For the first time OpenSim regions has reached the 100, 000 regions milestone via Hypergrid Business. Well done to all the OpenSim grid owners that made this happen during April 2021. As you can see below in the chart the total OpenSim total land area has kept on growing since December 2009.
OSgrid, Kitely, ZetaWorlds, DigiWorldz and the Discovery Grid has the most regions for April 2021. OSgrid, DigiWorldz,, AviWorlds, Tag Grid and Metropolis have the most active users on them for April 2021. Hypergrid Business now tracks a total of 1, 660 public accessible grids. 342 were active this month and 269 published their statistics.
Second Life by comparison has 26, 818 main grid regions in total as of 16th May 2021 from the Second Life Grid Survey. 18, 205 are Private Estates and 8, 613 are Linden owned regions. Second Life total area is now 1757.54 (km).
Hypergrid Business posted within the past 48 hours or so the latest OpenSim grid statistics for January 2021 where the total land area grew by 2, 270 standard regions and more than 4, 000 new registered users this month compared with December 2020. The active users dropped by 646 due to some OpenSim grids not reporting their grid statistics.
The largest OpenSim grid at the moment is the OSgrid with 26, 154 standard regions followed by the Kitely grid with 19, 180 regions then it drops down to the DigiWorldz grid with 8, 015. The OSgrid has 6, 384 active users followed by DigiWorldz with 1, 875 active users and AviWorlds with 1, 590 active users.
The Growth Of OpenSim
As you can see above the OpenSim land area growth has been expanding since December 2009 and more rapidly since early 2014. OpenSim software has been around since January 2007 where the first client was released. There has been a lot of good progress and gains since then.
Overall OpenSim growth is still happening with loads of new grids coming online every month or so. There are many OpenSim grids that have been online for years that are still showing positive growth in terms of land area and active users.
As of 17th January the Second Life grid reported 25, 539 total regions and yes there is a lot of catching up to do. It’s going to take many more years though.
OpenSim is a free, open-source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region.
The Kitely Market
The Kitely Market is the largest “collection of legal content available in OpenSim” that currently has 17, 868 product listings and it’s growing every week. The Kitely market contains 36, 074 product variations where 30, 996 are exportable.
The Kitely Market has showed strong positive growth since July 2014 with even more products being added every month. It has now delivered orders to 484 OpenSim grids to date and more orders will be delivered to other grids in the months ahead.
I think that OpenSim will continue to grow throughout 2021 in terms of land area, new registered users and active users. I think there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future of OpenSim including the Hypergrid. As long as more improvements/new features are added, more events take place and technical issues are addressed quickly then growth will continue.
It’s worth pointing out that there are loads of educators, performers, developers, creators, grid owners that have made successful gains over the years. The OpenSim community is very active and I think there will be more interest in the months and years ahead.
It will be interesting to see what happens with OpenSim during 2021 and 2022. I will be blogging more about OpenSim throughout this year. Stay tuned for that.
AvaCon announced last month that the eighth annual OpenSimulator Community Conference will be held on 5th-6th December 2020. The conference will take place on the OpenSim Conference Grid and everyone is invited to attend. The main focus will be on OpenSimulator software and OpenSim development.
Registration is open for volunteers and other roles however tickets to the conference are limited. If you are interested in OpenSim then this may interest you. I have been to a few OpenSim conferences in the past and I found them to be very good indeed.
The OpenSimulator Community Conference 2020 features two days of fast-paced presentations, panels, performances, and workshops that spotlight the best of the OpenSimulator platform and community. In the evenings, we celebrate another year of discovery and wonder as DJs and performers host dances and parties.
On Thursday 28th May 2020 the Firestorm team released a brand new release update numbered 22.214.171.124205. This new release comes with plenty of improvements, fixes and a lot for OpenSim users. This version of the Firestorm viewer brings it in line with the Linden Lab 6.3.8 code base. It’s been over 7 months since the last release so there is loads to be excited about this time.
* Added a “Stop Locally” button to the Sound Explorer. * Added a search button to Nearby Chat and IM session floaters. * New options added to the Area Search context menu: “Select All,” “Clear Selection,” and “Filter My Objects.” * Added “Inspect” option for own attachments. * Enabled multi-selection for all name lists in group profiles. * Updated the Mac installer image backgrounds for readability and consistency. * Fixed being unable to post snapshots to Flickr. * Fixed hi-resolution snapshots appearing broken up in segments * Lots of behind-the-scenes work to migrate the Firestorm code repositories from Mercurial to Git and to switch crash reporting from Windows systems over to Bugsplat. Expect future releases to be even more stable. * Improved memory handling on the Linux viewer * So many crash fixes… * Improved region crossing behavior. * New feature to lock and protect an inventory folder to prevent inadvertent drag-and-drop or deletion. * Translation updates for German, Polish, Japanese & Russian * Just sooo much more!
This new release adds viewer-side support for Premium Plus. There will be some kind of new announcement soon on this on the Second Life Blog. It’s important to note that Linden Lab have not released the Premium Plus feature yet.
For those interested in the EEP capable version of the Firestorm viewer the answer is soon. I’m thinking later this year depending on progress being made. There is pressure for EEP to be fully incorporated however there are still a number of challengers ahead for the Firestorm team.
For those that use OpenSim grids this new release brings it back in line with the Second Life Firestorm release which is very good news to hear. Nine new OpenSim grids have now been added to the grid manager including Virtualife World, DiscoveryGrid, Alife Virtual, Mobius Grid, Zone Nations, Party Destination Grid, TanGLe Grid, The Kaz Grid and OpenSim Community Conference.
This new release improves map search and there are lots of maintenance fixes. All group notices should now send correctly on OpenSim.
On 1st October the Firestorm team announced the Bakes on Mesh viewer (126.96.36.199052) release which is a major update and it’s important all users upgrade to it. Firestorm 188.8.131.52052 is now fully merged up to the 6.3.1 Linden code-base.
This new release includes rendering-related changes from Linden Lab, bug fixes, improvements and tweaks.
This build is not offered to OpenSim users for the moment.
In my previous blog post I said we would provide an “as-is” download of this release for Opensim. However, I have been informed that this update will actually cause Opensim regions to crash upon login. Unfortunately, by the time we made the decision to reverse the split we were too far into our QA process to test or make changes & fixes. This is why the “as-is” was mentioned. Because of the severity of the issue (crashing regions is about as bad as it gets) and having no time to fix it, I am forced to go back on my word on this one.
We will continue to host Firestorm 184.108.40.206680 on our downloads page in the Opensim section until we are able to remedy the major issues. The SL version of this update will install separately, so you can use the 6.3.2 update for SL and continue to run 6.0.2 for Opensim.
There are a few new FS-specific features in this release as well like ability to sit on objects from Area search, New Discord Rich Presence, Ghosted attachments now automatically fix themselves after tp, but as usual there are too many to list here.
Bakes On Mesh
BOM – Bakes On Mesh
Bakes on Mesh is a new feature to allow system avatar baked textures to be shown on mesh attachments.
Any face of a mesh object can be textured using one of the server baked textures.
The corresponding region of the system avatar is hidden if an attached mesh is using a baked texture.
5 new bake channels – leftarm, leftleg, aux1, aux2, aux3. You can use the new bake channels on the face of a mesh.
A universal wearable type.
New tattoos for universal wearable type –
HEAD_TATTOO, → baked to head
UPPER_TATTOO → baked to upper
LOWER_TATTOO, → baked to lower
SKIRT_TATTOO, → baked to skirt
HAIR_TATTOO, → baked to hair
EYES_TATTOO, → baked to eyes
LEFT_ARM_TATTOO, → baked to left arm
LEFT_LEG_TATTOO, → baked to left leg
AUX1_TATTOO, → baked to aux1
AUX2_TATTOO, → baked to aux2
AUX3_TATTOO, → baked to aux3
Avoid the need for texture appliers → easier customization workflow.
Avoid the need for onion avatars → fewer meshes, fewer textures at display time.
Avoid the need to sell full-perm meshes. You can customize any mesh you have modify permissions for simply by setting the flags and equipping the appropriate wearables.
Avatar wearables are baked into eleven different textures (BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR, BAKE_LEFTARM, BAKE_LEFTLEG, BAKE_AUX1, BAKE_AUX2, BAKE_AUX3) by the baking service.
You can now apply these textures to your avatar’s object attachments’ diffuse texture slot.
Right-click on the attachment, click edit and from the edit face menu select textures.
Click the diffuse texture icon to open up the texture picker.
The texture picker has an extra radio button mode called ‘bake’ for selecting server bakes.
The ‘bake’ radio button mode has a dropdown for selecting BAKE_HEAD, BAKE_UPPER, BAKE_LOWER, BAKE_EYES, BAKE_SKIRT, BAKE_HAIR, BAKE_LEFTARM, BAKE_LEFTLEG, BAKE_AUX1, BAKE_AUX2, BAKE_AUX3 server bake textures.
When an attachment is using a baked texture, the corresponding base mesh region of the system avatar is hidden.
If a mesh face is set to show a baked texture but is not attached to an avatar, you will see a default baked texture.
If you are using an older viewer without bakes on mesh support, then faces set to show baked textures will also display as the default baked texture, and base mesh regions will not be hidden.
NEWAdded Discord rich presence support
This feature allows you to connect your SL account with your Discord account.
Once connected, Discord will show your SL online status & session length, and optionally, your username and location in SL.
For further details, see the Firestom Discord wiki page.
Comm → Discord Liny Odell, Ansariel Hiller, Nicky Dasmijn
NEWAdded the ability to edit notecards in an external editor
For Firestorm, to set the external notecard editor, go to Preferences → Firestorm → Build 1 → External Editor → Browse to the program or application and select then press OK.
When a notecard is open, you will see a new “Edit” button bottom left.
Clicking the Edit button opens the Notecard in the external editor.
Making changes in the external editor & then saving the file in the external editor will upload the changes into the notecard in Second Life.
If no external editor is selected in Preferences, the viewer will try to use the external editor that you have set to open txt files. NOTE: There is a known bug with this feature that causes the order of embedded content to break – see BUG-227626 for details Maxim ProductEngine
NEWAdded the ability to duplicate a group role
The feature allows you to duplicate a group role so that the copied role has the same permissions and you can just give the copied role a different title.
This feature was requested in BUG-226986
Open the group profile → Members & Roles → Roles → Left click on a role to select it → Click the “Copy Role” button. AndreyK ProductEngine
NEWIncreased the allowed sound clip length from 10s to 30s
This adds support to the viewer to upload & play sound clips up to 30 seconds in length.
Currently, sound uploads over 10 seconds are not possible, but will be soon when the server-side support is added by Linden Lab.
Firestorm 6.3.2 is ready to support this feature as soon as the required server-side changes are made AndreyL ProductEngine
NEWAttachments now auto-refresh if they are ghosted on teleport
Added timer for refreshing attachments if attachments were attempted to get killed after the actual teleport finished
This feature should mostly solve the problem where attachments are invisible to observers after a teleport or region change
It provides the same function as “Refresh Attachments” under Avatar → Avatar Health, but the refresh is triggered automatically when needed
This feature is enabled by default
Optionally, if the debug setting FSExperimentalLostAttachmentsFixReport is set to TRUE, Firestorm reports attachments that were attempted to get detached during a teleport or region crossing to nearby chat, followed by reporting “Refreshing attachments…” to nearby chat when the auto-refresh starts
This should hopefully workaround FIRE-12004 and BUG-7761 until there is a server-side fix from Linden Lab. Ansariel Hiller
The Islandz Discord has gone offline – 29th January
The Islandz grid will be sadly closing down sometime within the next 10 days according to Elenia via the Islandz Discord channel on Monday 28th January 2019.
Elenia says that the grid is “not sustainable” and says “we’re not even remotely close”. Elenia goes on to say that “people are disheartened at the lack of content we could restore and I don’t blame them”.
As a former InWorldz/Islandz resident this is sad news for the community. I feel sorry for Elenia and Jim who have put so much hard work to start a new grid from the ground up. I understand the reasons for doing this. The grid just reached the 1, 000 users mark on Sunday morning that have opt-in. It was starting to get good with the regions growing.
I guess everyone will now have to find a new grid to move to.