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want browser access to OpenSim?

16 comments

if you want browser-access to OpenSim to become a reality, show your enthusiasm by trying out the PixieViewer

i learned about it from Maria at Hypergrid Business

PixieViewer puts OpenSim in browser

i checked it out (using Chrome) and it worked quickly and smoothly (seems smoother than the Kataspace viewer was and possibly more robust)

creating an account was fast and there are some items you can explore in the demo world

comment on the developer’s blog and show your support! =)

pixie

no pink hair? that’s okay because this is via a browser! =)

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written by Ener Hax

March 11th, 2013 at 2:52 pm

posted in OpenSim

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16 comments to 'want browser access to OpenSim?'

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  1. I’ve tried it with MSIE 10 with a WebGL Extension and sadly it’s not working with that browser yet. I won’t use Chrome or FF so no need for anyone to bash at MSIE.

    I personally believe this is the right path for a viewer to go and to really get people to adopt using a “proper Virtual World” technology like OpenSimulator.

    This would be boon for everyone and one of the first big winner’s would be the younger generation’s and school applications in particular. School’s can’t afford high end graphic PC’s for the kids and running on low end machines is actually hampering a lot of the “buy in & use it” crowd because of poor performance. The browser based viewer would certainly eliminate a lot of issues in regards to platform requirements and allow for real cross platform, multi-device compatibility.

    As it is, the days are numbered for proprietary software (LL Based Viewers) that have high level requirements to operate properly. The LL code base is being tightened down, the TPV’s are dropping off and will continue to do so, it’s only a matter of time before there will be little or no choice when it comes to a viewer for OpenSim.

    Some will undoubtedly deny and possibly even rant about it but if one steps back, looks at the changes & modifications made to LL deployments (server & viewer), proprietary code changes and such making it harder & harder for TPV’s to continue supporting OpenSim while being able to do SL as well… The writing is clearly on the wall if one chooses to look.

    WhiteStar

    11 Mar 13 at 5:55 pm

  2. White Star writes:
    As it is, the days are numbered for proprietary software

    Orca replies:
    Wot??? You’re against proprietary software (which is cool, since nobody likes proprietary except the Apple dummies) but otoh you’re using IE? That makes no sense, not technically and much more important … it isn’t politically correct!

    Orca Flotta

    12 Mar 13 at 5:04 am

  3. Personally, I’m all for any company willing to create a browser based viewer. We all need to remember that VR originally (?) began with browser based communities using the Blaxxun platform. And early adapters were using Cosmo Player or Cortona. I would be tickled to death if PixieViewer supported X3D, or even VRML 97!

    Joey1058

    12 Mar 13 at 8:51 am

  4. @ Orca, MSIE is the Browser of my Choice. You do have the option to change it you know. Proprietary software such as a Viewer which requires compiling to specific platform (Nix, Win, MacOS) that has major hardware requirements to run properly & efficiently is no longer viable or even practical for general consumption.

    Between PC’s, laptop’s, tablets and phones (why anyone would try VW’s on a tiny phone is beyond me but they do want to), there needs to be common ground and common feel for general adoption & use. Pixie Viewer is headed into that Bigger Market because as a browser based interface it is easier to make it truly Multi-Platform not just cross-platform.

    WhiteStar

    12 Mar 13 at 10:35 am

  5. o #$%^&.

    I wish folks would just STOP spouting all the “web interface solves everything” garbage. While there are valid arguments for improving the OpenSimulator viewer base, NONE of them address the basic problem of the complex UI and the incredibly steep learning curve.

    Yes, you can show images from inside a virtual world in a web browser now. NO, that is NOT “the solution”. Sadly many around here aren’t old enough to remember the 3d web promise of VRML. Web Interface into 3d worlds… had it years ago. Problems solved….UM NO.

    The viewer is just a part of the tool set involved. It integrates into a complex chain of activities. Take a look at the features of the Linden viewer and tell me ( by percentage ) how much of it is devoted to JUST display and navigation. There is a HUGE chunk dedicated to in-world interactions, building, scripting. The lindens KNOW that the technical side challenges are just a part of the whole problem. How does looking inside a virtual world develop and maintaining a large enough catalog of content to attract new users? How does wandering through a pile of flat regions with box buildings “Showcase” the incredible flexibility of the tool that is OpenSimulator? If you want web content, there are existing tools specifically designed for optimizing “DISPLAY ONLY” interactions.

    From the simplicity of HTML/Flash to the expensive Unity3D, there are OTHER tool-chains already optimized for the world in which “only those who can afford the tools” can be content creators. I dont see that ringing any bells in the OpenSimulator developer community. I think, and hope, they will remain focused on a goal much more important than finding new things to hook cool web-apps into.

    dz

    12 Mar 13 at 2:24 pm

  6. dz complained about the …

    complex UI and the incredibly steep learning curve.

    Most ungeeky and unnerdy Orca asks …

    what incredibly steep learning curve?
    Yes, of course there are many tricks of the trade, and even after 6 years in SL I sometimes feel like a total n00b, but that was never keeping me from enjoying my time in any VW. Just getting into and looking at it is incredibly easy: left, right, up and down arrows are basically everything you need to steer your avie. That’s not a complex trick to learn. I’d even say it comes rather natural.

    @ White Star:
    I don’t get it. Let me try to untangle the problem for my untechy mindset:
    - I have a computer
    - that computer runs on a OS
    - while it’s running it’s only running on one OS, even if I have all 3 biggies installed
    - in my case I use my favourite viewer (Singularity) in Win and Nix versions
    - MSIE, FF, Chrome(ium), Safari et al. are all available in versions for all OSes
    - no, I still don’t see a problem. Oh wait, there is a problem with one of those: IE as a opt-out only solution in Win is the only real proprietary browser of the bunch. And I hear it gives the most problems and is rather slow
    - what is the difference between cross- and multiplatform? Am I expected to swap my OS while being logged in to any VW now?

    I was curious and tested that Pixie viewer … uh, the Pixie website earlier today. To sum it up in one word: TERRIBLE! It was slow and sluggish, which indicates it uses much more computing power and/or bandwith than any other viewer. Also there is nothing much to do with that viewer. 3 buttons for all my needs? I don’t think so.

    Orca Flotta

    12 Mar 13 at 5:44 pm

  7. All I can say in response, which is likely far too much anyways… is Gee Wiz !

    WhiteStar

    12 Mar 13 at 8:31 pm

  8. I just tried the Pixieviewer and I didn’t find it at all sluggish. (I am using Chrome on a 32 bit Windows 7 Asus laptop.) I was able to move around smoothly and what few interactions were available worked as expected.

    Pixieworld is not at all interesting at the moment as an immersive experience – but that is not, I suspect, the point. This is only an alpha version of a viewer that might eventually allow full access to OpenSim worlds from tablets.

    I think dz misses this point somewhat. Pixieviewer is not intended at the moment to be a full viewer. It is a demonstration that of the possibility of using a browser to receive input from the server and render it as a 3D world using OpenGL. In itself this says nothing about the developers’ abilities to provide the full immersive experience later, including inventories, notecards, teleporting and so on. It does however point the way to a OS-agnostic viewing framework.

    I found Pixieviewer impressive and wish the developers good luck. I hope they get the support they deserve. I think that the ability to access OpenSim worlds on mobile devices, should it become reality, will have a huge impact on their development.

    Cheers
    Owen

    Owen Kelly

    13 Mar 13 at 3:56 am

  9. lol dz on the $#!@ =D i have had that argument with the eLearning community since 2007 – the viewer UI does have lots and lots of things built into it – many things that i have no clue about, even after 7 years of fairly active use

    BUT . . . learning to build prim things isn’t a steep learning curve in my opinion. compare it to Blender and it is a tiny learning curve. i have run workshops and assisted in others (subQuark’s) where we routinely had corporate n00bs (eLearning people) building within an hour

    using a viewer is relatively easy (i mean come on, Ms Booth’s third year students do geometry assignments in it!)

    becoming a guru in the viewer? that part is hard and complex and i only use enough of the viewer to build stuff and would say i don’t use 50% of its capabilities BUT i would say that i am a capable world builder and create things that are useful to others

    for our endeavor, EnclaveHarbour.com, a “web interface” would be incredible and make access to our work so easy and accomplish 100% of what we need. we simply need students to be able to log in and walk around and look at things. we don’t need any ability for avatar customization, e-commerce, or building

    a browser “viewer” would allow many mainstream people to explore VWs – not build in them, not buy stuff, but just to move through a 3D world

    a true viewer allowing for building and scripting will always be needed but more like movies

    many more people watch movies than make movies. very few people have the $100K cameras, booms, and whatever else it takes to make movies

    hey there Orca, i know WhiteStar a bit from working on SoaS and he has incredibly deep knowledge of anything Microsoft related. he knows obscure, but critical, things such as how the length of some file paths in some situations cause errors (an issue that the SoaS bat file was running into under specific conditions)

    now i am with you on IE and not a fan – their support of HTML5 is lagging (when IE8 was big, and it still is at 6% the global market, Chrome and FF did far more HTML5 stuff). i create web-based eLearning used by 70k people a year, so the browser stuff is massively important to me

    BUT – IE is here to stay for a long time, especially in the corporate world (although Saleforce is HTML5 and shaping the corporate browserscape to an extent)

    luckily we can choose browsers, although MS was very bad in the last year or two in Europe and did not offer an option – but they got reprimanded and are not fighting the latest EU fine levied against them

    “gee wiz” !!! i so love you WhiteStar – you have no idea how fond of a place you have in my heart! next to subQuark, you are my favourite Canadian! (hmm, that might be an insult – but since i’m a frog, i reserve the right to be obnoxious) =D

    thanks Owen for your perspective! it was a surprise from such a strong educational user of OpenSim but also refreshing to challenge my point of view. i tend to get easily excited over things like this but at this very moment, i would have to agree that it has no value to educational use. the possibilities are exciting but it does nothing for ed at the moment. thanks for the shift! =)

    ooh, geek note – don’t use Safari for Windows any more – Apple has not supported it in close to a year (i think May 2012) and there are security concerns too big to risk using it any longer on a PC (which is a shame because it was a useful testing tool for me)

    Ener Hax

    13 Mar 13 at 7:45 am

  10. Awww Shux Ener ;) Virtual Poutine to you dear, has to be without St-Albert’s cheese curds though, the factory burnt to the ground in January ;( .

    I just installed Firefox 19.0.2 on my sandboxed server to try it with FF as it doesn’t work with MSIE 10 +WebGL addin. The Sandbox server is a fairly basic machine (for me anyways) and Pixie was pretty smooth with only a minor bump when someone logged out of the Pixie Demo region but that’s most likely the OpenSim software issue. It has a lot of potential and is off to a good start.

    Machine Spec’s I tested with:
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
    AMD Athlon II X4 620 (Propus 45nm Technology)
    12.0 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 669MHz (9-9-9-24)
    ASUSTeK Computer INC. M4A785TD-M EVO (AM3)
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 610 (2Gb Ram)
    iH282 (1920×1200@59Hz)
    224GB INTEL SSDSC2CT240A3 ATA Device (SSD)
    596GB Western Digital WDC WD6400AACS-00M3B0 ATA Device (SATA)

    PS: Maria @ Hypergrid Business has posted a Pixie Wish List (hmm that does sound kinda odd, doesn’t it) which has some good points.

    On other points:
    I feel that as Pixie continues development (it is the first working base demo now) it will become more & more feature rich obviously… you know, “walk, don’t run”.

    It does not preclude the use of a conventional viewer as well as Pixie, so building and creation can continue as it is today as Pixie matures into a more complete facility.

    Lastly, this is about a Viewer / Interface for OpenSimulator not other products or platforms, including SecondLife(tm). Comparisons to Unity or other backend platforms is moot because they are not OpenSim or Aurora-Sim which I hope will be able to use Pixie as well.

    Have a Terrific Day one and all.
    WS

    WhiteStar

    13 Mar 13 at 9:58 am

  11. I have wished for a browser viewer for years now. Thanks for heads up <3

    Mera

    13 Mar 13 at 1:02 pm

  12. the client need to be develop for opensim. but a web-base client is not the way to do it for 2% the people — hackers like me. i want to increase the size of collada files, add in fbx, and have a real-time npc/mob controller.

    i am going with T3D instead since it is open source now. it has c++ and and a wrapper for c#. that will keep me busy for the rest of my life.

    bristle

    14 Mar 13 at 3:32 pm

  13. Absolutely non-topic, throw it off the rails, comment here:
    Ener said: “but since i’m a frog, i reserve the right to be obnoxious”.
    You just floored me! I didn’t know that! You have a great command of English, judging from your blog posts. Yes, I know what “frog” means. Unless, of course you’re referring to the amphibian. In that case, this comment is totally left field, and should be ignored. :-)

    Joey1058

    14 Mar 13 at 10:37 pm

  14. hi Joey, yes i was born in Quebec City itself to a mom from Picardie France and an American father. as such, i am a dual national and because my parents moved to Louisiana to teach french at USL i went mostly to english elementary school (i had done first grade in french in Quebec). then we moved back to Quebec and i went to one of the few english speaking high schools (in Hull, Quebec which is the sister city to Ottawa). then college was in english for a year at University of Ottawa then a BS and MA from schools in Texas!

    my french is kind of stuck at a little kid level – i still use little kid swear words! zut alors! =D

    Ener Hax

    15 Mar 13 at 7:35 am

  15. Thanks for posting on Pixieviewer, Ener. I tired it on Firefox, using MiFi 3G and it worked fine. I tried it on my Nexus 7 over 3G MiFi and was able to login on beta Android Firefox and get around using bluetooth keyboard. The tablet was more sluggish and harder to move, suspect that was speed and related to my connection.

    I have run Opensim on my cell phone because when I am home, far from the cell tower and surrounded by thick forest I can get a fairly decent 4g signal and virtual worlds run surprisingly fast. The Android Lumiya viewer just keeps getting better for accessing from tablets and phones. Haven’t tried the phone with Pixieviewer yet.

    I continue to look for ways to share story worlds with my readers and something that works in a browser is probably the easiest way to deliver that. For someone who just wants to walk around and interact with an occasional object, a browser viewer is an excellent answer. Wishing Pixieviewer terrific and speedy progress.

    Nara Malone

    24 Mar 13 at 11:29 am

  16. i am right there with you Nara – i also would like users to simply walk around and view things, they don’t need to build or join groups, or buy things, just explore

    i have even considered doing videos of each “thing” for those that can’t reach the world. my “things” are fairly discrete and mostly contained, such as the desalination plant or wind turbines. video could work but would certainly lose the immersion that VWs have

    Ener Hax

    23 Apr 13 at 9:28 am

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