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Feuille de route du développement du WEM

Dernière mise à jour: 18 Janvier 2010

This is a list of all the tasks required to implement a fully working 3D system. Anybody interested to engage into one, please tell this site, so that your initiative get listed here.

This page serves as a hub for the early development of the WEM system.

 

Given the today oppositions and misunderstanding about the Metaverse, it is better not to wait for established funding to start a large project, but rather rely on a set of free software initiatives. However, the free software movement also often suffered of a geek mind, inability to get down to the level of the basic user, bad quality, and some visible political/spiritual bias. It is clear that any initiative will have to be ideologically neutral, and any development will have to be performed according to professional methods and state of the art quality level of industrial software, with a serious and heeded bug reporting system, and a kind and polite user support (customer support). Software must be delivered compliant with their purpose, and usable by all users. Of course, to be listed as part of the WEM system, all initiatives must comply to the legal and discipline requirements of the WEM, and especially to the Moral and legal charter of the WEM partners, as specified in the GNU license of the WEM architecture. For now the author of this site cannot check every initiative, so they will be listed as indication only. Client-side elements of the WEM Metaverse must be available for free. Server-side elements must be available to everybody, for free or at reasonable prices. Second Life fixed a maximum which seems easy to challenge.

It is also obvious that all tasks must be fulfilled to obtain a working WEM system. An isolated initiative on one task will not be enough. However it is better to propose an isolated initiative than none, as this first initiative can be the trigger for all the other initiatives.

The plan of this page will be adapted to the evolution of the situation.

 

 

Required initiatives: Character Hosting Companies

Federated identity is the very first condition allowing interoperability of the worlds, as it allows us to appear everywhere as the same character, instead of opening hundreds of accounts. In all the WEM documents, the Character Hosting Company appears as an unique entity, performing the legalese (Federated identity, access flags checks) and the hosting of the character (body shape, inventory, and eventually a personal space). In fact, it is much probable that this organisation will be broken in two: an Identity Hosting Company for the legalese, and an Inventory Hosting Company (or a platform world) for the character. But whatever the organisation, some basic tasks remain:

-Task: Create open interchange standards to make Federated Identity available.

Problem: If we have several companies providing with federated identities, how to make each recognized by the WEM, without compromising the safety of these systems.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

See the Wikipedia list of initiatives on federated Identity, Kerberos, OpenLDAP, etc. Any of these companies using the WEM architecture in the Kailye language becomes WEM-enabled. It is not clear however if physical identity checks are performed.

-Task: Define open physical identity check methods

Problem: how to achieve the physical identity check of an user? A Character Hosting Company cannot have an office in every town and village. The best seems to ask for the action of a bailiff, but this bailiff must be... authentified! Also we need to organize the information transfer from the bailiff to the Character Character Hosting Company. This task seems more fit for existing federated identity companies.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create a first Character Hosting Company.

Problem: This company (commercial or non-profit) must recognize or host the federated identities, store private data in a safe and legal way, manage world access, offer a storage place for our inventory and offer a small Character Simulator (or better, a larger personal virtual place). Ideally it should be an Internet Access provider. Competences required are legalese, network safety, web hosting, and 3D.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

Several worlds, like Vivaty, offer a personal space, but none offer the whole set of services.

-Task: Start the Character Hosting Company Register.

Problem: Worlds need to know the full list of Character Hosting Companies. The Register provides with a list, and gives ratings to each (on user safety, privacy protection, identity checking level...)

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

 

 

Required initiatives: The WEM viewer

As for any complex piece of software, the WEM viewer needs several teams, each with different competences. The tasks are listed into the order of dependency. Any can be undertaken at any time, but it will be able to complete only if the previous tasks are completed.

-Task: create the WEM viewer compilator site.

Problem: As explained in the part on safe development of software, safety and consistency require a common service for compiling sources of devices and update existing viewers in a centralized way, without exposing secret parts such as the WEM engine-devices protocol, safety modules, etc. This site/organization manages both administrative, safety, quality and technical aspects of gathering modules from different sources and distribute them as the complete viewer to all the users.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create the WEM engine

Problem: This piece of software manages the WEM metaconnexion, but it also installs the different devices of the viewer into the computer, accounting with the various configurations, multiple cores, graphic cards, etc. It must also check the computer and at need enforce good settings to the OS, so that the computer works to its real performances. It exists in client-side and server-side versions.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

The BOINC system seems able to manage Windows properly.

-Task: create the WEM engine-devices protocol and interfaces.

Problem: This protocol must be secret, to avoid the appearance of hacked viewers. It must also be possible to change it immediately when a new threat appears. This allows us to make a non-secret version A, for early developments, and change it for a secret version when need arises. In fact the way to change this protocol must be defined first, and only later a team entrusted for secret versions can appear.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now. Secret versions are dependent on the WEM viewer compilator site

-Several tasks: create the WEM devices (save 3D rendering).

Problem: Each device has a function: manage commands, sound, IM, chat...

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create the WEM 3D rendering module.

Problem: Early developments may use existing antediluvian 3D rendering libraries. However these libraries are drastically obsolete, compared to the ones used in video games. So new ones must be created, including several sub-modules, each dealing with the rendering of a different 3D entity (fogs, meshes, alpha textured meshes, NURBs...) and a different graphic card. To make them work all together, we need a standard to interface these modules with a common image memory and z-buffer, even if they are in different cores of the computer. This allows for several cores to contribute.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Several tasks: create the WEM plugs

Problem: These plugs connect the WEM viewer to services in the worlds or in the Internet. Several Internet protocols are needed: http://, IM, email, sound streaming... The Second Life protocol should be implemented, as far as Linden Lab allows for this.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

 

 

Required initiatives: WEM simulators

WEM simulators need to be installed on servers, and to be integrated in the general Metaverse network.

A WEM enabled simulator will need the WEM engine, and several communication devices.

Last tasks in this part are also in dependency of the firsts.

-Task: develop a WEM simulator

Problem: Create WEM-Kailie enabled simulators running on an ordinary server, or an integral simulator/server. They must comprise all the Metaverse functions: 3D simulation, chat, groups, etc. as described in the WEM commands in Kailye, and especially the groups and covenant functions. The preferred language for 3D files is the X3D (or at least the subset of indispensible nodes) but it is much better if it can deal with most common 3D formats.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

OSGrid and Open Sims have working simulators in open source.

-Tasks: create the WEM connector

Problem: This device allows the simulator to communicate with different scripted objects in world. In the WEM architecture, no direct connexion must exist between the simulation and the Internet, so that when a scripted object in world requests for an Internet connexion, this connexions is routed by the WEM engine, from the connector to an appropriate plug. The connector must appear as a library in the main computer languages.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: offer adapted hosting for simulators and worlds.

Problem: How to adapt simulators to existing servers and web hosting. The $70 per month proposed by Open Sims seems a fair price for working devices. Many companies offer web hosting, and little adaptation may be needed. Recommended settings: web hosting of 2D pages using PHP, for forms, e-shops, forums, etc. MySQL base accessible from both web pages and simulator (if MySQL remains usable). Intuitive command for non-geek users.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

Very short list of recommended web hosting for now. In France OVH is recommended, Online.fr is unadvisable. It is not recommenced to operate in countries which practice broad censorship. This makes investments unsafe and it breaches safety of users.

-Task: develop a platform world

Problem: Although many will soon develop their own worlds using their own dedicated servers, there is still a need for a common gathering and learning place, and simple interfaces for simple uses and simple users who do not want to engage into the hassle of a server.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

OSgrid and Open Sims work using the Second Life software set (viewer, protocol, simulator)

-Task: Create a copyright server

Problem: Serve copyrighted files in the conditions determined by the author, store master files, deliver legal copyright certificates, DRMs, etc. This does not require WEM or Kailye compatibility, save for flags. This is an instance where flags may be send as parameter parts in the URL, using Kailye mnemonics syntax.

Initiative: The best today seems Copyright Depot, which achieves all the protection chain into good conditions and at a reasonable price, save the hosting itself. So this one still has to be achieved on an ordinary server by the copyright owner, together with the sale system and instance management. Systems like Shoutcast are tecnically copyright servers, save that they, on the contrary, do not check for copyrights...

 

 

Required initiatives: Kailye

The Kailye link is a fast link which needs a fast protocol. Due to this speed however, and due to the fact that the Kailye function are intimately linked to the core of the running simulator, a Kailye plug will only be a router, eventually a decipherer. This router is however mandatory in the WEM architecture.

-Task: Implement the Kailye management.

Problem: Only a version zero of the Kailye is available for now. New versions are required, to add functions like NURB syntax, or for a general experience return.

For now only Richard Trigaux manages the Kailye.

-Task: develop a Kailye plug and buffer.

Problem: Create the Kailye plug, which routes and manage the Kailye data flow. It also plays a role of a parser, and eventually it has one or several decipherer module. The interface with the core simulator (or 3D rendering module) is the Kailye buffer, which can be a table of indexed variables, or a database, into the RAM memory of the simulator. Its content is directly accessible by the core of the simulator, as a set of ordinary variables.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create and implement a NRMP protocol.

Problem: The fast Kailye link requires a specific lossless and constant delay Internet protocol. This implies the use of specific routers in the Internet network.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

See the «Optical Flow Switching» by Vincent Chan, from the Massachussets Institute of Technology. It is similar to the NRMP.

 

 

Required initiatives: WEM Management

-Task: create the WEM Technical Management

Problem: The WEM Technical Management is a non-profit organization which handles the routine technical or legal issues. It has authority to certify software or hardware, or to request bugs solving.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create the International Virtual Worlds Management Council

Problem: This body is a non-profit organization which gathers artists, humanitarian people, spiritual people and philosophers, taking decisions regarding technical, human or legal evolution of the WEM system and virtual worlds at large, keeping a watch on new technologies and new types of uses. Its moral charter is defined here.

For now, the only member is Richard Trigaux. I shall mostly contact other people, mainly personalities having some authority in their domain. Persons with censorship ideas or «total freedom» ideas: useless to contact me.

 

 

Required initiatives: adaptation of laws.

-Task: Adaptating International law

Problem: Except for some categories, or the will of the owner, there are no reason that life in a virtual world should follow the law of a given country. If so, the visitor may not be aware of breaching the law of a world he is visiting, and behaving becomes much impractical. Only the host or editor can be liable to the law of their country, and only for these activities. However we cannot allow for everything into virtual worlds, hence the need for some regulation. International law, as used in international waters, Antarctica or space stations, is the solution for this. International law offers satisfactory solutions for things such as business right, or intellectual property. However it is well known that financial embezzlement or even blood crimes are much easier in international waters. If blood crimes cannot happen into virtual worlds, things like gambling or fiscal evasion are much too easy. There is also a concern of which court an individual can call, in case of an issue. So a serious legal work is needed.

No initiative here for now.

-Task: Identities protection.

Problem: Permanent character identities (Checked, but anonymized) need the same legal protections than physical identities. If law refuses to protect them, then the Character Hosting Companies must have this protection into their charter.

Of course, if the person changes of web host, or of Character Hosting Company, the identity, the associated URL and all the associated belongings must move all together.

It would be fine too if the ICANN reserved some name extensions for identities.

Each identity should have an associated ULR, granted for life to the person, and independent of the Character Hosting Company.

No restrictions must be imposed to the structures of the names, such as forbidding upper case letters, or blank spaces, or imposing a first or second name, imposing Latin alphabet, etc. The WEM is for everybody.

For now, the only member is Richard Trigaux. I shall mostly contact other people, mainly personalities having some authority in their domain. Persons with censorship ideas or «total freedom» ideas: useless to contact me.

No initiative here for now.

 

 

Required initiatives: working for the next

This should be the developer's topic today. But due to the lateness of the previous developments, we have to first wait for them. However working algorithms or standards are welcome.

-Task: create the WEM viewer NURBS module

Problem: This module must work with the WEM 3D rendering system common bus and interfaces. Must define NURBs algorithms and syntax. Alternatives to tesselation are highly wished.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

Recommended start: X3D NURB formats.

-Task: create the 3D texture format and rendering

Problem: This module must work with the WEM 3D rendering system common bus and interfaces. Must define 3D graphic files formats (hypothetical multi-layered files, animated gif, animated png, or Ogg Theora video files). Must find solutions to the problem of regular artefacts, probably a 3D map equivalent to the 2D texture map, and allowing to wobble the texture along any direction of space.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

-Task: create smell coding and cost effective smell synthesisers

Problem: Smells are an essential part of our sensual experience, which will highly enhance immersion and communication, to the point of associating a smell to one's profile, allowing other users to feel it on a click. They are also useful on many professional activities. After best available data, smells coding works like colours coding, but with about 1000 primary smells, compared to 3 primary colours. So smell synthesisers using chemicals reservoirs may be costly, toxic and unreliable. First units may use a reduced set of only pleasant primary smells. Researches may go toward on the fly synthesis of proteins bearing something similar to anti-bodies, but aimed at exciting specific smell sensitive cells. The «anti-body» amino-acid code is then used to memorize the smell.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

Some researches on chemical reservoirs smell synthesisers.

-Several tasks: work on cost effective exoskeleton cabinets

Problem: This involves several sub-tasks, such as how to display the vision of the world, how to detect the body position, how to harness the body, how to exert force return on it, how to get in and out quickly and safely, how to get the mechanism silent, how to insulate the cabinet from the voice of the user and exterior noises, how to ensure organic functions (breathing, excreting..), how to ensure sex functions, how to add feelings like wind, heat, textures, etc. First realizations will probably offer only simple cylindrical bodies, «virtual mouths» for kissing, or telemanipulation arms for industrial purposes.

No WEM-oriented initiative here for now.

 

 

Template for submitting an initiative (indicative)

If you want to be added to the list of initiatives above, please send a mail to the author, with, in some words, the infos indicated here:

  

1) Which task you want to tackle

2) Name of your group (company, lab, benevolent team...)

3a) For initiatives, tell what you do: software development, engineering counselling, quality counselling, ergonomy, sponsoring, professional services in computers, hosting, legalese, etc.

3b) For sponsors, tell what you want to sponsor, and what is your motive (philanthropic, lost funds development, investment, advertising...). You are sole responsible of the relations with initiatives, especially checking if they are serious initiatives, and what happens if the initiative fails. This is a venture investment, and only if the full set of products is available one can hope to become a successful business. But once the set is complete, success may come very fast.

4) The URL of your site (no emails here, and you handle your contacts)

5) Tell if you are a benevolent team, benevolent counsellor, a company, or if you expect to market a product.

6) Tell your competences (engineer, etc.)

7) You can tell if you offer job opportunities, or seek for benevolent workers. But if you seek benevolent workers, please don't say it is a job opportunity!

 

I am not able today to check the quality of the various initiatives and persons involved. So, for now, at any stage of your involvement, you will have to check for the seriousness and quality of your partners. However if something bad happens, please tell me, so that I remove the concerned initiative of the list.