Monday, June 2, 2008

OpenSim - The basis for the real 3D Internet

Back in 2004 when I just got internet connection at home for the first time, the first thing I did was to trash the internet and download stuff and browse everywhere I could, It was wonderful.

Quickly I got involved in communities and jumped into IRC, I already had some experiences with IRC but with web clients, but didn’t know how that all worked. I got mIRC client and just explored around the big networks.

It was nice to met people with the same interests as mine and stuff, made new friends and interacted with others, and even if it was just text in color it was ok.

After a while, other things got my interest and just left, got now into forums and games. Then a good friend of mine told me about this virtual world called Second Life, in that time (2005) I couldn't log because my pc was to slow for gamming, so I had to wait.

Right after I moved to another city and got a new job, I got a new computer and joined, It was beginning of 2006. It was sure a hole new level of interaction, and spend like the next 4 or 6 months there, got some land, build some stuff and met more people.

And once again, I got bored and left. I logged after a few times but just that after sculptie prims where introduced in the game. It wasn’t till recently that the platform got my attention, since big companies like IBM and Sun are very interested on SL technology and they are building stuff in it.

So I came back and started researching on this, and looking it more now as a business opportunity than a game.

It was so funny the way on how I discovered all this Open Source technologies hehehe, I was browsing on youtube and looking for videos on Second Life, when one caught my attention. The video is called "Hitler Explains Second Life" , I have seen that short from the movie, but it seems that like the angry german kid, it has a lot of versions. Here is the video

I lolled so much at this for a moment, and after I whipped my tears, I realiced something interesting, "sooooo... they have reverse engineer the server code, and its now available as open source, and also the SL client was released as Open Source too".

I looked at the internet but found nothing in that moment, so I gave up for now, and continued in SL building stuff also started to work on Blender to make sculpties. I though, "Meh in this early stages, probably the code is very unstable and only super geeks could run"

I don't quite remember where I got the info later, but I found out the name of that server was OpenSim(link), and it was still in alpha stages. Even so I looked it in youtube to see if I could find anything, then.. I was just amazed.. the project has only about year and half, and you can already do a lot of stuff like the real SL sever(link)(link), and even better, the server could run on Linux (just a side note, currently Linden Lab runs all their sims on windblows).

I decided to investigate more, and the more I did, the more excited I got, for a few seconds, I could visualize what this could become, and was blown away by many ideas.

A new level of interaction, and I will dare to call it, the replacement of IRC and the basis for the 3D intenet.

Ok ok, before you jump on me and say "That has a long time now and started with stuff like VRML and other 3D chat portals where you could chat with others with and avatar etc,etc".

Yes, but think that there wasn't any solid platform to build a real distributed metaverse, at this stage anyone could put a little server on his home computer like open canvas, and let others join and do stuff. You can even connect your land to another server and make a grip or sims like Second Life has at the moment.

Currently, there are some public grids you can connect to using your normal SL client like OSGrid or OpenLife for example.

I saw a video on you tube, that they are tools so you can export all of your stuff on SL and import it to your server, I haven't tried that yet.

Almost forgot, like I said earlier, big companies like Sun and IBM have their eyes on this kind of technology at the moment.

IBM has like 32 sims I think inworld and has people working on content and developing ways for distributed teams work together more closely and stuff. I also heard that its hosting his own private sims, and experiemting with contect, I will be not surprised if they start using OpenSim, and even release their own version, like they did with IHS (IBM flavored Apache)

Sun has just realeased an opensource platform for developing 3D content, from games to metaverses. The project is called DarkStar I saw I video on youtube about this technology, and it seems quite awesome, before that I always thought that Java was slow and stuff, but looking at those demo games I was just wow.

Sun made another developing platform called Wonderland, build over DarkStar, and specially made to build virtual worlds like SL, they already have their own prototype for virtual world called MPK20 which is used for business purposes, where people can interact and voicechat in realtime, also they can control their desktop app thru the virtual world, make phone calls etc.

Well in short, stuff is changing really fast, we sometimes get so used to it that we don't even notice it anymore, we go to sleep one night and something has changed the next day, t looking back from 1995 to now, I notice a lot of important changes here, in only a little more than a decade....hell XD

Whoa, this is going to be a big journal hehehe, just before I finish, I recently discovered that there’s another flavor or OpenSim out there called realxtend(, that it looks better than the original and has its own client, I seen a demo video(link)(link) and yeah, looks quite impressive, something that attracted my attention, is the non humanoid avatarts, you can really build custome avs here and not just put a layer of prims and sculpties over you av to make it look different.

I might install that server later and test it, but for now, I will stick to OpenSim, anyway, the realXtend team is now working with the OpenSim team to try and make a standar so in the future sure will be compatible, I already could connect to normal SeconLife with their client.

Well, that's all I have to say for now, In my next post I will explain all the stuff I had to go thru to make one of those servers work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You stated above that Linden Labs runs their grid on Winblows and I'd like to know where you got this information cuz it's completely wrong. LL has always run the grid on Linux. See the article from 2007 below: