EdMOLT – Week Seven

Week seven is the final week of the EdMOLT course.

I caught up on the various discussion forums which I had not been on for 6 days or so.

I also checked if anyone in my “Team” for the joint exercises had checked in on any of the modalities available and no one had except the course tutor. I suggested that a way to address lack of involvement by people in some teams might be to mid course ask other team if they were willing to invite across individuals who found themselves in inactive groups.

A useful resource in the week seven materials is a web site for “An Edinburgh Online Teaching Toolkit – Resources for teaching online”…


End of Course “Gift”

A nice summary PDF with course participant inputs, images and course graphics was provided at the end of the course. Thanks.

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Firestorm VR Mod 6.3.9 and 6.4.5

Firestorm with OpenSimulator viewer is a Beta test viewer which includes support for EEP (the Environmental Enhancement Project) and support for the Chrome Embedded Framework Live Video Streaming features in Second Life and OpenSim. VR Mode in this new version acts in the same way as in Firestorm VR Mod 6.3.9. See under “> Assets” for the releases via

Peter Kappler maintains the Firestorm VR Mod Viewer and his source code modifications to allow the Firestorm Viewer to work with VR headsets at https://gsgrid.de/firestorm-vr-mod/ – go there to download his latest version and for usage information, source, advice on trouble shooting, etc. For community support use the Discord Discussion Channel: P373R-WORKSHOP by p373r_kappler [ Invite ].

On that channel @humbletim has announced an automated scripted build system with help from @thoys using GitHub Actions (GHA) which merges Peter Kappler’s VR code additions into stock Firestorm and which can autobuild a release executable version. He has done that for Firestorm and See https://github.com/humbletim/firestorm-gha/. Look under the Releases tab and the installer is under the “Assets” chevron.

These install in to their own folder and use their own user Settings directory so that the VR Mod viewer can be installed alongside the standard Firestorm viewer. Note that if you want to import existing Firestorm accounts/settings you have to manually copy them over between AppData/Roaming/Firestorm_x64 and AppData/Roaming/FirestormVR_x64 folders.

As usual, Ctrl+TAB initially sets up SteamVR (and HMD support as needed), TAB is used to toggle VR mode on or off, F5 lets you select and step through the various VR HMD or user specific settings for IPD, texture shift to register the left and right eye images, and focal distance to change depth perception, etc. F6/F7 are used to increment and decrement each setting selection.

Peter Kappler suggested the following process to establish suitable settings for your HMD:

  1. Set IPD to 0 (zero)
  2. Then adjust Texture Shift until image is sharp and focused
  3. Then adjust IPD which separates your cameras to left and right to get a good 3D effect

If you see a lot of hover tips showing under the mouse it could be that the debug setting “ShowHoverTips” is set to TRUE (the default) which may show something constantly under the mouse even for inert unscripted objects. You can turn that off via Debug Settings or via Preferences – User Interface – 3D World – Show Hover Tips. Via that same preferences panel, you might alternatively prefer to lengthen the delay before hovertips are activated.

On the Discord channel @humbletim on 28-May-2020 wrote:

For anyone wanting to compile from source I was able to get a combined Firestorm stock + VR Mod built using Github Actions (much thanks to @thoys for helping figure it out!).

Still tweaking the build script but latest windows version is here:

And here are the minimum source changes that seem necessary on top of stock Firestorm_6.3.9_Release to merge in the 6.3.3 VR Mod source, fetch OpenVR as a submodule dependency, and then automatically bundle as part of the generated installer.

For more details and advice on running Firestorm VR Mod see https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2019/11/28/firestorm-vr-mod-6-3-3/.

Reflections Issue in Firestorm VR Mod

Ahah… I notice a BIG difference when using VR Mod… as you tip you head from side to side when in VR Mode the UI elements like the HUDs and name/group tags correctly stay level. BUT the REFLECTIONS of in world items ALSO stay level which looks very odd. In they correctly stay as a mirror image of the objects. I wonder if the EEP code has altered the graphics layer on which reflections are placed in some way that needs a change to the VR Mod approach? Or if its a bug somewhere in the core Firestorm/Linden Lab rendering code.

Here are screenshots from FS VR Mod (left) and FS VR Mod (right) in VR Mode with HMD tipped to the side… click on images for full size versions…

It may be that Linden Lab moved the reflections onto a different graphics layer and the VR Mod code folks might be able to fix that… but it might also partially explain why there is a big frame rate drop in the EEP viewers… as we already know that turning off the UI layer improves frame rate a LOT…. just speculation at the moment but still… interesting.

Looks like its an issue in Linden Lab (and hence Firestorm) EEP code changes.. as it can be observed in the standard non-VR Mod viewers. It is rather obvious in VR Mode, but can also be seen in a standard view… if you place your avatar so its at an angle (e.g. on a pose stand and rotate it sideways) and go into Mouselook mode you can see the reflections are wrong… setup as in the following image…

Here are screenshots from FS (left) and FS (right) in Mouselook mode with avatar view tipped to the side… click on images for full size versions…

The issues is in the Linden Lab EEP code and is reported at https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-229181 and https://jira.firestormviewer.org/browse/FIRE-29972

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EdMOLT – Week Six

Checking out the materials for week six on Feedback and Assessment.

Checked out whether the group I am part of had made any contact on all channels, Teams area, Group Discussion Board and Group Padlet. Looks like I am the only member of the group, besides Micheal Gallagher the course instructor, that has tried any of the channels.

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EdMOLT – Week Five

Start of a new week, start of a new blog post. TBA.

Engaged Learning Communities (Continued)

Group Work on the task of keeping a community engaged… checked out the Edinburgh Model Group 15 channels: discussion board, group e-mail via Teams, Teams and its shared Files area. I even added a pointer on the group padlet in case anyone sees that. But I see no activity at all except the input of the EdMOLT course leader Michael. Perhaps this is a good example of less than active interest in group work in some online learning communities and the lack of community in the channels available 🙂 Discord works well for something like this.

EdMOLT Week Five Drop-in Session on Blackboard Collaborate

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Roth2 v2

Roth2 v2 Revision 2020-05-24
Based on Blender Mesh from https://github.com/RuthAndRoth/Roth2 (was DRAFT8_4)
Use a viewer which supports Bakes on Mesh, e.g. Firestorm.

Roth2 is a low-poly mesh body specifically designed for OpenSimulator and which can also be used in Second Life™. It is built to use standard Second Life UV maps using a scratch-built open source mesh by Shin Ingen, Ada Radius and other contributors from the RuthAndRoth Community. Roth2 v2 is the second version of the mesh avatar updated to be built and rigged using Blender 2.8 and with improved documentation of the workflow to make it reliably repeatable and credits to all the asset creators involved.



Roth2 v2 is provided as a single mesh that is designed to work well with Bakes on Mesh. It has a simple alpha capability without needing separate mesh parts and alpha masks can be worn to give more control over hidden areas. rather than use Bakes on Mesh, skin textures may be applied, but you should then add a full body alpha mask to hide the underlying system avatar.

The “Roth2 v2 – Mesh Avatar” box contents are designed so that they form a complete initial avatar using Bakes on Mesh. You can switch to your own shape, skin, eyes and hair and/or use the HUD to change your appearance. Some example skins, hair, clothing and a range of alpha masks are provided in the “Roth2 v2 – Extras” box.


Roth2 v2 uses a single combination HUD, created by Serie Sumei, for alpha masking, skin and eye texture application and other features. The skins and eyes that are available are set via a notecard (!CONFIG) in the Contents of the HUD which can be edited to incorporate your own skins (10 slots are available) and/or eye textures (5 slots are available).

The Skin Alpha Mode can be changed between Alpha Masking with cutoff=128 (the initial setting) and Alpha Blending. Depending on the Alpha Mode that is used on hair, clothing or other attachments that use partial alpha it may be useful to be able to change the setting used on the mesh body to avoid some parts not displaying correctly.


Roth2 v2 – Mesh Avatar – This is the normal distribution box and is designed so that once unpacked its contents can be “worn”. It contains basic “classic” avatar shape, skin, eyes and hair so that a complete outfit can be worn. This can then be replaced with the users own avatar elements.

  • Roth2 v2 Full (Body+Feet+Hands+Head)
  • Roth2 v2 Eyes
  • Roth2 v2 HUD
  • Initial skin, shape, basic eyes and basic hair
  • Dark gray underwear

Roth2 v2 – Extras – This is a box of useful extra elements and options.

  • Roth2 v2 Body (only)
  • Roth2 v2 Feet
  • Roth2 v2 Hands
  • Roth2 v2 Head
  • Roth2 v2 Headless (Body+Feet+Hands)
  • Roth2 v2 Head+Vneck (section of body)
  • Roth2 v2 Elf Ears
  • Dark grey underwear briefs and jacket length top
  • Alpha masks
  • Sample hair
  • HUD debug script

Roth2 v2 – Resources – This box is not normally needed. It contains textures and other resources with original UUIDs as used within the other assets.. This can be useful of moving the assets across grid, or to repair elements.

  • All skin and eye textures used in default HUD
  • Box Art
  • HUD Textures
  • Clothing – Underwear

Roth2 v2 – Mesh Uploads – This box is not normally needed. It contains mesh for all Roth2 v2 elements as originally uploaded and before attaching a root prim or any texturing.

  • Collada (.dae) Mesh for all Roth2 v2 elements as originally uploaded and before part renaming, attaching a root prim or any texturing.


  • There may be a small gap or seem at the neck joint between the mesh body and the classic avatar or addon mesh heads.
  • Not all the appearance sliders will work on the mesh body and parts.
  • Roth2 v2 with attached Bento head will work with most shapes. The headless body, to use with system head or other mesh head, will work well with the sliders except body fat, and extremes to neck length and thickness, because of the neck seam. There are a few head sliders that don’t work: Head Shape, Ear Angle, Jowls, Chin Cleft. Things on the list for another release sometime down the road: figure out the neck issue, improve pointy ears.
  • Foot skin problems? For best result, paint over the system toenails and remove as much detail as you can from your foot skin that is probably designed for the system avatar’s duck feet.
  • HUD issues? The Extras box contains a HUD debug script. Add this to the HUD contents to allow for a long mouse press to bring up menu with diagnostic and further options.


Please contribute via the GitHub Repository and send your feedback by posting to the Discord Channel.



See https://github.com/RuthAndRoth/Roth2 Documentation/Packaging/LICENSE.txt

The main Roth2 v2 mesh components have an AGPL license and other components have Creative Commons or other open source licenses. Basically, you can use and distribute the materials as you wish, but any modifications to the AGPL meshes that are distributed or made available in a service must be made publicly available at no cost and released under the same terms granted in the LICENSE.


Various Authors and contributors to the Git Repository in alphabetical order are:

  • Ada Radius
  • Ai Austin
  • Chimera Firecaster
  • Elenia Boucher
  • Fred Beckhusen
  • Fritigern Gothly
  • Joe Builder
  • Lelani Carver
  • Leona Morro
  • Mike Dickson
  • Noxluna Nightfire
  • Sean Heavy
  • Serie Sumei
  • Shin Ingen
  • Sundance Haiku
  • Other contributions and testing by members of the OpenSimulator and RuthAndRoth Communities.

The ‘R2’ logo may be used to indicate projects or products that are either based on or compatible with the RuthAndRoth project mesh bodies.

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EdMOLT – Week Four

4.3 Design Brief Action Plan – Edinburgh Model Group 15

A task to explore collaborative development of a course plan to present to a board of studies to show how the team would involve students…

You are part of a new course team developing a course to be delivered online at the start of the next academic year. Due to student feedback and high online attrition at other universities, your Programme Board are particularly keen to support online courses that students becoming active participants of the University of Edinburgh community. You have to prepare an action plan for your Programme Board. The action plan will outline how teaching staff will ensure that students on the new online course feel part of the University of Edinburgh community and a part of their course and programme cohort.

Trying Microsoft Teams for coordination between the 4 team members and a course leader. Observation AT: Microsoft Teams is not a great tool for making team members aware of activity or fostering a sense of community or team spirit. I never turn on notifications from any tool as I am involved in so many online communities, so tools that are poor at summarising the status and progress of discussions or work items when you return possibly after some time away don’t work very well for me.

Some Inputs and thoughts… Our Community Orientated Online Course

1. a (brief) summary of the cohort demographics and geographical locations of the cohort as you understand them to be. This needn’t be precise, just a sketch.

Idea AT: Shall we assume international, multi-time zone, multi-cultural, multi-age?

2. a (brief) overview of community specific activity that you will design into this new course, and the virtual spaces where this activity will take place. You can focus on the community (University of Edinburgh), the cohort (the fellow students within this specific course or more broadly on your programme) or both.

Idea AT: How about getting them all to create their own digital artifact related to how the subject matter of the course relates to their own personal interests. Any format, any media. To briefly explain their personal interest and then how the subject matter or readings in the area might apply to or be used in their area of interest. When (or if) ready they can invite classmates to look at their artifact and give constructive inputs and ideas. A weekly virtual get together that runs over a 48 hour period across all time zones in a persistent meeting space with poster boards round the walls will allow anyone willing and ready to put up a poster with a URL to their artifact and this will indicate they are open to inputs from classmates. Classmates can make asynchronous inputs about posters to help their classmates. Some encouragement inputs and gentle persuasion from class leaders will be made as appropriate to keep up some momentum. Occasional video made to allow those without easy access to platform chosen to see what is happening. Ask for community volunteers to act as a bridge into the platform and posters for those without suitable access or skill.

3. a (brief) overview of how you might know the activity was working in was fostering a sense of community. Again, no need to be elaborate here but rather just a few metrics you might be looking for.

Idea AT: Look at how many people get to the stage of making their artifact accessible via a URL. Then how many take it to the stage or making a poster in the persistent meeting space for weekly sessions. And how many people actually comment and give feedback.

4. an indication of how your plan caters for inclusivity and accessibility.

Multiple time zones support, dip in access, any level of involvement, no need to go public with the artifact.

4.4 The 3 C’s – community, campus, cohort

Support for Communities of Practice. Notes…

We supported a community of several hundred people (a volunteer sub-group of a world wide community of some 1,300 experts in academic, government and industry) involved in supporting government agencies and multi-national efforts in emergency response situations. We explored and conducted usability and effectiveness evaluations of a set of tools for distributed collaboration suitable for supporting their inputs and activity in both training and live emergency contexts…

Whole of Society Crisis Response Community exercises e.g. with USJFCOM, Army Research Labs, Virginia State, Hampton City and others…

EADS Astrium (Airbus) Homeland Security and Non-combatant Evacuation Scenarios

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EdMOLT – Week Three

I actually started week three by catching up on the last two modules in week two. The comments on teacher presence in 2.9 were interesting, as I found that we spent a lot of time interacting with students and the weekly guest feature lecturers on the Coursera AI Planning MOOC we ran.

3.2: Time Online in Distance Education – Synchronous and Asynchronous interactions

I am keen on supporting both synchronous and asynchronous interaction in online educational contexts. We have in the past conducted research on distributed collaboration more generally and explored how communities interact, the tasks they perform together and the tool types that may support these tasks (Tate et al., 2014). So I found Watts (2016) interesting.

3.4: Contact time, expectations, and indicators – Padlet

I put a comment into the Padlet for this activity along with the Task/Cognitive Work Analysis figure from Tate et al. (2014) as shown above… “Task Accomplishment versus Time Online – It would be nice to see the tasks the students are tackling (or that the course leaders believe they SHOULD be tackling) and their level of accomplishment of those tasks as a measure of engagement and progress.”

My dissertation for the MSc in e-Learning (Tate, 2012) covered some aspects of activities and tasks and ways to support them for distributed teams working in various areas such as emergency response, and especially the training of such teams. An overall approach can be adopted from the “5E Instructional Model” (NASA, 2012) with a flow of Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. Within this higher level cycle, a very useful set of learner activities specifically relevant to situated and social activity in a community of practice has been developer by Soller (2001, as shown in figure 6.1).

The educator can add appropriate constraints (limited by the activity which is possible via the affordances offered) and inject relevant events for learners to respond to (as shown in figure 8.1).

http://atate.org/mscel/i-zone/ for more details.

3.5 Synchronous vs. asynchronous

Hahaha… I should have read ahead.. this is a topic that interests me.. as can be seen from the above comments.. I tend to write these blog posts as a log of my learning activity and interaction with the course material.. hence my previous annoyance if they time out in the WordPress platform! I am saving blog post changes frequently after that little faux pas.

3.8: Case Study for Dealing with Multiple Time Zones

No single time works across the world, but having several clustered sessions where there can be decent and reasonable overlap can work well if you can get some overlap between the participants. having a persistent space where the meeting take place, where artifacts can be “pined” and seen by all participants can be helpful. But you know where I am coming from there with virtual world technology 🙂


NASA (2012) “5Es Overview: The 5E instructional model”, NASA Education Web.

Soller, A.L. (2001) “Supporting Social Interaction in an Intelligent Learning System”, International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education (IJAIED), Vol. 12, pp. 40-62.

Tate, A. (2012) ‘Activity in Context’ – Planning to Keep Learners ‘in the Zone’ for Scenario-based Mixed-Initiative Training, MSc in e-Learning Dissertation, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh, 9th August 2012. [PDF Format]

Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014. [PDF Format]

Watts, L. (2016). Synchronous and asynchronous communication in distance learning: A review of the literature. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 17(1), 23.

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EdMOLT – Week Two

The blog post said it had timed out when I was updating it after adding three or four paragraphs. That’s is very bad. I find its really difficult to get the motivation to repeat a lot of comments after they have been made once.

It is Thursday of week 2 and I have just carved out some time to look at Week Two course materials I am engaged on an international collaborative project to produce open source educational resources for collaboration in OpenSimulator and Second Life. I am acting as a coordinator, editor and tester and this week a lot of the materials have started to come together.

2.2: Into the Unknown: On the “Unknowns” Padlet activity I noted the “unknown” as I see it of having little sense of who else is engaged with the study group or class. Maybe I need to dip again into the Discussion Forums.

Discssion Forums: Just dipped back into the discussion forums. It nice and clearly marks replies or comments you have had on previous posts. So you can go an read or comment back on the inputs. But I don’t at the moment see a simple way to get back to my own previous inputs or comments. I am sure that functionality must be there somewhere.

Claudia commented that Second LifeSecond LifeSecond Life was not up to much.. so I pointed her at a blog post written for a Head of School in the University who wanted to know how we used virtual world in the University…


2.3 and 2.4: Disengagement Cases: Having to retype and remember what I said since my previous updates were lost when post editing “timed out” and no history of the changes were in the revisions list. I thought WordPress occasionally saved in progress versions there. Maybe not.

Essentially my thoughts were that student self help and off course communication channels were good, but some way to ask for friendly students to bridge the gap and raise issues they see in a way that does not name individuals would be good. Drop in sessions timed so that they work for those with home and social responsibilities, or perhaps travelling (in the past!) would be helpful.

2.7: Mitigating Transactional Distance: s you know I am keen on persistent shared social and interaction spaces. So for the “Padlet” activity I suggested a “virtual coffee room” (our American colleagues might call it the “Water Cooler” area) – Have a shared persistent space where folks can feet, chat, post notes and provide some sense of community and continuity. Links from this out to the online resources by giving them a “physical” point of reference.

Our research work on I-Rooms; virtual spaces for intelligent interaction” relate to this… see https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2011/09/15/i-room-a-virtual-space-for-intelligent-interaction/

2.8: Teacher Presence: is important. The comments on blog posts is a great way to have the student feel they are involved and that the teacher is interested and present.

2.9: I actually did not get to this until the beginning of week three comments on teacher presence in 2.9 were interesting, as I found that we spent a lot of time interacting with students and the weekly guest feature lecturers on the Coursera AI Planning MOOC we ran.

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Fortnite – Party Royale – Social Space

Fortnite normally involves player-versus-player combat modes. But a new “Party Royale” mode provides a social space that is being used for hangouts, parties, concerts and lightweight games.

Update 8-May-2020: Party Royale

Dillon Francis, Steve Aoki, and deadmau5 are coming to Party Royale with back-to-back-to-back sets LIVE on the big screen at the Main Stage. Hit the dance floor, chill with friends, or jump into activities in Party Royale (8-May-2020). To join the party, select the “Party Royale” playlist in Battle Royale.

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Vive Sync – VR Meeting Spaces

Launched today (30-Apr-2020) is HTC Vive Sync (https://sync.vive.com/) – which the web site states is an “all-in-one meeting and collaboration solution for VR. With VIVE Sync, it’s easy to customize your avatar, create a private meeting room, and begin working face-to-face with colleagues around the world. And with our suite of 3D interactive meeting tools, you can review 3D interactive content in ways that have never been possible”.

Vive Sync Avatar Creator

VR Headset Support

Currently, Sync only supports the Vive ecosystem of headsets – the HTC Vive, Vive Pro, Vive Focus and Vive Cosmos. HTC says it plans for future upgrades to the tool to include support for Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, Valve Index and Windows Mixedf-Reality headsets.

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EdMOLT – Week One – 1.8 Onwards

1.8: I am an enthusiastic supporter of avatar-based virtual worlds (such as Second Life and the open-source OpenSim platforms) as shared collaborative spaces and they work well in a lot of educational contexts… and have used them for class meeting and discussion spaces, for seminars, rain storming sessions, etc.

These spaces can be set up so there are many separate isolated spaces, and can even allow student subgroups, say those speaking a specific language or those from some specific region to have their own space with isolated text chat and voice facilities. These can be themed to be fun spaces for those who like that.. say a coffee area, campfire setting, a beach with a lovely sunset view, or perhaps out on a yacht in the bay.

Students can hang out in these spaces, drop in, etc. the sense of presence and ways to share information can increase (see Tate et al., 2014). Some may find the abstraction of an avatar odd, especially at first and if they have not been used to playing with a character in online and computer games. But this level of abstraction and spatial separation can also be of benefit especially in some cultures that may not support some forms of social interaction.

1.9: Too many folks who have not used online platforms and been involved in collaborative community orientated courses and activities think online is a poor alternative to “face-to-face” teaching. They assume sole learners in isolated contexts working alone with lists of videos, some even simply recorded from the back of lecture theatres! This is FAR from my own experiences. I believe online community orientated learning in a mix of synchronous activities and asynchronous study is a preferable alternative to typical lecture theatre and group tutorial style activities which suit some but not all learners.

1.10: See above… and why not have a virtual worlds “Edinburgh” location to anchor the experience of “being at Edinburgh” for our students… see Virtual University of Edinburgh.

1.11: Blogging… and here we are… the end of week one. I am already a blogger and often use blog posts to bring together resources, links I want to recall later, notes, screenshots of software and tools I try, hints to help use those tools, etc.

My reflection on the week is that I have no sense at all yet of the other people involved… beyond a few scattered entries I have seen on the Padlet activities in week one, many of which give me no idea of who is I the community, what their interests are, or even the size of the community. The discussion forums and commented upon there is so busy I have not (yet) got a sense of how to use it wisely or quickly catch up. I think having a large number of threads and topics is unhelpful in this respect. We have found that also when using Discord for some online communities too. Some people have just a few threads that people can see and catch up with or skip. Other Discord communities have massive numbers of super fine topics and its too much to get an overview of what is happening.

Blackboard Collaborate Drop In Session

On 1-May-2020, the first of a planned weekly “drop in” teleconference session took place in Blackboard Collaborate. I used Firefox on Windows 10 to run this, as I have previously found that Internet Explorer and Internet edge have issues accessing my microphone.

2.x Peek Ahead

I see that week 2 and 3 materials are already in place. I am not sure if that is a good idea and would like to see discussion on the value or otherwise of this. It means some students may be racing ahead and commenting on forums, etc out of sync with others in the community. I appreciate e want a high degree of asynchrony to accommodate individual participants time and availability… and its good to have catch up periods to get the community in sync at certain points. When the course description said there would be 4 weeks of study over 7 weeks, that is what I thought might happen.


Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014. [PDF Format]

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EdMOLT – Week One – 1.1 to 1.7

Started the course on Edinburgh Model for Online Teaching – henceforth shortened to EdMOLT.

WordPress blog for course observations established at https://blogs.ed.ac.uk/bat_an-edinburgh-model-for-online-teaching/, though my main blog is usually at https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/

I added a couple of entries onto the “Padlet” of a world map showing where people have been, are and are going. Its the first time I have used padlet.. my initial observation was that clicking on any pin to see what popped up without any context other than its geolocation was not very helpful. A short label of the contents or each pin, and a popup of the contents when you hover over it rather than having to click and dismiss the contents of every pin… there are hundreds… was unhelpful.

I like to get a sense of the community involved right at the outset and this activity did not really help me do that. I turned to the discussion forums to see who was involved and what their inputs were.

Its been only one day since the course started and there are already way too many separate forums, threads in forums and entries. It is difficult to get any sense of how to approach this. Its got so much material that the status of “unread” posts is already not very helpful. There are many questions there and its unclear how they relate to the course week 1 items and questions and whether they are supplementary or the same. Being at Activity 1.3 means I don’t yet know if those questions are worth looking at or if I will find them in 1.3 to 1.12 for week 1.

The discussion forums were more useful once I clear the backlog of activity in the last 24 hours. Volume in these sorts of forums is an issue, and too many concurrent multiple threads. A focus on a thread or two would work.

Padlet was also used for the activity in module 1.7, and this made sense to share the ideas participants had about various online teaching spaces they might use or envisage…

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Edinburgh Model for Online Teaching Course (EdMOLT)

Welcome to my blog for the Edinburgh Model for Online Teaching Course – which I will abbreviate to EdMOLT). I am a Professor in the School of Informatics and have an interest in teamwork and remote collaboration. I have been involved in distance education for a while and have run a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).

Course Resources and Links (publicly accessible at present)

Blog Information

For help and advice on getting started with a WordPress blog, see the Academic Blogging help pages.

Blog Visibility (Set to Open Access)

You can open your blog up to as many or as few people as you like in Dashboard > Settings > Reading > Site Visibility:

  • You can open your blog up to specific University members by adding them as users to your blog.
  • You can open your blog up to all University members who have an EASE login.
  • You can make you blog open to the world.

Blog Images

The featured image on this post comes from the University Collections. If you want to use more images in your blog posts, or perhaps use your own choice of image in your blog header, you can:

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Outworldz – DreamGrid – Hobbiton

Fred Beckhusen of Outworldz and his team have done wonders again with another fine OpenSimulator-based region, released as an OpenSim Archive (OAR) licensed only for use on the DreamGrid distribution. Fred’s post on the MeWe – Outworldz Projects group on 28-Mar-2020 gives more details and the download link (not posted here so people should go to the MeWe post to understand the restrictions on usage).

The Hobbiton region and OAR is based on “The Hobbiton Collection” originally created by David Denny. This is an exclusive sim just for DreamGridders to use. David sells sims, so anyone wants this to run on their own grid can contact him. The description below is adapted from the region’s notecard and includes credits for elements used.

Fred Beckhusen, Debbie Edwards, Joe Builder, and David Monday worked to make the sim work smoothly, be totally free and also very beautiful. David Denny did a wonderful job on the layout and the plantings, which the team tweaked only a little bit. Fred redid a lot of the physics for smooth riding of horses and carts.

This is a 3×3 region (768m x 768m) with lots of places to go. There are Hobbits, Elves, Orcs, Trolls, Ents, Caves, Dragons and some surprises done in Animesh and NPC format. David Monday re-built the original Satyr Farm to where it mostly runs itself. The team tested most of the plants and there is even a candle making shoppe that is custom built. Fred replaced the Green Dragon Inn and the windmill with custom mesh buildings. The Green Dragon Inn is based on the current restaurant at the original set, and having been there in real life (in New Zealand near Matamata, see image below) I can say its a fine replica (it was extended for the Hobbit filming).

Walk the trails, look for the signs that say Photo Spot, and post some pics on MeWe or Twitter. Try not to get run over by the Ent, or eaten by the wolves, and watch out for Gandalf’s pony cart. There are teleporters for those who want to cheat and not explore on foot. Hint: Take the boat to the cave going North on the second waterway to the west.


Once an hour or so, Smaug will swoop down and toast your cows, which is worth waiting and watching for! If you don’t see him, TP to him via one of the teleporters and click his box to boot him up. Fred left a lot of NPC boxes visibly out as this is a Beta to test how it works. Provide feedback on MeWe Outworldz projects Group.

Tea with Bilbo Baggins

Hobbit of Hobbiton

The Hobbiton area contains a number of distribution boxes for avatars, one of which is a Hobbit… the Sting sword is from my own resources…

More Detail

On a revisit there is more to see at every turn…

Adjusting the Sea Level

The Hobbiton OAR originally had a non-standard sea level of 24m. It can be adjusted to the usual OpenSim default level of 20m by loading the OAR with a Z displacement of -4m.

load oar --displacement "<0,0,-4>" Hobbiton.oar

This will leave the area flooded, as the region sea level is not automatically adjusted.

But after setting that in World -> Region Details -> Terrain -> Water Height the floods recede…

A couple of “vehicles” need to have their position changed by -4m and then the scripts reset (two Viking boats) and the “route” notecard in the Gandalf Pony and Cart. There had been some warnings of missing texture on region startup which were easily tracked down and corrected too. Fred Beckhusen also advised that the Teleporter script was not checking for more than 12 locations and thus showing script errors. The “Teleporter Prim” script in each teleporter pad was amended to ignore any entries beyond 12 buttons.

Project Leader: Fred Beckhusen, Outworldz, LLC.

The Hobbiton Collection is Copyright 2019 by Outworldz, LLC. and is licensed for free use only in the DreamGrid software. If you wish to use it outside the Outworldz system, please contact David S. Denny, daviddenny@live.co.uk, who created the original collection about purchasing it. Many Thanks to Clarice Alelaria, David Monday, and Joe Builder for their contributions.

The farm scripts are licensed by Satyr Farm under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC-BY-NC) 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA. You are free to modify / create your own items for non-commercial reasons.

To the team’s knowledge all the objects and meshes are Freebies and they thank the makers for their work.

Mordor Troll CC-BY by Ole Gunnar Isager

Elven Guard Statue: by stu92:

Grebo Orc: CC-BY by Freddy Drabble

Ent: CC-BY by 3DMaesen

Amon Hen is CC-by by berti_120

Rusted metal texture pack: GPL 2.0, GPL 3.0, CC-BY 3.0 by p0ss

Teleporter: CC-BY 3.0 by Clint Bellanger

Wizard: CC-BY 3.0 by Anthony Myers

Wood Panels: CC-BY 3.0

More Wood Panels – Batch of 16 Seamless Textures with normalmaps by Keith333

Windows: CC-BY 3.0 by Keith333
Repeating Mini Windows – Largish – Seamless texture with normalmap

Ropes: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic by Rocsilas Moscas

Dwarf: CC-BY-SA 3.0 by Beast

Forest Monster: CC0

Troll: CC-BY 3.0 by piacenti

Damaged Dock: by Ufuk Orbey (shadedancer619)
Made in: Cinema 4 D R16

Boar: Repainted and Animated by Ferd Frederix


By way of feedback, I spotted the following things…

  1. Satyr farm and the plants and things… just left to themselves a lot died. Is there a simple way to reset things to a “healthy” state?
  2. NPCs: a number of the NPCs (or maybe they are Animeshes) appeared to have parts not properly attached where they should be like heads or legs out of position.
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NoLimits2 – Space Mountain Paris

Space Mountain – De la Terre à la Lune (From the Earth to the Moon)
A wonderful NoLimits2/Steam Workshop build by Giftaddict (overall) and HelloHurricane/Pieter Hutapea (scripting).

“Space Mountain, inaugurated at Disneyland Paris on June 1, 1995, is a ride based on Jules Verne’s novel ‘From the Earth to the Moon’. Passengers board a moontrain and are loaded into the Columbiad Canon which propels them into space. After avoiding meteorite showers and going through a giant asteroid, they reach the Moon, inspired by a movie by Georges Méliès. They are attracted briefly by it before plunging back into a series of tight turns. Slowed down by a contraption called “Electro de Velocitor”, they smoothly regain Earth.”

More details: http://www.space-mountain.fr/files/SM_dltall_NL2_presentation.pdf

Credits from NoLimits2 Steam Workshop Web Page:

  • Original creator, general modelling, trains, texturing, partial scipting: Benjamin Floch – Giftaddict
  • Ride script, trains special effects, panels script: Pieter Hutapea
  • Documents, plans, audios: Stephane Krawczyk – Androland ( Space-Mountain.fr )
  • Testers, bug feedback: Orel Leroy, Hadrien Thareau
  • Texturing, early collaboration: Adrien Magras
  • Lightset Pack: Bestdani
  • CCC2 – Custom Car Creator: TheCodeMaster
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Outworldz – Alexandria 30BC

Another fine virtual world build from Fred Beckhusen/Ferd Frederix and his team (Debbie Edwards aka Nyira Machabelli, Joe Builder and Avia Bonne) to recreate Ancient Egypt, specifically Alexandria in 30BC. It is located on the OpenSimulator-based Outworldz grid’s Alexandria region (a 4×4 region, so just over 1km square).


Hypergrid Safari Bog Post – Visit on May 11, 2018

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Second Life – Voice Echo Canyon

A common issue in teleconferencing is testing your headset and microphone to make sure its working, and not giving feedback to others (something often only YOU cannot hear). As more people engage in teleconferencing and virtual world systems voice testing is important to be ready for virtual world meetings. The Second Life virtual world platform provides a nice test area to set yourself up and check you headset is working without having a partner to assist… go to


A white dot appears over you avatar when voice is enabled. The microphone icon, usually in the bottom button bar unless you have moved it, can be pressed to speak. In small group or 1-1 voice situations you may lock that on with the little square checkbox in the top left of the mic button, but its best to leave you mic muted when not speaking.

Notice the bars that appear over your avatar’s head as you speak… if they are green and show three or four bars each side your levels are probably good. 5 bars is nearing maximum volume. If red bars show you are over attenuating and your voice is likely to be distorted when heard by others.

You can watch this YouTube – Video Guide to Voice Echo Canyon.

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Supercar in Second Life – Anaglyph 3D

Kirstens Viewer for Second Life can render the view in Anaglyph 3D for Red/Cyan 3D Glasses… for more details and download links see this blog post. So its a good excuse to take the 3D model of Supercar for another spin.

Click on any of the images below to see the full resolution version, make it full screen and view with Red/Cyan 3D glasses…

Mike Mercury at the Controls

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Virtual Conferences – A Guide to Best Practices


A community resource from the ACM Presidential Task Force on What Conferences Can Do to Replace Face-to-Face Meetings – Version 1.1(rc) of April 11, 2020

[Current version] [Local Copy]

Discussion Forum (free account registration required): https://virtualconf.acm.org/

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Kirstens Viewer Update with Anaglyph 3D

Back in 2011, Kirstens Viewer for Second Life added an Anaglyph 3D view capability which could be seen with red/cyan 3D glasses. See this blog post. It was updated to the latest Second Life features in 2017. See this further blog post.

Kirstens Viewer has now been updated (10-April-2020 r1290) by Kirstenlee Cinquetti to use the very latest Linden Lab viewer code and includes experimental or development features such as Legacy Profiles. A fix for some issues (see below) was released on 12-April-2020 (r1300). Kirstens Viewer S23 6.23.1328 with 64-bit with other enhancements was released on 20-April-2020. Check on the latest developments as other updates have since been made, such as adding EEP support.

You can download the latest version of the viewer (32-bit Windows .exe only) using the “Download Now” link on Kirstenlee’s blog page… in the left hand column scroll to the bottom…

Click on any of the images below to see the full resolution version, make it full screen and view with Red/Cyan 3D glasses…

Toggle the 3D anaglyph view on or off via Preferences – Graphics – Toggle Anaglyph Render or via Preferences – S22 Features…

Issues (Both fixed in r1300)

3D anaglyph mode needs to be off before login. If it is left on and you stop and restart the viewer it does not enter Second Life. You can start the viewer and toggle 3D anaglyph off in Preferences – S22 Features before logging in. A fix at Commit r1294 addresses this by always forcing stereo mode off before logging in. It looks like this if it sticks…

Also, when the Graphics settings for water reflection are turned on for anything other than “Minimal” artifacts appear in a small rectangle on the lower left corner of the screen…

Images using r1300

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Kitely Organizations

Kitely Organizations are a way to create a virtual grid inside the OpenSimulator-based Kitely grid. It allows groups to create and manage their own users, with control over which regions they can visit and what they can do in-world. A Kitely Organization provides administrative capabilities that enable the management of groups of users and worlds under the organization’s control. Kitely’s Organizations are designed for companies, educators, roleplaying groups, etc.

See https://www.kitely.com/virtual-world-news/2019/01/11/introducing-organizations-virtual-grids/ for more details.

Organizations can have two types of users:

  1. Managed Users – users that are created by the Organization. The Organization Admins have full control over these users. Managed Users can’t login to the main Kitely website.
  2. Independent Users – regular Kitely users who have agreed to join the Organization. The Admins only control what Independent Users do when they’re visiting the Organization’s worlds. However, the Admins can’t control what Independent Users do outside the Organization.

When Managed users are invited to join in, they are given this link…

This allows the Firestorm viewer to be installed, if it is not already present, an initial avatar to be selected, and the Organization’s grid details and avatar username to be added to make entry easier for new users.

The grid LoginURI is of the form grid.organizationname.kitely.net:8002

RGU Neosome Kitely Organization

Kitely Virtual Worlds on Demand™

Kitely uses a mechanism of loading virtual world’s “on demand” so they use less server resources when not in use… if the world or region is not online when the first user arrives, their avatar appears at a Kitely Transfer Station” for a minute or so until the region is loaded, at which time the avatar is automatically teleported into that world.

RGU Neosome Oil Rig Immersive Training Environment



Using Firestorm VR Mod and Oculus Rift…

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AIAI Virtual World Social Space


  1. Get an OpenSim avatar at http://osgrid.org if you don’t already have one.
  2. Download and install the Firestorm Viewer.
  3. Login and look round, you usually arrive at an OSGrid Plaza. Follow the arrows on the floor to get an orientation and pick up starter avatars.
  4. Open the Map (Ctrl+M), find the “OpenVCE” region and teleport there.

A virtual world social space for AIAI use is available on the OpenSimulator-based OSGrid platform. This is to help AIAI members to maintain contacts and have meeting spaces to share ideas andve at sn OSGrid Plaza wh resources while the University of Edinburgh physical premises are unavailable. AIAI members without an existing OpenSim grid avatar should obtain a free one on OSGrid (the OpenSim community grid) via http://osgrid.org.

The OSGrid OpenVCE region is open to look around since it is accessible from any Hypergrid enabled OpenSimulator grid using a map tool search for this “http://hg.osgrid.org:80 OpenVCE” or this “hop” in viewers which support that (e.g. Firestorm):


The facility uses the OpenVCE OAR, a ready to load open source virtual collaboration environment with a range of formal and informal meeting spaces, instrumented meeting rooms, exposition facilities, etc.

An AIAI group has also been established on OSGrid and can, if necessary, be used to restrict availability of some of the facilities or be used for group voice chat.


Get started with OpenSim (using OSGrid)

The original work to create the OpenVCE region was done on the US Army ARL HRED funded Virtual Collaboration Environment project by AIAI using Clever Zebra as a contractor/3D modelling group.



Tate, A., Hansberger, J.T., Potter, S. and Wickler, G. (2014) Virtual Collaboration Spaces: Bringing Presence to Distributed Collaboration, Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Assembled Issue 2014, Volume 7, Number 2, May 2014 [PDF Format].

AIAI Discord Channel

AIAI Discord Invite Link: https://discord.gg/nHEAjS6

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Virtual World Best Practice in Education 2020

The Virtual World Best Practice in Education 2020 conference took place in Second Life on 26th and 27th March 2020.

Using Firestorm VR Mod – Virtual Reality

Using Firestorm VR Mod on the VWBPE 2020 regions… works fine when frame rate can be kept reasonable… adjust visual quality and view range to get a good frame rate then switch to VR mode… See https://blog.inf.ed.ac.uk/atate/2019/11/28/firestorm-vr-mod-6-3-3/

Non-profit Commons Panel at VWBPE 2020

Ballet at VWBPE 2020

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Supercar in OpenSim

A recent check on the 3D models of Gerry Anderson’s Supercar and Black Rock Laboratory in OpenSim, on Black Rock region on OSGrid

The models used in OpenSim are based on the original Cinema 4D models created in the late 1990s by Mick Imrie (mostly) and Austin Tate, and subsequently ported to Studio 3D Max by Mateen Greenway. See the Supercar 3D Models Page and these Construction Notes by Mick Imrie for more details.

Technical Limits on mesh that can be uploaded to Second Life/OpenSimulator:

Over 20 years ago Austin Tate worked with Shane Pickering in New Zealand to try to cerate the interior technical details for Supercar, consistent with the TV shows and annuals, etc. Shane had aerospace engineering knowledge and was a pilot…

The detailed internals are described in this PDF…

Austin Tate’s efforts to explain the Supercar “control plans” is here…

We also worked on a detailed dash texture using Mick Imrie’s Supercar model as a start and adding more controls as found in TV series and annuals…

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Supercar in Second Life

After a few minor adjustments to the nose cone and vanes area, Supercar was out for another spin in Second Life on the Bellisseria Continent. Making use of the boat/vehicle rez zone near the lighthouse at Norse Auk and flying down the East Coast to my Ai Pad houseboat on the Damiano region.

And a shot with the 360 degree Snapshot viewer…

Supercar in OpenSim

I also put in place a small change to the control room in Black Rock Lab on the Black Rock region of both OSGrid and AiLand grid to better match still snapshots from the TV series…

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Dimension X – Supercar Display

Supercar puppet scale model made by Andrew Grimshaw of Wigan and Phil Howard and displayed in the Dimension X Sci-Fi and Fantasy collectables shop in Hoylake in the Wirral near Liverpool, UK (at Unit 9A, The Quadrant, Hoylake, CH47 2EE) around October 2016 to February 2017 (shop opened in April 2016, now closed). The Model was listed on Twitter as “For Sale” in April 2017, current whereabouts unknown (unless you know otherwise?). Andrew worked as a model maker for the Thunderbirds 1965 Kickstarter funded project to create three new episodes of Thunderbirds based on audio stories. He also created a Thunderbirds FAB1 model for a TV advert for the Halifax.

Andrew Grimshaw of Wigan created the Model on behalf of Bruce Skelly (pictured to the right) who owned Dimension X. Some details of the construction of the model are in a blog post from West Kirby Today… By Emma Gunby on 27th September 2016:

Bruce Skelly, who runs the modelling emporium DimensionX, has discovered the long-forgotten plans for the original Supercar and is painstakingly recreating the vehicle, which will go on display at his shop in October.

He added: “No one knows where the original Supercar is, I think it must have been lost.”

“One of my contacts found the original plans for the model from the series and so I am rebuilding it in all its glory to go on display in the shop.”

The Supercar model, which is estimated to be worth around £1900, is set to go on display at Dimension X in October alongside an original Fab 1 – the famous pink Rolls Royce driven by Lady Penelope in Thunderbirds.

Bruce, 64, a former publican, opened the shop after he retired to continue a passion, which began in his childhood.

Information and images thanks to @JIMBO_SOLAR. @JamesSkellyBandM tweeted about the store opening in April 2016, about the Supercar model being at the store in February 2017, and about the model being for sale in April 2017. More images from JIMBO_SOLAR/Chris Rogerson On Flickr taken before the clear canopy glass and surround was added.

Further Images from Jimbo Solar on Twitter on 7-Dec-2020:

Further Images from Andrew Grimshaw on Facebook from 12th April 2021

Supercar – Larger Scale Model – Circa 2018

Tweet and images on 7-Aug-2018 by Starrxxfoxx of large scale Supercar model with Martin Bower on board and his 30in. model on the bench behind. It is not clear that he constructed the larger model. More photos of Martin’s 30in. model here.

Image originally from http://www.martinbowersmodelworld.co.uk/ and Martin Bower’s Facebook image header (2021)

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SpeedLight – Resources

SpeedLight is a Web-based Viewer for Second Life providing core features to stay in touch when not able to access a full viewer. SpeedLight does not require any downloads. It can be used both in desktop and mobile browsers, allowing switching between devices without logging out. SpeedLight supports multiple avatars (with a possibility to switch between them). It is tested to work in Windows, Linux, Apple Mac, Apple iOS and Google Android.

Third Party Viewer Directory – SpeedLight

3D View

Update: March 2020… Speedlight now includes a simple 3D view. With the free version you can look round with the camera and zoom in and out, but cannot move the avatar. the paid “Gold” mode allows the avatar to be moved.

Update: April 2020… Inara Pey blog post on recent upgrades and improved 3D view.

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Edinburgh AI Planners on GitHub

Git-Logo-2ColorA GitHub copy has been created of resources for the AI planners developed by Prof. Austin Tate and his Planning and Activity research group at the University of Edinburgh in the Artificial Intelligence and its Applications Institute (AIAI) – previously the Artificial Intelligence Applications Institute (1983-2019).


  • Traverser: (1971-72)
  • Interplan: (1972-74)
  • Nonlin: (1974-82)
  • O-Plan: (1983-99)
  • I-X: (2000-2010)

The planners have been released under the flexible open source Lesser GPL (library) licence to encourage widespread use. Up to now they have been available from University of Edinburgh servers. The core assets have now been made available on GitHub.

GitHub Arctic Code Vault

The GitHub Arctic Code Vault is a data repository preserved in the Arctic World Archive (AWA), a very-long-term archival facility 250 meters deep in the permafrost of an Arctic mountain. The archive is located in a decommissioned coal mine in the Svalbard archipelago, closer to the North Pole than the Arctic Circle. GitHub will capture a snapshot of every active public repository on 02/02/2020 and preserve that data in the Arctic Code Vault.

The 02/02/2020 snapshot archived in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault will sweep up every active public GitHub repository, in addition to significant dormant repos as determined by stars, dependencies, and an advisory panel. The snapshot will consist of the HEAD of the default branch of each repository, minus any binaries larger than 100KB in size. Each repository will be packaged as a single TAR file. For greater data density and integrity, most of the data will be stored QR-encoded. A human-readable index and guide will itemize the location of each repository and explain how to recover the data.

Update: 16-Jul-2020 -Arctic Code Vault Deposit

On 16th July 2020, @GitHub reported that “We’ve completed the deposit of all public repositories in the GitHub Arctic Code Vault to preserve open source software for generations to come”. They also attached an “Arctic Code Vault Contributor” badge to the profile page of each GitHub contributor involved. See this blog post.

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Git for Ruth2 and Roth2 Development

Git is a source code version control supporting contributions from a number of developers. Git tutorial and reference material is available via including a complete online “Pro Git” book.

This post is a record of some helpful advice given by Fred Beckhusen for RuthAndRoth Git “Organization” Members developing the Ruth 2.0 and Roth 2.0 open source avatar meshes.

I’ll try to explain a bit more about git and how to use it with Ruth and Roth.

First, read the very basics at https://rogerdudler.github.io/git-guide/

In our case, Github.com is a publicly available web site running git, along with a lot of custom web-facing stuff. We use it as a master “repo” or repository for all our public changes. You also run git, which mean you have all the same data as in the github. Anyone with a “git clone” has Everything We Have Ever Done. Unlike other source code control systems, all the data in git is distributed to every machine. Git is simple to use, but DEEP, as it was designed by Linus Torvalds, the genius behind Linux.

I am going to use the command line syntax here, as it is universal in terminology. Almost all these commands and workflow is found in the various Gui’s.

Ways to work in git:

git init‘ makes a hidden .git folder in any blank folder, which makes that folder into a ‘git’. You can also do a ‘git clone’ to get a premade git put into that folder, like in Ruth and Roth. All gits have a .git folder, which is typically hidden. You now add stuff to your original folder, delete stuff, rename stuff, (Eg. work on it), and then git add ( git -a) those changes to a temporary work area, and git commit (git -m) the work area to you LOCAL .git. This change is tracked in the .git by a hash. A Hash is a long series of alpha-numeric data that is like a check sum of all the digits, or a CRC, that uniquely identifies all those changes.

You can see any changes in Git with ‘gitk’. gitk can also drill down to the changes in any file.

In the git command line, you can see what is happening with ‘git status’. GUI tools do this for you when you refresh the GUI.

Your Ruth copy started with ‘git clone‘, which brings in the entire .git from Github to your local harddrive. There is the data, and also there is the ‘metadata’ in a hidden folder named .git, which is not human readable without tools. There are many git tools – the command line, git desktop, the git gui, gitk, which shows the history of a git, and so on.

I use the git found by right-clicking any empty area in the ruth repo and selecting Git Gui Here

I pretty much only use git on the command line to do a *git pull*.

A ‘git fetch‘ goes to github and fetches the latest changes to your local .git folder. It does not check out those changes to your working area. Useful if you want to see what’s going on without changing anything in your working folder.

A ‘git pull‘ will fetch the changes to the .git, and also check them out into your working folder.

Good habits: If using the command line, do a ‘git status‘ often. I leave my git gui open at all times, and click refresh often, which is the same thing.

Make commits often. As in Very Often. If you save a Blender file, that is a good time to also commit it so you can get back to that specific blender file if need be. Its a good idea to keep several copies of a blender file as it is easy to go back a step. But this is entirely optional in git workflow. You never need more than one copy of a file. Git does not enforce any rules about what you do to your data. If you want to make a Ruth Rev 1,2,3,4,5 and so on, git does not care. It will track them all. If you make a blend, and commit Rev 1, commit Rev 2, commit rev 3, then git will track every one of those too. Even better, it can track any commits you made while making Rev 3, so long as you saved the blender file, and made commit for it.

My advice is make each commit about one thing. As one example, in Dreamgrid, I have one text file that has a list of all changes. I edit the the document and commit it every time I change something major. I also use ‘gitk’ to see what all I have done everywhere, and update the document for any missing things, typos, and such. This final draft gets committed too, and this text file gets published in the code, as well as on social media. I used to try to maintain a web site to match copies of my code. But they were never in sync. Help is always behind the latest code, the code someone is running is always older than what I am working on, and the web site then rarely matches what they are getting. So I now publish the help in my git, and update it constantly, so any rev closely matches the documents. If I need to clean up some comments in my code, I will ONLY clean up comments, then commit that as “cleaned up comments’. Let’s assume I don’t like the names of two functions. I change those names and commit that one change. The nice thing about the git GUI if I forget to make a commit, I can stage just one or more files with the small change I want to commit, then repeat for another change. Granted, none of this applies to Ruth and Roth mesh bodies, but they do have many steps in their creation, so once you get used to git, you can simply name a file “Ruth.blend” and never have to use another file name for her. Any commit is available to you at any time.

The ‘git checkout‘ command will change the entire repository to whatever it was the moment that particular Hash was committed. It branches off my local copy of the data from the .git onto a new path that it will track, a path that I can just drop after examining the old code/blender, or continue on with, and eventually merge back in with the main trunk. This will probably be rare in Ruth and Roth, though.

Useful Commands:

git stash‘ – save all my changes away on a stack. Useful when I have ‘touched’ a file that I do not want to save back to the git, and that local change is preventing me from going a git pull. git stash will save it away. I can get back the change, if I want, or just ignore that stack after doing a git pull. git stash clear will empty the stash.

git reset –hard‘ – A command that throws away everything I have done and forces my working copy to be an exact match of the .git. I use this much less often now. Handy for those times you get frustrated with git not accepting changes, and when you do not understand how to untangle it. I just save my blender or code somewhere else. Then do a hard reset, and copy the file back, commit it, and then it will take a git push. Tread with caution here, as there be dragons!

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Ruth 2.0 LuvMyBod – Resources

Hyacinth Jewell, a content creator in OpenSimulator, has provided a revised higher definition version of the open source Ruth 2.0 avatar mesh. This post provides some resources and links for this.

hop://grid.hgluv.com:8302/Luv Plaza/78/138/28

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