Second core developer leaves OpenSim

Dahlia Trimble, an OpenSim core developer who’s been with the project since the summer of 2008, announced today that she is leaving.

“I am sad to announce that I will be leaving OpenSimulator Core,” she told fellow developers. “I’ve been finding lately that I no longer have a use for this type of software and I don’t have the time to contribute at the level that I’d like.”

Just last month, OpenSim lost another key member of the development team, Justin Clark-Casey. Clark-Casey was also the president of the Overte Foundation overseeing OpenSim licensing issues, the most prolific contributor to OpenSim, and the public face of the project.

In the wake of his decision, there’s been significant discussion about how OpenSim development will progress.

“I know that many users and several of the current core members have a lot of ideas for the direction they would like to take this software in the future,” said Trimble. “And I don’t really want to influence them when I am not planning to continue as a user or developer. Therefore I will be relinquishing my commit access and moving on.”

Trimble was one of the top 15 OpenSim developers overall, based on the number of commits — only ten of whom were still contributing code this past year.

Dahlia Trimble has made 898 commits to OpenSim since 2008, according to Black Duck's OpenHub project tracker.

Dahlia Trimble has made 898 commits to OpenSim since 2008, according to Black Duck’s Open Hub open source project tracker.

Trimble was most active on the OpenSim project in the early years, when the entire platform was being built from scratch. But she has been making contributions all the way up to this summer. She worked on improving map tile rendering in July, and in June added the OSGetGender function.

Thanks to the llLookAt function, scripted hummingbirds can now follow an avatar around.

Thanks to the llLookAt function, scripted hummingbirds can now follow an avatar around.

In February of this year, she won a bounty for fixing the LLLookAt function in OpenSim.

She was also instrumental in helping bring mesh to OpenSim in 2010.

“I have much faith that this community and this software are destined for greater things in the future,” Trimble said.

 

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.

  • Nick Zwart

    Is OpenSimulator slowly comming to a stop? Should we worry?

    • I don’t think so. Usage seems to be increasing, and the ecosystem is growing.

      I have a feeling that we’re seeing a seachange right now — with the sudden explosion of virtual reality, there’s a possibility of OpenSim of going mainstream.

      It is, after all, the only open source platform that supports user-created content, is fully decentralized, and peer-to-peer hyperlinked, with multiple vendors, lots of content, and hundreds of running virtual worlds. And Oculus Rift support!

      It will take a new kind of leadership to take OpenSim into this future. it takes a different kind of person to build something from scratch and pull resources together — and then a different person to take it big.

      Some people will make the change, of course, but other people prefer to work on smaller, more manageable projects.

      • Personally, I think that the top thing missing for it to go mainstream is a browser-based viewer, one that uses the latest WebGL and VR support, so that folks will be able to access OpenSim worlds on the low-cost Cardboard-compatible headsets, in addition to the high-end headsets like the Oculus Rift.

        Yes, Internet connectivity is still low and lag is going to be a problem, and resolution will be an issue as well at first but all that will be improving fast.

        It will be a giant step, one that we’ve been holding back from for the past few years. I think many of us like being early adopters, among the few, the in-the-know. And we might be worried about the great unwashed masses rushing in.

        Will existing grids be able to scale up? Most can only absorb a few hundred new users a month — if thousands, or millions suddenly flood in, everything will crash.

        Even Kitely, which runs in the cloud and is — in theory, at least — infinitely scalable, probably won’t be able to handle a sudden flood of visitors, simply because they have to pay Amazon extra for additional users. Especially now that they’ve switched completely over to flat-rate hosting plans.

        Ideally, the new users coming will be setting up their own grids, so that there are more places for people to go.

        A good business model for that would be a hosting company that sets up on-demand mini-grids and that charges based on usage, like the old Kitely style. On the early Web, for example, we had something similar — when there was a sudden growth of visitors, websites would get swamped, and website owners would have to pay extra for more bandwidth. (Now, of course, bandwidth for websites is much less of an issue.)

        Anyway, my point is that it will take a big effort of collective will — or a nice chunk of venture capital funding — to create that Web-based viewer.

        And that will happen, or someone will package an existing viewer in a browser (like, say, what Bright Canopy is doing) in a way that’s usable on a smartphone.

        It’s a scary future, though. The character of the user base will change. Everything will change. There will be real media attention (more than just a handful of bloggers, like now). It will no longer be in our control.

        I think a lot of people who like OpenSim the way it is now — the way that Second Life used to be — are not going to be happy after the change.

        Right now, we all know each other. We’re all on a first-name basis. We all know Justin and Crista and Nara and Nebadon and Elenia and Terry and Melanie and Fleep. We bump into each other on the hypergrid, at events, in Google + groups and Twitter discussions and mailing lists. It’s human scale. Its idealistic — we’re all building stuff from scratch, sharing our creations.

        We have one griefer. One. And we haven’t seen his red balls popping up anywhere for a couple of years now. Jack was annoying, but he also reminded folks to practice basic region hygiene with their permission settings.

        I guess the same thing happened to him as eventually happens to everyone — he grew up, had kids, has a mortgage to pay off, so less time to go out and annoy people.

        • Hi Maria,

          Kitely replaced the main systems preventing OpenSim scalability with its own proprietary solutions years ago, e.g. it developed its own cloud-based inventory and assets systems. See:
          https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2011/10/10/faster-world-startups-less-server-lag-and-faster-rez-times/
          https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2012/11/15/new-cloud-based-inventory-system/
          https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2012/12/10/kitely-is-now-significantly-faster-than-regular-opensim/

          Kitely’s system automatically provisions new servers on demand so scalability shouldn’t be a technical issue we can’t deal with. There may be OpenSim problems we’ll only encounter once user numbers grow significantly but, assuming all those new users don’t all start using Kitely at once, we should be able to upgrade our system in time to continue supporting user growth.

          Our existing fixed-price pricing model is based on historic usage statistics (with additional safety buffers) and our ability to time share servers to host sims on demand (thus allowing us to send sims to storage when they are not currently in use). Unless the new users you envision exhibit usage behaviors that are very different from what we’ve seen in Second Life and OpenSim so far, our existing pricing should enable us to support them.

          • Can you find 1000 or 10000 users to test it at once?

          • A well designed test program running on multiple servers can simulate whatever type of user activity and load that you want. The question I answered was about our system’s capabilities, not about the current number of users that we have online. I don’t think anyone is claiming that there are currently more than a few thousand users online at any given point in time in all OpenSim grids and standalones combined.

        • Tranquillity (InWorldz)

          What browser based virtual worlds have gone mainstream? I haven’t heard of any.

          • A web based browser is a pipe-dream of Maria that she push at every opportunity, but the technical fact is that it requires MORE resources than running a standalone viewer, so rather than broaden your user base (if you managed to create such a viewer) you narrow it even more.

            Doing everything in a browser was something Microsoft desperately tried pushing 10 years ago and we all know how that went.

            Mobile browsers don’t have the ability to run much plugins anyway for multiple reasons, the resource constraints being the most important, but the security aspect is also strong. So a web based browser i DOA on such devices.

          • A web-based browser *is* my fondest dream…. I still have memories of how the Web went mainstream after Netscape arrived.

            It was mostly a read-only browser with very limited options for sending data back up to the website.

            If you wanted to edit a site, back then, you either FTP’d HTML code, or used something like Dreamweaver.

            That’s what I would like to see for OpenSim — a stripped-down viewer for the web for casual visitors, and a full-featured, standalone viewer for builders and creators.

            And, over time, more and more features would be added to the web-viewer, and content-management systems would evolve, and we’d be able to do more and more from a browser — just like on the Web.

            Or the future could evolve completely differently and I’m way off base, but a girl’s gotta have dreams, right?

          • Of course you can have dreams 🙂

            But what does the stripped down viewer do? – Because to get reduction in processing and memory demands, you have to a) limit view distance, b) stop rendering stuff in the scene, c) stop rendering all avatars in the scene, d) turn off advanced shaders and lighting, e) no shadows and so on. You are basically talking about a 2008 version viewer that ran in 64k video memory. Is this going to be attractive and bring in a crowd? I don’t think so.

          • Actually, I was thinking of the Cloud Party viewer, which ran in WebGL and looked pretty darn good to me.

          • Well, if it ran so good, why does it not have nay market share of the viewers?

          • Yahoo bought them and shut them down.

          • Right, so it was not viable (technical or financial – I don’t know which.)

          • It’s true that it didn’t take off right away. It doesn’t not necessarily mean it wasn’t viable — they seemed to be doing a pretty poor job of marketing it.

            Also, Yahoo could have bought them up in order to get their expertise and incorporate it into whatever they were doing.

            This happened to my favorite online database — Dabble DB. It was the BEST product in the HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE EVER. Twitter bought them for their brains and shut the database down. Didn’t even give us customers a chance to get together and buy it from them. And it was so beautiful. I’m in still in mourning.

            Cloud Party had an excellent web-based viewer and even some limited in-world building tools. The graphics were very, very nice.

            Here are a couple of reviews from people who were not me:

            http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/06/cloud-party-is-a-social-platform-not-a-business-venue/

            http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/06/an-educator-looks-at-cloud-party/

          • Han Held

            Alternately …it was too viable, and needed to be shut down because it posed a threat to someone’s business plans.

          • The other thing is that OpenSim is not scalable. I’d submit that there no single grid that has ever reached concurrency of 1000. If you were to develop a viewer for mass deployment, the OpenSim server must also be battle hardened and potentially scale to hundreds of thousands of concurrent user per grid. Hypergrid must also be able to set up communication between grids with hundreds of thousands of concurrent users and that is very challenging the way it works today.

            I don’t say it is not possible to scale OpenSim, but to get there significant funding is required for continuous and planned product development that will have to go on for years.

            Likewise, a mobile viewer is more than technically possible today. With Apple’s announcement of the iPad PRO and the new game ready Apple TV the direction has been set for the entire industry. These devices needs a viewer, but it can’t be web-based.

          • The hypergrid is infinitely scalable. Individual grids — currently — have limitations. So did individual websites way back when (remember when they’d be a sudden flood of interest in a site and it would go down because of too much traffic?).

            Meanwhile, Intel has donated their distributed scene graph code to OpenSim — http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Distributed_Scene_Graph — which allows over 1,000 avatars on a single region.

            That should be enough for the near future, at least.

            Most grids — run by individuals, small groups, schools, and companies — won’t need to scale up much more.

            Large social grids, like large social websites (like Facebook) will probably invest in proprietary technology to allow them to scale up.

            And we’ll probably have third-party services, like Cloud Flare, for the mid-sized grids.

            As far as mobile access goes — yes, I would LOVE a mobile viewer for OpenSim. It would allow folks to use Cardboard-compatible headsets to travel the hypergrid. It would be FANTASTIC.

            Hmm…. I don’t even know which one I want more! On the one hand, the latest version of Chrome for Android does allow Web-based VR to be accessed on a smartphone immersively (in stereoscopic 3D)… on the other hand, I do like apps…. and we do already have a viewer (even though it’s a standalone download) for PCs…

            Okay, I’m in. What would it take to build an OpenSim viewer for Android or iOS? Let’s do a crowdfunder.

          • To add to why the 2-3 man year effort for iOS, that has to do with GamePlayKit implements the state machine and a lot of logic needed in the viewer. You’d have to translate the OpenSim/SL primitives to the native primitives of GamePlayKit, likewise use he GamePlayKit particle system, animations, the built in Bullet Physics, spacial audio, media and http handling. GamePlayKit also handles loading DAE and meshes without writing new code.

            Meaning more or less starting from scratch as the current viewer code could not be used (except the logic and concepts.) It would have to be written in Swift with some Objective-C code.

            Most of the code would be shared with OS X and AppleTV. Some of the swift code could be used in a Linux viewer once the open souce Swift compiler for Linux is available from Apple later this fall.

            Crowdfunding sounds like fun!

      • I was looking and couldn’t find – how is usage monitored to see if it’s increasing? I know for me it seemed really busy a few years ago, I had a busy friend list on OSGrid and Metropolis – but that seems to have dwindled away. Are these statistics measuring avatar log ins? And how does that work when avis are HG’ing — are they counted twice? Once at their log in grid and then when they enter other grids? I know that I myself have one avatar for each grid and most people have at LEAST 2 avis in OpenSim – how is new usage determined?

        • Not getting into any kind of conversation with you, but to put out the true reality of this particular comment for others ( who may not already know and read here ), but this kind of talk has already been fully dispelled in other comments and articles within this website;

          “Are these statistics measuring avatar log ins? And how does that work when avis are HG’ing — are they counted twice? Once at their log in grid and then when they enter other grids? I know that I myself have one avatar for each grid and most people have at LEAST 2 avis in OpenSim – how is new usage determined?”

          It is well known among people who don’t believe any kind of hogwash written out, which is many of us who read here…you aren’t fooling most people with your various comments here and should probably stick with preaching to the choir, elsewhere. Just a friendly hint to save you time, of which I am most positive you think your time is “very valuable”.

          It has already been spelled out that while hypergating people can be counted multiple times, the answer to this here was to ask Grids to add them into their regular active numbers, which some did forthwith.

          Not all did this, or can be expected to…afteral, we DO live in the free meta and don’t follow the the propaganda of certain grid owners and their shills facile attempts to convince actually smart people who know better to believe such obfuscations.

          But to have a more fair representation of the numbers ( with the caveat I personally only see the numbers as a way, in total, to watch the direction of OpenSim — which is towards the hypergated systems now ) would be to count all the commercially only people who go, daily, from one closed commercial grid to another to find things to do, or Merchants to do things they do.

          I expect to be actually true numbers in this regard we would see a rather largish decrease in any one closed commercial grids number of uniques if this was done….and yes, I understand it won’t be, which is why I only look at numbers to see the trending.

          In any case, I doubt I will say more on the matter here as it is way off course from discussing the article.

          Regards

          • That sure was a long reply given the fact that you started it off by saying you weren’t getting into any kind of conversation with me. Considering your lack of desire to converse and the rather argumentive tone of it in general I am going to honour your desire to not engage in conversation. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

          • Actually, since I decided to do some small bit of research after that comment, I found you also go by Birch Wind, which pretty much makes anything you say rather ignorant. I should have researched before the comment but I was rather sure this was a snoots/wayfinder account…my bad, but look at it this way, you are in the company of some very esteemed peers.

            http://inthewind.ca/about/

            https://forum.hypergrid.org/opensim-general/maria-s-statistik-t3914.html

            I never have enjoyable weekends anymore, or any other days, which is especially annoying, just fyi.

    • Han Held

      Anyone who knows me, knows I’m inclined towards pessimism.

      I’m not worried, though.

      First, OpenSim core is still very active and has several goals that they are making real progress on working towards. Second there are at least two active opensim-based projects I know of -one is MOSES and the other the Arriba-sim fork. The MOSES project is working to make regular releases on a set time table and even though they are a closed military project, they are releasing their code on github, and anyone can pick it up. Arriba-sim I’ve been having more difficulty picking up info on, but last that I heard they were doing a lot of clean-up on the opensim code base.

      There’s a slight worry that individual grids will make incompatible changes and break the hypergrid; but I think that if they do that then it will bite them on the rear when customers get mad at the breakage.

      I think things are vibrant on the community side of Opensimulator and I’m hoping my “luserfest” this coming November will prove that, even if it doesn’t the vibrancy of the hypergrid safari and increased user activity across the hypergrid is a sign of health.

      • That’s a problem though – these days traveling through the hypergrid seems to cause more problems than worth the travel. Hypergrid will probably become defunct.

        • Han Held

          Hypergrid travel has never been easier, there being several options and at least two kinds of scripted options to chose from.

          More people travel the hypergrid every year, in fact there are three separate weekly groups touring the hypergrid. Hypergrid enabled events are becoming almost as populated as events in SL.

          You, are, however correct -hypergrid will become defunct …eventually! But it won’t be until after Secondlife and the closed grids go out of business, and development work on OpenSim ceases entirely. And yeah, that is gonna happen …but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

          • Different experiences then. I have land in OSGrid (have had for years), Kitely, had land on GCG once, have an avi on almost every known grid and even some unknown. I am a seasoned HG traveller – however I find that if you belong to a good grid with lots of content, who cares about HG? I guess like I said elsewhere, its just not important to me and not that enticing to me to wander around as one avi, collecting corrupt inventory (as I am sure you were following the conversations about this) in between grids with various versions running. I’d rather just log into the world I want to go in with the avi for that world. In the beginning HG was exciting but ‘meh’ not such a big deal to me anymore.

          • Han Held

            I’m sorry to say, but bug are par for the course -I remember a slew of bugs since I joined, like the gigantic prim-hair-in-the-viewer bug of 0.7.0 and attachment bugs. You’ll find bugs in Inworldz and even SL. In all places they’re found and they’re squashed -that’s how it goes.

            The hypergrid isn’t simply a mad pokemon-eque gotta get em all grab for inventory; it’s also got a strong social component, and that’s what you’re overlooking. Again, I would avoid making predictions based on your tastes and preferences. People are using the hypergrid to network, to advertise (I’ve gotten group notices from digiworldz while on my standalone -and based on that I have joined an advertising group on Nara’s Nook to advertise my hypergrid-based conference).

            You may not mind going through the tedium of registering for each grid and setting up an avatar for each grid …and that’s nice for you, but that doesn’t change that many of us actually and actively enjoy the convenience of hearing about an event on a new grid and instead of having to do the new ava dance we simply pop the address into our map and find ourselves there …ready to go in a minute, as opposed to an hour.

            And I do mean many; I’m going to events around the hypergrid and I’m seeing new faces each time I go out. The hypergrid affords people the opportunity to host to a far larger audience and the convenience provides a better experience for the audience as well.

            You’ll always have the option of creating an avatar for each world you want to attend -that will never go away; but the hypergrid presents more options and to my way of thinking, at least, more options are good.

          • Yes and that is lovely. I know that in my home grid, (IW) I have at least one event to attend every day, I am also a RP’er in Urban, Medieval and Fantasy regions so I am constantly needing to be here or there. And honestly, daily, I still run into new people every day. Whether they are looking for land on my region or if I bump into them at a party.

            So what it boils down to is, I can have fun, have awesome experiences and meet new people daily all on one grid, and you do that by going to multiple grids. Different strokes for different folks, and yes that is why options are nice.

            I won’t ‘hold my breath’ waiting for HG to die, as you so eloquently put it 😉 because it really doesn’t affect me much, considering I now chose NOT to use HG.

          • Han Held

            See, you’re one kind of user ..a closed-grid user (you *did* say IW is your home)… coming out to tell us in the open metaverse how things are. So by your perspective it must seem rather hopeless. That explains your perspective and your dismissal on this page of both smaller grids and of the hypergrid itself.

            (also, I’ve BEEN on Inworldz, the social scenes are totally incomparable; but if you prefer yours, that’s fair enough).

            You won’t hold your breath -far from it; as long as your grid feels threatened by the competition I expect you’ll be holding forth and at length for quite a while. I’m out for now, but I’m confident I’ll be addressing your anti-HG / anti-small-grid bias in future conversations. 🙂

          • lmpierce

            This forum is meant to encourage the expression of ideas and perceptions, whether we agree or not. Let’s tone down the put-downs of the voice behind the ideas.

          • Han Held

            And, as I’ve said -that is very nice for you. Your experience, needs and perspective should not be confused for everyone else’s. I’d dare suggest that those of us in Second Life see even more people per visit than inworldz gets in an entire month! But to compare Inworldz to SL is like comparing apples to oranges …or Inworldz to the hypergrid.

            All three have their audiences, all three fill a niche.
            And Holy River Of Egypt, you sure write a lot about a protocol which you allege doesn’t affect you. Makes me wonder what they’re putting in the water over there! 😉

          • That’s exactly why opensim will never gain mass appeal – all these issues should never be issues, they should be fixed and nonexistent. What do you suppose would happen if someone logged into their WOW or EQ account to fix up their characters and the hair wouldn’t load or half their clothing wasn’t there, or they couldn’t transport elsewhere on the map?

            Revolt. Heads would roll.

            Nobody in the dev department seems to care much about user experience. Opensim can’t compete. And it will ultimately go the way of DOS.

    • I personally think it is. I don’t see how it is sustainable when people only care about where they can get a 5.00 region from. There are Grids like InWorldz and Kitely still working at improvements and updates, independents like XMIR grid etc that know what they are doing, and then grids like.. well I won’t name names.. that have no idea. It takes money to keep people working on projects without abandonment.There are almost more Grids than there are avatars on them – total dilution,

      • Han Held

        I’m sure you think it is; I’m even more sure that’s “wishful” thinking on your part!
        Sorry to break it to ya, pal -but we’re gonna be around a while. 🙂

        • We’ll see in two years’ time. OpenSim offers me nothing that I need really, doesn’t mean I ‘wish it would go away’ no idea where you get that from???. I have played in OpenSim for years. Since before even moving to IW. Im not a new kid on the block. I simply don’t have the same optimistic view on it but then again, as I said – because it is not as important to me maybe I simply don’t see how it can hold on. Closed grids have great prices, and for the most part I don’t think most of the people running their own grid these days (outside of IW and Kitely) have the actual knowledge on how the whole thing works. Leaving them really vulnerable.

          • Han Held

            I get that vibe from your persistence. I don’t need the kitely market but I’m not here predicting it’s imminent demise. 😉 Just as you do not share everyone else’s priorities does not mean that they hold yours, either -so I would hesitate before making any predictions about what people are going to do based on your preferences.

            Also you’re selling the expertise around the hypergrid short, and I think that’s a shame. Digiworld’s Terry Ford, for instance, has been running grids since 2008 and yet your sweeping generalization paints him as a bumbling bumpkin fresh out of school; I’m sure that Zetamex’s Timothy Rodgers and the people who work for Aviworldz would object to your characterization as well …along with many other people active in this space. And they’d be right.

            You’re also writing off the depth of knowledge of the people such as myself who run servers from home; I’ve talked to people with setups which could rival professional hosting centers. There’s a number of retired and former IT people here who are quietly doing their own thing.

            The “next big thing” will come along, and people will hop onto it, but I am not going to give a number for when I think that will happen. Instead I’m going to stick to the timeline I outlined above -it’s gonna be longer than two years from now though, I’m reasonably sure of that.

          • As for Terry – I guess when I read drama in online mags like this I do tend to dismiss those involved. Terry,others you mention and etc. I see that form of what appears to be non-professionalism rear it’s head and it makes me question their ability to effectively run a business. Over the years I have seen so much interbattling between the ‘big guys’ in OpenSim it’s like watching kids on the school yard.

            Back to sustainability — 100 regions for 60.00 — what kind of servers does a company use that allows them to have it so cheap? Are they multistacked beyond a reasonable use limit? Where are those corners being cut? If Open Sim is doing so well, then why are only the same people doing the same thing, over and over again.. why are no new folks coming in to take up the reigns of the project? Not self proclaimed tech geniuses, but actual tech-minded, vision oriented individuals with ways of improving this spaghetti code? ————————
            As for Kitely market – I don’t have ‘need’ of it, and I see no immenent demise for it either. It will do well because it is one of the things that HAS been created by someone(s) with a vision and who has good technical knowledge and has been able to contribute much to the code.

          • Han Held

            “As for Terry – I guess when I read drama in online mags like this I do
            tend to dismiss those involved. Terry,others you mention and etc. I see
            that form of what appears to be non-professionalism rear it’s head and
            it makes me question their ability to effectively run a business. Over
            the years I have seen so much interbattling between the ‘big guys’ in
            OpenSim it’s like watching kids on the school yard.”

            And you’re free to dismiss them; as they say ..it’s a free country, including the freedom to be wrong. 🙂

            ” Not self proclaimed tech geniuses, but actual tech-minded, vision
            oriented individuals with ways of improving this spaghetti code?”
            Your vision is blinkered by your own admission; how would you know them if they were actually there?

          • Because they would be the names Maria talks about in her articles, and not the same ol same ol. And of course the obvious – because OpenSim might actually start to improve past where it was years ago.

          • Han Held

            Two mistakes:
            1) Claiming that a business-focused blog is the beginning and the end of who is involved in opensim, implying that anyone not covered here isn’t important.
            2) Claiming that opensim is no more stable and has no more functionality than it had “years ago”

            Of course, you’ve been focused on your home grid -inworldz; so no one can fault you for being out of touch with what is going on out here

            …until you start to assert your past experiences as indicative of the current state of things, of course.

            Lastly, there have been articles on Digiworldz, Zetamex and Aviworldz in this blog …so they have been covered here.

          • You have done it again and I am about done the discussions with you Han. I have mentioned multiple times that I have an avatar on various opensim grids, as well as land/homes there. I still log into various opensim grids and have attended recent Kitely meetings and gone to events on various grids. So explain to me how I am ‘ out of touch?’ You are quite off the mark and seem to want to pigeon-hole me as a villain of some sorts. The moderator removed the other posts which was probably the best thing for this conversation.

          • Agreed. And a good timetable to consider is the rise of vr dev tools. The easier they become the less people will even concern themselves with opensim. It is the same group of people. On all the blogs, zines, worlds and forums…same names, same avis, same drama. It’s quite small. There won’t be enough of a userbase to even sustain those grids as long as opensim itself is a pain in the ass to even use most of the time.

            I watched half a dozen unity tutorials and can do a ton of stuff now. The tutorials on opensim are ridiculously outdated and apply to stuff back in 2005 or 2006, most of which doesn’t work in 2015 and surely isn’t going to work in 2017.

            My wager is that in the next 2 years when vr goggles really bust out and the devs open it up to a mass audience, opensim user base will dwindle down to the die hards – all 14 of them – still squawking somebody’s going to steal their flower pot.

            The rest of the world is going in a whole other direction that opensim would be ideally suited for but because the opensim devs don’t care about taking it that direction, opensim will become a dinosaur. Even linden lab saw the problems and took things in another direction.

            Sad.

      • So you’re complaining that:

        * Prices are falling

        * There are too many places on the hypergrid

        (The two are probably related!)

        Hmmm… have you seen the article “The Internet? Bah!” by Clifford Stoll? You guys might be kindred spirits: http://www.newsweek.com/clifford-stoll-why-web-wont-be-nirvana-185306

        • Maria I have no idea where you determine I am complaining. I said it is not sustainable because the regions are cheap and the people running grids (other than K and IW) seem to be doing nothing to help with improvements and updates. It takes money to keep people working on projects.. honestly, did you read what I wrote? Or is it just a knee-jerk reaction to the idea that OpenSim – something that many people seem to derive their whole sense of ‘self’ from, may not actually survive the long term?

  • Alex Ferraris

    With our new help Quill Littlefeather we have created Avi-Labs developing our own version of opensim but not pulling out completely. I think we will see more and more other grids do this. AviWorlds uses Avilabs version 8.2 at the moment which includes many functionalities that the standar opensim source does not come with.

    • Just be really careful not to paint yourselves into a corner, so that you wind up accidentally veering away from mainline OpenSim and can no longer benefit from the community’s improvements.

      Here’s the trick to having your cake and eating it too:

      * Build a cool new core feature. Promote the heck out of it, until you’ve pretty much used up its marketing ability.
      * Donate it to the community before someone else builds a different, incompatible version of it. Promote the heck out of your donation.
      * Build the next feature.

      Notice how you get two marketing benefits from one improvement — and you get to stay fully compatible with mainline OpenSim.

      Another option:

      * Build a cool new feature but put it in an external module.
      * When a new update for OpenSim comes out, you can just continue using your new module.
      * You get to stay compatible with mainline OpenSim and have your own unique stuff.

      Kitely, for example, donates all the code improvements they make that relate to standard OpenSim. But all their proprietary cloud stuff stays private and separate. That way, when a new version of OpenSim comes out, they can update easily and quickly and benefit from all the work done by the general community, but still offer their own unique functionality.

      Worst option:

      * Make improvements to core OpenSim.
      * When a new update of OpenSim comes out, have your developers port all the improvements over to yours, or develop your own versions of those improvements, or just skip them.
      * Make more changes to core OpenSim.
      * Over time, it gets more and more difficult to back-port the community fixes and you start falling further and further behind — or spend more and more time and money on development.
      * Other grids, running the standard release, don’t have to spend money on development, and spend their money on marketing, instead, or on better support, or on lower prices.
      * At some point, you get so incompatible with standard OpenSim that you can no longer offer users the features that all other grids have. You spend all your time coming up with creative reasons for why those features aren’t that great anyway, and why your higher prices are still worth it.

      • Tranquillity (InWorldz)

        >> “Other grids, running the standard release, don’t have to spend money on development, and
        spend their money on marketing, instead, or on better support, or on lower prices.”

        Well that’s the whole problem isn’t it? Not enough money spent on core development? Grids should continue to concentrate on offering the lowest possible prices at any cost while the software they depend on is bound to lose key players because they’re not being compensated?

        That sure explains a lot. What is the point then really? Would so many people leave development of these products if they were also making a living doing it? Where is this future you want so badly going to come from if only academics and people who have the luxury of free time to work on it can participate in the core product? That’s not the way modern and successful open source projects work. See apache cassandra, joyent’s io.js (formerly node.js), apache spark, linux, hadoop, openstack… The list goes on and on and the thing they have in common is that they encourage community participation and work on the core product. Businesses use it, they patch it, they create viable organizations that make enough money to support its development.

        Without this support, venture backed closed and open source projects will steamroll everything. People getting paid to work on something for 40 hrs/wk will put out a heck of a lot more code than someone struggling to make ends meet and working volunteer on the weekend.

        We seem to have a collection of commercial grids that are encouraged to do nothing except charge as little as possible so that they can all be hailed as the godaddy of 3d, while godaddy laughs all the way to the bank hosting 1000’s of sites on a server that would probably only be appropriate for 10-100 3d regions. Regions with no visitors can still consume large amounts of RAM and CPU, websites with no visitors in general do not. Big difference.

        • Nick Zwart

          I think that the low prices for renting land have been promoted too much by the media. I have seen a lot of ‘news’ in the last years pointing at the lowest priced grids. And they do not have the knowledge to improve OpenSim,

          • The race to rock bottom pricing will only deplete the ecosystem of resources, competence and initiative. What you have is the Dead Sea evaporation effect.

          • Han Held

            Exactly as we’ve seen in Linux, where Debian’s existence forced Redhat to go out of business…

          • This does not exactly look like out of business to me https://www.redhat.com/wapps/store/catalog.html

          • Han Held

            Exactly my point. 🙂

          • MOSES is evaluating OpenSim at the moment and have said they may not use it after the evaluation period, so I would not bet on them right now. They also have said they have no intention of supporting the general market. I agree they will make good contributions along the way.

          • Right – that is my ‘complaint’ . These grids charging near to nothing for their regions and promoting them so much, are also the ones NOT contributing back to Open Sim.

  • LordNine

    I think all of you are overlooking an obvious ally….Adminotech…the caretaker responsible for the Realxtend Tundra platform…who have contributed to OpenSim’s core development several times in the past and might be able to help build a bridge between their Tundra platform and the OpenSim platform. With their own set of allies who regularly contribute to their platform. core development and already existing technologies they may be able to help, including showing how to make something like Maria’s pet technology, the web-based browser (since they have already done that)….someone really ought to give them a ring.

  • I see a lot of that happening also, that of new users out from SL landing in various of the hypergated aspects, commercial or not. And they love hypergating!!

    The problem I see now which needs more work on is those people figuring out ways of “getting the word out” to people across the Meta.

    Group notices now work out from any one grid and some are seeing the value in using that, but for instance in GCG many still only think in single grid terms and neglect to give a hypergrid address to their events.

    I joined one such group a friend, Tommy Seetan, created called Hypergrid Events ( or something similar, I don’t feel like going inworld now to check that ) and while I have posted some events out on the hyperverse people there do not add the HG address still.

    Roxy Rollar of Kitely does a very good job of posting her events but unfortunately has not been able to bring in large crowds, yet. ( other than the HG Safari folks )

    But it is a start, and a good one, that just needs more mentoring in the hows and wherefores of what they are now involved in. This is happening-)

  • This is indeed true. I moved to Metro and Kitely when OSgrid went down. OSgrid health isnt indicative of the whole picture – but i am interested in how the usage for opensim is gathered in general.

  • It doesn’t appear that the devs behind opensim really care that much about making opensim user friendly or answering questions. Unless they make it easier for the general public only a few specific groups will ever use it and then will burn out over all the drama and nonsense that these content creators stir up because they’re terrified somebody might steal a cartoon hair or something.

    I think the learning curve for Blender and Unity and UE is ultimately easier than opensim and because the general public is far more familiar with it that’s where they’ll prefer to turn. As long as opensim is this technical and lacking tech support for even simple questions, it may as well drop it and put it out of its misery. It was a nice experiment but people are mostly using it offline to take stuff back into second life where the actual action is. These other grids and their owners are into way too much drama (the virtual world blogs are a train wreck most of the time). Nobody’s going to put up with all that.

    They want an easy set up and install like every single other software on the planet, easy instructions without needing to return to college for any reason, easy content creation and the ability to actually own things they pay real money for to use however they want. Opensim devs make it as hard as possible, they don’t even answer questions outside their clique, the user groups are too uppity to actually be of service, the bugs will halt projects in their tracks and there is nobody to help fix it or resolve the problem – unlike the unity and ue dev forums, help is ready and available and so is content. And there are tutorials for getting these to be multi user and in time that will become easier because the devs actually WANT people to use the software and WANT people to create stuff. So they make it as accessible as possible.

    I think with the devs jumping ship it’s because they see opensim as a complete waste of time for mass acceptance so they’re going to better options with mass appeal. Given the way opensim is handled, perceived and used, I don’t see it lasting much longer either unfortunately. Sad because it has so much potential to be soooo amazingly useful. And nobody really cares enough to just fix it where it gets there. ;-(

    • I’m not sure if you are including closed grids in that overview of opensim. In general I quite agree. I did however attend, and write about the most recent InWorldz community meeting and really they are still moving onward and forward in many areas. http://inworldztech.com/techblog/2015/09/19/inworldz-halcyon-3d-virtual-world-simulator/ , they also recently have been meeting with MOSES ,’ the Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy who recently
      decided to fork from OpenSimulator in order to achieve their end goal of
      creating a virtual combat simulation training program.’ – new opportunities for different people to learn from one another and share ideas. I still think there is a possibility for the more stable forks of opensim to be useful, but right now it does seem that at it’s core, opensim is in the same shape it has been in for a very long time.