11
Oct
10

a Prelude to the big Upgrade to OpenSimulator v0.7

Hello again everyone

The time is finally here for OSgrid to move forward to version 0.7 of OpenSimulator, something we all have been excited about and waiting for and now the time is here. The plan is that this Sunday, October 17th at 9am US/Eastern (13:00 UTC) we will be taking the grid offline for approximately 24 hours to begin transitioning all of the main grid data not only on to v0.7 but also new hardware for the grid and website services. We ask that everyone be patient during this process as while we are confident that things will and should go smoothly, we can not predict exactly how things will actually go. We ask that all sim operators make sure that they have good solid OAR backups and SQL Dumps of their sims and it might even be a good time for you to make an IAR backup of your inventory if you have access to a sim console. These are all good practices you should be doing on a regular basis anyway, but this is a good week to refresh the practice if you have not been doing it religiously.

Some of the things you should be aware of is that sim configurations will change slightly. We will be sure to post some sample configurations and even a full 0.7 release prior to the grid switching over so everyone can take some time to get a good look at things before the actual switch over occurs. We are aware that there may be some issues in migrating databases during the upgrade process of your simulators, but we will have some working solutions available and we will be providing support via the IRC chat room and Forums during the downtime and as the grid starts to come back online and everyone begins the upgrade process. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please join us on our IRC channel #osgrid at irc.freenode.net or via the chat link on the main website.

There are some very exciting things to look forward to in OpenSimulator v0.7 including Windlight Sharing and the ability to control Windlight Settings with scripting commands. We will also have some preliminary support for media on a prim which allows you to show flash and more complex and interactive HTML websites on prims within your simulator, I have even seen examples of people doing VNC and controlling real computers via their simulator. There are a multitude of bug fixes and simulator improvements that are part of 0.7, you can read the developer release notes here (http://opensimulator.org/wiki/0.7_Release). You should however be very aware that there may be bugs that the OSgrid and OpenSimulator developers are still not aware of, because OSgrid is the largest OpenSimulator Grid and testing is very important part of this grid, v0.7 has not got the proper venting it would normally be getting if OSgrid was running it, so everyone should be prepared for some unexpected things, perhaps bugs and even things not functioning as they did in 0.6.9 releases of OpenSimulator. So I will ask once more that everyone please remain patient for the foreseeable future, this is a very major upgrade release and we will do our best to work with everyone during this phase, but we are only volunteers and there are only so many hours in a day, but we will do our best to make sure no one gets left behind or ignored.

And lastly, the website is going to change drastically, while Elgg has served its purposes for the last year, most of the administrators have grown to be very frustrated with it in terms of being able to easily manage content, users and all its quirks and bugs. We made a decision some time back that because of v0.7’s drastic database changes that would have basiclly forced us to completely refactor Elgg once again we came to the conclusion that it was much easier to just start completley over using a framework that made more sense and was available to everyone so more than just the OSgrid administrators can expand and contribute to. After much searching and contemplating we decided that Simiangrid was the best choice for OSgrid and would bring much more experience to the table in terms of getting stuff done. Just to be clear OSgrid will not be running a Simiangrid back end, we will be staying on the OpenSimulator Robust services, we instead have created a SimianGrid Frontend API to allow it to speak to a Robust based back end, called Zira. Our own Dave Coyle has facilitated most of the work for this API and will be working hard this week to tack on the finish touches and buff out the remaining work. However you will notice that a lot of the functionality we have become accustomed to using with our ELGG front end are not yet available, this does not mean we are completely abandoning those functions, it just means we decided that it was more important that OSgrid get onto 0.7 before we spent many more months working out all new code to replace the lost functionality. We will be retaining all the data from the previous website, some will be transitioned eventually, some will not. We will speak more about this over the coming weeks but for now our focus is getting on to 0.7. So one last time I will remind everyone that patience will be key in this very complex transition, in the end it will all be for the better but there will be many bumps and potholes in the road before we arrive at our destination.

Thank you everyone for making OSgrid the awesome place it has become, without all of you we would never have made it this far.

Michael Emory Cerquoni

OSgrid Inc. President

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