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Friday, April 13, 2012


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shockwave yareach

So TPV people release "Thunderchicken" for SL, and a seperate version of the same code called "Thunderbird" for Opensim stuff. The Thunderbird won't have connectivity to the SL servers and will, in fact, refuse to connect to Login.secondlife.com.

Problem temporarily solved.

Now, if the Opensim folks are using Havok without a proper license, then that leaves them open to being shut down by the company behind Havok. So even though a dual-path solution to code can make this a nonissue to anyone who creates TPVs, it doesn't fix the license issue for the TPV or the simulator folks -- merely hides it from LL's eyes.

Might be time for TPVs to have a switch in the code where Havok is loaded when you go to SL and another library is used when you go to Opensim. You pick your destination, and that selects which of the physics systems you'll run. Challenging, but doable.

Nathan Adored

But shockwave, what happens in cases where a given opensim grid licenses for the use of Havok on their grid. That code that says "I'll only use this if I'm on SL" will prevent the user from taking advantage of it even when a given opensim grid DOES have legitimate Havok physics.

Katharine Berry

I'm going to repeat what I said about this earlier:

It seems somewhat unfair to claim that developers who previously never had access to features now having access to features only under certain circumstances is particularly limiting.

Beyond that I question how much of this restriction is actually Linden Lab's doing – this isn't their software to give away in the first place. If I were in that position I might be hesitant to allow another company to allow any developer they happen to like to use my software to develop anything connected to anything – which is what it would be, given that the inherent flexibility of OpenSim and a viewer that can, at that point, become more or less anything.

I assume the response from viewer developers that actually care for both OpenSim and Second Life will be to build a version with the functionality intact with the loginuri parameter disabled and a version with it stubbed out as it is today. Presumably the differentiation would be triggered by a single compile-time flag.

In general, it doesn't seem that hard to deal with. Certainly easier than reimplementing Havok, which was the approach up to this point.


In response to the point about grids that have Havok physics – that's almost irrelevant. If the viewer wants to have client side Havok for mesh hull generation, pathfinding, and so forth the developers can get their own Havok license. Or the grid operator can work out their own sub licensing scheme. (finally: do any such grids actually exist?)

I just don't see what's inherently unfair or unreasonable about this.

Nalates Urriah

Seems all the Lindens are saying they can't say right now. I take this to mean the Lindens have not decided; legal has not told them, or Havok has not decided and they and the Lab are still working on the issue.

Some Lindens are following the discussion over on SLUniverse. Don't expect any Linden comments unless Rod decides to say something.

Expect this to get hashed out in the TPV Dev group, a closed group. I expect the objections and questions to be in Oz Linden's face at that meeting. He'll have to take those to the management and later come back with something to say.

Until that process completes all this is speculation.

Nathan Adored

Well, another way that might help solve this issue might be if Havok could be persuaded to do what the makers of the voice chat system on SL did: They make it really easy and cheap, or even free, for every small opensim grid that wants to to license Havok for themselves. It would give the makers of Havok one advantage: having all of the opensim world using Havok engine instead of some rival's engine would prevent any rivals to Havok coming along and taking over that market from them. I get the impression that's why Vivox recently started licensing all opensim grids that want it the opportunity to use the same voice chat system that SL uses. Havok could then make an arrangement where a grid could license it for free, but without technical any support, but if a given grid DOES want technical support, provide a small monthly or yearly fee for it. If the price is reasonable, Havok gain a lot more PAYING customers for their physics engine, and they prevent other companies potentially offering a physics engine to VR worlds from getting a toehold into a growing world full of opensim grids. And at the same time, LL continue having the advantage that the TPV devs are helping to build a better viewer for SL AND opensim. But if things go in the direction where the viewer-makers now have to either split into two versions of each viewer (one for SL, one for opensim) then they'll have MADE a split happen that causes there to be a completely different viewer paradigm for opensim vs the one for SL down the road, and may well actually MAKE opensim stop being as similar to how SL does things under the hood, freeing opensim up to evolve off in a completely different direction, technologically.... which may actually come back to bite SL because it would also result in those opensim viewers ditching all the flawed parts of the mechanism that they're now stuck with because they still have to work with SL TOO. This might actually cause opensim to improve better and faster, simply because they'll also have ditched the bad baggage under the hood, and can now focus on doing some of those things in a BETTER and DIFFERENT way more easily.

tito devinna

Maybe i am missing the point here and i am sure i am but, i checked this companies site out and while very impressive, my question is, is there a pressing need for things to fall or be knocked over or punched in a world were the only organic controls are step forward step back step to the right and step to the left.It seems rather like they are trying to hook a rocket engine onto a square dance.

Nathan Adored

The physics stuff is used for things like vehicles (both groundcars and flying cars), falling objects, and whatnot. And while it may not be *obvious* that avatars use it (since merely walking around seems simple enough to the user), they DO use it when avatar intersects object. Say, when you walk up the side of a complex build or a large, unusually shaped mesh structure, or the av falls out of the sky and bumps into other objects on the way down.

JayR Cela

This is nothing to get worked up about, let's face it, LL own's the product.

If you want to write a TPV, just don't include SecondLife as a log in option. I covered this day's ago on my blog.


for instance if you want to login with the Catznip viewer : piece of cake.

C:\Program files\Catznip\Catznip.exe --loginuri http://login.osgrid.org/ --loginpage http://www.osgrid.org/splash/

JayR Cela


Tito Devinna, you may not have been around before the Havok engine was implemented in SL. I can remember clearly, whenever you would run up or down an incline, there was a good chance your avatar would go flying 30m. This made combat quite...interesting. Last year I tried out another grid, and just walking 5m had me tripping and falling. Believe me, Havok is much better.

Arcadia Codesmith

Panel says: this isn't an absolute prohibition on cross-world browser development, just cross-world browser development that incorporates Havok.

And if Havok doesen't want to play ball, it's also an excellent opportunity for open-source developers to render it irrelevant.

Graham Mills

If the Lab plays hardball and insists that OpenSim-specific add-ins like grid managers are removed, it's not just Havok. Sure you can have a launcher or use loginuri but neither exactly adds much to the "first-hour experience". Presumably the Lab's viewer will not continue to be OpenSim-compatible.

Whether the majority of TPV devs will think the OpenSim user stats merit the extra hassle remains to be seen. I wonder whether OpenSim-compatible versions will feature in the LL-hosted TPV list. Somehow I think not.

Pussycat Catnap

This is likely a requirement from Havok, not LLs. but it is also not something LLs should care about.

Why should the makers of the game client for World of Warcraft be concerned about allowing addons for their game to be allowed for use in Star Wars?
- It essentially comes down to that. Open Sim is not SL, its not a LLs product. Why should LLs support it? Let Open Sim people do their own negotiations with Havok, and find their own programmers to make game clients for their game.

And the requirements for how LLs uses the license it got from Havok - almost certainly terms set by Havok, not LLs. While LLs might not care what people do with its game client outside of SL, Havok has -no interest- giving away the barn for free to anyone who drives by.

foneco zuzu

So far i dont know about any then Sl that use A physic engine so realistic as Havoc.
That is, for me at least, the stronger point that makes me go to Sl still!
That i can race or drive my bikes, try to cross sims whith them (I say try cause crossing sims seems to be more and more atrocious, every day).
It also means a lot of Bikers communities as well as some cars ones!
Also means that Open sim really is a step behind in a feature.
As for the rest, the more i use OSG the more i feel is closing and closing the gap and even be in front in several features already, use of mesh, Npc, windlight and so on!
I have no doubt that sooner other commercial grids will have physics and as Kitely is slowly drowing more and more users from Sl, i fear that Linden Lab finally realized that has competition.
And remember V1 code is Full open license, and its the only 1 on that condition, so sooner (June is my personal guess) SL wil be only allowing V4, end of tpv, end of development to competition!

foneco zuzu

Fear Kitely, Inworldz, Avination and more commercial grids, fear the non profit grids like OSG, fear states that are using Open sim tech (Scotland linking thousands os students via open sims tech, USa states schools moving to use it as well and more!)
And fear if you forget that 99pct of yours users are adult and are not afraid of being on a adult World!
But most, fear incompetence, Yours!

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