tiistai 16. syyskuuta 2008

Once again it's time for the weekly meeting logs. I'm still You and this time we have a guest star from OpenLife Grid.

[3:30] You: should I start
[3:30] Anna Asplund: please do that
[3:30] You: Ok, the official weekly meeting of 160908 is now officially official
[3:30] Sakai OpenLife: :)
[3:31] You: The situation at Admino is pretty simple right now, the code is frozen solid and we're working on testing etc.
[3:31] You: Currently we're busy working on grid mode -related stuff, there's quite a bit of fixing in it
[3:32] You: We're also doing some architecture stuff so that we have good tasks for the next sprint
[3:32] You: We're also doing some architecture stuff so that we have good tasks for the next sprint
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: would be nice to get short tutorials to wiki about ye new features
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: or at least descriptions
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: or at least descriptions
[3:32] Sakai OpenLife: such as...
[3:33] You: we'll keep working full speed towards a more functional grid mode at least until tomorrow evening, when we evaluate the situation again
[3:33] You: I can provide you with some documentation pretty soon
[3:33] You: wiki-stuff will be coming sort of soonish also, perhaps
[3:33] Tuomo Korva: see the change log what to document
[3:33] Tuomo Korva: see the change log what to document
[3:33] Anna Asplund: I would like to know if you are testing some lc features also? we would like some feedback maybe?
[3:33] Tuomo Korva: Global inventory for different asset types
[3:34] Tuomo Korva: Global instant messaging between sims
[3:34] Tuomo Korva: etc...
[3:34] Tuomo Korva: etc...
[3:34] Sakai OpenLife: global messaging is that building off teravus's XMPP work?
[3:34] You: but we haven't really dug into Ludo stuff as of yet
[3:34] You: we have our own global IM placeholder right now
[3:34] You: we have our own global IM placeholder right now
[3:35] Sakai OpenLife: kool
[3:35] You: we're looking into building a proper system or hopefully rather picking up one that already exists
[3:35] Sakai OpenLife: it would be good to pick up an existing sys
[3:35] Tuomo Korva: double messages, bug...
[3:36] You: fixing that bug will probably require rewriting a lot of the comms code
[3:36] Sakai OpenLife: there's some good examples in OS -> I can grab you an SVN #
[3:36] You: did Sakai & co already do something about it?
[3:36] Sakai OpenLife: for the commit that fixed double chat
[3:36] You: yeah I remember you mentioning it
[3:38] Mikko Pallari: If I remember correctly, they added acks to chat msgs
[3:38] Sakai OpenLife: yup
[3:38] You: anyway, there's not much more to tell about our current situation
[3:38] Sakai OpenLife: there's a lot unack'd in ur current code
[3:38] You: so Anna, please go ahead and tell us about LudoCraft
[3:38] Anna Asplund: We have been testing all new features at LudoCraft, and doing the documentation to wiki
[3:39] Anna Asplund: Integrating create avatar account feature to realXtend webpages is still on our task list. However we cannot change the appearance of the form.
[3:39] You: anyway, the entire comms stuff is a bit flaky right now and I wouldn't mind a complete rewrite of major portions, it'll just take time
[3:40] Anna Asplund: This create avatar account is something that needs work from your side, if possible?! or how do you suggest we should do it?
[3:40] You: ok, Rock-Andy said he'll be sending you the code for the interface
[3:40] Anna Asplund: That sounds good.
[3:41] Tuomo Korva: so we'll do release candidates on monday morning?
[3:41] You: erm hopefully perhaps maybe
[3:41] Anna Asplund: can you specify?
[3:41] Sakai OpenLife chuckles...
[3:42] You: we should at least aim for rc phase on Monday morning
[3:42] Anna Asplund: Antti, you said you might visit Ludocraft tomorrow?
[3:42] Tuomo Korva: bugfixing and testing unti then
[3:42] You: sure, I wouldn't mind having a chat with you guys
[3:43] You: and tomorrow would probably be the best day to do so
[3:43] Tuomo Korva: only sure-fixes and critical-fixes to SVN
[3:43] Tuomo Korva: no new features
[3:43] Anna Asplund: New features can wait until next sprint
[3:44] Tuomo Korva: we're using the r15 for this release, that is certain now
[3:44] Sakai OpenLife: If Klee was here it might be worth finding out how much further he has gotten
[3:45] Sakai OpenLife: we already have R15.1 stable
[3:45] Sakai OpenLife: and now R16 alpha
[3:45] Tuomo Korva: i think we'll go with r15 for this release
[3:45] Sakai OpenLife: all work after R15.1 ->R16
[3:45] Sakai OpenLife: is RealXtend based work
[3:45] Tuomo Korva: that's what we have been testing
[3:45] You: it would be nice to have Klee and our client coders co-ordinate a bit
[3:45] You: but I assume that's already sort of sorted?
[3:45] Sakai OpenLife: we're trying ... need to get you guys pushed into TRAC
[3:45] Tuomo Korva: which was not that great
[3:45] Tuomo Korva: he put some code to svn after the freeze
[3:45] You: ok
[3:46] Sakai OpenLife: yes
[3:46] Sakai OpenLife: based on feedback from the early 20080828 release you guys made it was very unstable
[3:46] Sakai OpenLife: 50/50 just to get a startup
[3:46] Sakai OpenLife: he's put a lot more work into this issue
[3:47] Tuomo Korva: in our tests r15 seems to be very stable
[3:47] Tuomo Korva: we haven't had random crashes for a long time
[3:47] Sakai OpenLife: the actual viewer running yes stable
[3:47] Sakai OpenLife: but with different hardware out there
[3:47] Sakai OpenLife: it's been very hit and moss to actually get the client to load
[3:48] You: well, in the future we're going to get a pretty broad userbase and thus more configurations etc.
[3:49] You: maybe we should come up with some sort of a bug reporting form so that we get consistent data on the users' systems
[3:49] Sakai OpenLife: yes there were a lot of issues with Ati users
[3:49] Sakai OpenLife: we have in place for the public dev beta testing grid
[3:49] Sakai OpenLife: an issue reporting system
[3:49] You: sounds nice, I'll have to check it out sometime
[3:49] Sakai OpenLife: which we'll then try to marry up with server log / reproduce etc
[3:50] Sakai OpenLife: and input into track
[3:50] Sakai OpenLife: so that TRAC doesn't become a large collection of untested bugs
[3:50] Anna Asplund: That is a good idea to make a simple enough report form or use any available system
[3:50] Sakai OpenLife: yes that's pretty much what we've done
[3:50] Sakai OpenLife: made a simplified report system with search and view others etc
[3:50] Sakai OpenLife: then we'll go through that information
[3:50] Anna Asplund: ok
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: and create TRAC tickets
[3:51] Anna Asplund: how much data/input you get from users?
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: (prevent a bloated untested collection of tickets)
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: heeeeeeeaps
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: lol
[3:51] Anna Asplund: Does it take long to process their reports?
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: there's probably a good 2-3000 users ready to get into the public beta
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: not long
[3:51] Sakai OpenLife: we're here full time
[3:52] Sakai OpenLife: when we're ready to open we'll keep daily SVN update to the public beta
[3:52] Sakai OpenLife: to keep the debug relevant
[3:52] Sakai OpenLife: so you could see them within hours of them coming in
[3:52] Sakai OpenLife: we'll also do a viewer 'control'
[3:52] You: sounds reasonable
[3:52] Sakai OpenLife: to the system
[3:53] Anna Asplund: hmm, what do you mean viewer control
[3:53] Sakai OpenLife: by having a recommened DL for the dev beta environment only
[3:53] Sakai OpenLife: bug reports are rather useless if we're not sure of what they're connecting with
[3:53] Sakai OpenLife: so we keep all the participants up to date
[3:54] Sakai OpenLife: with whatever test viewer of the day
[3:54] Anna Asplund: all right, that is true
[3:54] Tuomo Korva: we have another meeting starting in 5 mins, i guess we have gone through the important issues
[3:54] Anna Asplund: yes, what do you think antti? should we end this meeting
[3:55] You: I suppose there's nothing more to report about what LC is doing?
[3:55] You: are there any issues anyone would like to raise?
[3:55] Sakai OpenLife: well...
[3:55] Sakai OpenLife: lol
[3:55] Anna Asplund: planning the content of course and planning the features for next sprint
[3:55] Anna Asplund: this we could discuss tomorrow, if you visit
[3:56] You: ok
[3:56] You: hmm next tuesday's the planning date?
[3:56] You: aargh I didn't remember
[3:56] You: aargh I didn't remember
[3:56] You: it's going to be busy for us all
[3:56] Anna Asplund: yes, so do we meet then or not
[3:57] Anna Asplund: maybe a bit difficult, but doable
[3:57] You: but anyway, I believe we can conclude this meeting and continue about that later
[3:57] You: I'll be there tomorrow, sure
[3:57] Anna Asplund: see you later
[3:57] You: ok
[3:57] Sakai OpenLife: Cya Anna
[3:57] Tuomo Korva: bye
[3:57] You: thanks for being here
[3:57] Anna Asplund: bye everyone
[3:57] You: see you later alligators

keskiviikko 10. syyskuuta 2008

As before, this is the log file from the realXtend weekly meeting held at 9.9.2008. "You" refers to "me", who once again is Antti Ilomäki.

[3:03] You: ok so let's begin
[3:03] You: first of all, it is apparent that the IM bug is still alive and kicking
[3:04] You: I'm pretty satisfied with what we've achieved in this sprint
[3:04] You: it is quite likely that we'll have a good set of features ready tonight
[3:05] You: we're currently working on VoIP, global teleport requests, U/V flipping for meshes and publish my world -functionality
[3:05] You: chances are that all of that stuff will make it to testing tonight
[3:06] You: we're going to continue some tasks after the code freeze, since stuff like planning & architecturing or the publish my world web interface don't affect the other code that much
[3:07] You: we've even managed to do a LITTLE good for the VoIP
[3:07] You: but anyway, that's pretty much it except for the version number
[3:08] Anna Asplund: end of discussion
[3:08] You: I'd prefer 0.4, but it's all the same to me
[3:08] Anna Asplund: 0.31
[3:08] Anna Asplund: so version 0.31 was the deal I thought
[3:08] You: also note that OpenSim is approaching 0.6 and it might soon be useful to synchronize version numbers
[3:09] You: I don't think we have specific criteria for version numbers, but what we have now on the server side is one of the bigger releases we've done so far
[3:09] Anna Asplund: All right Antti, but we should have the decision made earlier, in the planning session for the sprint if possible
[3:09] You: but anyway, 0.31 is fine by me
[3:10] Anna Asplund: Thanks Antti, nice that you agree with us
[3:10] You: I don't think any decisions were made, I just kind of assumed we were heading for 0.4
[3:10] Jani Pirkola: we can sync the version number when rex modules are done by Adam
[3:10] You: anyway, that's it for me
[3:10] Anna Asplund: Well, Mikko, Tuomo and Lasse decided yesterday that the version should be 0.31, we can sync later on
[3:11] You: btw, do we have a target date for 1.0?
[3:13] You: so how's it going at Ludo?
[3:13] Anna Asplund: I think we are pretty happy
[3:13] You: yay
[3:14] Anna Asplund: If the code that is committed today seems stylish, seems good
[3:14] Anna Asplund: Tuomo, do you want to comment
[3:14] Tuomo Korva: couple of things:
[3:15] Tuomo Korva: 1) world.realxtend.org needs to be redirected somewhere
[3:15] Tuomo Korva: to the server we have in the us
[3:15] Tuomo Korva: ?
[3:15] Tuomo Korva: we're just about to set it up
[3:15] Tuomo Korva: tested it today, seems to work quite well
[3:15] Mikko Pallari is Online
[3:16] Tuomo Korva: but we are thinking now what world to put there?
[3:16] You: Tommi can probably do that tomorrow
[3:16] You: Tommi can probably do that tomorrow
[3:16] Mikko Pallari is Online
[3:16] You: the fishy worldy stuff?
[3:16] You: the fishy worldy stuff?
[3:16] Anna Asplund: The thing is that content is not quite there yet
[3:16] Tuomo Korva: because the fishworld will be "static", nothing else to do than move around
[3:17] Juho Myllylahti is Online
[3:17] Tuomo Korva: so is the effect going to be like "looks good"...they move around for a couple of minutes and the leave
[3:17] You: everyone knows that this is an internal test server, if we release something official it shouldn't be too sucky
[3:17] Tuomo Korva: because there is nothing else to do
[3:17] Juho Myllylahti is Online
[3:17] Anna Asplund: We would not like to open it to the public before it is more spectacular
[3:17] You: I say we don't release official world.realxtend until we have SOMETHING
[3:18] Tuomo Korva: one idea is to put the livingroom there
[3:18] Tuomo Korva: and so that it can't be edited
[3:18] Tuomo Korva: with auto-post-processing effects
[3:18] You: Well that's still a bit static and not quite as pretty
[3:18] You: but maybe, sure
[3:18] You: we need to have some content available
[3:18] Tuomo Korva: also we need to test how it workds
[3:18] You: it's a bit of a dilemma
[3:19] Anna Asplund: I agree with Antti, we should not make the world public if not necessary
[3:19] You: Isn't Steve about to sort the content problem for us soon anyway?
[3:20] Anna Asplund: How soon is that?
[3:20] Jani Pirkola: yeah, but the content may be crappy first
[3:20] Tuomo Korva: we have the content in some state, but the functionality is still missing
[3:20] You: the official reX content stuff could be spectacular and user created worlds will take care of the mass of stuff to explore until then
[3:20] Tuomo Korva: the wov functionality i mean
[3:20] You: Didn't he already release the info that OpenLifeGrid is going reX?
[3:21] Anna Asplund: What decision can we make about publicity now?
[3:21] You: I don't really know how long it would take for him to actually switch to reX and for the users to start creating content
[3:21] Anna Asplund: It takes a while, definitely
[3:21] Jani Pirkola: Steve said that beta grid will open today, but the actual switch will be in 1 month
[3:22] Anna Asplund: So the users are notified now or in a month
[3:22] You: how large an entity is the beta grid?
[3:22] You: the users have been notified already?
[3:22] You: the users have been notified already?
[3:22] Jani Pirkola: yes
[3:23] Tuomo Korva: btw, we can publish the wiki in this release
[3:23] Jani Pirkola: good idea
[3:24] Anna Asplund: The wiki is a good solution for documentation
[3:24] Jani Pirkola: Thanks for the kiss, Tuomo ;)
[3:24] Tuomo Korva: there are some features the admino guys should document there
[3:24] You: all of them?
[3:24] Tuomo Korva: did mikko get the url to there?
[3:25] Tuomo Korva: not all
[3:25] You: he did
[3:25] You: why not all
[3:25] Tuomo Korva: at least the new user rights management thing
[3:25] Tuomo Korva: at least the new user rights management thing
[3:25] Tuomo Korva: the authenticate command system
[3:25] Tuomo Korva: or was it authentication
[3:25] You: Hmm I probably have the instructions somewhere
[3:26] Tuomo Korva: i can probably put the url here right now, it will be public anways soon?
[3:26] Mikko Pallari: btw. what is the new viewport/rtt-camera feature?
[3:26] Tuomo Korva: pic in pic
[3:27] Tuomo Korva: you can have security cameras
[3:27] You: yay security
[3:27] You: 1984
[3:27] Tuomo Korva: virtual that is
[3:28] Tuomo Korva: virtual cameras to other parts of the world, and then have the picture from the virtual camera in some texture on a prim
[3:28] You: can I have a security cam on my site so that it records all the griefer activity while I'm gone?
[3:28] Tuomo Korva: so the wiki is here: http://www.rexdeveloper.org/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page
[3:29] You: well, anyway, are there any specific points for tonight?
[3:29] You: Tommi or someone should redirect the world.realxtend some time soon
[3:29] Tuomo Korva: keep the code clean :)
[3:29] Juho Myllylahti is Offline
[3:29] Juho Myllylahti is Offline
[3:29] Tuomo Korva: and not many bugs
[3:29] Tuomo Korva: testing starts
[3:29] Tuomo Korva: and more documentation to wiki, too
[3:30] You: our code is always squeaky clean
[3:30] Tuomo Korva: ok. if you make some accounts to the wiki I can give you rights to edit it
[3:31] You: anyway, can we conclude this meeting?
[3:31] Tuomo Korva: wiki is readonly for everyone, you need to be rex-approved to able to edit it
[3:31] You: ok
[3:31] Anna Asplund: Does Jani have anything to add?
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: what was the world.realxtend.org content decision?
[3:32] Jani Pirkola: I am in a meeting in RL here so my attention is a bit elsewhere
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: livingroom?
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: livingroom special edition that is.
[3:32] You: for now it can be anything if we're not advertizing it to the great public
[3:32] Anna Asplund: Is livinroom ok for everyone. If we don't shout about it to public too much
[3:32] You: except of course for the billions who read my blog
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: ok
[3:32] Tuomo Korva: ok
[3:32] Jani Pirkola: ok for me too
[3:33] Tuomo Korva: we'll see how many billions come there then :)
[3:33] Anna Asplund: Fine.
[3:33] Tuomo Korva: oki, tha's all for me
[3:33] You: Ok, the meeting is concluded, I'll go do some VoIP testing
[3:33] You: Ok, the meeting is concluded, I'll go do some VoIP testing
[3:33] Juho Myllylahti is Online
[3:33] You: see you later
[3:33] Jani Pirkola: cu thanks
[3:34] Anna Asplund: see you

keskiviikko 27. elokuuta 2008

realXtend weekly meeting logs August 27 2008

Here's the chat log from our latest weekly meeting. Once again, "You" refers to "me", which in this case is Antti Ilomäki.

[9:34] Jani Pirkola: Okay, lets start the meeting
[9:34] Jani Pirkola: Antti, I hope you could save the log
[9:35] Jani Pirkola: And collect possible action points
[9:35] Jani Pirkola: Antti, go ahead
[9:35] Jani Pirkola: your status report
[9:35] You: well, mikko probably knows the latest news, but all in all, things are progressing as usual
[9:36] You: working on nhibernate and grid mode
[9:36] You: web interface for user management works partially, needs a bit additional design
[9:36] You: and some features
[9:36] You: mikko, how's the situation with cross-sim IM?
[9:36] Mikko Pallari: yeah. matti made some grid fixes, but I think it is not still working properly enough
[9:37] You: we'll have to look into the grid mode in more detail, but Matti and maybe Mikko as well should have time left in this sprint to focus on those important features
[9:38] Jani Pirkola: great
[9:39] Jani Pirkola: so no problems, basically, am I right?
[9:39] You: Then the material stuff with Adam is in pretty good shape, he's still missing LudoCraft description, but it shouldn't be a problem
[9:39] Jani Pirkola: Is someone taking care of that?
[9:39] You: no problems if you don't count the number of bug fixes and feature requests
[9:40] You: then again I hope Matti gets the VoIP done quickly, we need to start planning reX Center and content servers etc. before next sprint
[9:40] You: Anna is working on it AFAIK
[9:40] Jani Pirkola: great
[9:41] Jani Pirkola: did you find what is wrong with woip?
[9:42] You: Not yet really, but Matti seems to be narrowing it down little by little
[9:42] Jani Pirkola: Antti, Anna is asking you to come to skype, could you manage that a the same time
[9:42] You: It could have something to do with how the voice libraries are being used or the TCP traffic, Matti is looking into it
[9:43] You: probably, this is my actually working computer at home
[9:43] Jani Pirkola: sounds good, hopefully at the end at least
[9:43] Jani Pirkola: Hi Anna
[9:43] Anna Asplund: Hi
[9:52] Jani Pirkola: Okay, Anna, could you continue to report Ludocraft status?
[9:52] Anna Asplund: Okay
[9:53] Anna Asplund: We are doing the fixes after viewer merge
[9:53] Anna Asplund: Heikki T is redoing some work on the light maps
[9:53] Anna Asplund: and Lasse fixes
[9:54] Jani Pirkola: (btw after you are ready with the status, say that out loud so we dont wait you to say something more)
[9:54] Anna Asplund: Tuomo does postprocessing effects and random avatar function
[9:54] Anna Asplund: Then we have feature that enables avatar change from human to fish
[9:55] Anna Asplund: which is used for our new content purposes
[9:55] You: how about robot to fish?
[9:55] Anna Asplund: That is possible also
[9:55] You: maybe robot to submarine
[9:55] Anna Asplund: Our content team is doing underwater world
[9:56] Anna Asplund: The content is about 10 percent of the concept we have so far
[9:56] Anna Asplund: I mean 10 per cent ready ;)
[9:56] Matti Kuonanoja is Online
[9:56] Anna Asplund: We have one fish that is animated somehow but needs fixing
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: do you plan to have it 100% at the time we do the press release?
[9:56] Anna Asplund: No way
[9:57] Anna Asplund: I mean we have 1 level demo for the press release this september
[9:57] Jani Pirkola: Do you plan to have it 100% by the time we have the press event?
[9:57] Anna Asplund: What press event, the one in November?
[9:57] Jani Pirkola: is the level 1 demo public so people can come in?
[9:58] Anna Asplund: I think we will have some percentage between 50-100%
[9:58] Jani Pirkola: Yes, we have planned only one press event, around the end of november
[9:58] Anna Asplund: Yes, it is public but limited area
[9:58] Jani Pirkola: that is fine then
[9:58] Matti Kuonanoja is Offline
[9:58] Anna Asplund: Good
[9:58] Jani Pirkola: When do you estimate we will have 100%?
[9:58] Anna Asplund: Hopefully by the end of year
[9:59] Anna Asplund: But our content can be used even if the planned concept is not 100%
[9:59] Jani Pirkola: Did Tuomo get that server from Tommi? Have you tried to use it?
[9:59] You: is it possible to get teaser screenshots from your test environment to the LA expo?
[9:59] Anna Asplund: The Vision is always greater than what is realized actually
[9:59] Anna Asplund: I can ask Tomi, it is not for sure yet
[10:00] Jani Pirkola: Enough of the vision is good enough ;)
[10:00] Anna Asplund: Which server do you mean?
[10:00] Jani Pirkola: One of our four servers in US
[10:00] Jani Pirkola: Where the seaworld will be located
[10:00] Anna Asplund: I asked Tuomo earlier, but I will check that again, that is important
[10:01] Jani Pirkola: okay, let me know how it goes
[10:02] Anna Asplund: Okay, Tuomo has tried it this week, but has not done anything yet
[10:02] Jani Pirkola: is it already accessible?
[10:02] Anna Asplund: He got in, that's about it
[10:02] Jani Pirkola: Would be nice to pop in every once in a while
[10:02] Jani Pirkola: okay
[10:02] Jani Pirkola: anything else?
[10:03] Anna Asplund: We have talked about the targets and measurements
[10:03] Jani Pirkola: yes, it is on our agenda
[10:03] Jani Pirkola: we can talk about it when we come to that
[10:03] Anna Asplund: Yes, I see
[10:03] Jani Pirkola: My status report:
[10:04] Jani Pirkola: I have developed idea that we give out free servers for individuals and organizations
[10:04] Jani Pirkola: That is to promote 3D Internet and realXtend
[10:05] Jani Pirkola: I am trying to negotiate with different service providers to find a good and not so expensive model of cooperation
[10:05] Jani Pirkola: Then a question to you Antti; could you make the press release for the September and send it to me Anna and Ville
[10:06] Jani Pirkola: The one about the funders
[10:06] You: probably, I'll need to know what's supposed to be in it, though
[10:07] Anna Asplund: Yes, will we also tell all our contributors etc
[10:07] Jani Pirkola: Then I want you to think about if we should have a realXtend conference, something like the opensim/realxtend meeting we had at the end of January
[10:07] Jani Pirkola: Antti, write what you would like to include in the press release and I will comment it back
[10:07] You: hmm
[10:07] You: rolling in the snow with people again
[10:07] You: sounds fun
[10:07] Jani Pirkola: But the main message is just to reveal our funders, contributors
[10:08] You: who do we invite
[10:08] You: what's the deadline
[10:08] Jani Pirkola: For the conference I think we would invite all the active contributors, all realxtend project members and collaboration company personnel, plus OpenSim core
[10:09] Anna Asplund: It is quite soon, I think these kind of happenings should be planned carefully to get all the good out of it
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: I guess that could make something like 100 people
[10:09] Anna Asplund: You mean for November then for sure?
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: I was esitmating that it could be somewhere at the end of February next year
[10:09] Anna Asplund: Ok, that sounds good
[10:09] You: it might be pretty expensive, though
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: There could be a smallish registration fee to cover the costs
[10:10] Jani Pirkola: I have budgeted some money for it and I expect to get some sponsors as well
[10:10] Anna Asplund: Could we organize an event in some big conference instead
[10:10] Anna Asplund: Where these people might come anyway
[10:10] You: it could be a meeting for OpenSimn developers as well
[10:10] Jani Pirkola: I want to see it happen at Oulu, that is an important thing for us and it kind of contnues the heritage
[10:11] Jani Pirkola: and we try to keep it as small as possible
[10:11] Anna Asplund: 100 people
[10:11] Jani Pirkola: but still get all the relevant people in
[10:11] Anna Asplund: is a lot
[10:11] You: yeah, I could keep it smaller than 100 if I really trief
[10:12] Jani Pirkola: We need a separate entity to take care of all the arrangements
[10:12] Anna Asplund: Who could that be? Oulu Innovation?
[10:12] Jani Pirkola: The last January meeting was an excellent kick-start for us to get to know everyone in the industry
[10:12] Jani Pirkola: Oulu Innovation is one possiblity
[10:13] Jani Pirkola: I will ask this around there and I hope you could think about it as well
[10:13] Jani Pirkola: To continue my status report; I will meet Aaron again tomorrow, I think Antti is joining. Aki and Harri may come too if you can make them accounts, Antti.
[10:14] Anna Asplund: Somehow I think inviting people in small groups could be more effective, if we need contacts, but your idea is good, if we watn to create big event
[10:14] Jani Pirkola: We will meet Nick, who is heading TWGs at immersive education
[10:14] Anna Asplund: What is the main topic of conversation
[10:14] You: what time was it tomorrow?
[10:14] Jani Pirkola: Anna, I think we need to have separatte tracks like in conferences if we are over 30 people
[10:14] You: aki and harri have accounts already
[10:14] Jani Pirkola: 9 pm Finnish time
[10:15] Jani Pirkola: 3 pm Boston time
[10:15] Jani Pirkola: I hope I calculated the time right
[10:15] Anna Asplund: I mean for Immersive Education people
[10:15] Anna Asplund: There was some talk about 10 pm also
[10:16] Jani Pirkola: I agreed about 3 pm Boston time, so that might be 10 pm Finnish time...
[10:16] Anna Asplund: Last time we had a meeting it was at 9 pm and in Boston 2 pm? I think
[10:16] Jani Pirkola: Okay then I calculated that in a wrong way
[10:16] Jani Pirkola: so it is 10pm then
[10:16] Anna Asplund: Hopefully, double check that
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: I met World45 at Monday, we had a good introductions about who we are and who they are
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: We will continue discussions with them
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: Then I and Antti, we had a meeting with G2
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: They are subcontractors for Microsoft
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: And they got a walk-through for realxtend
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: G2 will show realXtend for Microsoft later this week
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: And I will continue discussions with them
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: Okay, thats pretty much all
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: from my statys
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: Then we can go to measurements
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: 1: in the agenda
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: Antti, anything you want to say?
[10:19] You: related to the measurements, not really at the moment
[10:20] Anna Asplund: We have discussed the measurements and have some questions
[10:20] Jani Pirkola: Okay, how about you Anna?
[10:20] You: We'll make the baseline measurements at the end of this sprint
[10:20] Anna Asplund: Look and feel will be measured by making some 5-10 question list
[10:20] Jani Pirkola: sounds good
[10:20] Anna Asplund: we are working on that with Tony and Tomi
[10:21] Anna Asplund: but is it necessary to compare to state of the art game?
[10:21] Anna Asplund: virtual worlds should be ok
[10:21] You: some of the measurements are a bit tricky
[10:21] Anna Asplund: yes they should be defined more precisely
[10:22] Jani Pirkola: Antti, feel free to change/modify any of the measurements that are on your teams responsibility. Same goes for you Anna
[10:22] Anna Asplund: I think it requires a RL meeting
[10:22] You: for example average server uptime is a bit problematic without adequate statistical data
[10:22] Anna Asplund: Yes, we had comment on that also
[10:22] Jani Pirkola: Antti, you just need to find a measure that makes sense
[10:23] Jani Pirkola: If you cant, then just drop it
[10:23] You: one or two servers that are also used for testing purposes aren't enough to calculate such averages at meaningful accuracy
[10:23] Anna Asplund: And viewer crashes, % rate, with which users, where
[10:23] You: that stuff would be really good to know, it's just difficult to do right now
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: We will measure what we can, hopefully at the end of this sprint to get a baseline.
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: We can add new measurements as they become possible and meaningful
[10:24] Anna Asplund: If the future of this project depends on these measurements, we should have goals that are measurable and things that need to be improved should be on task lists
[10:25] Jani Pirkola: You can challenge developers as well to think about them because that is a good way to notice if they are doing a good work
[10:25] You: I was thinking of getting a student project to program statistics analyzing software for us
[10:25] Anna Asplund: But can we meet face to face and discuss this?
[10:26] You: our servers record a good deal of information right now, its readability is a bit lacking, however
[10:26] Jani Pirkola: I hope you could, maybe with Mikko and Lasse (Antti and Anna). I will be happy with what you find out.
[10:26] You: we need some kind of a parser
[10:26] Anna Asplund: That is a good idea Antti? What is the student schedule for this kind of stuff, can they produce efficient work
[10:26] You: well they're usually not really good, but the software should be relatively simple to do
[10:27] Anna Asplund: yep
[10:27] Jani Pirkola: When you could have the RL meeting?
[10:27] Jani Pirkola: I would say as soon as possible
[10:27] Anna Asplund: Next week, maybe Tuesday
[10:27] Jani Pirkola: You can schedule that later over the mail.
[10:27] You: some of our programmers need to do that course, so having them work on something useful is always a bonus for us
[10:28] Anna Asplund: Or if it needs to quicker, then even tomorrow?
[10:28] Jani Pirkola: To continue our agenda; I dont want to run over the schedule we have
[10:28] You: we'll have to discuss the schedule later
[10:28] Anna Asplund: Thanks Jani
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: 2: downloads, documentation, wikis and sites
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: I am not very happy with the rexdeveloper.org
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: not because of our team
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: but we need something more like a wiki
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: so we have sites.realxtend.org
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: There we can create pages like you can see our agenda on
[10:30] Anna Asplund: Is that easy to use and accessible?
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: Later we can add community members to edit and add content
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: Anna, it is really easy to use
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: and it works
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: I have been testing it
[10:31] Jani Pirkola: Unfortunately it supports only max 10MB files, so we cant move all our assets like videos there
[10:31] Anna Asplund: Okay, should we start testing it at first and then make a decision?
[10:31] Jani Pirkola: yes, take a look at it and tell me how you feel about it
[10:32] Anna Asplund: We'll do that
[10:32] Jani Pirkola: Okay, do you have Any Other Business we need to talk about?
[10:32] You: well, there's the time of the weekly meetings
[10:33] Jani Pirkola: Youre right, I suggested that we move the weekly meeting to Tuesday
[10:33] Anna Asplund: This Oulu Innovation magazine need cover picture of you Jani
[10:33] Anna Asplund: But I will call you later
[10:33] Jani Pirkola: Didnt Ville have photos already?
[10:33] You: am I on the centerfold?
[10:34] Anna Asplund: Yes, that is a good idea Antti
[10:34] Anna Asplund: We have photos, but Innovator wants something more
[10:34] Jani Pirkola: Antti, I will be on technology magazines, you can take care of playgirl etc... :)
[10:35] Jani Pirkola: Okay, you can give my contact details for them, I suppose they have photographers
[10:35] You: we could start selling realXtend calendars with different developer for eaxh month
[10:35] Anna Asplund: I gave your contacts already
[10:35] Jani Pirkola: Okay, I will agree on time with them
[10:35] Anna Asplund: great
[10:35] Jani Pirkola: thanks Anna for taking care of that
[10:36] Jani Pirkola: So is it okay for everyone to move our weekly meetings to Tuesdays
[10:36] Anna Asplund: I don't have anything else
[10:36] Anna Asplund: Yes that suits me
[10:36] You: sure
[10:36] Jani Pirkola: antti?
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: ok
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: I think we are ready
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: Thanks everyone
[10:37] Anna Asplund: Thanks
[10:37] You: ok
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: ttyl!

perjantai 22. elokuuta 2008

A small step for a prim

The humble little prim knew this was going to be a special day. It had spent its entire life preparing for this very moment, all two minutes of it. All the pyramid-shaped prims in the world were cheering for it and the entire media of Primlandia was ready to immortalize the name "Pyramiitti" after a successful test. The residents of the brave new virtual world were hungry for heroes in these troubling days and they were about to get one. As Pyramiitti stepped into the global inventory of a quick little robot, silence fell upon the land of prims like a cloud of anticipation and excitement.

When light once again fondled the noble shape of the prim Pyramiitti, silence gave way to a thunderous roar of a nation of virtual reality objects going crazy from pure joy. Prims and meshes were hugging each other with tears in their eyes, the entire virtual universe felt a sense of unity never experienced before. The humble little prim had shattered the barriers that had previously prevented prims from following avatars, the pathfinders of the virtual universe. The great joy and priviledge of seamlessly crossing the borders of virtual worlds until now reserved only for avatars, was now available for objects as well.

Humble little Pyramiitti the Prim looked at his traveling companion, the prestigious avatar, not really knowing if it was appropriate to take the center stage in this festival of achievement. The avatar nodded and gave way to the little prim; they were no longer a class apart, prims and venerable avatars were now finally united as travelers of the virtual universe. Gathering all the courage a humble little prim could muster, he stepped forth and as he did so, silence once again fell as the spectators of this unforgettable moment prepared for the historical words of the first prim virtunaut.

Humble little Pyramiitti cleared his throat and with as much sound as a little prim can generate yelled: "this is REALXTEND"! The echoes of the historical words hadn't faded when the crowd again burst into a deafening roar. Some were crying of joy, some shouted the name of the great adventurer prim, many were just screaming in agony as someone stepped on their toes or other vertexes during the celebrations. The humble little prim was picked up and carried around as the jubilant crowd celebrated throughout the night.

The barriers were no more. Where there used to be isolation and despair, there now was only freedom and adventure. A prim had crossed the boundary of virtual worlds. Opportunities were endless and it was easy to see that this was a sign of great things to come. Sure, there was room for improvement in the technology, but it didn't take an optimist to figure out that they would be a walk in the park for those who can travel across the universe. What a great day.

perjantai 15. elokuuta 2008

Weekly Meeting Log August 13th 2008

Summer holidays are over and we're back in action. Last wednesday we held the first official in world meeting on our test site. There were a couple of realXtend developers witnessing the historical event, hopefully we'll have even bigger crowds in the future. If you wish to participate, you'll need the realXtend client (downloads available at http://www.realxtend.org/) and avatar authentication / storage service, which you can setup yourself or just ask us to do one for you (contact info@realxtend.org).

The talkers are Jani Pirkola (realXtend program manager) , Anna Asplund (project manager, Ludocraft) and "You", who in this case happens to be "me", or more specifically Antti Ilomäki (project manager, ADMINO technologies).

[9:55] Jani Pirkola: okay. Welcome everyone to first realXtend weekly meeting
[9:55] Jani Pirkola: This is a public meeting so everyone can join
[9:55] Jani Pirkola: if we have something private to chat, we can do that at other meetings
[9:55] Jani Pirkola: basically everything which involves money is private
[9:55] Jani Pirkola: and everything else is public
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: next time, we will have web based agenda
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: now it is just a texture on this prim
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: which is pretty basic
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: we will also try to setup vnc so that we can have live document
[9:56] Jani Pirkola: But, to the first subject; Anna could you present Ludocraft team status briefly
[9:57] anna a: Well, briefly: we are working on the merge and light
[9:57] anna a: maps
[9:58] Jani Pirkola: anything else?
[9:58] anna a: designing the new world
[9:59] anna a: making some models
[9:59] anna a: and planning for features needed
[9:59] Jani Pirkola: Do you need Admino team to implement some of the features?
[9:59] anna a: maybe
[9:59] anna a: you will hear from us today
[10:00] You: sounds ominous
[10:00] anna a: or this week, says our Tuomo
[10:00] Jani Pirkola: If that was all from Ludocraft, then you can continue Antti
[10:00] anna a: ok
[10:01] You: well, we've been working with several tasks, you'll receive a report on work done during July shortly
[10:01] anna a: new viewer build is available in the normal place, by the way
[10:01] You: We've finished a couple in good time and are working on for example the web interface for user management
[10:02] You: we're hoping to start on the VoIP fixes soon and our viewer specialist will get to have a look at the smooth teleport bugs starting monday
[10:02] Jani Pirkola: Anna and Antti, I would like you to update the sprint backlogs, you can add completed tasks to the same spreadsheet
[10:03] You: we're waiting for the date on the code freeze to calculate exactly which taks are going to be finished in this sprint
[10:03] Jani Pirkola: we will make that backlog public as well and link it from rexdeveloper.org or something
[10:03] You: the Admino backlog should be pretty much in order
[10:03] You: the new features from 3di aren't in it yet, though
[10:04] anna a: we suggest tuesday 9th September 23.59 hours
[10:04] Jani Pirkola: Antti, there may be some tasks coming from Ludocraft to support new content
[10:04] You: I suggest we first post them in the unallocated list and share from there
[10:04] Jani Pirkola: What are the new features from 3Di?
[10:04] You: one thing is we calculated a notable amount of time for bug fixes and small features, but it seems we're going way past that
[10:05] anna a: if something is not ready, then we postpone that to next release
[10:05] You: at this rate we may have to leave out some features from the original plans
[10:05] You: there were some new features in the mail?
[10:05] anna a: was there?
[10:05] You: My computer is acting up so I can't open the mail program and check out
[10:06] Jani Pirkola: oh yes now I remember 3Di sent us some feedback what features they would like to see
[10:06] You: but some time ago we received email with some potential new feature requests
[10:06] anna a: yes, i added the features already to unallocated items in backlog
[10:06] anna a: those features might need some looking at still
[10:06] You: some of them seemd to be on the lists already, though
[10:06] Jani Pirkola: So the process goes that we add all the new feature requests to our backlog and then start to work on them if they seem like a good idea compared to everything else we need to do
[10:07] anna a: yes, that is good way to proceed
[10:07] anna a: we have added some support and documentation tasks in our sprint also
[10:08] You: doing important new features is ok and necessary, but they're coming in at a rate higher than we anticipated and I can't promise to include all the features we talked about earlier at this rate
[10:08] You: we can reprioritize, but you need to approve it, of course
[10:08] anna a: I understand Antti, we have to reprioritize, and then Jani could approve it also
[10:08] Jani Pirkola: Sure, we just need to go over the list again and see if there is something that needs to be changed
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: This ongoing sprint is a bit too long
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: but we will do shorter ones after this
[10:09] anna a: That's true, it is a bit long
[10:09] You: it's a bit long, sure, but two sprints would've been too short
[10:09] Jani Pirkola: I will go over the list tonight and send you feedback about it.
[10:10] Jani Pirkola: AP Jani: check product backlog, and make it public, post note to realxtend mailing list
[10:10] anna a: thanks for that Jani, it would be great to get feedback
[10:10] Jani Pirkola: Antti, collect all the APs from this discussion later and we can follow up on them
[10:10] You: ok
[10:11] Jani Pirkola: so the code freeze 9th of September 23:59 is suggested by Anna, is it okay for everyone?
[10:11] You: fine by me, but when's the release date?
[10:11] Jani Pirkola: Anna, you had an idea about that
[10:12] anna a: when everything is ready, maybe around 24th
[10:12] anna a: or even earlier,
[10:12] You: a bit long between freeze and release
[10:13] anna a: Because we don't organize an event, but just a press release, we can decide the day later
[10:13] Jani Pirkola: Actually we can do binary release of our software earlier and then the press release a bit later when we have seen how it works out
[10:13] anna a: viewer release can be 22th September
[10:14] Jani Pirkola: Can we start next sprint earlier than that?
[10:14] anna a: Yes, we probably can
[10:14] Jani Pirkola: First tasks in the next sprint would be something like "release viewer and server"
[10:14] You: what kind of a testing period do you have in mind?
[10:15] Jani Pirkola: Last time we had a week and it was too tight, we took some risks with that.
[10:15] Jani Pirkola: Two weeks seem a bit long, though
[10:15] You: Concurrent testing worked pretty well last time with everyone prepared to work full time on bug fixes for a week or so
[10:15] You: but long testing periods with lots of people are very costly
[10:15] Jani Pirkola: We can do so that now that we have agreed the code freeze, we will fix it as long as it is good enough
[10:16] Jani Pirkola: as long as it needs fixing, I mean to say :)
[10:16] You: I don't really predict major potential issues besides the smooth teleport
[10:16] You: that could be a bit tricky
[10:16] You: code-Jani will get to work on that starting monday
[10:17] Jani Pirkola: Anna, you said already that the new viewer can be released 22nd. Was that estimate or does that mean that it can not be released earlier for some reason?
[10:17] anna a: if code freeze is on tuesday, then everybody tests and fixes at least three days
[10:18] You: now it's on wednesday?
[10:18] anna a: if everything is well after that new sprint can start on MOnday
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: I suggest that we do the code freeze at 9th, and do the sw release at 16th - that would be the target. Then if there is something that prevents releasing, we continue to fix it and set a new release date.
[10:18] You: oh thursday, sorry
[10:18] Jani Pirkola: Then we do the planning for the next sprint at 17th
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: objections?
[10:19] anna a: It can be a target, but if bugs found, there might be need for more time
[10:19] You: if it's ok by Jani I'm fine with the date
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: sure, Anna. that is the point. We dont allocate too long time now because we can postpone the release.
[10:19] Jani Pirkola: if needed
[10:19] anna a: good
[10:20] Jani Pirkola: Decision: code freeze 9th, release 16th, planning 17th, press release; when we are ready with the content
[10:21] Jani Pirkola: Anna, do you have estimate when the content for the press release - meaning the seaworld you mentioned - could be ready?
[10:21] anna a: It depends on a lot of factors
[10:22] anna a: Content will be as ready as needed, we can polish it endlessly
[10:22] Jani Pirkola: okay, we can leave estimate for the date of the press release open now. and look at the situation also later
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: then about the LA VW Expo
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: Tomi Kujanpää is going there
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: And I think Antti as well
[10:24] You: I suppose we don't have a realXtend booth there
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: plus Hannu from Admino
[10:24] You: Well, Hannu will decide shortly if we're going
[10:24] Jani Pirkola: no we dont - I hope realxtend guys there act as walking booths
[10:24] You: There's still slim hope that I won't have to sit in a plane for a couple of days
[10:25] anna a: walking booths with their rex-logo t-shirts
[10:25] Jani Pirkola: Anna, how does it look like - what materials we are going to get there?
[10:25] anna a: We will have business cards for sure
[10:26] anna a: and t-shirts
[10:26] Jani Pirkola: If t-shirts are not expensive, we could buy those for everyone
[10:26] anna a: If they look good!
[10:27] Jani Pirkola: if they do not look good, why do we bother to do them :)
[10:27] anna a: heh heh
[10:28] Jani Pirkola: And, I wanted to order realXtend business cards for me, Anna, Antti, and Tomi. If someone else wants to have them, we can make them as well.
[10:28] You: yay
[10:28] Jani Pirkola: Okay. Then about the immersive education
[10:28] Jani Pirkola: Anna suggested that Antti could join the TWGs
[10:28] anna a: Send your details to us, we will make cards for everyone that request those
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: how many cards for one person?
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: I think there is some standard amount in one package
[10:29] anna a: 150 cards?
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: sounds about right
[10:29] You: in total?
[10:29] anna a: per person
[10:29] Jani Pirkola: no for one person
[10:29] You: wow
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: Again; about the immersive education
[10:30] You: I've probably never met that many people
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: they are working with their proposal for the open file format
[10:30] Jani Pirkola: that could carry content from one world to another world
[10:30] anna a: yes, we have made an initial estimate of collada support
[10:31] Jani Pirkola: do you have that already, how does it look like?
[10:31] You: that would be interesting to hear
[10:31] anna a: do we need other formats analyzed as well, or should that be ok
[10:31] You: depends on the initiative
[10:31] Jani Pirkola: Collada was the best guess at the moment. FBX is something Cubicasa was talking about.
[10:32] Jani Pirkola: But we can now use Collada as the best guess and base our work estimates on that
[10:32] anna a: it's initial, we will discuss it today in more detail, early estimate is about 3 man months
[10:32] Jani Pirkola: If there are no objections, I will suggest that Antti joins the TWGs at immersive education. He can get support from his team and everyone at realXtend
[10:33] You: what does joining the TWGs mean in practise?
[10:33] Jani Pirkola: I will also suggest that Aki from Cubicasa will join the open file format TWG
[10:33] Jani Pirkola: Antti, we will find out
[10:33] anna a: that sounds good, I will let you know about our estimate for collada support, when it is more detailed
[10:34] Jani Pirkola: Anna, just send it to Aaron when you feel it is good enough - if it is draft you can mention that as well
[10:34] Jani Pirkola: CC me to that email
[10:34] Jani Pirkola: and Antti
[10:34] anna a: Yes, thanks, I will do that
[10:34] You: 3 person months sounds like a lot of effort
[10:34] anna a: Well, this includes support for lights and such also
[10:34] Jani Pirkola: Antti, could you mail Aaron and tell that from realXtend you would like to join TWGs and say that Aki could join the OFF TWG
[10:35] You: was that Lasse months or mortal people?
[10:35] Jani Pirkola: Antti, youre right, Lasse months need to be multiplied by three :)
[10:35] anna a: Lasse months could be a little less
[10:35] You: Sure, I can mail him, but I think it would be better protocol if you made the suggestion especially since Aaron doesn't know AKI as far as I know
[10:36] You: if that matters, of course
[10:36] Jani Pirkola: Antti, you can just give Aki's name and email to Aaron, that is okay. Just CC me and Aki to that email.
[10:36] Jani Pirkola: and Anna as well
[10:36] You: ok
[10:36] Jani Pirkola: Anything else?
[10:37] anna a: What's that last topic
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: btw, next time Adam Johnson will be joining.
[10:37] You: which TWGs should I try to get into
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: Anna, it is Any Other Business :)
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: Antti, to all of them
[10:37] anna a: Ok, excuse me
[10:37] Jani Pirkola: then when you know more, we can put someone else there but initially it would be you
[10:38] Jani Pirkola: Okay, thanks everyone!
[10:38] You: you're welcome
[10:38] Jani Pirkola: And welcome again next wednesday
[10:38] anna a: You can consult everyone on reaXtend team, it's just best to have our representation in TWG's
[10:38] anna a: See you
[10:38] Jani Pirkola: Talk to you later!

tiistai 8. heinäkuuta 2008

And so it begins

This blog is about the development of future virtual reality software and technology in general, focusing mostly on the realXtend project I'm working on right now. I'll introduce myself later on, but let me first explain a bit about the general

Well, actually it all started a little over a year ago. A group of determined people set out to change the (virtual) world with the backing of a benevolent funder. The simple idea was to create an open source virtual reality platform that could be used for different business applications, improving the quality of life for people and save the environment in the process.

The idea may have been simple and straightforward, but the implementation has proven to be challenging. In practice, we're talking about what would best be described as the 3D Internet or rather the Apache server for the brave new world. And a couple of other components. Something of a challenge for sure, but we were not alone.

At the moment there are tens if not hundreds of millions of people who have already used some kind of a virtual world. Different worlds range from flash-based 2.5D visualizations you can run in a web browser to huge and graphically impressive full-blown 3D environments with complex realtime interactions between thousands of users. Some are open source, most closed. Practically none of them are interoperable. There is no 3D Internet yet.

So what does 'interoperability' stand for? The main difference between browsing the virtual reality and world wide web of today is the user interaction and the most important tool of the interaction is the avatar, the user's virtual representative. Right now there are numerous different virtual worlds, most of which use their own proprietary technology for rendering and functionalities. In practice this means that every world is an island and traveling this archipelago doesn't work. It's a bit like BBS systems of the digital stone age, except that in addition to a different login to every site you also need dozens or hundreds of megabytes of software to connect to each world.

What this means is that each island needs to be big enough and offer enough value for the user to justify the effort of installing software and creating a new avatar in order to get in. Unfortunately it's quite a bit of effort and you really have to have somethig special on your site for people to bother. The idea of the interoperable 3D Internet is different.

In the realXtend philosophy, traveling between sites is exactly as simple as navigating the World Wide Web today. Click a link or type the address of your destination to the address bar and you're good to go. One avatar (or one of many, the choice is yours) will work with every site on the planet. Or in the universe. Suddenly the cost of visiting your site is as low as clicking a button or typing a couple of words and dots. Of course the users will still have to invest effort in installing a virtual worlds browser and creating an avatar, but the cost is shared between all the sites in the entire world. Or the universe.

Suddenly, your specialist site for people who like pink unicorns starts getting hits from unicorn lovers visiting your site, because the number of people already using virtual services on some other sites is so high, that there are bound to be unicorn enthusiasts in the mix. And the relatively few people who love them enough to install the browser and create an avatar just to see them will then continue clicking and visiting other peoples' sites. The snowball is rolling and everyone's winning.

At first it may seem that the sites that at the moment rely on users paying for the land would suffer, because virtual land would be freely available to anyone. In reality they don't have much reason for concern, though, because people will still want their services just like they pay for web hosting today. And since there are lots of services available - many of which the bigger virtual worlds of today don't want to have on their own site - the number of users will increase dramatically and the value of the most sought-after virtual estates will skyrocket.

In reality it's a bit more complex at the moment, because there's lots of legacy stuff out there and users already have their avatars and virtual merchandise in systems that were never designed to be interoperable. We need to find a way to create a bridge between the present day systems and the architecture of the future. Some efforts are already underway and we're hoping to participate. In the meanwhile we'd like to offer you a chance to see what the 3D Internet is all about, just go to http://www.realXtend.org and download the software (version 0.3 at the moment, still very much in development). You need to sign up for an avatar service (consider it somewhat comparable to an email account) if you don't want to host your own. We're offering a public service for a couple of lucky ones, if you're interested just email info@realxtend.org.

We're approaching holiday season here in Finland so the development isn't as hectic as usually, but we've got some interesting stuff coming up in the future. Stay tuned.

Last, and the least, the question of who I am. My name is Antti ilomäki, I've been in the realXtend program from the very beginning and right now I'm the project manager of one of the production teams, mostly focusing on basic server and business related features. I'm also the guy who most likely reads the emails sent to the realXtend info-email. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me. In Second Life(tm) I'm known as Hirmuinen Hirvi and you can occasionally meet me at the Arkala Island of Innovation. The realXtend project websites are http://www.realxtend.org and http://community.rexdeveloper.org/ , where you can also find discussion forums and many realXtend users.