It took a long time, but OpenSim 0.7 is finally here! It’s quite difficult to explain the value of refactorings and of re-conceptualizations of the software, which is what happened to OpenSimulator between 0.6.x and 0.7. Those things tend to be intangible at first (“WTF? This does the same thing! And it has bugs that it didn’t have before!”, etc.); the ROI only shows up later.
As an example of the new interesting things that can now be done, this new release features an embedded Web application for handling user registrations. It’s called Wifi. The features of Wifi are quite simple:
- Account creation, optionally controlled by the administrator
- Configurable default avatars for new accounts
- Account updates by both users and administrator
- Account deletion by administrator
- Password recovery via email
- Simple user inventory management
These features are enough for the worlds I run; they’ll be enough for many people, I think. This is just the first release, I expect Wifi to improve as we go a long — especially if more people want to help… I welcome help on this!
See it in action in one of my test worlds. Feel free to create a dummy account, login to it, recover your password, etc. And login to the world afterward. You can also use it for testing your own installation of the diva distro by hypergriding to it. (Note: this world is just for demonstration of Wifi and of the latest diva distro release; it will be shut down in a couple of weeks)
Wifi has a few interesting properties that make it a good fit for small-to-medium OpenSimulator-based virtual worlds. First of all, it doesn’t require the installation of Apache or other Web servers; it’s all done within the OpenSimulator code base. If you’re like me, you will think of this as a major win. Not having to install an additional major component like Apache and PHP/Python/what-have-you means less administrative hassle, less load on the machine, and just plain joy. Web app! No Apache! Just OpenSimulator! Yey!
Second, using the OpenSimulator code base brings many technical benefits. This isn’t an immediate benefit, but it is a benefit in the long run. Unlike the Apache-based Web apps that interface with the DB directly, Wifi interfaces with the OpenSimulator services layer using the core code, and therefore it is isolated from future changes to the OpenSimulator DB schema. In short, and of interest to diva distro users, Wifi will probably never be in the situation that other apps of the same kind are, always on the verge of being discontinued due to the hassle of making it catch up with the OpenSim schema. In the long run, this is a very good thing.
Third, technically, Wifi is a set of components that can be loaded up by both standalone simulators and Robust servers. What this means is that the exact same thing can serve diva distro worlds as well as larger grids in one seamless environment, OpenSimulator. I haven’t packaged it up for grids, but I might consider doing it at some point. So if your world grows to a medium grid, Wifi can handle it with no hassle.
And, of course, also enjoy the extra security in HG 1.5, but that is invisible.
Here are the relevant links:
If you already have a diva distro up & running, simply run Update.exe on it and follow the instructions. This time, it’s really important that you read the release notes.
One last important note: the sequence of upgrades has a ‘pivot’ release at r12751. In other words, r12751 is a mandatory stop from all older releases. From r12751 on, upgrade gets you the latest. This new release today is r13458.