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Re: HyperGrids -- connecting virtual worlds for OpenSim and web arch

From: <alasdair.semple@mailworks.org>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2010 23:19:59 +0000
Message-Id: <8310BD0E-F610-423A-B49E-6BDC93516626@mailworks.org>
To: www-tag@w3.org
> Interesting to see what connections there should be between web architecture and the hypergrid. Does the hypergrid use URIs? Can I put one in a HTML page and link to a virtual world portal?  Can I link back the other way, putting an arbitrary URI in a link in a virtual world?

I work for a company called Rezzable, which makes extensive use of Opensim, mostly for education.

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As a bit of background, Opensim grew out of Linden Lab's Second Life, which has a sort of URI schema called a "SLURL". SLURLs are of the form http://slurl.com/secondlife/regionname/x/y/z; using one from a browser takes you to a map which can then launch a client to go to the appropriate place, via the protocol "secondlife" which is understood by the Second Life client (e.g. "secondlife://regionname/x/y/z").

If a SLURL link appears in text chat within the Second Life client, clicking on it takes the user to that location without having to go through the map part.

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At Rezzable we weren't interested in linking to Second Life locations, but it was useful to be able to hyperlink to locations on our own grids. With this in mind we developed a protocol called "genesis", and some appropriate (open) protocol handler software. Genesis URIs are of the form:

genesis://loginuri/regionname/x/y/z

where loginuri specifies the appropriate server name for the client to contact - i.e. which grid to visit - and regionname, x, y and z are the inworld co-ordinates of where the user should appear. (The current genesis protocol also allows for URIs of the form "genesis://loginuri/UUID/regionname/x/y/z" where UUID is an access token that allows users to bypass password authentication, but that's probably not of much interest to this list.)

The protocol handler then launches the client application with parameters to tell it to contact the correct loginuri for authentication, and to send a request to go to the specified co-ordinates in the specified region. The loginuri part can quite easily support hypergrid logins if the target server allows this. (Rezzable doesn't use hypergrids in production, but I have tested it in the past and found it fine.)

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The genesis protocol does allow for linking from the web to the grid, but at the moment it doesn't allow linking from within the world, at least not publicly. Rezzable has a system which lets people teleport themselves within its own grid using web links - not genesis: links - that deal with our Drupal opensim management module, but that's because we manage our own grid and have custom callbacks that can teleport avatars between regions from the web. This functionality is not standard in either clients or Opensim.
Received on Thursday, 4 March 2010 09:46:27 GMT

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