Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

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Nalates
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Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by Nalates » Tue Mar 10, 2009 8:33 pm

(I hope this is in the right section)

There are so many things so many different people want to do in MOOS. There are also those that do not want anything to change. However that shakes down, there are some things that will likely get added.

I am hoping that one of those things can be HTTP links. Those of you in SL have seen these in action. You click a computer screen or something and web page (there is an ok dialog) opens in your web browser. What many do not realize is land marks in SL are a link also. They just cause the SL viewer to open a new region, which we call teleporting. All very similar in appearance to what MOUL does when we link to an age or a browser when opening a new age or a video.

While the HTTP links would be handy for getting people to various fan web sites for more back story and information and forums or rapidly changing information, there is more that is possible. For instance, ametist is using and looking to expand the use of MOUL/MOOS in teaching. See the thread at GoMa - Educational Uru Ages.

While opening web pages would be useful, consider allowing someone without heavy Blender and modeling experience to build in RealXtend or Open Sim and link to that virtual world from within MOOS. Plus it would provide them an environment in which they could work as teams and make quick simple changes, greatly reducing development time for an educational effort.

The simplest form of the link is an HTTP call targeted at an SL site that converts the URL (SLURL in SL’s case to an API –run/start- call). The viewer can be targeted at any compatible SIM (i.e., Open Life, Open Sim, RealXtend, etc.) My virtual world is called by: "C:\Program Files\SecondLife\SecondLife.exe" -loginuri http://127.0.0.1:9000/ -loginpage http://127.0.0.1:9000/?method=login –multiple I have to start the SIM ahead of that so port 9000 is actually there but that is not a user issue.

This would open the SL Viewer pointed to a private virtual world. By using an Internet facing IP anyone could come to my world (and die of boredom). But it would allow more people to build in easier environments and create much more dynamic classrooms. Plus it is looking more and more possible to move MOUL ages into SL like worlds (they are my test cases – fan ages are the goal as in SL -> MOOS). Once I can go one way it won’t be that hard to go the other.

I think the new virtual worlds allow teachers to do things that cannot be done in MOUL/MOOS. Having been in the classrooms of SL I know they have advantages (and disadvantages) over online tutorials and videos. The interactive nature of them is great. While online tutorials have a measure of permanence and great availability, the virtual class and its interactive nature with the ability to ask a question is a big advantage.

Whether the HTTP/API linking a good or desirable thing is debatable and probably better suited for other forums where people can shout. I am posting here as I am curious how much of a technical problem it might be to change MOOS to use links to reach outside.

I think if we used the MOOS logon servers to generate the ID/password logon for linking to another virtual world it would make for tighter integration. I’m not sure that is possible. I’m playing with both RealXtend and Open Sim to see how things work.

Opening a new window is not that great an integration… but I think it is easy to accomplish. As for look and feel integration, look at Rustica and Svarga in SL or the Uru SL Visitors Help Document for how Myst like some builds are now.

If you have ideas for better ways ametist can accomplish her goal, jump in the thread at GoMa too. :geek:
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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:07 pm

Mod Note: I've moved this to the Suggestions forum, because I think it'll get more attention here.
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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by realXCV » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:27 pm

Isn't that the same thing as in the D'niweb thread ?

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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by Mac_Fife » Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:40 pm

realXCV wrote:Isn't that the same thing as in the D'niweb thread ?
I thought that on first reading, but then realised it was bit more complicated: D'niWeb basically gives you an on-demand web browser. Nalates post stretches this to in-game clickables that are associated with web resources. Maybe D'niWeb++.
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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by realXCV » Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:24 pm

It's still the same thing with a different way of using it.

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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by Nalates » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:49 pm

Depends on what one means when they say same thing...

Code wise I think it would be the same thing. A call is made to the system asking for a document (web page whatever) to be opened using a specified program. When general documents are asked for a file type can be the specification and the system will open the users choice of handler for the doc type.

For a virtual world link to work one needs to be able to specify the program to use for the OPEN. I can see that creating a whole other set of issues. But, that is not for this part of the thread.

Not having played with the Plasma code I don't know what is available or what can be done. However this may just need to be a Python snippet placed in an object within an age. Python has an HTTP Request handler. So, popping a web page open should be simple if Plasma is not blocking the process. Python also has the function Popen which appears to handle calls to open other programs. I don't use Python for those tasks so I'm uncertain. I am told some parts of the Python library are not part of MOUL. But, it has remained unclear from the 'Security' threads, at least to me, whether it is a matter of which library parts of Python are in the game or on the users system that matter.

If it is just a Python thing, this seems very doable. One could have a book and clicking it would open a new window using which ever program was needed (probably a SL Viewer pointed at an Open Sim or RealXtend server).

Since I have found a way to use Blender to convert an age terrain into a height map for several virtual worlds, any of them could be used to host an easily editable environment for a classroom. How easy it may or may not be to move these builds back and forth, I am still unsure. However, on my Vista 32 machine I don't notice that the Open Sim host is even running. Of course I don't have 20 people in it either.

At this point the question is will Plasma allow it and do we know or is it a guess?
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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by realXCV » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:57 pm

Nalates wrote:(probably a SL Viewer pointed at an Open Sim or RealXtend server).
...or an error message telling that the SL Viewer can't be found.

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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by Nalates » Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:32 am

I know about these problems, thus my comment that it opens up whole other issues... my question is can Python reach outside of the Plasma game?

Python can check for the presence of a program. It is possible to gracefully handle those issues. If the target program is not on the system, the code just does not let one open the book. Or it opens to a page of instructions.

One would also have to check if the target server is up.

As best I can tell Python can do all the needed things. I just have know way to test whether or research whether Plasma will allow those functions to work.
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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by realXCV » Thu Mar 12, 2009 12:54 pm

Nalates wrote:I know about these problems, thus my comment that it opens up whole other issues... my question is can Python reach outside of the Plasma game?
Probably. If no, makes some changes to the source code to allow it.

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Re: Integration w/Other Virtual Worlds - Education

Post by JWPlatt » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:03 pm

D'Lanor already gave an example of this in the other thread:

viewtopic.php?p=1500#p1500
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