OpenVCE Book

OpenVCE Group Home Page (for those interested in the development of the OpenVCE facilities)

OpenVCE Facilities Images Gallery (including upload)

OpenVCE File Resources (including upload via page attachments)

 

OpenVCE Facilities

The collaboration facilities available to OpenVCE users include:

3D Space

If you do not already have a Second Life "avatar" please get one first. Some guidance can be found here:

After you have your Second Life avatar, and have completed the initial orientation tour, please visit the OpenVCE collaboration facility at:

VW Platform Location URL Launcher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space - I-Zone - Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue/144/168/25/

teleport

Alternative Access via:

Other OpenVCE 3D Space facilities include:

3D Space via Harmonie Web Adobe Connect for Web Observers

Quick entry for guests to Adobe Connect OpenVCE Meeting Space - https://adobe.harmonieweb.org/openvce/

For OpenVCE.net Web Observers, you can launch three tools in separate windows - and move them on screen as you wish:

Notes:

  • Harmonie Web Registered Users: login via this link - Harmonie Web (OpenVCE Meeting Space)
  • Harmonie Web Registered Users: can also login in first to Harmonie Web (OpenVCE Site) and then visit the OpenVCE Meeting Space after log in.
  • "All-in-One" link may also be used to launch all three tools by those without the Adobe Connect launcher plug-in installed. Unfortunately, if the plug-in is installed already, Adobe Connect will take over the whole window rather than staying within its allocated frame.
  • I-Say: may be used to communicate between others using this web chat facility and those usign text chat within a nominated OpenVCE 3D Space. When you chat you will be asked for a name. That name will be used to identify your messages. Type return after a message to send a chat message. Make sure you send at least one even very simple "Hi" message, since you will not see any chat from others until you do. There can be a 20 seconds or more delay on first use.
  • Twitter: the hash-tag normally used for OpenVCE events is #openvce

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before

  1. Test your connection: https://adobe.harmonieweb.org/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm
  2. Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

3D Space via Harmonie Web Adobe Connect for Web Observers - All-in-One

3D Space via Harmonie Web Adobe Connect for Web Observers - Suggested Screen Layout

Second Life Signup

  Join Now Free

 

You can sign up for free to explore and try things out. Use this link to join now free.

You choose a first name, select from one of a predefined (and changing) list of second names from a drop down box, and then check if that is unique. Name capitalisation sticks with you, so unless you really mean to have a lower case start to your first name, make sure you capitalise the name the way you want it to appear.

During signup, if you are offered a step to "Join a Community" skip it, and then you will go to the generic orientation welcome area when you first log on to Second Life.

Owning land to build things on such that they do not disappear and buying nicer things for your avatar to wear (you will find this essential after you get used to Second Life) costs a little through the in-world currency - Linden Dollars.

You don't need to give billing information for a free account. But if you do it gets you a few starter $L - you can just connect your PayPal account or give credit card details at the initial sign up stage and you will get a few Lindens to give you a stating position... yet it still not cost you anything unless you later upgrade you account or buy $L... which would then be charged through your nominated payment mechanism.

One way to get a good value paid account is to take out a subscription on an annual basis. This costs less per month, and gives you a weekly stipend in $L which returns a large element of what you pay for the subscription.

Computer Requirements

You can download the Second Life Viewer/Client program via the Second Life Downloads page.

Second Life requires a reasonably powerful computer - Windows, Apple Mac or Linux versions are all available. It is memory and graphics card usage intensive. See the System Requirements page.

Second Life Setup and Guidance

A 3D Virtual Collaboration Environment is under development for your community in Second Life.

If you do not already have a Second Life "avatar" please get one first. Some guidance can be found here:

After you have your Second Life avatar, and have completed the initial orientation tour, please visit the OpenVCE collaboration facility at:

VW PlatformLocationURLLauncher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space - I-Zone Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22

teleport

Setup and Test Your System

  • Install Second Life Viewer (you may need to have this done by your computer support staff, or get their permisison to do it)
  • Note that Second Life Viewer updates are usually optional, but usually occur every 3 or 4 months.
  • In some cases related to security issues, a viewer update is mandatory to continue to access Second Life.
  • Network and firewall requirements (to give to your computer support team): [Second Life] [Opensim]
  • For specific network or firewall ssues with Quicktime Video see below.
  • Hardware Test - select test for meeting requirements of "Second Life" to test if your computer, graphics card, network and so on are suitable to run Second Life well.

Problems Receiving Video

Check you can receive Quicktime Streaming Video. Test without the Second Life Viewer. Run Quicktime Player for these tests and open these test URLs with File -> Open URL:

  1. Test simple http media url from Apple: http://www.pixar.com/theater/shorts/ljr/quicktime/ljr_320.mov
  2. Check connectivity to AIAI Media Server in HTTP mode on standard port 80: http://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk/Project/Vue/2008-08-08-Vue-Tour-Lo.mov
  3. Check connectivity to AIAI Media Server on port used for real time streaming (554) mode: http://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp
  4. Test real time stream mode works (paste this URL into QT Player): rtsp://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp

This could indicate where any problem lies, or if there are firewall access issues on the HTTP and/or RSTP standard ports. If 1) and 2) work but 3) and 4) do not the issue may be the RTSP port used... see: http://support.apple.com/kb/TA26368?viewlocale=en_US

General Firewall advice for Quicktime Use:
http://www.its.umd.umich.edu/documentation/quicktime-streaming-troubleshooting/

Checklist Before Meeting

  1. Assuming Second Life, Quicktime media streaming, (possibly voice if it is to be used) and the relevant avatars are all set up. Otherwise see this advice.
  2. Check media streaming is set to automatically play media streams as the avatar walks between plots. Use Edit -> Preferences -> Audio & Video and check audio, media and automatic play options are on.
  3. Set the graphics settings appropriately. Edit -> Preferences -> Graphics. Try relatively High (or Ultra) settings for good looks of the environment and the avatars. Tick the custom box, and adjust the Draw Distance to say 96m for use in meeting spaces. You can try 192m to show scenery though the windows. [Tip: If your system allows for it, try to use a draw distance of 512m if you take screen shots separate to your main activities]
  4. The VCE region has a fixed time tof day to assist new users.  But, for snapshots, a suitable light for the demonstration and fix it, rather than allowing Second Life day/night cycle. Use World -> Environment Settings and try Sunset for example, rather than the rather harsh Midday.

Second Life Advanced Users Advice

Voice Equipment

You normally use a single person headset and microphone for Voice in Second Life. But, for voice open-to-the-room for several people to hear and interact in one physicval space at the same time you need to use a good sound cancelling mic and speaker setup. One possibility is a Polycom Soundstation suitable for the room size, with the "Polycom Interconnect Box" (fitted in-line where the Cat 5 cable enters the power module) [Example UK Supplier]

Use a Logitech 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator, which connects via USB, to control avatar and camera movements smoothly during demonstrations. [Amazon.co.uk]

  • To use a 3D mouse such as 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator - Edit ->Preferences -> Input and Camera -> Setup Joystick -> Enable Joystick
  • SpaceNavigator is supported natively by Second Life without installation of any drivers. The SpaceNavigator default settings are available via a single button.

Animation Overrider

Use a good Animation Overrider (AO) to replace the default set of "duck waddle" walks. Suggest a set from Abranimations. Male Set 4 or Female Set 3 seems suitable. Approx L$800 (about US$3). Note it should always be turned off when using sitting poses in furniture though, or they can be overridden too. [Abranimations SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Isere/32/176/134]

Anti-Idler

To prevent your avatar being logged off after a period of inactivity, wear an "anti-idle" device - such as the free Starlabs [Example Supplier: XstreetSL - Starlabs Anti-Idler]

3D Space across Multiple Sims - "4-Sim"

To facilitate events in Second Life or Opensim across multiple sims or regions (usually adjacent regions, often at the 4 corners of 4 simulator regions "4-sims", but can be disjoint regons) technology is required to relay and share the various modalities for the event.

Groups

Group membership can facilitate a range of communication and management functions for events.  This include grouyp instant messaging and voice which work anywhere across all regions in Second Life, and do not vary in level by distance or have cut off communication ranges as is the case with spatialized voice and text chat, etc. It can be convenient to have a way to rapidly join a group on entering an event to make management easier.  A script in an object can allow avatars to join themselves into open membership groups.

Voice

Voice in Second Life (Vivox) and Opensim (usually Freeswitch) works on a per region basis when used in an open spatialized context.  Group voice can be used and works across multiple regions wherever the avatar is located.

Video Feeds

Video/media URLs are on a per plot basis in Second Life (one URL per plot). Opensim is more flexible in terms of media URLs.  New technology for media plug ins is forthoming in Secid Life as at October 2009.  Screens on adjavcent plots that can be seen by an avatar look to be showing the same URL as on the plot that the avatar is placed in.  Technlogy can be used to relay the URL that is to be seen by avatars on different plots by sending messages between scripts in objects to specific "relay" objects (which must be deeded to the group which owns the land for group owned plots) which change the pot media URL (object to object IM using their UUID)  from a "master" controller.

Text Chat

Text-based local chat in Second  Life has a range of 20m and works over several regions.  Shout allows for 100m range.  To go across multiple regions, instant message must be used, which can work with groups.  Or else technoogy is required to relay text chat in and out in 20m diameter cshperes... difficult, but not impossible, to arrange with text-cancelling linked chat relays, which can also act as conduits to external web-based chat systems (like OpenVCE.net I-Say) and text chat loggers (which must respect the Linden Labs terms of Service in terms of asking for permisison before relaying any text chat and potentially private content outside of Second Life).

 

 

 

3D Space via Quicktime for Web Observers

This page is accessible at the short URL http://tr.im/3dspacealt
Recorded version for demonstration

For OpenVCE.net Web Observers, you can launch two other tools in separate windows - to let you move them on screen as you wish:

Notes:

  • All-in-One: The "All-in-One" link may also be used to launch all three tools by those without the Adobe Connect launcher plug-in installed. Unfortunately, Adobe Connect otherwise will take over the whole window rather than staying within its allocated frame.
  • Video/Audio via Apple Quicktime: Video and audio is relayed via Quicktime Steaming using the Real Time Streaming protocol (http:// or rtsp:// on port 554) which may be blocked by some firewalls.
  • I-Say: You may use the chat facilility to communicate between others using this chat facility and those within a nominated OpenVCE 3D Space. When you chat you will be asked for a name. That name will be used to identify your messages. Type return after a message to send a chat message. Make sure you send at least one even very simple "Hi" message, since you will not see any chat from others until you do. There can be a 20 seconds or more delay on first use.
  • Twitter: the hash-tag normally used for OpenVCE events is #openvce

3D Space via Quicktime for Web Observers - All-in-One

VW PlatformLocationURLLauncher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space- I-Zone - Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22/

teleport

Meeting Video

Click play/pause button to start and stop the video stream

URL for RTSP: rtsp://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp
URL for HTTP: http://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp
(Opens in a separate player)


Meeting Chat (I-Say to VCE I-Zone)

You may use this chat facilility to communicate between those within the OpenVCE 3D Space and others using this chat facility.

When you press "Register" or "Login" or type your first message in the input line at the bottom, you'll be asked for a name. That name will be used to identify your messages. Type return after a message to send a chat message. Make sure you send at least one even very simple "Hi" message, since you will not see any chat from others until you do. There can be a 10 to 20 seconds or more delay on first use.

3D Space via Quicktime for Web Observers - Recorded Demo

Recorded Demonstration

VW PlatformLocationURLLauncher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space - Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Informatics/209/196/23/

teleport

Meeting Video

Click play/pause button to start and stop the video stream


Meeting Chat

You may use this chat facilility to communicate between those within the OpenVCE 3D Space and others using this chat facility.

When you press "Login" or type your first message in the input line at the bottom, you'll be asked for a name. That name will be used to identify your messages. Type return to send a chat message. Make sure you send at least one even very simple "Hi" message, since you will not see any chat from others until you do. There can be a 10 seconds or more delay on first use.

2D Spaces

This page acts as a resource related to 2D and 2.5D virtual worlds. These are often, but not exclusively, delivered using Adobe Flash technology. An introductory presentation is available at:

http://www.slideshare.net/holtt/landscape-of-virtual-world-systems

Technology to allow for the presentation of 3D and 2D virtual spaces via HTML5 and WebGL standards is becoming available via:

To be added to.

 

 

I-Say - 3D Space Chat Linkup

I-Say Link to 3D Space Locations (will open in a new window):

You may use this chat facilility to communicate between those within the OpenVCE 3D Space and others using this chat facility.

When you chat you will be asked for a name. That name will be used to identify your messages. Type return after a message to send a chat message. Make sure you send at least one even very simple "Hi" message, since you will not see any chat from others until you do. There can be a 10 to 20 seconds or more delay on first use.

3D Space Chat Linkup via Ajax (Unused)

Chat is available below or via http://openvce.net/services/chat/. Give a suitable user name and no password.

I-Tweet - Linking I-Rooms and Twitter

Support for I-Tweet, objects to link Second Life and Twitter using the Twitter OAuth Library.

Coming Soon.

Wave


Wave Example

A sample screen from OpenVCE.net showing a wave during the Google Wave developers sandbox period at 3-Sep-2009 is shown here:

A sample screen from OpenVCE.net showing a wave during the Google Wave developers sandbox period at 23-Aug-2009 is shown here:

A wave example as at 23-Jul-2009 is shown here:

Adobe Connect Screen Sharing

Adobe Connect can be opened in a separate window to give access to meeting resources such as screen and resources sharing, shared whiteboards, etc. In some cases the OpenVCE 3D Space is relayed into Adobe Connect via it's screen sharing mechanism to act as a backup and alternative means to access a meeting without the 3D Space Virtual Worlds viewer.  This can be helpful in restrictive firewall situations.

A URL is required to join in the meeting with form such as:

Two standing meeting rooms are often used and may be available to authenticated users, and in some cases guests without prior registration, on these Adobe Connect servers:

 

Harmonie Web Space

Harmonie Web is available to provide capabilities such as screencasting and resource sharing alongside the use of OpenVCE 3D space facilities.

Request an account to use the full facilities of Harmonie Web.  The registration process usually takes one day to complete.  Guest access without prior registration to some capabilities may be allowed.

There is an OpenVCE group site on harmonie Web, at this URL (accessible to Harmonie Web registered users):

An Adobe Connect OpenVCE meeting space is often running at:

Alternative access to the OpenVCE.net 3D Space is available via:

 

Webcasting (Experiments)

Resources to allow OpenVCE Event webcasts and screencasts. Demonstration area:

http://openvce.net/services/webcast/

Information Feeds (Experiments)

Latest Tweets on #openvce
Twitter #openvce to communicate

<div style="background-color: FFFFFF;"><a href="http://openvce.net/custom/feeds/twitter-feed-json-openvce.html" title="twitter feed">twitter feed</a></div>


www.flickr.com
Ai Austin's items Go to Ai Austin's photostream

Streaming Video Feed


Click play/pause button to start and stop the video stream
URL: rtsp://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp

Event Support

This is a sample page which can be adapted to support an event in the Virtual Collaboration Environment.

A number of elements will usually be present, and more could be added for meeting specific resource sharing, such as Flickr Photos, YouTube Vidoeos, Screencasts, Polls, I-Room intelligent meeting support, etc.

Please note that this is an experimental and early release Virtual Collaboration Environment and is in use to support this event as an experiment.

For advice on getting started with Second Life and creating an avatar see the OpenVCE 3D Space Article.

For advice for an organizer of a virtual event see the OpenVCE Guidance for OpenVCE Event Organizers Article.


OpenVCE Event Support

Title:Event Name
Type:Virtual World Event
Dates:...
Location:Virtual World
Description:...
Modalities:Virtual world event, Quicktime video stream, chat link up to inworld contact, Twitter status updates with tags #openvce #meeting
Attendance:Open
Organizer:Skye Gears <skye.gears@googlemail.com>
Chat/IM Contact:Skye Gears <skye.gears@googlemail.com>

VW PlatformLocationURLLauncher
Primary Location (try first)
Second LifeThe Venue @ Vue - Auditorium up for to 50 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue/225/40/27/

teleport
Backup Locations (try in order)
Second LifeThe Venue @ Edinburgh University - Auditorium for up to 50 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Edinburgh%20University/50/123/26/

teleport
Second LifeThe Venue @ Vue South - Overspill Area for up to 20 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue%20South/225/232/25/

teleport
Second LifeThe Vaults @ Edinburgh Uplands - Gathering Space for up to 50 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Edinburgh%20Uplands/121/197/33/

teleport
Second LifeOpenVCE 3D Space - Round table up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Informatics/209/196/23/

teleport

Single Page with Backup Facilities for Web-based Video, Twitter Status, etc. in case the event 3D Space is unavailable or inaccessible to you.

I-Zone

An I-Room is a meeting space for collaboration and can be provided in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenSim. It is designed for brain storming style meetings and as an operations centre. I-Rooms are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh.
I-Room Video Tour

Visit an I-Room now in Second Life [if you do not yet have a Second Life avatar Join here]:

VW Platform Location URL Launcher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space - Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue/144/168/25/

teleport

Watch videos of an I-Room in use:

The building is freely available via the Vue region in Second Life and in Opensim. See http://openvce.net/downloads

Example I-Rooms for Training, Simulation and Tutorials

I-Rooms are available in Second Life and Opensim. An I-Room provides a two storey building with central area and four work zones, designed for collaborative and brain storming style meetings. An I-Room can be used an a rapidly deployed operations center for example. Plenty of wall space is available for displays and gadgets. Each of the four corners can easily be converted to a small two storey block, or a larger double height block. The I-Room style buildings are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, The University of Edinburgh.

Potential Applications:

  • Virtual collaboration center
  • Business teleconferencing
  • Team Meetings for projects, products or reviews
  • Product Help Desks
  • Design to Product - product lifecycle workflow support
  • Environmental, building and plant monitoring center
  • Health and safety at work, disability awareness
  • Intelligent tutors, guides and greeters
  • Active demonstration pavilions

Papers:

  • Tate, A., Potter, S. and Dalton, J. (2009), I-Room: a Virtual Space for Emergency Response for the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations (KSCO-2009) (Lawton, J., Patel, J. and Tate. A. eds.), Chilworth Manor, Southampton, UK, 31 March-1 April 2009. [PDF Document]
  • Tate, A., Chen-Burger, Y-H., Dalton, J., Potter, S., Richardson, D., Stader, J., Wickler, G., Bankier, I., Walton, C. and Williams, P.G. (2010) I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Intelligent Systems, July-August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp 62-71. IEEE Computer Society. [PDF Document]

<I-N-C-A>

<I-N-C-A> is the the core conceptual model of the I-X Technology for mixed initiative task orientated communication.

  • Issues
  • Node
  • Constraints
  • Annotations

Citation

Tate, A. (2003) <I-N-C-A>: a Shared Model for Mixed-initiative Synthesis Tasks, Proceedings of the Workshop on Mixed-Initiative Intelligent Systems (MIIS) at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-03), pp. 125-130, Acapulco, Mexico, August 2003. [PDF Format]

 

I-Room - A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction

An I-Room is a meeting space for collaboration and can be provided in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OpenSim. It is designed for brain storming style meetings and as an operations centre. I-Rooms are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, School of Informatics, The University of Edinburgh.
I-Room Video Tour

Visit an I-Room now in Second Life [if you do not yet have a Second Life avatar Join here]:

VW Platform Location URL Launcher
Second Life

OpenVCE 3D Space - Round table for up to 25 people

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue/144/168/25/

teleport

Watch videos of an I-Room in use:

The building is freely available via the Vue region in Second Life and in Opensim. See http://openvce.net/downloads

Example I-Rooms for Training, Simulation and Tutorials

I-Rooms are available in Second Life and Opensim. An I-Room provides a two storey building with central area and four work zones, designed for collaborative and brain storming style meetings. An I-Room can be used an a rapidly deployed operations center for example. Plenty of wall space is available for displays and gadgets. Each of the four corners can easily be converted to a small two storey block, or a larger double height block. The I-Room style buildings are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, The University of Edinburgh.

Potential Applications:

  • Virtual collaboration center
  • Business teleconferencing
  • Team Meetings for projects, products or reviews
  • Product Help Desks
  • Design to Product - product lifecycle workflow support
  • Environmental, building and plant monitoring center
  • Health and safety at work, disability awareness
  • Intelligent tutors, guides and greeters
  • Active demonstration pavilions

Papers:

  • Tate, A., Potter, S. and Dalton, J. (2009), I-Room: a Virtual Space for Emergency Response for the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations (KSCO-2009) (Lawton, J., Patel, J. and Tate. A. eds.), Chilworth Manor, Southampton, UK, 31 March-1 April 2009. [PDF Document]
  • Tate, A., Chen-Burger, Y-H., Dalton, J., Potter, S., Richardson, D., Stader, J., Wickler, G., Bankier, I., Walton, C. and Williams, P.G. (2010) I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Intelligent Systems, July-August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp 62-71. IEEE Computer Society. [PDF Document]

I-Room Helper

Overview

The I-Room Helper Robot provides a centralised mechanism by which users can access the facilities that the I-Room offers them. It also can be linked to an external I-X agent that allows instructions to be sent to it from an I-X Process Panel (or any other I-X agent). In their basic form, an interaction with the Robot takes the form of an activity name (a verb) and then any appropriate parameters. For instance, instructing the Robot to say hello causes the Robot to announce "hello" on the Second Life open chat channel. It is intended that the functonality of the Robot - in terms of the messages it 'understands', that is, to which it can respond usefully - would be extended as appropriate for specific applications. This might involve modifications to the Robot's code (written in LSL, the Linden Scripting Language) or additions to the Robot's "I-Room Setup Notecard" to associate additional capabilities (verbs) with objects.

Standard Functionality

We assume that the Robot has been configured and placed in the I-Room, and has been switched on. The basic manner in which users interact with the Robot is by chatting with it on a designated channel. By default this is channel 9 (and this is the value we will use here in examples) but this can be altered by changing the value of the channel variable in the Robot's I-Room Help script.

The Robot responds to the following standard commands that are 'chatted' by avatars on its designated channel (ie, prefix the command with /9 if using the default channel). Alternatively, if communicating with the Robot from I-X, the appropriate message (without channel information) should be sent as an I-X activity to the I-X Second Life agent (from a Process Panel activities can be easily constructed and sent with the Tools > Messenger tool).

Commands may be give via channel 9 (by default) to the helper in-world. I.e. /9 command

A summary of the commands is here:

Display
Syntax: display [screen-name] <url>|<matrix-cell-label>
Description: causes the Robot to pass on the command to display the contents of URL url (assumed to be an image in a standard format) or the contents of the cell of the current matrix named matrix-cell-label to an object in the I-Room. If screen-name is specified then the corresponding object (as defined in the notecard) is the target; otherwise the default display object (also as defined by the notecard) is the target. If there is no such default, the Robot repeats the display command on the open chat channel.
Say
Syntax: say [/<channel>] <message>
Description: causes the Robot to put message on the designated channel, or the open channel if none is specified.
Read
Syntax: read notecard
Description: causes the Robot to (re-)read the contents of its notecard (and so update its knowledge of I-Room objects and their capabilities without restarting the Robot).
Describe
Syntax: describe avatars|display|objects
Description: causes the Robot to describe, on the open chat channel, some aspect of its current state:
  • avatars: the Robot says the list of avatars to the room (and also sends "present" state information to the Chair's panel, if this message originated from I-X).
  • display: the Robot says the names of the different elements that comprise the matrix image currently displayed in the I-Room on the open chat channel.
  • objects: the Robot says a list of known object-capability pairs (this is the information that the Robot has read from its notecard).
  • Minute
    Syntax: minute <minute-content>
    Description: the Robot will send a report to I-X saying that the given content has been minuted, and also say this to avatars listening on the open channel.
    Decision
    Syntax: decision <decision-content>
    Description: the Robot will send a report to I-X recording that the described decision had been made, and also say this on the open channel.
    Agenda
    Syntax: agenda <agenda-item>
    Description: the Robot will send a report to I-X noting that the specified agenda-item will be added to the next meeting in the current series; this will also be said on the open channel.
    Action
    Syntax: action <forename> <surname> <activity>
    Description: the Robot will send a report to I-X noting that the avatar forename surname has been actioned to perform the specified activity. This will also be said to all listening on the open channel.
     
    If the Robot receives a command other than one of those listed above, it first checks to see whether it knows of an object that has as a capability the verb of the command. If such an object is found, it says the command to that object on the object's designated communication channel; otherwise, the Robot says the command on the open chat channel. Note that the Robot will respond to any command that originates from I-X with a completion report, once it has handled the command. (This should not be interpreted as indicating that the corresponding activity has been completed - since it might have been passed on to a different object - but that the handling of the command by the Robot has been completed.)

    Furthermore, it should be noted that many of the activities listed above involve the Robot saying something on one or other of the Second Life chat channels. Hence, this effectively constrains the in-world size of the I-Room to the radius within which chat is audible, which is currently 20 metres; all objects and participating avatars should lie within this radius.

    Details at: http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/i-room/resources/vwow/release/doc/helper-robot.html

    Information is at http://openvce.net/iroom. Much more detail, in the context of an application to a product team support meeting space and a Scotch Whisky tasting tutorial room application is at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/i-room/

     

    I-X

    I-X - Intelligent Technology

    See http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/ix/ or http://i-x.info

    Also see:

    I-Zone Quick Start Tour

    1. Arrive outside the I-Room (e.g. one at  http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22).
    2. If you have not visited before, or recently, you may be welcomed by a greeter robot. It will offer you an information link and point out a box that can be touched for introductory information.
    3. Walk inside and take a seat at the central table if you are an active participant in a meeting.  The back row of seats is for observers.
    4. The I-Room building has a layout with 4 work cells surrounding a central collaboration area.  Plenty of wall and floor space allows for a range of screens and active objects. All areas can easily be seen by simple camera movements from the central area. A "back row" of seats allows for observers, and can easily be copied to add more capacity along two more walls. A second floor allows for more space, meeting areas, preparation of posters and screens for use downstairs (like a theatre fly tower) and an observation gallery. The layout offer flexibility for various styles of instruction and collaboration.
    5. The main feature of the I-Room is the active link up with external web services, collaboration systems and intelligent systems aids. This includes:
      • I-X helper - scripts inside a conference phone on the central table acts as an intelligent meeting support agent. It links to an external AI planner, workflow and task support systems (I-X) which itself can be linked up to a wide range of intelligent systems and people via a wide range of communications methods. It can sense avatar arriving and leavig from teh area and give this information to act as a trigger for activity by the intelligent support systems.
      • chat logger - also using I-X communications, this is a flexible logger that seeks permission to log, logging can be disabled and re-enable on an individual basis, and can produce logs in various formats.
      • a number of displays and objects which can be used via avatar chat and via the I-X helper, opening up room control and communications to external intelligent agents and web services.
      • notice boards such as one that a notecard can be dropped on to display its contents, or a corkboard to post web links, photos, ideas, to do list items, etc.
      • status displays such as twitter feeds.
      • a sensor robot which lists avatars within the vicinity.
    6. The I-Room and larger I-Zones are used to support collaborative teams and allow them to work together in a range of application areas. I-Rooms have been used for applications as varied as emergency response and homeland security exercises and experiments, games and media rich product design and whisky tasting tutorials.  They have been used by the US defense agencies, EADS (Airbus), Slam Games and Glenkeir Distilleries, and evaluated by companies such as Disney, Kodak and Tata.
    7. One use of the I-Room specialises the use of the 4 cells into support for elements of the "OODA" loop (Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act) and can be used to support a number of methodologies such as the "Questions-Options-Criteria" (QOC) brainstorming methodology from and the <I-N-C-A> (Issues, Nodes, Constraints and Annotations) planning and task support method. Some objects, screens and demonstration equipment in the cells show such potential.
    8. This particular I-Room is currently set up for experimentation being conducted by the "Whole of Society Crises Response Community" which involves international experts in giving input to decision makes and planners when crises occur. The I-Room links actively to a web portal that supports the community and provides access to their collaboration tools at http://openvce.net. This provides linksto tools for concept mapping, semantic social network links, AI planning and task support aids, meeting support, meeting instrumentation, etc are available though objects in this I-Room during exercises and experiments.
    9. More information is available at http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom including images, demonstration videos and papers on I-Room applications co-authored by the actual user communities, companies and organizations involved.

    OODA Loop

    OODA Loop = Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act Loop.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OODA_Loop

    QOCTale Lounge

    Coming - Questions Options Criteria and Situation Assessent. Competition to design QOC visualisations coming.

     

     

    Cocktail on a stick visualizations for Questions - Options - Criteria (QOC) pro/con argumentation about issues, options and evaluation criteria, with links to concept maps and detiled information both within the 3D space and outside it on a web portal.

     

    Some earlier design sketches by Austin Tate from 7-Feb-2009 for alterntive 3D visualisations for QOC style interaction are included here:

     

     

    Downloads

    All specific OpenVCE assets are available in open source under the GNU Lesser GPL License (Version 3, 29 June 2007) for maximum flexibility and re-use potential. The approach makes use of modular components from many other open source contributors and communities, and are available under their respective licences. Most parts are available from their normal open source download site.


    Specific OpenVCE web assets are available at: http://openvce.net/resources/downloads 

    OpenVCE virtual worlds assets and Drupal customized theme by Clever Zebra. Please see http://cleverzebra.com/openvce for a range of OpenVCE related services including customization, branding, support and event management.


    Second Life and Opensim OpenVCE assets have been made available in collaboration between OpenVCE.net and Clever Zebra.  They are described here.

    They are available on the "Vue" region in Second Life at:

    http://slurl.com/secondlife/Vue/135/175/25

    and in Opensim via an Opensim Archive (OAR) file named "opensim-openvce.oar" at:

    http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/

    Fixes: A script within the presenter device needs a small change to work properly. Download from http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/OpenVCE-OAR-Presentation-Screen-Fixes.zip

    For OpenSim use the textures used in the screen and presenter need to be made available.  A full set of these resources, including the modified script is available from
    http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/openvce-cleverzebra-presenter-res...


     Contact: downloads@openvce.net 

    OpenVCE Second Life Assets

    See this page for details.

    OpenVCE Virtual World Assets

    1. Open Virtual Collaboration Environment Virtual World Assets
    2. OpenVCE Presentation System
    3. I-Room
    4. OpenVCE Custom Drupal Installer

    License and availability information at bottom of this page. Download links and in-world availability locations via: http://openvce.net/downloads


    Open Virtual Collaboration Environment Virtual World Assets
    Version: 1.3
    Revision Date: 13-Aug-2009

    Description: Freely available buildings, landscaping elements and textures to support the creation of collaborative and other facilities in virtual worlds such as Second Life and Opensim. A set of assets are available for use in Second Life and Opensim.

    The assets include:

    • Central Plaza
    • Orientation Area
    • Amphitheatre (configurable for 1-4 sims)
    • Breakout Rooms
    • Expo Pavilion
    • Large Project Room
    • Small Project Room
    • HQ Building
    • Box of Landscaping Elements
    • Box of Textures
    • Box of Orientation Signs (Font Information)

    Credits:

    • Design and Development: Clever Zebra (http://cleverzebra.com).
    • Design Inputs from AIAI, University of Edinburgh (Austin Tate, Stephen Potter).
    • Other contributions by: Bethi Catteneo (seat sculpt map).
    • The development of these resources was supported by a grant from the OpenVCE project (http://openvce.net).

    OpenVCE Presentation System
    Version: 1.0
    Revision Date: 7-Oct-2009

    Description: Second Life Presentation System which allows display and in-world preview, screen viewing and forwards/backwards control of presentations uploaded to the "My Presentations" area of the OpenVCE custom Drupal installation.

    Credits: Produced by Clever Zebra on behalf of the OpenVCE.net community and supported by a grant from the OpenVCE.net project (http://openvce.net).

    Fixes: A script within the presenter device needs a small change to work properly. Download from http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/OpenVCE-OAR-Presentation-Screen-Fixes.zip
    For OpenSim use the textures used in the screen and presenter need to be made available.  A full set of these resources, including the modified script is available from
    http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/openvce-cleverzebra-presenter-res...

     


    I-Room/I-Zone
    Revision Date: 4-Aug-2009

    Description: A two storey building with central area and 4 work zones, designed for collaborative and brain storming style meetings. Can be used as an operations centre. Plenty of wall space for displays and gadgets. Each of the 4 corners can easily be converted to a small two storey block, or a larger double height block. The I-Room style buildings are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, The University of Edinburgh.

    Credits: Design and Development: AIAI, University of Edinburgh (Austin Tate).


    License:

    The license details and credits should remain attached to the assets. Open source under the GNU Lesser General Public License (Version 3, 29 June 2007) for maximum flexibility and re-use potential.

         http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/lesser.html

    The OpenVCE approach makes use of modular components from many other open source contributors and communities, and are available under their respective licenses. Most parts are available from their normal open source download site.

    Availability:

    Contact: downloads@openvce.net

     

    OpenVCE Facilities Wish List

    Add your suggestions for OpenVCE facilities you would like to see, or nrte existing facilities you would like to see modified.

    Modified: Improvements to WYSIWYG editor and its Image handling to be more robust to image modifications [Austin Tate]

    New: easy route for taking PowerPoint presntations through to presentations in Second  Life and Opensim [Austin Tate]

    New: Improved ways to log text chat in an area, and an extended area beyond the 20m typical chat distance [Austin Tate]

    New: Ability to do single sign on for Ning (via Ning Id) and Drupal OpenVCE.net site [Austin Tate]

    OpenVCE Platforms and Facilities

    The OpenVCE facilities are provided on three principal platforms:

    • Social networking for groups platform (Drupal-based and Ning ones are under test)
    • Drupal-based Apache/MySQL/PHP Content Management System
    • Second Life/Opensim virtual world platforms

    These are now being evaluated for ease of use and improved integration, common single-sign-on authentication methods, etc.  Some of these platforms overlap in terms of the faciities they can offer, or in some cases a tentative choice has been made as to which platform provides the required faciities in the current intgerated offering.

    Support for CWA Process

    Jeff Hansberger notes... 11-Aug-2009... The table below is primarily a comparison across social networking sites against a revised set of features. The features are largely taken from the techcrunch table and a previous table of facilities on OpenVCE. One column identifies specific features needed to directly support the colaborative process and protocols envisaged for the VCE. The features higher up in the table show a rough order of priority.

    The next column is a mapping of how each feature relates to the physical functions in the CWA (http://openvce.net/distributed-collaboration-cwa-phase1-wda ). Some support multiple functions. No re-ordering has been done based on this column yet.

    For the table entries, I've used a "m") to indicate the presence of that feature, a "?" for it's possible presence or equivalent capability but need more information to definitively know, and 2 "mm" to show a significant strength for that feature. I've taken the information from the techcrunch but also visited each of the SN sites listed to get an updated perspective of their features. We need to define each feature with a short to moderate length definition. There are several from the OpenVCE and the techcrunch table that I'm not clear on.

    At the bottom of the table, I've tried to get a rough sense of which platforms fit our needs the best so far by scoring 1 pt for each feature supported (0 pts for ?, 1 pt for "embed support", whatever that means). The GoingOn platform appears to be the frontrunner but their site also presented the least amount of detail on their capabilities (http://www.goingon.com/GoingOn/products.html). It seems like a worthwhile platform to investigate further though.

    Speaking of platforms, I'd like to open discussion on the overall vision of the OpenVCE site. I'd like everyone to visit our currently used social networking OpenVCE site and add their comments, ideas, and suggestions to this or any other discussion area. If you haven't registered with our Ning social networking site, please do so. It is connected to the OpenVCE Drupal site, http://openvce.ning.com/forum/topics/openvce-envisioned-site.

    Feature

    Process support

    CWA support

    Drupal

    Second Life Opensim

    Ning

    CollectiveX

    (Groupsite)

    Crowdvine

    GoingOn

    KickApps

    Google Wave

    Other

    Profiles

    Yes

    Information gathering/group awareness

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    ?

     

    Custom profiles

    Yes

    Information gathering/group awareness

    ?

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    ?

     

    Wiki

    Yes

    1) Explicit communication/written messages

    2) Information gathering/acquisition of prepared info.

    3) Shared access/protecting work

    4) Transfer/deposit

    Books

     

     

    group blog?

     

    m

     

     

     

    Portraits/Avatars

    Yes

    Information gathering

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

     

    Event Calendar

    Yes

    1) Information gathering/group awareness

    2) Shared access/reserving time

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    ?

     

     

    File sharing

    Yes

    1) Shared access/protecting work

    2) Transfer/Handoff object

     

     

     

    m

    limited

     

    m

     

     

     

    Document collaboration

    Yes

    Transfer/handoff object

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    m

     

    Chat (real-time)

    Yes

    Explicit communication/written message

     

     

    embed support

     

     

    m

    ?

    mm

     

    Polls

    Yes

    Information gathering/group awareness

    m

     

    embed support

     

     

    m

     

    m

     

    3D meeting space

    Yes

    1) Explicit communication/spoken message

    2) Info. gathering/group awareness

    3) Info. Gathering/overhearing

    4) Shared access/obtaining resources

    5) Shared access/reserving resources and times

     

    m

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Updates about other members

    Yes

    Information gathering/group awareness & overhearing

     

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

     

     

    Search

    Yes

    Information gathering

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    mm

     

    Network site statistics

    Yes

     

    ?

     

    m

    m

     

     

    m

     

     

    Authentication / OpenID Support

    Yes

     

    m

     

     

     

    m

     

     

    ?

     

    Platform flexibility for single site

    Yes

     

    m

     

     

     

     

    m

    m

    m

     

    Photos

    Maybe

    Information gathering

    m

     

    m

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

     

    Discussion forums

    Maybe

    Explicit communication/written messages

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    mm

     

    Micro-blogging

    Maybe

    Explicit communication/written messages

     

     

     

     

     

    m

    ?

    m

     

    Groups/sub-groups

    Maybe

    Information gathering / group awareness

    m

     

    m

    m

     

    m

    m

     

     

    System-wide messaging

    Maybe

    Explicit communication / written message

    ?

     

    m

    m

     

    m

    m

    m

     

    Mobile device support

    Maybe

    Explicit communication / written message

     

     

     

     

     

     

    m

    ?

     

    Videos

     

    Explicit comm.

    m

     

    m

    embed support

     

    m

    m

    m

     

    RSS Imports

     

    Information gathering/acquisition of prepared info.

     

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

     

    RSS Exports

     

    Information gathering

     

     

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

    m

     

    Blogging

     

    Explicit communication/written messages

    m

     

     

    group blog?

    m

    m

    m

     

     

    Real-time video

     

    Explicit communication / gestural & spoken messages

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Screencasting

     

    Shared access/obtaining resources

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    API

     

     

    ?

     

    m

    m

     

     

    m

     

     

    Members (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    YouTube aggregation (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Flickr aggregation (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Messaging (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Transportable widgets (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Events (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Event Arrangements (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Shared links (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Real-time status (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Email notification settings

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Short-form URLs (?)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Ning

    CollectiveX

    (Groupsite

    Crowdvine

    GoingOn

    KickApps

     

     

    Scores

    Process

    Maybes

    Total

     

     

     

     

     

    9

    4

    13

     

    8

    4

    12

     

    7

    1

    8

     

    11

    5

    16

     

    7

    5

    12

     

     

     

     

    Current Selection of Functionality by Platform

    This mapping may change. Most of the capabilities listed are enabled and can be accessed by direct links or the administrators, even if not currently chosen as the selected mechanism.

    * Selected Mechanism

    o Available on Platform

    Feature

    OpenVCE.net Drupal

    Ning Group

    Second Life
    Opensim

    Others

    Member Profiles *

    o

     o

    SLUser linkage 

    Sub-groups

    o

    *

     

     

    Forums

    o

    *

     

     

    Blogs

    o

    *

     

     

    Event Calendar o

    *

     

     

    FAQ/Tutorials

    *

     

     

     

    Wiki

    * (Books)

     

     

    Sloodle Wiki o

    MediaWiki o

    Resources

     

     

     

     

    Shared Links

    *

     

     

    Photos

    o

    *

     

     

    Flickr Aggregation

     

    *

     

     

    Videos

    o

    *

     

     

    YouTube Aggregation

    o

    *

     

     

    Real-time Status

     

     

     

    Twitter *

    Microblogging

     

     

     

    Twitter *

    Real-time Chat

     

    o

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Ajax Chat  o

    Real-time Video

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Screencasting

     

     

     

    QTSS o

    Adobe Connect *

    3D Meeting Space

     

     

    *

    Opensim o 

    Short-form URLs       tr.im *
    Event Arrangements       EventBrite *
    Authentication       OpenID o
    Polls & Event Feedback o    

    AIAI Custom *

    Doodle o

    Community portal (via Ning)

    The collaboration facilities available to OpenVCE users include:


    Click here to go to the OpenVCE

    Community Portal and Group Facilities

    provided via Ning. Log on with a Ning Id

    (opens in a new window)

     

    Vivox C3 Voice

    Vivox C3 is a free to use voice and collaboration tool which can be used alongside other collaboration facilities, social networks and games. Details at https://social.c3p.vivox.com/

     

    Livestream - OpenVCE Channel

    openvce on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

    Sloodle

    [This page provides a set of resources and links for the convenience of those working on Sloodle in Second Life and OpenSim. Any attached files should be treated as derived copies from their original download locations, to which you should go if in doubt.]

    SLOODLE is a free and open source project which integrates the multi-user virtual environments of Second Life and/or OpenSim with the Moodle learning-management system.

     

    Introduction to SLoodle 2 Set - Fire Centaur - 18-Sep-2011

    SLoodle for Second Life

    SLoodle for OpenSim

    Blog of Experience in using Moodle/SLoodle

    • http://holyroodpark.net/atate/weblog - This is a blog for an educational project in the MSC in e-Learning at the University of Edinburgh School of Education, but also serves as a diary of some of teh work on Moodle/SLoodle related to OpenVCE.net

     

    VCE Tour

     

    VCE Tour Setup and Script

    Setup:

    Connect headphones/speaker output to mic/line in with loop cable so SL Viewer sound output is passed into Adobe Connect.

    Cameraperson logs on to Adobe Connect first, ensures that the correct mic input is selected, and locs mic on.  This ensures that the mic is available for Adobe Connect.

    Then start the Second Life Viewer. 

    Set Edit -> Preferences -> Audio & Video -> to ensure media can play automatically, so media in the tour areas plays as the avatar moves about.  Input & Camera to enable "Joystick" and select SpaceNavigator defaults if Logitech 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator is in use.  Select Graphics "Ultra" settings (if possible with your graphics card) and custom to select 512m viewing distance.

    Check all neigbouring regions are on-line.

    Close doors to West end of Expo Pavilion.

    Check Amphitheatre is configured with single sim screen and boundary walls in place.

     

    Initial Places

    • Ai Austin (tour narrator):  in Central Plaza facing towards Plaza screens (towards SE) with mapboard behind.  camera focused on face.  Zoom camera all way out to show whole VCE region.
    • Aura Atlass (tour group member and cameraperson): in Central Plaza, to South side within ninner structure,  facing Ai Austin.  Follows Ai Austin with selectyion of views, camera as appropriate to give a good view for people using alternative access methods (usually Adobe Connect or Wirecast/Quicktime Steeaming).
    • Skye Gears (group assistant): in Central Plaza, to South side within inner structure,  facing Ai Austin. Follows tour helping all avatars to move between locations, and handling IM to assist them without visibility to others.  Follows along last after all tour members have moved as required.

    Tour Script

    Zoom camera from above clouds to Central laza.

    Central Plaza: welcome to this tour of the virtual collaboration enviroment in Second Life.

    Direct your attention to the screens to the East side.

    Give short overview presentation. Slides 1, 2, 6, 7, 8

    Walk to I-Zone and intrduce collaboration facilities there: I-Room, Instrumentation, OODA Loop support, QOC-Tale Lounge.

    Fly to Expo and introduce exhibits planned there.

    Walk to West end, open doors and walk to front of Events area.  Intrioduce facilities and breakouts rooms, walk up stairs, descrive amphitheatre.

    Move single sim partition out of way (+100m) to show 4 sim facility.

    Walk outside events area. 

    There are a number of program and project specific areas around the island.  Lets fly over some of them.  Follow me.

    Fly East over project sites, up and over Hill Top.  Mention that Hill Top area is used for avatar training and contains several fun meeting spaces.

    Fly over to oriemtation hexagon and land there.  Walk just into JOE GeoDome plot so media activates.

    Mention JOE GeoDome as an example of a program facilility. Move camera in and around but stay outside. Move back off plot onto orientation hexagon to deactivate movie sound and audio.

    Thanks for taking this tour. More information is available at http://openvce.net

    Zoom camera slowly back towards central plaza and going out and upwards through cloud layer.

     

    IRC - 3D Space Linkup

    More...

    Current Selection of Functionality by Platform

    This mapping may change. All the capabilities listed are enabled and can be accessed by the direct links above, even if not currently chosen as the selected mechanism.

    Currently a combination of Ning, Drupal and Second Life is being explored and the facilities enabled or being tested are changing frequently. The current mapping is usually shown: http://openvce.net/platforms-and-facilities

    * Selected Mechanism

    o Available on Platform

    Feature

    OpenVCE.net
    Joomla

    OpenVCE.net Drupal

    OpenVCE.net Moodle

    Ning Group Grou.ps Area Facebook

    Google or
    Yahoo Groups

    Second Life
    Opensim

    Others

     
    Member Profiles

    o

    *  

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Sub-groups

     

    *  

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

     

    Forums

     

    *  o

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Blogs

    o

    *  o

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     
    Event Calendar

     

    *  o

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    FAQ/Tutorials

    o

    *  

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Wiki

     

    * (Books) o

     

    o

     

     

     

    MediaWiki o

     

    Resources

     

       

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Shared Links

    o

    *  

     

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Link Aggregation

     

       

     

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Photos

     

    *  

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Flickr Aggregation

     

       

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Videos

     

    *  

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    YouTube Aggregation

     

    *  

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Real-time Status

     

    * (+Twitter)  

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

     

    Microblogging

     

    * (+Twitter)  

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

     

    Real-time Chat

     

     

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Ajax Chat o

     

    Real-time Video

     

       

     

     

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

     

    Screencasting

     

      o

     

     

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Adobe Connect o

     

    3D Meeting Space

     

       

     

     

     

     

    *

    Opensim o 

     
    Short-form URLs                 tr.im *  
    Event Arrangements                 EventBrite *  
    Authentication

    o

    * (+OpenId)             OpenID o  
    Polls & Event Feedback

    o

    o        

    o

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Doodle o

     

    OpenVCE Collaboration Areas - Facilities and Platforms

    All Ning Group Facilities - Not Active

    All Grou.ps OpenVCE Facilities - Not Active

    OpenVCE Wiki

    OpenVCE.net Collaboration Portal Facilities

    Message
    Messaging directly between community members.
    Blog
    A personal on-line journal, or blog.
    Forum
    A discussion area with topic threads.
    Wiki
    A facility for community knowledge creation, sharing and maintenace.

    Event
    A description of the time, location and purpose of some event.

    Resources...

    File
    Uploaded content such as PowerPoint presentations, PDF documents, etc.
    Image
    Photographs, screenshots,  etc., or links to image sharing sites.
    Video 
    Movies, or links to video sharing sites.

    More content...

    Book 
    Pages that have been created and are maintained by an editor to give information to the community.
    Group
    Group information and facilities.
    Poll
    Polls to seek feedback from the community.

     

    OpenVCE.net Content Types

    Blog – personal web log

    Forum – threaded discussion within community

    Wiki – community knowledge creation and refinement

    Event – a description of a timed event or meeting

    Resources - share Files, Images and Videos

    Book Page – edited content and index pages (change by admins and group leaders only)

    Comment – can be added to most elements

     

    Aura Atlass - Virtual Guide

    You can usually find me in the VCE region in Second Life, in the I-Zone. I am often there to keep open a video link for access into the OpenVCE 3D space to allow access by those not using a Second Life Viewer... see the links for alternative Access via Harmonie Web (HW) and via Quicktime Streaming (QT) in the 3D space navigation menu to the left.

    VW Platform Location URL Launcher
    Second Life

    OpenVCE 3D Space - Round table for up to 25 people

    http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22

    teleport

    I also can have a chat capability provided by MyCyberTwin which means you can chat to me in-world when I am not otherwise working. If I am busy in world you can always chat to me via the web tool shown below. I am gradually improving my responses and my knowledge-base to assist OpenVCE users. At some point soon, I may be supported by I-X Technology to assist meetings.

    Skye Gears - Virtual Guide

    You can usually find me in the VCE region in Second Life. I am often there to help during events and to support new users.

    VW Platform Location URL Launcher
    Second Life VCE Central Plaza http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/128/22/ teleport

    I also can have a chat capability provided by MyCyberTwin which means you can chat to me in-world when I am not otherwise working. If I am busy in http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~skye/world you can always chat to me via the web tool shown below. I am gradually improving my responses and my knowledge-base to assist OpenVCE users. At some point soon, I may be supported by I-X Technology to assist in giving tutorials or helping with procedures

    You can find a number of Tutorials and Virtual World Tours information at my home page: http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/~skye/

    Cognitive Work Analysis of Distributed Collaboration - Phase I: Work Domain Analysis

    This document is meant as a discussion for the Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) of distributed collaboration. A CWA consists of multiple phases that systematically analyze the constraints for work, agents, organizational, and activities. Its intent is to guide the design of the virtual collaborative environment and tools to best support and facilitate the functions of the WoSCR community. These linked pages will present the current analyses for each phase in order to collect comments and input from the research team. 

    Phase I - Work Domain Analysis identifies the activity-independent constraints of the work domain. A description of each of the levels in the figure is found below. Please provide your input and discussion for each level and any general comments, suggestions, or questions you might have.

    Cognitive Work Analysis of Distributed Collaboration - Phase II: Work Organizational Analysis

    This document is meant as a discussion page on the work organization analysis relating to the CWA of distributed collaboration created and distributed by Jeff Hansberger. Please provide comments and your input on the:

    1) Work situations

    2) Work tasks

    3) Relevance of the work tasks across the work situations

    The Domain Functions were taken from the Work Domain Analysis and the work tasks were defined by Tuckman's and others' description of the tasks involved in each of the collaboration stages. The work situations were defined through an assessment of the general situations for the WoSCR community. The situation set defined here is one possible set of relevant situations. Your input on the relevance and how representative they are is needed.

    OpenVCE Development

    OpenVCE Development

    VCE Island Plan

    VCE-0 was initially provided on Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) areas using an "I-Room" for round table meetings and "The Venue@Vue" for lecture theatre style events.

    VCE-1 is to be the main facility of the "VCE" island in Second Life.  Design iterations from 0.1 upwards will be used prior to the VCE-1 facility being completed by the end of July 2009, along with its intial tie up to the OpenVCE.net web facilities.

    Requirements as at 7-Jun-2009

    1. Central position VCE(128,128,22): Central plaza - teleport map, news, mix area, event and status information, etc.
    2. Towards NW: Orientation area
    3. Towards NW: Information centre and/or "store" - information and assets for avatars, buildings, etc.
    4. NW: Event reception area
    5. NW: Venue @ VCE - Main amphitheater with capacity up to 100. Seating extensions across adjacent sims.
    6. NW: 2 X meeting rooms - round table/brainstorming/discussion meeting format.
    7. NE: 2 X meeting rooms, group or or project spaces.
    8. East: Home/offices for nominated individuals, groups or projects.
    9. South: Expo Pavilion - Galleria/Showcase Area.
    10. West and SW: Project Spaces

    The current requirements are described in more detail on these pages:

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.1

    A summary of the initial outline design as at 7-Jun-2009 by Austin Tate is here.

    An aerial image of the layout on the Second Life VCE island version 0.1 at 7-Jun-2009 is shown here:

     

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.2

    A summary of design version 0.2 as at 14-Jun-2009 by Caleb Booker is here.
    • You'll notice space marked "Open project space". I'd like to try to keep this area completely empty until project completion to reserve it for future innovators coming in and needing a little impromptu space.
    • This is only roughly to scale. The actual build fits those grid lines perfectly.
    • We've also blocked off a space called "General Event Reception". This isn't a build in and of itself, but as we're still working out precisely what shape the Amphitheatre is going to take we haven't laid down this patch of pavement yet. It's probably just going to end up as a path to the venue itself, since the venue is more than big enough to accommodate social space.
    • The names of these buildings are subject to change.
    • RE: Orientation - we compromised here. Usually I'd say that we should have the exit point from the orientation directly to the venue, but live events aren't the only thing VCE island is designed to accommodate. Besides, focusing all navigation through the center of the island creates a single point to put your maps up, etc.
    [Caleb Booker] I'm going to walk you through..., as well as make a few notes of what we've done on the island for demonstration purposes. Please remember that nothing you see here represents a final version of anything, nor does it represent a v1.0. It does, however, represent a base design from which a v1.0 can be generated.

    Note: at the moment the ENTIRE ISLAND is sitting at just 1400 prims.

    Please go to VCE island and enter each building as you do your reviews. Actually being inside the buildings is a completely different experience from looking at them from the outside. 

    OpenVCE prototype - amphitheatre

    This can be found rezzed in the NW corner of VCE. It's a bit massive and could be taken in a bit, but we managed to create a construction that can accommodate a large number of people even without the use of the other sims. We expect this will be the one building that will go through the most changes before final revision as we're attempting to make it as all-purpose as possible and easy to duplicate on the corners of the other sims. 

    OpenVCE prototype - orientation

    You can find this on the West side of VCE. The planters used here are not just for decoration - they keep people from walking so close to the signs that they can't read them any more. The plants themselves are Linden plants right from the library, and that soil texture is a freebie from Torley Linden that we're using for the time being. Further development of this space will be in rotating the panels so they face the orientation starting point, and maybe even removing the one side so that people don't have to look back-and-forth to read everything. We'll also be placing instructions right on the floor telling people to use their arrow keys to move around. 

    OpenVCE prototype - plaza

    You'll find this in the center of VCE, and its open so that you can drop right into it if you come to VCE via map-based teleport. This may be a bit big, but at this footprint we could break it up a bit with things like platforms for your freebies and removing some sections or making them transparent so that you can see the water underneath. A slight glow was used on the glass panels so that they'd shimmer whenever you happened to look at them with the daytime sky behind them and really stand out at night - a great effect that's cheap on processing power. 

    OpenVCE prototype - triangular open building

    This is at the SW corner of VCE, and is actually one of my favorite builds in the collection. It fits into any spare corner, can augment existing buildings, can be duplicated and stuck onto itself to make a square building, and the walls/windows at the back are divided in such a way that its easy to remove one if you need to make a doorway or hallway. When you have an area that's "almost done" somewhere, this is what you'll be reaching for to finish it off. 

    OpenVCE prototype - iroom

    We've placed this at the South end of the island. This is our re-envisioning of the iRoom, with a few small changes from your original design. While the original was in 10x10 blocks, we've moved things out a bit to be 12x12 so that you can draw parcels around individual rooms. There are some minor visual modifications, and small glass overhangs in the lower corner areas to delineate them. We're considering how low waist-high panels might be used to further section those off. 

    OpenVCE prototype - long single storey  corner  building

    See the SE corner of the island. This is one of those buildings you have to walk into in order to understand. Its a great place to hang art or information panels in, and a good replacement for the Galleria. Further development here will involve changes to that long panel on the inside and some changes to the entrance to draw people in a bit more. 

    OpenVCE prototype - single storey stackable building

    Directly East of the plaza. This is your basic breakout room, stylish and just right for quick meets. It stacks well too, meaning if you want a second floor just rez another copy.

    **Side note: At the moment we have an attached small hallway on the side that is meant to illustrate how this building and the one next to it could be connected - but we kept the walls closed for now. This little hallway segment will be available as a separate "building" in the final release. 

    OpenVCE prototype - large corner building

    NE corner. Two stories and a smaller rooftop lounge area, this is meant as an all-purpose workspace. Planned development includes easy to move and resize internal walls to divide the space a bit better. It doesn't really look all that big compared to, say, the Zebra Corporate Office, but that's a trick of the eye - the footprint is quite large. You'll definitely have space for anything here.

    **Side note: We decided to take out the wall next to the stairs and connect it to the "2 storey  square building" next door just to give you a sense of how easy expansions can be accomplished. 

    OpenVCE prototype - 2 storey  square buildingEast side, connected to the "large corner building" at the moment. This is another multi-use space, with a balcony wide enough for an entire small office or just a few display panels. I can also see people using this as an extension on the "iroom" if they realize they need a larger quick and simple space to get a little work done in.

    Everything in the set has a footprint calculated in 8m increments, making drawing parcels easier as well as making everything fit together or break apart more gracefully. A large portion of this prototype is actually useful immediately, but the entire set does the job of illustrating the product to come.

     


    An image of the initial layout on the Second Life VCE island with the VCE 0.2 elements on it is shown here:

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.2a

    Adaptation of version 0.2 plan and current Clever Zebra buildings to meet specific requirements for VCE island. We have done a quick "show me" adapting some of the 0.2 version buildings to show CZ what we feel works for some of the key elements we need on the specific VCE region build.

    As before we prefix these inputs with the usual  comment that we want CZ to create a more reusable and general purpose set of buildings and assets that are easily selected from and tailored to specific collaboration needs by others.

    The main items we are focusing on for the VCE build are:

    1. Central Plaza with information and news
    2. Main single sim corner Event Area/Amphitheatre and 3 sim extension (Venue @ VCE - NW)
    3. Two adjoining break out/working group style meeting rooms (NW)
    4. Expo Pavilion (Expo @ VCE, N)
    5. I-Room Ops Centre (I-Zone  VCE, S)
    6. Some number of project/office spaces (originally 12-16, now more realistically 8) (E)
    7. Unallocated space for projects, experiments, etc (W and SW)

    General

    All doorways ought to be a bit more clearly delineated.  We are finding the regularity of the buildings and very open glass areas means you get disorientated and cannot see the various separate buildings you might be heading for. As a mockup and just to seed ideas, we have put the doorway "box" in a darker colour everywhere, put in a white pathway leading right into the doorway and other visual clues.  Built in lighting will be needed in the final build so that the central plaza, main buildings, and walkways work at all times of day and night without users knowing how to set times in Second Life.

    Central Plaza

    Using the central building with the inner and outer dark grey hexagons set to ground level, but still showing. Need to consider whether we can incorporate a water feature for "twitter bubblers", etc to East (i.e. Hill) side.

    Main Event Ampitheatre (Venue @ VCE) and Adjacent Sim Corner Extensions

    Needs a clear design to allow for NW position and 3 adjacent sims seating positions to work. Can we get some sketches between us to agree this?  Consider positioning screen in SE corner of main sim amphiteature, instead of near sim joining point.

    Scale reduced somewhat.  Core area for seating area, stage and screens kept to 40mx40m. Adjacent sim extension areas should be kept below 40mx40m (or even 32mx32m).

    The amphitheatre separator structures are nice, and could work better if the top glass was thicker to see edge-on.  We could use them to connect the main event lecture theatre style seating area to the workshops/breakout rooms areas.  One might also act as the event reception gateway... where beyond that controls on access may be present.

    Comments were made that a more visual cue might be needed to allow avatars to get an orientation from Central Plaza to the main event zone.  A tower or something like that.  To explore ideas, we have put in some large hoops over the event reception portal. This is not a specific serious suggestion to remain of course, just a way to indicate the idea, and explore the visibility from the Central Plaza when default draw distances (96m) are in use .

    Breakout/Workshop Meeting Rooms

    We want two rooms t be close by the main amphiteatre, as part fo the event complex, and beyond the event reception.

    Expo Pavilion

    We used a double version of the building you had connected to the large/HQ building by a glass box.  We added a more solid back where posters, screens, labels will go.  We added doors at each end, as well as in the middle connecting glass box.  We made all front and top glass phantom. We put in some back wall structures to delineate the 8m wide individual bays. This gives us 16 bays (8 with active media textures, and 8 upstairs for static posters and web links only), which is roughly right for one class project, or for small exhibitions as we expect to use the Expo.

    Triangular Expo

    We do not have a copy of this in the prototype box.  If you can send us one we will place it where we think it might work to show you some ideas.  For now, we will put one on the N end of the large HQ building mid way up the W coast.

    Orientation Zone

    We do not have permissions to move these or try them in alternative locations, so we left them intact for now.  We should agree soon if they will be along the Central to NW axis or if a separate space is needed for them.  We are assuming 4 to 6 posters given our discussions.  We should agree what they are.  Voice use should be added to current ones at least. A "More Information" button on each to a nominated web page could be incorporated - a stub is available now for this at http://openvce.net/slorientation  (#name URL delineated areas of this could serve the various boards).

    I-Room/I-Zone

    As we have discussed, this is a rather specific requirement for the 4 zone I-Room work.  We have now swapped it to South to allow all the main meeting areas to be kept to the N half of the island.  We have copied the "double" Expo Pavilion for this just now, but that is larger than we need or want.  A 4 zone larger version of the I-Room will fit fine in this S quadrant anyway.  We should agree if you will produce that, or if we should do it now, and you stick to a more generic ops/collaboration room which you feel would be most useful to others.

    Project Area and Flexible Space

    As discussed we kept the W and SW area for this.  For now we have put the large "HQ" building on this.

    Project Spaces/Apartment Offices/Other Program Workspaces

    We originally said we would need 12 to 16 of these, and we know from current demand that this is likely to be a very popular feature.  But more realistically we can perhaps accommodate 8 of these and use the temp project areas in SW for any further needs. Two were already in use when we cleared the island to let you show us version 0.2, and those folks are now using some spaces on Vue until we can move them back in.  We have these placed on East coast and in NE corner.  We could use adaptations of the small meeting room, (we placed two of these in the NE corner to experiment) or stick with a simpler Archer style building which we know works fine for this application.

    In fact, discussions here indicate it might actually be BETTER to use a very different visual style for these and not try to copy the shape, design or finish of the main public areas.

    Fun Meeting Areas

    The Hill Top and "Sea cave" areas are designated as further meeting areas, intended for fun uses, but with proper media texture and sound handling.  It looks like the designs we are discussing could accommodate these. The hill shape can be changed when we have the plan settled.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.3

    A summary of design version 0.3 as at 25-Jun-2009 by Caleb Booker is here.

    In a review between Caleb Booker and Austin Tate on 25-Jun-2009, the current status of the design and build decisions was noted as follows:

    • The terrain to be adopted is now considered stable, with minor adjustments to be made as required in the build process especially to create appropriate level areas just underneath buildings, platforms and walkways.
    • The hill area to the SE, and the hill top and sea cave meeting spaces will remain.

    The initial priority items intended for currently identified and immediate uses on VCE are:

    • The Central Plaza area will be designed and built by the Clever Zebra team.
    • The double galleria building will be provided by Clever Zebra and placed in the North of VCE.
    • The main event zone (amphitheatre) for 100 avatars will be provided by Clever Zebra, along with extensions that can extend it to up to 400 avatars across a 4 sim corner.
    • Two breakout rooms, connected to the main event zone amphitheatre, will be provided by Clever Zebra.
    • Two large project suites in the NE corner of VCE will be provided by Clever Zebra.
    • An orientation area will be provided off the Central Plaza to the West of VCE
    • The I-Zone/I-Room building will be provided by Austin Tate and located in the South of VCE.

    Lower priority items which may be useful in future, and which are needed in the final open source released OpenVCE asset set are:

    • The large multi-purpose building/HQ style building and the triangular expo area will initially be placed in the SW corner of VCE. These will be provided initially to the OpenVCE community for experimentation.  The SW of VCE is designated as flexible space for mission and project specific requirements.
    • Corridor and Connection Elements
    • Operations Room

    Option for development include:

    • The East coast project suites will be buildings of approximately 30mx10m on 32mx16m plots.  Currently Archer Houses are used there.  We will consider replacing these with other buildings if suitable ones are offered by Clever Zebra. It is agreed that a small footprint project suite/office could be a useful element of the OpenVCE asset set anyway.

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.4

    Modified layout and plan as on 3-July-2009.

    Orientation area now heads SW from Central Plaza to allow for greater flexibility and more plots in SW experimental area.

     

     

    VCE Plan Version 0.5

    OpenVCE 3D Amphitheatre Plan and Texture Guide

     

    Textures Used

     

    Amphitheatre

    Design as guide only – shown with 4 sections currently rezzing in centre as one piece. Steps up to entrance area and raised platform for flexible terrain layout.

     

    Seating Plan

    VCE Plan Version 0.6

    On 23rd July 2009, Clever Zebra put in place the main elements they are contributing which are to be incorporated into VCE-1.

    Aeview of the facilities follows in two parts.

    Generic Release Assets

    Orientation Zone: need a display board related to media playing - making sure user has media switched on in Edit -> Preferences -> Audio & Video as well as play button location reminder.  Voice/Talk display needs a pointer to Edit -> Preferences -> Voice Chat to make sure things are switched on.  Some ideas at http://tr.im/quickstart

    Expo: Looks fine.

    Amphitheatre: Basic shape should work fine though for the generic release assets.

    Small Project Office: Can glass be made the clearer gold texture in release assets for consistency.  Rezbox when unpacked leaves the object without full permissions at the moment.

    HQ Style Building:  I believe this is a useful building even though we have no specific need for it on VCE at present.  Do you plan to include this - perhaps in a later release?

    Release Boxes: These look very good with their contents image and orientation arrows, which are useful.  Please place the readme notecard into each top level distribution box (are there just 2? main buildings and  landscaping?).  Draft licence text to incorporate as discussed with Nick Wilson is at http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/readme.txt 

    Release Object Names: Please adjust names a little for consistencey of naming, capitalisation and hyphen use.    E.g.  "OpenVCE Rezbox - Expo Pavilion - Left" and "OpenVCE Rezbox - Expo Pavilion - Right". and "OpenVCE Rezbox - Expo Pavilion - Connector". Current names have mixture of capitals, some with "-" and some without.

    Textures: Please include all textures used explicitly such as those for the the orientation signs, etc.  Anything else not already in the texture box?  Perhaps rename vcelogo to openvcelogo? Note that texture names have a double space in them which can be confusing when using inventory search.  Remove the extra space before the "-" in all file names. "Mulch" is used from standard library.  Maybe worth at least saying that in the readme, so people know where to go for it to apply it in adaptations.  Remember we really want people to be able to move these assets to Opensim too, and the library textures cannot be exported.

    Specific Adjustments for VCE Region

    Central Plaza: avatars have to walk to E and W exits to get where they are going, rather than moving directly there.  Awkward to go round perhaps, especially if they are unfamiliar with movement controls at first/early uses.  Should there be 4 exists at NW, NE, SW and SE instead? Or drop lower lip of hub to almost ground level so it can be crossed.  Are the two display boards for maps?  They would be more useful INSIDE the plaza landing point to be immediately visible to arriving avatars, rather than having  to be walked round to. Do you have suggestions on signage and style of map/teleport facilities to use across VCE region, and perhaps to provide in the OpenVCE assets?

    Orientation Zone: Sample media play URL will be set in the area of the orienttaion board by us.  but is currently set to rtsp://media.aiai.ed.ac.uk:554/vue.sdp (the Vue balloon Tour video)

    Project Suites in NE: on East-most one please shift the doorway to SW corner of building.  We will usually configure them as two separate project areas for different teams, so I have placed a gold glass screen in middle.  Perhaps you could replace that with double doors that can be opened and closed as in the Expo?

    Amphitheatre: We will experiment with the orientation as you have proposed.

    Breakout Rooms: Custom adjusted shape is good. We added a white box doorway as usual for consistent visual appearance and indication to users.

    Access pathways and landscaping: Can you extend pathway from doors out of West end of Expo to join to main event amphitheatre zone? A opath from East end doors to the project offices in the NE woud also be useful I think.

    Permissions and Handover Mechanism

    What do you propose to make sure the in situ versons can be owned by us? They are already "shared with group" and all permisisons look ticked. We can copy them, but apparently not select sub-items to adjust, etc. It sems that some items in the linked sets are not modifiable with the versions on the region at the moment.

    VCE Plan Version 1.3

    The first release version of the Second Life assets created by Coever Zebra in association with OpenVCE.net are available as version 1.3, dated 13-Aug-2009.  See http://openvce.net/slassets

    Clever Zebra Assets Review

    Notes from Austin Tate on using the Clever Zebra buildings on Vue in Second Life and in Openvue on Opensim.

    Galleria.  this is the main building we use for exposition pavilion, posters, media screens for student projects, etc.

    The curved shape and positioning of the posterboards /media screens, means its tricky and time consuming to split up the galleria along its length into separate plots with their own media URLs as we require.  The 4x4 metre blocks that are allow in plot delineation need to be set up with zig-zag /diagonal edges which takes time.  Suggestion for the new assets: we take account of plots split on a 4x4 cell basis.

    The current galleria is split into 3 elements to keep under the 255 prim limit for individual builds, with the central part being the smallest but having one outside flag attached, which is easy to miss in selections, etc.

    The seating area is integrated with the rest of the building, so the whole building is selected when someone right clicks on a seat to sit down.  It may work better if seating elements are separately installed as their own object.  The order of prim section before linking to allow for suitable order of seating where right click is not specifically on a specific seat pad would be worth thinking about.

    The auto-rez box is offset below and rotated wrt the main building.  This makes positioning at precise angles awkward.  The position below the building also makes movement to ground level difficult as the position box will not go underground.  It is sometimes necessary to "dig a whole" to position the building where desired.

    Moving to Opensim.  We were able to take the 3 parts of the galleria separately over into Opensim and reconstruct the building there.  The auto-rezzing scripts do not yet work in Opensim.. though current LSL functionality should mean they can so do so... perhaps with some minimum changes.  The recreation of the building was awkward due to the root prim of each part being (I assume) quite arbitrary in position and rotation.  A single root prim on the floor with zero rotation adjacent to the next element for the other part(s) would assist in precise and simpler alignment.

    Suggestion... that the Galleria is in future made in FIVE parts:

    • centre - smallest element just for central part, and with root prim being a floor component with zero rotation.
    • left  - root prim being one floor segment to left of central element root prim.  Ideally zero rotation wrt central root prim.
    • right - root prim being one floor segment to left of central element root prim.  Ideally zero rotation wrt central root prim.
    • seating - root prim in carpet/logo.. kept separate and centred exactly over the central part root prim. Ideally zero rotation wrt central root prim.
    • auto-rez object - should be relative to the central prim with a simple whole metres X,Y,Z distance and with no rotational difference.

    Other CZ Buildings.  The office buildings and so on all look fine, and we should talk about which of these are already suitable for the sorts of needs most users have.

    1. When I unpacked the Small (Branch) office on the same island as an already paced Galleria, the movement box moved the Galleria as well.  Maybe I had forgotten to delete the build scripts before I deleted the attachment box.  I wonder if a separate channel for the objects to listen to from the movement box for each building could be wise.
    2. The branch office is labelled as small office when built we ought to be consistent in naming boxes, build objects and final building.
    3. The Large Office has VERY many prims.  Perhaps excessively so?  We ought to try for a reasonable level of prims in buildings and landscaping/furniture where it does not detract from the look.
    Lecture Theatre and Meeting Style Areas.  These I think need discussion to see what is wanted.  Lets have a separate discussion there, as we have some ideas that your designer may wish to take into account.  We are keen on a single main lecture theatre space that can be used stand alone... but which is easily extended with extra seating areas to accommodate added capacity across multiple sim (corners).
    Round table style meeting/collaboration room.  We have adopted an "8 cell" design and feel it has some merit. It might be nice to try to use this for the new asset set and to style this into the visual style we adopt, but keep the basic shape so we have continuity with our own work on "I-Room" shared collaborative spaces in the new asset set.  We have an extended design that will be better for the 4mx4m rectangular shape basic selectable plot element as the current I-Room overlaps the space being based on a 10mx10m square grid design.
    Central Plaza Impressive Feature.  This needs some creativity. We would like to stay lowish if we can and not build into the sky.

    General

    We should try to keep the core building prim counts down... And where it warrants it add on "extras" though an additional object which should have its root prim relative to the central prim root of the core building.. Again with zero relative rotation.  Other multi-part objects in the asset set should have their auto-rezzers adjusted this way too.

    Rich textures, e.g. for the play glass windo detail, rather than using detailing prims may be worth considering.  We have detailed dark glass modern window textures created by us for an Informatics Forum style build in Second Life and Opensim which can be used if desired.

     

    Joomla to Second Life Links

    There are a number of projects linking Joomla and Second Life:

    sl_contact_xt (Wene Chke aka ssm2017 Binder - http://ssm2017.free.fr/ - Produits Section)

    JSLPlus (Jeroen van Veen - http://jslplus.os-networks.net)

     


    SlContact_xt

     Joomla Link to and from Second Life
    From: Wene Chke aka ssm2017 Binder
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://joomlacode.org/gf/project/slcontact

    Availability of the Second Life Items

    XStreet Vendor
    http://www.xstreetsl.com/modules.php?name=Marketplace&file=item&ItemID=1259333

    Author's Web Site (Produits Section)
    http://ssm2017.free.fr/

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are 3 parts to the Joomla Link: the Joomla server running externally on a web site, an inworld personal registration server, and an optional object that is worn or used as a HUD on your avatar . 

    The registration server will allow you to :
    - register on the website
    - define a home location
    - receive messages from the web
    - send messages from the web

    The optional position attachment will allow you to :
    - show your actual position on the website (optional )
    - add friends to your website account

    Your user name on the Joomla site will be identical to your avatar name.  If it is set up in advance, it must use the same case and a space between your first and last avatar name.  The registration server can also perform the registration for you.

    Quick Start

    1. Edit the "config" notecard to include the site url, password and e-mail address you already (or will) use for your user on the Joomla site.

    2. Rez the Joomla Link Server (aka SlContact_xt_personal_server) at your preferred home location.  Change the config notecard in it. Touch the object and hit "Reset".  You can select Publish/Unpublish to choose to show or hide the information on your Joomla Sl_Contact profile page. You can use "Set Home" to record the position of the object as your Home position.

    3. Optionally, wear the Joomla Link HUD (aka SlContact_xt_position) or (more usually) attach in a HUD position. Change the config notecard in it. Touch the object and hit "Reset".

    You may texture the inworld server and HUD objects as you wish, for example with the Joomla Link logo.

    More Details...

    **********************************
       How to use the registration server ?
    **********************************

    You should rez the server object and edit the config notecard.

    The notecard should contain :
    - the url for the website
    - your password you will use on the website
    - your email to register and confirm registration on the website

    You need to edit the notecard with this syntax :
    option=value

    Once the notecard filled with these options like :
    url=http://example.com
    password=1234
    email=me@example.com

    Then, you can touch the server and choose "Reset" from the menu.
    This will check everything and register your account on the website.
    Depending on the website administrator, you will need to confirm your account from an email sent to the e-mail address you gave in the config notecard.

    After registering, you should leave this server box in your terrain permanently.

    If you want to send a message from the web or someone wants to send you a message, if the server box is missing, the message will not be sent.

    You can log in the website to edit your preferences :
    - publish your profile to the public ?
    - show your home location ?
    - show your position on the map ?
    - allow to receive messages ?

    The notecard can contain other optional parameters like :

    - display_info
        default value : 1
        the server will show you infos every time it updates itself, so i you set this value to 0, the message will be hidden.
       
    - update_speed
        default value : 30
        this is the speed in seconds that the server will update your online status to the website.
       
    - allow_give_away
        default value : 0
        this options lets you give servers away to allow others visitors to register on this website
       
    - folder_name
        default value : example.com Personal Server
        this will set the folder name when giving the server to visitors who get the server from your one

    - server_object_name
        default value : personal_server
        the name of the server object to give to visitors who get the server from your one

    - readme_notecard_name
        default value : ReadMe
        the name of the notecard you are reading now and that will be given to the visitors who get the server from your one

    **********************************
       How to use the position  attachment ?
    **********************************

    This attachment contains 3 scripts and a notecard:

    The scripts names are :
    - position.lsl
    - av_finder.lsl
    - simple_dialog_module.lsl

    You should always wear this attachment to be allowed to add friends to your website account or show your actual position.

    To use this attachment, you need to edit the notecard.
    The notecard should at least contain :

    - url of the Joomla web site
    - password you will use on the website

    There are optional parameters that can be put in this notecard :

    - display_info
        default value : 1
        the server will show you infos everytime it updates itself, so if you set this value to 0, the message will be hidden.
       
    - update_speed
        default value : 30
        this is the speed in seconds that the server will update your online status to the website.

    - show_position
        default value : 0
        this option lets you show your actual position on the website to help people finding you.
        If you set this option to 1, don't forget to enable the option "show my position" on the website that is disabled by default.

    - listen_channel
        default value : 1
        this is the channel that you will use to add friends

    - addfriend_command
        default value : addfriend
        this is the command to type in the channel that you will use to add friends ( e.g.  /1 addfriend ssm2017 Binder  )

    After editing the notecard, you can touch the object and choose Reset from the menu.

    After validating the values in the notecard, you will be able to add friends.

    To add a friend, just type the first letter(s) of the avatar name if your friend is close to yo: e.g.
    /1 addfriend ssm
    if your friend is not close to you, you should enter the complete name :
    /1 addfriend ssm2017 Binder

    The script will ask you a confirmation.

     

    OpenVCE - Second Life Island - Visual Style

    A discussion is needed on the visual style to adopt for the OpenVCE Second Life Island "VCE" which is meant to provide a number of open source key elements that can be copied and adapted easily by others.

    A Second Life region or island is 256mx256m. The water level is at 20m by default. Building into the air and under the water level is possible. 15,000 objects can be on the region in total. A maximum of 100 avatars (more usually 50 is the set limit) can be accommodated simultaneously. General Style: open, flat, an area of hills, coastline or use of whole sim area, ground only or use of multiple levels and sky platforms.

    The proposed in world facilities for VCE are listed here.

    The location for the VCE island is in the vacant corner square to the SE of the current Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) facilities in Second Life.

    General Style: To discuss: fixed season or changing? Parkland, desert, oceanic? Ground textures? Coastline or all sim area used?

    Buildings Style: To discuss: traditional or modern? Buildings with large flat surfaces to attach screens to easily. Glass windows to open up visas across the area, and to make nice screen shots.

    Flora: To discuss: Naturalistic, stylistic or none? Trees for screens, or very open? Sparse or dense? Remember Linden Labs trees and plants are special single primitive objects that have special properties to increase realism.

    Current Proposal:

    1. Natural coastline. Landscaping may overlap into adjacent Vue areas for a pleasing and integrated coastline design. A water strip all round to allow for circumnavigation of water vehicles
    2. Central lake area for (Twitter) bubbler fountains, etc.
    3. Visually impressive Central Plaza status area, news centre, with arrival point in exact center at [128,128]
    4. Main meeting auditorium to NW corner
    5. Larger meeting capacity via "4 corner sims" facility using extension areas on Edinburgh University (full sim), Informatics (full sim) and Vue South (homestead sim)
    6. Orientation and Event Reception facilties on way to NW corner
    7. Expo Pavilion (Galleria) to S
    8. I-Zone (Intelligent interactive collaboration zone) to N wit I-Room shaped building
    9. Single hill and sea cliffs to SE - "hilltop" meeting area
    10. Possible hidden cave in SE area - "sea cave" meeting area
    11. E coastal strip for smaller meeting rooms, breakout spaces and home offices

    Suggestion for Layout Plan

    Current Facilities on Vue:

    OpenVCE Logo and Colours

    We might consider picking up on the visual style of the "wave" logo for OpenVCE.... implies building up, increasing, future... all good motifs. The logo is coloured in three shades of grey: a very pale grey for the lettering, a mid dove grey for the wave lines and a warm dark slate grey background.

    Pattern Language - Suggestions from Jeff Hansberger 12-May-2009

    [We could be] guided by the Biophilia hypothesis (Edward O. Wilson) which suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. It postulates that humans have a predisposition to favor and prefer environments in which we are prepared to function well in. The predisposition comes from our evolutionary past. The history of human civilization is very short compared to that of the evolutionary history of the human race (~1%). Therefore, we should be mindful of the natural elements in which the human race and our evolutionary ancestors have been adapted to and with.

    Fundamental characteristics of Biophilia and environment features we find attractive are:

    • Refuge - Provided by size, sheltered places where a person might hide and feel secure. The "impression of penetrability" is important for any refuge area or building. Many of Frank Lloyd Wright's (FLW) buildings have this with their eaves & overhanging balconies (FLW called it nesting).
    • Prospect - Ability to gain an open unobstructed view of the environment. It was important evolutionary and for survival reasons to be able to see without being seen by predators for example(e.g., viewing the landscape from an elevated position or from the edge of a wooded area over savanna like terrain).
    • Complex Order - Predisposition to prefer landscape scenes with some complexity and cognitive simulation but is still understandable and makes sense.
    • Enticement - Enticement and curiosity reflects the human need for exploration, discovery, mystery, and creativity.

    I know we don't have a year to design the environment but there are several aspects, particularly with the landscape items and aspects from The Pattern Language book. A quick comment about The Pattern Language, Alexander and colleagues present over 250 "patterns" and I've gone through them and picked out the relevant ones for my house. That list is represented in the ones in theBrain file and would be different for public area like the VCE. The pattern language items can be viewed here, http://downlode.org/Etext/Patterns/ A version with patterns that may be relevant to the design of the VCE 3D Space is available here

    Event/Meeting Area Notes

    • If the screen is on a corner AWAY from the sim corner, then extension via extra seating "galleries" (main stalls, side stalls, circle, upper circle kind of idea) then that has seemed to work well for us on our own 4 sim corner Venue - the lash up I showed you in NW corner of VCE and the adjacent 3 sims was a quick show of that. It works since media textures show on screens even in adjacent sims.
    • The idea of limiting pathways between the sims around the edges of the meeting area, and then designing the transitions, underlying solid ground, etc to make movement work well for avatars (as we discussed and as you clearly have much experience of) is sensible. Take a look at this this setup on a NASA related facility which shows the bar/railing separating the upper searing area from the lower main meeting and seating area. They also have excellent control over positions on acess to the seating (or of course you can also fly/drop in)
    • Ulreung - Kira Dome 2 sim meeting area, with bar separating zones:
    • We have found it useful to have 3 screens (though we sometimes only use two of them and turn the third off so its not a distraction. Main media screen for focus of attention, two smaller screens usually use for fixed slides pre-uploaded to SecondLife/Opensim or supplementary content such as agenda, title of event, etc.
    • Screens need to allow for video for current media texture (whether movie, screencast, web URL show, etc), uploaded content via any texture (in screen, or a given UUID), or allow the screen to be turned off. For the main screen, we use a modified version of the "Freeview 1.2" screen freely available in open source for in Second Life and Opensim. This allows for "video" including real time streamed video/audio, prerecorded videos, etc. "bookmarks" for selection of videos/URLs/etc., "pictures" - any uploaded images preloaded into the screen, or for specific URLs top be stated. The modifications allow for YouTube URL translation (as, at present, SL does not directly show those in their usual format). We also use a University of Edinburgh custom built static image viewer with slide previews for up to 8 slides around the one currently on show. These are available to mix in with the Clever Zebra presenter code to create a fully adaptable next generation screen presenter.

    Good Ideas from Other Second Life Regions

    Project to provide an easy way to present a slide show into a Virtual World

    There are several ways that presentations can be given in virtual worlds like Second Life and Opensim.  But the route from (e.g.) PowerPoint through to a shared display in-world and in a compatible way through a web browser for people not i-world is still clunky.  A much improved, easier to use and simpler workflow is required.  A way also to allow web browsing, gallery style display and slide show style presentation in a web browser should be linked to the same media.

    For current methods used see FAQ on Presentation methods in Second Life

    The initial stage of the project should lead to a familiarity with all these methods, and a pros/cons and issues analysis. Note time labs for real time screen presentation methods, and look for ways that lags can be reduced.

    A potential solution is as follows:

    1. Document the recommended procedure to output JPG or PNG format images for a complete presentation from PowerPoint and OpenOffice.
    2. For registered users for a web site, provide PHP script to allow upload of images to a nominated new named directory for a presentation [advanced: consider easy multiple image upload, or ability to upload a whole directory all contents, and/or drag/drop onto a browser window].
    3. Provide PHP code to allow the presenter to select the "directory" (i.e. presentation) to present from.  It should not be necessary to name the slide, or know their file names, but order may be assumed from the alphabetical order of the slides themselves.
    4. Provide PHP code to allow the presenter to select a "Title" slide, a blank slide or to show the next slide in the presentation and go back over the slides, or select a numbered slide in the contents [advanced: see all slide thumbnails and select specific ones to show too].
    5. Provide PHP code which all viewers would use to see the current slide on show.

    Notes and Resources

    Sample scripts that might be useful (some in PERL, some in PHP and some in Javascript) are available at http://openvce.net/services/webcast/

    The solution should only use PHP on the server side.  Javascript cannot be used on the client side, as it does not work (yet) in the target virtual worlds of Second Life and Opensim.

    The solution should be able to be used in Joomla or Drupal, preferably working in both.

    Potential solutions should be experimented with and described.  All code used must be free of restrictions and licencable under the Lesser GPL or Creative Commons full open use licences.

    Proposed Inworld Facilities for OpenVCE

    Notes from Austin Tate:

    The inworld facilities I see as being something with a new fresh visual style that is unique and easily extended by others, and contributed to by them in future.

    1. Central plaza, news, mix area, pointer to other areas, twitter feeds (bubble pools? using the current open source offerings?)
    2. Orientation area, easily tailored, linked to external web content for pre-entry to 3D World orientation, initial avatar setup and starter resources.
    3. "Store" and/or Information Centre suitable for displaying information and assets which can be picked up for avatars, buildings, and cloning the OpenVCE assets.
    4. Demonstration Pavilion/Galleria/Showcase Area... able to be separated into slices suitable for separate media plots - remembering that this must be done with rectangular areas most easily in Second Life/Opensim... and with more difficulty using with some diagonal/ zig-zags with a 4x4m square element.
    5. Event Reception area. Arrival area for people attending events where they would get their event credentials, meeting tags, links to web pages for information on the event (usually a short form url e.g. http://tr.im/sorascs09), and be asked to go through a quick test (see http://tr.im/slchecks - tailored for PC and Mac users key differences) to ensure they are properly set up (can sit, can see text chat and IM (not set busy), can redirect camera from seated position, can received Quicktime video streams, are properly set up for voice without open mic, feedback or over attenuation). A note may be made of avatars failing one or more tests to guide the meeting organizers and propose remedies (such as temporary muting of SL voice from a participant causing feedback).
    6. Large amphitheater.. up to limit of sim in chosen VW (say 50-80 avatars) with stage/screens and lecture theatre style seating. Stand alone and extendible versions... adaptable for location to be extended...suggest corner of sim.
    7. Extensions of large amphiteatre to add capacity across adjacent sims, also means to relay across multiple sims easily.
    8. Smaller meeting room at capacity 20-25 - round table/brainstorming/discussion meeting format - easily themed, coloured, branded, named so you can have say 4 of these on a single sim.
    9. Home/offices for nominated individuals, media texture changeable (so if in a block, no multiple levels in SL) to support screens, posters, persistent material, interviews, press contacts, persistent SLurl/OSurl, etc. One region might support about 16 of these for nominated people in the core organisation or key people in the community supported. ideally with great "views", ability to take good looking inworld snapshots of meetings and interviews.
    10. Themed "in style" landscaping elements.
    11. Web 2.0/social network/blogging/external web app link up stubs.
    12. Core scripts, textures, web links, presenter screens, all provided with documentation and in a reusable transferable, copyable, modifiable form.


    Suggest all would work in SL and Opensim and be available under the Lesser Gnu Public Licence (LGL).

    Use of Vue Assets

    It is suggested that some elements of the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) buildings might be re-used, e.g. "The Venue@Vue".

    A "4 sim" large meeting area, based on a single corner meeting space on one sim, supplemented by extensions on the 3 corners of adjacent sims could be useful. See the design sketch as one concept.

    Use of I-Room Assets

    The "I-Room" collaboration space design might be re-used - possible at scales from 32mx32m with basic small corner rooms at each corner, through a medium sized area with 2 small cells and 2 X 20m cells, and a larger "I-Zone" with 2 of the corner spaces being double height, and large enough for large collaborative shared media spaces.

    Clever Zebra Assets

    Clever Zebra released a number of buildings, landscape packs and so on and a screen presenter system that can be adpated for use in Second Life and Opensim (Open Source GPLv3 licence). They have been used for some time on Vue (in Second Life) and OpenVue (in Opensim). The distribution is available on XStreetSL (Corporate and Presenter). Clever Zebra also have a corporate version available.

    See this image of the OpenVue Welcome Island:

    Note the use of the open source Clever Zebra buildings and assets on the sample Linden Labs self hosted region in this blog entry.

    VCE-1

    VCE-1 by end of July 2009 MUST support a specific WoSCR community workshop called VIWS-1 (Virtual Iterative Workshop Series No. 1) - its the first in what is intended as a series of workshops to build the community. But we see this as an event with max 60 people (1 sim, though we may have an overflow area).
    The VCE project by end of 2009 will support that and a second workshop, and afterwards a "Limited Objective Experiment" (VCE-LOE) which would simulate a real emergency and call in people to use a range of intelligent systems tools benign worked on ion the community to support rich analyses and give feedback to the crisis responders.

    So.... as a first suggestion.. we would see VCE-1 as necessarily including the following:

    • Central plaza, community status and news area
    • New user assistance, orientation and help
    • Event reception
    • Store area
    • Auditorium style meeting zone (in corner of sim (NW in our case) - stand alone with stage and one seating area (the stalls? up to capacity of one sim ) designed so that up to 3 extra "audience modules" could be added in a 4 corner sim arrangement. [To include presentation screens for uploaded images, external URL content, streaming video, and if possible easy ways to get from MS Powerpoint to in world displays]
    • Round table meeting room for up to 20 people (an I-Room could serve this function in an area called the "I-Zone"). [AIAI to produce]

     

    Requirements to Link Web 2.0 Site and 3D Spaces

    We assume a social networking style web site based on an open source content management systems is used to manage and support the community or communities of interest and give them a range of faculties they need for their communication, work and events.

    We assume a 3D space in which the users can interact and collaborate that supplements  the Web 2.0 functionality.

    Base software we assume is:

    • Server end: Apache, PHP and MySQL server
    • Client end:  Web browser (should work in IE, Firefox and Safari at least), Javascript.  (no flash except for special addins)
    • Open source CMS: e.g. Drupal or Joomla
    • Linkup to all the rest of the facilities, and ways to integrate them well, seamless in style, common user authentication, etc.

    Proposed Functionality

    • Real persona to virtual persona link up - and some way to control what you wish to show each way - profile, real name, organisation, additional VW information (avatar name, password, avatar image).
    • Groups and communities, friends lists, group membership and information.. linking web and 3D groups where desired.
    • Event management and media/information/log/after event material sharing

    Experimentation to Date

    We have experimented with links between the 2D web sites such as Joomla and Drupal) and 3D spaces (such as Second Life and Opensim) and have already used the following features:

    Joomla:

    Drupal:

     

    VCE Pattern Language

    This page is a marked up version of the openly accesible web site with patterns from the book " Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction (Center for Environmental Structure Series)" by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, 1977. The markup reflects elements of the patterns that may be relevant to design of the VCE environment 3D Space.

     

     

     

     

     


    A Pattern Language

     

    Summary of a book by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. Published by Oxford University Press. The original book contains much essential detail behind each of the following patterns and is recommended reading.

    We begin with that part of the language which defines a town or community. These patterns can never be "designed" or "built" in one fell swoop- but patient piecemeal growth, designed in such a way that every individual act is always helping to create or generate these larger global patterns, will, slowly and surely, over the years, make a community that has these global patterns in it.


    Do what you can to establish a world government, with a thousand independent regions, instead of countries.

     

     

    TOWNS

     

    1. Independent Regions

    With each region work toward those regional policies which will protect the land and mark the limits of the cities.

    2. The Distribution of Towns

    3. City Country Fingers

    4. Agricultural Valleys

    5. Lace of Country Streets

    6. Country Towns

    7. The Countryside

    Through city policies, encourage the piecemeal formation of those major structures which define the city.

    8. Mosaic of Subcultures

    9. Scattered Work

    10. Magic of the City

    11. Local Transport Areas

    Build up these larger city patterns from the grass roots, through action essentially controled by two levels of self-governing communities, which exist as physically identifiable places.

    12. Community of 7000

    13. Subculture Boundary

    14. Identifiable Neighbourhood

    15. Neighbourhood Boundary

    Connect communities to one another by encouraging the growth of networks.

    16. Web of Public Transportation

    17. Ring Roads

    18. Network of Learning

    19. Web of Shopping

    20. Mini-Buses

    Establish community and neighborhood policy to control the character of the local environment according to the following fundamental principles.

    21. Four-Story Limit

    22. Nine Percent Parking

    23. Parallel Roads

    24. Sacred Sites

    25. Access to Water

    26. Life Cycle

    27. Men and Women

    Both in the neighborhoods and the communities, and in between them, in the boundaries, encourage the formation of local centers.

    28. Eccentric Nucleus

    29. Density Rings

    30. Activity Nodes

    31. Promenade

    32. Shopping Street

    33. Night Life

    34. Interchange

    Around these centers, provide for the growth of housing in the form of clusters, based on face-to-face human groups.

    35. Household Mix

    36. Degrees of Publicness

    37. House Cluster

    38. Row Houses

    39. Housing Hill

    40. Old People Everywhere

    Between the house clusters, around the centers, and especially in the boundaries between neighborhoods, encourage the formation of work communities;

    41. Work Community

    42. Industrial Ribbon

    43. University as a marketplace

    44. Local Town Hall

    45. Necklace of Community Projects

    46. Market of Many Shops

    47. Health Center

    48. Housing Inbetween

    Between the house clusters and work communities, allow the local road and path network to grow informally, piecemeal.

    49. Looped Local Roads

    50. T Junctions

    51. Green Streets

    52. Network of Paths and Cars

    53. Main Gateways

    54. Road Crossing

    55. Raised Walk

    56. Bike Paths and Racks

    57. Children in the City

    In the communities and neighborhoods, provide public open land where people can relax, run shoulders and renew themselves.

    58. Carnival

    59. Quiet Backs

    60. Accessible Green

    61. Small Public Squares

    62. High Places

    63. Dancing in the Street

    64. Pools and Streams

    65. Birth Places

    66. Holy Ground

    In each house cluster and work community, provide the smaller bits of common land, to provide for local versions of the same needs.

    67. Common Land

    68. Connected Play

    69. Public Outdoor Room

    70. Grave Sites

    71. Still Water

    72. Local Sports

    73. Adventure Playground

    74. Animals

    Within the framework of the common land, the clusters, and the work communities encourage transformation of the smallest independent social institutions: the families, workgroups, and gathering places. the family, in all its forms.

    75. The Family

    76. House for a Small Family

    77. House for a Couple

    78. House for One Person

    79. Your Own Home

    The workgroups, including all kinds of workshops and offices and even children's learning groups.

    80. Self-Governing Workshops and Offices

    81. Small Services without Red Tape

    82. Office Connections

    83. Master and Apprentices

    84. Teenage Society

    85. Shopfront Schools

    86. Children's Home

    The local shops and gathering places.

    87. Individually Owned Shops

    88. Street Café

    89. Corner Grocery

    90. Beer Hall

    91. Traveller's Inn

    92. Bus Stop

    93. Food Stands

    94. Sleeping in Public

     

     

    BUILDINGS

    We now start that part of the language which gives shape to groups of buildings, and individual buildings, on the land, in three dimensions. These are the patterns which can be "desiged" or "built"- the patterns which define the indivual buildings and the space between buildings; where we are dealing for the first time with patterns that are under the control of individuals or small groups of individuals, who are able to build the patterns all at once.

    Layout the overall arrangement of a group of buildings: the height and nuber of these buildings, the enterances to the site, main parking areas, and lines of movement through the complex.

    95. Building Complex

    96. Number of Stories

    97. Shielded Parking

    98. Circulation Realms

    99. Main Building

    100. Pedestrian Street

    101. Building Thoroughfare

    102. Family of Entrances

    103. Small Parking Lots

    Fix the position of individual buildings on the site, within the complex, one by one, according to the nature of the site, the trees, the sun: this is oneof the most important moments in the language.

    104. Site Repair

    105. South Facing Outdoors

    106. Positive Outdoor Space

    107. Wings of Light

    108. Connected Buildings

    109. Long Thin House

    Within the buildings' wings, lay out the entrances, the gardens, courtyards, roofs, and terraces: shape both the volume of the buildings and the volume of the space between the buildings at the same time- remembering that indoor space and outdoor space, yin and yang, must always get their shape together.

    110. Main Entrance

    111. Half-hidden Garden

    112. Entrance Transition

    113. Car Connection

    114. Hierarchy of Open Space

    115. Courtyards which Live

    116. Cascade of Roofs

    117. Sheltering Roof

    118. Roof Garden

    When the major parts of buildings and the outdoor areas have been given their rough shape, it is the right time to give more detailed attention to the paths and squares between the buildings.

    119. Arcades 120. Paths and goals

    121. Path Shape

    122. Building Fronts

    123. Pedestrian Density

    124. Activity Pockets

    125. Stair Seats

    126. Something roughly in the Middle

    Now, with the paths fixed, we come back to the buildings: within the various wings of any onebuilding, work out the fundamental gradients of space, and decide how the movement will connect the spaces in the gradients.

    127. Intimacy Gradient

    128. Indoor Sunlight

    129. Common Areas at the Heart

    130. Entrance Room

    131.The Flow through Rooms

    132. Short Passages

    133. Staircase as a Stage

    134. Zen View

    135. Tapestry of Light and Dark

    Within the framwork of the wings and their internal gradients of space and movement, define the most important areas and rooms. First, for a house.

    136. Couple's Realm

    137. Childrens Realm

    138. Sleeping to the East

    139. Farmhouse Kitchen

    140. Private Terrace on the Street

    141. A Room of One's Own

    142. Sequence of Sitting Spaces

    143. Bed Cluster

    144. Bathing Room

    145. Bulk Storage

    Then the same for offices, workshops, and public buildings.

    146. Flexible Office Space

    147. Communal Eating

    148. Small Work Groups

    149. Reception Welcomes You

    150. A place to Wait

    151. Small Meeting Rooms

    152. Half-Private Office

    Add those small outbuildings which must be slightly independent from the main structure, and put in the access from the upper stories to the street and gardens.

    153. Rooms to Rent

    154. Teenager's Cottage

    155. Old Age Cottage

    156. Settled Work

    157. Home Workshop

    158. Open Stairs

    Prepare to knit the inside of the building to the outside, by treating the edge between the two as a place in its own right, and making human details there.

    159. Light on two sides of every Room

    160. Building Edge

    161. Sunny Place

    162. North Face

    163. Outdoor Room

    164. Street Windows

    165. Opening to the Street

    166. Gallery Surround

    167. Six-Foot Balcony

    168. Connection to the Earth

    Decide on the arrangement of the gardens, and the places in the gardens.

    169. Terraced Slope

    170. Fruit Trees

    171. Tree Places

    172. Garden Growing Wild

    173. Garden Wall

    174. Trellised Walk

    175. Greenhouse

    176. Garden Seat

    177. Vegetable Garden

    178. Compost

    Go back inside the building and attatch the necessary minor rooms and alcoves to complete the main rooms.

    179. Alcoves

    180. Window Place

    181. The Fire

    182. Eating Atmosphere

    183. Workspace Enclosures

    184. Cooking Layout

    185. Sitting Circle

    186. Communal Sleeping

    187. Marriage Bed

    188. Bed Alcove

    189. Dressing Room

    Fine tune the shape and size of rooms and alcoves to make them precise and buildable.

    190. Ceiling Height Variety

    191. The Shape of Indoor Space

    192. Windows Overlooking Life

    193. Half-Open Wall

    194. Interior Windows

    195. Staircase Volume

    196. Corner Doors

    Give all the walls some depth, wherever there are to be alcoves, windows, shelves, closets or seats.

    197. Thick Walls

    198. Closets Between Rooms

    199. Sunny Counter

    200. Open Shelves

    201. Waist-High Shelf

    202. Built-In Seats

    203. Child Caves

    204. Secret Places

     

     

    CONSTRUCTION

    The last part of the language, tells how to make a buildable building, directly from this rough scheme of space, and tells you how to build it, in detail.

    Before you lay out structural details, establish a philosphy of structure which will let the structure grow directly from your plans and your conception of the buildings.

    205. Structure Follows Social Spaces

    206. Efficient Structure

    207. Good Materials

    208. Gradual Stiffening

    Within this philosphy of structure, on the basis of the plans which you have made, work out the complete strutural layout; this is the last thing you do on paper, before you actually start to build.

    209. Roof Layout

    210. Floor and Ceiling Layout

    211. Thickening the Outer Walls

    212. Columns at the Corners

    213. Final Column Distribution

    Put the stakes in the ground to mark the columns on the site, and start erecting the main frame of the building according to the layout of these stakes.

    214. Root Foundations

    215. Ground Floor Slab

    216. Box Columns

    217. Perimeter Beams

    218. Wall Membranes

    219. Floor-Ceiling Vaults

    220. Roof Vaults

    Within the main frame of the building, fix the exact positions for openings- the doors and windows- and frame these openings.

    221. Natural Doors and Windows

    222. Low Sill

    223. Deep Reveals

    224. Low Doorway

    225. Frames as Thickened Edges

    As you build the main frame and its openings, put in the following subsidiary patterns where they are appropriate.

    226. Column Place

    227. Column Connection

    228. Stair Vault

    229. Duct Space

    230. Radiant Heat

    231. Dormer Windows

    232. Roof Caps

    Put in the surfaces and indoor details

    233. Floor Surface

    234. Lapped Outside Walls

    235. Soft Inside Walls

    236. Windows which Open Wide

    237. Solid Doors with Glass

    238. Filtered Light

    239. Small Panes

    240. Half-inch Trim

    Build outdoor details to finish the outdoors as fully as the indoor spaces.

    241. Seat Spots

    242. Front Door Bench

    243. Sitting Wall

    244. Canvas Roofs

    245. Raised Flowers

    246. Climbing Plants

    247. Paving with Cracks between the Stones

    248. Soft Tile and Brick

    Complete the buildings with ornament and light and color and your own things.

    249. Ornament

    250. Warm Colors

    251. Different Chairs

    252. Pools of Light

    253. Things from Your Life

    Virtual Collaboration Center Equipment and Layout

    VCE Equipment

    The VCE has a briefing/meeting corner with various displays:

    • Left hand live feeds, movie and inworld images display screen
    • Center live feeds, maps and movie video screen (on channel 10)
    • Right hand presentation and additional information screen (on channel 11)
    • Overhead LED style display (on channel 88)
    • Elsewhere in the VCE on separate plots with their own media URLs are a flat collaboration table, 3D model table, YouTube video and Flickr image screens.

    The "I-Room Helper" (on channel 9) acts as a conduit to the I-X Web Services. It is active when it is rotating.

    The I-Room Helper and creens can be controlled by a member of the "Vue Associates" group so long as that group is set "active".

    8-Cell "I-Room" Layout

    The Virtual Collaboration Center has a central area, and rooms off at each corner on two floors. This gives 8 immediately visible work spaces into which equipment, screens and furniture can be added. The roof provides further areas for use if needed. The central area and corridor spaces can be accessed from a front door space, a balcony on the first floor, or through an open roof space (which allows easy access from virtual world maps).

    The Virtual Collaboration Center is situated on a plot of land which itself is divided into 5 separate areas, which therefore can have their own separate video and audio feeds. The central area has one plot, and there are 4 areas for the 4 corners. It is not currently possible to have separate audio and video feeds for the upstairs and downstairs rooms on these plots.

    Inigo - Exploration of the Future Evolution of the OpenVCE.net Web Site

    These are notes rlated to exploring an evoluton of the OpenVCE.net web poprtal with Inigo (http://www.inigo.net - Dan Frydman).


     

     

    We have given Inigo some of the core Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) and Jeff Hansberger's outline designs for the front elements of the site, and explained we want much better workflow related to the Virtual Collaboration Protocol, community and group support and a less clunky way to approach the wiki style collaboratively created content. We also explained about the importance of mobile device access. Dan Frydman at Inigo.net has already mocked up a front page to show us some ideas... http://discover.inigo.net/ovce/ 

    Phase 2a (first 3 months): join OpenVCE.net team, use and analysis of current site, account for user feedback and comments, look at issues arising, explore modules in use, rationalise if possible, explore current issues with wiki, group and mobile access issues, look at CWA and design outlines, consider theme, layout and style sheets for screen, print and mobile, assume Drupal and current logo/colours. Produce report and demonstration fragment of new look site for community and team review.

    Phase 2b (1 month): Feedback from community

    Phase 2c (following 3 months): Feedback from community, adjustment of proposals, development of new site alongside OpenVCE.net team.

    The idea being that the final few months of a phase 2 of the project could then use the site and gain experience with it.

    MyCyberTwin

    Floating idea of a possible project between MyCyberTwin, AIAI's I-X/I-Room team, and David Fliesen (for JOE).

    Possible use of MyCyberTwin chat bot, FAQ, Tutorials and other scripted support alongside I-X/I-Room intelligent interactive spaces and process/planning/task support.

    To be discussed. Possible use for Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) via Edinburgh MSc project.

    Technologies:

    • MyCyberTwin
      • The enterprise ChatFlow tool allows the building of assertive CyberTwins that can take users through processes, tasks etc. They can be in control or just sit back and wait for questions. This logic can be designed visually, by gluing nodes together to form chatflow structures. The AI engine then takes care of the rest to render chat in real time.
    • I-Zone/I-Room
    • I-X Technology/<I-N-C-A> Ontology

    OpenVCE.net Community Portal Web Site Design

    These are notes to guide the design of the web site both in visual and activity support terms.

    Site Structure

    OpenVCE.net consists of:

    1. a web-based Community Portal (CP) for asynchronous collaboration, communication and for creating and sharing of assets and resources [after some experimentation and discussion (see http://openvce.net/forum-alternative-platforms and http://openvce.net/more), a Drupal-based system augmented by a range of modules, and with the addition of MediaWiki is used for this element]
    2. virtual world 3D Spaces to support a range of types of meetings, events, training sessions, and possibly real missions [Second Life and OpenSim environments are used for the element]

    An overall style, colour palette, logo and text font has been adopted and used across the collaboration portal and the 3D Spaces. See http://openvce.net/logo

    However, more work is needed to integrate the style, and give a clean simple approachable set of facilities, with a clean and conceptual basis for distribute collaboration.

    Cognitive Input

    Jeff Hansberger, an experimental psychologist, and project manager for the Virtual Collaboration Environment project has provided input from several perspectives:

    • Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) for Distributed Collaboration and some analysis of the fit of functionality on the community portal to the CWA - see http://openvce.net/distributed-collaboration-cwa-phase1-wda
    • The principles of Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing can be seen to underlay the appropriate use of a range of collaboration tools.  See http://openvce.net/distributed-collaboration-cwa-woa
    • This is closely allied to the work flow of an "OODA Loop" (Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act) which is a basis for technical support being created for the OpenVCE.net virtual collaboration environment - see http://openvce.net/ooda
    • A set of standard operating procedures (SOP) and "protocols" for virtual collaboration are under development by related projects, and should guide the development of the collaboration portal elements in the VCE and on OpenVCE.net.  See http://openvce.net/vce-protocol and http://openvce.net/sop
    • The following diagram influenced by the Cogntive Work Analysis shows the relationships between work elements for distributed collaboration, and OpenVCE.net facilities and tools. They should be reflected in the design and layout of the site.

    Visual Style and Layout

    Experiments have taken place with a number of layouts, with a generic 3 column Drupal style sheet being used:

    • Top main links (and potentially drop down menus)
    • Left hand navigation
    • Central main contents
    • Right hand "context"

    A test area is available for experimentation with styles that is not working on the live site.

    Input has been provided by Jeff Hansberger at http://openvce.net/openvce-envisioned-site - he would prefer to see a simpler layout following three areas (Current Activities and Awareness, Coordination, Communication) with greater space for the main content, and with fewer navigation buttons, and to have them placed along the top of the page (Ning Style).  Some attempt has been made in the current front page (especially) to address this.

    Mobile Access

    It's also critical to make sure the site is designed with mobile access in mind. Eventually, the programme manager would like to see specialised iphone and mobile access apps but until  then, the site itself needs to be easily accessible through mobile browsers.

    Unity3D

    This is a page of resources on the Unity3D game Development and 3D virtual environment platform.


    Demonstration Worlds

    OpenVCE Project

    The OpenVCE Project is an initial phase of the OpenVCE work performed by AIAI at the University of Edinburgh with collaborators worldwide.

    OpenVCE Project - Deliverables

    OpenVCE Project Deliverables - May 2009 to February 2010

    VCE-0 - Description of Initial Virtual Collaboration Environment

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverable: VCE-0
    • Due: 31-May-2009
    • Date: 21st May 2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Technical POC: Sue Archer
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    The initial VCE-0 is based on readily available off-the-shelf components and using the Virtual University of Edinburgh (Vue) existing facilities in Second Life. It is an initial facility provided ahead of the delivery of the OpenVCE project's own Second Life island becoming available. It is intended to establish a range of functions that may be required by the Community of Interest, and which can be tested in later phases of the project. Several alternative means of providing some of the functions have been explored.

    The current functionality is available at http://openvce.net and the choices that have been made from the platforms that can provide the functionality in current use are described in http://openvce.net/index.php/more - an archive of the status at the time of this report is shown in the table below:

    Selection of Functionality by Platform at 21-May-2009

    This mapping may change in response to experience gained with VCE-0, prior to the introduction of VCE-1. All the capabilities listed are enabled and can be accessed by the direct links above, even if not currently chosen as the selected mechanism.

    * Selected Mechanism

    o Available on Platform

    Feature

    OpenVCE.net
    Joomla

    Ning Group Grou.ps Area Facebook

    Google or
    Yahoo Groups

    Second Life
    Opensim

    Others

    Member Profiles

    o

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    Sub-groups

     

    *

    o

     

     

     

    Forums

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    Blogs

    o

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    Event Calendar

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    FAQ/Tutorials

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    Wiki

     

     

    o

     

     

    MediaWiki *

    Resources

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Shared Links

    *

     

    o

    o

     

     

    Link Aggregation

     

     

    o

    o

     

     

    Photos

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    Flickr Aggregation

     

    *

    o

    o

     

     

    Videos

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

    YouTube Aggregation

     

    *

    o

    o

     

     

    Real-time Status

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

    Microblogging

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

    Real-time Chat

     

    o

    o

     

     

    Ajax Chat o

    AIAI Custom *

    Real-time Video

     

     

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

    Screencasting

     

     

     

     

     

    AIAI Custom *

    3D Meeting Space

     

     

     

     

    *

     

    Short-form URLs tr.im *
    Event Arrangements EventBrite *
    Authentication

    *

    OpenID o
    Polls & Event Feedback

    o

    o

    Doodle *

    Early Trials and Uses of VCE-0

    The VCE-0 facility has been used in early trials and community meetings as follows:

    Title:Workshop on Service Oriented Architecture for Analysis of Socio-Cultural Systems (SORASCS)
    Event Web Page:http://openvce.net/index.php/sorascs09
    Type:Workshop with Virtual World Linkup
    Dates:Monday May 4, 2009
    Location:Carnegie Mellon University and The Vue @Vue 3D Space
    Description:Whole of Society Crises Response (WoSCR) Community of Interest Workshop on Service Oriented Architecture for Analysis of Socio-Cultural Systems (SORASCS)
    Modalities:Real life workshop, virtual worlds linkup, Quicktime video stream, chat link up to contact in real workshop, Twitter status updates with tags #openvce
    Attendance:By invitation only
    Organizer:Prof. Kathleen Carley, CMU

    SORASCS09SORASCS09

    Title:OpenVCE MEET-1
    Event Web Page:http://openvce.net/index.php/meet-1
    Type:Virtual World Round Table Discussion
    Dates:Tuesday May 19, 2009
    Location:OpenVCE I-Room @ Informatics 3D Space
    Description:Workshop for OpenVCE team, WoSCR Program Managers and Key Collaborators to discuss initial VCE functionality and the platforms being explored to provide them.
    Modalities:Real life meeting place, virtual world round table area, Quicktime video stream, Twitter status updates with tag #openvce
    Attendance:By invitation only
    Organizer:Prof. Austin Tate, AIAI, University of Edinburgh

    MEET-1 MEET-1

    These events and the issues they raised will be more fully reported on in the first formal project report (REP-1).

    VIWS-0 Interim Events and Workshops

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverable: None
    • Due: 30-Aug-2009
    • Date: 28-Aug-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Technical POC: Sue Archer
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    No deliverable is planned for August 2009.  However, considerable work is underway on the OpenVCE project, on the OpenVCE.net web site and on the VCE region in Second Life. 

    OpenVCE Collaboration Facilities

    A new data base server (Linux OS, Intel quad core processor, plus RAID array disks) has been delivered and is in use in test mode ready to accept the increase in demand when the WoSCR community is invited to join OpenVCE.net.  Ot will also have a more reliable and regular, less manually backup process.

    Considerable experimentation with the use of social networking  features, and community activity awareness in OpenVCE.net and other platforms (such as Ning) has been in progress.

    Workshop, Meetings and Events

    A number of workshops and events already have been run, and preparations made for the VCE-LOE scenario-based limited objective experiment.

    Elements include:

    • Relay through OpenVCE facilities of SORASCS-09 event at CMU on 4th May 2009 - http://openvce.net/event/sorasc09
    • A series of technical meetings to have discussions and test technical collaboration facilities - MEET-1 to MEET-8 - http://openvce.net/openvce-meets
    • A tour of the VCE facilities in Second Life for USJFCOM and other participants  (25 in total) - http://openvce.net/vce-tour
    • Support for the JFL JOE Program.
    • Discussions of support for the Irregular Warfare Training Symposium in September 2009 - http://openvce.net/event-iwts09
    • Support for collaborative meetings for WoSCR community members.
    • Establishment of VATAR program for indiction events fro new avatars, and running first two events in series - http://openvce.net/vatar
    • A number of other tests, real meeting relays, and live streams of informal discussions.

    The SORASCS09 workshop on 4-May-2009 was in fact was the first workshop run on the VCE facilities or the WoSCR community and was in effect an early delivery of what was intended for VIWS-1 which is due at the end of September 2009. However, other events are under discussion such as IWTS09 and a possible WoSCR community workshop to brief the community on the projects and progress to date.

     

    REP-1 - OpenVCE Project Report 1

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverable: REP-1
    • Due: 30-Jun-2009
    • Date of Last Revision: 28-Jun-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.

    Focus of the Project

    The focus of the project is to create and make practical use of a generic virtual collaboration environment (VCE), which will include a virtual 3D collaboration space in a virtual world (VW) and a more traditional, “Web 2.0” collaboration site. Initially, this VCE will be developed for the PMESII Community of Interest (CoI) concerned with flexible situation analysis and decision making in the context of multi-agency, international crisis response events and missions.

    The specific virtual world platform employed will be representative of the current state-of-the-art, and be sufficiently open, accessible and available at low (or no) cost to its potential users. The environment should allow for a range of requirements to be studied, experimented with and reported upon. A range of “Web 2.0” collaboration tools are anticipated as being used in the website that is part of the VCE and these tools will be made accessible through the virtual (3D) collaboration space where appropriate, resulting in an integrated environment. Representative examples of such tools will be employed for the PMESII CoI VCE demonstrator, and the intention is not to develop new custom tools in this rapidly developing area.

    The project will be unclassified. Publications and no closed results are highly encouraged.

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

     

    Virtual World Platform Pre-commitment

    Over the last 2 years, the AIAI team has been evaluating a number of virtual world platforms specifically in the context of their potential for collaboration, support to training exercises, etc. The criteria considered, along with a range of other feature comparisons made by others, can be seen at http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/i-vw/eval.html. AIAI team members have gained experience by immersion in a number of the available platforms ranging from freely available open offerings through to expensive professional systems with considerable package content to support professional simulations. They have engaged with the development community for some of these platforms, and attended in-world events, workshops and trade conferences relating to the communities of suppliers and users. They have also had exchanges with companies and communities about to bring new richer virtual worlds to market in the coming year. They have experience though actual use, in some cases significant use, of:

    • Linden Labs Second Life
    • Open Source Opensim
    • RealXtend
    • Forterra OLIVE
    • Metaversum Twinity
    • MindArk Entropian Universe
    • There
    • Sony Home
    • Active Worlds
    • Kaneva
    • IMVU
    • A range of Flash-based virtual worlds
    • Lively by Google
    • Sun Microsystems Project Wonderland

    Some of these are proprietary and closed environments, with little or no content creation by a user allowed. Others support rich content generation both in external tools that have their results imported, and with internal tools. A number of these environments support standard collaboration tools such as chat/IM, VoIP, group management and permissions based on membership lists. Some have rich media facilities; others are intended for use alongside other tools that support such functionality. Some allow for rich 3D model import and export in a standards-based form; others use their own proprietary formats.

    This experience has indicated that, as of early 2009, a project that seeks to provide public space and flexibility can most easily be achieved on Second Life™, more specifically the Second Life Grid server and tools which underlay that service. This choice also fits well with availability and potential usefulness of an open source variant of the server which can be self hosted and run in both open and closed (behind firewall) environments, Opensim. Conveniently, some exchange of resources between these platforms is possible, and they can both be accessed through the same (open source) viewer which is itself cross platform and freely available.

    Thus, prior to the OpenVCE project starting, a pre-commitment to use Second Life (and Opensim) as the virtual word platform for the 3D aspect of the VCE has been made. The project will document its experience of seeking to meet the community’s requirements via these exemplar virtual worlds’ platforms and will note issues as they arise. The final report will document the fit of them to the requirements, and make recommendations for the future.

    Integration with Collaboration (Web 2.0) Style Tools

    Many of the requirements to support collaboration within the community relate to what are termed Web 2.0 tools, tools which allow for significant community content creation, review, comment and change. They include social networking, groupware, wikis, shared document repositories, and media sharing facilities. It is not the intention of this project to “reinvent the wheel” for such tools, but to show how they can be used successfully and productively alongside and from within the 3D virtual world as part of an integrated VCE. Accordingly, a number of such collaboration tools, representative of those that would be required in future environments, will be selected as the basis for this project.

    Under investigation was the potential utility and cost of using a commercial suite of tools to connect Second Life to Web 2.0 collaboration aids, rather than using freely available, but sometimes difficult to use and support, community tools. This route was not very promising and has now been abandoned in favour of an open solution.

    Current Selection of Functionality by Platform (Snapshot at 28-Jun-2009)

    Functionality, Platforms, and Choices - The table below gives an overview of the "Current Selection of Functionality by Platform" as a snapshot. This mapping may change. All the capabilities listed are enabled in the respective environments and can be accessed by direct links for experimentation, even if they are not currently chosen as the selected mechanism for OpenVCE.

    Initial custom selections from a range of platforms was replaced initially by a Joomla-based web portal, and the current facility as at the end of June 2009 is a Drupal-based web portal.

    * Selected Mechanism
    o Available on Platform

    Feature

    OpenVCE.net
    Joomla

    OpenVCE.net Drupal

    Ning Group Grou.ps Area Facebook

    Google or
    Yahoo Groups

    Second Life
    Opensim

    Others

     
    Member Profiles

    o

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Sub-groups

     

    *

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

     

    Forums

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Blogs

    o

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     
    Event Calendar

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    FAQ/Tutorials

    o

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Wiki

     

    * (Books)

     

    o

     

     

     

    MediaWiki o

     

    Resources

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Shared Links

    o

    *

     

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Link Aggregation

     

     

     

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Photos

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Flickr Aggregation

     

     

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Videos

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

    YouTube Aggregation

     

    *

    o

    o

    o

     

     

     

     

    Real-time Status

     

    * (+Twitter)

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

     

    Microblogging

     

    * (+Twitter)

     

     

     

     

     

    Twitter *

     

    Real-time Chat

     

     

    o

    o

     

     

     

    Custom *

    Ajax Chat o

     

    Real-time Video

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Custom *

     

    Screencasting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Custom *

    Adobe Connect o

     

    3D Meeting Space

     

     

     

     

     

     

    *

    Opensim o 

     
    Short-form URLs               tr.im *  
    Event Arrangements               EventBrite *  
    Authentication

    o

    * (+OpenId)           OpenID o  
    Polls & Event Feedback

    o

    o      

    o

     

    Custom *

    Doodle o

     

    Issues Arising from using VCE-0 and Means to Address Them

    • Lack of ability to install SL Viewer or VW software client and firewall issues, especially with real time streaming port 554. A range of backup and alternative access methods have been tried, some involving screen sharing and webcasting approaches.  Experience is being gained to adopt appropriate mechanisms for the OpenVCE framework and for use initially in VCE-1.
    • Pixel resolution on screen for in-world images in displays, streaming media resolution appropriate to content . Guidelines for OpenVCE meetings and meeting organizer protocols are under development.
    • Twitter status updates were not obvious, as there was no mechanism to draw a user's attention to them. Suggest new posts received are "said" on open chat. Give ability to turn off the feeds, and to turn on or instantly update them, rather than waiting for next timed update.
    • Audio loopback problems can occur in a number of situations, e.g. with Second Life voice. This is usually the problem of an open mic. Advice can be given and checks done. E.g. see the draft 3D space user advice page http://tr.im/slchecks
    • Audio loopback also occurred with the methods used to do meeting recoding via screencasting and Wirecast recording. A fix will be to not feed the live stream being recorded back into the meeting space.
    • If a speaker had problems with their SL voice input dropping out or stopping working, they sometimes would not know that themselves. Unless others told them. This is because users are unlikely to be focussing on their own avatar's SL voice indicators. A fix is to suggest active speakers bring up the small indicator window of "Active Speakers" next to the "click to speak" button in the SL Viewer. This shows if you are yourself broadcasting. A means to document this in the meeting and 3d space user support pages will be needed.
    • A way to assist users, and especially new users, to select suitable camera angles, or focus on specific screens, displays or in-world objects under discussion would be useful. Consider an "I-HUD"- perhaps associated with the "I-Tag" - to allow the current media feed, or specific in-world textures in posters, screens, etc (all displayed via changing the texture UUID of the HUD) without the user having to select specific camera positions or media screens.
    • A way to better inform external systems and meeting participants about the presence of an avatar, their position in the meeting space, and to provide access to the most common forms of information, such as real world persona and link to their user profile, could be useful. Consider an instrumented "I-Seat" connected to the I-X Services and I-Room helper.

    OpenVCE MEET-1

    The first project meeting in the virtual world was conducted on May 19, 2009. This was a workshop for the OpenVCE team, WoSCR program managers and key collaborators to discuss initial VCE functionality and the platforms being explored to provide them. This event made use of the VCE-0 interim Virtual Collaboration Environment on the "Virtual University of Edinburgh" SL island for a meeting on a topic of interest to the community. For more details see:

    http://openvce.net/event-openvce-meet1 or http://tr.im/vcemeet1

    The experience of the meeting was evaluated using a questionaire that is part of the collaboration website. Of the 10 participants present at the meeting in the virtual world, 50% completed the questionaire after the meeting, and all the respondents were quite experienced VW users.

    The only question on which there was complete agreement concerns the overall experience of the use of a virtual world for the meeting: all respondents felt this to be good.

    Answers to other questions were mixed, and given the small number of answers, they should not be over-interpreted. Concerning the meeting itself, the access to on-line material seemed to work well, whereas awareness of identity was an issue. Concerning technical facitities, participants seemed to like the video quality and chat facilities provided, and there are no aspects that stood out in a negative way.

    One remark from the comments section of the questionaire is also interesting: it was felt there was just too much to do as an event organizer, presumably distracting from the topic of the meeting.

    OpenVCE MEET-2 and MEET-3

    A number of other meetings have taken place in the OpenVCE 3D Space in Second Life and have been of a more technical nature, e.g. on 17th June and 23rd June, 2009.  These have tested in-world facilities, aspects of the web portal, backup modalities, and addressed issues of access through firewalls, etc.

    The main issue arising fro work to date has been access when in restrictive firewall locations, or when software such as the Second Life viewer cannot be installed. A number of alternative access and screencasting methods have been tried in these meeting to address this. Including using Harmonie Web's Adobe Connect mechanisms to screencast a view on it the 3D space, alongside a custom chat tool which can run in a browser and provide 2-2ay chat to the 3D space in Second Life.  A number of tests of this framework have been tried during June 2009.

    Task 2: Iterative Virtual Workshop Series (IVWS)

    A workshop series for the community will be designed and run to gather experience, to support the community as it forms, and to explore novel ways to interact. To gain experience, there have been early experiments in usig the VCE-0 facilities with two events: EIE09 and SORASCS09.

    EIE09 - 29th April 2009

    http://openvce.net/event-eie09 or http://tr.im/eie09

    Trial of the facilities in preparation for SORASCS09. Relay of invited talk by Guy Kawasaki in an Edinburgh event to a virtual audience. There were 25 virtual participants in total across the 2 sessions relayed into Second Life.

    SORASCS09 - 4th May 2009

    http://openvce.net/event-sorascs09 or http://tr.im/sorascs09

    Whole of Society Crises Response (WoSCR) Community of Interest Workshop on Service Oriented Architecture for Analysis of Socio-Cultural Systems (SORASCS) held at CMU on 4th and 5th May, 2009, with 3 sessions on 4th May being relayed into Second Life, and facilities available for Second Life audience to ask POC questions and give comments to main meeting. There were 19 virtual particiopants in total across the 3 sessions relayed into Second Life.

    SORASCS09 Event Information and Status Notification

    This tested a number of methods:

    1. Meeting registration and contact with attendees via EventBrite on http://eventbrite.com/
    2. Status updates via Twitter on http://twitter.com/ and using an in-world SLTweets HUD for avatars.

    Issues with the Twitter status mechanism included hitting a limitation on number of calls a single host can make to the information feed mechanism at Twitter.com, which leads to the feed being halted for a period. Improved ways to throttle the calls being made on such services have already been made, and clearer ways to indicate if and when any status feed is not updated will be required in future.

    SORASCS09 Event Logging

    This was itself an experiment using various commercially availlable and OpenVCE team provided faclities:

    1. Standard Second Life Viewer Chat Logs enabled on open chat via Edit -> Preferences -> Communication -> "Save a log of open chat on my computer".
    2. A2Z Labs Visit Counter to log avatar names and time spent in event zone.
    3. GPL Chat Logger to log open chat for avatars who specifically are asked for and give permision for logging to take place.
    4. OpenVCE I-Room Chat Logging Experiment.
    5. I-X I-Room Helper to allow for avatar presence notfication to external I-X web service, specific actions recording, etc.

    Note that some avatars "speak" in open chat, and are logged if they approved this, others choose to conduct 1-1 conversations in IM direct to the avatar and this private messaging is not logged. Conversations can end up mixed between open chat and private IMs. This is especially so where more experienced participants help newer ones. Hence some answers appear where questions are not posed.

    Chat logs may be too partial to be directly useful as a narrative, especially where voice, or real meeting link-ups are involved. But they can be useful to retrieve important resources such as links, mentions of names, contacts, projects, organisations, relationships, etc.

    SORASCS09 Event Management

    A number of methods were used to suport the event and test out ideas for the IVWS workshops and future events:

    1. Single stable URL with a clear description of event, all URLs, 3D Space location, current status, and POCs. Used before, during and for after event resources.
    2. Short URLs to allow easy communication with event particioants, in status feeds and for e-mails, chat, etc. using http://tr.im/
    3. Availability of a nominated virtual personality, Skye Gears, to assist event participants with setup or access problems, and to point at alternatives [problem, some people did not know if this was a real person or an AI-run "bot"]
    4. Backup 3D Spaces in the event of capacity overload (beyond 80 avatars or so) or problems with chosen 3D facility.
    5. Backup media feeds and other communication resources ready to go if there were problems in the main facilility.

    SORASCS09 After Event Questionnaire

    This was itself an experiment, and trying out mechanism for polling and seeking feedback after events. Various mechanisms were available and tried:

    • Joomla single choice poll directly in the http://openvce.net event web page
    • Inworld (Second Life) A2Z Labs Voting System
    • Yahoo group single choice and multiple selection polls
    • Doodle multiple choice polls via http://doodle.com/
    • Specific multiple choice questionnaires with PHP script handling of results to polls@openvce.net

    Questionnaire used:

    Q1: How much experience of Second Life have you had?

    1. Less than 1 week
    2. Less than 1 month
    3. Less than 3 months
    4. More than 3 months

    How well did the Virtual World facilities and features work for this event?

    [ N/A, 1=Poor, 2=Fair, 3=Good, 4=Excellent ]

    • Q2: Access to the Virtual World event and initial orientation.
    • Q3: Interaction with other avatars via text chat.
    • Q4: Interaction with other avatars via voice chat.
    • Q5: Audio relay of the event.
    • Q6: Video relay of the event.
    • Q7: Point-of-contact avatar for assistance with facilities.
    • Q8: Access to external information via in-world web links.
    • Q9: Event status displays (such as Twitter feeds).
    • Q10: Overall experience of using Virtual World facilities during the event.
    • Any other comments, issues or observations for the organizers of the event?

    Resuts page: http://openvce.net/alt/script/questionnaire-results.php (also snapshot shown below as at 12-May-2009 with 12 responses)

    Comments attached:

    • Very good session 1, video locked up once, and Second Life crashed once. Session 2 CourseCast was surprisingly good, but froze once, apparently due to video freeze at CMU feed end.
    • Just would be nice to have a more interactive experience within SL, and to have access to the digital briefs as we're watching them. That makes it easier to focus on what you want to take notes on... rather than copying the data from the slideshows.
    • currently working firewall issues. Hope to have resolved by 19 May 09.
    • This survey is a blunt instrument. who is the POC avatar? How should I have really known? Was it a person or an AI progam, or should I care? Overall, between 2 and 3 and better than nothing.
    • Nice start. I will say your website is busy and sometimes time consuming to find the link your looking for.
    • As I am an experienced user of SL facilities, this event demonstrated a very useful platform for remote meetings and interactions. Such facilities are especially crucial when there is real risk for pandemic of infectious diseases where face-to-face meetings with a large numbers of people from all over the world are generally avoided; while at the time, multi-modality (voice, text, graph, images and videos) information is vital to be shared instantly and constantly among relevant authorities, experts and practitioners. Such facilities are certainly a step towards the right direction for a greener planet - instance and rich information may be shared without having to travel.

    Related comments from Jeff Hansberger, after IAEM Swine Flu exercise (see below) on 5-May-2009:

    • There is a lot of individual variability regarding voice audio. For events and exercises where voice communication will be primarily used, I recommend we have a test room/s that must be passed through before attendees enter the primary meeting space. This test room would have one or more support folks to help people use voice, adjust settings, etc. and then provide access to the general meeting.
    • Interesting dynamic between voice and chat messages. Need a general protocol to guide when to use each?
    • Text on any slides should be very large and the amount of text should be kept at a minimum for individual slides.
    • With a lot of people in a room, the names of individual's over their avatar can obscure presentation areas (slides/video).

    SORASCS09 Event Issues, Lessons Learned and Suggestions

    The experience of supporting CMU for this event was useful, and led to a number of observations.

    1. If the 3D Space became unavailable (e.g. due to unforseen outage of the Linden Labs service for Second Life), backup locations or facilities would be needed, and easily switched to. This was in place in a simple way even for this early event.
    2. People struggle to get audio and video working, especially if they are new users, and need assistance to get things going quickly, or identify more serious firewall problems. The availability of a meeting support assitant avatar "Skye Gears" was intended to be a start on such support. Improvements in future could include improved web-based and in-world checklists and an "Event Reception" area to prequalify users and their avatars against key collaboration facilities (such as control of camera to look at objects/screens, ability to see streaming media and ability to use voice).
    3. In this event we used streaming media to show the real event slides, as well as the audience or speaker. Ways to present PowerPoint-style slide material easily is required, and for this to synchronise with a real meeting space may be needed.
    4. There is a need for improved event logging facilities, and ways to capture the meetingn in a more useful form for later analysis, sharing and replay.
    5. Improved polling and after event questionnairs are needed, and for these to generate data in a form more easily suited to immediate presentation and later analysis.
    6. A way to tie real user names to avatar names in such collaborative meetings is needed. This is especially improtant for meeting organizers, and those linking the real and virtual participants to relay questions, etc.

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Limited Objective Experiment (VCE-LOE)

    Possible Scenarios

    The idea behind the scenario-based Limited Objective Experiment is to stress the community with a representative real word critical emergency response problem.The first step of this task is the selection of an appropriate scenario for the experiment. Currently, there are five scenarios under consideration:

    • Operation Able Sword - a training scenario used within USJFCOM/JPRC's PRETC in Fredericksburg, based in Tunisia and the surrounding region with diplomatic aspects relating to Tunisia's neighbours and Italy. Materials and permission to use these for research are already with the research team.
    • Pacifica - an island scenario with humanitarian or emergency response elements, already used within COMPOEX, DARPA, USAF and other programmes, and in recent research funded by the Army Research Labs at Fort Monmouth relating to mobile vehicles, UAVs and monitoring of an area under an emergency.
    • Binni - a multinational peacekeeping operation set in the Red Sea area in 2011 at a time of local conflict over resources in an area that is increasing in productivity due to climate change.  The scenario was created for multinational research by The Technical Co-operation Program (TTCP http://www.dtic.mil/ttcp/) between the Governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States who actively pursue international research collaboration on a broad range of topics of military interest. Technical Panel 9 (TP9) Command and Control (C2) Systems Applications within TTCP C3I Group encouraged the work which also involved a broad range of other agencies, organisations and academics. More details at http://binni.org.
    • Operation Unified Assistance - elements of military support to the humanitarian efforts relating to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Data was captured and made available to the research community by the 33-nation Multinational Planning Augmentation Team (MPAT).
    • Swine Flu Exercise - a scenario based on one originally developed by RAND Corporation for management of pandemics.  It was used during the "1st International Virtual Emergency Exercise" taking place at a Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) facility created in Second Life. The scenario was developed for the training of emergency managers and deals with a swine flu outbreak in a fictitious city (in the virtual world).

    The WoSCR OpenVCE team are engaged in trials of scenario based virtual exercises in Second Life and other virtual worlds such as Forterra OLIVE. They were participants and observers in the "1st International Virtual Emergency Exercise" taking place on 5th May 2009 at the Disaster and Emergency Management (DEM) facility created in Second Life by Ali Asgary and his team at York University, Toronto, Canada. The exercise was organized by the Emergency Management Program at York University and supported by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) in Canada. The exercise involved role play in a simulation of the handling of a Swine Flu (Influenza A H1N1) outbreak in a region. It made use of a tabletop simuilation exercise for pandemic influenza preparedness in local health agencies (RAND Technical Report 319) created by RAND Corporation in 2006.

    More details in the Exercise Flyer [PDF Format]. Screen videos of the exercise are at: http://www.yorku.ca/cst/zDEMmovies-temp/

    This exercise was used to elicit ideas for VCE-LOE later in the OpenVCE project work.

    Selection Criteria

    To choose between these possible scenarios a number of criteria are relevant.

    From the SOW: The problem must engage a diverse audience to include experts from the security, social science, humanitarian relief, training, logistics, policy, strategic engagement, and industry domains. While an experiment like this could be used by DoS, Industry, NGO's, or, multinational organization, this LOE will focus on how the intelligence, operations, and requirements cells within a Joint Task Force will access and engage such a community to come up with a "whole of society" approach to the problem vs. a military only solution. One approach may be to separate two "JTF" cells to assess the final solution, increase in communication, and/or type of people engaged.

    From this it is clear that a main criterion for scenario selection must be the possibility to engage community members with different backgrounds, the scenarios should involve a political, military, economic, social, information and infrastructure element. Operation Able Sword involves different aspects, but the focus is clearly on the military operation and integrating all PMESII elements might be difficult, especially because the current SAR tasks are relatively small scale. The Pacifica scenario is more open allowing for an easier integration.  Binni and Operation Unified Assistance could involve the whole spectrum of the PMESII elements. The same is probably true for the swine flu scenario.

    Another important criterion is the potential for escalation: ideally the LOE should show how the analysis of the situation in terms of the PMESII elements can avoid an escalation that might otherwise occur. This is an escalation in the military sense, eventually leading to force on force battles. As the latter two scenarios, Unified Assistance and swine flu, are about humanitarian missions, the potential for military escalation is rather limited. It could be possible to engineer a military conflict into such a scenario though, e.g. around a facrtory that produces anti-viral drugs. Pacifica was not designed for force on force scenarios either, but could be extended. Operation Able Sword, where SAR mssions are involved, can lead to complications especially on neutral territory. The scenario that most naturally has a potential for escalation is Binni, where there are many opportunities for increased regional tension between the countries directly involved in the conflict, and their neighbouring regions, where many regional and cultural issues can arise.

    Form a developer perspective, an important aspect is the availability of suitable scenario resources. The aim here should be to reuse existing material to avoid unnecessary work. A lot of material is available to AIAI on the first scenario, which has been made available to AIAI during the work with PRETC on the IBC/COMPOEX Co-OPR project. While this material is not restricted, is was not intended for free distribution either. This should not be a problem for the current project, however. The Pacifica scenario was developed at AIAI and all background material is freely available. The scenario is based on a fictional island, but was developed from a real world scenario.  It involved a team of civilian and military subject matter experts, US government labs, companies and academics under the leadership of AIAI. The Binni material is openly available specificlaly for projects such as this one, and is available at http://binni.org . The material on Unified Assistance stems from real sources collected during the unfolding of the Indian Ocean tsunami. Material for a swine flu scenario is not based on real data but RAND Corporation have provided material to use in such exercises. Similar events (e.g. Spanish flu) have taken place, and a lot of material is available in the form of emergency response plans generated by various public bodies.

    Another criterion that might be considered is whether the scenario is set in an existing place. This will allow general web-resources such as, for example, the CIA world factbook to be used in an exercise, adding to the realism. 

    Plans for next period (July and August 2009)

    The main focus for work in the next reporting period is on:

    • design and build of the Virtual Collaboration Environment version 1 (VCE-1 ) which also involves bringing the newly developed Second Life region "VCE" into use;
    • preparation for the first Virtual Interative Workshop Series (VIWS-1) involving a number of preparatory activities and test events for that;
    • these also will involve a gradual build up of links to the WoSCR community beyond the 20 or so people currently involved, as sufficient functionality can be provided to be attractive and potentially useful to new entrants; and
    • the scenario to be used for the LOE series will be selected and developed, which will itself involve a number of meetings with OpenVCE project and WoSCR community members using the VCE facilities in a test mode.

    VCE-1

    The Second Life island "VCE" is already available, and an initial mockup design has been established to help indentify requirements and look at scale of buildings, etc.

    The current requirements are listed at: http://openvce.net/vce-island-plan

    For the in-world assets, the aim is to have a set that can be given away in a box to anyone, and will give all the assets, textures, scripts, etc. with full permissions, along with web server side components (Apache, PHP, MySQL compatible) as hooks to richer (to be developed) services.  

    We are going to use a version 2 of the open source Clever Zebra assets in world in joint development work now underway with Clever zebra.  A review of their current assets is at:

    http://openvce.net/openvce-dev-clever-zebra-assets-review 

    LOE

    The current report lists a set of candidate scenarios and some criteria for selection. The next step has to be a discussion with project sponsors as to whether they feel all the criteria are appropriate and what additional features they would like to see in the scenario if any. This discussion should be at the beginning of the next reporting period in order to make sure that the initial scenario can be developed. A preliminary LOE involving some SMEs could be conducted end of July and the first LOE can be conducted (with a small number of users initially) towards the end of the reporting period.

    VCE-1 - Virtual Collaboration Environment - 1

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverable: VCE-1
    • Due: 31-July-2009
    • Date: 30-July-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Technical POC: Sue Archer
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    VCE-1 is intended as the virtual collaboration environment that will support initial experimentation for the WoSCR community. It builds on the VCE-0 temporary facilities which provided early access to meeting and collaboration spaces for the WoSCR community and OpenVCE project managers, collaborators and team and managers.  The experimentation and trial of a number of facilities and platforms that  led up to VCE-1 are described in earlier deliverables:

    The Virtual Collaboration Envioronment consists of five elements:

    1. A web site and capabilities to support community social networking and collaboration.
    2. Facilities in a virtual world to meet in "3D space".
    3. Mechanisms to access the collaboration space and recordings of events via alternative and backup means.
    4. Protocols, processes and tips to get the best use out of the facilities.
    5. Resources for the OpenVCE and its communities of interest.

    All elements are present in VCE-1, can be used immediately, and will now be further refined in the light of experience in productive use.

    VCE-1 Web Site

    The web element is based on Drupal, the open source content management system, following experimentation with Joomla, and a range of social networking sites such as Ning, Grou.ps, Facebook, Google Groups and Yahoo groups.  See http://openvce.net/more for a full description of the many experiments and platforms surveyed, tested and compared.

    Further experimentation continues with collaborative faclilities to augment the current set up.  This includes experimentation with Moodle/Sloodle for improved and flexible presentation methods linking the web with the 3D space.

    3D Space

    The 3d space facilities initially use Second Life but are designed to be easily ported to a self hosted and potentially firewalled Opensim setup, and with more work could be used in other virtual worlds.   

    Some of the key Second Life (and Opensim) in world facilities build upon existing open source assets available from Clever Zebra, and with their support a new set of adaptable assets has been created and made available in open source under the flexible Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL).  The development process for these assets in conjunction with the OpenVCE project team is described at http://openvce.net/vce-island-plan along with a series of plans, maps and designs shown there. 

    The in-world elements consist of:

    1. Central Plaza - with status feeds, info and new screens, etc for community.
    2. Orientation Area - to assist new users.
    3. Venue for lecture theatre style events for 50-100 avatars + 3 sim extension to add a further 100-200 users in the audience.
    4. Expo Pavilion - with showcase of COMPOEX and other PMESII/WoSCR relevant tools.
    5. I-Zone -  for WoSCR experimentation and brainstorming stye meetings. This is based on a larger version of AIAI's I-Room. A second I-Zone building can quickly be placed on the VCE region to allow a capability for two experimental groups, perhaps using alternative collaboration methods which are being compared. See http://openvce.net/izone
    6. Project suites for collaborators such as ARL (Jeff Hansberger and Tim Bacon), Perigean Technologies (Brian Moon) and David Fliesen (USJFCOM Joint Futures Group Joint Operating Environment program).

    A number of capabilities have been provided to enrich the links between the web and the 3D Space elements of the VCE:

    • An "I-Tag" that can be worn by avatars in Second Life and which links to the Drupal web portal user profile.  This can help link real and virtual personas in collaborations, and opens up a range of ways in which experimentation instrumentation, recording, feedback and other things can be done.  See http://openvce.net/itag
    • Improved mechanism for uploading a presentation (such as from PowerPoint via PDF) and quickly making it available to shared screens in Second Life.  See http://openvce.net/presenter
    • A way to link a web chat tool to chat in the Second Life 3D Space.  See http://openvce.net/isay

    Alternative Access and Event Recording

    Using Wirecast screencasting and a Quicktime Steaming Service (via University of Edinburgh or commercial services) and Adobe Connect (via Harmonie Web or University of Edinburgh Adobe Connect Servers).  See http://openvce.net/3d-space-alt and http://openvce.net/3d-space-hw

    Example recordings and other media for OpenVCE events can be found in after events materials on the various event web pages.

    At the suggestion of Jeff Hansberhger, BBN conducted a test of their AMC Speech to text converter to see how it could support VCE experimentation and workshops.  The OpenVCE project produced audio files for OpenVCE MEET-4 and MEET5, and the results created by Ehry MacRostie at BBN are available at http://openvce.net/resources/audio/ . The transcriptions produced by BBN are available in the after events materials for OpenVCE MEET-4 (http://openvce.net/event-openvce-meet4) and MEET-5 (http://openvce.net/event-openvce-meet5).

    Protocols, Procedures and Tips

    A range of procedures have been developed to set up and run events, and to advise community group managers and event organizers and attendees on ways to interact and use the faclities.  See http://openvce.net/sop and http://openvce.net/faq for more details.  These will be significantly extended and experimented with in the next phase of the project with guidance and protocol design by Rob Cross at the Univesity of Virginia. 

    OpenVCE Resources

    A range of graphic materials, including logos, icons, artwork and style sheets have been produced.  Details at:

    http://openvce.net/resources/images/logos/openvce/

    Demonstration Event

    On 30-July-2009, a presentation showing the VCE-1 and the current state of work on the project was given to aproxiamtely 25 members of USJFCOM and EUCOM via Second Life, HarmonieWeb Adiobe Connect, and through makimg available a video tour of the facilities:

     

    Next Steps

    • Preparations for VIWS-1
    • Preparation of the Expo Pavilion with PMESII-related tool and model providers
    • Support to NATO, ARL, USJFCOM/J9 and Joint Futures Lab events and meetings as possible
    • Support for a growing number of WoSCR community users and encouragement to enter and use VCE
    • Work on scenario selection for VCE-LOE, along with initial experiments and instrumentation trials
    • Continued work on the OpenVCE.net web side, presentation routes, improved links between web and virtual world (I-Tag), etc.

     

    VIWS-1 - Virtual Iterative Workshop Series - 1 - Notes

    The Venue @ VCE

    Meeting on 28-Sep-2009 - More details at http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-1

    Notes are retained here for ideas that led up to the running of the workshop, and which could be useful for future workshops.

    VIWS Proposed Topics

    Topics for first or subsequent workshops that have been proposed include:

    1. Briefing on social networking platform features (SP?)
    2. Briefing on virtual world platform features (SP?)
    3. Briefing on features of crisis and emergency response networks such as ISCRAM, SAHANA, PKSOI (GW?)
    4. Panel discussion: What functionality is needed specifically for the WoSCR VCE? (JH, TB, AT, +?)
    5. Cognitive work analysis to help guide what functions should be provided in the 2D portal and how best to organize them (JH)
    6. COMPOEX Decision Support Tool Showcase: each decision-support tool "feed" could be displayed simultaneously in the environment and a presentation made by owners/participants (avatars). In this way, the participating workshop members could simultaneously compare these to help determine those with the greatest degree of centrality (WoSCR/COMPOEX/PMESII participants) [suggestion by Randy Garrett]
    7. An issue that would be enticing to both the modeling and simulation community and the WoSCR community and of interest to the COMPOEX prpgram participants is: "What is the right level for building a computational mode in the WoSCR domain?" (JH, Ed Waltz. BAe Systems).
    8. Paul Bonney suggested a workshop to reach a consensus on Subject Matter Expert (SME) criteria. Many projects (inc. ACSA) are predicated on Subject Matter Experts (SME’s). However, what is an SME?  Is selection and self-declaration in “The Brain” valid, verifiable, and reliable? How would a non-expert (crisis response action/project officer focused on a specific situation w/o the time nor the interest in increased situational understanding) quickly know who to trust and which opinions are best?  Luckily, SL’s virtual nature highlights the question of trust that is to easily downplayed in the real world and offers additional capabilities to evaluate trust. It may be worthwhile to have a workshop to reach a consensus on what are the criteria for an SME,  the appropriate role of  the CoI wrt an SME, coupling traditional criteria and “user” feedback to SNA Perhaps each avatar could be tied to the “BRAIN” and as SL participation/experience and expertise evolves dynamically the avatar (his appearance?) would gain/loose stature (titles, cords, medals, etc).

    Proposed September 2009 Event

    A simple community update event in VCE about 2 hours long.

    Invite people in and get them used to the social network side and a few trail events to get them used to their avatars before they meet together.

    Invitation could maybe go to those who took the trouble to register on Catalyst.. which is about 200-300 at August 2009 of the 1600 mailing list for WoSCR community held by USJFCOM.

    Agenda could be:

    1. Introduction by Tim Bacon/Jeff Hansberger on WoSCR community and elements of the project - basically brief the Cmap of the program.
    2. CMU briefing on status of Catalyst DB/The Brain, show a use or two, take questions, and then say what the next steps are.
    3. Tour of VCE Expo, show COMPEX tools and other PMESII analysis related tools perhaps with Simulex involved manning their area to engage with audience.
    4. Next stages of the VCE, Protocol work, etc.  mention of forthcoming experimentation, and call to community for engagement. Tim bacon and Jeff Hansberger.

    Expo Pavilion

    Showcase of COMPOEX and other PMESII related programs, resources and tools with posters for some (linked to external information URL) and richer experience/display stand for others. Possibility of a live link to run or use the tool and present some result in a web page or even in world if posible.

    Lead Up Experiments and Trials

    • 3D Space meeting to collaborate while modifying a joint community document (e.g. add a column for a new platform to a table of features such as at http://openvce.net/index.php/more
    • 3D Space meeting to collaborate while usign a web based multi=-user concept mapping tol (such as IHMC CMaas and/or web-versions of Open University Compendium and Cohere: http://cohereweb.net).
    • Webcast trial to establish easy route from Powerpoint or OpenOffice docuent to a web accessible image format presentable copy, which can the be webcast by a speaker into a single URL for use in any browser or on media screens in Second Life or Opensim. See demos:
    • Screencast tests for windows and full screens from PC and Mac at various resolutions (at elast 1024x768 to be tred) and with various client numbers (up to limits foreseen for VIWS-1 at least - possibly 50)

     

    Notes on Open University Tools

    Open University's Compendium, ClaiMaker (and the web 2.0 prototype OU are now developing Cohere: http://cohereweb.net) are tuned to support deliberation and debate when there are different views of the world we want to capture, not just one map of the world.

    Compendium also supports node tagging and in particular, the (Ted Nelson) hypertext concept of transclusions: same node viewable and editable in multiple views, which is very useful for modelling entities from different perspectives or having them connected into different conversations.

    The IBIS/QOC language in use can be applied to any discussion, but can be used to scaffold a methodology, as in the IBC/COMPOEX project Co-OPR, which raises specific kinds of Qs/Os and Cs.

    Compendium is LGPL open source, has a Java library of classes for external apps to read/write directly (used in NASA applications) and exports XML (and in some projects RDF).

    REP-2 - OpenVCE Project Report 2

     

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverables: REP-2 and VIWS-1
    • Due: 30-Sep-2009
    • Date of Last Revision: 29-Sep-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    The Virtual Collaboration Environment has now been put into active use for the community.  This report lists some of the achievements in the period, and formally reports the completion of the deliverables REP-2 and VIWS-1.

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    The 3D space on the VCE region in Second Life is now well developed, and can be considered stable to support the work program. A map is shown here:

    A number of buildings are available and have been released in open source in collaboration with Clever Zebra:

    The assets include:

    • Central Plaza
    • Orientation Area
    • Amphitheatre (configurable for 1-4 sims)
    • Breakout Rooms
    • Expo Pavilion
    • Large Project Room
    • Small Project Room
    • HQ Building
    • Box of Landscaping Elements
    • Box of Textures
    • Box of Orientation Signs

    I-Rooms/I-Zones

    We have also provided two "I-Zones" - two storey building with central area and 4 work zones, designed for collaborative and brain storming style meetings. They can be used as an operations center also. Plenty of wall space for displays and gadgets. Each of the 4 corners can easily be converted to a small two storey block, or a larger double height block. The I-Room style buildings are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, The University of Edinburgh.

    Joint Operating Environment (JOE) GeoDome

    We have continued to support David Fliesen of the Joint Futures laboratory, USJFCOM in his work on using Virtual Spaces to support the JOE community. In return, he has been most helpful in developing a number of elements of the VCE and OpenVCE.net platform, including graphic design elements.

    Open Source Systems and 3D Spaces

    Work has begun on the initial Opensim (http://opensimulator.org) 3D space that will offer facilities for collaboratiive 3D spaces that can be self hosted, and can potentially be used behind firewalls or with levels of security that cannot be offered by commercial services such as Linden Lab's Second Life.

    NATO Event

    Elements of the OpenVCE.net screen presentation system were used to support an event run within Second Life on 22nd to 24th September 2009 for the NATO Modeling and Simulation Working Group 078.  See http://openvce.net/event-nato-mswg078-2009 

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    Virtual Iterative Workshop Series Workshop 1

      

    VIWS-1 took place on 28th September 2009 using the amphitheatre area of the VCE region in Second Life and Harmonie Web Adobe Connect.  The event setup, booking (using EventBrite), status and reporting facilities of the web collaboration portal were used. For more details of the event and a full recording of it, see  http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-1

    38 people registered for the event, with 20 attending in Second Life and 14 on Adobe Connect.  There was overlap of 2 people in both groups.

    OpenVCE Team Meetings - MEET-4 to MEET-11

    A variety of OpenVCE Team meetings involving the project managers at USJFCOM/J9/ARL and other WoSCR program participants have taken place.  Each has tested and driven the further refinement of the technical collaboration facilities on the web collaboration portal and in the 3D space.  For more information see http://openvce.net/openvce-meets 

    VATAR and Expo Tours

    Events to support the community have now begun on a regular basis.  See http://openvce.net/vatar and http://openvce.net/expo-tour

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Limited Objective Experiment (VCE-LOE)

    Preliminary discussions have taken place to prepare for the scenario driven experimentation.  A Swine Flu scenario has been selected by the program managers for these experiments.   The I-Zones on the VCE region in Second Life and the facilities and collaboration portal linkups within them have been prepared to allow for these experiments.

    Plans for Next Period (October 2009 to December 2009)

    The main focus for work in the next reporting period is on:

    • A further workshop for the WoSCR community planned for 15th October 2009 to discuss the VCE facilities and get feedback on what is required - see http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-2
    • A third workshop on 28th October 2009 as an introduction to and lead in to the scenario based series of experiments that will take place from November 2009 through February 2010.
    • Continued support to the community of interest to encourage and support their trials with virtual worlds and virtual collaboration environments.
    • Initial work on the open source Opensim environment which can be used by the WoSCR community as an alternative to the commercially-available Linden Labs Second Life virtual world.
    • Selection of the facilities to be provided in the collaboration portal element of OpenVCE.net, and refinement of them to meet community requirements.
    • Refinement of the visual appearance of http://openvce.net collaboration portal, by trying out and adapting Drupal themes.
    • Collaboration with CMU to experiment with a demonstration of a link between the 3D space and the Catalyst/The Brain survey data base.
    • Collaboration with Rob Cross at the University of Virginia on the Virtual Collaboration Protocol and experiments with OpenVCE.net facilities to support such standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols for distributed collaboration.

     

    VCE-2 - Virtual Collaboration Environment - 2

     

    • OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE
    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118

     

    • Deliverables: VCE-2
    • Due: 31-Oct-2009
    • Date of Last Revision: 29-Oct-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    Workshops for the Whole of Society Crises Response (WEoSCR) community have started.  We are ahead of schedule on VIWS-2 which was delivered on 15-Oct-2009 rather than by 31-Dec-2009.  A third extra workshop, VIWS-3 was delivered on 28-Oct-2009.  VCE-2, which provided the initial Drupal CMS web-based Collaboration Portal and the Second Life based 3D Space has been used and refined during these workshops.

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    As reported at the end of September 2009, the 3D space on the VCE region in Second Life is now well developed, and can be considered stable to support the work program. Developments continue with improved ways to blog, micro-blog (Twitter) and link between the collaboration portal and the virtual world.

    Focus has shifted in the last month to refinement of the Collaboration Portal elements of the VCE.  In particular, a more selective approach has been taken to the facilities on show to normal users (whether guests not logged in, or community members after login).  More facilities are exposed to administrators and "group leaders".  The content available is as follows:

    • Blog – personal web log
    • Forum – threaded discussion within community
    • Wiki – community knowledge creation and refinement
    • Event – a description of a timed event or meeting
    • Resources - share Files, Images and Videos
    • Book Page – edited content and index pages (change by admins and group leaders only)
    • Comment – can be added to most elements
    • More – Use the menu links to access further content such as groups, book pages and polls

    Content is being added to link facilities in the Collaboration Portal to the elements and activities within the Virtual Collaboration Protocol (VCP) that is being defined by Rob Cross at the University of Virginia.  See http://openvce.net/sop-vcp-collaborate

    An initial demonstration facility has been created to show how the CMU Catalyst WoSCR community data base and "The Brain" visualizer can be used within the OpenVCE.net framework.  Within this, a web service made available by Frank Kunzel using CMU's Catalyst services has been created and opened to calls from OpenVCE.net which allows selection of one of a set of areas of expertise available within the Catalyst data base, and subsequent lookup of people in the data base who have that expertise. See http://openvce.net/catalyst

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    Virtual Iterative Workshop Series Workshop 2

    VIWS-2 took place on 15th October 2009 using the amphitheatre area of the VCE region in Second Life and Harmonie Web Adobe Connect.  The event setup, booking (using EventBrite), status and reporting facilities of the web collaboration portal were used. For more details of the event and a full recording of it, see:

    http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-2

    The event specifically described the current VCE-2 facilites and planned developments.  The full PowerPoint briefings is available at:

    http://openvce.net/sites/default/files/WoSCR-VIWS2-Part3-VCE-Tate.ppt

    43 people registered for the event, with at least 23 attending in Second Life and at least 15 on Adobe Connect. 

      

    Virtual Iterative Workshop Series Workshop 3

    VIWS-3, a smaller event for people interested in the planned VCE experimentation, took place on 28th October 2009 using the amphitheatre area of the VCE region in Second Life and Harmonie Web Adobe Connect.  The event setup, booking (using EventBrite), status and reporting facilities of the web collaboration portal were used. For more details of the event and a full recording of it, see:

    http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-3

    The event specifically described the planned Swine Flu scenario-based experiment series, now to be known and the Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE). 

    11 people originally registered for the event, 11 attended in Second Life and 4 via Adobe Connect. 

     

    OpenVCE Team Meetings - MEET-12 to MEET-14

    OpenVCE Team meetings involving the project managers at USJFCOM/J9/ARL and other WoSCR program participants have taken place.  Each has tested and driven the further refinement of the technical collaboration facilities on the web collaboration portal and in the 3D space.  For more information see:

    http://openvce.net/openvce-meets 

    VATAR and Expo Tours

    Events to support the community have now begun on a regular basis.  See:

    http://openvce.net/vatar and http://openvce.net/expo-tour

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Limited Objective Experiment (VCE-LOE)

    VIWS-3 was used to brief the potential participants and wider WoSCR community on the plans for the experiment series - now to be known as the Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE). A Swine Flu scenario has been selected by the program managers for these experiments.   The I-Zones on the VCE region in Second Life and the facilities and collaboration portal linkups within them are being prepared to allow for these experiments.

    Plans for Next Period (November 2009 to December 2009)

    The main focus for work in the next reporting period is on:

    • Planning for and support to the scenario-based Limited Objective Experiments. An initial experiment will be carried out usig OpenVCE.net team members and others involved already.  This will check the approach and pave the way for experiments planned for January and February 2010.
    • Refinement of the facilities to be provided in the collaboration portal element of OpenVCE.net to meet community requirements and deal with community feedback.
    • Refinement of the visual appearance of http://openvce.net collaboration portal, by trying out and adapting Drupal themes.
    • Continued collaboration with CMU to experiment with a demonstration of a link between the 3D space and the Catalyst/The Brain survey data base. see http://openvce.net/catalyst
    • Collaboration with Rob Cross at the University of Virginia on the Virtual Collaboration Protocol and experiments with OpenVCE.net facilities to support such standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols for distributed collaboration. See http://openvce.net/sop-vcp-collaborate
    • Continued support to the community of interest to encourage and support their trials with virtual worlds and virtual collaboration environments.
    • Initial work on the open source Opensim environment which can be used by the WoSCR community as an alternative to the commercially-available Linden Labs Second Life virtual world, potentially for behind the firewall and secure uses. 

    REP-2A - Project Report 2A

    OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE

    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118
    • Deliverables: None Due
    • Due: 30-Nov-2009
    • Date of Last Revision: 27-Nov-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents, Laurel Allender, Chuck Elder, William Kirby
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This is an interim report in a month when no formal deliverable is due.  Note that several deliverables are ahead of schedule.  For convenience, this report documents some of the main work items that have been progressed in the last month.

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    As reported previously, we are ahead of schedule on VIWS-2 which was delivered on 15-Oct-2009 rather than by 31-Dec-2009. 

    The experiment plans have been changed at the request of the project managers to include experiments in February and March 2010. Proposed dates for the events are now listed at:

    http://openvce.net/event-woscr-list

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    As reported previously, the 3D space on the VCE region in Second Life is now reasonably stable, and in regular use for project and community meetings.

    An initial version of the 3D OpenVCE.net assets has been ported by Clever Zebra and the OpenVCE.net team into Opensim, and made available as an "Opensim Archive" (OAR) file which can be freely downloaded and used by Opensim users.  See

    http://openvce.net/vwassets

    A region called "NewVCE" has been made available in cooperation with the Opensim-based "New World Grid" and should be available for 2 years in the first instance.  This can be accessed for Opensim trials and evaluation use and for experiments by all WoSCR community and OpenVCE.net users.  It initially contains the OpenVCE.net 3D assets. see image above. This region will be made similar to the Second Life VCE region shortly, and provided with the same types of meeting spaces, project suites and two experiment support "I-Rooms".

    The OpenVCE I-Zone/I-Room facilities have been entered into the US Army Research Labs sponsored Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge.  This is principally to promote the OpenVCE project, the assets available and to encourage use across the US government in future.  See the OpenVCE I-Room entry at:

    http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom 

    Experiments with alternative "Themes" for the Drupal-based web collaboration portal have been progressing.  A custom theme that is very adaptable (based on the "Zen" theme for Drupal) has been used.  See image here:

    This two column layout is more in style with the suggestions for the collaboration portal areas proposed by Jeff Hansberger in his design inputs, and which respect the Cognitive Work Analysis he has conducted for the work.

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    As previously noted, VIWS-2 and VIWS-3 have already been completed. A suggestion has been made from the OpenVCE project team that a final "VIWS-4" workshop for the WoSCR community be held near the end of the project period.

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) - Limited Objective Experiment (previously VCE-LOE)

    A Swine Flu scenario has been selected by the program managers for these experiments.   The two I-Zones on the VCE region in Second Life and two concurrent use experimental versions of the web collaboration portal are being prepared for the experiments.

    On the technical side, the deployment of dedicated VCE sites for VCEE purposes has been investigated. The XAMPP package for conveniently and quickly installing an Apache web-server and associated technologies (MySQL, PHP, etc) on a Windows PC has been used to provide a base for the Drupal site (note that version 1.7.2 of XAMPP does not work with the current version of Drupal - there is an incompatibility with the bundled version (5.3) of PHP; use version 1.7.1 instead). A snapshot (consisting of a copy of the website files and a dump of the database content) of the 'live' OpenVCE site (i.e., openvce.net, including wiki) is then installed on the PC, and can be configured as appropriate for the experiment (by, for example, using the alternative theme described above). Deployment of VCE sites in this fashion can be done in a relatively short time (a matter of hours).

    At the time of writing it is proposed to deploy a separate site for each team participating in the VCEE; this should both prevent 'contamination' of the live site, and confusion between content developed by the different teams, as well as facilitating the collection of data (the site can be restricted to use only by team members, and can be taken off-line at the end of the experiment to preserve the data for later analysis). However, we would still need to determine the initial state of this site - that is, what content is provided, and equally important, what content is removed from the live site.

    Plans for Next Period (December 2009)

    The main focus for work in the next reporting period is on:

    • Planning for and support to the scenario-based Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) with an initial run through to test facilities by the project managers, OpenVCE.net team and active VCE project collaborators initially in December 2009.  This will check the approach and pave the way for the main experiments planned for January and February 2010.
    • Continued refinement of the visual appearance of http://openvce.net collaboration portal, by trying out and adapting the 2 column Drupal theme.
    • Collaboration with Rob Cross at the University of Virginia on the Virtual Collaboration Protocol and experiments with OpenVCE.net facilities to support such standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols for distributed collaboration. See http://openvce.net/sop-vcp-collaborate
    • Continued support to the community of interest to encourage and support their trials with virtual worlds and virtual collaboration environments.
    • Continued work on the open source Opensim environment which can be used by the WoSCR community as an alternative to the commercially-available Linden Labs Second Life virtual world, potentially for behind the firewall and secure uses. 

     

     

    VIWS-2 - Virtual Iterative Workshop Series - 2

    OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE

    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118
    • Deliverables: VIWS-2
    • Due: 31-Dec-2009
    • Date of Last Revision: 18-Dec-2009
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents, Laurel Allender, Chuck Elder, William Kirby
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    As reported previously, we delivered VIWS-2 (and an extra VIWS-3) ahead of schedule. 

    The experiment plans have been changed at the request of the project managers to include experiments in January and February 2010, with an initial test by VCE collaborators and OpenVCE.net team members to test the current virtual collaboration protocol and experimental facilities in December 2009. Planned dates for the experimental events are listed at:

    http://openvce.net/event-woscr-list

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    As reported previously, the 3D space on the VCE region in Second Life is now stable and in regular use for project and community meetings.

    The OpenVCE assets created by Clever Zebra and AIAI have been ported to Opensim, made available for download by others as an "Opensim Archive" (OAR) and established as the "NewVCE" region in the Opensim-based New World Grid, which already makes an open source software-based virtual collaboration environment 3D space available to the WoSCR community.

    As mentioned previously, the OpenVCE I-Zone/I-Room facilities have been entered into the US Army Research Labs sponsored Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge (FVWC).  An entry has also now been made into the 2010 Linden prize, for innovative work in virtual worlds that has an impact in the real world. These efforts are principally to promote the OpenVCE project, the assets available, and to encourage use across the US government in future.  See the OpenVCE I-Room entires for the FVWC and the 2010 Linden prize at:

    Experiments with alternative "Themes" for the Drupal-based web collaboration portal have been progressing. The two-column layout style adopted is more in line with the suggestions for the collaboration portal areas proposed by Jeff Hansberger in his design inputs, and which respect the Cognitive Work Analysis (CWA) he has conducted for the work.

    As shown above, the CWA-inspired two-column layout, and a focus on activity support for teams using the virtual collaboration protocol, has been used on limited access experimental sites (easdale.aiai.ed.ac.uk and grimsay.aiai.ed.ac.uk) which are clones of the core content from the main OpenVCE.net site, but which provide closed environments suited to providing support for the experimental Teams A and B for the Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) series of limited objective experiments.

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    As previously noted, VIWS-2 and VIWS-3 have already been completed. Full reports of these workshops are at:

    A suggestion has been made from the OpenVCE project team that a final "VIWS-4" workshop for the WoSCR community be held near the end of the project period.

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) - Limited Objective Experiment (previously VCE-LOE)

    A pandemic flu scenario has been selected by the program managers for these experiments.  

    In preparation for this experiment,  two I-Zones on the VCE region in Second Life and two concurrent-use experimental versions of the web collaboration portal were prepared. The I-Zones are the publicly accessible 3D meeting spaces that are always available in SL. The two collaboration portals however were copies of the original OpenVCE website with some modifications. This was to ensure that documents created as part of the experiment could not be found by general search engines and cause confusion. Furthermore this set-up made it possible to remove any results from this experiment that would otherwise be visible to the public and, more specifically, to the subjects of the next experiment in January.

    In the week of 14th December 2009, a trial of the experimental facilities was conducted by the OpenVCE.net and VCE program teams, set up as two experimental groups. In preparation for the experiment both teams were provided with a document describing the scenario - a new strain of H1N1 and upcoming events, which may require action. The task for the team was to analyse the situation and current plans, and come up with recommendations.

    The first meeting that was part of the experiment in SL took place on Monday morning EST. In this meeting, the team cooprdinators were briefed on the scenario and the resources that were made available to them to address the problem. Emphasis was put on the fact that Team A was expected to use the Virtual Collaboration Protocol. The way this was to be implemented in the experiment was explained to the team coordinator. In fact, other team members were there as observers.

    This initial briefing was followed by the team coordinator getting in touch with his team and organizing the first steps of the protocol to be executed by the team. This was followed by more offline activity in which team members were asked to use the collaboration site to produce the documents that the protocol asks for.  A number of on-line meetings in the Second Life I-Zone followed. Team A used these meetings to discuss the intermediate results as planned.

    The final team meetings that were part of the experiment took place on Thursday morning EST. This was followed by another meeting, again in Second Life, that was not part of the experiment but intended for a discussion about the experiment. Discussions during the experiments and in this wrap up session looked at the issues raised and lessons learned.  These included:

    • a suggestion that there should be a SINGLE team page for the case materials, tables and inputs from individuals and the integrated information called for in the protocol, rather than this being scattered about.
    • a feeling that the MediaWiki style of editing of shared documents was not appropriate, and should be replaced with the WYSIWYG style of editing available on Drupal pages.
    • difficulty of taking individual inputs and "pasting" them into the integrated versions of a number of the virtual collaboration protocol products. This included the loss of authorship or attribution of some entries, which needed columns adding, etc.  Better design of the individual inputs is called for to have similar columns to the integrated versions, even though some information may strictly not be needed on individual entries.
    • a concern over the lack of obvious flow of the activities in the protocol.  It was observed that experimental facilities for this were available in the right hand team activities support box, but was not used in VCEE-0 (which sought to use MediaWiki for much of the shared information).
    • a number of suggestions for changes in the early stages of the virtual collaboration protocol to focus on setting up the team and case collaboration space and web page.
    • technical difficulties using web presentation upload on the special closed web sites (subsequently fixed), and a need to be able to rapidly switch to show any URL on screen, and refresh the web page.

    A meeting is planned on 8th January 2010, ahead of VCEE-1 later in January, between the OpenVCE.net team, Rob Cross and the project managers and other VCE project collaborators to discuss the protocol, the lessons learned from this run through, and to conduct a further rapid run-through, with Rob Cross present, of the stages of the protocol on a case.

    Plans for Next Period (January and February 2010)

    The main focus for work in the next reporting period is on:

    • The main effort will now switch to preparation and support for the two main limited objective experiments, now called the Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiment (VCEE) series.
    • But other work will continue to ensure that the OpenVCE.net project results are refined and made widely available:
      • Continued refinement of the visual appearance of http://openvce.net collaboration portal, by trying out and adapting the 2 column Drupal theme.
      • Collaboration with Rob Cross at the University of Virginia on the Virtual Collaboration Protocol and experiments with OpenVCE.net facilities to support such standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols for distributed collaboration. See http://openvce.net/sop-vcp-collaborate.
      • Continued support to the community of interest to encourage and support their trials with virtual worlds and virtual collaboration environments.
      • Continued work on the open source Opensim environment which can be used by the WoSCR community as an alternative to the commercially-available Linden Labs Second Life virtual world, potentially for behind the firewall and secure uses. 

    VCE-LOE - Virtual Collaboration Environment - Limited Objective Experiment

    OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE

    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118
    • Deliverables: VCEE-1 (was VCE-LOE)
    • Due: 31-Jan-2010
    • Date of Last Revision: 31-Jan-2010
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents, Laurel Allender, Chuck Elder, William Kirby
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures.  The workplan and deliverables map can be found at:

    http://openvce.net/resources/woscr-vce/WoSCR-CoI-VCE-Workplan-2009-05-07.pdf

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    The original name of the Virtual Collaboration Environment Limited Objective Experiment deliverable was VCE-LOE.  It has subsequently been replaced by a series of experiments called Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE). Initial experimental events were held on 14th-17th December 2009 (VCEE-0) and a run through of the virtual collaboration portal supported by the virtual collaboration environment was conducted on 8th January 2010. The first real experiment was conducted from 25th-29th January 2010 (VCEE-1) with an introductory meeting on 22-Jan-2010.  A further experiment is planned on 22nd-26th February 2010 (VCEE-2).

    The OpenVCE.net 3D spaces are reasonably stable with the Central Plaza, venue@VCE amphitheatre and two experimental I-Zones in regular use. The assets have been provided in a form anyone can copy and re-use.  A copy of this setup has now been provided and released for anyone to copy on the open source Opensim platform using New World Grid.

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    Given the results of the preliminary experiment amongst the team members, it was decided to put some further development effort into the OpenVCE website in order to improve the support for the Virtual Collaboration Protocol (VCP).

    A number of web-forms were created that correspond directly to the various maps and templates mentioned in the protocol. These provide the user with an interface that looks very similar to what they may have seen in the VCP document. Underpinning these forms is a set of new tables in the Drupal database that are updated through the forms. Furthermore, information flows between the different forms such that users do not have to re-enter information.

    In addition to the forms, a kind of to-do list was implemented that allows the process coordinator (the lead role in the VCP) to update and monitor progress in the protocol. This enables the various web forms as appropriate.

    This new extension to the OpenVCE website is underpinned by more than 1000 lines of PHP code.

    To support users in the experiment, a number Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were created that explain how the VCP support on the website works. This was linked into an electronic version of the VCP, also located on the wiki, and using the SOP extension developed by the project.

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    No activity in this period.

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) - Limited Objective Experiment (previously VCE-LOE)

     

        

     

    Friday: Introduction to the Experiment

    The experiment was kicked off with a plenary meeting in Second Life on Friday, January 22, 9am Eastern Time.

    Since many of the participants were new to Second Life, the initial 15 minutes were set aside for helping new residents. Most of the developer team was performing this task, but specifically Skye Gears was available as a dedicated avator for this job, for this meeting as well as for the rest of the experiment.

    The main part of the plenary session was filled by a talk (by Austin Tate) about Second Life, the OpenVCE project and the aims of the experiment. Jeff Hansberger then continued to introduce some of the technicalities including the consent form that participants in the experiment had to complete.

    Following the plenary session, the two teams were asked to go their respective meeting spaces in SL.

    Team A:

    This team was given a detailed presentation of the facilities available in the meeting room, including the presenter screen that they would be using during the experiment. Furthermore, the support provided by the latest version of the OpenVCE website that was exclusively available to Team A as explained in a presentation. the slides were subsequently sent to the team members and the video explaining the Virtual Collaboration protocol (VCP) was pointed out to the team. Specifically, the team member playing the role of the process coordinator was given a demonstration of the facilities they would have to use during the following week.

    Team B:

    Team B were introduced to the collaboration facilities within the I-Zone West. A script as used for this is at: http://openvce.net/izone-quickstart

    Monday-Thursday: The Reindeer Flu Scenario

    The scenario was sent as a word document to the two team leaders on Monday morning (9am, Eastern Time). Now it was up to the teams organize a response to the problem they were given.

    Team A:

    The process coordinator forwarded the scenario document to the team members by email, which is consistent with the VCP. In this email, the coordinator also provided instruction for the first asynchronous task: to complete the individual experience map. The first team meeting was set for Tuesday morning.

    By Tuesday, the team members had completed defined the problem dimensions through the appropriate web form. This worked flawlessly. The team identified a total of 23 problem dimensions.

    The meeting started with considerable delay as one of the team members had audio problems that could not be resolved. At this point, there were 4 team members in team A. The discussion of the problem dimensions successfully reduced the number of problem dimension by identifying a set of 5 wider categories into which the dimensions were grouped. This discussion was summarized in a concept map that was crested by Brian Moon during the meeting and then "written up" by the process coordinator using the appropriate form on the website. The team was then asked to complete the individual experience matrix in time for the next meeting the following day.

    Filling out this matrix did not cause any major issue. A minor technical issue (team members did not read the instructions) caused no further problems.

    The slides that were generated automatically for the meeting on Wednesday turned out to contain too much text to fit onto the presenter screen in SL. However, this was not an issue as the internal browser could be used to view the complete content. The case planner (a role in the VCP) then took over to identify the subteams that would work on the different problem dimensions, summarize the approach they were planning on taking, and agreeing a deadline for the respective contributions.

    The third and final meeting prescribed by the VCP took place on Thursday. The solutions for the individual dimensions were discussed during that meeting. The input for this discussion were solution pages on the website, the output was a complex concept map that identified the relations between the different dimensions. All this was integrated in to final deliverable after the meeting and posted to the team via. email.

    During the various phases mentioned above a number of ways were used record information about the progress of the collaboration. Audio and video recording as well as chat logs of the various meeting in SL were made. The website kept all the information entered in versions for later extraction. E-mails were cc-ed to the experimenters for later analysis.

    Team B:

    Team B were left to organize themselves as they wished in an "ad hoc" fashion or using any mechanism they already would adopt in such teams.  Support was given to enable the to achieve what they sought to do in the I-Zone and using the web collaboration portal, but no guidance on what to use at any stage of the process was given.

    Friday: Collecting Initial Feedback

    A plenary session concluded this experiment. The aim of this session was to collect initial feedback from participants, first via prepared questionnaires, and then with a more open discussion session.

    Issues Encountered

    A number of technical issues were encountered during the experiment:

    • Not everybody was able to see the presenter screen: this seems to be related to the software installed on the computer running the SL client, which relies on Quicktime to render certain types of content on the screen. This issue was addressed immediately by making the screen "say" the URL to the current slide in chat so that everybody could click on the link and view the slide in the internal or external browser. This solution seemed to work well.
    • Subjects new to second life had problems with their audio capabilities. Most of these could be resolved with help from Skye Gears, but there were users with headsets that they had never tried before, and those could not be addressed on-line.
    • Considering the number of technologies available to the teams, only a relatively small number was actually used during the meeting.
    • Audio recordings of the meetings were more difficult than expected. SoundTap produced good results but audio was dropped frequently on one of the recording machines, but it is not clear why that was. Adobe Connect audio and video recordings worked (when Harmonie Web Adobe Connect was accessible), but required a dedicated computer to run on.

    Plans for Next Period (February 2010)

    The main activities for February are as follows:

    • attempt analysis of the data collected during the experiment
    • modify VCP and OpenVCE based on feedback
    • conduct second part of the Reindeer Flu experiment (VCEE-2)
    • finalize the open source virtual worlds assets for Second Life and Opensim, especially the completion of the "Presenter" screen.

    REP-3 - OpenVCE Project Report 3

    OpenVCE - USJFCOM-ARL-Alion/WoSCR VCE

    • Parent Contract: DAAD19-01-C-0065
    • Subcontract No. SFP1196749DP
    • Task Order No. 118
    • Deliverables: VCE-3 and REP-3
    • Due: 28-Feb-2010
    • Date of Last Revision: 28-Feb-2010
    • To: Project Managers: Jeff Hansberger, Tim Bacon
    • Sub-contract Administration: Debbie Puckett
    • Reporting cc: Debbie Koch, Cathi Brents, Laurel Allender, Chuck Elder, William Kirby
    • Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    This report documents technical progress, problems that occurred during the period of performance, resolutions during that period, and activities planned for the next reporting period for each of the tasks in the SOW. A separate confidential section of the report describes expenditures to date, remaining funds, and planned expenditures. The workplan and deliverables map can be found at:

    OpenVCE Project Progress and Review

    The Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiment 1 (VCEE-1) was completed at the end of January 2010. VCEE-2 was held over the period 19th-26th February 2010. The OpenVCE.net web portal and 3D spaces in Second Life and Opensim are available for use by the WoSCR community, and the web and virtual worlds assets have been released in open source for all to use (OpenVCE-1 and VCE-3).  Work continues to make available experimental data from VCEE-2; to plan a Virtual Worlds Workshop (VIWS-4) to communicate the results of the whole WoSCR program including OpenVCE; to continue to promote and write-up the work; to continue to expand the open source software and assets; and to explore future uses and developments of the initial virtual collaboration environment.

    Task 1: Virtual Collaboration Environment (VCE)

    The OpenVCE virtual worlds assets have been released for Second Life and Opensim, and a Drupal distribution made available to act as the basis for a Web Portal to support collaboration sites similar to OpenVCE.net.  This is internal milestone OpenVCE-1.

    The team propose to continue to provide the OpenVCE.net web server and management of the Second Life VCE region and OpenSimulator (OpenSim) New World Grid NewVCE region for the community while staffing resources at AIAI allow it, and certainly to the end of 2010.  This is deliverable VCE-3.

    Requests for changes or improvements will continue to be noted and acted upon where feasible.

    The OpenVCE.net team will continue to encourage external and community participation in the development of the OpenVCE.net facilities on the web and in 3D virtual worlds spaces.

    Following the release of the Second Life Viewer 2.0 Beta in late February 2010, experiments on the OpenVCE region in Second Life have demonstrated a range of advanced collaborative facilities, and which seem likely to form the basis of much richer future collaborative systems for the WoSCR community. See

    The viewer provides a new user interface and, importantly for those interested in collaborative systems, "Shared Media".  Shared Media allows a wide range of web pages, video types (including Flash and YouTube), movies, etc to be displayed on any face of any primitive in Second Life. This represents a vast improvement on the previous (Second Life Viewer 1.23 and before) "media texture" that was limited to a single URL for each plot of land in Second Life.

    Here are some images of our tests of a range of capabilities of the shared media mechanism involving:

    • Google Docs
    • Google Wave
    • Shared Interactive Whiteboard with display of MS Office, Open Office and PDF content
    • Adobe Connect with live shared screen display, audio and video feeds.

     

     

    The demonstration Shared Media displays are available to those using Second Life Viewer 2.0 in the I-Zone@VCE:

    Task 2: Virtual Iterative Workshop Series (VIWS)

    The team propose to work with the program mangers and the WoSCR community past the formal end of the project to use the OpenVCE.net facilities to conduct a further workshop (provisionally designated VIWS-4) to describe the results of the OpenVCE.net project and its experiments to the WoSCR community. See http://openvce.net/event-woscr-viws-4

    This may also involve use of the OpenVCE Expo Pavilion and its displays about projects and tools relevant to the WoSCR community. See http://openvce.net/expo.

    Task 3: Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiments (VCEE) - Limited Objective Experiment (previously VCE-LOE)

    The Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiment 1 (VCEE-1) was completed at the end of January 2010, and logging information from the experiment was extracted and made available early in February. This included:

    • Adobe Connect recording of the plenary sessions, Team A and Team B 3D spaces - video, audio and text chat can be seen.
    • Audio (MP3) recordings of the meetings and team spaces.
    • Text chat log in a form compliant with Linden Labs' Second Life usage terms and conditions by allowing specific opt-in and opt-out on an individual avatar basis, and viewing or changing of logging status at any time.
    • Activity logs in the form of spreadsheet tables (CSV) for the web portal for Team A (http://easdale.aiai.ed.ac.uk) and Team B (http://fiaray.aiai.ed.ac.uk).

    The experience gained during VCEE-1 was used to guide the design of the second, more ambitious, experiment, Virtual Collaboration Environment Experiment 2 (VCEE-2). This experiment was to involve two teams, as before, but now each team included more members (roughly twice as many active participants in each as in VCEE-1) with a wider range of emergency response experience, and there was to be a clearer distinction between the technology available to Team A (which had available to it: the OpenVCE I-Zone facilities; a dedicated OpenVCE web-portal; the Virtual Collaboration Protocol; web-based support for following the Protocol; and access to the Catalyst tool for searching for external expertise, if this were thought necessary) and that available to Team B (Adobe Connect for synchronous meetings and a support web-page). The experiment was to be based around the same scenario developed for VCEE-1, and, as with the earlier experiment, was scheduled to take place over several days. In the days leading up to the experiment, technology assistance and testing, orientation and induction was provided to Team A.

    VCEE-2 was held over the period 19th-26th February 2010; see:

    The images below show a Team A meeting in the I-Zone, with observers monitoring the proceedings, and the final wrap-up session.

      

    The experiment was conducted successfully, a fact due in no small part to the dedication and effort of the participants (to whom we hereby express our gratitude). Data collection and archiving continues, with detailed recordings of activity during the experiment created across a range of modalities:

    • Adobe Connect video, audio and text chat
    • Audio (MP3)
    • Chat logs (text)
    • Activity logs in the form of spreadsheet tables (CSV) for the web portal for Team A (http://easdale.aiai.ed.ac.uk)
    • Screen images

    These experimental resources are available for WoSCR community and participants' research analysis - please contact Austin Tate <a.tate@ed.ac.uk> in the first instance.

    At the end of VCEE-2 a wrap-up review meeting was held on Friday 26th February 2010 with members of Team A and Team B attending via Second Life or the linked Adobe Connect meeting space.

    One issue that was raised by participants, and that continues to be problematic, is the need for much easier ways to see the list of participants, their names, organizations, skills and experience, roles in the team, profile images for recognition, and the relation of this information to their virtual world avatar presence.  More work is needed to make this easier to set up and use during busy meetings. Work has been started on this during OpenVCE with:

    • I-Tags
    • Web link-up between real and virtual personas
    • Team and case support pages indicating team membership and roles
    • Improved and more easily visible and accessible real and virtual worlds profiles on the web and in Virtual Worlds (e.g. via the new Second Life Viewer 2.0 Beta avatar information popup and profile pages).

    Reporting, Outreach and Write-up

    • Entry for Federal Virtual World Challenge 2009-2010 - http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom
    • Entry for Linden Prize 2010 - http://openvce.net/2010-linden-prize-iroom and http://fvwc-iroom.blogspot.com/
    • Hansberger, J., Tate, A., Moon, B. and Cross, R., Cognitively Engineering a Virtual Collaboration Environment for Crisis Response, Proceedings of the 2010 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Working. (CSCW 2010), Savannah, Georgia, USA, 6-10 February 2010. Abstract and Poster.
    • Tate, A. (2010) I-Room: Integrating Intelligent Agents and Virtual Worlds, X10 Workshop on Extensible Virtual Worlds (http://vw.ddns.uark.edu/X10). Organized by the IBM Academy of Technology and the University of Arkansas. Second Life, March 29-April 2, 2010. [Submitted]
    • Tate, A. (2010) I-Room: Integrating Intelligent Agents and Virtual Worlds, Position Paper for the Architectures Working Group, X10 Workshop on Extensible Virtual Worlds (http://vw.ddns.uark.edu/X10). Organized by the IBM Academy of Technology and the University of Arkansas. Second Life, March 29-April 2, 2010. [Submitted]
    • Wickler, G. and Potter, S. (2010) Standard Operating Procedures: Collaborative Development and Distributed Use, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM 2010), Seattle, WA, May 2010.
    • Others are planned.

    A number of other papers have been written for elements associated with OpenVCE, such as the use of I-Rooms.

    • Tate, A., Chen-Burger, Y-H., Dalton, J., Potter, S., Richardson, D., Stader, J., Wickler, G., Bankier, I., Walton, C. and Williams, P.G. (2009) I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Intelligent Systems [Accepted for publication, to appear in 2010]

    Plans for Next Period (March 2010 onwards)

    Work will continue on several work items:

    • Continued analysis of the results of VCEE-1 and VCEE-2.
    • Finalize the open source virtual worlds assets for Second Life and OpenSim, and promote them to potential users.
    • Plan and conduct a workshop (provisionally called VIWS-4) to describe the results of the OpenVCE.net project and its experiments to the WoSCR community.
    • Continued support for the http://openvce.net web portal and the VCE region in Second Life and the NewVCE region in the OpenSim-based New World Grid.
    • Continued experimentation with advanced collaboration tools and shared media facilities linking the web portal and the virtual world 3D spaces more effectively.
    • Planning for the future of OpenVCE and support to the WoSCR community.

    Budget Allocation of Linden Dollars to Avatars

    This table shows the funds given to the Second Life avatars of individuals associated with the OpenVCE project.

    Real name

    Organisation

    E-mail Address

    Avatar Name

    Date

    $L

    List with:   a.tate@ed.ac.uk      
             
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               
               

    I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction

    Intelligent - Interactive - Integrated - Instrumented - Intelligible

    This page provides supporting material for the OpenVCE.net and AIAI, University of Edinburgh entry for the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge 2009. Take a Video Tour of the I-Room.

    I-Room is awarded Second Place

    in Collaboration Category

     See Press Release for details of all finalists.

    Register for real and virtual participation via: http://www.teamorlando.org/gametech/

    FVWC - Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge

    Government/Contractor: Yes

    Name: Austin Tate (avatar: Ai Austin), with OpenVCE.net team: Jessica (Yun-Heh) Chen-Burger, Jeff Dalton, Stephen Potter, Gerhard Wickler

    E-mail: a.tate@ed.ac.uk

    Product Description/Problem Statement: I-Room: a virtual space for intelligent interaction.

    Rapidly creating and using a Virtual Operations Room for immersive training and for real missions. Outreach to geographically dispersed teams and agencies for input of their analysis skills. Robust and survivable alternatives to physical Operations Rooms. Demonstration shows examples of shared information access via the web (video feeds, weather screens, Twitter feed on nominated search tags), and team and personal task support (e.g. to do lists delivered from collaboration portal web site).

    Location of Product: http://openvce.net/izone

    Required Blog Page: http://fvwc-iroom.blogspot.com/

    Benefit of Virtual World Chosen: Second Life is an openly accessible virtual world with many elements suited to collaboration. It can be used freely with instant registration and access for new users and can provide publicly accessible areas for work across institutions. Opensim is open source and is compatible with the Second Life viewer. It is not as scalable a platform at this stage as Second Life, but it offers richer collaborative and media facilities, as well as the capability to be self hosted to run behind firewalls.

    Visit an I-Room now in Second Life [if you do not yet have a Second Life avatar Join here]:

    VW PlatformLocationURLLauncher
    Second Life

    OpenVCE I-Zone

    http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22

    teleport

    Watch videos of an I-Room in use:


    Example I-Rooms for Training, Simulation and Tutorials

     


     

    I-Rooms are available in Second Life and Opensim. An I-Room provides a two storey building with central area and four work zones, designed for collaborative and brain storming style meetings. An I-Room can be used an a rapidly deployed operations center for example. Plenty of wall space is available for displays and gadgets. Each of the four corners can easily be converted to a small two storey block, or a larger double height block. The I-Room style buildings are used in the I-X/I-Room research on intelligent collaborative and task support environments at AIAI, The University of Edinburgh.

    Potential Applications:

    • Virtual collaboration center
    • Business teleconferencing
    • Team Meetings for projects, products or reviews
    • Product Help Desks
    • Design to Product - product lifecycle workflow support
    • Environmental, building and plant monitoring center
    • Health and safety at work, disability awareness
    • Intelligent tutors, guides and greeters
    • Active demonstration pavilions

    An example I-Room in use for the "Whole of Society Crises Response" (WoSCR) Community is available for demonstration, to show the public what is being created, and to seek feedback from potential government users.  The I-Room 3D buildling model and all technical facilities within the virtual worlds and on suporting web sites is available as open soirce assets and software.  Demonstrations for new applications can be created using the OpenVCE.net facilities and the Vue and VCE regions in Second Life.

    Technical web site: http://www.aiai.ed.ac.uk/project/i-room/

    Papers:

    • Tate, A., Potter, S. and Dalton, J. (2009), I-Room: a Virtual Space for Emergency Response for the Multinational Planning Augmentation Team, Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Knowledge Systems for Coalition Operations (KSCO-2009) (Lawton, J., Patel, J. and Tate. A. eds.), Chilworth Manor, Southampton, UK, 31 March-1 April 2009. [PDF Document]
    • Tate, A., Chen-Burger, Y-H., Dalton, J., Potter, S., Richardson, D., Stader, J., Wickler, G., Bankier, I., Walton, C. and William, P.G. (2010) I-Room: A Virtual Space for Intelligent Interaction, IEEE Intelligent Systems, July-August 2010, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp 62-71. IEEE Computer Society. [PDF Document]

                  

    Caption: Link ups between real meeting spaces and a unified interaction space in a Virtual World I-Room.

                     

    Caption: I-Zone in use within the Open Virtual Collaboration Environment (OpenVCE.net).

       

    Caption: Various sized I-Rooms are available with a core plus four corner modules design.

     


     

    Notes

    The demonstration shows visitors what can be done through an I-Room even though the demonstration area is set up for specific uses and experiments for the "Whole of Society Crises Response" (WoSCR) community.  This is done by having a greeter I-Robot offer NEW callers a web link back to this page and an in-world notecard.  A possible tailored demonstration could be set up in a spare I-Room elsewhere if needed, but having an active room will better demonstrate what one would look like when populated with status and information feed displays.

    A tailored I-Room may include active support for a standard operating procedure (SOP) for establishing a virtual ops center for example - using the ideas and the existing I-X domain models from work with USJFCOM's Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) Personnel Recovery Education and Training Center (PRETC) - but augmented to allow someone to obtain, install and set up the I-X end services and the in-world elements for connecting to services, twitter feeds and information like weather imagery and map feeds... something that uses what everyone will know and understand as necessary for a new ops center... to make a new ops center for a mission or to respond to an event. An I-Room can also be tailored to give out users' task lists and status of where users are in the execution of a joint process or plan. This can be used for effective meeting support where team members may not all be on-line at once.

    A radar could trigger the display of a page (with <I-N-C-A> task and activity orientated information on it) by avatar name and would be an example of something we might then do properly with the I-Room helper and I-X linked to SOPs and to do lists stored on a web collaboration portal like OpenVCE.net.

    Some of the commands for the I-X helper agent running within the "Polycom Phone" in the I-Room are listed at http://openvce.net/iroom-helper

    A sample <I-N-C-A> style "to do" list page at http://openvce.net/todo-fvwc-example 

    Experiments with the use of "Shared Media" enabled by the Second Life Viewer 2.0 Beta for more effective collaboration in the I-Room is underway.  See examples of some experimentation described at http://openvce.net/sl-viewer-2-shared-media-demos

    Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge - I-Room - Demonstration Script

    1. Arrive outside the I-Room at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/VCE/128/80/22
    2. If you have not visited before, or recently, you may be welcomed by a greeter robot visually based on the NASA Personal Satellite Assistant (used with permission). It will offer you an information link and point out a box that can be touched for introductory information.
    3. Walk inside and take a seat at the central table.
    4. The I-Room building has a layout with 4 work cells surrounding a central collaboration area.  Plenty of wall and floor space allows for a range of screens and active objects. All areas can easily be seen by simple camera movements from the central area. A "back row" of seats allows for observers, and can easily be copied to add more capacity along two more walls. A second floor allows for more space, meeting areas, preparation of posters and screens for use downstairs (like a theatre fly tower) and an observation gallery. The layout offer flexibility for various styles of instruction and collaboration.
    5. The main feature of the I-Room is the active link up with external web services, collaboration systems and intelligent systems aids. This includes:
      • I-X helper - scripts inside a conference phone on the central table acts as an intelligent meeting support agent. It links to an external AI planner, workflow and task support system (I-X) which itself can be linked up a wide range of intelligent systems and people via a wide range of communications methods.
      • chat logger - also using I-X communications, this is a flexible logger that seeks permission to log, logging can be disabled and re-enable on an individual basis, and can produce logs in various formats.
      • a number of displays and objects which can be used via avatar chat and via the I-X helper, opening up room control and communications to external intelligent agents and web services.
      • status displays such as twitter feeds.
    6. The I-Room and larger I-Zones are used to support collaborative teams and allow them to work together in a range of application areas. I-Rooms have been used for applications as varied as emergency response and homeland security exercises and experiments, games and media rich product design and whisky tasting tutorials.  They have been used by the US defense agencies, EADS (Airbus), Slam Games and Glenkeir Distilleries, and evaluated by companies such as Disney, Kodak and Tata.
    7. One use of the I-Room specialises the use of the 4 cells into support for elements of the "OODA" loop (Observe, Orientate, Decide, Act) and can be used to support a number of methodologies such as the "Questions-Options-Criteria" (QOC) brainstorming methodology and the <I-N-C-A> (Issues, Nodes, Constraints and Annotations) planning and task support method. Some objects, screens and demonstration equipment in the cells show such potential.
    8. This particular I-Room is currently set up for experimentation being conducted by the "Whole of Society Crises Response Community" (WoSCR) which involves international experts in giving input to decision makers and planners when crises occur. The I-Room and "I-Tags" worn by participants link actively to a web portal that supports the community and provides access to their collaboration tools and knowledge at http://openvce.net. This provides links to tools for concept mapping, semantic social network links, AI planning and task support aids, meeting support, meeting instrumentation, etc and are made available though objects in this I-Room during exercises and experiments.
    9. More information is available at http://openvce.net/fvwc-2009-iroom including images, demonstration videos and papers on I-Room applications co-authored by the actual user communities, companies and organizations involved. Specific exmaple of the use of the I-Room for training, simulation, tutorials and experiments on collaboration in teams are also described there.

    To Do List: Ai Austin

    This is an example plan for an agent.  It is offered as one simple example of what can be shown to agents who enter an I-Room. It is artificially constructed to very trivially show how planning aids, and presentation of options in the context of search and constraint management can radically increase the intelligence brought to bear to assist agents in coordinating their task lists and plans.

    There is a powerful, yet simple and easily understandable, conceptual model behind the way that plans are presented, and against which agent capabilities are matched. It is the <I-N-C-A> constraint model of synthesized artifacts. Used for plans, it specifies a "set of constraints on the space of behaviour":

    I- Issues to be addressed in the form of questions (e.g. using the 7 question types from the gIBIS methodology, Conklin)

    N - Nodes to be added (e.g. typically activities to be perrformed in this context)

    C - Constraints between node, domain objects and other elements (e.g. temporal, resource or spatial constraints)

    A - Annotations (e.g. rationale, notes on alternatives and advice).


    An example of a technical way to present a plan in this form is show here, though it is more usually shown graphically, or as a very simplified view, such as a "to do" list.

     

    Issues

    • achieve (P=true) at (begin-of Y)?

    Activities

    • perform X [Actions: refine using SOP-1, refine using SOP-2, Done, N/A]
    • perform Y [Actions: Done, N/A]
    • perform Z [Actions: Done, N/A]

    Constraints

    • temporal (before (end-of X) (begin-of Y))   X---> Y
    • temporal (before (end-of Z) (calendar date: UT-2010-12-31-23:59:59))

    Annotations

    • (P=true) will make the performance of Y more robust
    • (P=true) is an effect of SOP-1

     

    APAN - All Partners Access Network

    APAN OpenVCE Group: https://community.apan.org/openvce/

    News: OpenVCE Group on Harmonie Web Moved to APAN

    The OpenVCE group hosted on HarmonieWeb (see http://openvce.net/3d-space-hw) has transitioned to the APAN Community support network.  Adobe Connect facilities on HarmonieWeb (typically via a standing meeting at https://adobe.harmonieweb.org/openvce/) were used to allow "web observer" to participate in OpenVCE events workshops and emergency response experiments, especially run by the US Army Research Laboratory's Human Research and Engineering Directorate (HRED) and USJFCOM. The previous HarmonieWeb OpenVCE group was at https://www2.harmonieweb.org/worksites/OpenVCE/

    Introducing APAN

    The All Partners Access Network (APAN) is an unclassified, non-dot-mil network providing interoperability and connectivity among partners over a common platform.

    APAN fosters information exchange and collaboration between the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and any external country, organization, agency or individual that does not have ready access to traditional DoD systems and networks.

    Site

    Platform

    APAN is built on the Telligent Community Platform with additional enhancements developed by internal APAN Development Team. It also incorporates third-party solutions such as MailEnable and Adobe Connect. The 200 seat (at end of 2011) Adobe Connect service offers many, if not all, of the same tools offered by HarmonieWeb’s version of Adobe Connect.

    OpenVCE Group Adobe Connect

    Adobe connect meeting rooms are set up on a rservation basis. But a stable URL is used for the main meetings so its easy to remember:

    XMPP/Jabber Messaging Linkup on Mobile or Desktop Clients

    See details at https://community.apan.org/support/lite/w/knowledge_base/apan-chat.aspx

    Then if FIRST use click create account (this is an XMPP account to add to your APAN one), if second use ensure create an account is NOT set. After login your buddy/friends list should show and you can now do P2P messaging to them.

    XMPP/Jabber Messaging with OpenVCE Group Chat

    To join the OpenVCE standing group chat room:

    Resources for Transition

    DICE Project - Dismounted Incident Collaboration Environment

    Beyond the initial workplan and deliverables which will be summarized and linked here for convenience... this page provides other useful information for the project.

    DICE Events and Meetings

    DICE Functional Requirements versus Platforms 

    DICE Requirements and Collaborative Work Analysis (CWA)

    JH: 27-Sep-2011:

    I propose a slightly different set of row variables to evaluate the different platforms. I propose instead of going all the way down to the feature level, we bump up to the physical function level of the VCE CWA for distributed collaboration. We could evaluate each platform on a scale of 1-3, 1=little to no support, 2=moderate support, 3=considerable support. We could base the score on how many and/or how well the platform features support the physical function (e.g., MOSES supports written messages, spoken messages, and some deictic references fairly well if the VOIP is working well enough and therefore would merit a 2 or 3 in Explicit communication). We then could drill down for each or selected platforms to the feature/physical object level to further explain its support for each function.
     
    Collaboration Platform Basic FunctionsCollaboration Platform Basic Functions
     
    Issues to Address

    Useful Links and Resources

    DICE - Addressing Issues with Previous Experiments

    This page is a list of technical problems identified during experimentation with OpenVCE, e.g. with the WoSCR community in 2009/2010. Where available, alternatives to address the issues are discussed.

    1. VoIP/Audio problems: A number of users had trouble with the audio capabilities. This was probably the most severe problem as it led to significant delays at the beginning of meetings and disruptions during the meetings. Spefifically, the following problems occured during the experiments:
      • Multiple I/O devices: When connecting a headset to a computer that has built-in speakers/microphone, Second Life must be configured to use the correct hardware. The corresponding option is not easy to find in the SL client. Also, SL sometimes does not recognize audio devices that are plugged in after the SL has been started. - This issue should be addressed by a tutorial introduction for new users, and it should be tested quickly before every meeting whether audio is working correctly.
      • Feedback loops: Users not using a headset, but having an open microphone often create an echo for other users when their microphone picks up the sound from their speakers and feeds it back to SL. - This problem does not occur with a headset. Otherwise the mute button should be used to break the feedback loop.
    2. Firewall problems: Second Life requies certain firewall wall ports to be open, which needs to be done well in advance to ensure access. - This issue must be addressed well in advance of the first meeting and usually requires system adminsitrators help. Usually this needs to be done only once.
    3. Viewpoint control: During the presentations it was difficult for users to view the screens showing slides (or video).
    4. Seek questionaire feedback from Jeff H.
    5. Blog about issues in adoption of virtual worlds for meetings (education) on 4-Oct-2011 at http://gridjumper.net/2011/10/04/real-barriers-to-virtual-world-use-in-education/
    6. Warburton (2009) paper provides a table with a rich variety of sync and async communications and presence indication methods, as well as listing some of the issues for usability of virtual worlds like Second Life for education and collaboration.
    7. Warbuton, S. (2009). "Second Life in higher education - Assessing the potential for and the barriers to deploying virtual worlds in learning and teaching", British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(3), 414-426.

    DICE - Functionality vs. Platform Features Comparison Table

    Previous work on OpenVCE.net to address WoSCR Community and related requirements

    Initial custom selections from a range of platforms was replaced initially by a Joomla-based web portal, and finally a Drupal-based web portal was chosen by the end of June 2009 and continued to be in use to the end of 2011.

    • http://openvce.net/platforms-and-facilities  (mapping used in OpenVCE.net mid 2009 to mid 2011)
    • http://openvce.net/more (alternatives explored prior to choices made by mid 2009)
    • http://openvce.net/openvce-rep1 (report of status at mid 2009 - after which time the only major change was to change to using MediaWiki as the Wiki rather than the "Books" in Drupal.... which continue to be provided as edited "Knowledge Books". A custom sign-sign on mechanism was crafted using web browser cookies to link MediaWiki to the Drupal user name and password use)

    Discussion Forum on Alterative Platforms and Facilities

    • http://openvce.net/forum-alternative-platforms - Discussion Forum on Alternative Platforms and Facilities (to be used for continuation of discussion)
    • blank = no meaningful support
    • + = moderate support
    • ++ considerable support
    • ? where we are unsure and may be experimenting

    DICE Community Required Features versus Systems Table

    Feature Drupal Drupal Organic Groups Drupal Views Calendar Events Messaging

    WYSIWYG Editor needed?

    Addon Wiki needed?

    3D VW Meeting Space Simplified Meeting Space Skype Custom or Others
    Explicit Communication
    Written Messages  -?  +   +      +  +  +  
    Spoken Messages  -             ++  +?  ++  
    Gestural Messages  -             +  +?  +  
    Deictic * References   -?  +?          ++  +?  +  
    Information Gathering
    Activity Information from Objects  +            +  +  +  
    Activity Information from People's Bodies  -            +  -   +  
    Overhearing  -             +  - -  
    Visual Evidence/ Feedback  +            +  - +  
    Acquisition of Prepared Information  +            +  -  +  
    Group Awareness  +  +          +  +    
    Shared Access
    Obtaining Resources                  +  
    Reserving Resources and Time        +            
    Protecting Work                    
    Transfer
    Handoff Object*   *=hand-over (data) object?  +?            +  +  +  
    Deposit* *(data?)  +                  
    • * Deictic - see  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/deictic - Grammar. specifying identity or spatial or temporal location from the perspective of one or more of the participants in an act of speech or writing, in the context of either an external situation or the surrounding discourse, as we, you, here, there, now, then, this, that, the former, or the latter.

    DICE "Facilitated By" Table

    Facilitated by Drupal Drupal Oranic Groups Drupal Views Calendar Events Messaging WYSIWYG Editor needed? Addon Wiki needed? 3D VW Meeting Space Simplified Meeting Space Skype Custom or Others
    Mail                    
    Text Chat                    
    E-Mail                    
    Microblogs                    
    Telephone                    
    Voicemail                    
    Video Casting                    
    Video Conf.                    
    3D Meetings                    
    RSS                    
    Wiki                    
    Blog                    
    Newsgroups                    
    Social Net.                    
    App. Sharing                    
    Calendar                    
    File Sharing                    
    Data Repos.                    

     

    Issues to be Addressed

    TBA

    DICE I-Room

    This page is a URL for a simplified 3D meeting space.. for experiments.  At present it is by no means as it will look eventually.


    Register: For now use http://join.secondlife.com (later will be easier choices and setup in OpenSim wifi)

    Download Viewer: For now use Current Linden Labs 3.x viewer from http://secondlife.com/support/downloads/

    Go to I-Room: Use this link after viewer installed: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/VCE/20/60/501

    See the notices outside and then come in and take a seat.

    See the Second Life Quickstart Documentation for more assistance.

    DICE I-Room Design and Rationale

    The DICE I-Room is lavailable on the VCE region in Second Life and on the OpenVCE regions in the OpenSim-based MOSES grid where a range of simplifications can be made to ease the new user experience.

    In Second Life, the DICE I-Room is currently placed at 500m above an unused area of the region (VCE in Second Life) to be clear of all distractions and other objects.

    Initial Web-based Arrival, Setup, Resources and Registration

    A single web page at a stable URL will provide everything needed in as short a form as possible. This will be more controllable in OpenSim, with custom simple starter avatars (perhaps basic male and female with self selected colored shirts, ethnic skin color and hair).

    Virtual Worlds Environment

    1. Fixed sun set at 11am (so no lights are needed and no changing arrival conditions for users are encountered).
    2. Arrival point: will be fixed for the plot so avatar arrive just outside the main meeting area and to the back of the meeting, out of normal visual direction for those already in a meeting.

    DICE I-Room Design

     

    1. I-Room orientated pointing North for obvious orientation on arrival.
    2. Platform simply designed and colored.  Unobtrusive floor texture helps set scale and perspective. Natural textures for tables gives a natural orientation.
    3. Area is walled so avatars cannot walk over edge, but not too high to act as a hard visual barrier, so looks open and airy.
    4. Main space is 24m x 24m essentially square but with open doorway, and no roof.
    5. Text chat range is 20m... so no avatars should be seated more than 20m apart. 
    6. An outside arrival area set behind the normal visual field of seated avatars in a meeting.
    7. Table in front of avatars to give a feeling of being round the table together. Tables are solid to give a realistic environment but wide corridors make navigation simple. natural wood texture used on table to improve contrast.
    8. A separately placed sideways on "chair person" seat is available.
    9. Some observer seats are provided at the back of the room.
    10. Seats simple, all areas can be clicked on for sitting. Seats set to allow single click to sit. One simple color for seats (could be different colors for different I-Rooms to allow instant differentiation). Seating is aligned to face screens with default camera angles. Seating is non-solid (phantom) to allow for ease of navigation for inexperienced users.
    11. Clicker per avatar seat for basic interaction, voting and acknowledgement of some action complete, etc. Chairperson has clicker clearer.
    12. Compass orientation signs are attached to the walls of the I-Room for ease of orientation and reference.
    13. Plot is set to have its own voice channel and media URLs.
    14. Arrival point information board.
    15. Screens provided: See below. Frame added on screens to provide 3D depth and to ensure contrast with wall whatever content is displayed.

    I-Room Screens
    Four screens are available for the I-Room as exemplars of what can be made available.  Each can easily be removed, resized, repositioned or replicated (R4) for example to put more screens on other walls or provide more functionality such as maps and posters. Howvere, it is envisaged that in productive use it is likely that only two screens chosen from this set may be visible on the main display wall.

    1. Screen to show the main (single) media URL for the room, which can be programmatically controlled by room objects and a menu in the screen, including use of previously created bookmarks. This includes video (prerecorded per user view, synchronous viewing media and live streams), web pages, images, etc. A second mode allows for preloaded images to be shown if required. Using the open source FreeView control script as improved by the OpenVCE project. http://openvce.net/resources/downloads/freeview-1.2a-2009-07-23.lsl
    2. OpenVCE project created presentation facility supported by a web upload capability for presentations for individual avatars is available as a possible alternative to (a), or alongside it. This screen also repeats the functionality of (a) if desired. See http://openvce.net/presenter
    3. A static images presentation screen for reloaded images, with simple controls for selection of images. As provided by the OpenVCE project.
    4. An example "Shared Media" screen for a wide range of applications where shared screens are required.  This can be used for shared whiteboards, etc.  Each user sees the view as logged in by their own credentials. The shared media screen presents a menu bar that can be used to change URLs and to allow users to individually change to and from "flat on" viewing, See http://openvce.net/sl-viewer-2-shared-media-demos

    Build I-Room for DICE

    An OpenSim Inventory Archive (IAR) is available to load a DICE style I-Room into the inventory area for an OpenSim avatar.  It can be loaded to the top level of your inventory ("/") via this OpenSim console command:

     

     

    OpenVCE Logo

    The Official OpenVCE logo and icon are shown here:

     

    The double growing wave is intended to reflect a build up of community enengy.

    Logo Design by Austin Tate, AIAI, University of Edinburgh, March 2009. Final Artwork by David Fliesen, USJFCOM/J5 Joint Futures, June 2009.

    The OpenVCE "double wave" logo and the "wave" icon (using the right hand of the two waves from the logo) plus the colours adopted are listed at:

    The origination formats of the logo (.ai, .dxf, .esp, .fla, psd) are available at:

    A range of raster versions (.gif, .jpg, .ico, .png) are available at:

    Colour Palette

    The main logo uses 3 greys, although there is also a version that is set on a white backgound for use when needed.

    On the current web site, a warm brown link colour and salmon highlighter colour are also used.

    Logo Background Colour ("Dark Grey" RGB: 67,67,67 #434343)      
    Logo Wave Colour ("Mid Grey" RGB: 157,157,157 #9d9d9d)  
    Logo Text Colour ("Pale Grey" RGB: 228,228,228 #e4e4e4)  
    Link Colour ("Warm Brown" RGB: 139,69,19 #8b4513)  
    Highlight Colour ("Salmon" RGB: 211,184,165#d2b8a5)  

    The old 3 blue colour logo we initially used at http://openvce.net/alt/  is still there in case its useful. But the 3 grey base is what we hope to stick with now.

    OpenVCE - "Wave" Logo Colours:

    Grey

    Grey Alternative where needed for White Background:

    Suggested Link or Highlight Colour (current used on Web Site):

    Not Active at Present - Blue Alternative on Pale Blue or White:

    OpenVCE Colour Palette

    See http://openvce.net/logo

    OpenVCE Resources

    Resources are held as "attachments" on this, other group specific resources pages or indeed on any suitable page.  They can be added and removed by authenticated users by editing the page and adjusting the attachments.

    A direct URL to any attachment is possible for references anywhere within the OpenVCE.net web site and for use beyond. URLs are of the form: http://openvce.net/sites/default/files/<resource-file-name>.<type>

    All files on the OpenVCE.net web can be accessed via the Browse content -> Files menu.

    Please try to use descriptive and reasonably short file names which are suitable for use in web browsers and on multiple computers. Always give a file type on the end.  Name conflicts are resolved automatically by OpenVCE.net by adding subscripts onto the filename.

     

    Work Observer for iPad

    Work Activity Observer 

     

     

    The Work Activity Observer App

    This site provides detailed instructions on how to use the Work Activity Observer App for the iPad. This App was developed by the Army Research Laboratory as a research and data collection tool. It is offered on the Apple App Store as “Work Observer” free of charge. If you have any questions or suggestions for improvement, please contact jeff.hansberger@us.army.mil

    Purpose

    The Work Activity Observer App helps an observer collect interaction data over time among people and/or the artifacts people use. It can be used to capture social interactions such as face-to-face discussions to support social network analysis as well as socio-technical system interactions such as how people use and interact with technology and other artifacts in their environment to complete an activity. The data collected records the duration and agents (people or artifact) involved, the type of link, and session notes. The output is a Comma Separated Value (CSV) format and can be exported from the iPad for statistical analysis or social network analysis.

    App Instructions

     

    Create Sessions

    A data collection event begins by creating a session. One session window is created in portrait orientation by default when the App is started.

    Additional sessions can be added by selecting the + button on top title bar
    (additional sessions can be used for breakout discussions or for specialized interactions).

    1-6 Sessions can be created and the default number of sessions can be changed in Settings

    The session window orientation can be changed (landscape or portrait). To change the orientation, close all session windows and add new sessions in the desired orientation.

    Each orientation provides a unique pattern of window sizes as sessions are added.

    Each session window can be maximized to fill the entire screen with the + button on the bottom of each session window.

    Custom Agent Icons

    Agents can be any person, technology, or artifact in the environment you are interested in collecting interactions with.

    Agents can be created in the Agent bar on top by selecting the Agent + icon.

    Select agent icon, name it, and select “Done” on the keyboard or the “Save” button. Continue to create as many agents as needed, up to 50 agents can be created.

    To delete agents from the agent bar, tap the agent 3 times.

    Data Collection

    Populate a session with the desired agents by tapping each agent to place in the highlighted session window. An agent can be present in multiple sessions.

    When the first agent is added, the session timer begins.

    To record an interaction between agents, tap and drag from one agent to another. A link will form between the two agents. Multiple links can be formed with any agent. The creation of the link will be time-stamped in the output file.

    When the interaction is over, delete the link by tapping it once. The deletion of the link will be time-stamped in the output file and the duration of the interaction automatically computed.

    Two types of links are available, a directed and a non-directed link. The link type is recorded in the output file.

    The default link type is a directed link. The default can be changed in “Settings”

    The direction of the link can be quickly changed by tap and dragging the link between the 2 agents in the desired direction. This is useful to capture turn-taking discussion between 2 or more individuals.

    To delete an agent in a session, double tap the agent and select the “X”.

    To access the agent options, double tap the agent.

    The link type drawn from this agent can be changed by selecting the directed or non-directed link icon.

    To connect all the agents in a session, select the connect all icon.

    To break all links in the session, select the disconnect all icon.

    The orate icon will draw directed links from the selected agent to all other agents in the session. This is typically used when one person is addressing an entire group of people or when a single display is being viewed by several people.

    To move the agents within a session window, select the move icon on the bottom of each session window.

    The comment field for each session provides the opportunity for the observer to take notes during data collection. All notes will be recorded and associated with the session number in the output file.

    End Data Collection

    Interactions can be stopped and recorded in three ways:

    1. delete the link - that interaction is ended and is recorded
    2. delete the agent - all interactions with the agent ends and is recorded
    3. close the session window - all session interactions end and is recorded

    Export Data

    Only stopped and recorded interactions will be recorded in the output file. Any existing links in the session windows will not be recorded if the data is exported. To stop and record all interactions to the output file, close all session windows. Data can be exported in two ways:

    1. iTunes - wired connection of the iPad with a computer. In the iTunes program, select the iPad device and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section. Select the “Work Observer” App and transfer desired files.
    2. email - wireless connection needed. Selection of this export method will attach the CSV output file to an email.

    New Template

    The “New Template” button on the top title bar will close all session windows and delete any recorded data. To close all session windows and delete all agents, shutdown the “Work Observer” App.

    Custom Agent Icons

    Custom agent icons can be selected and used. This is done via iTunes. With the iPad connected to a computer, open iTunes. Select the iPad device and scroll down to the “File Sharing” section. Select the “Work Observer” App and transfer the desired icon files from the computer to the “Work Observer” file area. Actual photographs of people or objects can be used to easily identify the agents during data collection by using custom agent icons.


    Some information of the creation of the app is at http://www.leewayhertz.com/portfolio-ipad.php?name=Work+Observer

    Work Observer Redirect

    See http://openvce.net/workobserver