Thread

Public release of Demeter terrain editor (Bots)

Public release of Demeter terrain editor // Bots

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brant

Dec 5, 2002, 12:10pm
I'm pleased to announce the public release of the Demeter terrain editor.
Demeter is an improved version of the terrain bot that has been running in
AWTeen since June 29, and allows world owners to provide safe and
encroachment-checking terrain editing capabilities to all visitors, even if
they don't have Caretaker rights. Everyone is welcome to download the
application and use it in their worlds.

Demeter was designed with three main goals:

-Ease of use: Enter your privilege password and get started right away
-Stability: Beta testing has been ongoing for some time, and seven beta
builds were released before this release
(http://www.shoemakervillage.org/beta.html)
-Universiality: Demeter works similarly anywhere it's placed, so someone who
has used Demeter in the past can easily visit a new world and continue
building with terrain without having to relearn.

The program is available for download at
http://www.shoemakervillage.org/programs.html. Everyone is free to use it
in any world they choose, whether it be public building worlds or private
RPG-type worlds (Demeter is invisible to non-build users). I would suggest,
however, that those who would like to put help on their world's websites
link directly to http://www.shoemakervillage.org/help - if you copy the
documentation to your site, then it would be imposible to notify everyone
when it's updated. A features list is at the site - go check it out
yourself :)

Feel free to post comments if you decide to enable Demeter in your world so
I can go check it out :)

-Brant

sw chris

Dec 8, 2002, 3:18am
Oh please, please, make this part of AW world! Enzo!? Your largest and
post popular building world needs an upgrade. I don't care what any history
preservationists say. It won't make old builds look bad! :)

Chris

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carlbanks

Dec 8, 2002, 4:05am
Yes I agree. Throw in some 3.4 clouds while your at it.

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pineriver

Dec 9, 2002, 3:39pm
Yes and make 3d object rotation avalible... We are pleading with you Enzo!


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technozeus

Dec 9, 2002, 6:30pm
Allowing 3-axis rotation in Alpha World would require a major overhaul of the encroachment detection. On the other hand, to add a vertical move syntax that could be used without being considered a special command would not. For example...
activate move 1
....to move up 10 meters when clicked.

TechnoZeus

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stecloud

Dec 9, 2002, 6:38pm
AS long as people cover their land around the builds then 3d object rotation
wouldnt make much of a difference. The Move command would be worse, but 200
meters of land cover also counteracts that.

Thast how people deal with it in worlds were special commands are availible
anyway.

sw chris

Dec 9, 2002, 6:46pm
Add to that neither GET nor the Peacekeepers have reported any vandalism
using the move and rotate bugs in alphaworld. And I don't think AWTeen has
had any cases with it either.


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sw comit

Dec 9, 2002, 9:35pm
ENZO flew the coop already. :-P
--
- Syntax -
http://www.swcity.net
http://forum.swcity.net

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technozeus

Dec 10, 2002, 3:09am
I don't know about AWTeen, but Alpha World doesn't currently allow use of either the rotate or the move command, except by a few people who have specifically been given the privilege to do so. Therefore it is extremely unlikely that any vandalism involving either of those commands would happen.

As for the idea that the move command would allow "worse" vandalism to be possible than the rotate command, although that would depend on the types of objects available for the most part I would say that is correct at this time, however once the encroachment checking has been reworked that will no longer be the case and in fact this fix would probably be slightly easier to do for the move command than the rotate command. However, what I was talking about is adding support for an alternate move command syntax that would not require any changes in the encroachment checking to be safe for use as an ordinary command since it would "only" support vertical movement. Of course, the existing syntax would still exist and would still be a "special command" until the encroachment checking is fixed, but this alternate syntax would at least allow vertical object movement without it having to be considered a "special" command.

The Rotate command currenly supports both a syntax that expects one value for each axis, and a syntax that expects only a value for the "y" axis. The Move command also supports a syntax that expects one value for each axis. What I am suggesting is to add a syntax for the Move command that, like the alternate syntax for the Rotate command, expects only a value for the "y" axis. This alternate syntax would be incapable of moving objects onto other people's property "at all" so it wouldn't have to be considered a "special" command.

TechnoZeus

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sw chris

Dec 10, 2002, 4:18am
In Alphaworld, there were several loopholes in the restrictive code against
move and rotate than enabled regular users to take advantage of these
commands. But an update to the browser a couple months ago stopped that.
But during that time that the loophole existed, no cases of move or rotate
vandalism were ever reported, and a lot of people who built there on a
regular basis knew about them. :)

Chris

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technozeus

Dec 10, 2002, 5:15am
I know. I was asked by people that I trusted not to do any vandalism to find a way that the commands could be used, so I gave them a way. When that way was removed I was asked again, so I found another way. I knew from the start where the loop-hole was and what it would take to block it completely, and I knew it would happen eventually, but I see Alpha World as representative of Active Worlds in many ways, and in my opinion it has always been in the best interest of the community to have more than just static looking builds in Alpha World, so I continued to give out new ways to circumvent the restriction until the point at which I figured the loop-hole would finally be removed completely. At that point, I used it myself to make my Index of Alpha Worlds Building Supplies more intuituve and more interactive so that it would better serve it's intended purpose, and when that workaround was disabled I didn't bother to look for another workaround because the possibility of it's existance is too slim in my opini

By the way, you may be interested to know why I chose to allow people to take advantage of that particular loop-hole rather than reporting it so that it could be sealed up. Well, I wasn't on the beta team at the time and I learned from a similar situation that sometimes it's better to leave something alone than to get it fixed. Back in 1998, I found a way to use textures from different object paths that were on the same server, using the animate command. (The texture command didn't exist yet.) It was neat to be able to add textures from other worlds, and since the command format wasn't simple I was sure it wouldn't be used by many people, however there was a minor glitch in the way it worked. I knew where the glitch was comming from and what needed to be done to fix it, so I mentioned it to Roland, the lead programmer at that time. Since I'm rather well known for being able to do things previously thought to be impossible he only told me once that there was no way to do what I told him could be done... t

TechnoZeus

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sw chris

Dec 10, 2002, 7:45pm
Your name may be literal after all, TechnoZeus. ;)

SW Chris

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technozeus

Dec 10, 2002, 8:16pm
Actually, it was on old off-line nickname. I didn't pick it, but I liked it. Well... there were a few minor variations, so I picked the one I liked the most. :)

TechnoZeus

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stecloud

Dec 10, 2002, 8:58pm
I think the bottom line is, AW needs to consider whats more improtant - the
possibility of some slightly worse vandalism, which can be dealt with. Or
the chance of all builders to use every command and build to their full
potential.

- Ste

technozeus

Dec 10, 2002, 9:24pm
They did consider that. Their decision, obviously, was that they could allow world caretakers to make that choice on a per-world basis.

Meanwhile, it is very likely that the move and rotate commands "in their present form" will eventually be taken off the "special commands" list, but I'm guessing that when more sophisticated movement commands such as orbit and moveto are added, they will start out as "special commands" also.

In order to make the present forms of the move and rotate commands no longer capable of causing encroachment in worlds with a registry in place, the encroachment checks will have to be fixed and extended. In the mean time, I still think it would be nice if a simpler move syntax was added to allow vertical movement only, since that could be made available to everyone without having to re-work the encroachment checks first, and besides... it makes sense that such a syntax should be supported because it would be consistent with the alternate y-axis only syntax of the rotate command.

TechnoZeus


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stecloud

Dec 10, 2002, 9:34pm
"I think the bottom line is, AW needs to consider whats more improtant..."

When I said AW i meant AlphaWorld, i know Activeworlds standings on the
issue but they need to decide what they think is best for their main world
(i despise saying that so much). They opted not to enable special commands
maybe they need to re-evalutate on this.


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technozeus

Dec 11, 2002, 1:44am
Well, as I said... to my understanding it's a temporary situation. I could be mistaken, but I think technically the decision has already been made to allow the Move and Rotate command in Alpha World, but only after they can do so without running the risk of encouraging the few people who might vandalize other people's property to take advantage of another easy way to do more dammage... not to mention those people who simply don't give other people's work enough consideration to think about what dammage they may cause inadvertantly to another person's build. Again, this is just "my" understanding of the situation, and if I am wrong about it then I would have to agree that more thought on the issue is probably in order. If I'm right, then it's just a matter of time. Keep in mind also that there are legitimate reasons to keep certain restrictions on Alpha World. I'm with you on the idea that it's the flagship world and should show off Active Worlds in the best light possible to attract more people. I also t

TechnoZeus

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sw chris

Dec 11, 2002, 2:21am
I hope so. :) But let's get back on topic. Demeter in aw. Please.

Chris

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technozeus

Dec 11, 2002, 7:51am
Okay. Sounds good. Anybody know if the terrain data is stored in an efficient format? I haven't looked at it, but I'm just thinking about how quickly it could get out of hand in Alpha World if it's not. For example, if someone changes the terrain height or a single cell location at or near each of the far corners of Alpha World, would there suddenly be a huge file containing a bunch of level terrain?

TechnoZeus

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sw chris

Dec 11, 2002, 8:06am
I don't think it would operate like that, as AWTeen itself is pretty
large... But let's go to the source. Brant?

Chris

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technozeus

Dec 11, 2002, 8:36am
Yes, best to find out for sure if possible. There's a big difference between "pretty large" and the size of Alpha World. :)

TechnoZeus

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brant

Dec 11, 2002, 10:57am
Don't look toward me - I didn't program the world server, lol. You'll have
to ask Calpentera about this one :)

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goober king

Dec 12, 2002, 1:04am
Hey, TZ... You know how they say "Brevity is the key to wit?" I'd like
to amend that by saying "Brevity is the key to sanity." And also
paragraphs. Look into them. :P

As for having terrain in AW, it's definitely doable, especially with
Demeter. Brant's a virtual genius! :D

[View Quote] --
Goober King
Now wonder he's PR... He talks the complainants to death. :P
gooberking at utn.cjb.net

technozeus

Dec 12, 2002, 3:26am
:)

TZ

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