Thursday, March 17, 2022

Closing at Crista's

             For the second part of our final Safari of the season, we decided to "fechar com a flor" and so the Safari group came to UCI Mondego to meet up with a true Diva, Opensim's own Diva Canto, aka Crista Lopes. These occasions always produce a lot of questions and interesting answers, and on this occasion, Crista was quick to get in the first question, where were we all from?

            The answers varied from the East Coast, New England, and Canada, to Texas and Arizona, to Scotland, Ireland, England and France, Germany, Sweden, and Italy.  And that was just some of us who were willing to speak up.
Crista Lopes
          Crista, as you may know, is originally from Portugal and she joined us from there, during a break from her usual duties at the University of California,  Irvine.  
          The idea was to talk about the State of OpenSim, and we opened with a strong positive vibe.
Ferd Frederix: Opensim has become very stable. Runs for many weeks at a time Stays up longer then Windows Updates allow.
Crista Lopes: I know. I've had this sim up for months
Thirza Ember: what do you make of all the recent buzz around the Metaverse, Crista?
Crista Lopes: Thirza, I'm not sure what to think about it, I see a lot of unreasonable hype, especially around currencies.  It seems like a lot of scammers
Ferd Frederix: 100 million dollars being tossed around
stiofain mactomais: i read 10 billion investment so far from fbook or metaberg or whatever is called now
Lucy Afarensis: For avatar with no legs ?
Ferd Frederix: Spinoffs are helping me. We are designed a 3D head-worn microscope for surgery using VR tech at work.
Ai.Austin: Legs and seats cost another $10billion
Nara Nook: maybe they don't have budget for the other half

Thirza Ember: over the past 10 weeks, going around, we have seen a lot of community spirit in lots of grids, expressed in many ways. I think that's the true future of virtual. Not so much the gadgets.
stiofain mactomais: oculus def has the wow factor first time using but after that content is a bit crap
Ferd Frederix: Ubit just added SSL/TLS to opensim so we can SMTP again.
Thirza Ember: grids come and go but the people are the same often
Nebby Newman: it's sad when grids go suddenly
Ferd Frederix: DreamGrid started in 2011 as DreamWorld.  It was a DVD for a charity.  A horse and a Linda Kellie western town.
Thirza Ember: do you think we can ever hope to have really stable HG communication, Crista? Is that possible? I mean IMs and Friendships, things like that
 Crista Lopes: Thirza it is possible, but the project really needs more developers
Ai Austin: Hypergrid is working pretty well when so many of us from different grid can get together.
Crista Lopes: I have been stretched thin over the past 5 years. I haven't had time for OpenSim, at least not as much as I would like
Ferd Frederix: Opensim should work now with almost any SMTP server. I hope it works with Divas (Cristas) GUI, too.
          Our conversation was pretty varied, straying into AOL and Sahara sandstorms, you kinda had to be there, but one topic came to the fore pretty soon - the Viewer issue. Viewers being too heavy on your computer, too complicated, to intimidating to new people, and generally Not Right. Some years back Crista told us of a project she was working on, called OnLook Viewer

stiofain mactomais : crista is the viewer still being developed? sorry cant remember name atm
Ferd Frederix: Yes, I loved the simplified viewer.
Crista Lopes: I so much wish I could do this full time..
Thirza Ember: Us too, crista, we know you have RL but we appreciate your continued interest
Nara Nook: We do :)
stiofain.mactomais: i think main prob is the learning curve for viewer is so steep
Crista Lopes: yeah, the viewer is the major block, in my opinion.
Nara Nook: we have been using a hybrid of Opensim with WebGL regions because viewers are so hard for newbies
Ferd Frederix: OpenGL is the issue.  We are still at a very old version. There is the simplified viewer Crista did.  And there is a simplified Alchemy based viewer now.
Joe.Builder: according to Ubit the viewer is holding him back
Mal.Burns: i quite like firestorm and its bloat, but it is useless if i want to introduce somebody to a grid - need simpler interface version... fs is for pro-users only
Nara Nook: nothing is as simple as a web browser, everyone knows how to use it
stiofain.mactomais: they are not just hard nara are impossible, I've lost count of mac users that need talked thru getting past the " risky software " do not install
Ferd Frederix: Project Scengate is simple.
Crista Lopes: does Scenegate work well  on opensim?
Ferd Frederix: Yes, its Alchemy 
Crista Lopes: I'll have to try it one of these days
Ferd Frederix: Its not as programmable as yours. I supported your viewer in  Dreamworld for several years. I believe the core of it is still in DreamGrid.
Crista Lopes: OnLook?
Ferd Frederix: Yes
Crista Lopes: :-) that was a just a protoype! I didn't know someone used it!
Ferd Frederix: about 5 years ago.  I switched to a grid. I have also tried to contact you to purchase a license your other modules for Diva. here were hundreds of people who got it when they downloaded DreamWorld, the standalone version.
 Crista Lopes: as far as I know none of us went farther with any viewer experiments. The thing is that it's a huge project, and none of us has the time to do it without pay.

Ferd Frederix: Do you have any plans to update the Diva distro again to core?   There are a very few small changes I have made to it
Ai Austin: Crista, the changes you made in mid December 2021 make it work fine with dev core. Except that if you want to use runprebuild48 (,net4.8) those prebuilds need changing too... Ferd.. after, I will tell you the two files that changes
Ferd Frederix: Thanks, AI, that's good to know. I need to update all the Dreamgrids to core again. We are about 6 months behind.
Crista Lopes: Ferd, I am waiting for a breather to do another Diva distro. Things keep piling up... Maybe in April.
Ferd Frederix: Opensim has been a very good engine.   Your work has been incredible.  I have made only a few minor tweaks and we have essentially Kitely, for free.
Falls Road 3D project

stiofain mactomais: we are working on a project using 3dvista to view an OS build on phones tablets etc  but the workflow is a nightmare

Thirza Ember: LOL what can we do to make your life easier Diva? I can wash your dishes, walk the dog, I make good pizza...
Crista Lopes: Nothing really. Real life got in the way, and I suspect it won't change until I retire. Which is not that far away
Thirza Ember: they let you retire at 21?
Crista Lopes: lol
Thirza Ember: I'm curious, how many people here have their own grid now, or have in the past
Lucy Afarensis: Me
Kelso Uxlay : Me
Nara Nook: I have my own
Joe Builder: I have 2
Ard.Rhys: Yes
Ai Austin: I have a Uni grid (Openvue), a personal experimental grid (AiLand), a Dreamgrid and addon OSGrid regions
stiofain mactomais: me but prefer the osgrid backup
Frank Gresham: I run a couple osgrid regions and have my own copy of a diva distribution standalone.
Nebby Newman: I have a beginner's one, DreamGrid

Ferd Frederix: about 4,000 of them, Diva.
Crista Lopes: 4000?!?
Ferd Frederix: yes
Frank Gresham: We saw all his servers on our last HG Safari region visit, on Silent Refueling
Nebby Newman: Ferd, pushing the package to see where the breaking point is?
Crista Lopes: you have 4000 different grids?!?
Ai Austin: Fred means that DreamGrid is used by 4000 others. DreamGrid is wonderful for home setups with the Dynamic DNS setup where IPs change. Works a treat. All (or most) will be Hypergrid enabled
Ferd Frederix: yes
Thirza.Ember: and everyone on those grids has legs. some of them more than 2
Nara.Nook: Yeah you are not half a person in Opensim
Crista Lopes: wow. I love this indie nature of opensim
Ai.Austin: Pity the SL to OpenSim link up never continued otherwise the metaverse interoperability things would be a bit more worked out for asset transfer, IP issues, currency, etc.
Joe Builder: no money in it, Ai
          Another question asked around the group was in reference to how long people had been in Opensim. Answers varied, from as long ago as 2008 all the way up to 2012 - the majority of us seemed to have spent a few years primarily in SL, and then found OpenSim, one way or another, where we have been hanging out for more than a decade.
Frank.Gresham: I feel like a newbie in this company
Ferd and his Book o' Stuff
Thirza Ember: so this is a long term adventure, despite the glitches and the setbacks. I just want Crista to realize how many people she has benefitted, and over how many years
Nebby Newman: many, Crista!
Ai.Austin: Indeed, and HG for me is the key
Crista Lopes: thank you all, that's really good to know. You know, I may need your collective help
Kelso Uxlay: How can we help?
Crista Lopes: There's a National Science Foundation program for supporting open source projects that benefit s large community. I honestly don't know how many people benefit  from OpenSim. Is there a way of collecting testimonials?
Ferd Frederix: We can collect that. I can IM about 600 people in just one group, and have over 1000 users.
Crista Lopes: Ferd, that would be amazing!
Ai Austin: A one stage Jessica Lyon of Firestorm did a blog post with a ludicrously low guess as to how many used FS for OpenSim.  One educator said they had 10K users on it :-)  A thousand time what she guessed!
Mal Burns: the "hidden" open sim is large - non-HG grids
Kelso Uxlay: Years ago there were thousands of SimonStick standalones
Ferd Frederix: I have been able to locate 505 "Regular" grids in about 3 years. Most updates come from visitor logs, Maria and I at HG Business run web crawler and seek out grids. I know when a grid is online and not accessible.  Most of them are not.  Dreamgrid reports anonymous stats. A web crawler confirms them and also crawls the 'known space' of the 'regular grids.
Crista Lopes: If you all could help me gather information about how opensim is being used, how many people are actually using it, what value they see in it, etc, that is ammunition for me to grab an opportunity that may come my way. Maybe this NSF program, maybe something else
Thirza.Ember: definitely something we can do - personal, genuine stories you mean?
Crista Lopes: Thirza, a mix of quantitative and qualitative. So numbers are good, but testimonials are also good
The timeless architecture of UCI Mondego
Thirza Ember: So to recap: 1. Better Viewer / Browser for newbies and for Ubit's projects - maybe. 2. Collect testimonials to be used to get funding for OpenSim  DEFINITELY! and 3. Someone helps out washing dishes and generally butlering for Crista so she has more time.
Crista Lopes: I remain excited with the possibility of doing an Unreal (or something similar) viewer for OpenSim. I so much wish I had the time to do it!
Ai.Austin: PLEASE go for Unity rather than Unreal :-) I don't want to learn yet another platform, and have lots of assets taken into Unity from OpenSim (we have an OAR converter)
Nara Nook: I second Unity - it is so much easier for lower skilled users
Lucy Afarensis: I think that the sansar engine is superior to both
stiofain.mactomais: if u sit down beside ppl and talk them thru installing viewer and show basics u get a wow reaction but sending links to ppl expecting them to be able to access just doesn't work
Crista Lopes: Any viewer for opensim needs to be able to understand prims. We're not gonna let go of all this amazing content that already exists
Ai Austin: I have an OMI region in OpenSim on OSGrid
Ferd Frederix: This is another link that's very useful. Direct contact to over 500 grid owners.

 Crista Lopes: I wish I could clone myself to do all the things I enjoy doing! You all can't imagine how much I miss developing stuff. But I have had a lot of RL things going on that have kept me very busy for the past 3 years.
Thirza Ember: Crista, do not let us stress you ! RL comes first but we really are enthusiastic about opensim and see it developing and evolving
Nebby Newman: agreed!
Crista Lopes: thank you all for visiting. It was great catching up with you!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you archive these kinds of conversations. Such great work. And what a fantastic conversation.