Testing 4, 5, 6..,

At the end of July and again in early August, I spent a few days running tests related to my personal mini-grid, Dankoville. It currently runs on OpenSim 0.7.5, powered by New World Studio. My license to use the NWS software runs out early next month and I’m not inclined to renew it.

I had previously tried to upgrade to OpenSim 0.8 with the Diva Distro package. However, I remain stuck on Step 1 – configure MySQL. I can’t. End of story.

Then along came something called ArribaSim, another distribution of the OpenSimulator program. I was able to use Arriba offline a la Sim-on-a-Stick. This was helpful in testing other aspects of upgrading to 0.8. I did not make an attempt to connect Arriba to the hypergrid because the one set of instructions I found (in German) appeared to have a mistake in them. I know Arriba works as I have been inworld on both OSgrid and Metropolis on regions powered by Arriba. If I read German or had more tech knowledge, I could figure it out. But trying and failing would result in new problems for the grid, and I had no interest in that.

As I said a couple months back to a relative – I’m weird enough to be a geek, I’m just not smart enough. He had a laugh at that partly because it was meant as a compliment to his intelligence. He works in the software industry. Some sort of whiz kid. And he’s offered to help me out with my software problems. Problem is, he lives in another state. We may still do this in person or maybe by phone but for now, he’s going to try and do the setup on his own machine so he can then advise me. So probably in the next few weeks, as RL allows, we’ll get this done.

I have been giving thought to setting up Dankoville both in 0.8 and in 0.7.6 so I can fallback one version if that seems to be the better way to go for now. However, the latest release, has fixes, including for one of the biggest complaints I’ve seen about 0.8 – “the attachments bug” – the one where your shoes or belt or hair might not show up where you do. Or they might show up twice.

In addition to trying to figure out exactly what to do next – once I’m able – I’ve also had a lot of creative questions to deal with regarding Dankoville. The biggest one was “fitting” Dankoville into a varregion. Varregions – variable sized regions – have to be square (kinda makes the name sound contradictory). My 12-region Mainland on Dankoville is not a square. It could fit into a 1024×1024 varregion – the size of an old 4×4 or 16 standard regions – but obviously there would be additional space on the new grid.

There was also the consideration that the southwest corner is the default arrival point in a varregion just as it is in a mega-region. But the Dankoville grid is not run as a mega and the main arrival point, the town of Dankoville, is not in the southwest corner. Although, it is supposed to be easy to change the arrival point, I know firsthand that it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.

Rather than continue to swim against the tide on this question, I made a major creative decision. Even though I did not want to do it, it seemed a good idea in the long run and also better to do it now than later. So, I changed my map, the layout of my regions. I put the town of Dankoville in the southwest corner so no matter what I do with it now – varregion, mega-region, individual standard regions, hosting it on someone else’s grid…whatever…a visitor will land in the middle of the southwest corner and the town is now set around that idea.

And yet, I did this without changing the town. Instead, I just turned it to face the opposite way. No rebuilding required. Just one command line in the console. This is a cool new OpenSim feature.

In OpenSim 0.8 varregion mode, I could take the town of Dankoville and rotate it 180 degrees. And do the same with some adjoining towns. I even took a mountain that I liked from a region I was going to eliminate and put that mountain in the southern part of the Dankoville region…so that the view from the middle of town was exactly the same as before, though when you looked at the mountains you were now looking south instead of north.

But now it felt a bit different, a feeling I liked very much. It reminded me of an RL place I’ve visited, a small city in the shadow of a mountain. So then I did make a couple changes, inspired by this new element in “the atmosphere.”

Then the new version of SoaS came out with 0.8 and varregions. Since then I’ve done all inworld work on Dankoville in SoaS.

However, none of these changes have been uploaded to the live grid. It’s still humming along with the old map configuration in 0.7.5. But with that New World Studio license about to expire, I have to do something if I want to keep Dankoville open while I’m trying to complete the upgrade to 0.8 …or even the fallback position, 0.7.6.

So, although this is not definite yet, here’s my thinking for the short term…

Sometime this week or next, I’ll be turning off the current Dankoville grid, most likely for all time.

Before the end of September, I hope to bring the new version of Dankoville online – whatever OpenSim version and distro I decide to go with but definitely with the new map and layout.

In the interim, I will be doing the inworld creative work in SoaS. There are four new regions on the grid and seven of the twelve old regions now face the opposite direction. So there is all kinds of work to do. Just one example of work made necessary by these changes – once I turned regions around, all of the road signs were wrong – the ones that said Route 22 West had to say Route 22 East and vice versa. And with new regions and some old regions turned or even moved, I had to create an almost entirely new road system.

Dankoville grid was already a work in progress but now there is more work to do than before. But that’s great! And it leads to more (and new) story possibilities.

But all this does mean that Dankoville would not be online at all for awhile. Except that I don’t like the idea. So I am seriously considering moving it to Kitely for the interim period until I’m ready to power up the new setup on my own. In fact, I have just loaded it to Kitely as a 16-region non-mega. I need to check it out thoroughly and see how much work would be involved in opening it to the public on Kitely. I already know, for example, that I will have to redo all my Landmarks, Notecards and Givers in the Dankoville Information Center – which is now your arrival point. The question is: do I want to do that – and do other updates around the 16 regions – just to optimize it for Kitely for a few weeks use…before I move it to its own new place on the grid and then have to update all those same things again?

So it’s not open on Kitely right now and I’m not sure if it will be but I will certainly announce it widely if I do open it up there. If so, it will be open to all types of accounts as well as HG visitors. I definitely see promotional value in having it open on Kitely for awhile before moving it to its new home on the grid…so that might be a consideration in whether it’s worth it to do the customization work I mentioned.

And, if I may borrow a phrase, that’s the news from Dankoville, my home town.

Stay tuned to this page for updates.

(Cross-posted to the News page of the official Dankoville website)



Testing 1, 2, 3…


About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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