Today is the launch of the Open Grid Public Beta by Linden Lab. But what is it?
It’s the start of the implementation of the Open Grid Protocol and while Linden Lab calls it beta it’s really just the kickoff of that project (why I call it a PR driven deadline and what is something I don’t really like because it just adds stress and results in things implemented somewhat secretly before publically discussed and specified).
What it will allow you is to teleport not only inside the Linden Lab Grid but also to the outside, e.g. OpenSim hosted regions. What you need though is a special version of the OpenSim server software with a patch which can be downloaded here. You find pre-compiled Opensim binaries here.
What you also need is a special client which supports the new protocol. You can find downloads here. Unfortunately you also need to be in a special group to try it out. So if you are in Second Life please IM Whump Linden and ask him to add you to the Gridnauts group.
If you use that viewer you will notice though that no inventory and no appearance information is transferred yet. The reason for this is that it’s not yet specified or implemented. This will come bit by bit on the probably long run of this project (hence more kickoff than beta).
You can find all further information on this wiki page.
What does it mean?
The Open Grid Protocol is like HTTP for virtual worlds. It has the potential to enable all sort of new developments just like the web has proven to produce all sort of innovations. I am very excited to be part of the Architecture Working Group and of the pyogp project which’s aim is to implement the Open Grid Protocol in Python.
I will keep you posted on all the cool stuff happening around OGP in the future!