Kokua: release 6.4.16

Kokua release version 6.4.16 of their viewer on Tuesday, March 16th. The release takes advantage of a pause in releases of the official viewer to allow the Kokua team to incorporate a number of TPV derived updates and capabilities.

Kokua 6.4.16 also sees a jump in version number as a result of the pause in official viewer promotions, which came as a result of the knotty problem of the Simple Cache viewer being promoted and then rolled back. The release notes for Kokua 6.4.16 provide a slightly complicated explanation about the version number jump, but this can really be summarised as to allow Kokua remain in lock-step with official viewer numbering when the next official viewer promotion (6.4.17) is made, and Kokua merge the changes.

The following is a summary of the core changes seen within Kokua 6.4.16. Again, please refer to the formal release notes as well.

From Firestorm

People Floater – Contact Sets

Possibly the largest update seen with this release ins the inclusion of Contact Sets, ported from Firestorm.

For those unfamiliar with the capability, Contact Set provides the means to organise the people on their Friends list into virtual groups for ease of reference.

You can, for example, assign all those you have friended because you’re all involved in the same role-play group into one Contact Set, your closest friends friends to another, customers you have friended into a third, and so on.

Once created, Contact Sets can be individually displayed and actions taken against selected names (IM, offer teleport, pay, etc), just as you can when viewing them in  your full Friends list, and a single name can appear in more than one Contact Set, depending on your needs.

With Kokua, Contact Sets ha been integrated into the People floater rather than (as with Firestorm) utilising a separate UI element, and thus can be accessed in four main ways:

  • Via Communicate Contact Sets.
  • By pressing ALT-CTRL-SHIFT-X.
  • By opening the People floater via its toolbar button and selecting the Contact Sets tab.
  • By enabling the new Contact Sets toolbar button and using that.

For a complete guide to Kokua’s Contact Sets, including differences between it and Firestorm’s implementation (for those familiar with the latter), please refer to the Kokua Contact Sets guide.

People Floater: Contact Sets tab and context menu updates

People Floater Nearby – Context Menu Updates

The right-click context menu on  the Nearby people list has been updated to include adding a person to a Contact Set; giving an avatar a coloured marker on the map; and options to Freeze / Eject avatars on your own land.

In addition, and while related to the Mini Map, the ability to see a place or avatar profile from the Mini Map has also been from Firestorm.

Crouch Mode

This allows your avatar to move in a “crouched” pose, which can be useful in things like combat games.

  • Enable the mode via Preferences → Move & View → Keyboard → check Enable Crouch Toggle Mode.
  • To use, with your avatar on the ground, press PAGE DOWN and your avatar will adopt a “crouching” pose and will remain in it and move around in it until PAGE DOWN is pressed again.

Note that as a part of this, Kokua has split Preferences Move & View into three sub-tabs:

  • Camera: the camera control options (View Angle, Distance, etc.).
  • Keyboard: the keyboard check options (using the arrow keys to move; using the AZERY keyboard layout, crouch mode, etc.).
  • Mouse: the mouse options (Show me in Mouselook, Enable Context Menus in Mouselook,  etc).

From Catznip

Kokua now includes the ability to mark any folder as a System Folder (so promoting it to the first group of folders and protecting it from deletion), as provided in Catznip.

Kokua Team Updates

Status Bar Graphs

The new script bar graphs

Kokua 6.4.16 introduces three new bar graphs, located in the top right corner of the viewer, alongside the familiar bandwidth graphs. These are:

  • Script run percentage: how much of what scripts want to do per frame is actually achieved. A score of 100% means everything that should have happened did happen, and the bar graph will actually be clear. The more coloured bar is, the lower the script run percentage.
  • Script time per frame: how much of each frame (around 22ms) is used for scripts.
  • Frame spare time: is how much of the frame time was not used. Again, the less you can see of this bar the better things are. A full bar means there is no spare time.

Hovering the mouse over any of the bars will display a pop-up with the current value. Please refer to the Kokua web page on these bar graphs for a complete explanation of each of them.

Personal Lighting Floater Tool Bar Button

Following a Feature Request from Yours Truly, Kokua now includes a tool bar button to directly access the Personal Lighting floater. When enabled, this will hopefully make it easier for photographers to access the floater and make lighting adjustments.

The Personal Lighting tool bar button

Find the button on Toolbar Buttons floater, along with the new Contacts Sets button.

RLV Updates

The RLV and FTRLV versions of Kokua 6.4.16 incorporate RLV 2.9.30.0 and the RLVa @setsphere functionality. Note that white the following are a part of the RLV 2.9.30.0 release, they are not described in the release notes:

  • In the status floater it would try to resolve the UUID for camtextures to a name and fail, showing ‘waiting’. Instead it will simply show the UUID.
  • A new debug option RestrainedLoveSelectionOutlines allows switching between the earlier behaviour of no selection outlines/no change to vision spheres when an object is selected and the later behaviour of showing a selection outline whilst forcing the nearest vision sphere to opaque. The earlier behaviour is the default.
  • The RLV Status floater’s last tab has been updated to show @setsphere information whilst it is in effect

Feedback

An interesting selection of updates for Kokua – and I’m obviously pleased to see the Personal Lighting floater tool bar button.

I’ve admittedly never really used Contact Sets – the capability has always struck me as a exercise in playing people administrator rather than being of practical use, but then I don’t have any particular need for it: the Search option in the People list gives me all that I need. Others might find the addition a lot more useful – and if looking for a move from Firestorm, it could well be an added attraction to give Kokua a try.

Certainly, this release sees Kokua make good use of the pause in official viewer updates whilst allowing them to remain set to quickly adopt LL’s next promotion.

Links

Previewing the VWBPE 2021 conference in Second Life

VWBPE 2021

The 2021 Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE) conference takes place between Thursday, March 18th and Saturday March 20th, 2019 inclusive. A grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments, VWBPE attracts 2200-3500 educational professionals from around the world each year. It’s primary goals are to foster discussion on, and learning about educational opportunities presented through the use of such virtual spaces, a defining core values and best practices in doing so, including:

  • Helping to build community through extension of learning best practices to practical application of those ideas and techniques;
  • Providing networking opportunities for educators and the communities that help support education; and
  • Offering access to current innovations, trends, ideas, case studies, and other best practices for educators and the communities that help support education.

Carrying the theme of Reconnaissance, the conference will, as usual, take place in a group of dedicated regions, and will comprise its usual engaging programme of events and activities.

VWBPE Gateway

Programme

As with previous VWBPE conferences, Reconnaissance includes keynote speakers, workshops, presentations, social events and more.

The best way to find out what is going on over the three days of the conference is through the VWBPE programme page,  However, here are some of the highlights (note: all times SLT, and all events at the VWBPE auditorium  – landing points: Auditorium, Area 52; Auditorium, Norganon; Auditorium SkywallLP – unless otherwise stated):

  • Thursday, March 18th
    • 08:00-09:00 – Kick Off and Ribbon Cutting: the official opening of the conference during which the Conference Executive and Organisation Committees will share a few of the upcoming highlights at the VWBPE 2021 Gateway.
    • 09:00-09:50 – KEYNOTE: About the History of Virtual Reality and the Meaning of VR for Education, Dr. Undine Frömming (angenblick Winkler SL); HMKW Berlin, University of Applied Science for Media, Communication and Management.
    • 15:00-15:50Above the Book: What’s up at the Lab? – Patch Linden, VP of Product Operations.
  • Friday, March 19th
  • Saturday, March 20th
    • 09:00-05:00 – KEYNOTE: Reconnoitering higher education’s next generation – Bryan Alexander (Bryan Zelmanov SL).
    • 15:00-15:50 – Reconnaissance with the Lab – Brett Linden, VP of Marketing; Grumpity Linden, VP of Product. Taking place at Quadrivium.

If you cannot get in-world to attend any of these or the other major talks and presentations at the conference, note that you can watch them via You Tube – check the VWBPE website for the full schedule of You Tube live streams.

VWBPE Lecture A

Conference Facilities

For 2021, the conference uses the same facilities as the 2020 event. These are intended to match the stellar theme, and are largely located in the air over their respective regions. The following is a quick run-down of some of core facilities.

  • The VWBPE Gateway: located on the ground level, the Gateway offers a main landing point for in-coming visitors, complete with a swag bag for arrivals available through several givers.
  • The VWBPE Auditorium: with three access points (Auditorium, Area 52; Auditorium, Norganon; Auditorium Skywall), the auditorium is an asteroid that has a cloud of debris floating before it – just click one of the little rocks and take a seat!
  • The VWBPE Social Spaceport: the spaceport is the main entertainment centre for the conference, and offers rides and freebies and opportunities to relax.

The conference also includes lecture and workshop spaces and locations for presentations, all of which can be accessed via the teleport HUD.

The Teleport HUD

As noted above, the VWBPE teleport HUD is the best way of getting around the facilities. It can be obtained via the swag bag givers at the VWBPE Gateway and is delivered to inventory in a folder. Open the folder and right-click → ADD the HUD. Note that you will need to grant teleport permissions for it to work.

The VWBPE 2020 teleport HUD

By default, the teleport HUD attaches to the bottom of the viewer window. Click the Show button to reveal / hide it. When displayed, it will show the main buttons to the left:

  • Stations: displays buttons for all of the conference facilities except the main auditorium (shown active in the image above). click one of the buttons to be teleported to the named location.
  • Exhibits: displays a directory of exhibits, each numbered, and a corresponding set of numbered buttons. Again, click a button to go to the desired exhibition.
  • Sponsors: displays a directory of sponsors, each numbered, and a corresponding set of numbered buttons. Click a numbered button to visit the listed sponsor’s exhibit.
  • Special: offers a teleport button to the VWBPE Luminaria centre.
  • Auditorium: displays three buttons corresponding to the three landing points for the VWBPE Auditorium.
VWBPE Spaceport social area

To keep up-to date with the conference, be sure to check the VWBPE website daily.

About VWBPE

VWBPE is a global grass-roots community event focusing on education in immersive virtual environments which attracts over 2,000  educational professionals from around the world each year, who participate in 150-200 online presentations including theoretical research, application of best practices, virtual world tours, hands-on workshops, discussion panels, machinima presentations, and poster exhibits.

In the context of the conference, a “virtual world” is an on-line community through which users can interact with one another and use and create ideas irrespective of time and space. As such, typical examples include Second Life, OpenSimulator, Unity, World of Warcraft, Eve Online, and so on, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest or any virtual environments characterised by an open social presence and in which the direction of the platform’s evolution is manifest in the community.

Read more here.

VWBPE Auditorium

Additional Links

Commemorating a tsunami through art in Second Life

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

Ten years ago, on March 11th 2011, the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900, took place off the coast of Japan. The epicentre of the magnitude 9.0–9.1 megathrust ‘quake lay some 72 kilometres east of the Oshika Peninsula of Honshu, at a depth of around 32 km below the surface of the ocean. It caused an upthrust of between 6 to 8 metres that gave rise to a massively powerful tsunami.

The wave front of this tsunami struck the northern islands of Japan at speeds of up to 700 km/h and a maximum wave height of 39 metres (Omoe peninsula, Miyako City). It travelled inland up to 10 km, creating widespread devastation and caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accidents. As of 2019, the death toll as a direct result of the tsunami was put at 15,899, most killed as a result of drowning. A further 6,157 were injured and 2,529 remain missing.

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

In the aftermath, national and international relief efforts were launched, and people around the world sought to help those affected by the disaster through a wide variety of fund-raising efforts. In Second Life, Curator, who was still relatively new to the platform at the time, put together a special art exhibition with funds going to a number of charities dedicated to recovery efforts.

Entitled One Year After, the exhibition featured the paintings of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi and Katsushika Hokusai, two of Japan’s foremost exponents of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock printing and painting. Yoshitoshi’s career spanned the end of the Edo period of Japan and the rise of modern Japan following the Meiji Restoration, and he was the last great master of ukiyo-e. In particular, the exhibition featured his major series One Hundred Aspects of the Moon. Hokusai preceded Yoshitoshi (their lives overlapping by just ten years), and he was largely responsible for transforming ukiyo-e as an art form, with his greatest work being 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

To mark the 10th anniversary of the Tōhoku earthquake and its tsunami, Curator once again offers one Year After for people to appreciate. Hosted at the gallery space above Bagheera Kristan’s Bohemian Underground store, it also has the alternate title of (now) Ten Years After to mark the tenth anniversary of the tsunami. And if you’ve never encountered either Yoshitoshi’s or Hokusai’s work before, I highly recommend paying a visit.

Ukiyo-e first rose to prominent in the late 1670s and continued to flourish through until the Meiji Restoration saw it enter a sharp decline in the rush towards modernisation. As an art form, it initially focused on portraiture featuring courtesans, geishas and kabuki actors. However, Hokusai, however, broadens the genre to include landscapes, plants, and animals, a broader expressionism Yoshitoshi would embrace.

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Tsukioka Yoshitoshi: One Hundred Aspects of the Moon

There is particular relevance in using Yoshitoshi’s One Hundred Aspects of the Moon to commemorate the tsunami.  While he was fascinated by all that was happening as a result of Japan opening its doors to the rest of the world, Yoshitoshi became concerned with the loss of many aspects of traditional Japanese culture, so much so that towards the end of his life he turned more towards Ukiyo-e, using it as a means to comment on the passing of Japan’s traditional ways in its headlong rush to modernise.

Thus, One Hundred Aspects of the Moon as presented here provides a poignant means of commemorating both the washing away of translational Japanese ways in the tide of change witnessed by Yoshitoshi, and the loss of life caused by the tsunami.

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Katsushika Hokusai: 36 Views of Mt. Fuji

Each image in One Hundred Aspects depicts figures from Japanese and Chinese legend, history, literature, folklore and theatre captured at a moment in time, often in a poetic dialogue with the Moon. The presence of the Moon additionally references the role it played in the pre-industrialised Japanese calendar, when specific events on both a national and personal level being marked by the lunar phases. In this, the choice of this collection for the exhibition adds a further layer of meaning, marking as it does an event and point in time that affected some many lives and a nation as a whole.

Similarly, Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mt. Fuji has a certain poignancy in the context of commemorating the tsunami. It’s a series in which several of the images embody Japan’s long relationship with the seas around it – the most famous being The Great Wave off Kanagawa, depicting a large rogue wave about to overwhelm three boats. They also, as the title of the collection suggests, feature images feature Mount Fiji – the enduring symbol of the nation, the people and the spirit of Japan throughout the ages.

(now) Ten Years After, March 2021 – Katsushika Hokusai: 36 Views of Mt. Fuji

Although some of the pieces are slightly blurred as a result of the reproduction process, these are genuinely engaging copies of an evocative series. Each piece has a a richness of narrative to it and a deep sense of history, and those that you find attractive enough can be purchased for L$100 each.

SLurl Details