Mayor of Victoriana: $30,000 Wasted, Lindens Killed The Dream

by Pixeleen Mistral on 24/03/10 at 3:25 am

LittleBlackDuck Lindsay – mayor of Victoriana and Tinytoriana – announced his departure from Second Life in a scathing pair of notecards distributed to residents of Victoriana’s 13 sims over the last two days. While this is a sad day for Linden Lab partisans, fans of LittleBlackDuck’s communities remain hopeful that Victoriana and Tinytoriana will be recontrsutced in OpenSim. The text of the mayor’s notecards are reproduced below.

LittleBlackDuck Lindsay

Hi everyone,

This is to announce that The Nation of Victoriana is closing.

I’ve been a SecondLife citizen since July 2006 and have seen many wonderful things come (and go) on this grid. Over the past twelve months I can’t help but notice the "cons" of living and working on a Linden grid far outweigh the benefits. DAILY grid issues with logins, transactions, inventory and lag, continually spoil everyone’s experience. I personally have lost a considerable amount of inventory over the past twelve months alone, something nobody enjoys. Reports from friends and residents of Victoriana tell me I’m not alone here either.

As most of you are aware Linden recently "screwed the pooch" with my permissions in Victoriana during a recent "maintenance update"; effectively disabling my ability to manage, repair and improve the estate by setting almost everything to ‘no modify’ (yes stuff I built and owned, which makes up the majority of everything in the estate). After numerous attempts via Concierge Chat and support ticket application, Linden failed to correct the issue after fourteen days… they didn’t even have the decency to contact me about the problem, or even move the ticket beyond "New" status (ie they didn’t bother to look at it). As you also know I sent out notices keeping everyone up-to-date about the status and eventually explained I would have to rebuild much of the estate from scratch and ‘fix the problem myself’. This lacklustre response from Linden has brought to light a great deal of uncertainty in our little community about the future of Victoriana and the Linden grid itself. I’ve seen a number of people in the past few weeks re-evaluate their own personal investment in SecondLife, and sadly a number of them have chosen to leave the grid for fear of losing everything they’ve invested money in. It’s a very very sad thing to see good people go (especially long-termers who’ve been around for a while) for fear of "what will happen to them" come the next maintenance rollout/asset server failure/grid issue.

Since then it’s been more daily issues with logins, lag, asset server/inventory problems, you get the picture. It’s not enough that IMs are capped (making it really tough for an estate owner to communicate with people) but it seems now Notecards are not working correctly either. I’ve sent a number of notecards to residents the past two weeks and am told most never received them, and have not received a number of communications that people have sent me. How anyone is expected to run a business, community or even take this grid seriously is beyond me.

Linden is working hard to improve the experience for new users on the grid, something I feel very passionately about, however in the process of changing their mind on how to achieve this every five minutes, they are effectively hurting everyone involved and destabilising the economy. Recently we saw Linden introduce "free homes to Premium members" which, while basic and really aimed at the newbies joining the grid, has effectively devalued any land or sims people have spent their hard earned money on. Why buy a plot of land for a home when you can get it for free? If you’re a landholder, congrats, your plot is now worth much less than it was in January. If you’re a homebuilder, congrats, why would someone buy your houses when they can get one for free? For someone that owns a sim or an estate of sims, right down to someone who runs a business selling houses, your hard work and effort is now worth a lot less. Anyone trying to run a rental business is pretty screwed now, too.

Linden also ‘dumped’ the mentor programme and mentors (a team of residents, like you, who offered their time for FREE to assist people with questions and generally help as needed). Linden is now in the process of dumping the gateway program completely too (so people in the know tell me), effectively saying "screw you" to residents and estate owners who invested their own time and money to set up. I fortunately don’t own a gateway, however I do know three people who do, and know how much of their own personal time and money they invested setting it up so that newcomers to the grid could have a fantastic ‘first five minute experience" (effectively doing Linden’s work for them). This expensive effort is all now null and void; a waste of time and investment because Linden have changed their mind again.

I’m pretty disgusted about the current state of affairs regarding DMCA on the grid too. I don’t blame Linden for copybots being created/used (by a very small number of bad eggs on a very large populous of accounts), Linden should be applauded for opening up the viewer code to public licence allowing others to tinker and improve the viewer with new features and speed. The fact a very small handful of people chose to tinker with the code to exploit permissions and allow a small handful of people to copybot the hard work of others is hardly Linden’s fault. I am terribly concerned about the lack of support content creators seem to receive when they report to Linden that their work is stolen. Anyone fancy a grey-market turtle? How about a whole sim of builds? I read day after day about content creators complaining X or Y is being copied by someone and they are not getting any support from Linden. Who will be next? I’ve personally had some of my builds copied and ended up chasing the offender myself to resolve the issue, now things are getting even easier to copy and even harder to get effective action taken, I see creating content on this grid a total game of cat-and-mouse if you expect your items to remain your items. "Word on the street" tells me Linden will be locking out all viewers other than their own some time mid-year in an effort to stamp out copybots. This means no more fantastic features in Emerald, no more model bots in your fashion store and no more innovation or improvement to the viewer beyond what Linden chose to give us. Why stifle the creativity of many when you only need to chase after a handful of offenders? Why is it taking so long for something to be done about this issue when all that needs to be done is investigation/deletion/accounts locked? DMCA and copying goes far beyond a simple copybot/hacked client, too. I’ve seen cases where ‘people’ have copied by hand, builds by "Four Winds" (for example) that are prim-by-prim identical down to the nearest 0.01m and have simply thrown on a slightly different texture and called it an original. The shape, size, layout and overall design has been stolen (and badly textured) for resale. Again where’s the DMCA love for the person who spent so much time creating the original?

I have now come to realise that running an estate or investing any kind of time or money on a Linden-run grid in it’s current form is for chumps, so I’m leaving whilst I still can.

Let me be totally clear on what I am saying and sum up why Victoriana is closing:
* I currently have a LOT of REAL WORLD dollars invested on this grid
* I have no problem covering the tier for all 13 sims if need be, as this is (was) a labour of love project for me (I like to build). I have never had an agenda for a "full estate" and would rather have a half full sim of friendly, fun, community-minded residents than "just any avatar" here to fill in the gaps.
* A recent maintenance update broke my permissions in Victoriana, and Linden Labs did nothing to fix it after repeated requests, indicating this is not only an unfixable problem (or one they don’t care about) but one that if it happens again I’m S.O.L
* Since the permissions "issue" a number of Victoriana residents have contacted me; unsure about the stability or continuity of the estate/the Linden grid, given Linden’s lacklustre efforts to resolve things
* Over my time in SecondLife I’ve also lost a large quantity of inventory during grid-related issues or maintenance updates, effectively like ‘throwing money into the furnace" as I’ve never been able to get any of it back.
* According to reports from others, I’m not alone with the inventory loss issue, and apparently not alone in the perms scenario either
* It is becoming impossible to conduct any form of business, or assist anyone here; ongoing communication problems, lag, L$ issues, grid issues
* Linden Labs is trying it’s best to improve the grid experience for people, however in the process is devaluing any money or time anyone has put into the place already; making it a poor investment opportunity and an unstable future business prospect
* Ongoing grid issues, and an uncertain future about what rules of the game Linden are going to change ‘next’, make this grid an unstable environment for anyone to conduct a large-scale project such as Victoriana, expecting it to survive intact more than a few weeks
* Linden’s apparent lack of interest in DMCA issues via copybot use means I can’t trust that if I log in tomorrow my hard work won’t be sold by someone else, and if it is, anything will be done to rectify the situation by Linden
* I have not made this decision lightly
* Nobody else (Other than Davey McDowwll) was aware I was making this decision until receiving this notice. Many people are aware I am unhappy with Linden Labs’ lack of support and care for residents on the grid but this decision was mine and mine alone to make.
* This is not a ‘poor me’ issue. This is a "I have a concern that every time I log in I won’t have inventory/an estate/a business/the ability to do anything as promised" issue
* This is also a "I have fears that my residents and storekeeps will be greatly affected by the above issues which are all out of my control and how the hell do I help them if so" issue

LittelBlackDuck Lindsay

What does this mean for you?

* Everyone’s rentbox has been locked
* Anyone with overdue rent will have their items returned asap and will be banned from the estate, this includes landholders. Just because you’re overdue in rent doesn’t mean Linden won’t charge me tier for the sim, grow up and take responsibility for your decision to rent/live/work here (or anywhere on the grid)
* Everyone is asked to "collect their stuff" asap or else it will be returned to your lost+found folder
* SHOPKEEPS: As you empty your store, any remaining rent will be refunded
* RESIDENTIAL RENTERS: As you empty your home, any remaining rent will be refunded
* LAND OWNERS: Anyone who owns land "not" for sale, your rent will be refunded and your land "bought back" for half it’s original value, this seems to be the current going rate these days in this shitty economy++
* There are over 400 individual rentboxes across the estate, I will endeavour to tend to everyone as soon as I can re:the above

++If the above sounds unfair, that’s life. In the past when people have been ejected due to antisocial activities they were always refunded any remaining rent owing and paid full amount for their land value (contrary to what they told everyone) before being banned from the estate. Due to Linden’s devaluing land through "Free Homes" and overall poor economy performance, the value of a plot of land is worth much less today, so "half it’s original value" is more than fair. Welcome to the Linden grid.

Given Linden have closed all but the most basic of forum topics now (hiding something are we LL?) there’s no decent place to list "sims for sale" any more. Victoriana was always planned as a COMMUNITY estate; when full sims in Victoriana _break even_ (ie I kept the prices low so more people could enjoy the place and I don’t make a profit, like other estates) as this project was a labour of love for me. The tier I have collected over two years has helped ease the cost of this project but was never planned to fully cover it (let alone make a profit from it). Linden killed that dream. I’ve spent over US$30,000 on this project over the past two years. That’s my own money; any tier I collected from people (when they did pay their rent) went towards the additional costs on top of that, so if you feel you’re wasting your money put things in perspective. Buying out everyone and refunding any rent is going to cost even more, as I suspect the chance of any resale value of the 13 sims that make up Victoriana will be non-existent now Linden don’t provide estate owners anywhere to advertise sims for sale.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the (sadly) small number of genuine people I’ve met over my time running Victoriana, that have contributed towards the estate in a positive way. Some residents have held events, submitted freebies or Victoriana-branded items for others to enjoy, acted as greeters tirelessly helping newcomers to the estate, or even just attended events and made them a fun and fond memory. A big thanks to all the residents who often sent me a quick IM or Notecard out of the blue saying "Hiya" for no reason other than to be friendly, it always made my day that someone would say hello and not expect something in return other than a cheery greeting. Thank you for your time, efforts and for generally helping to make Victoriana a fun place for me and everyone to visit.

Off to OpenSim I go…

Best wishes (Unless you work for Linden Labs),

LittleBlackDuck Lindsay
Mayor of Victoriana and Tinytoriana


Davey McDowwll
Advisor to the Mayor

P.S As an estate owner I’ve had to deal with a number of challenges over Victoriana’s 2+ years on the grid. Constant poaching from other estates (you know who you are, don’t play innocent, everyone knows who you are too) has been a particular thorn in my side, especially given I’ve never attempted such low tactics as this, in any form. This includes estates and estate managers who send alts to buy small parcels of land in Victoriana and then befriend/poach all their neighbours around them. Try being more discreet when you pull this stunt on other estates next time. People talk you know.

Victoriana and Tinytoriana Mayor leaving Second Life

Hi Everyone,

This is a follow-up note to my announcement yesterday that Victoriana is closing.

* Yes, Victoriana is closing
* No, it’s not staying
* No it’s not being sold
* No, there is no point convincing me to reconsider, because I think I made myself very clear about why in my lengthy and verbose notecard yesterday, but thanks for asking :) Means a lot to me that people liked what I did here and do not wish to see it disappear
* I am not donating anything to anyone. Please don’t ask, it’s in rather poor taste given the circumstances
* I have not given out anybody’s name to other estate owners as potential leads
* Everyone is getting a refund/bought out as previously described, they are lying if they say they are not
* Whilst still in ‘alpha’ development and very buggy, OpenSim is a viable alternative for my needs
* Yes I’m rather devastated Victoriana is going too. Over two years of my life and a lot of very hard work and passion was put into this estate.

I’m very concerned a number of Residents and Shopkeeps are telling me they have been ‘cold called’ by other estate managers/owners (especially from Victorian-themed estates) asking them to move to their estate. I want to make it perfectly clear – I have not given out any names of any residents who live or work in Victoriana to anyone. If you have been cold-called or approached by someone from another estate offering to "do you a deal" or "move to my estate", that is their own doing; most likely by wandering Victoriana like a vulture and picking off the carcases left. This isn’t too different to my comment yesterday about poaching that continually plagued me throughout the 2 years Victoriana existed, although now they are telling you they are "doing you a favour". I repeat… I have not given a list of names of residents or members of Victoriana to anyone and do not plan on doing so.

I also want to make clear I am not selling the estate to anyone. It is being packed up and each empty sim sold off. I don’t know where or why people got the idea I am selling the estate to Panacea Luminos, so please disregard any rumours I am. I made it very clear to Panacea the first time she offered to buy the estate last year I am not interested, and also made it perfectly clear the second time she convinced two of my closest SL friends to try and ‘trick’ me into selling it to an "unknown buyer" which I am later told is her. Please disregard any rumours you hear things are being transferred over to her as they are false. I am no longer speaking to the three people involved, so they are false if they say they are "in communication with me" too. Please also note – my policy of "buying out and refunding" landowners applied to them back when they were asked to leave Victoriana, so the rumours they were ejected and never got a cent back are untrue no matter what they say.

I’d also like to point out that everyone (yes everyone) is being "bought out" and all rents are being refunded, so to those people who are spreading rumours that I’m a shonky operator and they got nothing back, thanks. You’ve made it easy on me to leave this grid. I am refunding all residents and storekeeps as they move out, so if you have not received a payment yet you either haven’t collected your things or I’ve not gotten to your plot. Please be patient, there’s a lot of people to assist, a lot of IMs to answer, and a few credit cards to max out. Once again I’d like to confirm that everyone is getting a refund on any remaining rent as they move out, and anyone with an investment in land is getting bought out as per my previous notecard.

Many thanks to the people who have sent me well-wishes. It’s really appreciated in this time of despair and really means a lot to me. I’m terribly sorry for all those people who have shared similar experiences with me too, I do hope this kinda thing doesn’t happen to anyone else however the magic 8-ball disagrees. To those who have been rude and, well, "how dare you" or "it’s all about me"… thanks for making my decision to close all the easier.

Thank you to the people who have suggested other Opensim grids to explore, I’m certainly going to look at my options. As of now I run a small OpenSim grid in my own home for my own private use and a version of Victoriana will exist there. Whilst it is buggy and just as unreliable as this particular grid, it’s also a darned sight cheaper, and the non-existent support is the same on both grids.

Best wishes,

LittleBlackDuck Lindsay
<former> Mayor of Victoriana and Tinytoriana

120 Responses to “Mayor of Victoriana: $30,000 Wasted, Lindens Killed The Dream”

  1. pan

    Apr 6th, 2010

    @Ted 39 personal sim builds is quite impressing. I apologize if that didn’t came through, but I don’t underestimate those who work with OS – rather the opposite.
    Compare OS from two years ago with OS from last year with OS from today – its an incredible improvement.
    And its time that people start working with it. You do already – thats great.
    My point about wasting time is that highly creative people write (for good reasons!) articles over articles what the lab botched up again, fill the labs pjira and get ignored by the lab in return. My point is that all that time and mind power is better invested where it’s appreciated. Again applause to anybody who already does so, and sorry if I wasn’t pointing that out clear enough in my post above.

  2. Ted

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Pan, I think I might be coming across the wrong way as well, but bear with me here.

    The point of the matter is this. Just because opensim exists as a development platform doesn’t mean that it will work for the majority of those that want to escape the clutches of Linden Lab. Many people in SL utilize the platform as a “social” environment. Many utilize the SL platform with intentions of generating income from content.

    While I’m not saying that the people that are not developers of software cannot perform the same tasks that are witnessed in Second Life to some degree, what I am saying is that the requirements to fulfill those concepts would require end user development towards those goals. Opensim is a generic platform that has potential to offer similar results if that is the direction “others” want the system to work. In other words, if you want Second Life out of OpenSim, it would be the requirement of the individual to make that happen and would be a lengthy progressive programming effort. My intention is to state that this is not what OpenSimulator is about. There are many concepts of what an open world server, service, and platform should consist of. Which Opensim strives to achieve by bringing a generic platform to the table, thus giving opportunity to create various different configurations based on an individuals perception of what a virtual world platform should consist of. This requires a decent skill set and many long hours of effort to achieve. The bottom line is, unless you are a developer, opensimulator may just never be what is expected when comparing Second Life to the Opensimulator software.

    It’s not about creating a grid to compete, or opening ports on the wall that offers a compatible effort such as Linden Lab’s Second Life.

    Instead of “thinking outside the firewall”, try thinking “outside the box called Second Life”.

    These are just my opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the overall perception of the opensimulator project, in part, or whole.

  3. Maria Korolov

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Ted –

    I second your note.

    Second Life right now is like AOL — back when the Internet was first coming into existence. It took YEARS for a website to come along that matched all the functionality of AOL (email, forums, content, instant messaging — there was so much there!). Right now, Facebook has much of that kind of functionality and universality.

    In the late 90s, AOL had 10 million users, everyone was trying to get on, user complaints were common, and all the hype was around it. The WWW seemed a pale and weird imitation. No individual website came close. Some AOL history is here: (lots of eerie parallels to SL)

    This was while the Internet was already growing: The first website went up in 1991, Yahoo went public in 1996, launched its groups in 2000 (through an acquisition), and also rolled out email, IM, games, etc…

    So the hypergrid came out last year, and OpenSim became a usable platform last year as well. (You go, OpenSim developers!)

    It will take time for the OpenSim user base to build to the point that people will start building — and investors will start funding — social destination sites similar to SL.

    Until then, we’re going to see the majority of growth happening in small, niche sites — school and non-profits offering programs, small groups building niche communities, content developers building warehouses and outlet stores, enterprises using it for meetings and training.

    - Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business

  4. Ted

    Apr 6th, 2010

    “It will take time for the OpenSim user base to build to the point that people will start building — and investors will start funding — social destination sites similar to SL.

    Until then, we’re going to see the majority of growth happening in small, niche sites — school and non-profits offering programs, small groups building niche communities, content developers building warehouses and outlet stores, enterprises using it for meetings and training. ”

    Yes. I can certainly see this as the path for some time to come.

    While the situation remains that os , at this time, is often considered reverse packet engineered from the SL client (which is true although some like to call it “re-engineering”), we will start seeing changes at some point to where the client/server relationship will no longer represent what is currently here. There are many that have already taken that path of coordinating effort to distinguish their works from prior works and I see this as being an overall good thing and widely accepted consensus of direction for many programmers.
    Not all, but quite a few, and most always on an individual or company level basis.

    It’s like anything else, if you want water to flow a certain way, you will need to plumb the pipes yourself. No plumber is going to listen to anyone standing over their shoulder listening to them state “how they want the water to flow”. Open source programming often works basically the same way. Many times it starts off with concepts and ideas that are not new, but take on their own meaning and direction over time. All the while individuals wanting it to work this way or that way based on technology they are comfortable, or used to working with. Either way it’s viewed, it’s usually to the frustration of programmers who in no way intend to follow a direct path to prior works for the masses. That is just a given.

  5. Charlie

    Apr 6th, 2010

    it might be an option if a community of people all banded together and moved to OS.
    It would be nothing to back up their inventory that they paid money for in SL with a 3rd part viewer , pool their resources and upload everything in the OS.
    They could have the same builds, avatars, and community again.
    New comers could get high quality freebee’s if they traded their items they backed up from SL and it would be just like being in Victorian again.

  6. Wayfinder

    Apr 6th, 2010

    I have to agree with above sentiments in general. I have long been a crusader against Linden Lab abuse of customer rights… mainly because I still thought there was a chance that Linden Lab might wake up, wise up and turn around. With their latest TOS however ( curtain)… it is obvious that this is one corporation that does not learn from major past blunders.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that there is no hope for Linden Lab. Their management focus is consistently and repeatedly customer-abusive, narcissistic and ultimately self destructive. These things are now obvious.

    So such things being obvious, it has increasingly occurred to me that rather than writing endless blogs trying to get Linden Lab to clean up its act… I’m going to be changing my blog theme to warning my group members (and anyone else who cares to read) about what is to come, and preparing for the eventual mass-exodus.

    Elf Clan now has lands on two external grids: Reaction Grid and Inworldz, both of whom I consider to offer special benefits to the community. We are now seeing more and more self-hosted mini-grids tied in to the HyperGrid. That can only be a good thing. The power is slowly leaking from Linden Lab, and while they try to make increasingly totalitarian grabs at re-gaining that power, the predictable eventuality seems fairly unavoidable.

    Comparing Linden Lab to AOL is I think, an apt comparison, especially considering who is at the wheel of LL at this time. Like AOL, Linden Lab will fade into obscurity while the World Wide Grid takes off. Despite considerable flaws, in-fighting, personal profiteering and egos, OpenSim is slowly, slowly taking shape. If such fails, there are always the “big dog” companies in the shadows, already working on their own projects specifically designed to take over Linden Lab’s market share.

    These are things that I and a small handful of users have been telling Linden Lab for years. Now, it seems that most hard-core users of SL are very aware of these things. That fact alone should have Linden Lab shareholders shaking in their boots.

  7. Maria Korolov

    Apr 6th, 2010

    The big question remains though — do we call it the hypergrid? the Open Grid? World Wide Grid?

  8. Gundel Gaukelei

    Apr 6th, 2010

    “it might be an option if a community of people all banded together and moved to OS.”

    Thats not actually an option, but a DoS.

  9. Wayfinder

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Some time ago I coined the phrase “Virtual Grid” (VG). I kind of prefer that one, since it carries the thought being both virtual and a grid Global Virtual Grid (GVG) might be more accurate.

    Hypergrid has a nice ring to it, but I’m not sure it’s exactly accurate as far as terminology goes (what’s “hyper” about it?)– and “hyper” is cliche. Open Grid (OG) is somewhat nice but might be easily confused with OpenSim. World Wide Grid (WWG) sounds wordy and too much like a wrestling association. :D

  10. Maria Korolov

    Apr 6th, 2010

    The advantage of “hypergrid” is that it reflects the underlying protocol connecting virtual worlds (currently connecting just OpenSim, but in theory can support other platforms as well). It’s parallel to the hyperlink in the WWW. “Hypergrid” is its official name — when a world is “on the hypergrid” it means you can teleport from it to other worlds.

    “OpenGrid” also sounds too much like “OpenLife” — can be easily mistaken for one particular grid running OpenSim.

    Unfortunately, the word “grid” also refers to a kind of computing cluster, and to the U.S. electrical power network.

    I’m personally torn between “hypergrid” and “world wide grid.” Who picked the name “World Wide Web”? Was it Tim Berners-Lee? In that case, we should leave it up to Crista Lopes (“Diva”) to decide. :-)

    - Maria

  11. Ted

    Apr 6th, 2010

    Presently, It would in my mind be more apt to be called the equiv of a preliminary ever changing “framework” .

    It would be one thing to program Opensimulator as a Second Life clone software with exact function being the final objective. It is another to program an open framework to where the code can be used in multitudes of different ways based on a modular core plugin system design such as Opensim development is currently being done.

    Opensimulator is being programmed in a way that does reflect the values of many open source programs. Where the concepts of “framework” design is more important than any single solution to support future requirements. And quite often, that framework goes through multitudes of changes from the outset which produces the direction of the project. This is ever changing and very much time consuming proposition. We are talking about many years of effort.

    There is already a vast amount of code in OS that is the brainchild of the individual contributors and companies alike that has never been seen nor produced from anything that may or may not exist in any proprietary server code base. They thought of what they believed is needed, and implemented it. This will most likely continue to be what the project consists of no matter what the outcome is. There is no individual outcome when taking a path of providing a framework to support a broad array of ideas and individual goals. The “framework” simply grows.

    Here is what I see happening… Or better yet hope happens in the future.

    1) Opensimulator will keep to the ideals and goals of providing an open world server framework in which many ideas and future projects will be spawned and witnessed. We have seen such happen already with a few groups, and they indeed reinvested their works back into modular function that can be used with Opensim core.

    2) Opensimulator (In my opinion), will in some ways continue to work towards correcting the fundamental issues at hand. This will appear to some to be getting closer to being the alternative to Second Life. In which case, was only achieved to further the framework for the multitudes of changes that will take place in the beta phases of the development.

    3) Final result if there would ever be such a notion (never really happens), would be that the open world server framework would in no way resemble anything known as of todays date. it would be a mere example of what might be achieved, and in no way directly reflect any currently known server either proprietary, or otherwise.

    4) Client/Server will be a complete open source product that doesn’t directly reflect any known service or set of services as we view them today.

    Just some thoughts… might be a bit over reaching as it may be concluded that the technology had been a mere stepping stone to what we will witness, and not exist in any known project that we now know or understand.

    Currently we could call it anything we want, how about “Simulation Network of Technical Submissions” or (SNOTS) for short.

  12. Wayfinder

    Apr 7th, 2010

    LOL I like SNOTS. Or alternatively, Broadbased Open Online Global-Architecture Regions. : )

    I think one of the primary drawbacks of OpenSim at this time is an issue with a central core group attempting to enforce their whims on the entire project. I’ve heard some real nightmare reports coming from devs who have left the projects, accusations of plagiarism, attempts at profiteering, dismissal of valid code because one or two people don’t want that feature. There is certainly a failure to prioritize and assign critical projects. And even after (what, over 3 years now?) there is still no turn-key installation package, and no turn-key updating system (in fact, someone updating OS is as likely to destroy their region as improve it).

    The OS website itself states that installing OpenSim is a task for technicians, not general users. There is simply no reason for that. It’s a reality that’s holding back the entire project. In truth, quite a bit of what we’ve seen going on with OpenSim is people working on pet projects instead of what needs to be done.

    The result is a slow, plodding, inefficient, barely-operational product. I agree that sooner or later things are likely to be ironed out and corrected, but I don’t believe OpenSim has the 30+ years that was available to the Linux community. If OpenSim doesn’t get its act together now and produce a totally viable product within the next 6 months to a year, they stand a very real chance of being themselves turned into an “almost ran” by some very serious competition. In many ways OpenSim is in exactly the same boat as Linden Lab: if they hope to survive, they need to get their act together now and realize exactly what it is the end user is looking for.

    What the end user is looking for is two things:

    1) Being able to install an OS server on their own computer and serving an open sim mini-grid themselves, tied in to the HyperGrid, the same way they’d install any other software package (basically a turn key system, Wizard-install for both for initial install and for updates)


    2) Low cost server companies such as Inworldz and Reaction Grid.

    From what I’ve seen, OpenSim isn’t even close to #1, and isn’t all that cooperative with #2. That’s likely going to need to change if OpenSim doesn’t expect to go the same direction Linden Lab is heading– namely, failed obscurity. Because there is always that unknown big dog waiting right around the corner, prepared to do the job bigger, faster and cheaper. OpenSim may be a “community project”… but it faces the same market trends and threats faced by Second Life.

  13. Maria Korolov

    Apr 7th, 2010

    The Diva Distro handles most of #1 — except for the fact that it has a text-based interface. A couple of grids also have automatic region launchers, with simple Web-based interfaces.

    Overall, I’d say that the OpenSim project has moved extremely quickly from idea to usable product. The closest thing to it in the WWW space is the Apache Web server — which also wasn’t the easiest thing to use when it first came out.

    In fact, average users STILL don’t use Apache — instead, they get Web hosting from any of a million Web hosting providers. We’re already seeing this happen in the OpenSim space. My list of OpenSim hosts has more than 15 providers on it now, and I’m sure I’m missing a few:

    New ones are popping up all the time. They’re competing on price, customer service — and on who has the best, easiest-to-use Web interface for managing the OpenSim installs.

    – Maria

  14. Ener Hax

    Apr 7th, 2010

    lol, join the club. my departure based on about the same, although i was not as recalcitrant toward any of my residents

    but the bitterness that Linden Lab leaves in your mouth can only be understood by someone in the same shoes

    come try reaction grid, we are very happy there and have 16 sims for $175 a month (but 16 sims in reaction grid does not equal 16 in SL)

    you may also want to look at sim host, they seem to have a similar offering to reaction grid but with more ram (4 vs 1.5)

  15. Wayfinder

    Apr 7th, 2010

    Ener, I second your statement. Elf Clan has two “foot in the door” sims on Reaction Grid, and a similar sim in Inworldz. I find both grids to be responsive to user feedback and needs. Each grid has pros / cons (Inworldz does their own advanced dev work, which means they have a few more things that are functional than other grids. Reaction Grid has a total PG business/education-friendly environment and lower prices, but doesn’t do any of their own dev work). Both grids are good folks, depending on what someone needs.

    In both cases of course, it’s a matter of having a “pioneering” spirit and not expecting everything to work just peachy. But face it, after 9 years in development Second Life doesn’t work anywhere near “just peachy”. So it’s a matter of personal need and preference. For my coin, $75 a month and 32,000 prims sounds a lot more attractive than $295 a month and 15,000 prims under Linden Lab’s abusive TOS and corporate policies.

  16. soulfully cela

    May 27th, 2010

    Hypergrid technology doesn’t have any means to keep content from being ripped i thought? I’ve been looking at this new place called spoton3d. Really great builds and totally redone the way this stuff works for the user, but i didn’t feel like i’d have to relearn how to do everything. Felt very familiar, yet different? Anyone heard anything about them?

    I’ve also been checking out inworldz. They aren’t a osgrid type set up where people hook up to them for free. I keep running into closed sims on osgrid. very frustrating, but they’ve come a long way too. Inworldz doesn’t hypergrid either but the owners are using game names. If i’m going to be throwing my hat into a new place I’d at least like to know who they are in real world terms. Anyone got info on them? Did victoriona peeps turn to one of those or just scatter? Really sad to see just a wonderful project go poof.

  17. Maria Korolov

    May 27th, 2010

    With hypergrid, it is possible for someone to set up their own grid, then hypergrid over to a store on another grid, buy stuff, take it home, rezz it on their own grid, then go into their MySQL database and change the ownership of the item to themselves.

    The grid owners I’ve talked to who’ve enabled hypergrid say that a person who has those technical skills and who is willing to go through all that to steal content has far, far easier ways to do the same thing without spending money to buy stuff and without building their own grid. (I’m not going to list those ways here, for obvious reasons.)

    Hypergrid has another security hole as well. A malicious grid owner can invite people to their grid, and steal stuff from their inventories. (This hole is plugged in the latest release of Hypergrid and OpenSim.) But, again, waiting for people to come to your grid so you can steal their stuff is a slow and painful process. Then you’d have to hope they have something valuable in their inventory that you don’t already have.

    For the average visitor, hypergrid has the same content security protections as anywhere else in Second Life or OpenSim — which is already far more content protection than you get on on the Web.

    That’s why we’re already tracking over 50 grids that are hypergrid-enabled on

    In addition, eight grids are already using the hypergrid-ready OMC currency from Virwox, and another dozen or so are testing it out.

    Virwox info here:

    – Maria

  18. Wayfinder

    May 27th, 2010

    @Soulfully: Maria gives a pretty decent overview of the reality of Hypergrid. I disagree only in one area: that there are easier ways to steal items. Mind you, she may very well be right, but all the ways I’ve seen to steal items were very limited in scope. One might steal textures of clothing, and even steal prims of a building. But they could not steal scripts, sounds, animations and other items.

    With Hypergrid, ALL of those items can be stolen. I have no reason to believe that there won’t be people out there willing to go to the trouble. That they *will* go to the trouble is almost a certainty. So I find myself on the “caution” side of the issue… and I’m staying well away from Hypergrid systems. There are just far too many security holes for my comfort.

    Regarding Inworldz: I don’t know about the Inworldz folks, but I’d be cautious about releasing my real name in any aspect of internet operation, much less griefer-heavy virtual worlds. This seems to me an industry in which people prove themselves by their actions. If they cross the line of the law, there are always ways to legally obtain RL information. But myself, I’m more interested in how they behave on a daily basis than in how they maybe might behave in the future.

    Beside, I’m starting to realize that a person’s virtual name is just as valuable and binding as their real name– to the point that folks are starting to discuss a centralized registry of user names which will be employed by virtually all grids (mainly to keep people from stealing well-known SL or OS grid names). I think that’s going to become essential. I know most boards will already remove names that are proved to be “sniped” (usually by the person sending an IM from their SL identity saying “That is not me”.) I think that’s a good policy overall. From what I’ve seen, except with common names, people who snipe other people’s virtual names rarely do so accidentally; there is almost always an agenda.

  19. [...] community decide to take the platform. It also depends on the service developers, the innovators that has left Second Life, or are currently pulling their hairs over how the platform is step by step [...]

  20. dik

    Aug 6th, 2010

    with hypergrid all those things can be stole? with second life all those things can be stolen to, you think a little TOS from america stops people? lol jeez

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