OSgrid Celebrates 15th Birthday This Week


OSgrid starts it’s 15th birthday celebrations starting today through until Sunday 31st July 2022. There will be live music and live DJs to celebrate all things OSgrid. There are special events planned for Saturday 30th July and Sunday 31st July. See below for the event schedule…

OSgrid now is the largest OpenSim grid in terms of active users and land area. The OSgrid has been growing steadily over recent years and I would expect it to grow further in the months/years ahead.

Well done to all of the grid owners, creators, testers, scripters, developers, artrists etc who has kept the OSgrid actively going. 15 years is a long term in terms of the operations side and the OpenSim community has helped keeping things running.

OSG-15B Event Schedule 2022

OSgrid teleport locations (must be user of the OSgrid for access)

Please spread the word about OSG-15B! 🙂

OpenSim Usage Drops Due To Closure Of The Metropolis Grid


According to the July 2022 OpenSim grids report apparently OpenSim suffered a noticeable drop in the overall usage for active users, registered users and standard regions for the past month. There was a seasonal drop in OpenSim statistics as its the summer holidays which is worth pointing out. Some smaller grids experienced downtimes this month.

OpenSim Stats as of July 2022

  • Registered OpenSim Users: 464, 887
  • Standard Region Equivalents: 112, 581
  • Active Users: 38, 957
  • Stats Collected: 276 grids in total

The main reason was the popular Metropolis grid closed down at the end of June 2022 due to the owners/admins shifting their focus to Yunis and not having the time to take care of it anymore (likely more reasons). The Metropolis grid had more than 1, 600 active users, almost 20, 000 registered users and more than 800 regions.

The decision to shut down the Metropolis grid has sent shockwaves around the entire OpenSim community. It’s such a shame because its been a popular grid on OpenSim and it’s been around since 2008.

Latest OpenSim Stats as of July 2022

  • OSgrid (4, 779 active users), AviTron (2, 861 active users) and DigiWorldz (2, 140 active users) are now the most popular grids by active users.
  • OSgrid (36, 590), Kitely (18, 678) and Wolf Territories Grid (13, 200) have the most regions by land area.

Kitely Market

  • There are now 19, 576 product listings on the Kitely Marketplace which now contains 38, 622 product variations and 33, 477 of which are exportable to other OpenSim grids.
  • Kitely Market has delivered orders to 554 OpenSim grids to date

Future of OpenSim Grids

With the cost of living including inflation going up in the months/years ahead there could be more OpenSim grid closures as unless there is massive money support behind them and further grid investment. It’s been reported that many users have been cutting down on virtual land ownership during the past few months.

Hopefully most OpenSim grids will be able to survive the upcoming economic downtime but time will tell. I hope those that have used the Metropolis grid are moving now to other OpenSim grids.

2022 is not over and there may be some shocks in the down the road.

OpenSim Monthly Usage Goes Up


On 18th March 2022 David Kariuki published this month’s statistics on Hypergrid Business. It seems like the OpenSim monthly usage has gone up while the land area drops on grid outages. During the past month OpenSim gained almost 2, 000 active users which is good news.

The OSgrid is the biggest OpenSim grid at the moment with 35, 553 regions with Kitely in second place with 18, 936 regions which is quite a difference don’t you think. OSgrid has the most active users at the moment with 4, 804 with DigiWorldz in second place with 2, 070 active users.

Since last summer the total OpenSim land area has been steadily been increasing staying around the 100, 000 mark. OSgrid has seen a huge increase in new regions and active users in recent months. OSgrid is doing pretty well over on OpenSim at the moment and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the rest of 2022.

Many OpenSim grids actually offer free land and hosting is pretty cheap for those interested. See the breakdown here or grids renting land.

OpenSim is a free, open-source virtual world platform similar to Second Life that allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and to 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 Marketplace is still doing well with 19, 432 product listings which contains 38, 568 product variations (33, 431 are sold with the export permission). The Kitely Marketplace has delivered orders to 540 OpenSim grids to date which is pretty amazing. The Kitely Marketplace is accessible to private grids, closed grids and the hypergrid-enabled grids. In second place is the Tag Grid Marketplace featuring avatar appearances and accessories etc.

Hypergrid Business normally releases monthly statistics each month in the middle half part. It’s good to still see these reports being released and to see there are monthly OpenSim news/events happening.

VWBPE 2022 Program Released


All sessions of the upcoming VWBPE 2022 conference have been published on the VWBPE Program page. This year marks the 15th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices In Education conference which opens officially on Thursday 31st March 2022 through until Saturday 2nd April 2022 in Second Life. The theme for 2022 is Phoenix Rising and the conference is free for everyone to attend. All times are SLT!

The Kick Off Event of VWBPE 2022 starts at 8am to 8.50am SLT where Phelan Corrimal (Executive Director) will officially declare the beginning of VWBPE 2022. It’s best to arrive early to make sure you get a seat and to be able to access the VWBPE regions before they become full. On the VWBPE Program page you can add events to your personal calendars by clicking on the selected session. There is a Subscribe button at the bottom of the page to stay updated.

What’s Up at the Lab? – Thursday 31st March 2022

  • Patch Linden
  • 11am to 11.50am SLT
  • Join Phelan and Patch at this Above the Book interview as they explore what’s new at Linden Lab and the impact on educators and non-profit organizations in Second Life.
  • VWBPE Auditorium

Looking at a glance overview there are many interesting sessions and keynotes planned from The Beauty of STEAM education in virtual worlds, Out of this World Parade, Phoenix Egg Exhibit Hunt, Spirit Light Dance Company performances and much more. Virtual Worlds after COVID is a must for those that want to know what’s coming next.

There is a special Above the Book Interview with Maria Korolov (Hypergrid Business editor and publisher) live at 3pm-3.50pm SLT on Friday 1st April 2022 talking about the state of virtual environments.

The closing ceremony will be on Saturday 2nd April from 6pm to 7pm SLT including closing remarks and highlights of the conference held at the VWBPE Auditorium. The 2022 Thinkerer Award Recipient will be named during this ceremony. The dance away night party will be held from 7pm to 8pm SLT. There will be live music and dancing. It’s going to be great fun.

The wait is almost over. Yay! 🙂

OpenSim News Roundup – October 2021


Hypergrid Business is the best source for all things OpenSim from monthly grid statistics, conferences, surveys, events, hunts and more. Many OpenSim grids are now planning for the Halloween season with events lined up. Check out the schedule here.

OpenSim is most certainly active right now for anyone that thinks nothing is really happening. There are a lot of things happening in the short term and long term. Many grids offer contests, hunts, freebies and more.

Wyldwood Bayou Grid Celebrates First Anniversary LINK

The Wyldwood Bayou grid will be celebrating it’s first anniversary from Friday 29th October through until Monday 1st November. The grid will be hosting it’s second annual Halloween Bash on Sunday 31st October 2021.

OpenSim Stats Are Up This MonthLINK

During the past month all OpenSim stats were up from OpenSim active users (+107), land area increases (+673) and registered new users (+875). There are now 96, 872 hypergrid-enabled OpenSim regions. OSgrid is leading for the most regions (32, 547) and most active users (4, 445).

AvaCon Announces Ninth Annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2021LINK

The ninth annual OpenSimulator Community Conference 2021 will be taking place on 11th to 12th December 2021 on the OpenSimulator Conference grid. Call for proposals are open.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • September 27, 2021 – Announcement of the Call for Proposals!
  • November 1, 2021 – Proposals are due by 11:59 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time).
  • November 8, 2021 – Proposal acceptance emails and with conference information.
  • November 13, 2021 – Accepted speakers must register for the conference to create an entry in the conference schedule and the program.
  • November 13 & 20, 2021 – Speaker Orientation & Training sessions and Presenter Booth Setup to prepare speakers for the conference.
  • November 29, 2021 – Deadline for stage props and audio-visuals (beyond textures) for the conference program.
  • December 11-12, 2021 – OSCC20 Conference dates!

AviTron Testing Out Crytocurrency For IN-WORLD PAYMENTSLINK

AviTron is now testing cryptocurrency for in-world payment method. The grid will be accepting Dogecoin and Bitcoin for in-world purchases and land rentals. The operating costs may be lowered and that means lower land prices soon.

Twelfth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey Results LINK

This year there was more than 300 responses for the twelfth annual OpenSim Grid survey. The survey scores a variety of areas from technology, content, support, community and overall.

  • OSgrid was the grid that had the most respondents followed by AviTron and DigiWorldz. 74% of the survey readers had been to the OSgrid
  • Kitely came out on top for technology followed by Wyldwood Bayou and Enchanted Grid
  • Wyldwood Bayou came out on top for support followed by Utopia Skye and Dorena’s World
  • Wyldwood Bayou came out on top for community followed by Enchanted Grid and AviTron
  • Utopia Skye, Tangle Grid and Dorena’s World came out on top for content

There are many reviews of each of the OpenSim grids on the blog post link above for this survey. There is definitely a range of mixed responses from user experiences, communities, entertainment and more.

What OpenSim grids do you think is doing well at the moment ?

The Kitely Market Surpassed 500 Grids Milestone


According to Hypergrid Business latest statistics published recently the Kitely Market has now passed the 500 grid milestone which is very good news indeed. Kitely has now delivered content to a total of 506 OpenSim grids in terms of closed and hypergrid enabled ones.

In recent years exportables and listings have been increasing on the Kitely Market offering a useful way for OpenSim users to buy legal and legitimate content. The latest stats show that there are “currently 18,469 product listings in Kitely Market containing 36,871 product variations, of which 31,736 are exportable”.

Here is a graph showing exportable (green) and non-exportable (red) growth on the Kitely Market since July 2014.

Kitely Market strong growth continues (Hypergrid Business Data)

Kitely now has 19, 101 regions, there is roughly 1, 130 active users that have logged in during the past month and in total there are 123, 936 total residents on the Kitely grid.

OpenSim land area increased this month however active users fell for a second month running. There was a net loss of 452 active users in the last 30 days.

OpenSim land area over the years (Hypergrid Business Data)

The Kitely grid recently announced that they now support the Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) where you can change the world’s environment in terms of the sky and water. Kitely now runs on the latest stable release of OpenSim 0.9.1.1.

8th Annual OpenSim Conference – 5th & 6th December 2020


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.

Login

Hypergrid Address: http://cc.opensimulator.org:8002/

About

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. 

More details at https://conference.opensimulator.org/

Firestorm 6.4.5 EEP Public Beta Now Available


On Tuesday 28th July 2020 the Firestorm team released a EEP public beta version of the Firestorm Viewer (6.4.5.60799) which comes with support for the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP). The viewer includes new camera controls with the ability to create camera presents. The viewer translations have been updated in this beta version.

EEP is the new environmental lighting system where the sky, water and day cycle settings are now saved as inventory items. EEP settings can be applied now to the land by region owners or by parcel or for personal use. Learn more about EEP here.

What you can do with EEP…

You can use your own sun, moon, and cloud textures.

You can customize the length of the day (yes—you can now have 24-hour day cycles!).

You can set different skies at various levels on your land. 

Visitors to your parcel will be able to see all your customized settings.

You can import your old Windlights as EEP settings (many have already been imported).

This version is not a required update and you do not have to uninstall your current Firestorm viewer. This new beta Firestorm viewer will install alongside your existing Firestorm viewer.

For OpenSim users the viewer incorporates Windlight allowing EEP viewer users to visit windlight regions. The viewer supports the new OpenSim 0.9.2 with the EEP code “Ugly Sky”. There is now the ability to enter a URL to add a new grid on the login screen.

Linden Lab is hoping to get feedback from the community and the Firstorm team highly encourages you to file bug reports on the Linden Lab Jira. EEP has been in the works for some time now and it went live back in 2019 on the main grid.

The Second Life viewer has actually had EEP for a few months or so now. The firestorm team have said recently that they don’t feel that EEP is ready for full release. It has not even passed the QA yet. Maybe later this year EEP may be ready for full release.

Useful Links

What do you think of this new beta version ? Let me know in the comments section below.

 

Tenth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey Now Available


Tenth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey Open 

Maria Korolov has opened up the Tenth Annual OpenSim Grid Survey where everyone can vote for their favourite OpenSim grid. The survey includes the top 15 most popular OpenSim grids from the latest monthly stats report. This helps “the community improve, and help give newcomers to OpenSim some ideas for places to explore!”.

It’s strongly recommended to vote once for the OpenSim grid that you spend the most time on during the week. If you have any feedback for any OpenSim grid then this is a great opportunity to put something down. The deadline for submissions is midnight (SLT) on Sunday 27th October 2019. The results will be published on Monday 28th October 2019.


Latest OpenSim News – October 2019

OpenSim Land Area Increased This Month – Link

  • Went up by 3, 300 regions this month
  • Largest growth recorded on OSgrid which gained more than 1, 500 regions
  • Total OpenSim land area this month was the equivalent of 81, 866 standard regions.
  • The public grids also reported a total of 394, 885 registered users and 35, 716 active users.

Sixth Annual Tangle Grid Halloween Expo (continues until 19th November) – Link

Tag Marketplace Gaining Fast On Kitely’s – Link

  • Tag Grid merchants added 4, 058 new item listings, while Kitely merchants added 2, 289. 
  • Kitely is still in the lead with a total of 32, 449 different items, compared to Tag’s 21, 566.

2019 OpenSim Conference Seeks Presenters Link 

  • Visit the OSCC’s Call for Proposals page and fill out the form
  • This year’s conference will focus on visions of the future and the evolution of the platform.
  • It will take place on December 14 and 15 and will include presentations about creative, educational, technical, and experiential topics.
  • Each speaker session will be 20 minutes long.
  • The conference will also feature community-sponsored tours, an Expo, content give-aways and hypergrid exploration.

OSCC19 Conference Key Dates

  • November 3, 2019 – Proposals are due by 11:59 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time).
  • November 10, 2019 – Proposal acceptance emails and with conference information.
  • November 17, 2019 – Accepted speakers must register for the conference to create an entry in the conference schedule and the program.
  • November 23, 2019 – Speaker Orientation & Training sessions and Presenter Booth Setup to prepare speakers for the conference.
  • December 3, 2019 – Deadline for stage props and audio-visuals (beyond textures) for the conference program.
  • December 14-15, 2019 – OSCC19 Conference dates!

Firestorm 6.3.2.58052 Released


On 1st October the Firestorm team announced the Bakes on Mesh viewer (6.3.2.58052) release which is a major update and it’s important all users upgrade to it. Firestorm 6.3.2.58052 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 6.0.2.56680 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.

Major updates from LL in this update include:

– Bakes on Mesh! See the primer from Inara, the announcement from Linden Lab, and the LL Knowledge Base.
– Love Me Render! See the post from Linden Lab on these rendering updates.
– Umeshu, a group of bug fixes, tweaks and improvements.
– Edit notecards from an external editor.
– Ability to duplicate group roles.

There are Firestorm goodies…

There are a few new FS-specific features in this release as well like ability to sit on objects from Area searchNew Discord Rich PresenceGhosted 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.

Basic features

  • 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

Benefits

  • 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.

For more detailed documentation, please see:

The things I like from this release…

  • NEW Added 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
  • NEW Added 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
  • NEW Added 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
  • NEW Increased 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
  • NEW Attachments 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 full release notes can be read here.