Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sun Microsystems ~ Second Life & Club Java

JayR Cela / 11-14-07

Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Fiona Gallagher, (Avatar~Fiona May) the SL project leader of Sun Micro Systems, at their in world location. To my surprise unlike most corporate entities with a presence here in SL , Sun Micro is very active within our virtual community, and a strong supporter of Linden Labs efforts to make SL a standard within the industry. Since then I have met many other wonderful people employed with Sun. So much so, I have decided to condense, and post a transcript from a recent, dual 2 hours each, Question & Answer sessions, held last month by Sun Micro employees and a number of independent resident developers.

After this phenomenal event, the best part was still to come. Most everyone headed on over to Club Java. The newly created gathering place for social events, related to the information technology industry. As the different conversations continued for hours and everyone mingled,and listened to music. I watched the avatars dance, chat, and get to know one in other. People from vastly different parts of the planet, all of them involved within this new and growing industry, gathered together in one virtual space. Enjoying themselves, discussing the various aspects and possibilities of virtual technology, a VW social gathering place. And then it suddenly hit me, Wow! Why has someone not thought of this before.

Well apparently Fiona, her coworkers and Sun Microsystems have. This may well be the best thing I have ever seen happen here in Second Life. The ability to be able to get so many people within this industry, and have a place to actually chat, dance, joke around and just socialize with one in other, in a friendly, environment, exchange idea's, concepts, and work together. Is so vastly different from the standard voice or video conference call.

Finally the independent, Second Life, software development community, has attracted Real Life, upper management attention, from one the industries best known pioneers and constant leader in the world of Information Technologies. What will become of Second Life, and will it eventually merge with, or into project Dark Star and or MPK20 ?

The Event

Gathered together in one virtual space were, some of the brightest and most influential minds involved, within this new, evolving computer information exchange platform. All of these people are actually taking a serious interest in the future of Lindens Labs virtual reality platform. On opening the session, A general topic question from, Web Marketing Manager Heidi Dailey (Avatar~Heidi Sun Microsystems) was asked to the large group of attendees, and the response was immediate.

My condensed transcript

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Good Morning and welcome to our SDN Chat on Sun on Second Life. I'm Heidi Dailey, Web Marketing Manager for Sun Developer Network. It's my pleasure to introduce Fiona Gallagher, Brian Foley and Chris Melissinos who have joined us today to discuss SUN's presence in Second Life. Can I ask you a question? What are you looking for in Second Life?

You: I want it to work properly

Tree Kyomoon: I want to use it as a corporate training tool

and design/develop platforms for training here

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: RL/SL integration (plus what JayR said! ;-) and
I would like to be able to get email & phone calls here

AnandAtre Sun Microsystems: I want to use it for community meetings

Morgaine Dinova: I want it to scale, massively, in all dimensions of scalability.

Tedd Maa: 3D websites, common 3D platform both on communications protocols but also on objects, one set of servers for any 3D purpose

Rex Cronon: a SL viewer in Java

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: use SL as a new kind of browser

Dirk Talamasca: and with what tools

Tedd Maa: artificial life experiments in 3D with server side physics engine

01 Hifeng: science and tech events

You: and I would like also to see Sun Micro completely take control of the Server side back end

Saijanai Kuhn: voluntary ad hoc clusters client side upon entering said AI simulation

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Ok. wow, thanks for the feedback!

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Rex, you had a question

Rex Cronon: is sun planning to make a SL viewer in java?

Heidi Sun Microsystems: It's open source and we hope someone in the developer community
would take on the challenge

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Next question?

Morgaine Dinova: If Sun is planning to create a Java-based viewer, their viewer team needs to sit in on the Scalability VAG discussions.

Fiona May: I agree, we are trying to link ourselves into as many of the groups as possible

Tedd Maa: Sun runs servers too? so I guess there are more than just 1 VAG that might be interesting

Fiona May: we are all about contributing and participating

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Next question?

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: Will sun be building applications to run in SL? And Is there a group that will be spun off/created

Fiona May: Sun continually uses SL as a development environment, in fact at one time MPK20 used to have a place in SL. We are in fact working with them on bringing them back so that we can try to see how we can leverage each others technology

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: Do we have a strategy now? :-) This seems like a huge pot of potential for both internal & external. That's a great starting point! ;-)

Fiona May: We believe that environments like Second Life give us the ability to explore new ways of communicating with customers, partners and people curious about Sun in a way that has previously been unavailable. We use our virtual space to more effectively communicate the kinds of technologies we create, ways to use those technologies, how we are making an impact on society at large and to just engage and talk with people.

Klaatu Niu: Yes. to further what Fiona said... I'm finding that as a way to connect to other tech communities here is very beneficial

Fiona May: Lastly, we see it as a way to observe and learn how to be more effective communicators and on line participants in this emerging space.

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Domchi, please ask your question

Domchi Underwood: Is there ANY kind of consideration in Sun regarding bringing Java in SL, like,for example, Java / Swing on the prims, like, you know, enabling standard Java GUI apps to use prims as screen, say, using DEBUG_CHANNEL as System.err and channel 0 as console? I'd like to see that much more than applets or server side Java. And I think Java2D has a lot to give to SL.

Tillie Ariantho: Do you think this will stick with 'exploring' only or SL might this become a well used environment in the future? What's your guess about it? :)

Fiona May: By having the ability to meet with other developers from all over the globe in a single space, by having the ability to visibly demonstrate what they are doing and by having access to technology executives who, due to very pressing travel schedules, may not be able to participate in a real world venue, but can jump into the Sun space in SL at a moment's notice. In short, the developer's benefit is access. Access to information and people

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Dirk, please ask your question

Dirk Talamasca: What do you find residents to be most curious about with regards to Sun.What is it they'd like to see and do you find that the technology available enables that properly?

Fiona May: Thats a really good question Dirk. I think people are still amazed about who Sun really is and the products and solutions we have to offer

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Wyn, please ask your question

Wyn Galbraith: Will Sun only be offering a meeting place in SL or will it have something to offer the residents of SL?

Fiona May: I think we are still learning about what people want to see from Sun in this environment, I don't have the answers I am always looking for feedback, Wyn. We try to give back to the community where possible, so far that has been on two fronts

Fiona May: 1. We have a public sandbox with really comprehensive tutorials, 2. We do not work with a big company such as MOU or Electric Sheep, all our builders and scripters are in world residents

Heidi Sun Microsystems: JayR, did you have a question?

You: as a gathering place / lets say the recently opened Sun Micro, Club Java night club I think the potential to bring together like minded software developers is a wonderful idea / how you intend to continue this

Fiona May: oh thanks JayR I forgot about the nightclub, never in my life did I think I would be a night club manager. LOL, hiring DJ's was so much fun.

You: Fiona / yeah I think it is Important that word gets out about Sun Micro's Club Java

Heidi Sun Microsystems: it is PG-13 :)

Fiona May: thank you - we have a live DJ this Friday

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Go Morgaine

Morgaine Dinova: So do you see SL (and virtual worlds in general) as nothing more than a conduit to run RL? Or do you also see Sun as contributing to a new virtual entity out there,in much the same way that the net has a certain independence as a social structure?

Fiona May: Morgaine, Great question, I want Sun to contribute to the new virtual entity. We have our own development platform and we are engaging closely with the other companies who are looking at how and where this environment will evolve

Klaatu Niu: I agree with Fiona.. one thing that I do here.. is participation in many things and communities not related directly with Sun

Fiona May: Up until recently (in fact yesterday) Sun did not have dedicated resource on SL, i did it where i could, VW is now my remit

Morgaine Dinova: Excellent

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Tree?

Tree Kyomoon: I recently read an article about Agile programming, and how large orgs are losing out to 1-3 man shops who can react/respond faster...what is Sun's position on this? (for example,, facebook, SL etc) Or should I say SUN's strategy

Klaatu Niu: Interesting that you should mention Agile. The team that I belong to at Sun.. has implemented Agile processes for all the projects were are involved in. In particular .. we are using Scrum to manage and guide our projects

Saijanai Kuhn: kool. though, in a sense, if a project can't be broken down to the Agile level, there's probably something wrong with the project

Klaatu Niu: Indeed yes

Klaatu Niu: We're finding at least in our group that agile is helping us be much more responsive in development. Hope that helps

Tree Kyomoon: yes thanks!

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Dirk, ask your question

Dirk Talamasca: Landowners in Second Life are quite curious about what the future holds for them. Rumors of a tier increase on grandfathered regions in the first quarter of 2008 will affect them first but they are also curious with regard to how the Open Sim project will affect them. Does Sun have any plans to facilitate ownership and maintenance of regions on the grid so that persons wishing to own and operate them without the technical know-how to do so may set up regions and connect to the grid easily?

You: good question Dirk, and what about OpenSim

Fiona May: Its not something we are considering at the moment but would be delighted to work with any organizations that are looking at this to ensure that the infrastructure they use is more stable and reliable

Klaatu Niu: though there isn't any plans at the moment. I'm part of our group. where we have put up publicly available services. and I could speculate that that could be something down the road.

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Wyn, ask your question.

Wyn Galbraith: Taking from your event note, which of Sun's technologies help build the SIMS we see today?

Fiona May: Good question

Fiona May: one of things we wanted to do when we started the rebuild was to have a presence that was open to the public asap. These sims are designed in a 3D package and an application based on java. The buildings are then imported, unfortunately the import mechanism uses too many prims, so in world builders do a prim replacement, what would of taken 3 months was actually achieved in a month, so in fact java was behind the development.

Wyn Galbraith: Thanks. :)

You: What software development tools will be made available to us ? And will they be directly linked to X-86 platform or Sparc ?

Wyn Galbraith: Good question JayR.

Fiona May: the client interface has been developed on Solaris for X86 platform.

Klaatu Niu: Well there is all the "normal" software tools avail.. compilers etec.. for X86 platform, in addition.. we have avail.. Project Darkstar and Project Wonderlan.. which run on X86 and provide a virtual world experience .. on a single box, Darkstar of a free.. Open source.. Virtual World Software environment . developed by Sun Labs, and made freely avail.. Google for Project Darkstar and you'll find it.. the code is available and runs on windows/solaris / and linux today

Orion Ogee:

Fiona May: I have a question for you here, what would you like to see from Sun in SL, is what you see what you expect, are we missing the mark, are we just another corporate taking up grid space with no value add?

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: No I think your making the right steps

You: I just want the back end servers,various routers / switches / interconnects to work properly !

Fiona May: yeahhhhh JayR, so do I

Rex Cronon: i would like if applets would be able to communicate with the SL viewer, back and forth:)

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: Double up on Rex's comment

Domchi Underwood: I would love Java and Swing on the prim. :)

Tedd Maa: On that question: I'd like to see Sun take part in the development of the new SL

Wyn Galbraith: An in world career page ;)

Saijanai Kuhn: coordinate with Manpower on in-world job offerings for RL

Fiona May: access to RL job offerings are in the Sun lobby, we will be looking at recruitment fairs moving forward

Heidi Sun Microsystems: From a community standpoint what do you want? More chats? More events? More Sun Experts on line?

TrentTurner Sun Microsystems: More sun experts on line!

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Morgaine, please ask your question.

Morgaine Dinova: The Internet didn't grow explosively because of business interest, it exploded through growth at the leaves of the tree, through massive interest from ordinary people. Most business discovered it only very late in the game, with only a few insightful companies present early on: Cisco, DEC, Sun. Do you think that the memo of "Let's get this working, sort out the business later" is dead, or still alive and kicking?

Fiona May: i echo the sentiments on applets and java - I would like to throw the challenge out to our developer community as well. I will even consider land of any serious developers. for any*

Fiona May: Morgaine, I would hope that a lot of us learned by what happened in the early days of the Internet. I remember them only too well. From what I have seen there is a lot of people outside of the big corporates who are showing an interest in how this environment evolves

Klaatu Niu: Mogain.. I think thats exactly how we've gotten here too. for Sun . . we kinda started up our SL presence and than have worried about the business of it as we move forward

Morgaine Dinova: Fiona: I think the question really translates to: is Sun limited by having to present a business case now, for involvement in Vws.

Fiona May: up until yesterday Morgaine I would of said yes, but now put a dedicated head and the team will grow I think that opened up a whole new ballpark

Heidi SunMicrosystems: JayR, please ask your question

You: ok thank you this is more of a statement / and I feel is an important issue that needs to be dealt with. Ok this is just my opinion , seems to me there are server load balancing issue's that need to be addressed. Here within the LL Server cluster / Way to many packets of data seem to bounce around back and forth , thus this is creating unnecessary network traffic – resulting in all sorts of difficulties / what I believe needs to be done is consolidate the clustered architecture into a uniform state and maintain current evolving technologies as they emerge, and blending them as needed.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Gotcha! :)

Ancient Shriner: I think that sims should be run on virtual machines on mainframes

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Why mainframes ?

Ancient Shriner: So you don't have network traffic, and you can take empty sims, and have only a couple clock cycles to see if there is some one there before ramping up in memory then you can scale up to hundreds per sim, as traffic bandwidth would become the problem, not processor horsepower

You: BlackBox seems like is a viable answer

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Ok, let's talk about AS's comments. Mainframes act as a central point of power as well as failure

Ancient Shriner: ok, cluster of mainframes then

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: what we are building at Sun in Darkstar, is quite a bit different

Ancient Shriner: I'm very interested to learn about Darkstar

Slick Stringfellow: I was going to mention Darkstar, the idea of "shards" "sims" etc is outmodded

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: building a horiz. scalable environment that disributes the work as needed, invisible to the client as well as the application. The issues we have with today's though around virtual worlds is the sharded or geography based model

Ancient Shriner: that what you mean by shards?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: they are principally based on "web server" links of thought, this works well for the WWW because there is no one datacenter that runs all of the servers powering the web

Ancient Shriner: true, but there is the InterNIC

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: can't do that in a distributed sim, no scale :) does not matter

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Go Eric

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: is it a centralized bandwidth problem, or a problem of load and cross network (client - > server -> #clients) load going exponential?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: what needs to happen is to have the server be agnostic when it comes to content, treat everything the same

Ancient Shriner: it is a lock-step concensual projection of events problem

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: this way, the client and/or app does not care where in the data center their apps are being run, they just care that it *is* being run :)

Ancient Shriner: keeping virtual realities the same one each client . . . so we all see the same thing , but take inventory . . .where is that kept?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: let's move on for a minute

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Eric?

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: Well part of the problem is coordinating the clients within the latency between them

Fiona May: I think Erics question was, is it a centralized bandwidth problem, or a problem of load and cross network (client - > server -> #clients) load going exponential?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: correct Eric

You: it is load balanceing I think

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: Maximizing the server helps tremendously

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Which is why game developers hide latency with art / animation ;) Only for the items being executed on that particular server. We need to work to make the app run on all servers equally well.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Let's not talk Sun product here, this is about VW exploration

Fiona May: We believe that environments like Second Life give us the ability to explore new ways of communicating with customers, partners and people curious about Sun in a way that has previously been unavailable.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: agreed

Fiona May: We use our virtual space to more effectively communicate the kinds of technologies we create, ways to use those technologies, how we are making an impact on society at large and to just engage and talk with people. Lastly, we see it as a way to observe and learn how to be more effective communicators and online participants in this emerging space.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: We also use SL to understand how we can make the next evolution of VW platforms even better

Fiona May: We are continuing learning about this space, thats why i feel we are still learning about this environment

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Slick ask your question

Slick Stringfellow: Chris: Along those lines of VW and making them better, what if any interaction has Sun had with MindArk and EU?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Not much, meaning I have not reached out to them, but, we are working on Wonderland/MPK20 to look at building deeper collaboration frameworks with stronger/granular security and media. And can play some games in there also :)

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: Sun has been quite active in charities, and there are quite a number of non-profit causes active in SL. I would then offer service as a goal for Sun SL.? Probably the biggest is the American Cancer society relay, but we are also working on Rock the Vote, and With Capitol Hill, founded by John Gage

Fiona May: LL already offers non profits opportunities within SL. We try to give back to the SL community by dedicating space for a sandbox. We use in-world builders and scriptors, not big organizations

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: Rock On!!

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Whoops, you are up.

Whoops Babii: nope I'm fine. I just have to say that without Fiona, Sun's presence in SL would have floundered.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: 100% agreed :)

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Dillan you're up.

Dillan Munro: I came in a bit late so sorry if this has been asked, but where are the performance bottlenecks in a VW application like SL? Raw processing power in the servers? Network bandwidth?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: The issues can be broken down into overall architecture, initial design, and flexability. Bottlenecks that crash the server happen at the physical layer of the DC, geo based worlds assign servers to each parcel of land, the only way to fit more people or assets into the sim is to physically beef up that particular server. No load balancing across the entire DC. Imagine if we did that for each stock that trades on Wall Street, it would not scale. And this is not, BTW, a slam on LindenLabs, it is how they thought about initial design way back when, and their backgrounds were in the web space so, the thought is logical. Network bandwidth is another concern, but less of an issue as we can do things that mask latency. Unfortunately, we cant change the speed of light. and atomic physiscs are pretty hard and fast rules :) But we have some ideas on how to ease the latency burden ;)

Heidi SunMicrosystems: JayR, my friend, you are up.

You: ok this is a bit off topic / but i really want to bring it up. Since this new VR enviorment is evolving and we are obviously / all intelligent individuals / how can we work together / and help solve problems / such as World hunger / Domestic Violence / Peace and Co-operation in a RL world gone Mad? Can we actually make this a platform for Global World Peace ?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: VW platforms allow us to shed the social blocks, we have in RL encounters, racial bias, gender bias, religious bias, etc... we can mask these and have a more candid conversation

EricAhlberg SunMicrosystems: Many are trying, we had long lines of demonstrators for Myanmar. Instant global demonstration?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: VW platforms server to equalize voices, in a way RL media can not. Much more to discuss on this topic, but we should move along :)

You:Thank you for your response Chris & Eric :_)

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Next question?

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Go Slick

Slick Stringfellow: Darkstar seems based on N1 Grid Engine and HPC Cluster tools technologies,am I correct?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: No, not at all :) Darkstar was built from the ground up for online games.

Slick Stringfellow: Similar priciples? compute nodes instead of geo servers, etc ;)

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: N1 and HPC Cluster serve different markets. Similar in that they seek to dynamically load balance and move data based on geography, but, the way a developer approaches Darkstar is through an API stack that appears mono-threaded, which is the world of the "game loop" In reality, it is highly scalable on the server.

Also, the game developer never actually touches the database, all access in and out are handled through services which increases our security as well as availability

Slick Stringfellow: very interesting, thanks :)

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: no problem!check out for more info :)

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Evian, go! :)

Evian Argus: Can you tell us what Darkstar and Wunderland will offer the business marketplace in the next 1-3 years? - Intranet Metaverses at the OEM level for medium/large companies? Hosted Metaverses for medium/large companies from SUN and Cisco?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Yes, and yes, plus imagine a framework that allowed you to interconnect very different themed worlds seamlessly and transfer goods, ID, status between said worlds allow for very granular levels of security that protect real world financial transactions or RL identity.

Evian Argus: All within the SUN/Cisco platform (only).

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: nope, Darkstar is written in Java, the client APIS are Java and C, we are already seeing client APIs in development on c#, Java,Flash, Torque, etc... all talking to the SAME back end server

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Karen, you are up. Ask away!

Karen Canto: Chris, I'm not a techie, you answered some of this, but i am interested to know if Sun is working on any VW platforms that are enterprise-friendly, for business? is that in the future cards for Sun? a safe place for business training, customer engagement?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Absolutely! MPK20 is our first research demonstration of exactly this, a VW environment designed for work environments. For example, if you are in Wonderland and see a picture of a Firefox browser, it is actually a live browser. Open Office even WindowsXP can be made available in the world, and several avatars can control at once
or pass control between each other. We can even provide mixed modes of security, let's say, for example, we were in the MPK20 world having this discussion. The Sun employees in this audience may have a security level that allows them to see a slide deck on the screen behind us. While the non Sun employees just see the graphic up there now all of us together. different, tailored experiences, we are building this, and using it for our internal meetings today.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Oh yeah, one more thing..... It's all Open Source.

Fiona May: we are working with this team to build an area in here to be able to hopefully demonstrate MPK20, so watch out for that.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: yep!

Heidi SunMicrosystems: JayR, your turn. :)

You: ok mabey a bit off topic again / But numerous reports of bot-net type of invaders have been circulating around for the past year or so / and how they can creep into a VR environment / what attempts have been made to minimize this potential threat ?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: the environment, from SL to your eTrade account is only as good as the security model around it. The same things we have in general web security, we have in VWs, no different.

You: anything at all that poses a security threat?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Anyone get a letter from a diplomat in Nigeria lately? There you go :) same issues.

You: LOL / * I appoligize for asking such a silly question * :(

Fiona May: no question is a silly question JayR

Heidi SunMicrosystems: @JayR...there are no silly questions

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: not silly at all

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: this is something that we have been discussing in the Metaverse Roadmap group for a while now. Very difficult issues to resolve, because nothing these worlds do is based on standards. Everyone creates their own frameworks

Whoops Babii: just like UNIX's before POSIX, etc.

Siddhartha Fonda: So the Metaverse Roadmap is the place to keep an eye on for that then..

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: absolutely, it deals with everything from social impact, economics, legislation, healthcare, education, etc.... some incredible minds got together to work on this, fantastic information and insights

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Who here likes what Sun has done in SL?

Ancient Shriner: You're getting better . . .

DonaldKay SunMicrosystems: who doesn't?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: ?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Who dosen't "get it"

Siddhartha Fonda: does

Jai Baxter: smiles

You: education and healthcare / we all may be able to make a difference

Siddhartha Fonda: loves it!

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Education is a BIG one

EdWetmore SunMicrosystems is very pleased

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Fiona rocks, BTW

Ancient Shriner: You're getting much better . . .

Siddhartha Fonda: Beautiful sims, engaging us in talks like this, the bookstore, etc.

Fiona May: the bookstore we are expanding and also looking at additional resources we can provide

You: if we work together and stop the maddness of War, sorry I Had To Say That :_)

Heidi SunMicrosystems: Well, time is up. I want to thank Chris and Fiona for their time and all of you for attending.

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Everyone, check out

Jai Baxter: Like the M Roadmap, like the discourse- friendly spaces - interested to see how this will relate to standardization

Fiona May: I promise to drag Chris back in again

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: and let me know if you have any other questions :)

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Thanks all for coming out!

Fiona May: Yes Thank You for coming

Revidescent Delvecchio: Thank you very much for taking the time to hold this discussion.

Ancient Shriner: Thanks for having the discussion in the first place!

Whoops Babii: Chris - how is the build environment in Wonderland?

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: It is Java at the moment, but for Darkstar there is already a publicly available bridge for the Torque engine, wich Microsoft is also using for their XNA platform

Evian Argus: Thanks ChrisMelissions - Fiona - Heidi - SUN

Fiona May: You are welcome Evian

ChrisMelissinos SunMicrosystems: Thanks for listening

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Our time is up. I want to thank Fiona, Chris, Brian for joining us today. And thank you for your great questions. If you'd like to join us we will be in Club Java for a post-chat mingle

Heidi Sun Microsystems: Chris Melissinos, Chief Gaming Officer, will be joining us at that time.

JayR Cela / 11-14-07

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Improving Second Life performance on Windows XP

After speaking with many users running the SL Windows XP Client. I have found that their computers are often cluttered with so many background running programs and services that they do not need in order to run SL, it cause's the system to slow down to a snails pace.

Also fragmented hard drives, Viruses, Spy Ware, Trojans, Spy Bots, and other various junk cluttering things up. So the usual story, is that they end up blaming Linden Labs and the SL client on all their problems. When in fact, what they need to do, is keep their machine running lean and mean, instead of bloated and overtaxed.

Here I will offer some advice and links to free ware programs and tips to help you keep your Windows XP Box running in top condition, and Second Life a pleasure to use.

Here is a web site I recommend.

>> <<

1. CCLeaner this is good for getting rid of lots of hidden temp files and other things that build up and slow down your computer

2.SpyBot Search and Destroy a great anti spy ware tool, it has an option for some automatic filtering called Tea Timer :( don't use it :_)

3. AVG Anti Virus Free Edition, I have been using this product for so long I cant even remember, highly recommended. Oh yes, on the automatic update download you may want to set this to notify only.

4. Ad-Aware 2007 very good at getting rid of pesky crap.

OK at the bottom of File Hippo page, is a section for Drivers / Direct X 9.0c is a must have. Microsoft's latest patches & updates to the current Direct X graphics capabilities in the Window's environment. Also the current video drivers from Nvidia & ATI are available. However, better tweaked video drivers can be found at >> <<

I also recommend “” A-squared Free “” this will find things, other programs seem to miss like Trojans and Bot's >> <<

Next on the list, is Advanced Windows Care from >> This is an all in one program that includes a registry cleaner.

Another registry cleaner RegScrub XP is very useful as well. Although IO-Bit's all in one Advanced Windows Care includes a reg cleaner. I can usually find a few things it missed by running this utility afterwards. You can download it from
>> <<

Last on the list is the best hard disk defrag utility I have found,”“ JKDefrag “”, It is far superior to the utility included with Win XP >> <<

I know this sounds like a lot to do, in order to keep your computer running properly. However, I have thoroughly tested all of these programs for a number of years, as have countless others. ( The all-in-one wonders like Norton & Symatec, can not compare to using separate dedicated programs designed for 1 task) ( with the exception of IOBit's Advanced Windows Care ) and it will take several hours to go through the routine. However I do feel it is well worth the time spent in order to keep your computer running as smoothly as possible, and SL operating at full speed. I do-not recommend using any of the automated scheduled, or background process maintenance routines with any of these programs !! RUN THEM MANUALY !!

Another note many people have so much crud running in the background that it just is impossible for Windows XP to keep track of everything. So it will constantly use the extra space on you hard drive to swap programs in and out of the physical memory, to available hard disk space. This usually results in what is referred to as disk thrashing. Avery common complaint while using SL

Look in the lower right hand corner of your screen ( How Many Icons Do You See ? ) If there are more than 2, 3, or 4 you may be over taxing your machine. These programs are automatically starting and using resources every time you boot your computer, and are competing with other programs for your computers memory limitations, hence the constant complaint of my computer is slow, while trying to run Second Life. Do you want to solve this problem? Of course you do! Click on the Windows Start button, choose "run" and then type in "" msconfig "" ( minus the double quotation marks. ) this will present a configuration tool. Goto the Start Up tab and un-check all the stuff you do not need in order to use the SL client, and reboot the computer. If you are really brave check out the Services Tab and you will find all kinds of processes running in the background that are not required in order to run the SL client, or your computer in general, for that matter. ( !!! Warning if you do not understand the Running Services portion of MSConfig, is better to seek out someone who does.!!! ) ( Please feel free to contact me in-world if you need some help with this ) If you do understand background services, and want a really great tool to see what is actually going on behind the scenes. I highly recommend a program called "" Whats Running "" this will literally show you every aspect of what is happening in the background, and foreground. It is available here >> <<

Furthermore when un-installing and re-installing SL on a Windows XP box be sure to do a clean install, and blow that entire SecondLife directory out of existence. This may require that you reset all of your preferences upon reloading the game, but believe me, it will git rid of things that the standard SL un-install or the required update feature upon log-in somehow manages to leave behind. You should also visit >> <<>

Last but not least is video drivers, it is imperative that you have the correct, current up to date proper driver for your video hardware.

All of the above programs listed are completely free of charge and very well established, reliable, and free of spy ware. However, this is only the way that I run my computer, and is in no way or shape or form being endorsed by Linden Labs. I will not accept any responsibility for something that you screw up! In other words If you don't know what your doing, seek out someone that does.

sorry some of the web links will need to be manually typed in

JayR Cela / 11-13-2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

IBM & Linden Labs Announce Cooperative Initiative

LL & IBM publicly made an official in-world statement to a packed crowd of developers recently. The two companies have formed a cooperative interoperability agreement initiative, dealing with emerging Virtual World technologies.

As stated by both parties, the goal is to allow the seamless movement of one's avatar and assets from one VW to another. The two companies believe the goal is worthwhile--and doable.
Both Linden Labs and IBM are now reaching out to the open source community, to collaboratively work on the development of industry standard specifications within this expanding new field of Information Technology. Two standards, universal log in and asset guarantees, are the first to be addressed. Allowing you to easily take your Avatar from one Virtual World to another.

The already developed Open ID specification may well be an ideal solution for login, but it in itself does not lay out the individual Avatars characteristics or asset ownership or inventory specifications. So an Ad Hoc standard spec.. , defining those characteristics, will need to be settled upon.

Other issues including, would you be able to move a 3D avatar into a 2D world or vice versa, and what it is that you want to accomplish while moving between the different VW's? We need to determine which assets can be moved along with the VW persona. Avatar aesthetics and Inventory assets will need to be defined with a comprehensive set of standards between the various worlds. And the guarantee's for intellectual property rights have to be set in place.
We cannot allow taking item X from Virtual World 1 (VW1) to VW2 and having another avatar in VW2 copy item X rename item Y and then selling it as their own creation. This would present a huge problem. And if not dealt with early during standards formation, may result in the stifling of creativity efforts. Therefore some sort of security measures need to be addressed. Along with getting cooperation from other VW owners(Software Companies) will undoubtedly be a matter of gaining their confidence.

Other looming technical questions currently remain somewhat elusive. Moving Second Life from a closed system, too one that is more scalable, inter-operable and stable, is a huge task and it is still to early to know exactly how many things will need to be worked out in order for this to be possible.

Obviously IBM's interest at this early stage is to get the point issues worked out. Uniform login, avatar and asset definitions, and moving from one world to another as seamlessly as we currently access web based services today. An in-world, collaborative web browsing experience, coupled with the ability to view a web page in a 3D space and have multiple assets, avatars and content interacting within these worlds is imperative to future success.

The fact that most of todays VW clients are closed source, is very similar to the early days of the modern Internet. Although this is a formidable problem, it is a solvable one. As we have seen, today's web browsers like Firefox, Opera, Safari and numerous others, have tackled these difficult issue's, and demonstrated the ability to work together, and solve problems using existing open source tools. VW standard OS applications for content creation, 3DS Max, Maya, Pov~Ray, Gimp, Mono, Java, are currently freely available programing platforms. Much the same way we have JPEG & BMP etc..files today, that are widely used within this developing industry. Do we reinvent the wheel,or simply improve upon its original design, and add to the already rich mix of available tools.

Sun Micro Systems, Project Dark Star, and MPK20, if used as example's, are based and built, almost entirely with open source, Java programing tools. The upcoming Google World initiative will also play into this mix. Settling on common 3D file formats, and asset exchange protocols, can and will be accomplished eventually. And it is not necessarily a matter of who gets there first, that will win this game. Once all the other parties involved, get comfortable with the idea of opening up their platforms, we can and will move forward.

One major concern I see, is that the terms scalable, inter operable and open source, can and do mean different things to different people, and may cause some early false starts.

What we are seeing, is the first round of serious discussion, on what may prove to change the way we all inter react with one in other via the Internet. :_)

JayR Cela / 11-12-2007