Office Hours

September 1, 2011

As some of you may know, we began holding Open Wonderland “office hours” a while ago. We took a break for the summer, but office hours are returning in September. Please take a look at the Office Hours Schedule and mark the times on your calendar. I’ll be hosting the first office hours session of this “semester” today (Thursday) at 4pm US Eastern time. Those of us who volunteer to staff office hours want your company!

Here are some ways you can take advantage of office hours:

  • Request a Wonderland tour or see a demo of a new feature
  • Get help learning to build a world from scratch or modify an existing world
  • Get tips on making the best use of Google SketchUp models in Wonderland
  • Brainstorm about new module ideas
  • Get help with Wonderland system administration issues
  • Discuss technical or architectural design challenges
  • Get help with a tricky programming problem or bug

Notice on the schedule that each person who volunteers to staff office hours has indicated their areas of expertise, so take a look at that list before deciding on which office hours session to attend. Also note that different volunteers have chosen different servers for their office hours, so double-check the meeting location. Jos will even meet you on your own server, if you wish. Just contact him via IRC and provide him with the URL. He’s also happy to meet you on one of the community servers. The rest of us will be logged in to the specified community server waiting for people to come visit.

Anyone in the community is welcome to volunteer to staff office hour sessions. In particular, it would be great if someone in an Asia / Pacific timezone would volunteer. Whichever timezone you are in, drop an email to to express your interest in volunteering and someone will help you sign up.

I hope to see some of you on the Demo Server during my upcoming office hours.

Workshops & Office Hours to Celebrate OWL Anniversary

March 11, 2011

It’s hard to believe, but it was exactly one year ago today that we forkedOpen Wonderland first anniversary the Wonderland code and created the Open Wonderland (OWL) open source project.

In honor of our first anniversary, I am pleased to announce that the Open Wonderland Foundation is sponsoring two new volunteer community efforts aimed at educating more people about Open Wonderland use and development.

Educational Workshops

To help both people new to Open Wonderland and those who wish to increase their existing knowledge, we are establishing a series of educational workshops. The first two workshops are geared towards newcomers. One focuses on end-users who want to learn to build Open Wonderland worlds and the other on Java developers who would like to get started with Open Wonderland development. Due to space limitations, registration is required for all workshops. There is no charge for the workshops, but the registration form provides a place to add a donation to the Open Wonderland Foundation. All money collected will be used to expand the workshop series and provide other educational events.

Workshop Series: OWL User and World Builder Basics
Learn to Build an Open Wonderland Virtual World

In this 2 hour hands-on workshop, we will cover the basics of creating an Open Wonderland virtual world. By the end of the session you will have learned how to use the basic features of the environment, how to insert 2D and 3D applications into a world,  how to add images and presentations, and how to find and use 3D models from the Google 3D Warehouse. We will also cover how to enhance in-world objects with “capabilities,” and how to arrange the objects that you have added.

Workshop Series: OWL Java Developer Basics
Part 1: Basics of Open Wonderland Development

Part 2: Creating Interactive Objects in Open Wonderland

This is a two-part hands-on workshop in which you will learn how to add new functionality to Open Wonderland by building modules that extend the Open Wonderland 3D virtual world toolkit. The first 1 hour session will cover everything you need to get started, including the basics of module development, their representation on the server and client sides, and how to set up your local machine to develop with Open Wonderland. In the second 1-hour session, you will learn the specifics of how to create a module. During the session, we will do a code walk-through of a sample module using an instance of NetBeans running inside the virtual world.

If there is demand, we will run more of these introductory workshops in the future as well as begin to offer others on more advanced topics. Please leave a comment on this blog post if there are workshop topics you would like to see offered. In addition, anyone in the community that has expertise on a topic is invited to propose a workshop. Please send an email to with your workshop idea.

Office Hours

To provide Open Wonderland community members with more personalized help on specific end-user, world building, system administration, or developer questions, we are establishing “Office Hours.” More advanced members of the community are volunteering to be in-world for hour-long blocks of time so that anyone can drop in and ask questions.

Office Hours Schedule

Office hours are ideal if you would like a general introduction to Open Wonderland, would like to learn how to use a particular feature, have a problem that you need help troubleshooting, or need advice on approaching some tricky technical issue. Volunteers are also happy to brainstorm about possible Open Wonderland project ideas, or ways to integrate Open Wonderland into your class or business.

If you have Open Wonderland expertise you are willing to share, please volunteer to run one or more Office Hour sessions by adding your name to the schedule. The time and date is entirely up to you.

Call to Contribute

The Open Wonderland Foundation welcomes contributions of all sorts. In addition to the volunteer opportunities mentioned here, we can always use help maintaining web pages, writing documentation, or managing community servers. Of course, code contributions are an important part of any open source software project, and we encourage developers to contribute 2D and 3D apps, new capabilities, bug fixes, or help with localizing the software in different languages.

Finally, you can help us by making a financial contribution either when signing up for a workshop or by following the instructions on the Support Us page of the Open Wonderland web site.


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