Members of Linux Australia get up too all kinds of good stuff! Second Life is a fast growing Metaverse that's an amazing place to be and very FOSS friendly.
This site is here so that people can see what the Linux Australia members are doing in-world as well as a resource for Linux users interested in Second Life.
We support the upcoming linux.conf.au 2011!
Sunday, December 19. 2010
A quick search in Google for "best linux conference" will give you multiple results for linux.conf.au, one of the finest "grass roots" conferences anywhere, with a proud tradition of excellent speakers.
Now just weeks away, the next linux.conf.au (lca2011) will be held at the QUT Gardens point campus in the heart of beautiful Brisbane city, Australia.
lca2011 boasts keynote speakers like Vint Cerf, one of the Father's of the Internet, Eric Allman one of the Fathers of email, and of interest to SL people; Mark Pesce co-developer of the Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML)
Additional to the keynotes, is a Programme filled with enticing and current Miniconfs, Tutorials and Presentations across the full spectrum of FOSS. This is the stuff that future tech is made out of.
It's been 9 years since an lca was last hosted in Brisbane, and this one is shaping up to be one of the best lca's in a series of some very fine ones indeed.
Quite a few Second Life people including Gizzy Electricteeth, Pipe Hesse and yours truly will be there, shouldn't you attend too?
Saturday, January 26. 2008
While Australians celebrate Australia Day today, we're fast approaching the start of the famous and ever amazing linux.conf.au - the Best Linux technical conference in the world.
In 2008 it returns to Melbourne and is already sold out!
As per usual all the Linux community luminaries will be in attendance, as well as world class speakers from near and far, like Bruce Schneier for example.
Many names familiar to Second Life will also be there, including Gizzy Electricteeth, Pipe Hesse and yours truly.
Jonathan Oxer, the current Linux Australia president, will be presenting his talk "Hardware / Software Hacking: Joining Second Life to the Real World" which sounds rather exciting, providing an interactive connection between the SL and the real world.
So next week is looking rather exciting. I can't wait!
Saturday, August 18. 2007
Tao Takashi on his blog has and excellent post highlighting a talk Philip Rosedale, the CEO of Linden Lab gave at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention.
Philip's talk available here, makes his attitude towards and understanding of Open Source software much clearer. Essentially he considers it vital towards Second Life having a sustainable future.
While this news is a little tardy it's still very interesting indeed!
Wednesday, June 27. 2007
Linux users of Second Life seeing voice currently being supported in all but their Viewer, are posed with that question.
Reading through a job logged in March in the SL JIRA issue tracker titled 'Support Voice on Linux', two things become clear;
1) Linden Lab have licensed Vivox to provide propriety code for Voice.
To me this seems a real shame. Linden Lab have gone to great lengths to make sure that the technologies they choose to build Second Life are standards based, and as open and transparent as possible.
Recently Sardonyx Linden in a post to the SL Blog thanked the open source community for the work they've done bugfixing the SL Viewer. Linden Lab have gone so far as to GPL the SL viewer including the excellent 'WindLight' code. The Vivox code seems to contrast this attitude starkly.
Vivox appear to have only had limited exposure, their technology being used most notable in another MMOG called 'EVE Online' which doesn't support Linux at all.
I'd love to know why Linden Lab selected Vivox over numerous other open alternatives, as it seems to me that it will only be a matter of time until this code, which is not GPL2 friendly has to be removed and replaced.
What are your thoughts?
Sunday, June 17. 2007
The WindLight advanced atmospheric rendering technology that Linden Lab purchased in May has been made available as part of the SL Viewer source code, which is released under the GPL.
This will be welcome news to Freedom Lovers as it's yet further proof of Linden Lab's commitment to Open Source values, while at the same time pursuing dramatic improvements of the SL experience.
WindLight provides astonishingly realistic and beautiful atmospheric and natural lighting effects in real time which takes the SL experience and "cranks it up a notch".
WindLight is not currently available in the pre-compiled SL viewer, but Zen Linden in a posting to the official SL blog provides links on how to get the current source code which has WindLight and compile it.
While Voice chat in the SL Viewer is not currently supported in linux, WindLight is probably a better feature to have if one had to choose between them.
Sunday, May 27. 2007
One of the 'Giants' of Second Life community on who's shoulders other residents can stand is Tateru Nino. She has consistently mentored new Residents, and through postings on various sites revealed not only how to be creative in SL but also it's inner workings.
One such set of inner documentation is in the the form of the "UnderTheGrid" postings on Second Life Insider.
In a current posting Tateru covers how to build a simple bot using python. Previous posts have covered topics like the Open Source SL viewer, Prims and causes of lag.
Monday, May 14. 2007
Our very own Linux Australia member, Gizzy Electricteeth, will host a training session in Second Life at the ABC Sandbox Tower this Wednesday May 16 at 8pm AEST (3am PDT).
This is a wonderful opportunity to develop or improve your SL building skills in real time under the knowledgeable guidance of Gizzy. Even SLOZ are excited about it!
Referred to by Aunty ABC as a 'Second Life building expert' and the Second Life Insider as 'lovely and witty' Gizzy is also a Linux and FOSS zealot!
Famous in SL build circles for her work on the Rod Laver Arena and other significant builds, this is a great opportunity to learn from a master artist herself, don't miss it!
Saturday, May 12. 2007
So you're now a Second Life resident and have a vague recollection of the skills taught on the Orientation Island. You've visited some clubs, seen some sights, made some friends, raided some money trees, did some camping and spent your Lindens. The urge to be creative is growing and you want to leave your mark in the Metaverse. What to do?
Well, you could travel to the Ivory Tower of Prims and follow some of their excellent tutorials, but you're lazy and would really like to see what's involved creating content in SL.
Fortunate for you a whole library of Video Tutorials exist on the SL Wiki that impart a vast collection of creative SL skills like;
Many other Video Tutorials are available to fill the gaps in your SL knowledge.
In a future post LA2nd Life will cover which Free Software tools are available that allow you to generate all the SL content you wish.
No more excuses, find a sandbox and get to it!
Wednesday, May 9. 2007
As with any community, Second Life has it's own groups, tradition, language, luminaries, villains, crackpots, visionaries and history.
Considering that Second Life was first open to the public in April 2003, a lot has happened in that time, including an in-world Resident revolt against Linden Lab, influx of corporates, a civil war, explosive expansion very many astonishing builds and milestones with the introduction of new technologies.
Along the way Linux has been part of it given that the servers run Debian, but more so recently with the introduction of the Linux viewer. Linux users in SL formed the first in-world LUG (SLLUG) in March, 2006 meeting weekly at a purpose built location in Maryport.
A build is currently under way by Linux Australia members to serve as a meeting place and a location for any LA LUGs wanting to hold in-world meetings. We'll announce when it's ready.
The SL History Wiki documents the formation of the SLLUG, and Historical SL events in general. For people starting out in SL it's a great resource to get up to speed with who did what when and sometimes even why.
Thursday, May 3. 2007
This little discovery should make life easier, especially for new or lazy Ubuntu users wanting to install the latest version of Second Life with a minimum of fuss. Thanks to GetDeb get your Second Life install Deb!
It comes complete with a movie introduction to the wonders of SL.
Saturday, April 28. 2007
In breathtaking news for people who create content in Second Life, Torley Linden announced the advent of Sculpted Prims! In the past it's been difficult to create organic looking objects due to the rigidity of the available geometric primitives. Just a cube with rounded edges was difficult to do with a low Prim count. This is all about to change.
The Sculpted Prim FAQ mentions that the easiest way to create a 'sculpt texture' which is used by the 'Sculpted Prim' is to create a model in an external 3d package and use an exporter. They will provide an exporter for Maya and support Blender soon.
Since a picture (or video) is worth a thousand words Torley provided this YouTube example of Sculpted Prim creation.
A 300 foot tall Tux is just around the corner!
Friday, April 27. 2007
Second Life is a Place not a site
Second Life (abbreviated to SL) is an online virtual world. It contains geographic locations, avatars, a bazillion objects, it's own currency and an active economy. The content of this virtual world is imagined, created and owned by it's Residents. One analogy might be to think of it as a very large 3D wiki, where you can see and communicate with others viewing, adding or editing the content.
From a technical perspective SL is broken up into thousands of servers (called the Grid), a communications protocol that uses UDP and TCP, and a client (called a Viewer).
Each server generally provides 4 geographic regions (called a Sim). The Sims are populated by online users (called Residents) which are represented by an avatar. Almost any aspect of an avatar's appearance can be modified to the owner's liking. In almost every case, an avatar represents a real person in real time.
Second Life can be considered a metaverse with it's own day, night, wind, physics, land and water. Different people are in SL for different reasons.
Stuff in Second Life
Creators of content own the content they make and can choose what to do with it. Permissions on objects are very similar to unix permissions with User, Group and Other categories.
The tools to build objects are part of the SL viewer and available to all Residents. Objects in SL are built from 3D geometric shapes (called Prims) and apart from the shape can include a texture and a script. Prims can be grouped together to make complex objects. The scripting language used in SL is called Linden Scripting Language (LSL).
Objects can represent everything from buildings, trees and liquid to clothes, plasma, killer mech-bots and kittens. Objects can be bought and sold, belong to a group or given away.
What it looks like
Watching a few episodes of The Grid Review will give you an idea, and hopefully a few chuckles.
Click 'continue reading' to see how the installation is done
Continue reading "An Intro to Second Life for Linux Geeks"
Saturday, April 21. 2007
A 'Sim' in Second Life is a geographical instance that runs on a server. Currently, all Sims are provided by Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life.
Mark Wallace of 3pointD.com while attending the Virtual Worlds 2007 conference reports that Joe Miller, VP for platform and technology development at Linden Lab announced:
• We’ll be open-sourcing the back end so sims can run anywhere on any machine whether trusted by us or not.
Joe went on to say:
[I] would like to emphasize 3 key elements:
In January this year Linden Lab Open Sourced the Second Life viewer and has stated that their goal was to also open the server and the related protocols.
Certainly it's heartening to see that they seem to understand that "SL cannot truly succeed as long as one company controls the Grid".
Although I suspect it may be a little while before the SL server code is opened the day to day implications and ramifications, especially for in-world currency and transactions will be interesting to see come about. Quite a lot is now at stake, for example, just yesterday US$1,768,000 was spent in-world.
Opening the "back end" will allow the Grid's load to be spread as Companies and Universities to start hosting content. No doubt it will also mature the technology significantly and most likely lead to SL becoming the de-facto standard for a 3D metaverse.
Saturday, April 21. 2007
Although it's taken a little while to get this site organised, welcome to the blog that follows the developments of Linux Australia members in Second Life!
So what's this site about?
Firstly, it exists to allow the Linux Australia members who are currently not residents of Second Life to see what those who are get up to in the metaverse.
Secondly, to make it easy for Linux users to get into Second Life by providing a level of community support.
Thirdly, this site hopes to examine the compatibility of Open Source goals and values and those of the metaverse called Second Life, and the decisions made by Linden Labs it's owners.
I hope you find this site useful.