User:Vladtn

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VigoForager.jpg Hi all

Vlad/Vigo entering Second Life for the first time seriously.

Here's my blog, and in real life.

18 Feb 2007 - Registration System

(6h)

After some difficulties getting email working inside the OU, all is right now and the registration system is ready. The database is populated by two of my test users, with SL names Vigo Schomer and Timsl Schomer, moreover there is a public test which uses the 'Test' as real life first name and 'Nagty' as family name. Normally the address to try it would be http://www.schome.ac.uk/slog/nagty, however the registration process saves email, login, passwords, etc, therefore it is better to try fresh by getting first to http://www.schome.ac.uk/slog/nagtytest which reinitializes the test before redirecting you. There is a small chance that a person reinitializes the test while another is getting through the registration process but I think we can live with it.

It won't work with SL firstnames Vigo and Timsl (since they already exist) Please try, put your email address, and see if you can break it... if you can, you may want to open a ticket on the trac site.

After the registration, normally the user will be able to login, but I didn't connect the nagty passwords with the old authentication system so it won't work yet. Once this will be done 'administratos' will have some rights which will allow special management pages, e.g. see all users, etc.

I'm also looking forward to a better design for the whole thing.

12 Feb 2007 - DB + Testing + Email

(6h)

Still on the Registration System for nagty students needed by peter (as described in this ticket).

I refactored the database to make it adaptable to particular projects (hopefully), here is a part of it (the one that is used now):

Slog Database Schema

Also, to make sure that everything is solid for when the users will arrive, made tests for each functionality.

A part of the tests for nagty name recognition

Then used a SMTP server to send the email. The problem is that out of all I sent, I received only one. I think they may be filtered as spam somewhere and need to digg a bit more to solve this, any idea welcome of course.

Email sending with Hamster (nothing to do with the PGSS ones)

The system is accessible at http://www.schome.ac.uk/slog/nagty with users Vlad Tanasescu (who didn't sent his confirmation) and Tim Berners-Lee (who did everything well).

After the mail problem will be solved the rest will be trivial. In the meantime I will be surprised you cannot slog anymore, since the database changed.

06 Feb 2007 - Slog / Nagty

(6h)

I am working on the Registration System for nagty students needed by peter (as described in this ticket), students need to come to the website and:

  • enter their real name (to pull up their record - which we will have set up in advance - the system will then check that their consent forms have been returned by them and their parents)
  • confirm their current email address (the system needs to check that this works - send them a message to which they must repond by following link back to website and clicking on confirm button or something of the sort)
  • select their avatar's firstname (the system needs to check this is unique)
  • enter the password that they wish to have
  • confirm their date of birth

This data will then be used to:

  • Get GusP to batch register them for TSL
  • Register them with the wiki, forum & SLog
  • provide email address so that we can tell them when their TSL account is active

To achieve this I worked on the database schema for users; it is generic enough to accept parameters depending on the project (for example the nagty project adds to the user fields showing the reception of consent forms). In this way the structure can be reused for other projects without many modifications.

The first steps of the registration are a kind of wizard; the first two steps are designed, using Ajax for validation:

Entering the name
Are the consent forms received?
Email step (not functional yet)

The system is accessible at http://www.schome.ac.uk/slog/nagty and can be tested with my name (there is only one registered user). Note that the url is now 'slog'.

01 Feb 2007 - SLWeb / Slog / Schomenotes Progress

(8h)

Played with the visuals. It's not very nice yet but at least there is a layout and css files which can be modified.

Installed Trac so one can see what tasks (called tickets) are closed and what needs to be done:

http://cortez.open.ac.uk:8000/slspace/report/6

Of course it is incremental and I keep adding when issues come to mind. You can also add tickets when you find bugs; first identify yourself by clicking settings (not login) and then 'new ticket', without worrying about the details. When we'll have a better idea of when we'll start in schomebase I will define goals for the first milestone.

A few comments:

There is a lot of work to do but making progress and starting to feel comfortable with the framework and the language. It is not usable yet, too many bugs (again, new tickets are appreciated). If someone comes with a design for the website (an image is enough), or a layout for the user pages it will avoid me trying to make good looking stuff (and fail! :)

Next priority is creating a service for Dan's sensors. Hopefully we will have a positive reply from the sloodle guys and we'll be able to combine the user databases.

Also I have to check the status of the Schome Notebook inworld, check if it still works. Also it is annoying that everyone can see the text when you slog in a meeting.

15 Jan 2007 - Gus Vidor And Schome Notebook Final

(4h)

The rails application on cortez does not use a special port anymore and therefore integrates with the schome website nicely. That was non trivial and the only solution I found (pdf) that worked uses a commercial software that will cost us $99 after (after the 30 days evaluation period). I hope it's not a too big problem. The new base url is:

http://www.schome.ac.uk/slweb/home

The $99 shouldn't be a problem - if we can wait till near the end of the 30 day evaluation period we should have the schome-NAGTY budget code sorted out .... PeterT 05:58, 16 January 2007 (GMT)

I created Gus Vidor to help testing the Schome Notebook (no picture yet since he is all black for some reason, i.e. no face!). The version that works is now on the bloc build in the middle of co-op by Euphlozie. Please try it when you'll have time after signing up on slweb.

Tried it - and it works great. Inevitably I have thoughts about how it might be developed .... My wish list might look something like this:
* Being able to merge two entries on the web page (cos I find writing long entries a problem inworld (and the notebook currently truncates them))
* Being able to insert an image in the web page from inworld (I know you are working on this one)
* Being able to edit an entry via the web page (if I can create entries inworld or via the web and edit or delete them via the web then what more could I want?)
* Other folk being able to leave me a comment on the webpage
* Other folk being able to post a message to my webpage from inworld
OK so I'm getting carried away now .... Great tool - Brilliant work Vlad. PeterT 05:58, 16 January 2007 (GMT)
Thanks Peter, all of this is very doable but maybe we want to keep the specificity of the interaction from SL. For example I would never write full blog entries inworld, just notes, since there are too many problems for formatting and confort (it's about the same kind of problems as for programming inworld!). So maybe let's allow comments (and why not star based ratings) for notes and build another full web blog interface whith easy access to the most recent notes, for inspiration. Also, maybe we can differentiate between public/private and personal notes, participants being able to subscribe to their mates public notes from their home page and get the ones addressed to them. Replies could be seen inworld. But we don't want to replace proper blogs or emails I think. Shall we move this to the forum? Vladtn 18:57, 16 January 2007 (GMT)
Good plan - I've moved it to a topic called The SchomeBook PeterT 07:04, 17 January 2007 (GMT)

From experimenting with the difficulty of creating even quite simple scripted objects, and given that you always find something to change to them, my opinion regarding code sharing became clearer. When there is a new version of an object, either we have a sort of vending machine where we can collect it and get rid of the old version, either the code is put on the web and each of us can copy it into their object (if only the code changed). This last solution implies to give to everyone all rights on objects, which is perfectly fine by me.

14 Jan 2007 - Schome Notebook

(more than 12h doing stuff)

And making amazing progress - nice one PeterT 06:39, 15 January 2007 (GMT)

On cortez (Peter's server) you can now go on http://www.schome.ac.uk/slweb/home (the address may change soon) and signup (please use your real SL name, since there is no way to control...).

The address has changed... Martin Le Voi 26 January 2007
Yes, just updated it, please try again Vladtn 13:22, 26 January 2007
Signup

Once done, you have access to your home, which presents your message about school (that you can change), as well as your recent schome notes.

A schome note is a short memo, that is taken in world, and appears immediately on the web, it is therefore a way to quickly write down ones impressions.

In world, go to the centre of Dan's (beautiful!) 'co-op' area to take a copy of the 'Schome Notebook' object. Wear it or hold it anywhere, so it can listen to your voice. Say 'scomenote: followed by your note' and the note will appear on the website.

I took the object and wore it - but couldn't persuade it to add to my notes (tried 'scomenote: followed by note' and 'schomenote: followed by note' but neither worked). When I took the object I got a message warning me that if I took the object it would have the previous owners settings which I wouldn't be able to change (or something like that). It also took the original rather than a copy (so I put it back - which then left me with a copy in my inventory as well as the original being back in place). Hope that helps ... PeterT 06:38, 15 January 2007 (GMT)
Hi Vlad, I clicked on the link above, but couldn't access it. Rebecca, 15 Jan
Hi Peter, it should work, maybe try to take a copy, indeed, the Schome Notebook only listen to his owner's!! Rebecca, indeed the website had to be put down until I fix a port problem, it was interfering with the web applications Peter is using on Cortez. In the meanwhile you can try this address http://www.schome.ac.uk/slweb/home but the notebook in world won't work with it. Vladtn 13:14, 15 January 2007 (GMT)
You are right - I took the object not a copy - I have now tried taking a copy and sending some stuff (putting schomenote: at the front of text in the chat box) but as I can't log into the server via my browser I don't know if its worked or not... PeterT 20:15, 15 January 2007 (GMT)
Schome User Home
Schome notebook and sign in the 'co-op' area

Having a way to keep track of users offer unlimited possibilities, for example Dan's sensor will be able to send messages to keep presence statistics in the database, participants in need of help can send messages which become emails so that we can react more quickly, answers to in world quizzes or results of other games can be stored in realtime, etc.

I left a sign as well, just to see if someone can take a copy of it.

I was able to take a copy of the sign (but not the original). I've put a copy of my copy back next to yours (it now says that Schomer Pidgeon is the owner of the second sign). PeterT 06:41, 15 January 2007 (GMT)

12 Jan 2007 - Ruby On Rails

Got more familiar with Ruby On Rails . Some may wonder what it is and how it is related to SL. Without getting into the detail let's say that it's like a wiki for programmers, i.e. it allows to develop data driven web interfaces 10 times faster than any other framework.

The goal of this is having a way of interacting with the web from SL. We do not want only webpages to be displayed on screens in SL but, for example, sensor data to be collected, messages to be transmitted to and from SL from participants, etc. (any other ideas?)

04 - 07 Jan 2007 - End of Holidays

Finishing the xmas (long) break. And back to SL to remove the Santa hat and to some scripting.

Now the objects should be usable by anyone, I need testers to try to take copies.

Tried to find the objects but couldn't - thought they were on CETLment - but I think that Jacquie has done a clean up ... Maybe you could move them to SchomeBase? PeterT 06:54, 8 January 2007 (GMT)

Added messages to the signs but now it requires editing a notecard belonging to the object. An exciting feature would be to get the messages from a webpage, which is why I created this, but the format is difficult to parse.

Interested in Jacquie's tests with single prims objects since It would allow to desing better looking signs (mine are 'sculpted' from several prims).

10 Dec 2006 - Signs (beta)

(4h)

Signs appear and disappear, the five of them. They are ugly still but appear and disappear on command.

VladTnFirstSigns.jpg

There is one next to the egg if someone wants to try (small box with red writing on top, you must be the owner so take a copy, then say 'sg --', the '--' can be replaced by '-', '0', '+', '++', a bit geeky but can be changed easily).

Tired now, may complete tomorrow.

(PS: thanks to Terrence for the xmas hat!)

07 Dec 2006 - Scripting Maze

(2h)

Ok, so here we go, thanks to the neighbours low security standards (bless them!) having access to SL. And done some scripting.

The problem of building these signs is that they have to be configurable – unlike my new bike I found at the bottom of the sea in CETLment, but couldn’t find the underwater house – and there are a few ways to do that. But none is trivial.

Peter suggested writing things in a note and making them appear. Managed to read from a predefined note but don’t think it’s possible to change it, or didn’t find a way to do that yet. But I’ve seen objects in packages, so maybe an object can access a note which is in its package, hmm not sure how to do that yet either.

Objects can also respond to chat commands, and managed to do that too. But will they keep the information between sessions if not stored into a notecard?

And then there is rezzing which is creating objects by script. You can only create objects you already know about, but that’s not too bad for my lego bricks idea.

A solution which came to mind was predefined letters and make them appear on voice command, and several images for mood... but the number of prims you can rez is limited from fear of Grey Goo effect.

All sounds complicated but for the time being here is what I am going to do.

A voice command will allow to change the sign <love, like, don't mind, dislike, hate>, for the symbols I thought about, in that order: heart, smiley smiling, smiley neutral, smiley sad, black cloud with thunder. Then another command will allow to add text on top on the object. The notice board which collects all information should be ok to do (but there is always the notion of distance; objects cannot interact with objects further than 10m away, so maybe participants will have to get closer to the notice board).

Another idea would be to ‘wear’ the sign on top of ones head and move with it. And also allow to leave it somewhere, maybe next to the notice board.

Ok, done, think I have enough to get started. Back to my egg (which emits particles when occupied now).

06 Dec 2006 - How can I Play?

Hmmm... slight problem, our home broadband connection is down due to some talktalk/BT communication problem and I just tried the ouguest network. It used to work, it doesn't anymore!! Maybe the connection problem is related with what happened to Terrence but not sure since not the same message... Can anyone try and tell me?

That's terrible, first I really miss my egg and have to work on a sign forest for Peter.

Well there is still hope, there is the digilab and also the neighbour's unprotected wireless network to try :) In the meanwhile let’s ramble a bit.

Playing. Is it really what we are doing? Although the word has a nice connotation would like to find another one.

Remembering names and age. A few days ago met an OU player on CETLment and had a nice chat which revolved around the usefulness of SL as a learning environment. I was enthusiastic, my interlocutor a bit less. She told me it may be an age thing, because I was younger. The interesting thing is that you couldn't tell the age difference from our avatars. Although SL allows you to customize everything it doesn't really help us give an age to them (without using extreme characteristics such as white hair), and it seems that we only meet ageless people. Well of course that could be an advantage of the ‘second’ life but if SL is supposed enforce some realism it is definitely an issue. Btw, do teens in SL look radically different than us, not so sure.

Great point well made Vlad! the default look of avatars is interesting for sure. I didn't bother putting too much time in to mine and my housemate came in once while I was playing to take a look and thought it was really funny, because the default male avatar is, to quote my house mate, "pretty buffed" (muscular, good looking body) - he thought maybe I'd made myself look better looking on purpose :-) Everybody is this generic 20s-30s year old good looking model. I guess Linden feels everybody wants to look beautiful in the virtual world? thoughts? --Mgaved 19:42, 6 December 2006 (GMT)
Yeah, the amazing thing is you can look ugly, but you can't look old --Vlad 12:04, 7 December 2006 (GMT)

I would still like to know who I talked to in that house in CETLment! (very bad at remembering names)

04 Dec 2006 - Rest Egg

(3h)

Playing in the morning is indeed much faster (than yesterday, a Sunday, for example).

As already said I reported yesterdays’ abuse. Felt a bit bad but good occasion to see what happens.

Then started playing with scripting and discovered same tutorial as Olly. Seems very good but was in a rush to do the following simple thing...

Don’t know about you guys but finding where to 'sleep' is always a problem. Like in real life don’t really want my avatar hanging around drowsing in the middle of the street. In a French comic I read when I was teenager, 'L'Incal', an egg of black energy was able to capture people by enveloping them, and Moebius strips seem to have influenced a generation.

Well my result is simply a Rest Egg (costing L$1, why not), which is quasi transparent when non occupied and darkens when one gets inside, allowing him or her a peaceful rest. It becomes almost transparent again on stand up. Not sure how it reacts when pushed by another avatar. Wouldn’t have been able to do anything without this LSL Wiki. So from now on, I'm sleeping in my egg in Cetlment:

VladtnRestEgg.jpg

Another thing I didn’t know is that the number of primitives is limited (ratio of the land you own, see help), and that documentation is good to read (even if it takes time).

==03 Dec 2006 - Under attack== (1h)

Found Cetlment (!) and teleported there. New things it seems since last time, no cloud bank but almost; a cloudy, hazy platform in the sky, plus this nice translucent blue meeting room…

Enter Baker Racer, dark individual with a rapier, polite. Enter New Paperclip, a white robot. They start shooting at each other; ‘role playing I ask’? ‘Sort of, replies Baker, we shoot at each other’. Shooting involves several weapons as well as portable cages. ‘Well please don’t shoot anyone else here, it’s an educational island’. ‘lol’, after a little while I was in a cage.

Escaped, got shot. Then tried to build something, but it is difficult with people getting on your objects, shooting at them or sitting on them.

VladtGettingShotOnCetlement.jpg

Checked if I could ban people, no, only the owner of the land seems to be able to do it. Same with authorization lists.

Had to leave in the end, in order not to loose too much time. But managed to get angry for the first time in SL :)

Came back today... all cages, missiles, etc are still there, and I can do nothing about it. Reported an abuse, to see how it works.

Again, as for theft, the difficult choice between security and openness.

==29 Nov 2006== (3h)

Nudity. Was in the junkyard trying clothes, suddenly no trousers anymore, was looking for another one. The kind of thing you don't care about in any other environment. Here was feeling a bit guilty but thinking no one would notice. When somebody rushed to me shouting 'hey'! Ok, got the message, no more nudity, one is not invisible.

War. Some people like it more than sex/love it seems. Tried to find Cetlment Island without success (sometimes it is not on the map, sometimes even the surl doesn't work). Then fell into a war zone. Started having lifepower (a heart with a percentage), somebody shooting at me, projecting me away into the sea, then following me, running, shooting, hateful, killed me again, before I teleported.

Since no home island hard to find where to build. Where is that place with towns under the sea where anyone can build? Random teleport to a military sandbox; here no shooting but people were trying vehicles and stuff. Got into a spaceship, someone was seating in the pilot seat discussing, not aware I was there, how is that for a warlord. Didn't know how to unboard. Already a bit shocked by the violence experimented before heard that quote of the pilot chatting 'Heard that there's a weapon that hits you so hard that it crashes your computer...'. Hmmm, great indeed..., teleported myself away.

Well, military or not it is still a sandbox, so I tried to find out if one ca build giant structures like Rbecca's tree easily. Shapes seem to be constrained to 10m length (would be nice to have a proper documentation on building, didn't find any on SL's website but it must exist, anyone?). But shapes can be duplicated. And giant structures can be build from small ones. the small black spot in the picture below is me.

VTGiantBuildingTest.jpg

Remark. Building takes time. Often because things don't work (maybe it's me, maybe my computer, but not sure). For example 3D navigation around your model involves flying around it if it becomes too big (again, maybe not but I have to find out), and if you fly too high you fall down steadily so complicated to stay at the same height. Selection is slightly biased by the engine therefore you sometimes have to click next to the object, into empty space, to select it. The 10m size limit is a bit of a hassle, although I understand why it is necessary. Anyway, it would be so nice to be able to work into another environment, at least until I upgrade my pc/linden fixes stuff/I become more experimented in SL. Didn't find much apart from the Quake Rocket Launcer imported in SL. But need to look more.

A solution to trees can be using L-Systems which can generate fantastic visuals . And it could also meet one of my interests; instead of pushing people to learn LSL, provide DSLs, Domain Specific Languages DSL which, for a domain, will provide automatic building. With such a language for example, branches could be added to a tree by a simple chat line (a 'magic word).

I know I don't even know how to script and want to meta script, but hey, that would be cool and allow students gentle introductions to building things.

What amazes me is the number of possibilities (affordances) SL provides, that's really what makes the environment so special. For example imagine a compiling machine; any language to LSL, but that's a limit concept since it involves the inner mechanism of the software as well. However everything else is already amazing; in fantasy books wizards research new spells. For example I will try to build a homing script/spell, to call an object back, maybe with some magic word, but what happens if the object is kept into a cage by the person who grabbed it, can we just make it disappear and come back, must it fly, should we be in a given range. The world allowing so much programming becomes magic since it has to take into account SL world constraints and not only computer or database ones. Very neuromancer like and fascinating. Heard that the universe was inspired by Snow Crash though, could someone borrow it to me?

There is much to explore and to think, and too little time.

Comments

I too have problems finding CETLment island - so today for example, I searched for celtment then cetlment island then CELTment, each time being told it didn't exist. I then tried the slurl and clicked on the teleport option but nothing seemed to happen. However, when I then opened the map in SL - hey presto CETLment island was listed in the places on the right and showing on the map! So I clicked teleport and away I went. You might try just typing the coordinates (149, 89, 29) into the map thingy (bottom right of map window) - PeterT 18:19, 29 November 2006 (GMT)

28 Nov 2006

More about building stuff, a fast tutorial I found really usefull on youtube.

Ideas: building a pet which follows you around, building a 'shape organ' which produces random shapes when played.

Engine glitch or construction one, got trapped into a wall:

Vtwalltrapped.jpg

At the The Ivory Tower of Building Primitives got trapped into a cage and then teleported, someone explained to me how to get out (by sitting on it), calling me 'sir':

Vtcages.jpg

Started building stuff, takes time but interface similar to existing 3D software (i.e. presence of gizmos around objects to allow you to modify the shape).

23 Nov 2006

SL seems to load much faster in the morning (GMT)! Tip: click to load; if you want to see something right click it and it will be rendered faster. Maybe I wouldn't mind having to wait a few minutes after teleportation for everything to load first, then appear. But maybe it is part of SL's reality effect, not sure.

Cetlment Island. Got a cold beer. Couldn't get into Nogbad's house. Already a few things there. Slightly annoying the omnipresent notion of property; 'sorry, only my owner can use/ride me', 'this is not yours but you can buy it' etc etc. If people (i.e. students) are to use the objects we build will they be able to without some other people stealing them. Couldn't we just let them take them and then 'call the objects back' somehow when needed? To have it when you want to use it seems more primordial than property imo, as you learn by sharing a house.

Houses look great, I wonder if one could use sketchup to build them or if everything has to be done in (slow unfortunately) SL.

Lots of giant geometric shapes, animals, and a funny mirror :) But no one around today.

Flying to learn how to build.

I agree with you about property and students - on Schome Park (the island in the teen grid) we will probably start by having the island 'walled off' so that folk are stuck on it (and other folk can't see it). This will help with stuff not getting lost I guess. However, we will want to move to a situation where Schome Park is open - so that folk can come and go as they please - so loosing stuff may become more of an issue. Maybe there is some way to write a homing script? Will add this to the wishlist. PeterT 06:40, 29 November 2006 (GMT)

21 Nov 2006

OK, I got it. Think I know now what SL is about. In the help island went to the game space. A hangman game. A fully functional chessboard build for us. Went to the freebies shop. Got 'Fuego!', a free object which sets fire around you type 'Fuego!'. Everything seems to be possible.

Teleported to the real map.

Same remark as Mark, takes ages to load... but complexity appears once loaded. It went to a bar, you could leave tips in a jar. And there were some dances available.

Flying is cool, with the sound of the wind you almost feel it. Less convinced by driving vehicles, the free buggy, lost by mistake :( , but I guess it depends on the scripting of it since the kart in the help island was great.

Went to an area which was 'in construction'; adapting the concept of in costruction to the metaverse is you teleport into some kind of cage with flashing banners; you can see a bit of what is being built but not all of it, and no access.

Still you feel the world being built and evolving around you

So I regret the long loading time... but think this is really it. Hopefully it will scale, machines and network will get faster and we have a virtual world.

Comments

(Mark 22 November 2006) Hey Vlad, can you stick up the url/address of the games space? somebody asked me for it yesterday when I was in SL, I'd like to look as well... cheers!


(Vlad 22 November 2006) Hmmm, not sure you can access it if you left the initial area. They say it's for ever if you teleport to the 'big SL'. Try to look for 'help island'.

20 Nov 2006

Laptop runs SL from work. Stayed late to configure avatar (is it still called like this in SL?). As the first time I tried body configuration is a hassle. Best not to care too much but highly configured characters look more interesting (more real?).

First impressions, compared to professionally designed universes I know such as Guild Wars or Eve, SL looks very poor, like early demos of open source 3D engines :) The streamed loading of elements is visible, Peter was right the world seems about to collapse, which is hard to understand with such a successful concept (and already making money I suppose). But even if the network was better, the world is simple, low polygon objects, simple textures, etc.

Did a bit of the help island. Chatted with people. Not too bad, almost small conversations.