February 2, 2014
Well, gridlings, its been quite some time since I have published anything. Chalk it up to too much BS in my life that has drained me of most of my energy. But, things are coming along and I find that I do have a few things to share with you.
The first is that we have a new flavour of sim'ware available, WhiteCoreSim. This is a fork of AuroraSim that is being worked on by Fly Man, Rowan Deppeler and others. "After debating a lot the past months I have decided to break the chain and say that AuroraSim has been forked and will be continued under a new name: WhiteCore. Why the name WhiteCore and not something else: White stands for the pureness of the code, completely clean and fresh. Core stands for the essential things that are needed." (https://plus.google.com/108629605645251041781/posts/3g51Vywq6va) I have already seen 'movement' on the development of WhiteCore. I am already using WhiteCore instead of AuroraSim. The reason is that the developers are a lot easier to talk with.
Many of you will be familiar with SoaS, or Sim-on-a-Stick. SoaS makes it very easy for almost anyone to start using OpenSim, which has been a big benefit to getting OpenSim available to everyone. I say almost because you can only get it for Windows. I was even able to adapt it to use with AuroraSim. Well, Rowan Deppeler has done the same thing for WhiteCore and then some. The WoaS also has a Mac and Linux versions. Okay, so there's a caveat on that. The Linux version still needs some work. But, it is there and the more savvy of the Linux users should be able to work with it.
WoaS has two default regions, one is the standard 256m by 256m and the other one is 512m by 512m. There are also two default avatars, one male, one female. Yes, Simona Stick is still with us. And now she's brought along her brother, Simon. And their wardrobe is updated, too. Here's the links to get your copy:
Windows: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1666738/WhiteCore-x86-Setup.exe (you can get a zipped package at https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1666738/WhiteCore-win.7z )
And you can read the whole of the thread at the G+ AuroraSim Community https://plus.google.com/104093615269456865894/posts/9keWL67G52Y . And of course, you are welcome to join the Community.
Being a fork of AuroraSim, WhiteCoreSim has variable regions. Which are coming to OpenSim, too. Which is perfect for something like the recent release of MOSES's Atropia simulation. MOSES is a project run by the US military and the Atropia simulation consists of nine OARs. (You can get them at: http://militarymetaverse.org/?page_id=519) And that leads us to the rest of this article, setting up and loading multiple OARs onto a variable sized region.
I will be using Rowan's WhiteCore Windows Setup version for this. I believe that this is a step towards mass adoption as it behaves in a way that is familiar to the average user. The computer I am using is nothing special. I have described it before as an off-the-WalMart-shelf system which, again, is something that the average user is likely to have and is familiar with. And it actually is from WalMart. I purchased it approximately three years ago for CDN$500. So, no specialty equipment.
One thing. Please keep in mind that this is new. It is still being worked on.
And now, on with the show …
Clearly, the first step is to double-click the installer. If asked, choose 'Run' and then a familiar looking setup window will open.
Click next and you will be presented with usual choose destination folder option.
WARNING! Do not change the destination folder! Changing the destination folder will bork some things that rely on being setup in that location. [Update: To quote Rowan Deppeler, who put WoaS together, "The instal to C:\WhiteCore has to do with the restrictions that windows places on programs, restricting write operations, particularly in the Program Files directories. You can install to a directory owned by your 'user' e.g Documents etc.but even this can have problems if windows restricts write access. It is just a heap easier to use a directory that will always work." This is being worked on so that we can choose where to install WhiteCore in the future.
Click ‘Next’ and you will come to the final window which launches the installation. Just click ‘Next’ again and off it goes. If User Account Controls opens, just click to allow the installation. The installing process only takes a minute or two and then you will be presented with the usual "Click to Finish" window. Something to note here. You have two checkboxes. One to open the Readme file and one to launch Whitecore. I highly recommend checking the box to open the Readme file as it has the info to login. As for the Launch option, that is up to you, but I prefer to personalize my setup first. And since this is my blog, we're going to do this my way.
Now, having worked with this installer for a little while, I have discovered that how my system is setup is a little different from the average person's. You should be able to use the link that has been placed on your desktop. If not, all is not lost. Simply open Windows Explorer and go to C:\WhiteCore\. Locate the WhiteCoreMysqlStartup.bat file and create a shortcut. Then copy that shortcut to your desktop. Now you can use whichever one you want to launch WhiteCore. Simply double click on the one that works for you.
and it will run through until you have
One icon to double click and everything is up and running. At this point, you can go ahead and use your sim. Simply use the login information from the Readme file to login as either Simona or Simon. You will have two regions to play in. Woas which is the SRE of 256m by 256m and WoaS512 which is, you guessed it, 512m by 512m. I know you’re thinking "But what about that big red warning at the top of the console?". If you look closely, you can see that it is trying to connect to a remote server. But this is a standalone. It doesn't use a grid server so it is looking for something that doesn't exist. Beyond that, I will refer you to developers. I've never had a problem with it, so I just ignore it until I go into the configuration files and change things to my liking. I debated with myself whether or not to carry on from this point or to go into more detail about personalizing your WhiteCore. In the end, I decided to present you with everything I do and to let you decide what it is that you want to do. If you just want to get to the part about creating your own account and regions, well, feel free to skip through to that part.
So, I simply enter the command shutdown in the console and then open the C:\WhiteCore\ folder again. In this folder, you are looking for a folder named config. IN that one is grid and sim. Since we're working with a stand-alone setup, we want the sim folder. And this is where we find the first configuration file, WhiteCore.ini. Looking through it, there really isn't anything I need to change. You will find that the hostname is set to 127.0.0.1 and the port is set to 9000.
So, now we go to the next folder in which is the Configuration folder. In this folder you will find two more configuration files, Main.ini and Includes.ini. Again, no changes are needed.
The next folder I go to is the Standalone folder. In here are four more configuration files, GridInfoService.ini, Standalone.ini, StandaloneCommon.in and WebInterface.ini.
Since I will be using the MOSES Atropia .oars on this instance, I will be naming it My Atropia. So, in the GridInfo.ini file, I change the gridname to My Atropia and the gridnick to myatropia. I uncomment login = http://127.0.0.1:9000/ by removing the semicolon (;) at the beginning of the line. I then save and exit that file, moving on to Standalone.in.
There’s nothing in the Standalone.ini file that I change, but I will point something out. Towards the end of the file you will see a section named [SSAService]. Looking at that you will see that WhiteCore already has ServerSide Appearance. Now, on to StandaloneCommon.ini.
In the StandaloneCommon.ini, you will find a section named [GridService] and in that section you should see Region_Gateway = DefaultRegion, FallbackRegion. This is the region where newcomers will land and where people are teleported to in the event that their region crashes. I change this to read Region_My_Atropia = DefaultRegion, FallbackRegion. Note the underscore (_) that is used instead of a space in the name of the region. More knowledgeable people than I can explain why it is required to replace the spaces with an underscore, but all I need to know is that it is required.
Next, scroll down a little until you come to where it says RegionSightSize = 1. Reading the description you will easily see that this sets how many regions you can see across. Leaving this as is is fine, but since I work with a few regions on the same instance, I set it to 4.
Next, under [LibraryService] is the setting to name the Inventory Library. This is that part of the Inventory that is loaded for all accounts. Since all this is from the military, I will change this to “QuarterMaster Stores”.
Then there’s the welcome message under [LoginService]. Its a nice way to (sort of) personalize everyone’s visit. Beneath this are a number of options, such as loading a ToS and requiring an agreement and setting up a series of default avatars. Towards the bottom is where you can set the default landing coordinates for new accounts. Its currently set at 128, 128, 21. That’s fine, you can come back later and change this once you have a default landing point set up. I’m also going to point out where below that you can change the textures for the Sun, Moon and clouds.
And that’s it for what I do with StandaloneCommon.ini. Look over the WebInterface. Ini file but I’ve had to make any changes to this file. From here, we go to config\sim\Configuration\Data folder for a quick edit of the FileBased.ini file.
Open this file and look for TimeBetweenSaves = 5 entry. WhiteCore, like Aurora, automatically saves a backup of your regions. This setting is for how often that occurs and is in minutes. I set mine to 60.
We’re almost done, just a couple three more. The next set of configuration files to edit are in the config\sim\Configuration\Modules folder. Right away you will see one .ini file and eleven .ini.example files. Yep, those .ini.example files are used the same as in OpenSim and AuroraSim.
The first one I edit is the WhiteCoreModules.ini file. In this file you can set thigns like shout and whisper distance, a welcome message that gets said in a new arrival’s chat, map rendering and a lot more. I generally leave most of this alone, though there are a couple of things I do change.
About two-thirds of the way down you come to ;[OpenRegionSettings]. My understanding is that the semicolon will comment out the whole section, so I remove that first. Next I go to the ;; ## Prim Scale subsection and change things to the following
;MaximumPrimScale = 256 change to MaximumPrimScale = 256
;MaximumPhysPrimScale = 10 change to MaximumPhysPrimScale = 256
;MinimumPrimScale = 0.01 change to MinimumPrimScale = 0.001
;AllowPhysicalPrims = true change to AllowPhysicalPrims = true
I know, this is just a matter of uncommenting things that are set to those values by default. Its an Old School habit of mine where I simply make sure of things.
Next, under the subsection ;; ## Prim hollow and hole sizes, I uncomment ;MaximumHollowSize = 100 and change it to MaximumHollowSize = 99.99. That’s my paranoia of what a computer might do when trying to render a prim that is 100% hollow. Maybe a tear in the Virtual Space-Time Continuum?? I also uncomment ;MinimumHoleSize = 0.01 and set it to MinimumHoleSize = 0.001. I don’t know why anyone would want to have such a small hole, but I know that I do build some weird things. And a .001% hole size on a 256x256 prim is still .00256 metres.
Under subsection ;; ## Maximum Link set counts I uncomment ;MaximumLinkCount =1000 and change it to MaximumLinkCount =255. I have run into linkset limits imposed by viewer export/import in the past, so this is simply so I don’t end up with messed up imports. I also change the limit on linked physical prims, from ;MaximumLinkCountPhys = 32 to MaximumLinkCountPhys = 256. 32 was always such a sever limit. And when you consider that such viewers as Singularity can export linksets as mesh, well, why not make the limit to something that we can really have some fun with.
And that’s it for the WhiteCoreModules.ini file. At this point, feel free to look through the various .ini.example files, edit them if you widh, though don’t forget to save them as .ini files. Once you’re done, we are ready to go.
Now we come to that “serious” first run. I recommend that you copy your various .oar and .iar files and place them in the C:\WhiteCore\bin folder. Doing so means a lot less typing when loading them in. I will be doing that with the nine Atropia .oar files I got from the MOSES site.
So, its just a matter of double clicking that Desktop icon to launch WhiteCore
And the first thing you see is no red error message.
Now, if you want to keep the two default regions, that’s up to you. I don’t need them and they’re in Simona’s name anyway, so I get rid of them. This is where WhiteCore gets a little tricky. First, you have to ensure that the auto-backups of the regions are deleted. In the console, you go to each region using change region, then you use the command remove region and confirm when prompted. Repeat for each region. Next use grid clear. (Thanks Shawn) If you enter the console command help grid you will see that there’s a few variations, so its actually a bit more flexible than in OpenSim. Since we’re removing all the regions. The one we want is grid clear all regions which removes, well, all the regions at once.
Now we’re ready to create our own regions. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to create only one region that I will name My_Atropia since I will be loading the MOSES .oar files to it. I have loaded Atropia previously to see if I wanted to incorporate it into the Station and I found two things that we need to address. The scene set by the nine .oars is in a valley and the mountains on both sides are sheared off in “back”. Very unnatural looking. Since nine .oars is 756m by 756m, I’m going to make the region 1024m by 1024m and I will place Atropia in the middle. That way, I can landscape things to look proper. Rather, you can. I’ve already done this on Excelsior Station. The other thing to deal with is that the scene is 17 metres below sea level. We’ll handle that as part of loading the .oars.
The console command to create a region is similar to OpenSim except that you do not enter a region name of .ini file name. It is simply create region. Once you enter that, you will be asked a series of questions about the new region.
I had to restart just after clearing the grid due to a mis-click on something unrelated which is why that pic is a little short on what is displayed. Anyway, it is at this time that I create my own account. You can see where its asking for the Estate owner name, well, WhiteCore will setup you account and your Estate if you enter your name at this point.
So, here we are. A single region named My Atropia, part of Sarge Misfit’s Estate, Atropia. It is 1024m by 1024m, has a prim allowance of 500,000 and is located at 1000,1000. You can now enter your new WhiteCore sim. Just add your sim to the grid manager as usual using the settings you made, in this case, http://127.0.0.1:9000.
And here we are, on our brand spanking new flat 1024x1024 variable region all ready to load things up. I am not going to take the time to load my .iar inventory files as there’s nothing different from how its done in AuroraSim and OpenSim. But loading .oar files is a bit different.
The next thing we are going to do is load the Atropia .oar files. I cam up wiht a very simple thing to help with placing an .oar. First, rez a prim, then hollow it to the max. Now resize it to 256x256x20. Because we’re going to be loading a 3region by 3region sim into a region that is the equivalent of a 4region by 4region sim, then placing this is easy. Set the coordinates to 512, 512, 30. This prim now shows where the middle-most .oar is going to go. Now we set this up to give us the offsets that we will need. If you are not sure what I am talking about, just bear with me.
The next thing I do is to rez a second prim. I make its size .1x.1x50. I colour it red so it is easy to spot. Position it at 384x384x60. 384 is what you get when you subtract 128 from 512. You subtract 128 because teh big prim is 256 and we are after putting this pole prim into the SW corner of the big prim. Link the big prim to the pole prim so that the pole prim becomes the root. You now have a positioning template for your .oar files.
Okay, so now we need the other eight positions. Get out your calculators, gridlings, you might need it. You see, all the other positions will have coordinates that are plus or minus 256. What you do is shift-drag to make a copy. Then either add or subtract 256 from 384 to get that particular coordinate. This is what you should end up with.
Now you will find out why I added those red poles and made them the root prim. You see, the X and Y coordinates of the individual position templates is the values we will need to set the positions of the relevant .oar files.
But first we have to prepare to deal with that 17 metres below sea level problem. This seems to be relatively easy to solve simply by using –OffsetZ=17 but that will only raise up the objects, not the terrain. So, first we plan things so that we can raise the terrain into position later on. And we have to take into account the surrounding terrain. On this sim, its not such a big deal. But if you are dealing with a much larger sim, then we need to be able to integrate the new terrain with the old. This is actually simple to do. All we do is lower all the terrain by 17 metres. This is done using the console command terrain lower 17 and then confirm the change. Now we are ready.
First, which .oar goes where. Well, someone thought of that and posted a good pic of where things go http://militarymetaverse.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/atropia_map_lrg.png. And now we begin.
First we make sure that we are in the proper region.
change region My Atropia
We do this as a good habit. You see, if we stay in [root], then everything we do affects every region in the instance, not just the one. If all you have is a single region, that’s not a worry. But it is a good habit to gain so that you don’t screw things up when you do add more regions.
Using the Edit window inworld, we highlight the first positioning template in the SouthWest, were Atropia_00.oar will go.
As you can see on the left is my viewer window showing that the coordinates of this positioning template is 128,128 and we don’t need the Z value. On the right it is showing that I am in the My Atropia region for console commands. Now we load the first of the .oar files Atropia_00.oar using the console command
load oar Atropia_00.oar —merge —OffsetX=128 —OffsetY=128 —OffsetZ=17
that is two - infront of each of those switches (I believe they are called). If merge is not used, then all objects currently in the region will be deleted before laoding the .oar, so this is required. And notice that I didn’t add any path to teh file anme, which si the result of copying those files to the \bin folder.
Tap Enter and we quickly end up with
You can now delete that first postioning template, thereby ensuring that you don’t accdinetly use it for any other .oar positions. Also, if you look at the viewer part of the pic, you should see a building that is sort of flaoting in mid-air. Later on, when we raise the terrain back up, that building will be sitting on dry alnd where it is suppossed to be. So, now we carry on with teh rest of the loading. Highlight the next positionign template, enter the console command to load the proper .oar and repeat until done.
**WARNING! NPCs are not yet functioning in WhiteCore. When you load Atropia_11.oar will see a lot of red error message. These all relate to NPCs. They can be ignored as they don’t interact with anything else. You can look through the bin\WhiteCore.logfile to get the coordinates of the scripts if you want to remove them.
You are also going to see a bunch of yellow warnings about missing an asset and the UUID of it. And tis all the same UUID. I have not found what it is, but it doens’t impact anything else, so I’ve simply ignored it.
Now that you ahve loaded all nine of the Atropia .oar files, you see
The whole village is up in the air. Now is the time to restore the terrain height with the console command
terrain elevate 17
And there you have it, gridlings. Setting up WhiteCore-on-a-Stick and how to position and load multiple .oar files to a variable sized region.