Aug 17, 2022 - Basil Sleeping

    Over the last few months I’ve done a lot of work on Basil – both the browser client and the OpenSimulator region modules. I’ve gotten it to the point where an avatar representation can be navigated around a dedicated region.

    Then I’ve stumbled over more little problems. Like needing to have the connection to OSGrid login server be HTTPS. OpenSimulator grid installations often do not have TLS connections to the grid services so both the login XMLRPC request and the connections to the WebSockets are problematic. Browsers require TLS once anything is loaded via HTTPS.

    Then there is the project of converting OpenSimulator content which requires a lot of work optimizing and reformatting. I’d decided to use the Cesium 3D-tiles format to contain the multiple levels of LOD and layered data. The format is straight forward but it would be a lot of work to do the mesh decimation and the texture atlasing.

    Then there are the avatars and animations. And what to do about the new avatar formats that are being used by everyone else in the new virtual world universe?

    That brings me to the largest barrier – OpenSimulator is just not made for the modern VR environment. Not only is the content format not what the rest of the world is using, but avatar movement is not two way so anything other than gesture animations is not possible.

    And there is a world of new virtual worlds with active and innovative communities. This project cannot keep up. If I had completed Basil a decade ago (when I started) it might be adaptable. The general concept of a universal viewer might be adaptable but that’s a different project.

    So, for the moment, Basil is sleeping. Maybe it will awake someday.

    Jan 20, 2022 - Revisiting Basil

    After a few years of wandering around in other open-source projects like Vircadia and ROS2, I’ve come back to do some work on Basil and its components.

    I’ve reworked the protocol into an entity/ability model and rewrote a lot of the Javascript code with a transport/protocol/message architecture. I am now re-writing the OpenSimulator plugins to work with the new protocol and architecture.

    Why revisit? With the “metaverse” becoming A Thing, I really felt the idea of a viewer that is separate from world logic is more important than ever.

    Also, since I’m a virtual world old timer (been doing this stuff for over 20 years), I have the nagging feeling that virtual worlds are a nitch. A big nitch for sure – it will create billion dollar companies and industries. But augmented reality is where the real life changing application will happen. Think how the touch-screen, graphical, cell phone has changed the world.

    Thus, the Basil architecture is again important.

    Jan 20, 2020 - Welcome to Herbal3d

    Starting to make the Herbal3d site a reality. Now to set up all the social media accounts.

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