OpenSim preview release improves teleports, physics

OpenSim logoThe preview release of OpenSim 0.8.1 is out, with improvements to teleports, physics, varregions, scripting, and more.

For large commercial grids, this is an opportunity to check out the new release on their beta grids, so that they are ready for the final release when it comes out — and can report any bugs or other problems back to the developers.

Everyone else should wait for the official release, or, if they are particularly conservative, wait for everyone else to upgrade, see if there are any bugs still left, and then upgrade once those bugs are fixed.

Currently, the official, recommended release of OpenSim is 0.8.0.3.

There are only a couple of changes which could cause compatibility changes. One is the way that that scripts get stopped, which might require that scripts be recompiled. Another is that the MSSQL database is no longer supported, since it has not been maintained for the past two years and nobody has stepped forward to volunteer to support it.

The only major grid that had used MSSQL, a commercial database from Microsoft, was ReactionGrid, which is now closed. Most grids today use free, open-source databases such as MySQL and PostgreSQL.

The Hypergrid Safari visits the Hyperica hyperport.

The Hypergrid Safari visits the Hyperica hyperport.

Better teleports and region crossings

According to the 0.8.1 release notes, the new version of OpenSim fixes several attachment issues for hypergrid teleports.

For example, in previous releases, attachments would sometimes disappear, or appear twice. This has now been fixed, as have issues with multiple attachments.

Region crossings have also been improved, such as for cases where an avatar crossed back and forth between two regions very rapidly. In addition, velocity and avatar travel direction is now maintained.

Better physics and scripting

The version of BulletSim used has been upgraded to 2.82. In addition, avatars no longer flop on the floor when flying at low heights, terminal falling velocity has been implemented, and several other problems have been fixed.

Several scripting problems have been fixed, including incorrect line numbers for error messages.  For example, llSetPrimitiveParams calls are no longer ignored after llSetTextureAnim(FALSE) and calling llStopMoveToTarget in an attachment script will now stop the avatar if it was moving to a target.

Of particular interest to education and business users, there is now an osForceOtherSit command. This means that a script can now force other avatars to sit down without asking their permission first. This requires the threat level to be set to Very High, since there’s plenty of potential here for abuse.

Bullet physics roller coaster by Michael Cerquoni, also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. Click image for full video.

Bullet physics roller coaster by Michael Cerquoni, also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world. Click image for full video.

Improved varegions

Teleporting via the map to varregions has also been improved.

Previously, neighboring varregions would sometimes not show up for users — that has now been fixed.

Also, varregions can no longer accidentally overlap other regions.

And speaking of varregions…

New grid size command

The “show grid size” console command was implemented back in July, but has only been available to grid owners running experimental versions of OpenSim.

It will now be available to everyone.

This is particularly useful for grids with varregions, since a varregion only shows up as a single region in the regular grid statistics, no matter how big it is. This leads to an undercounting of land area.

Since one of the major attractions of OpenSim is low-cost, unlimited land available for projects that need a lot of it, having an accurate count of how fast OpenSim’s land area is growing is a major promotional tool for the platform.

Grids that undercount their land area by not fully accounting for varregions do a disservice to OpenSim as a whole.

I’d like to remind folks that once people come to OpenSim for any reason, they are then more likely to explore the rest of what OpenSim has to offer. They might be initially attracted by cheap land, but might settle on a more expensive commercial grid because they like the community there. Or they might be attracted by a commercial grid’s marketing, but then, after finding out more about OpenSim, also start running their own regions on their home computer.

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.

  • Geir Nøklebye

    You can come and test it or crash it on the xmir grid; we run it with a tiny twist. I can attest there has been made good progress even over the last few days for scripted attachments on sim crossings, and copying assets between grids has also made great improvements over the last 3 weeks. Bulletsim for OS X has been fixed where a major memory leak was plugged so it is now practical to use it. Also that is live on grid.xmir.org:8002

    Cudos to the developers and all the work they put in for the benefit of us all!

    One word of caution before you take the plunge and install the preview; make sure any third party plugins you depend on will run, so you may have to check with the developer. There has been changes to how these are configured so a plugin may have to be updated.

  • Alex Ferraris

    Well I would like to point something out in regards to what Maria says about commercial grids and people hosting their own regions in their own PC at home.
    Hosting your own pc at home will not give you this:

    1 – A community ready to interact with you.

    2 – An economy where you can make a few bucks selling products or even renting out lands for the community.

    3 – Incentives. A working economy with a well planed business model will give you incentive to create!

    4 – We will do the upgrades for you and whatch your regions for you!

    5 – A region in your pc is most likely to bore you to death and you will give up.

    6 – If you came from SL you will want to be in a place more like SL! Not a sandbox.

    • Susannah Avonside

      It’s swings and roundabouts. If your region is Hypergrid enabled, then community is always easy to find, and any claims that any Hypergrid enabled grid is teeming with avatars must be taken with a hefty pinch of salt – it’s often hard for people new to the Open Metaverse to believe that there is actually quite a healthy community.

      A working economy is fine in theory, but the honest truth is that the vast majority of people creating in SL make very little, and if would follow that there is even less to be made in the Open Metaverse, and as any economy is based on confidence, the only methods of exchange that are in any way safe are PayPal and the VirWox OMC. VirWox OMC can be exchanged directly with the SL Linden dollar, so at least there is the option of transferring virtual currencies both ways. Many grids seem to have gone for the ultimate in pretension in establishing their own currencies, which may, or may not be safe. Few, if any are convertible, and it would be extremely wise to read up on the payout conditions before signing up to an independent inworld currency. I’m not sure about virtual currencies being an incentive to create. I can only speak for myself, but I need no incentives to create, and this seems to be the case for the vast majority of the Open Metaverse creative community.

      The technical aspects are a bit of a barrier, especially if you don’t possess any technical proclivities. It’s one area that is best left to others unless you like a bit of a challenge. More of a challenge is that most people still seem to get woefully inadequate bandwidth from their providers, which is a major reason why so many go for a hosted option. However, if you have a decent bandwidth and you want more than a handful of regions then it’s probably going to be a much better deal to home host. Upgrades can be a bit of a headache, but if the Diva Distro is used this becomes a trivial consideration..

      It’s true, boredom can be an issue on a standalone region, which is why Hypergrid was invented (amongst other reasons). HG is a wonderful way to socialise, which is necessary after long hours alone building your mini paradise. Being logged in to a grid, even being logged in to SL isn’t of necessity going to guarantee that you aren’t going to be bored out of your tiny. I often find myself bored out of my mind after ten minutes or so in even the busiest regions in SL. Some people find being on a standalone boring, but I have been running standalones since late 2011 and I am yet to become bored – and for the first two years I couldn’t HG anywhere because my standalones were running locally only! Grids can, and do disappear without warning, leaving you stranded and all your stuff lost to you.

      If you came from SL then the only place in all honesty that you are going to feel anywhere like at home is on InWorldz which, like SL is a ‘walled garden’ meaning that it isn’t HG enabled and therefore you can’t go anywhere outside the bounds of InWorldz – boring.

      The benefits of running your own region, either on your own computer, or by using a hosting service are:

      You have complete control over your region, how big it is, how much is on it, and crucially who can come and go.

      You can make backups of anything you build, or even back-up your inventory and you aren’t reliant on any central grid services for any of this – great if something happens to the central asset server, which, as we all know, has happened.

      You can make your own rules, you literally are a god when it comes to your own region.

      There are downsides, it is true, and human error is always lurking, but with a modicum of care and a little ability you can run your own regions quite successfully.

      If you just want an SL style relationship with an Open Metaverse grid you can just join one. If you have a friend who runs their own region, then they may offer to let you create an avatar on their standalone – that’s a great way to increase the social opportunities, but beware that many people who run their own regions often only run them at weekends to keep the costs down.

      Of course, there is nothing wrong with signing up for,paying for some land on someone’s commercially oriented grid! I wouldn’t do that though – it’d be like going backwards to the days when I was a land ‘owner’ in SL. Oh, that’t another plus, you actually do own all the virtual land on your standalones.

      • Alex Ferraris

        Yes I agree with Susannah . Lets make this a simpler example. The more spread out is the threads of a rope the weaker the rope is. YOU need the threads to be tight and close so the rope becomes strong.
        That is my intention with AVI-LABS. Make it tight , strong and FULL of people that want to stay in my grid.
        If I make a grid for people to go out of it into other peoples grids it makes no sense to me to have a grid in the first place…
        I want my community to BUILD , CREATE, ENJOY AVI-LABS grid former AviWorlds grid. NOT other peoples grids.
        By creating such an environment where people WANT to stay in your grid and not going to someone’s else grids than you have a TIGHT, STRONG ROPE!

    • Alex if what you said above is true why is it that most home hosted sandboxes are still around and a major part of the hypergrid activies while there are commercial grids with all of the above flip flops between in business and not?

      • Alex Ferraris

        Sorry SHIN INGEN but home hosted grids or regions are not my business model. The real game here is to create a grid that will have enough money in order to maintain and keep new developments, servers for its community. More free grids close each month than the ones that are not free.
        My community for example are very happy and growing. They all bring their friends, new friends, mother, sister, dogs etc…WHY ? Because they want to be in the grid that I run.
        The flip flops were attempts to see what was best and I got to the point now where I have reached my final decision which is to make Avi-Labs grid a closed commercial grid.
        I have learned that no we cannot satisfy everyone but we can satisfy what is most commom among HUMAN BEINGS.
        The excitment to be able to make AV$s and spend is one of them. The excitment to be rewarded after hard work is another.
        FREE does create any situation where the player will be the best he or she can be. FREE takes away value, responsibilities and creates many more negative results.
        You have to know how to use the FREE very carefully…
        I am now using all my experiences and what I learned into one GRID and so far it is working.
        I am very happy with what I am achieving now SHIN and so is my community!
        My community knows and trusts me and that is why they wil follow me where I am.

        • That is right Alex it is not your business model so it is not proper for you to put that portion of opensim down to highlight what you have in your grid. I am happy for you that once again you have manage to make a come back but your style of promotion just simply suck. It does not benefit anyone in the opensim community and often creates drama.

          The business model you are following resembles closely to a business model designed for a close grid. Stick to that and dont worry about what is happening outside your fence.

    • As a counter point-by-point …

      1. – There’s a huge community of grid-hoppers that are constantly looking for new places to visit and explore. They don’t care if your sim is self-hosted or professionally hosted. It is only when your self-hosted sim is closed that you end up with no community.

      2 – Kitely Market. PayPal and other modules. Various virtual currencies and exchanges to use. Furthermore, the Metaverse is still growing. These and other things will come along, expanding our choices and improving competition.

      3 – Patience, young Jedi, think about point #2. In the end, even SL’s economy started took a few years to develop.

      4 – Valid point. I recently discovered that I don;t have the skill set to deal with the backend properly. However, upgrading is not in that. That’s likely true for most of us.

      5 – ANY region on ANY computer will bore you to death until you go in and start DOING things. Being bored with your sim has nothing to do with what computer it is running on or who is managing it.

      6 – Second Life IS a Sandbox, just like every region in the Metaverse. Its just full of all the stuff the other kids ahve set out for us to play with. The best comparison of SL and Metaverse is SL is the Old Country and the Metaverse is the Uncharted Country.

      As you said in a later comment, Alex, “home hosted grids or regions are not my business model”. That does not mean that your business model is the ONLY one that works. First, not everyone is in the Metaverse to create their own business. Many are here just to have Fun. And it is thanks to those people that you and I are able to pursue commercial and semi-commercial interests.

      Yes, like you, Alex, I want my own commercial grid. But I do not agree with the “traditional” way of doing business, by closing the grid. For me, the absolutely primary purpose for my grid is to enjoy myself. The second priority is for others to enjoy themselves, to share the Fun I am having with others. THEN comes the business end of making some money.

      In other words, if I’m not having Fun, if others are not having fun, I’ll chuck it.

  • Bryan French

    “Currently, the official, recommended release of OpenSim is 0.8.0.3.”

    There are actually currently TWO official recommended releases of OpenSim. Versions 0.8.0.3 AND 0.7.6.2 both were released November 14th, 2014 http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Download. Nowhere on the OpenSim site does it recommend the current 0.8.0.3 over the current 0.7.6.2

    • actually it does noob.
      The current release is 0.8.0.3 (released on 11th November 2014) and can be downloaded as
      So Justin screwed up on the date but remember that he is busy helping to recover OSG and continuing to develop the software so PLEASE quit being such a dick and give the guy some slack.

  • I am curious to see how this is implemented. Not so much that it can wait, and I would think there should be some documentation someplace specifically related to this [that I can’t find].

    “Rectangular terrain features can be created on the console via a new “terrain feature” console command.”

    I do also look forward to even better hypergating.

  • isn’t 8 the one that screwed up WestWorld and TanGLe grid so much? I have to agree with Joe Builder that if it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it, sounds like sticking with 7.6 is the better approach