Saturday, December 02, 2006


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Hamlet Au

Anyone on hand for the NBC tree lighting, the Nintendo press thing, or other big mixed reality events last week? Post first-hand analysis here, will try to work into my next Mixed Reality Monday post...

SignpostMarv Martin

I must've missed the Nintendo thing- were they giving out free Wiimotes for people to wave about ? :-P

SignpostMarv Martin

I shall take this opportunity to plug my mini-essay on the Wikipedia, where I (and others) discuss the splitting up of the Second Life article into several smaller ones.

Trevor F. Smith

On Tuesday night the Kuurian Expedition of Second Life is hosting a discussion about the Ogoglio Project, an effort to create a web based city for commercial and creative work.

December 5th, 7PM PST, Mill Pond

SignpostMarv Martin

I'll be going along to that to see what they hope to achieve that isn't being done by the likes of Midnight City, Neufreistadt and Colonia Nova.

Sativa Prototype

Well I did it, I pulled the plug. Consider this my virtual suicide note.

Since I cannot post this at the SL forum, or on the closed circuit blog, I will place it here, in this open forum.

Second Life, and Linden Lab, are dead to me. I have cancelled my account after being a paying member for over two years. I sold my meager land to my neighbor for 1L, which I gave back to him, and gave him what I could from my inventory. I would have left things to others, but the inventory "feature" added in with that last patch made it somewhat undoable.

I gave LL over two years, and most everything being argued about today, was complained about then as well. If they cannot update their code without fubaring the system for over 4 days, and counting, well I doubt they will be heralding in my future.

To all the people living off the hype, and propogating it, I look forward to hearing about the crash when it makes the news. SL was a somewhat fun place to explore, but now its like going to a fucking mall. I leave the virtual ad agencies one less set of eyes to see the colossal monuments to consumerism.

So goodbye cruel cruel SL, I take me leave of you.

De La Whole

Sativa Prototype: who are you?

William Memotech

I'm a newbie, registered premium less than a month ago and am still trying to find my way around.

My problem right now has to do with First Land -- I understand it's subject to availability... but what's availability? I've been trying for a few days now, and nothing is ever available.

I know the official LL blog addressed First Land issues in September, but if something has been said about it since, I haven't seen it. I'd just like to buy some land so I can learn to build things without bothering other users.

Karen Zohari

Today we updated our ART for RENT project. As far as we know we are the only gallery in SL that offers this unique product. We use a custom designed very smart script. So all residents, projectmanagers, weddingplanners, companies that want to upgrade their walls with beautiful art (that mostly is available for purchase in real life) .. can now rent art. For more information see the posting on our blog (http://irwinandzohari.wordpress.com/), where also the link to SLBoutique is available.

Karen Zohari
(Irwin & Zohari Arts & Designs)

Hamlet Au

Trevor, be sure to send that event info to Rik!

Trevor F. Smith

Hamlet: Rik has been told.

SignpostMarv: You don't need to wait for the talk to find out why I'm not using Second Life. Read the platform design criteria and you'll see that SL won't work.

Trevor F. Smith

We've changed the venue for my talk to the main auditorium at Sheep Island. The time (7PM PST on Tuesday the 5th) remains the same.

SignpostMarv Martin


Anyone for Croquet ?

Trevor F. Smith

SignpostMarv: Open Croquet is really good, but it's built with a language nobody knows (Squeak) and it requires a stand-alone client. I'm looking for a platform which is built out of web technologies and is accessed through a web browser.

If you're going to bring up other platforms that might fit the bill, you could start with X3D platforms like Flux.

Believe me, if there was a platform that fit the project I'd use it.

SignpostMarv Martin

The reason I brought up Croquet (and also, ViOS) is that these are existing projects that seem to meet the majority of your requirements.

3D environments require 3D acceleration in order to "not suck", something which you'll only get with a plugin for a web browser. And if you're going to go the way of Shockwave and WildTangent, you may as well go for a stand alone client.

Trevor F. Smith

SignpostMarv: "If you're going to go the way of Shockwave and WildTangent, you may as well go for a stand alone client."

That statement is so obviously not true that I'm not sure where to start.

What would Flash be outside of the browser?

Would YouTube be the same if you had to load a separate app to watch video?

Why don't we all just load stand alone applications for every data type, like in the 80s?

But it really seems like your core problem is that you just don't think there's room for improvement on what people are already doing in the 3D space, and I would point to the dismal uptake of those platforms as evidence that they're on the wrong path.

I could also be on the wrong path (it's called a prototype for a reason) but discouraging innovation when everything before has failed miserably seems a little silly.

SignpostMarv Martin

Flash and WildTangent are plugins which run inside other applications.

The specifications for them can be used to implement standalone players.

There is always room for improvement however, but it does seem like you're going to end up with a plugin for browsers that uses either hardware of software accelerated 3D graphics. Which means the plugin has to contend with the overhead of the application it's running in.

Flash however, generally comes in 3 forms:
1) An Editor (Flash 8, Swish etc)
2) A plugin
3) A standalone application

Standardising a format for such a 3D virtual environment would probably end up in a similar situation, with the majority of people accessing the environment through a browser or device plugin.

It's interesting indeed, but I've found in my experience that when an entity claims to be doing something innovative, they usually aren't- either through ignorance (Nintendo) or arrogance (Sony).

Trevor F. Smith

SignpostMarv: "...it does seem like you're going to end up with a plugin for browsers that uses either hardware of software accelerated 3D graphics. Which means the plugin has to contend with the overhead of the application it's running in."

Yep, it's either going to be hardware or software. I have no intention of releasing a firmware accelerated plugin. ;-)

As far as contending with the browser, I think you might be confusing my project with a game that is aimed at people with high end hardware. Think more along the lines of something that goes online in a couple of years, runs on your basic office laptop, and can run in the background without swapping everything else out to disk. Basically, the exact opposite of the platforms you suggested I use.

SignpostMarv: "I've found in my experience that when an entity claims to be doing something innovative, they usually aren't- either through ignorance (Nintendo) or arrogance (Sony)."

Neither Nintendo nor Sony innovate? I think we must not agree on what that word means.

SignpostMarv Martin

Trevor F. Smith

As far as contending with the browser, I think you might be confusing my project with a game that is aimed at people with high end hardware.

Ummm..... how many shockwave and WildTangent games have you played ?

That tech runs on the most pathetically underpowered hardware I've ever owned- a Celeron 800 Mhz with an old Voodoo 3 card in it.

With procedurally generated content (e.g. loading screens while stuff you *might* see/hear is downloaded and compiled) you could probably get such a thing up and running sooner than a couple of years.

A contemporary basic office laptop is more powerful than the first PC I ever used- a P1 166Mhz CPU with a Cirrus graphics chip- an underpowered 2D GPU with weak barely noticeable 3D acceleration capabilities, yet it still managed to play Half Life @ 640x480 with OpenGL acceleration.

Do note that a contemporary basic office laptop is capable of running most 3D software with a little nudging.

As for the Nintendo/Sony thing, they're examples of companies who, in the past have claimed to have came up with an innovative controller, but have basically glued together forgotten controllers into one, or in the case of Sony, ripped off their competitors' controllers.

The overuse of the term "Innovative" has jaded me to the application of the term.

Getting back to the procedural thing, <over-simplification>you could draft and ratify a spec for the data format, build a basic server, whack it on SourceForge, say "Pretty Please" and see what clients peeps build.</over-simplification>

Trevor F. Smith

SignpostMarv, I'm looking into ways to work in public which I hope will disperse some of the confusion about the project direction. Your over-simplification plan isn't far from where I'm headed, though I don't think I've ever called anyone my peep. ;-)

SignpostMarv Martin

Trevor, I'm known for over-simplifying things quite often :-P

There's a syntactical difference between "peeps" the collective noun and "peep" the singular noun, more so when not applied to an interpersonal relationship (e.g. "my peep").

I was just using it in the informal abbreviation sense, e.g. ppl :-P

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