Thursday, 20 November 2008

Diary: 20th November 2008

Warned over SL Forum Post
For the first time in 4 years of posting to the Residents Answer section of the SL forum I received a warning from one of the Linden moderators. What had I posted? The post was this:

A Maze Terrain Tutorial and other Goodies for Opensim

New in the blog so far this month:

A Maze Terrain Tutorial
Megaprim Mayhem

Several new tutorials have been added to the More Opensim Tutorials list, and now includes:

Creating More Regions
Terrain File to Cover Multiple Regions
Using Toad for MySQL
Upgrading OpenSim
Running two Instances of OpenSim
Choosing a Server
Got my own Server
Tips and Tricks
Moving a MySQL Database
Updating the World Map
Changing a Region or Estate Name
Deleting A Region

I hope there is something there you'll find useful


The warning I received was that I should not use the SL forum to advertise non-SL related goods and services. My post was removed.

I was shocked. All my previous posts informing residents of updates to my blog had incurred no wrath, and they were all still there. So why had this one caused offence?

I contacted the Linden in charge of the Gridnauts project (a collaborative project between SL and the OpenSim community to develop the Open Grid Protocol [OGP] to enable teleporting between Sl and OpenSims) and asked if the use of the word 'Opensim' was now banned in the forums? He promised to look into it.

I later received an email from the Linden forum moderator to say that she was confused, that writing and promoting my tutorials could continue, but that I should not promote OpenSim or mention its fees!

I think the main problem lies in the confusion that many people have now concerning the terms:

Openspace sim
Open Life

Open Life is a competitor to SL, and does charge fees, considerably cheaper than the fees in SL, and I can well understand how LL could get miffed if their own forums were being used to promote the offerings of a competitor. The Linden obviously had Open Life confused with Opensim. If you go into SL, and use their Search facility, and type in the work 'Opensim', you will see dozens of ads from people selling or renting their 'Opensims', when in fact they mean their 'Openspace sims'.

I think some name changes are in order, to stop this confusion once and for all.

I started to think about the possibility of allowing free access to my grid for people who had a real interest in my Ancient World themed grid. There is some software that allows people to register via a web-based form, and once they had received their confirmation via email they could then log in. I will post a tutorial on this once I get it fully understood and working. However, as a precursor to getting the Web-Interface setup I was advised by someone who had been down this road before, the indefatigable DigiDaz, to download and install the free WAMP suite onto my server.

WAMP stands for Apache, MySQL, PHP on Windows (sort of back-to-front I know). This free suite is amazing, and a piece of cake to install and get going.

Basically the suite installs:

Apache: this will turn your server into a fully-fledged web-server

PHP: this will enable your server to run php scripts to run things such as a Web-Interface

MySQL: the preferred database engine for opensim

I already have a tutorial on installing MySQL by downloading it directly from the MySQL website, but getting all three (Apache, PHP and MySQL) in one free suite such as WAMP, I think I will write a tutorial just for this.

The suite has some great tools included too, such as phpMyAdmin which allows you to explore and change your MySQL database.

Look out for the tutorial.