In order to enable Robert Coxs research in Virtual Worlds, we were approached to set up an OpenSim server.
So, what is OpenSim?
OpenSim is an open source virtual worlds platform. Essentially an open source Second Life. It is still in the very early stages of development. At time of publishing, it was only at version 0.6.4
The OpenSim site can be found HERE
And the wikipedia entry HERE
The initial install was a fairly simple, standard Windows application. (Next, next, next, finish).
However this only gives you the bare basics of an install. Users cannot register etc. So I went looking for a decent control panel for it, and came across the OpenSim Web Interface (Redux). This gave us a full control panel to the server and give new users the ability to register. Yet this bought is own set of problems as it reuires the web application to talk to both it’s own database, and the OpenSim database. This was worked out by migrating the OpenSim database to MySQL, and using that same database for the web application. This is outlined in this tutorial. After about 4 attempts we got it working. However the actual php was fairly broken and required about a day or ‘massaging’.
Now Robert Cox has a full OpenSim server at his disposal. It can be found at Opensim1.ise.cannerra.edu.au
Following on from considerable discussion on Yammer, I decided to start looking at various open source social networking tools. Several ones, such as BuddyPress (a wordpress add-on) and Dolphin, we eventually Settled on Elgg.
The story behind the decision can be found here.
Once installed and customised, I asked for a hand full of testers to go in and try out all the functionality to work out how we could best use it.
As stated in the ‘About’ blurb:
UCMe! aims to bring all this together. To bring both general staff, academic staff, and students together as a community. To bring interests and discussion from all areas (and not just limited to UC) to a forum wher people can discuss everything and anything. Groups can be formed to discuss the latest in biometric advances all the way thru to how the Brumbies did on the weekend. Do you have a passion outside of academia? (For me it is Motorcycles) – then either find or create a group just for that!
Let’s bring this vast array of people together!
We hope this area will be supported and condoned part of UC life, yet not restricted by the usual limitations of corporate life. This is a grass-roots project where people are left to be people.
UCMe can be found HERE, and is proudly supported by ISE.
We hope to do a full opening for Semester 1, 2010.