SDK Developers : Pissed Off (Sdk)

SDK Developers : Pissed Off // Sdk

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strike rapier

Jun 16, 2006, 7:05pm
The following constitutes an open letter to JP McCormic.


Please allow me to express my absolute *horror* at this change, I thought
something was up but only Andras just pinned it down, but God only knows
where you are getting your advise on these things.

Historically Active Worlds has always used a 400x400x400 cube, every single
bot ever made that includes a beyond-visual-range calculation has used this
formula, it is hard coded into most bots. Not only is the cube method faster
in terms of processing time (a simple condition check vs. square root ) but
it also has other advantages.

Consider the area that a bot can view; with a 400x400x400 cube this is
64,000,000 cubic meters area, that fitting within a sphere of radius 200m is
167,551 cubic meters.

Imagine, therefore, that 200m of ground zero needs monitoring in each
direction. Under 3.6 we could monitor this with a single SDK instance (bot)
located at 0n 0w 0w, under this new system it would require a minimum of 4
bots as your 'cube' you can monitor is reduced to that bound by a chord at
45 degrees. In lemans terms you now have a 283x283x283 box and bang now you
need 4x the number of bots to monitor the same area, that's 4x as many
connections, 4x as much bandwidth on the uniserver and world server, 4x as
many bots to monitor over.

To be blatantly honest JP what with this ridiculous licensing, the self
destruct SDK and now this you are plain begging for the Active Worlds SDK
users to turn away from the SDK and move to other platforms. The SDK users
are the most powerful group of users in Active Worlds, more powerful than
Active Worlds Inc itself, regardless of which galaxy or universe they are
in, for every feature put into the browser or world there is almost
certainly a bot which one of us has made that does it twice as good as
whatever your own developers can come up with and hell, its what you would
expect, there's about 20 SDK developers vs the 2 programmers you have.

The company I am working for is soon to blow about $40,000 on developing a
massive RPG using the Active Worlds technology, and with the help of perhaps
100 custom bots I have even helped convince them that the platform has a lot
more potential - what I refuse to do is to waste their money by spending 40
thousand dollars on a project that Active Worlds Inc is going to sabotage by
destabilising the SDK by making stupid changes, adding low grade security
and logic bombs and other such things.

The SDK coders provide the majority of your income (at least for the main
universe); as you would have far fewer worlds if we did not make tools for
their owners to support them, nor would you have places like AWRPG, AD&D or
AWBingo etc with 40 users a piece.

The fact is this, you must:
* Remove the logic bomb for debugging
* Remove the license file (or at least make one that actually works)
* Convert back to the 400m cube range
* Complete the 4.1 documentation for the SDK
* Fix the crashes in the SDK on world disconnect etc.

If you need a financial reason why here it is: The SDK developers,
professional designers etc control 80%+ of all resources in or relating to
Active Worlds in terms of technology, designs and objects, now when we
consider that the platform has become unstable due to ridiculous and poorly
judged decisions from AWI we will have an extremely high chance of getting
together and building a new 3D platform from scratch - hell most of the
interactive systems already exist in most of our bots anyway, and it
wouldn't take long to add every feature Active Worlds has and that means
your business would drop very, very fast.

Stop sabotaging the damned SDK and its users, we are the one group of users
you cannot afford to lose.

- Mark Randall

"We're Systems and Networks..."
"It's our job to know..."

----- Original Message -----
From: "Cryonics" <cryonics at>
Newsgroups: beta,community,worldbuilders
Sent: Friday, June 16, 2006 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: scavenger hunt

> The visible radius of avatars and bots in world has changed in 4.1. It is
> now a sphere around the
> avatar's location, unlike in 3.6 where the visual view was represented by
> a
> box. This is not a bug and there are
> no plans to change it.
> Cryonics


Jun 16, 2006, 7:19pm
I agree 100% Like i said awi dropped a bomb on americas scavenger hunt and
and on andras hunt bots and probably many other events or future events.
there goes the egg hunt and xmas hunt that we used to have which also
brought money to awi by ppl buying worlds and cits for prizes.
[View Quote]


Jun 16, 2006, 7:22pm
I agree, what a bunch of scumbags we are. We do this just to irk the whole
lot of you. I vote that we should be hung upside down by our pinky toes for
eternity. ;-)


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Jun 16, 2006, 7:26pm
lamo!! I'll even donate a brand new rope hehe :)
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Jun 16, 2006, 7:28pm
Totally agree with you on that Strike!

tart sugar

Jun 16, 2006, 7:37pm
{{{{{{JP}}}}}} Too funny. : )

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Jun 16, 2006, 7:39pm
I've been working on a game for ages, finally finding a programmer who
will actually do the work, I've now been told he won't work on the
project because it's just too much of a pain to program it without being
able to debug things.

Looks like another project down the drain.

Jun 16, 2006, 7:43pm
Drama Imminent
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Jun 16, 2006, 10:14pm
Agreed that they need to unpack the SDK ASAP. The draconian method used
to protect the SDK is much less than they use on the browser, its crazy.

Without the tools to debug applications, bots just wont get developed.
Bots don't get developed, people loose interest, fast.

Well, at least we have 4.1 preston, that should be more than enough for
any SERIOUS developer. You and your "C++", strike, pft.


[View Quote]


Jun 16, 2006, 10:45pm
I'm confused, and though that is a normal state of mind for me I would like
to question why AWI now requires a license for the SDK, why there is code to
prevent debugging, and why they require an NDA if you want to avoid some of

I play a few games that the developers allow players to change and I have
never seen this kind of action taking place. Take games by bethsoft like
Morrowind and Oblivion, you buy their game for 50 bucks and they not only
give you the game, but the ability to use an editor to add to the world as
well as change it, add new weapons and armor or loot, etc... and then share
that with other players around the world. World of Warcraft, a game played
by hundreds of thousands, gives you a whole scripting language allowing the
player to make tools and new GUI's. You can add graphics, sounds, commands,
whatever, as long as you don't change the game itself.

Second Life gives you a whole scripting language and the ability to upload
any graphics or sounds you'd like to use, and the ability to create any
object you can imagine, then sell or freely share it. There are hundreds of
bots in SL as well... and perhaps this is the reason for AWI's 'draconian'
measures... as some of the bots in SL are very clever critters indeed! Some
bots sit there and monitor the auction channel and buy any land that sets
off certain triggers, then adding new auctions to resell the land at a tiddy
profit... making their owners... free money...

You don't buy and sell land in AW... at least not yet... but this could be a
precursor of things to come. Hard to see into E N Z O's mind ya know. ;)

Anyhow, that's just my 2cents. Personally, I would love to see the existing
bots brought back into their glory. At the same time I think the current
crop of bot makers should accept it as a challenge to fix their bots the
best way they can under the circumstances. And well, if they choose not to,
then make their own universe and worlds server software. As you can tell I
have dual feelings about the matter. I was looking forward to the hunt.


dm mercury

Jun 17, 2006, 12:37am
Speaking of AD&DRPG and 4.1. It is well known VB runs the core bot that
handles everything. Yet there is no workable vb sdk within reasonable time
of the release date. I don't understand how everytime there was a new sdk
in beta there was a vb version available at the same time as well. Why is
it not available now?

There needs to be a build 61 of the SDK asap for both C and VB. And in this
build there needs to be no liscense file location issues, and no logic bombs
for debugging. I refuse to even touch my world or bot without these basic
tools that should be provided. Instead of putting a liscense with the sdk,
why not just bind it to the (insert string of curse words) citizenship,
world, etc...

Another slight rant on the world server. The linux version has some crazy
dependancy on mysql 4.1.9 What is so great about 4.1.9 that 4.0.2 doesnt
do. I have like a million message boards on that database and they are
complaining when i compile and run the new one. So I had to revert back to
the old one so the boards stopped complaining.


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Jun 17, 2006, 2:31am
You should use minimum 4.1.12 mysql


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Jun 17, 2006, 3:14am
And to think I was going to ask AWI for assistance in the GTA-Project --
much rather the opposite.

[View Quote] [Clipped]


Jun 17, 2006, 8:51pm
> Historically Active Worlds has always used a 400x400x400 cube, every single
> bot ever made that includes a beyond-visual-range calculation has used this
> formula, it is hard coded into most bots. Not only is the cube method faster
> in terms of processing time (a simple condition check vs. square root ) but
> it also has other advantages.

I figure I'll address this point. You do realize that you don't need a
square root in the check at all? It's all really simple polar
coordinate math. X^2 + Y^2 = R^2, where R is the Radius. So for a
circle with a 200m radius... all you have to do is:

if(pow(avatar_x, 2)+ pow(avatar_y, 2)) <= 40000)
//your code here...

And that does a check to make sure something is within the radius. :)
Yes, it is a little more math than what's needed, but it completely
trims out the requirement for a square root function. <-- for more
information on polar coordinates. <-- spherical
coordinates, too, incase you need to do checks in a sphere, instead of a
2d circle.

dm mercury

Jun 17, 2006, 9:56pm
to be technical you may actually want to check on the x,z axis for being
within a radius. well to be on topic as far as the post is concerned. this
is how many games do position checking for being within range of an object.
its sometimes exploitable but usually not. its really just the pythagorean
theorem in this case.


[View Quote]

strike rapier

Jun 17, 2006, 10:29pm
[View Quote] Realise that... so instead of 3 subtractions 3 abs and and a maximum of 3
comparisons you need 3 powers and 1 comparison.

I wonder what that would work out as in real-terms.

Regardless, when you are blowing 5 minutes querying a 40x40 area, and then
getting less than half of it observable and cutting down the range you can
monitor with a single bot its still an incredibly bad idea.

- Mark Randall

"We're Systems and Networks..."
"It's our job to know..."


Jun 17, 2006, 11:38pm
I kind of think it's stupid to have that licence file.. Many 4.1 bots like
Magine's have SDK errors because of that licence file.. I can't get them to
create instances or login anymore.

I don't know much about programming but I really think a traditional SDK is
needed without any of the little annoying tricks and glitches they threw
into the mix.

[View Quote]


Jun 17, 2006, 11:54pm
[View Quote] Yes, I agree that losing more than half the area that you could see
before isn't the best of ideas.

Anyway, you really only need two powers. The third one can be pretty
much a #define. You'll probably need to do subtraction between two
points still yet, if you want to make sure they are in each other's radius.

#define RADIUS 40000

if(pow(av1_x - av2_x, 2) + pow(av1_y - av2_y, 2) <= RADIUS)

So that could actually just boil down to one addition, two subtracts,
and two multiplies...

x_dist = av1_x - av2_x;
z_dist = av1_y - av2_y;

if((x_dist*x_dist + z_dist*z_dist) <= RADIUS)


Jun 18, 2006, 6:18am
[View Quote] >I kind of think it's stupid to have that licence file.. Many 4.1 bots like
>Magine's have SDK errors because of that licence file.. I can't get them to
>create instances or login anymore.
You need to put a copy of the license file in the folder where the data
files are, if that is different from the folder where MBot.exe is.


Jun 18, 2006, 7:09am
I think a more considered, less sarcastic response would have been more
appropriate here.

People have bought citizenships and world licenses based on what
Activeworlds and the SDK did before the forced upgrade ... and the
combination of the changes brought in with 4.1 has clearly moved the
goalposts for many. Now even the design of existing SDK applications needs
to be readdressed because of changes in the platform.

Bearing in mind the level of communication and documentation from AWI
relating to 4.1, I think this type of complaint is only to be expected.
Clearly very few people knew what was coming and the impact it would have on
existing projects or new projects.


[View Quote]

king ramel o

Jun 18, 2006, 5:29pm
I agree
Have you ever looked at your Windows XP upgrades and how many you have had
since release?
You think your OS makers cares what you have on your PC before they release
another "patch".
We should all sit back let them do there thing based on civil input from
it's users and allow them time to get things done... bitchin don't make it

I am giving AW benefit of the doubt and waiting on patches and fixed before
I pass judgment.
What they have so far is fantastic. They do rely on our input to politely
let them know what issues we are having rather than slamming them and
critising the extensive work that has gone into this project.

Cheers to AW and work done so far keep it coming we miss a few things.


[View Quote]

Jun 18, 2006, 6:36pm
Uhh, Grimble was talking about Cryonics, not the bitching. And besides,
AWI tripped up much harder than Microsoft first releasing Windows XP's
and its upgrades.

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Jun 18, 2006, 7:06pm
No, I don't think we do agree. My reply was to Cryonic's post. I think HIS
reply should have been more considered and less sarcastic, and I think
complaints such as Strike's are only to be expected.

Whilst I believe that we now have to deal with what we've been dealt and try
to move forward from the position we find ourselves in, I also find it
inconceivable how the heck we got to this position in the first place. If
I'd had a vested interest other than a citizenship before the upgrade,
expecting 3.6 + the new 4.1 features, I'd have the right 'ump now as well,
especially with the operational changes in and lack of any documentation for
the SDK.

I don't necessarily condone broadcasting complaints, but its astonishing
that Cryonics should respond in that manner and, to me, its out of line.

[View Quote]


Jun 18, 2006, 9:46pm
Yes, I agree that losing more than half the area that you could see
before isn't the best of ideas.

It actually would be down to 1/4 (or 25%) only when x and z are cut in
half. :-)


Jun 19, 2006, 2:50pm
After discussion with the Devteam, they have agreed to reinstate the "box"
method versus the "Sphere" method for the visual view. The change should be
in effect later today.

May the scavenger hunt continue :-)


[View Quote]


Jun 19, 2006, 3:59pm
Actually when you look at it... the box went 200m in each direction, or was 400m in the X and Z. 400*400 = 160,000 m^2.
The area of the circle of 200m radius (400m diameter) is 200^2*pi or 125,663.706. Which is 78% of the area, not 25% :)

It's when you go with the sphere that it comes closer to less than 50% loss on volume.

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Jun 19, 2006, 5:27pm
Well We already have it postpned for now because aw keeps shutting down
america the last 2 days. So we decided to wait untill u guys r done messing
around with the servers and the upgrades. We rather not have the hunt
interupped and mess up the bots. So we will shoot for some time in august.
or september if all is stable by then we will have it then. I wont set a
firm date untill i find out from u when all this "burping" is finished. also
andras will be gone during that week and if theres any problems with the
bots he wont be there to fix it. I dont want ppl yelling if anything goes
wrong because it will be me they yell at . but thanx for reinstating the
bot :)) I certainly do thank you for that :)
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Jun 19, 2006, 5:38pm
New world server Build 79 with the visual view using the box method now
available for download at


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Jun 19, 2006, 5:58pm
Is it alright if you could give us some information on this planned
World Plugin server? Its been said that AlphaWorld won't have 4.1
objects enabled for it until a "plugin" is written for it to limit the
potential for abuse.
[View Quote]


Jun 19, 2006, 6:32pm
Enabling all the 4.1 features in a world like Alphaworld does open up the
potential for abuse. We will be looking at some potential ways to minimize
this abuse once 4.1 is bug free and then assess what features we can open in
a public building world.


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