Well, you know the saying, "Another month, another Wonderland 0.5 developer release". Ok, maybe it’s not really a saying; maybe I just made that part up. And it wasn’t true for last month. But it is time for another developer "release" of v0.5. Like always, these are just snapshots of the code base that have a fair bit of additional functionality since the last developer release and have gone through the most elemental testing to make sure all of the basics work. Not to say there aren’t bugs — there are, and I’ll provide a link to some of the one’s we feel are most likely to affect you below.
Disclaimer: Project Wonderland is experimental, open-source software. It is not a product. This is an early-access developer release which is missing features and has bugs.
How to Get It
This developer release is available as source-code in a subversion repository. Please read the Download, Configure, Build and Run from the Wonderland v0.5 Source tutorial for instructions.
As always, you can find links to all of our documentation from the Project Wonderland 0.5 web site.
What’s in it?
There have been tons of changes since our last developer release two months ago, with lots of new features. Here is an overview of the goodies in this developer release:
- Federation: You can place portals in-world through which avatars can teleport to other worlds on other servers. Much like a web browser, you can also teleport to a new world without restarting the client by entering a URL in the Location bar.
- More Avatar System Implementation: The avatar system now allows you to (randomly) select the appearance of your avatar. Once you find an avatar you like, you can save it.
- Rewritten "AppBase" API: The API to support writing 2D applications has been entirely re-architected and simplified.
- Initial Security Infrastructure: The initial infrastructure to support cell-level security and authentication has been added.
- Initial X11 App Support: X11 application sharing makes its first appearance with server-launched app support on Linux (Ubuntu).
- Text Chat: Group text chat as well as person-to-person text chat are now available.
- Orientation World: A new default, "orientation" world is available as an add-on module and features some of the new graphics capabilities of Project Wonderland.
- WebDAV Content Repository: A WebDAV-based content repository is now integrated with the system, allowing you to upload and use assets in the repository. You can browse the contents of the WebDAV repository using a simple graphical UI.
- Drag and Drop Support: You can add certain content into the world by dragging-and-dropping it into a Wonderland window. So far, the following file types are supported: .kmz (3D models), .png and .jpg (2D images), and .svg (whiteboard documenets). When one of these types of files is dropped into the world, the application or cell that supports that content type is automatically launched, displaying the new content. You may define support for new file types in your custom Cell types too.
- Preliminary NPC Support: You can use the Cell Palette to add a non-player character (NPC) into the world. A simple dialog allows you to change the character and control its movement.
- Redesigned Menu System: The main menu system has been redesigned and simplified.
Watch the video above to see a glimpse of the new orientation world as well as demonstrations of drag-and-drop, federation, security, and NPCs. Note that the video also includes a segment on "High Definition Video." This application is not yet finished, and is therefore not included in this Dev5 release, but we thought you’d like to see a preview of it.
Java SE 5 Not Supported When Using Avatars
In this developer release, to use the new avatar system, please use Java SE 6. There is a bug (Issue #68: JDK 5 throws StreamCorruptionException) that prevents the use of Java SE 5 (aka JDK 5). If you would still like to use Java SE 5, then you can turn off the avatar system by setting the following in core/run-client.properties and use the lower quality ‘angel’ avatars instead:
Information on Shared X11 Applications
The implementation of shared X11 apps in Dev5 is preliminary. So far, we have tested Gnome-terminal, Solitaire and Firefox, but not much else. If you manage to get different apps to work, please let us know by posting a message to the forum. And, of course, if an app doesn’t work, file a bug on it.
To run an X11 app, open the Cell Palette and select "Run X11 App" and then enter the command (e.g. firefox) into the command entry and click Run. Note that the app will be run on the same machine that is running the Darkstar server, so if you use an absolute path in this command, you must use a valid file system path on the server machine. If you use just the command name alone, you need to make sure that this command is in your execution path before starting the Wonderland web server.
Because the implementation is preliminary, there are some restrictions you must observe, as well as several bugs to be aware of. Please refer to this list of restrictions/limitations. One important limitation is that only one X11 application will currently run at a time.
There are a number of bugs filed against Version 0.5. You can always see the complete bug list, and file a new bug, using the Issue Tracker. Here are the ones that we think are most important (P1):