Sunday, 14 September 2008

Diary: 14th September 2008

A common pitfall?

I had a friend get very interested in OpenSim, so she downloaded the binary and the Hippo viewer from the OSGrid site.

She followed my step-by-step guide to the letter, and it crashed with a 'Registration Failed' error message. I asked her to check that she had set gridmode=false, and she assured me she had. After more 'try-this, try-that' she sent me the contents of her OpenSim.ini file, and it all looked perfect.

I didn't get the clue until I asked her for the OpenSim.32BitLaunch.log, when she said she could not see one called 'log', did I want the notepad one?

The problem was that she was using Windows XP, with the default settings for folder view. If you open folder view, either by using Windows Explorer, or via My Computer, you will see in the menu at the top, Tools, go into there and select Folder Options, then choose the View tab, in the Advanced Settings, about 10 down, you will see Hide extensions for known file types. The default setting is 'checked', and this can lead to all sorts of confusion (I told her to uncheck it).

Because the extensions were hidden, when she looked into her Bin folder she saw the file I mentioned, OpenSim.ini, but this was in fact OpenSim.ini.orig (with the orig extension being hidden), and it was this file she was editing, not the OpenSim.ini file. Consequently, she was opening up in grid mode every time, as the real OpenSim.ini file never got edited.

Now that she could see the file extensions, and could edit the correct files, the step-by-step procedure worked perfectly.

Keep this in mind if a friend runs into trouble and asks for help.

I joined the Gridnauts program set up by LL to test teleporting between the LL Preview Grid (aditi) and OpenSim. You have to download the patched version of OpenSim, that has been OGP (Open Grid Protocol) patched. The teleporting worked very well indeed. This is an important first step. Appearance and inventory portability next?? Details of the program are here.

Changing an Estate Name in OpenSim
I wanted to change the default estate name of 'My Estate' in OpenSim, but could not find any info on how to do this. I noticed in the bin folder an xml file called estate_settings.xml, and in there was a setting: estate_name="My Estate", so I changed this to the name I wanted, estate_name="Kemet", and started everything up, full of confidence in my skill and perspicacity. I opened up the About Land, and there it was, Estate name: My Estate :(

Undaunted (actually I wept bucketfulls), I wandered into my database with Toad. There is a table called estate_settings, and in here I found that the name was set to 'My Estate'. A quick edit here to 'Kemet', and I shut everything down and fired it all up again. With somewhat subdued enthusiasm I opened the About Land...

Estate Name = Kemet, :) yay!!!!

Using Second Inventory
I wanted to have a go at transferring inventory from SL to my OpenSim, so I purchased a copy of Second Inventory. Basically you fire up SI, and do a backup of the objects, or the folders you want, or the entire inventory tree, to hard-disk. This can take hours for a lot of stuff, so, do it before going to bed, or to the store.

Once it is all backed-up on your hard-drive you can then restore to your OpenSim. But, first a few warnings:

a) It will only restore items that are full permission
b) It will not sort the full permission objects for you, you must find them yourself
c) Restore works on one single object only. So it is a lot of work restoring 100s or 1000s of objects.
d) Don't expect complex multi-prim objects, with textures applied, and containing various scripts, anims etc to restore perfectly. It won't.

Other than that, it works well.

Hippo Viewer Crashes
I found when using the Hippo Viewer that if I changed any setting in the Edit, Preferences (such as turn off Avatar Names, or change the Draw Distance) the Viewer would crash and close down. If I relogged (without restarting the server) I was told that Rock Vacirca was already logged in. Logging in a second time usually worked, but I could also have used the kickuser command in the server console.

Now, when I want preferences changed I do it BEFORE logging in with the viewer. All the preferences are available to set beforehand, by clicking on the Grids button on the viewer.

The odd thing is, I have found no-one else in the OSGrid forum who also have experienced Hippo Viewer crashes. So why me?

When is a hole not a hole?
I made a 20 x 20 x 0.5 floor, hollowed it to 40% to use as a pond/pool, and when I walked onto the hole I was amazed to find it completely solid. I had a quick lurk in the #opensim IRC channel, and Jenni there told me the problem, 'use the other mesher' she said. In the opensim.ini file, under physics, you have a choice of two meshers (don't ask me what a 'mesher' is). The default mesher was ZeroMesher, so I chose the other one MeshMerizer. After a restart, I was happily falling through the hole. I wonder why you get a choice of two, one that works, and one that doesn't?

Have fun,