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An Intro To OpenSim, the Apache of Virtual Worlds 87

ajohnj1 writes with an excerpt from Ostatic: "You've probably read a bit about OpenSim, the BSD-licensed virtual world server, and recent news that IBM and Linden Lab are working to make Second Life and Open Sim interoperable. Besides that project, what's Open Sim about, who's working on it, what are they doing with it, and how do you get involved as a developer and participant? Here's a starter's guide."
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An Intro To OpenSim, the Apache of Virtual Worlds

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  • by vrmlguy ( 120854 ) <samwyse&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @12:03PM (#24659747) Homepage Journal

    They said that about VRML replacing HTML, but readers didn't prefer a 3D room over a 2D page.

    I think that this was because they were trying to run before they even learned to crawl. I mean they tried to get VRML going back in the mid 90s when most people still didn't know what the Internet was. They needed something simpler to introduce people too. Maybe now VRML would do better if it had some momentum behind it, but it doesn't, and now this is here so tough luck.

    Speaking as someone who was there ( []), VRML was indirectly crashed by Microsoft. MS was pushing something, maybe Direct3D, as *the* 3-D technology for the next millennium. In response, SGI started opening up every piece of IP they had, apparently on the theory that a small part of a open-sourced world was better than no part of an MS-controlled one. VRML was written and implemented in no time at all, and yeah, there's a few bugs that got included. As it turned out, the Internet didn't have the supporting infrastructure, so the project wound up being irrelevant, but not before costing SGI a bundle of money.

    Looking back, the SGI's effort reminds me a bit of MS's effort wrt OOXML. In each case there was an existing product that was getting a shiny new file format, so any suggested changes to that format, no matter how good, had to be squashed. In the end, the whole mess collapsed under its own weight.

    One big difference, though: OOXML had to support decades of backward compatibility. SGI had written their code well, so VRML has a much better base to build from.

    I'd like to see VRML get resurrected someday. I remember using it to handcode a bunch of 3-D animations using vi.

  • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2008 @12:18PM (#24659991) Homepage Journal

    Opensim allows use of either a basic physics engine or OpenDynamicsEngine which has COD 4 on its list

    Which, I have used and is entirely rubbish, it doesn't even reach the crap physics of regular Second life.

    It supports LSL, OSL, and c# for scripting with a few limitations

    It isn't just a few limitations. All my previously written scripts do not work what-so-ever on Opensim because so many functions are not implemented correctly or not implemented at all. Anything I was interested in, in regular Second life is currently not possible on OpenSim. llhttprequest for example doesn't even send all the headers that it's supposed to. Yet it's claimed to be fully implemented.

    Stop trying to spin it, I have used OpenSim and I have determined it is worthless for my uses entirely.

    I'm not saying that opensim is anywhere close to Second Life's level as a finished product, but I would hardly call it useless, especially since it is impossible to run a Second Life server of your own.

    You can "rent" a full featured simulator however from Linden lab.

The road to hell is paved with NAND gates. -- J. Gooding