Sunday, May 17, 2015

OpenSim Hypergrid - A case study

I like hypergridding. I make no bones about that. I believe in it, I embrace it, I think it is the future of OpenSim (certainly in the short term, defined as a few years...more than 2 less than 5).

It is fun and exciting to visit other people's talents and visions...not just within a closed environment with the attenuating rules of the owners, but in a free spirit kind of way...doing their own thing in their own way.

It is easy to see how this appeals to a growing number of people who are sharing throughout the ever expanding Metaverse and are connecting, sharing, and collaborating via the hypergrid protocol.

As most know who are involved in this, SecondLife started this version of virtual reality. They even tested an early version of hypergridding as an idea. They chose to stay in a closed environment. The reasons why are not relevant to this article, and others expand on that enough already (probably too much but people like to blog).

There is an ever-increasing body of discussion relating to the expanding Metaverse and those who, more and more often, enable the hypergate (the Hyperverse).

Here is an article discussing when one previously closed commercial grid 3rd Rock, enabled hypergridding for their residents. They followed on the heels of Kitely. Since then others have enabled it and new grids left it open from the beginning.

fyi, I use Hypergrid Business articles a lot due to them coming up high in search results, it's just easier. As well, they are often very informative and there is always a lot of links to further information. Maria does cover non-hypergate issues as well but I am confident that as time goes on and there continues to be more said and done relating to the hypergrid, she will change that to more reflect her domain name. It is also one of only two places I comment regularly.

There are currently two groups that hold Hypergrid explorations weekly. One is the Hypergrid Safari (and here is the main blog for it) and the other is out of Kitely, Metaverse Tours. Both have especially kind and helpful people in them who can help new people to enjoy hypergridding. I highly recommend trying them.

There are also plenty of how-to blogs and articles. Hyperica is also owned by Maria Korolov (of Hypergrid Business), Virtual Christine and pingsfromtheafterlife. From those pages and others mentioned here you can find out more.

There are several google+ Communities either including hypergrid aspects or created specifically for hypergrid goings-on. Opensim Virtual is more of a catch-all for all things OpenSim but it is mostly filled with information about and related to hypergridding. Hypergrid Destinations and Hypergrid Events will keep you busy.

I highly recommend getting setup with google+ and joining these communities and then seeing and joining others you may find interesting. Many grids and special interest ideas have their own communities.

And again Hypergrid Business has a monthly wrap-up which covers statistics and is increasingly showing the hypergrid aspects of OpenSim are growing.

While all this action is interesting and fun to me, there is also continuing improvements to OpenSim core code.

One thing I really like is Varregions. Prior to their introduction there was a work-a-round called Mega-Regions. However, Kitely Grid has added their own code to enhance the Advanced Megaregions aspect that works very well there.

As well, Kitely has an online market that delivers to the Metaverse, thus giving people more choices, especially in buying licensed legal content.

So it is clear that many people are betting on, and making money with, OpenSims hypergrid protocol.

However, there is another aspect of OpenSim that more mimics the SecondLife business model, commercial for-profit grids.

As time goes on, and those who use the hypergrid increase in numbers. As previously closed commercial for-profit grids enable hypergridding, and as the shift of people becomes more obviously to the more open aspects of OpenSim, those invested in the closed grids are getting worried. This is seen by an increase in disinformation and misinformation that tends to discount OpenSim as well as the free Meta that include non-profit grids such as Metropolis.

I happen to call Metropolis my home grid simply because it is a good jumping off point to various hypergrid related events and explorations for me. I also like the owners and I am free to enjoy OpenSim as I wish to. There are others that are similar and very nice also.

What I and others call the free Meta encompasses no-currency grids and free content shared by many people. Free content created by those who have left SL or other similar businesses, and often the brunt of much drama by those intent upon keeping and increasing their own sales in the closed commercial grids.

Certainly this is understandable if those same people need the money to augment their real life income, or be their sole income. And certainly that is fine. I only mention it to more fully give my readers information of the "tapestry" of this aspect of Virtual Reality OpenSim.

While their numbers and users are on the decline, those who follow the SecondLife model are doing their best to keep them viable. To my eyes they are trying to hold onto a passing technology, especially if they tie it into saying hypergating is an issue.

They do similar to what this grid says;

"We have purposely not enabled Hypergrid. Our decision to not have Hyper Grid was reached after considering the problem of people buying your content, taking it to other grids and changing the permissions."

This is scaremongering and incorrect and they could remove the comments related to hypergridding and do fine, that they do not shows the problem, that they put it there in the first place is problematic.

The problem is not hypergating, the problem, for what little there is, is those few people who will take advantage of anything they can to do illegal things. But those with other agendas will say this anyway. Here is one example on a Hypergrid Business article where a guy says;

"The Hypergrid needs at least a semblance of security for it to be viable, it is nothing more than a glorified Copybotter, maybe that is why so many people sing it's praises. Anyone truly concerned about their own "true and honest" intllectual property knows to be wary of HG. And Podex, I wouldn't trust them with any kind of an account involving my money"

Where I answered at that link. But the fact is that people like him, whether or not they actually believe what they are saying, are rather common commenters. In his case I think he really believed what he said and while some parts may or may not be true, using hypergating as a scapegoat is incorrect.

This is what is done to obfuscate the issue by those who are invested in not enabling the hypergates. Often it starts by someone very invested and then it trickles down to others, typically those who cannot, for one reason or another, do their own research. My hope is that as things move along they will be convinced of their errors and join us.

(hint hint...YOU CAN DO BOTH!)</hint hint>

Those who start with such disinformation of hypergating and/or other aspects of the open Meta are very selfish, and I am sorry, I don't think they have the capacity to properly understand the issues. They are less interested in their customers than in increasing their profits, which while those decrease due to this attitude and lack of business acumen they up the disinformation.

They have a captive audience and they like that.

Those that do, open up...and those who do, enjoy having hypergrid enabled...those who do see that their customers and friends enjoy this, and that is the proof in the pudding for them, because, afterall, it is the customer, the residents who are most important to any business. Those that do enjoy a much more free atmosphere. And those who do understand business can go on, that their creators can still be protected as best as is possible and it is a win-win for us all.

I admit I love the free Metaverse, I love hypergating and I love not having to submit to, and be a captive of the vision of closed commercial grid Owners. My road to it included basing some of my time in several of them. And my time in all this started with SecondLife. Finding where I enjoy appeals to the old flower child in me, I love it. So I do base my commenting and blogs on anything hypergrid and mostly ignore those who feel otherwise. I much prefer being positive about hypergating than being negative about closed commercial grids.

I do make exceptions and one of them is when those who are listened to by others, mostly others who know no better and consider that the final word, who can't or won't do their own research. I do have issues with the closed commercial grid system simply because I do not see it as a valid way to do business going forward (its time has passed, tech is moving on as it does), and I see most drama and other negative things come out of them, or have to do with them.

I really, really want to see people join us in the hypergated Meta. I make no money wanting this, I have no profit motives at all...I simply know that when people do join us, they enjoy themselves and have fun. I think this is the largest aspect of why people do this in the first place, and I find it distasteful when others try to reduce it to negative things that are simply not true. I find it distasteful when the result is to keep people uninformed and trapped.

I have no issues with people making money at all, of course. But I know there are two basic ways to make money, there is the one where one pushes the good and useful ways potential customers may enjoy their product and there is the one where people try to impress upon people that their product is better than the other guys.

You see the difference, yes?

The fact of the matter, as I hope I have shown above, is that those people making money, and increasingly so, are connected via the hypergrid.

Here is one example of many where someone very invested in his own closed non-hypergated commercial grid pushing their own idea at the expense of telling the truth about other ways of doing things. They are seeing a marked decrease in their own sales and profits and are trying out ideas with the hope of reversing that trend.

Aside from it being obvious to many and more everyday that the tech is moving in a different direction than the old SL business model, they have invested much time in it, regardless, and they have done well considering the small market available, to be sure.

So I see no point in being negative towards the core OpenSimulator grids (all but their grid) and the moving tech that is making it more interesting and palatable to more and more people. It reeks of desperation.

"TranquillityDexler Post subject: InWorldz - Region crossings vs alternatives
PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 4:29 pm

Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:44 pm
Posts: 4558

I've explained the technical reasons in the past for us choosing to make real region crossings work over implementing workarounds like var regions and megaregions (now deprecated), but I must have missed the point somewhere because the fact that we chose to put the time into crossings instead is now being used as some kind of fuel behind the "InWorldz is behind the times" misinformation going around on blogs that should know better.

Varregions and megaregions are workarounds for region crossing problems, and also provide an easier way to spin up large landmasses for a host. What they provide in convenience assumes one major thing though: the landmass will not be more heavily utilized than a single region on the same hardware even though it's larger. This assumption is not true in all use cases, and is very untrue for InWorldz where 300+ people may be logged in and 120+ of them may be scattered about a large connected continent with hundreds of thousands of prims, active scripts, and physical objects.

A varregion or a megaregion by definition does not span more than one computer for processing. Whenever we have big problems to solve in computers, we feed them to multiple machines at once. This division of work between multiple machines is what powers big companies like Google and Facebook. Likewise, the InWorldz grid contains over a thousand regions that run on more than 300 virtual machines on top of many beefy servers. When there is a party going on towards one side of the mainland, the mainland across the sea won't be affected.

The same can not be said for firing up huge var/mega regions. That one var has to share the load of all activity going on inside of it, even though another region may be 2048 meters away. Putting that many avatars, objects, scripts, and physical entities into a single server process is not scalable or fault tolerant. Moving more load onto a single process is taking a step backwards, not forwards.

We chose to fix crossings because the largest landmasses on InWorldz are far too large and have far too much activity and prims to fit onto a single server process comfortably and still perform well. Eventually, we would have needed to fix crossings anyways, or impose hard limits on how far you could travel safely in a vehicle. Since the workarounds didn't solve all the problems in a way that was usable for InWorldz, we tackled the problems instead.

With Thoosa based crossings we are not behind the times. We have spent the time to solve a complex problem that was holding us back rather than working around it.

With our announced 2x2 region offering idea, InWorldz has chosen to use the same proven load balancing techniques we have been building for years to provide you with more space for less money without sacrificing the performance and stability that is gained when multiple server processes are working together.

I hope this better explains our decision making process." the forums link

You can see here the mixing up of truth with disinformation. While on the one hand he says their work to get rid of region crossings is a good thing, on the other hand he tells the readers that "Varregions and megaregions are workarounds for region crossing problems".

Personally I don't care, but it seems to me he (and similar people) could do better by taking the high road by just talking up their grids positives and leave out the disinformation altogether. That they do not shows the base issue even more.

I use this as an example because this person and his grid are at the forefront of dissembling information. They have the most to lose.

Likewise there are people there who have no clue about the true nature of hypergridding and just the thought of their grid opening up to it sends them running for (a perceived) safety. This is reinforced by (for want of a better phrase) the anti-hypergrid people whose source of income would be, and is, affected by those connected via the hypergrid. It is an anathema to them.

I find this sad, and rather than embrace the ever moving increase of technology they will do whatever they can to hang on to their old systems. It is comments like this that are the root of the person I linked to above blaming the hypergrid for truth at all, in other words, and not the true culprit or issue. It is designed disinformation that has as its results convoluting the real issues, and thus as continuing food for drama.

It does none of us any good!

Of course I understand his [and similar grid owners] problem. They obtained free software and having little to none business experience in life have built for themselves a cosy income. I understand those people do work for their living. I have no issues, and nor should anyone, with trying to make a living. I understand much work has gone into their grids.

But when outsiders read such things, then read opposite information it only muddies the water...and they leave for the many other things on the net available to do with less misunderstandings.

People who lack business acumen tend to grab at straws when they don't need to and when in fact it does them more bad than good in the long run. Statistics in OpenSim prove this. People who have no decent business acumen tend towards overdoing business risks. They are not comfortable in the role of Entrepreneur so they make simple business errors and do not fully understand that times change, that peoples' interests change, and they do not keep up with it properly, and ultimately they fail...the smart business people move and adapt to the times...there are tons of successful business examples to prove this.

Be well, and magnificent! Join us in the Hyperverse!!!