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Monday, June 01, 2009


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callie cline

that is VERY exciting!!! way to go christa and ty hamlet for sharing this!

ppl said it would be done "one day" and i'm so excited this lady did it!!!

it's just exciting to see how women can also do a lot in all these virtual worlds! hehe.


oh btw, thank you for writing this piece in such a way that a girl with NO technical knowledge could understand it!


Andrew Hughes

Great Work!

It's one step closer to a seamless 3D environment. I am glad to hear you got this to work. Keep up the hard work over there guys!

Maria Korolov

Here on OpenSim we've been happily using hypergrid teleports for a few weeks now. For example, I recently took my avatar shopping at OSGrid (picked up a free hot tub) and brought it back to my standalone grid, and installed it there. Assets transfer fine, including clothing and hair and inventory. I still have the same rights to them as I did on my home grid -- I can't give something that's marked "no transfer" or copy something that's marked "no copy."

If I make a backup (by saving an OAR) file I will have a copy of all the assets that are on that region. for the purposes of restoring them later if something happens. If I distribute that OAR to other grid owners for them to load up on their grids, I will be violating the IP rights of the producers of my assets -- same as if I made a backup of a computer program and then distributed it.

I'm not saying that people can't do it, and people won't do it, but stealing something won't be an obvious option.

So we already have cross-dimensional shopping. :-) Currency is still an issue -- it would make more sense to keep currency in an on-grid account, rather than with your avatar. For example, if you go to a website that gives you credits, those credits aren't stored in a cookie, but in a secure database owned by the website. That way, when you go from one website to another, the money doesn't go with you -- it stays where it's safe.

Or they use PayPal or Google Checkout, which you can use on OpenSim as well.

-- Maria

Ann Otoole

Why hasn't any of this been mentioned in the Open Grid protocol mailing list? Is the effort that fragmented and falling apart now?

Zonja Capalini

Thanks for making this available to a wider audience! :-) Some videos about hypergrid teleport: http://www.flickr.com/photos/zonja/3167562909/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/zonja/3261863034/.

Arcadia Codesmith

Props to Linden Labs for giving the metaverse a jump start. Now kick back and enjoy your impending transition into a historical footnote as you continue to drop the ball, and other players pick it up and run with it.

Viorel Daviau

Actually, I disagree with keeping personal data per-grid. I'm actually shocked no one is picking up on how this could be set up.

Second Life has already established itself well, albiet a bit buggy at times, but the back end has been set and operable for some time now.

With that said, is it possible for alt grids to tie in to LL's assets/etc via encrypted means from grid to grid, basically using LL's back-end as a HUB. This model has been used for a very long time now at Voodoo Chat...


I can tell you right now LL wouldn't mind greatly reducing their land footprint, but in order to do that and remain profitable they either have to have a per region sim connect fee (which most wouldn't do I suspect) or fees were per avatar. That's 80-90% less headache (both rack space + nagging players) for them (not to mention less staff required).

I've said this for years now that LL should limit assets per free account, giving an incentive for people to pay for a premium account. It would have been a perfect set-up to lay the road as a HUB.

I guess they want to be their own entity completely. Wait until a reputable company acts as a HUB between all these OS grids and you'll see SL die a slow painful death.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Mmh Hypergrid is hardly "news"; as back as November, Darren Williams gave me a hint by posting a comment on my blog: "From the OpenSim side of things a team at UCI has created an alternative called hypergrid which took around three weeks to do." I immediately upgraded my company's OpenSim-based mini-grid to support Hypergrid and happily teleported across a few OpenSim grids — flawlessly, with most of my inventory intact. It was way cool.

Not much time after that, a lot of people gathered together with Linden Lab's employees and discussed Hypergrid vs. Open Grid Protocol, LL's own grid interconnection protocol, well before the standardisation efforts were announced. The reasoning was simple: OGP had been "under development" for almost a year back then, and all it managed to do is to get a cloudie to jump from a special area of a bit of the Preview Grid, with a special viewer, to other OGP-enabled grids — no inventory could be brought by you or locally acquired on the grid you teleported to. You were nothing more than a "visitor" (and an ugly visitor at that!) and could not interact with content on foreign grids. The question that was answered was "why could a team of people do in three works what LL's developers couldn't in a year?"

When the standardisation efforts began, LL, the residents, and a lot of people joining the Task Force, continued to discuss things around OGP (while on the OpenSim side of it, everybody was happily jumping across Hypergrid-connected OpenSim grids — sometimes with a regular client, sometimes with SL clients more similar to what the newly announced Grider can do now). Obviously the question of "why not use Hypergrid as the basis of the standardisation protocol, since it does now what the IETF on grid interconnection will only standardise in late 2010, not to mention implement?"

The question is simple to answer: Hypergrid does not worry about either inter-grid authentication and authorisation (ie. making sure you connect only to grids that you can trust on), or copy protection (whatever happens to inventory you drop locally is up to the grid's owner). The new MMOX protocol is dealing first and foremost on establishing inter-grid trust, much more than anything else.

Note that, like Maria Korolov reported, this doesn't mean that Hypergrid enhances content theft :) Properly configured Hypergrid-enabled OS grids will respect content intellectual property rights neatly and efficiently. The problem is that from the perspective of the casual user, it's not obvious if the origin grid and the destination grid are what they claim to be, or if they're lying about the strict adherence to the permissions model. You simply cannot know before it's too late.

So, Ann, rest assured that everybody at the MMOX task force not only knows about Hypergrid very well, but that they are quite aware of its dramatic possibilities right now.

Also, the task force is not "invite-only" but free to join, so it's completely up to Christina to join the task force too — it's just an email away :) Also, Linden Lab and IBM do not "own" the task force at all, it's not even lead by them, although certainly they (as well as Intel, Forterra, and a large group of SL residents) are the most active participants and producers of specification drafts. But I guess that Christina knows what she's doing: she has a working solution now, one that is built-in on all current OpenSim-based grids (people just need to flip a switch to activate it :) ), and one that can be expanded quite nicely (the protocol is very well designed and simple to understand). And she and other Hypergrid developers have a head start on MMOX for over 18 months (at least). Think what can be accomplished in those 18 months when you start from a currently working protocol, instead of just jotted notes on Wikis and pieces of paper :)

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Viorel, if you have 15 million registered users, a decade-old reputation (yay, Linden Lab is 10 years old!), 2.2 billion content assets, and 250 terabytes of data, you don't die "a slow painful death", unless you're measuring time in a decade :)

Still, that doesn't mean that LL won't see some attrition, specially on the most important kind of users it has: not the casual visitors, or the ones leaving after 15 minutes spent on orientation areas; but the ones energically creating content and leasing sims. Those are, in fact, the ones more prone to switch over to a fully interconnected Hypergrid-based Metaverse, specially if that Metaverse slowly starts to emulate all functionality that Second Life currently has.

How can LL prevent that? Well, current OS grids are created by individuals or start-ups with 2-3 techies with lots of energy and the will to make some money out of sim hosting. It's still the first wave of maverick usage. The first companies (like 3Di Inc. or SpotOn3D) are slowly making a debut on OpenSim and sell corporate-grade solutions on top of it. But it's a very slow start. Specially because what drives most people to OpenSim (fortunately, not all) is... anger with Linden Lab. Anger because people have been banned; or the ToS has changed hurting their sales; or their freedom has been revoked; or, well, technical limitations that make no sense outside LL's twisted mind. Anger is a compelling, driving force, but it doesn't last forever really. Given enough time, anger will fade — and LL will fix things, change their ToS, and so on — and then many people actually realise they have no reason for being in OpenSim :)

This will all change when intergrid communication with Second Life is established: then you truly will be on an OpenSim-based grid by choice, not because you're angry with SL.

Oh, of course, a lot of projects "migrated" to OpenSim because in some cases you can replace money (paying for tier) by labour (say, if your company or university pays for your time), the painful labour of keeping an OpenSim-based grid up all the time. Trading off time/labour for money is quite acceptable for many projects. For instance, typically, universities might not have a budget for paying for tier for a hundred sims, but they might be able to allocate students to run their grids — so, of course, OpenSim is very attractive to universities. The same applies to machinima productions: you can have vast scenarios for little cost (except for labour), shoot your pictures, then save your content (yes, OpenSim freely allows you to make backups!) and go towards the next project — without paying a cent to Linden Lab for doing the machinima. And, of course, you can freely mix ages when you're doing teaching classes without fear :)

But for any serious project that requires an audience to succeed, SL's own grid is still a long time ahead of OpenSim-based grids... even all of them put together. This will only change when both SL and OS are integrated in the same Metaverse... which will not happen before the end of 2010.

Arcadian Vanalten

"Viorel, if you have 15 million registered users, a decade-old reputation (yay, Linden Lab is 10 years old!), 2.2 billion content assets, and 250 terabytes of data, you don't die "a slow painful death", unless you're measuring time in a decade :)"

No, Gwyneth, sometimes it's a faster death. No one is bullet-proof, and history is littered with Goliaths that fell when they believed they no longer had to pay attention (see GM, Lehman Bros, etc. if you require further examples of big kids on the block who fell on their faces)

It's not just about anger. It's about whether SL accurately understands its customers needs and successfully meets said needs in some way. Increasingly, it's not meeting my entertainment and socialization needs nearly as well as other MMORPG's and social network sites, but it DOES offer a nice platform for creativity exercises. Sort of. In between the increasingly frequent asset server crashes, screwups, and snafus.

I have some great friends here, but even in that regard, I find I'm spending more and more time with them in other online venues. OS is one of those other worlds (and really, it's not any worse than SL was when I first started, and seems to be improving at a faster pace), but it's not the only one, either.

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