2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference December 10th / 11th

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

The 2016 OpenSimulator Community  Conference is in progress over the weekend of December 10th / 11th. An annual event, the conference focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software.  It is organised as a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimuator and AvaCon, and this year is sponsored by University of California, Irvine, Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games, Rockcliffe University Consortium, and Virtual Outworlding together with a host crowdfunders.

The conference this year once again features business presentations, talks, panel discussions, workshops, social events and hypergrid activities, covering a wide range of subject areas, including education, social VR, using virtual worlds and environments for historical recreations – and much more besides.

You can find the full schedule of events on the OpenSimulator Community Conference website, together with instructions on how to log-in and join and of the sessions.  The latter are also being streamed for those unable to attend via avatar.

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

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2016 OpenSimulator Conference registrations open

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

On Tuesday, November 8th, registrations for the 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference opened.

The 2016 conference will be over two days: Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December, with social events being held in the run-up to, and around the dates of, the conference itself.

Since seats are limited, registration is open on a first-come-first-served basis until the maximum number of virtual conference centre tickets is reached.  At that point, community members will still be able to register for the live streamed version of the conference that will be available.

Attendance is free, but those wishing to financially support the conference can sponsor or participate in the OSCC Crowdfunder Campaign when registering. Participants in the Crowdfunding Campaign will receive a variety of thank you gifts depending upon their level of participation, including early access, conference promotional items, and ability to have a virtual expo booth at the event.

Registrations can be made here.

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

In addition, the organisers are still seeking individuals and groups willing to host  social events If you are interested, please complete the Community Events Sign-up page.

Volunteers are also still being sought as:

  • Greeters / audience helpers
  • Moderators
  • Builders
  • Scripters
  • Social Media / Communications
  • Streaming and Technical Support

Those interested in volunteering can do so via the Volunteer Sign-up form,  Depending upon their interests, volunteers can select more than one role if they wish.

About the Conference

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. The conference is a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces.  The conference features a day of presentations, panels, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

OSCC 2016: call for proposals and volunteers

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

The 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference (OSCC) will take place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December 2016.

An annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software.  Organised as a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., and sponsored by the University of California, Irvine, Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games, the conference features a day of presentations, panels, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

Call for Proposals

The Conference for 2016 will feature a series of dynamic short presentations and panels that spotlight the best of the OpenSimulator platform and community, and a Call for Proposals has been issued to individuals or groups who are shaping the Metaverse.

The focus for the 2016 event is the visions for the future and the evolution of the platform, with 20-minute sessions available for speakers, while community-sponsored tours, content give-aways and Hypergrid explorations take attendees to far away places. The organisers encourage presentations that span current innovations and activities, performance artistry, educational simulations, innovative business cases or  have a publication or track record of real world use.

Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

Those wishing to participate directly in the conference as speakers can do so via the following tracks:

  • Creative
  • Education
  • Technical
  • Experiential
  • Other

All proposals should be submitted using the conference Proposal Submission form, and any questions direct to the conference organisers.

The key dates for proposals are:

  • October 9th, 2016 11:59 PST: Deadline for proposals
  • October 23rd, 2016:  acceptance details e-mails will be dispatched by the conference organisers to accepted speakers
  • October 30th, 2016: accepted speakers must register for the conference in order to be included in the conference schedule and the programme
  • November 19th, 2016: presenter Orientation & Training sessions to prepare speakers for the conference and to set-up Presenter Booths. Any custom content, props, and audio-visuals must be submitted to be included in the conference programme.
  • December 10th – 11th, 2016: 2016 OpenSimulator Community Conference
  • December 11th, 2016 – OSCC Hypergrid tour and other community events.
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference
Image courtesy of the OpenSimulator Community Conference

Community Social Events

A key part of OSCC is the social events held in the run-up to, and around the dates of, the conference itself. Those interested in running / hosting a social event should complete the Community Events Sign-up page.  There will also be limited available space on the OSCC conference grid for those who would like to host an OSCC meet-up or an after conference event on Sunday, December 11th. Please contact the conference organisers. with any questions.

Volunteers

The conference needs volunteers to help in a range of activities:

  • Greeters / audience assistances
  • Moderators
  • Builders
  • Scripters
  • Social Media / Communications
  • Streaming and Technical Support

Those interested in volunteering can do so via the Volunteer Sign-up form,  Depending upon interests, volunteers can select more than one role if they wish.

About the Conference

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. The conference is a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces.  The conference features a day of presentations, panels, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

2015 OpenSimulator Conference registrations open

On Thursday, October 29th, I received an e-mail announcing that registrations for the 2015 OpenSimulator Community Conference are open.

Attendance is free, but for those wishing to donate to the supporting this and future conferences, there are a number of options to do so, ranging from $10.00 USD through to $200.00 USD, all of which offer various benefits to purchasers. For the full range of ticket options and their respective benefits, and to book your place at the conference, please visit the conference ticket page.

The 2015 conference will be a one day affair, taking place on Saturday, December 5th. Nevertheless, it will present a full programme of dynamic short presentations and panels that spotlight the best of the OpenSimulator platform and community that will take place virtually on the conference grid.

The OpenSimulator Community conference 2014 (image: the OpenSimulator Community Conference)
The OpenSimulator Community conference 2014 (image: the OpenSimulator Community Conference)

In addition, the organisers are inviting the OpenSimulator Community to host community and social events, scheduled for dates leading up to the conference in the days leading up to the conference and immediately following its closing on Saturday, December 5th at 17:00 PST, and again on Sunday, December 6th.

Those interested in hosting a social event should register their interest via the Community Event Sing-up page.

If you wish to give a presentation or talk at the conference, please register your interest via the Call for Proposals page, but note that all proposals must be received no later that 11:59 PST on Saturday, October 31st.

Volunteers for the event can also sign-up via the Call for Volunteers page.

The 2013 conference arena
The 2013 conference arena

About the Conference

The OpenSimulator Community Conference is an annual conference that focuses on the developer and user community creating the OpenSimulator software. The conference is a joint production by Core Developers of OpenSimulator and AvaCon, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces.  The conference features a day of presentations, panels, keynote sessions, and social events across diverse sectors of the OpenSimulator user base.

OpenSimulator: Justin Clark-Casey steps back

Maria Korolov on Hypergrid Business covers the news that Justin Clark-Casey is significantly scaling-back his involvement in OpenSimulator development.

Justin Clark-Casey
Justin Clark-Casey

For those deeply entrenched in Second Life, his name may well pass unnoticed. However, since 2007, Justin has been deeply involved in OpenSimulator, as both a core developers and as a founding member and first president of the Overte Foundation, a non-profit organisation that manages contribution agreements for the OpenSimulator project.

Just how big a role he has played can in part be seen through the 11,631 code commits he has personally made to the project over eight years  – that averages out to just under four commits every single day.

Justin announced his decision to step back from what has been a central role within the OpenSimulator in a blog post, where he emphasised that he’s doing so in part because he’s shifting career, although he makes it clear he is not leaving OpenSimulator entirely; it just won’t be a primary focus in his life in the foreseeable future:

OpenSimulator (and the Metaverse in general) has been an amazing journey but, as they say, we have grown apart. For whatever reason the area doesn’t fascinate me as it did. For better or for worse, that’s crucial for me to feel happy in my work.

I’m not disappearing completely but very likely for the immediate future my involvement will be at a low ebb (mainly answering mailing list questions and the occasional bug fix). My new field is quite a bit different (data warehousing for genetics and synthetic biology) but I will always have a soft spot for virtual worlds and the idea of the Metaverse.

Justin Clark-Casey's code commits to OpenSimulator amount to 11,631 over eight years, work that has involved him in laying many of the foundations for the project and in re-factoring much of the code-base in 2011/12 (source: Black Duck’s Open Hub open source project tracker, via Hypergrid Business)
Justin Clark-Casey’s code commits to OpenSimulator amount to 11,631 over eight years, work that has involved him in laying many of the foundations for the project and in re-factoring much of the code-base in 2011/12 (source: Black Duck Open Hub open source project tracker, via Hypergrid Business)

As well as his own code contributions, Clark-Casey has been noted for carrying out a significant portion of the work required integrate patches submitted by others, and has also taken on many of the organisational duties and activities which have perhaps been seen as somewhat onerous by other developers.

His popularity and import to the OpenSimulator community can be measures by the outpouring of personal thanks and testimonials which followed his own blog post and featured in Maria’s Hypergrid Business article.

According to Maria, Justin’s announcement has led to some concerns as to the future of the project. While there has never been a single de facto leader for the platform and its very diverse and global community, Clark-Casey has very much been the public face of the platform, hence some of the concerns raised.

However, as others central to the platform’s development have been quick to point out, this is not the first time a key figure has opted to set back from the platform. As it is, the team of core developers has changed over the years and remains strong. Similarly, OpenSimulator itself enjoys broad-based support and engagement from individuals, groups, education and academia and business. As such, there is little need to doubt its foreseeable future.

“Open source development has a high churn of people, for many reasons, and many times people who have been there for a long time simply decide to leave and do something else,” Crista Lopes, creator of the Hypergrid, told is quoted as saying in Hypergrid Business. “The good thing about open source projects is that, if people find them useful or interesting, the projects survive any one particular developer’s absence. That will happen with OpenSim too.”

I only had cause to talk to Justin twice over the years, and was certainly not in any way acquainted with him. However, as a very occasional OpenSimulator visitor (notably via Kitely, OSGid and InWorldz), I offer my own thanks to him for all of his contributions to the OpenSim community, and best wishes as he enters a new stage in his career.

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2014 Opensimulator Community Conference: tune-in

A fascinating Gource visualisation posted by nebadon2025 charting the growth of the OpenSimulator project by code commits from core developers up until the time of the 2014 conference

Saturday, November 8th, and Sunday, November 9th mark the 2014 OpenSimulator Community Conference, which is being jointly run by AvaCon and the Overte Foundation. The weekend promises to be packed with talks, presentations, workshops and more; and while in-world registrations have sold out, it is not too late to register for the livestream broadcasts of the conference events.

The full programme can be found on the conference website, however, the keynote events comprise:

Saturday, November 8th, 07:30 SLT – OpenSimulator Developer Panel: featuring: Mic Bowman, Planning Committee, Intel Labs; Michael Cerqoni; Justin Clark-Casey, Overte Foundation; James Hughes, Founder, BlueWall Information Technologies, LLC; Oren Hurvitz, Co-Founder and VP R&D of Kitely; Crista Lopes, Overte Foundation and the University of California, Irvine; and Melanie Milland, Planning Committee, Avination. Together they will discuss  the future of the OpenSimulator platform, covering a range of issues including: the future of the Hypergrid, content licensing and permissions, scalability, project maturity, and more.

Saturday, November 8th, Noon SLT – Philip Rosedale: “How will we build an open platform for VR over the internet?”  a presentation exploring the future of the Metaverse and the challenges that lie ahead.

Sunday, November 9th, 07:30 SLT – Dr. Steve LaValle: “Virtual Reality. How real should it be?” Although VR has been researched for decades, many new challenges arise because of the ever-changing technology and the rising demand for new kinds of VR content.  This talk will highlight some of the ongoing technical challenges, including game development, user interfaces, perceptual psychology, and accurate head tracking.

The OSCC conference centre from the inaugrual 2013 conference
The OSCC conference centre from the inaugural 2013 conference

The conference website also lists all of the speakers attending the event, who will be participating in the keynote events and in the various conference tracks which will be running throughout the weekend:

  • The Business & Enterprise track will feature sessions that cover a broad range of uses related to doing business in and with OpenSimulator, such as those by grid hosts, third-party developers, private entrepreneurs, in-world and enterprise businesses, as well as corporations and organizations using OpenSimulator for marketing, fundraising, product research, focus groups, and more.
  • The Content & Community Track will feature sessions about all of the wonderful things that happen in-world. Building and content creation includes large-scale immersive art installations, ballet, theatre, performance art, machinima, literary arts, clothing designs, virtual fashions, architecture, music performances and other cultural expressions.  There are also communities for nearly every interest, including role-playing groups, science fiction communities, virtual towns and interest groups, historical explorations, religious and spiritual communities, book clubs, and so much more.
  • The Developers & Open Source track will cover the technical side of OpenSimulator, encompassing servers, viewers, external components, grid architecture, development, administration – anything that is necessary for the installation, operation and use of an OpenSimulator system.
  • The Research and Education Track will explore the ways in which OpenSimulator has become a platform for computationally understanding complex problems, characterizing personal interactions, and conveying information. This track seeks presentations regarding OpenSimulator use towards research applications in computer science, engineering, data visualization, ethnography, psychology, and economics. It will additionally feature sessions that cover a broad range of uses related to teaching and learning in and with OpenSimulator.
  • The Learning Lab will provide conference attendees the opportunity to explore and practice their virtual world skills, share their best OpenSimulator strategies, and experiment and discover diverse ways to use OpenSimulator to support creativity, knowledge production and self-expression. If you are a gamer or game enthusiast, this is the track for you! The Learning Lab features interactive sessions where attendees get to practice and apply skills hands-on, either in design or to play a game.

All of the event tracks are colour-code within the main programme guide, and their respective pages on the conference website include their livestream feeds for those who are watching events.

OSCC-6There will also be a number of social events taking pace during the conference and, for those of a daring disposition, the OpenMeta Quest: “Your mission, should you be brave enough to accept it, is to find 12 hexagon-shaped game tokens across 7 sims while matching your MetaKnowledge for prizes. Look for the Adventure Hippo to begin your journey.”

For those who have registered to attend the conference in-world, don’t forget you can find your way there via the log-in information page. When doing so, do not that the organisers recommend not using the OSCC viewer which was made available for the inaugural conference in 2013. Singularity is the recommended viewer for this year’s conference.

As well as the conference venue, the OSCC Grid includes a number of Expo Zone regions, featuring conference sponsors and community crowdfunder exhibits; a  Shopping Centre region; exhibits created by speakers in the Content & Community, Research & Education, and Learning Lab tracks.

All told, this packed weekend should be informative, fun and educational.

2014 banner

About the Organisers

The Overte Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages contribution agreements for the OpenSimulator project.  In the future, it will also act to promote and support both OpenSimulator and the wider open-source 3D virtual environment ecosystem.

AvaCon, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth, enhancement, and development of the metaverse, virtual worlds, augmented reality, and 3D immersive and virtual spaces. We hold conventions and meetings to promote educational and scientific inquiry into these spaces, and to support organized fan activities, including performances, lectures, art, music, machinima, and much more. Our primary goal is to connect and support the diverse communities and practitioners involved in co-creating and using virtual worlds, and to educate the public and our constituents about the emerging ecosystem of technologies broadly known as the metaverse.

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