How to create a Destination Guide for your grid

The Openvue grid has its own destination guide, seen here with the Singularity viewer.

The Openvue grid has its own destination guide, seen here with the Singularity viewer.

The latest releases virtual world viewers, such as Firestorm, Singularity, and Kokua can provide access to a “Destination Guide” for your OpenSim grid for both local and hypergrid visitors.

And this guide can feature both local and hypergrid destinations.

2014-07-17-Openvue-Destinations

Destination guide for the Openvue grid. (Image courtesy Austin Tate.)

But the grid owner first has to enable this feature in their configuration files.

Here’s how.

Grid configuration settings

Here are the configuration instructions if you have a full-scale grid running “Robust” centralized grid services.

In your Robust.ini or Robust.HG.ini file [LoginService] section there is a “DestinationGuide” parameter which can be used to communicate a URL to use for the destination guide to “V3″ style viewers which enable this.

Uncomment the entry and provide a suitable URL to be used.

   ; For V3 destination guide
   DestinationGuide = "http://www.yourdomain.org/guide.html"

Make the content be suitable for presenting in the “in-viewer” browser, so avoid complex HTML or any viewer-side scripting. PHP should work as that is generated server-side. The viewers by default show the destination panel as a narrow strip which can be resized horizontally, but has fixed height, so you may want to tailor the display contents to that.

Here is how I set it up for the Openvue grid:

   ; For V3 destination guide
   DestinationGuide = "http://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002/resources/guide.html"

You can have the user click on a link to open a teleport dialogue in the viewer by providing links on destination names or thumbnail images in this destination page. Use the following format — and notice that the spaces are kept as spaces:

   "secondlife:///app/teleport/Region Name/128/128/22"

If you wish to show a hypergrid destination use a form like this…

   "secondlife:///app/teleport/hg.osgrid.org:80:Wright Plaza"
If you use the Singularity viewer and teleport to the OpenSim Community Conference grid at cc.opensimulator.org:8002 and pull up the Destination Guide, you'll see some featured destinations for that grid.

If you use the Singularity viewer and teleport to the OpenSim Community Conference grid at cc.opensimulator.org:8002 and pull up the Destination Guide, you’ll see some featured destinations for that grid.

Diva Wifi configuration settings

The Openvue destinations page at http://virtual.aiai.ed.ac.uk:8002/resources/guide.html is actually served from the Diva “Wifi” web interface and its ability to provide “additionally served resources” for example as web pages which can pull in some parametric information from the OpenSim grid server. This is done by adding a “ServePath_…” entry in the [WifiService] section of WiFi.ini as follows…

    ;; Additionally served resources
    ;; Syntax: ServePath_Name = "LocalPath, ServedPath"
    ;;         (Name is any arbitrary identifier)
    ;; With the following example, the contents of folder "resources" at the same
    ;; level as the OpenSim base "bin" folder can be accessed via path /resources
    ServePath_Resources = "../resources, /resources"

This article adapted with permission from Austin Tate’s Informatics Blog.

Austin Tate

Austin Tate is Director of the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute and holds the Personal Chair of Knowledge-Based Systems at the University of Edinburgh. He is also coordinator for the Virtual University of Edinburgh, a virtual educational and research institute bringing together those interested in the use of virtual worlds for teaching, research and outreach.

  • Thanks for Gavin Hird for drawing my attention to this issue in his Google Plus post: https://plus.google.com/113117922675685456446/posts/Fw3N4bQzG9p

    • Geir Nøklebye

      You’re welcome! 😉

      Actually Austin described this about a year ago, so I am a bit surprised nobody picked it up. I had no idea about his work – it just struck me as a possibility while testing every menu option in Kokua and having reviewed Robust.HG.ini the same day.

      • Credit where credit really is due… in my blog post I was reporting the underlying work done by BlueWall, one of the core OpenSim developers, and people who we should all be very grateful to. I tend to watch for config changes and test them out auite exhaustively. Our Openvue and my own personal AiLand grid and used for all kinds of latest dev vesion testing like this.. some of which works and makes it way into the next version.. and some of which does not.

        As Geir said.. if we spot the diffferences between the TPVs we could report back to them to get them all on the same page. I find the Firestorm and CtrlAltStudio folks are quite understanding of Opensim specific issues and try to be helpful. For me I would assume the destination guide should be the one for the grid you are on at any time. But we still have a range of issues with grid identification in the hop:// protocols and other grid localisation things in TPVs.

  • One thing to note, however — it looks like some viewers show the guide for the grid you’re on, while other viewers show the guide for the grid you started on — no matter where you hypergrid to.

    For example, I just set up the destination guide for the Hyperica grid, where I have my main avatar.

    With Firestorm and Kokua, whenever I travel anywhere, and I pull up the destination guide, I get the one from Hyperica (which is currently a blank page — sorry guys, working on it!).

    With Singularity, I get the one for the local grid.

    So, I guess the lesson is that if you have a nice destination guide on your home grid that you want to be able to access wherever you go, use Firestorm or Kokua.

    And if you want to be able to see the destination guides for the grids you visit, use Singularity.

    • Geir Nøklebye

      For me it is the other way around. Kokua updates dynamically, Singularity (alpha build) shows the initial one.

      I guess you have to test your viewer. It might be good if people report their findings back to the developers to they all behave in the same, predictable manner.

      Looking forward to seeing the Hyperica formatted version. 🙂

  • I am trying to encourage all grids to set up at least a simple destination guide and the folks for the OpenSim Community Conference did set that up.

    And everyone should adopt hop:// links for OpenSim rather than continuing to misuse secondlife:// but its nit universally adopted in TOVs yet, and doe snit work quite as it should everywhere in the various location specification areas in all TPVs that do support hops:// but we are gradually getting thee.

    • Geir Nøklebye

      For small grids it is probably better to be member of a consolidated destination guide like Hyperica or Opensim Virtual.

    • Bryan French

      As nice as those suggestions are not every grid uses or suggests the use of V3 viewers. If our grid adopted hop:// exclusively then 50% of our residents wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. Our download page says “Exo-Life does not offer support
      for any other viewers than those [listed]” So people are forewarned things may not work if you use so other viewers.

      • Point taken Bryan… I was not really suggesting removing anything that already works, and even legacy HG addresses… but the simple URL format and style hop://domain:port/region/x/y/z with region, x, y and z being optional is a great way to go. Viewers can then be registered to be handlers for that protocol as well as the previous secondlife:// protocol.

        • Austin —

          Where does the hop protocol work? I haven’t been able to get it to work with any viewer.

  • I have started making a Hyperica destination guide. You can already use it — the parts that aren’t finished are grayed out and will be completed later.

    This is the main page to link to in your Robust files:

    http://www.hyperica.com/destination-guide/

    I’ve tried to duplicate the Second Life style as much as possible. Well, as much as my CSS skills would allow!

    Everything — the styles and the formatting – fits within one HTML file (no separate styles file) — so it should be easy for anyone to grab and adapt.

    The only one of the category sections that’s live right now is the “Top grids” one, and it takes you to this page:

    http://www.hyperica.com/destination-guide-top-grids/

    (You don’t have to save this URL, but if you want, feel free to copy the whole thing for your own grid.)

    I’ve tested this on my Hyperica grid with the Firestorm browser and it works, and the teleport links to the other grids work. HOWEVER — it gives me an error message. It still works, but it tells me that it could not add secondlife to the grid list.

    You can ignore it and it sends you on your way, but it looks like I’m going to have to change all the links to ones that don’t give an error message.

    • It works really nicely with Singularity. … but not at all with Kokua! Arrgh! Argh Argh Argh!

      • Geir Nøklebye

        It works fine in the Mac version of Kokua 3.7.26 (36773) Mar 24 2015 04:35:51 (Kokua Weekly)

        The only thing is there is a blank area to the right in the intersection between the horizontal and vertical scrollbars.

      • Geir Nøklebye
        • Thanks! That worked!

          • Geir Nøklebye

            It did not work entirely in Kokua, but it sure worked better. 🙂

            If you know you are on webkit (as most viewers are, but not all), you might want to call hide for it specifically.

    • Is there a reason to limit the width of the guide to the initial Firestorm popup windows width available… the destination guide that pops up in Firestorm can be streched to be longer horizontally… but not vertically as far as I can see.

      • Austin —

        Here’s what I’ve got for the guide so far: http://www.hyperica.com/destination-guide/

        There’s a whole tree of pages there… some of them have quite a few destinations, with a horizontal scroll bar. (The vertical scroll bar seems to disappear in the viewer.)

  • For those interested in the Second Life Destination Guide HTML, here is the URL: http://lecs-viewer-web-components.s3.amazonaws.com/v3.0/agni/guide.html

    • Geir Nøklebye

      Oh, good – you found it 😉

      • I’ve been able to duplicate the effect, plus get the hover effect, where it’s outlined in a different color when you mouse over it.

        • Geir Nøklebye

          Good job, Maria. I am impressed!

  • i hope people know that the destinations can be pulled from the search database and displayed with bootstrap. easy to do with php and html.

  • Paul E. Emery

    Seems to be some confused info in the comments as it applies getting a destination guide for stand alone grids e.g. diva distro. since there are no “Robust” ini files you need to go to your “Myworld.ini” file and find the [LoginService] section and put in DestinationGuide = “http://www.mysderver.com/guide.html”