverse”.

        Whitecore Sim and Opensim both implement the Secondlife protocol, tho in theory they can be adapted to anything.

        SL doesn’t qualify as “free metaverse” since it’s neither open source nor free-as-in-speech (and certainly not free-as-in-no-money either -not for land).

    • correct me if im wrong but doesn’t whitecore still use opensim code? If so then there for whitecore is still part of the term OpenSim.

      • Han Held

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fork_%28software_development%29 “when a piece of software or other work is split into two branches or variations of development”

        Windows NT 3.51 used code from BSD for it’s networking stack, and OS/2 for its’ kernel, but it wasn’t called BSD or OS/2.

  • Nick Zwart

    Tried it and got stuck on the fact that I can not add my grid to it. Grid manager is not working fine.

  • Talla Adam

    It’s interesting that last year we were told Firestorm would no long support both Opensim and Second Life and a separate viewer for Opensim would be needed. It never made any difference to other viewers that can still be used in both. I use Singularity for both SL and OS with no trouble at all (excluding some features in SL I have no use for). However, I do think that Opensim needs a seperate viewer given the advancements such as var regions. I would still like to see an Opensim Viewer that has a built-in Grid search and and support for plugins to support other magical features too.

  • Talla Adam

    I’ve always liked the term “Free Metaverse” which is not a problem for closed and open grids. Even Second Life could be part of a free Metaverse if Linden Lab dropped their monopoly and open sourced the server code. Heck, no don’t do that, Opensim is advancing nicely thanks!

    • Would you consider SL part of the “Free Metaverse” if they just turned on hypergrid connectivity? Or does the “free” part mean to you that the server software is open source?

      • Talla Adam

        That would certainly make me think the Lab is making an effort to engage a wider community beyond their closed borders. I would think the same about Inworldz or Avination too if they enabled Hypergrid or even if any of them just enabled Export perms’ but yes, I think the fact that the Opensim platform is open source underpins the term “Free” in Free Metaverse largely but not entirely. Kitely builds proprietary code on top of Opensim core for the benefit of their grid but they do contribute a lot of very helpful code fixes and features back to core. Avination does this too and Inworldz has hinted they would as well but I don’t know of any contributions yet. So Linden Lab could offer patches to Opensim core instead of just taking advantage of free code work done by the TPV developers without any kind of reward. This is the problem with Linden Lab, they are all take and boy do they charge up!

        Remember, Kitely has been the one shining example of keeping their word and working to open up their grid. Linden Lab and others could learn a lot from Kitely Virtual.

        • Passing Thru

          Inworldz does have have export permissions turned on & inworldz started out using os software but that was years ago, it is likely they have little to offer in terms of compatible code contribution due to huge differences in the code.
          Linden Lab,Kitely,Inworldz all have something in common, they are a business not a charity or ever claimed to be and yes even code fixes and features back to core has a strategic business advantage by some.

          Really you need to ask yourself how selfish is your beliefs might look to others, even hurtful because you cast them in a negative light for not doing what you see is the right thing to do,
          you come onto a forum and call them out and say why cannot they be like so and so or do this or that so they are doing everything wrong by not giving back by not supporting fully what i think is the right thing.

          no promises where made, people have made choices, accept them for what they are, while letting them live the dreams they choose, is that not the true meaning of the free metaverse.

          • Talla Adam

            I wasn’t attacking anyone or any grid. I was asked what I meant by the free in free Metaverse but you had to get all defensive and try to provoke uncalled for argument by calling me selfish. Really? Fact is there would be no open Metaverse without Opensim and the fact the code was open sourced enabled many commercial grids to get started in the first place which is often overlooked in the appreciation stakes. But whatever, that’s an old gripe now and not something I want to bang on about. But I am of the opinion that, just like the world wide web, the more shared the better and bigger the market becomes which is hardly a selfish point of view. As for coming into a “forum” – this blog, which has the title Hypergrid Business (Yes, Hypergrid) – and expressing an opinion about code contributions to the most widely used and supported code base on which so many have built and benefited is fair comment to make I would say. As for Inworldz export perms I’m sure you just mean OAR and IAR and not the kind of export perm Kitely has.

            And you don’t have to climb off your trolley over this for I would be happy to buy exportable products from an online Inworldz market if they had one so I could use the products in the Hypergated grids. So lighten up. I’m more than happy to spend money with Inworldz merchants but I don’t want to join a closed grid. Kitely have a great business model which suits my needs very well – wont suit everyone. But they do fix bugs in the code which helps to ensure a very stable version in use on powerful servers at very low prices. And they are commercial yet enabled both export perms and Hypergrid. Their online market is doing very well too. So yes, I think they represent a great example and others could learn from it to help grow a much bigger market for everyone.

            But, of course, High Fidelity might well put pay to all the Opensim-based grids when it comes online anyway and I will be just as happy because they are open source too and their stated aim is an open Metaverse! Philip Rosedale is even giving a presentation at Avacon don’t you know which shows what type of community he is interested in.

  • Let’s call it ITDEHTDE [If they don’t enable hypergating they don’t exist]

    PERFECT!! [copies that down now!!]

  • Susannah Avonside

    Why not just call it the Metaverse? I think the term indicates an interconnected virtual universe, which by definition excludes the ‘walled gardens’. As far as viewers that seem to want to confuse the issue by making one for Second Life and another for Second Life and also OpenSim – why bother? I tend to use Firestorm, despite it being too Second Life centric, as there is no viewer that really comes close in many ways, to the needs of OpenSim users. SIngularity for some reason doesn’t float my boat, even though it’s supposed to be the best for OpenSim. I haven’t really given it a real test though, if it comes anywhere being as good as Imprudence on the building front then It may well become my viewer of choice. I doubt Kokua ever will make it into my affections, though I did give it a good trial when it first came out way back in something like 2011… I was completely underhwelmed, and remain so since the last time I tired it some six months ago.

    We really do need an OpenSim only viewer that can do away with the handicap of being able to connect to Second Life too.

    • Jim Williams

      I’ll go with Metaverse…and simply ignore all the commercial arguments. (And FS has decidedly gone from a loser to The One which will be hard to beat.)

      Others can argue about what is in and what is out. I stand upon my First Amendment right not to care about the IP religion at all.