is there a need for formal OpenSim training?


throughout the last 16 months i have learned a lot about OpenSim, however what i have learned is specific to what my needs are

that’s just the way most of us learn – we learn the things we either need to learn or the things we want to learn (wow, brilliant eh? graduate education programmes, Piaget, and all that bologna) =p

the other night i asked about lip sync in OpenSim and it is something i know nothing about because i have never done audio in either OpenSim or Second Life. i know a lot about OpenSim but only in the areas that i use all the time. i know very little about what debug settings do or how to tweak my viewer; heck, i don’t even know what LOD is! the only thing i do in OpenSim is make buildings – you should see how sorry i am at making clothes (and thus the same t-shirt for the last year)

in my virtual world journey i have done things like set up over 100 Hippo boxes in a central location and connect those to their central servers and to Hippo’s external admin panel (pretty sweet coding those guys have – you can monitor all your boxes via the web and do quite a bit via that access). to me that is technical but it really isn’t because the Hippo people did all the work

what i am trying to say in my rambling example is that my knowledge is very concentrated in one aspect of OpenSim – a private grid with no tenants serving up middle school science topics

setting up an in-world store? i have a bit of a clue from my time inSL but am so far from being proficient that i am pretty much a n00b to it. putting things in boxes, setting proper permissions, setting up notecards, eesh, makes me sweat thinking about it. could i do it? sure and i’d be reliant on lots of Googling to figure it out and it would take a lot of trial and error

i think most of us use the web as our learning resource (that and the school of hard knocks – sheesh, for not being real and being an avatar, i sure bang my head against the wall a lot!) =D

however, what i need to know to accomplish my virtual world goals are a small “subset” of the total body of OpenSim knowledge

OpenSim presents new challenges that are not there in Second Life – such as server setup, grid operation, and even stuff like doing your own currency if you are InWorldz!

i have had to learn how to restart a server and what hardware allocations do to performance, things that are beyond your control in Second Life

there are some formal eLearning programmes for Second Life, even ones that people pay for (most are pretty shady and/or crappy), but i don’t know of any for OpenSim. there are people that do workshops (our subQuark does) and then other people that just blab alot about it (yours truly). an increasing amount of my blabbing is occuring via email and some of that definitely crosses over the line of just curious to full-blown operational issues (no Jim, not you, i have enjoyed your emails and our banter and those are spot on for email discussions – and lead to blog posts!)

is there a need for OpenSim-specific and formal online eLearning?

would people pay for it? people will use free stuff all day long but making a decent online eLearning resource would mean spending serious time on it. Torley was hired by Linden Lab to create eLearning – his video tutorials were a large part of his real job

in the US, the average time to create one hour of eLearning content is 750 hours (this number is from the eLearning Guild). even if you cut that number in half it is still a lot. that time includes project management, storyboarding, subject matter experts, writing, editing, multimedia development, testing, and packaging and deployment (typically into an learning management system – LMS)

personally, i think Google does just fine and i’d bet that everyone reading this has learned that way. in my eyes, you are all more expert than i am (i keep learning from you) but since you are experts (and don’t dismiss yourself as not being expert – that means you too Mera!) do you think a formal “package” of OpenSim eLearning would sell?

what should it cover? OpenSim installation, making clothes, animations, scripting, dancing, SLOODLE? there are almost as many things to do in-world as in the real world!

okay, since you are the experts (and you are), what are your thoughts? =)


see, i can sit still! =p

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written by Ener Hax

June 11th, 2011 at 8:58 am

posted in OpenSim

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12 comments to 'is there a need for formal OpenSim training?'

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  1. LOL! “Inkluding Mera” so I cant crawl out of sight can I? =))

    Well I have no standalone sim so I dont know a lot about that, but I have a sim connected to OsGrid and I know some of the struggles behind that. For starters there is this “loop back” problem. You cant connect the sim with any router out there. ATM I cant reach my own sim when im on the same network as the server =(

    This information about installing the software and running it on your computer is NOT that easy to find out for yourself. Im sure a lot of ppl would pay for that if the price was sensible. And dont ask me what i mean by sensible =)

    Its worth time and money to get all information in a box. But, maybee you should sell it in more than one box. Some ppl are not interested in tutorials about creating clothes and some are not interested in installing your own sim on your computer. So several boxes i think.

    Good idea! xoxoxoxo =))

    Mera Kranfel

    11 Jun 11 at 10:01 am

  2. hi Mera! (my favourite swede btw) =)

    sheesh, so you know how to use a router eh? i have no clue! the cable company set it up and i don’t even know how to access it!

    maybe you can write a post about it? i would like to have an idea how it works (and a guy here, Bradd, was running good and all of sudden started getting routing errors):

    “a message appears socket exception port 9000, blah blah blah terminated”

    i have no idea on that thing or even where to start!

    Ener Hax

    11 Jun 11 at 10:08 am

  3. so, i used to be a teacher (focusing mainly on technology and also teaching adults – i.e. university faculty members) and one thing i discovered very quickly is that rapidly evolving technology (OpenSim and all other Metaverse applications to be sure) needs to be handled less like traditional courework and more like an open-ended ongoing seminar. This is simply because what you explain to a group of people one week can change significantly in a matter of weeks (if not days). the other thing to consider where Metaverse topics are involved is the extensive crossover of all the technologies needed for things like OpenSim to work. This starts at the networking level and ends up in OS itself and even beyond for those creating content with external applications. also, as Mera mentioned in her post, not everyone is interested in the same information as their personal OS needs/agenda are unique.

    my personal assessment of your question “is there a need for formal OpenSim training?” is this: i think OS is still too deep in its ‘alpha’ status to commit any sort of formalized educational packages. i do however think that maintaining a highly flexible continuous environment of – say – informative blogs, quick tutorials/podcasts (fire up yer Fraps!), inworld demos and some public sandboxes with working, deconstructable examples is appropriate for now. these things already exist but need to really be wrangled, intelligently, into a tight cluster – and definitely not in the “one site, one stop shop” manor. there should be SEVERAL independently managed sources working together in order to offer the most diverse and open-ended experience possible to the equally diverse population of OpenSim creators, developers and administrators. at any point, these resources can be funneled into a more structured format as the information becomes less volatile.

    hope this wasn’t too long winded and makes some sort of sense. i may have gotten too much sleep last night :p


    11 Jun 11 at 11:04 am

  4. I got a lot of my early help and understanding of Opensim from Rock Vacirca’s blog, Chapter & Meterverse.

    On his blog see the link to his tutorials. They are a bit dated now but he writes from a user’s viewpoint explaining his trial and errors along the way…

    He covers every aspect of setting up an Opensim both on standalone on home computer and grid mode on a virtual server. It includes a section on routers too.



    11 Jun 11 at 12:05 pm

  5. Ener —

    A few issues for setting up any formal OpenSim-specific program.

    First, OpenSim is changing quickly. Any formal program would have to be revised continuously until OpenSim hits 1.0 release and stabilizes and new versions become backwards-compatible.

    Second, third-party tools are evolving quickly. The things you have to do manually now, you’ll probably be able to use a tool for soon enough, or pay a little bit for a third party service. (Diva Distro and Sim-on-a-Stick, to name two free ones, just keep getting better and better.) And how many of us set up our own Web servers these days? Sure, there are plenty of online tutorials for the do-it-yourself dieharders but hosting companies like GoDaddy and Dreamhost make it so quick, cheap and easy that there is really no reason for an individual or small company to bother unless they really really feel like it. Instead, it’s mostly done by professionals — guys working in corporate IT departments, who pay for specialized training, or get consultants to come in and help them do it the first time.

    Finally, a lot of the OpenSim activity you mention can carry over easily from Second Life. There are minor differences in building (megaprims!) and in scripting (OS commands!) but I wouldn’t be surprised if the good SL-based training programs started mentioning these as a matter of course (or as a side note, or in a notecard for those interested).

    Like you said, OpenSim is a lot of things to a lot of people. Once it goes mainstream, OpenSim server setup will probably be taught to would-be IT guys as part of their professional training. There will be books and online courses, and video how-to manuals.

    Designers and builders and scripters will see programs that evolve out of Second Life.

    End users will rely on vendors to provide services that are increasingly low-cost, and increasingly easy to use.

    Until then, we have to rely on any number of online tutorials, the very straightforward instructions that come included with the Diva Distro,’s instructions and wiki (which could use more contributors) and blogs like yours!

    Maria Korolov

    11 Jun 11 at 12:49 pm

  6. Impressed that nobody has mentioned Kitely yet in terms of ease-of-use ;)

    On the other hand I keep hearing the phrase “OpenSim is not SL” and it would not surprise me if ultimately the two diverged significantly rather than OpenSim “maturing” into a fully-fledged SL clone with offline capability.

    Graham Mills

    11 Jun 11 at 4:21 pm

  7. Ener LOL! I cant use a router but I know someone who can ;)

    A post? =O Maybee, but i have to think about it. I have learned a little on the way but i dunno if it helps anyone? You just have to buy the right brand of the router. OpenSim has a list of routers that can handle loopback for example.

    Regarding Bradd; If he has a router he has to open the port in the router. The firewall often fixes this by itself. Its also possible to use another port as 9001.

    “Favourite swede” thanks btw =))

    Mera Kranfel

    12 Jun 11 at 6:44 am

  8. pffft, i have never dealt with a router and have no clue what to do with it! i would learn from you for sure! PORT 9001?


    damn caps lock! =p

    Ener Hax

    12 Jun 11 at 2:15 pm

  9. lmao :D

    Mera kranfel

    13 Jun 11 at 1:11 am

  10. “an increasing amount of my blabbing is occuring via email and some of that definitely crosses over the line of just curious to full-blown operational issues (no Jim, not you, i have enjoyed your emails and our banter and those are spot on for email discussions – and lead to blog posts!)”

    Jim Barr

    13 Jun 11 at 7:29 am

  11. Keep it up, Ener!

    Jim Barr

    13 Jun 11 at 7:29 am

  12. for a long time i include opensim set up for but i dont have any readers, so it is for me only. i have also including green/blue screens for machinima, have article about meshes and other stuff.

    i had to go into sl mesh beta to learn how to do things like avatars. had to go and google to find out how to create alphas for my avatar for opensim. had to google to find out i can change the ghost appearance in 2.x.

    that doesnt include how things are made: clothing, skins, bodies, house, and scripts. the information is there, but hard to find.


    13 Jun 11 at 11:58 am

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