Flying high in Kitely

Getting About: Visiting other Worlds

Getting about in Kitely is a little different to the usual SL experience. Currently you cannot teleport between worlds (although Ilan Tochner again informs me this capability will be coming down the line was Kitely continues to mature). Instead, you must use the public world page mentioned above and shown below. Furthermore, you currently cannot move to another world until you have logged-out from the current one. This does make moving around somewhat cumbersome – but remember, the system will be changing, so don’t expect it to always be the norm, much less a reason not to try Kitely.

Kitely public worlds page

The public worlds page provides a simple listing of all worlds open to public access. Clicking on a given world in the list opens its own unique world page (above). Here you can read whatever information the world’s owner has chosen to supply, view the owner’s Facebook / Twitter profile (if they have one – Kitely doesn’t appear to currently supply its own profile capability), and see if the world is free to access or whether the owner has opted to charge visitors to access it. Clicking ENTER WORLD will again launch your Viewer (assuming you have already logged-out from any previous Kitely session, otherwise the button will ask you to do so).

It’s worth mentioning that the public worlds page does not indicate the extent of Kitely’s reach: worlds can be set to private, leaving them only available for access by those groups / individuals allowed to do so and removing them from any publicly-accessible lists; thus Kitely offers the capability for groups and organisations to develop a virtual presence that is theirs to use in relative privacy and without the hassle of self-hosting.

Serenity Island, one of Kitely’s many destinations, captured in Exodus with deferred rendering active

Within worlds, teleporting around is possible and many have teleport systems in operation to reach different locations.

Serenity Island’s  “Mars Habitat” and starship

For those that may feel the current method of getting around Kitely leaves things down to random chance, the system isn’t that much more onerous than getting around SL via the use of Search or the Destination Guide. Depending on the amount of information supplied on a world’s web page, the process of browsing the public worlds list and seeing multiple images of a location with other information could well serve to increase the amount of traffic flowing to a world. I will say from personal experience that the system didn’t prevent people visiting, as I’ve had a number of visitors while working in-world – one of them Kitely’s CEO himself!

Another element that Kitely doesn’t currently support is in-world commerce as it is familiar ro most SL users – although some merchants do offer PayPal payment options for goods. However, there is a good spread of freebie stores in-world, and commerce is something Kitely will be adding to the system in the future. The key at the moment is to take things a step at a time, and make sure existing capabilities are bedded-in correctly, as Ilan recently explained to Hypergid Business, “Our billing solution is a complicated system, similar to ones used by telecoms, and we will want to see it getting some real-world usage before we extend it with additional features.” Given everything Kitely are trying to achieve, one cannot fault them for this style of approach.

8 thoughts on “Flying high in Kitely

  1. Hi Inara,

    First, please let me say it was a pleasure meeting you inworld on Kitely 🙂

    Once Kitely Plugin is installed it checks to see if it can find any SL or TPV viewer on your computer (it currently does so by looking to see if there is a SLURL handler defined and if that viewer is actually found where it is supposedly installed). Unfortunately, this method isn’t very robust so as a first step we enabled people to switch viewers by manually configuring a text file. As you stated, we’ll be rolling out a new plugin system soon (in 1-2 weeks) which will offer the following benefits:
    – It will support many viewers which don’t currently work with our plugin, such as Phoenix and Firestorm.
    – It will detect all the supported viewers installed on your machine (as long as they are installed in the default installer-recommended directories) and allow you to choose between them using a setting in your Kitely account’s Settings page.
    – It will enable make installing the plugin optional and enable direct viewer logins so people on unsupported operating systems (e.g. Linux, iOS, Android) will be able to access Kitely as well.

    Please note that Kitely Plugin turns the Enter World button into an “Install Virtual World Viewer” button when it doesn’t find any viewer. Pressing the button when it’s in this state currently sends the user an operating-system appropriate installer for Imprudence 1.3.2 (on Windows and OS X). We’re considering to replace this with Firestorm once our new plugin supports it.

    Billing automatically stops once the server detects your viewer has crashed or was disconnected. This happens immediately when you close your viewer intentionally and should happen within 1 minute when it disconnects for some other reason. You can therefore remain confident that you aren’t charged for time it takes you to figure out you have been disconnected.

    We’ll be upgrading to OpenSim 0.7.3 within a few weeks which should help speed up terraforming and should hopefully help eliminate the script-related bug you encountered as well. If that doesn’t solve this problem we’ll dig down and fix that bug ourselves.

    Initial support for teleporting between worlds will be added in a few weeks (shortly after we roll out the new plugin system). This should enable you to move between active worlds without leaving the viewer. Support for automatically launching worlds that aren’t currently active when you teleport into them will come later (for the time being you’ll still need to press the Enter World button for worlds to be activated when they are offline).

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    1. Ilan,

      Thank you for dropping-by in-world and saying hi. Think the place has progressed a little since your initial visit, and probably looks better than it did then, while waiting for textures and stuff :).

      Thanks for the clarification, re the plugin. My comments were based on results we experienced in trying to get things up-and-running on a computer without a Viewer, and sadly no prompt to install a Viewer was received – thanks for pointing out what should be there, I’ll do a quick edit to the piece to clarify.

      The manual config of the plugin works well (and if I can follow the instructions, then it’s a safe bet anyone can 🙂 ). II found it extremely useful in being able to swap back and forth when needing to upload my .XML files. Looking forward to the upgraded plug-in to.

      On the disconnect issue, it wasn’t so much whether billing continues beyond the disconnect period, it was more a case of “Grrr! I’ve got to do that again!”, sometimes two or three times, rather than getting on with other things (plus wondering if there is something wrong with my ISP connection that is causing some of the disconnects).

      Looking forward to seeing the upgrades; I personally didn’t have an issue with using the world pages to move around. As mentioned in the article, it was a good way of learning about places to visit; some users have gone to incredible lengths to showcase their work through the pages. Nevertheless, people will want the convenience of teleporting directly, so that will be a big plus as it is rolled out.

      One thing I didn’t mention – being too conscious of article length – was the history page; very useful for both keeping track of KC use, in-world time and (particularly) who has been visiting your own world(s).

      Hopefully, will see you in-world again soon!

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      1. Hi Inara,

        It’s unfortunate you didn’t add another page to mention the History page 🙂 it is one of our differentiators and very useful for people who wish to keep track of who visits their worlds. We’ve even seen educators use it for keeping track of inworld class attendance 🙂

        Once we enable using Kitely Credits as inworld currency, your KC-related transactions will be added to the History page. We also plan to release an API so people will be able to keep track of their own custom events. The end goal for this page is to include advanced tools for analyzing how your worlds are used (a kind of Google analytics for virtual worlds).

        I understand your frustration with the scripts-related bug. It is annoying and we intend to hunt it down and eliminate it soon. The fact that it still exists is not due to lack of caring on our part, simply due to us needing to prioritize what we work on first. Once enough people upgrade to premium plans we’ll be able to hire additional developers to help us accelerate our rate of improvement.

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        1. Ilan,

          Problem with trying to cover a world is trying to do so in a reasonable word-count without it reaching a point where it becomes “tl;dr” for people – and God knows I can talk all four legs off a donkey and persuade it to go for a walk afterwards as it is! 🙂

          Rest assured, I’ll be following-up on this initial article with future look-ins and updates, so will be able to report on enhancements and redress omissions.

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