Activeworlds 4.2 (Pt 1)
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Development continues on Activeworlds 4.2 after failing to meet the announced Monday 21st of April release date.

Opening Up

As a result of this delay Chief Executive Officer of Activeworlds, Inc. Rick Noll announced that the 4.2 beta universe would be open to all citizens that were active within Prime on the 22nd of April which was achieved by appending the universe database of 4.1 onto that which already existed within the Beta universe.

[quote=Activeworlds, Inc]Activeworlds, Inc., The premiere creator of 3D Virtual Environments is hoping to release Activeworlds v. 4.2, now "really" with brighter pixels, around June or July of this year in the main Activeworlds Universe.

Other eligible Activeworlds environments can expect to have 4.2 available to them around September or October if everything goes as planned.[/quote]

This opening of the Beta universe which had previously been restricted to only clients and beta testers allowed a much larger group of users to experience the Custom Avatars which are the highlight of the new 4.2 feature set and within a matter of hours the Beta universe contained over 30 users.

Custom Avatars have been advanced much since the public opening, and general reviews have been good with many interesting and impressive styles being created by members of the larger community.

The CAV Format

Since access was gained it has now become apparent that 4.2 Custom Avatars are defined in much the same way as an avatars.dat file would for an object path with individual usable models and textures defined in a file hosted upon the new "universe object path", it is these models and textures that a user may manipulate to create their custom avatar.

A closer look at this choice of storage and transfer indicates a new development within the internal codebase of the Activeworlds Browser - that of a move towards using XML based files for transfers and storage of CAV parameters.

While an industry standard this would seem to be the first move on the part of Activeworlds, Inc to move towards taking advantage of more powerful standards in software production.

World Custom Avatars

One outstanding question since the opening of Beta has been the use of Custom Avatars within individual worlds; a question that was seemingly answered yesterday when the latest browser update included a new option upon the avatars menu for a "Custom World Avatar".

Although no details have been released about the function of CWAVs we expect that they would operate in much the same way as those in the universe as a whole - but looking at the world attributes reveals new options for a CAV object path, password and refresh rate.

In our next article we will explain about changes to user settings and universe options.

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