Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Today, for the second time in as many weeks, Second Life became unavailable for the same reasons that 3rd party large-scale server-based architectures should not be relied on to support mission-critical virtual worlds in any serious way. The outage happened, once again, just at the time that Aaron Walsh of the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative was trying to host a Second Life in-world meeting. Here is what Linden Lab had to say: Logins have temporarily been restricted to staff-only as Operations addresses a slowdown in the asset system. We’ve also broadcast a request in world for residents who are currently logged in to refrain from manipulating or transferring assets. We’ll have more info ASAP. Obviously, this company is in real trouble given the frequency of these problems in a system that so many have come to rely on....
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
A video of additional features being added to the freeCAD port to Croquet. This work is being done by Aik-Siong Koh and his students at Malaysia's Multimedia University. A tree view menu (to the left of the screen) presents a list of all the objects in the space and a specialized tool bar (to the right of the screen) allows objects to be scaled and rotated. Once the code for these features is cleaned up a bit more in the next weeks, it will be incorporated into Cobalt as enhanced functionality.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Aik-Siong Koh and other Malaysian programmers are developing an in-world 3D modeling tool for Croquet. As a first step, they are porting freeCAD into Croquet. freeCAD is a basic 3D CAD with advanced motion simulation capabilities. freeCAD was developed as a tool for teaching and learning geometry, kinematics, dynamics, vibrations, mechanisms, linkages, cams, machine design and physics. It offers users the ability to create and manipulate assemblies of simple 3D solids that can be connected by joints, constraints, contacts, motors, actuators, springs, dampers, forces, torques or gravity.
Since freeCAD is written in VisualWorks Smalltalk and OpenGL, Aik-Siong considered it to be a logical choice for developing a native CAD for Croquet. His first step is to duplicate all the capabilities of freeCAD inside Croquet. Following that, he and his team plan to develop a GUI to take advantage of the solid modeling and NURBS capabilities inside freeCAD. Ultimately, Aik-Siong and his colleagues hope that their port can enable the default in-world content creation tool for Croquet.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Today, Second Life became unavailable for the same reasons that 3rd party large-scale server-based architectures should not be relied on to support mission-critical virtual worlds in any serious way. The outage happened just at the time that Aaron Walsh of the Media Grid Immersive Education Initiative was hosting a Second Life in-world meeting to discuss the status of Media Grid's Immersive Education Platform Ecosystem, Education Grid, and the baseline requirements for the next generation (aka "3rd generation") of Immersive Education platforms. On the schedule was a discussion of the Cobalt peer-to-peer approach to platform scalability. Ironically, we were unable to discuss scalable peer-to-peer architectures today because of the lack of scalability of Second Life.
Here is what Linden Lab had to say about the outage: "In order to increase overall stability of the grid today during peak usage hours, our operations team has disabled a set of in world functions to reduce overall database load and create a more reliable experience for everyone. As a side effect of these temporary changes, some group and avatar profile services will not be available." Perhaps a more reliable experience for someone - but certainly not us. Its a shame that a modest thirty or so people who were trying to get together in world for a scheduled event were unable to do so because of who-knows-what was happening somewhere else in Second Life. Why shouldn't a mere thirty people be able to just get together without having to rely on the vagaries or expense of some commercial server infrastructure or service? Why should everyone be tied to a single bottleneck infrastructure? I guess the answer is that we need to step up our efforts to bring Cobalt to beta!