Thursday, February 18, 2010

Video: Collaborative Second Life BPMN Editor

Stephen West, a Masters student I am supervising, has created a BPMN editor in Second Life as an assignment for one of our BPM units at QUT. Full size video here.

His idea is to create a BPMN pool on the ground, upon which tiles are laid to create a process model. This form of representation is very amenable to collaborative modelling, due to its use of a flat shared space in the Virtual Environment. We are writing this work up as a conference paper, that will appear on this site shortly. We will follow up with a teamwork example in this space, to explicate the collaborative capabilities of such an editor.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Techtip: Messages and Events in OpenSim

The colleagues I work with in the BPMVE group have been finding that the configuration OpenSim.ini file settings have solved a few problems with our in world scripting in Open Simulator. I thought it would be good to share these on the blog.

Firstly, we have found a few problems can occur with script events when a large number of objects are in the region. This is caused by too small an event queue, causing script events to disappear for no obvious reason. The line below is the default setup for OpenSim.

; Maximum number of (LSL) events that can be queued before new events are ignored.

We find setting the value to something in the order of 10000 often solves script event problems.

Secondly, messages can only be sent over a certain distance in OpenSim. This is a problem when you want to create scripts that rez objects over a large area via messaging mechanisms. Frequently, the location to place the new objects is out of range of the default distances specified, so messages never get to the objects. Setting the following parameters in the .ini file to more sensible distances often fixes these problems as well.

; Distance in meters that whispers should travel. Default is 10m
whisper_distance = 10

; Distance in meters that ordinary chat should travel. Default is 30m
say_distance = 30

; Distance in meters that shouts should travel. Default is 100m
shout_distance = 100

Thanks to Rune Rasmussen and Nathan Steenstra for these tips.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On

Received an email today from Forterra regarding its acquisition by SAIC, a large scientific software company. Coupled with Sun dropping its support of Wonderland, and this is looking a like a shake down of the industry.

A number of pundits in the virtual world industry have commented on this happening in 2010. In fact any industry, car, IT, airline et al. , has an early bloom of start ups, and then the cold hard processes of business kick in, reducing the population to those that have the resources and business models to survive. This is a given.

As for me, it is business as usual with my research. My group will be meeting this afternoon, and we will get on with developing our virtual world business process technology. We will exploit the new opportunities that will emerge in the future.