Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dateline 2008-Jul-01: A Day in the history of VR

Greetings from the interwebs and farflung VR spaces!

Tonight I'll be relating a set of VR history-making events (at least *I* think they are history-making) that occurred over the course of a very busy day in cyberspace.

First, was the Architecture Working Group meeting on Linden Lab's grid, led by Zha Ewry of IBM. This was one of the best meetings I have yet attended on the Linden grid - the participants were passionate, reasonably polite, very focused, and very well spoken. It was almost completely devoid of backchatter and heckling, and no one showed up to fling poo prims. +1!

Next was OpenSim Office Hours, held each Tuesday at 12:00 noon PST. Most all of the OpenSim Principals were in attendance, in addition to several linden labs folk who made their first appearance on OSGrid. And, we broke our previous record for concurrent logins to a single region server! Read on to find out just how many folk attended.

Finally, winding up the afternoon, was Zero Linden's Office Hours, where he made a brave attempt to present his outline for a permissions system that would provide the necesary mechanisms for implementing DRM obligations in an open grid services environment. More on this later though. Let's get into the thick of it!

AWG Meeting re: Domain Membership and Trust, with Zha Ewry of IBM

This was an awesome meeting! The best LL-sponsored meeting I've yet attended. I dont know how much design work was actually done, but a lot of understanding was passed around. Link to the transcript here. The thing that made this meeting great was there was no real heckling; everyone there was focused on the issue before us; no one was really ill informed, or at least, no one was unwilling to expand their understanding. It was a fantastic meeting with an equally fantastic group. Great Job Zha, Saijani and AWG!

Linden Labs vs. OpenSim Office Hours on OSGrid, with a broken record!

That introductory blurb doesn't do proper justice to what happened - it makes it sound like a musical experiment gone way south! Here's what *actually* happened:

We set up for office hours, as per usual - except perhaps there was more of us in attendance than usual. I dunno, maybe everyone was just free at that time for once. In any case, we piled on in and had just begun to discuss our agenda, when the first Linden Labs representative showed up. Unless I am mistaken, this was one Hamilton Linden. Next came Infinity Linden, followed at some interval by Whump Linden (he came in a bit late, and unfortunately we did not get to chat with him at much length). Zha Ewry also made it by, to round out the party.

With so many special guests at Office Hours, we were behooved to some flexibility with respect to our agenda, finishing up quickly with our more routine discussion, and turning the floor over to our guests. Hamilton did most of the talking, desiring to confirm that we had some marginal level of interest in assisting with their interop testing; I wonder if he wasn't a little overtaken by the strength of our response. All expressed interest in assisting with testing in whatever way possible, and several of us made one or more of our regions available for R&D. Here's a phat link to a transcript, and an even tastier link to Nebadon Izumi's video of the occasion. High point of the meeting: when Hamilton Linden looks around at Wright Plaza and asks "Did you build this build in OpenSim?" Serious Chucklehead, that Hamilton!

What? I forgot something? a broken record? Oh, that was just the soundtrack for Zero's presentation on Permissions...just kidding!

The record that was broken, for the number of consecutive logins on an OSGrid region - was at Wright Plaza - we hit 25 main agents (the prior record was 22), with no significant lag or other issues, and the region never did crash, though JustinCC did mention his inventory was flailsome - but I think he was probably the only one diggin' in inventory, so hard to say if it was anomolous or not.

Zero Linden's Office Hours Permissions Presentation

Big, heaving, tired sigh....Poor Zero - I feel for him. Seems the asshats *always* show up and disrupt his meetings. I often wonder why he even bothers. He's clearly got the patience of Job.

Today Zero attempted to deliver a presentation on the plans for a permissions system, one that would ideally complement the things Zha and AWG are doing with Region Domains and Trust Protocols. Unfortunately, most of the folk in attendance at this meeting had neither bothered to attend Zha's meeting nor read the transcript beforehand. It was a chaosfest, and that was before the first griefers showed up.

Hardly anyone there had sufficient understanding to ask intelligent questions, and when Zero was able to address their talking points directly, they often didnt understand one or more of answer and implications. Many slipped into "this is fundamentally broken" trains of thought, or "just open it up like the web" mode. Most seemed to think we were discussing user interactions with an interface when in fact, in most cases, we were discussing transparent communications exchanges between client and server components.

Then there were the griefers. I'm not sure what it was they were slinging around; but eventually, the prims were cleaned up, and the offending parties removed.

Then came the second wave.

And the third. I'm not certain whether or no it was a PN attack, but it was certainly crafted to look like one. Particle rezzer spewing 'srs nigras' e.g., a black man with a large afro in a grey dress suit - basically, the PN logo. Personally, I think it was likely a 'false flag' attack, the PN are -much- more repugnant than this.

Zero handled all this with not inconsiderable grace, and extreme patience to boot - as numerous god-mode Lindens were zipping about cleaning up and banishing identified offenders to the seventh level of hell.

Hang in there Zero, some of us actually do benefit from your presentations!

Oh, and here's a link to a transcript from Zero's meeting.

All in all, it was a great and momentous day in VR - new ground was broken, bridges were built and plans for the future were laid. Thats my kind of day - where we can all get in the pit together and show a little love.

Cheers from Hoffman on OSGrid!
Hiro Protagonist aka Lazarus Longstaff aka daTwitch aka James G. Stallings II

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