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Collabrative tools to create or do business with partners, teams and employees.


Poenald Palen
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A thread I just read prompted this. I am basically knowing of a few collabrative technologies that might help, but the thread did not seem apprpriate due to my lack of knowedge on the teams (or non existance of such, because some full perms with no rights or whatever are mentioned...this indicates non 'in house' creation) so...for those wishing to know...here is a bit on that.

Please add your own knowledge, or even a just a hint at what can be done with it.

Here is my list, a short start to this thread:

1. Blender. ('marsha, marsha marsha'...effect right? No, not thinking blender is pretty! Yes, I am sort of a blender fan though! Lots of talk and always a 'blender can do that!' seems to be mentioned)

It allows you to actually work together in the software via a internet link! I am not sure how this works, but here is a link. EDIT: Ok, here is the link...I forgot it lol. http://verse.blender.org/

Not only that, but there are new features released in 2.5+ that allows libraries to be exchanged. They work via drag and drop.

You can 'append' your present work in blender with materials, object meshes and many other bits by using...you guessed it, the 'Append' menu option. You go find a .blend you worked on and then go through it's parts and choose what you wish to add to the present file you are working on!

Obviously, this works for mesh building, sculpting, texture work and even animation can be done in blender.

For blender 2.49 there is prim.blender. Well, this was a bit buggy or odd to use last I checked. But, basically it prim builds via using the parameters at the left side. You export the file, put that into Sl client (via text into a prim with a script) and it builds the build you have made before. Sort of neat, but prim building is not easily integrated with other things in blender....just not able to or the script is not developed (the script used in blender) to handle that. So, no adding scupt parts....as far as I remember, that was a long time ago though.

Caveat: I am not sure how this works, I have never tried it! The stability, what you can change and any security risks are sort of unkown to me! Trust who you connect to I guess, and make sure you are not all crashing all the time and if you do...well, if it is the latest version then you might want to submit some info about the bug to get it fixed!

2. Web on a prim + Web.

Sounds strange, but there might be some use here beyond just viewing textures. But, I am not sure of all the controls with this. But the obvious thing of using a free host and rez a web on a prim viewer thingy to help show what work you are doing helps sometimes, for non complete things. It helps you show problems, share solutions on these and maybe a sort of quick render or sketch to help out and if you use a web on a prim thing you can show these stuff at in world meetings without someone crashing out because they are running thier browser...maybe lol. Otherwise, not a big deal BUT worth mentioning. 

Any websites that work on web on a prim and also help out with collabs in world have you used? Please tell us!

Caveats: I can't think of any really, though the always present trust issue you might need.....just depends on you and what javascript wierdness is floating around.

 

3. OpenSim.

This is another sort of obvious one. You can host a sim and make users for ONLY your team, they can join you. There might even be a way to pay a opensim grid to host a private non public grid connected sim...I* don't know, just seems possible. I do know there are some companies that host sims, or other services. Mostly other, but it seems others have used opensim on these hosts that are not SL specific..so, maybe that might be a choice if non of you have PC's or a net connection allowing this.

LAN's can be used, for those with real world ties that might want to work together. Not sure how technical this is, but setting up a opensim was easy enough and I had a private sim running, only one or two avatars allowed and added another sim joined to it for sim crossing tests.

Caveats: Physics are NOT the same and a few other htings are nor! There are features NOT in SL. LIke, the link limits might be differen and the size of prims are different.

 

4. Prim copying scripts

Basically, these copy the prims parameters and repro them. This is a no no if you dont' have perms! If you have agreement, and mods...I think you can use these. They might also copy textures, but you might have to add the textures and use the names and not grab the UUID's in the scripts. Where are these scripts? The library used to have one, but you can make one and basically if you don't know how....I cant explain it here and nor do I know the intracacies of this. I mean, I don't collab r use these scripts! I just saw them because I look around and like to see what is possible. Yeah, funny huh! The guy who doesn't collad makes a thread on collabing! Ha!I am an explorer I guess, anyway..on with the thread.

 

5. Version control repository stuff, CVS or whatever (trac for bugs?) software version and bug recording stuff...oh, jira for YOU to!

Yeah, since you might have to update objects, scripts or whatever when SL changes....well, you have versions to make! This software or online account stuff helps with that. I think I have heard of one team using Jira, and many might already be familiar with this. You can simply even use some in world message board...I have seen organizer type of things and task managment stuff. roject management software might help some, they have that online...uh, yeah...37 signals...or 38 signals? Not sure. But, yeah, collab tools can be used for people to check on tasks away from SL and also input, add details and help get things running instead of waiting for them to log in at home. Maybe mobile apps can even help do this?

For something simpler, maybe a simple e-mailing list service to only the workers!? Many services are for pt in spam, but maybe there you can easily CC and re: over and over to talk pubically? A tweet or purk feed reader? Not sure if these exist, but yeah...Plurk might work!

Hey, a private forum may be avaiable? I don't think for free, but you can set one up at a service somewhere...but these usually come with online project collab services already....so maybe they might be best? i don't use this, not a collabing person right now!

6. Plurk!

Yeah, I feel this diserves it's own list position! You can sort of collab and show the fans behind the scenes at the same time! Some might like this, others will be like 'I want to know of releases, not your choice of color or fabric texture before anything was made!!" so....yeah, you might want to only use this for some stuff...but then again, depends how many decisions, project comlexity and hand holding happens with your team!

Why not facebook over plurk? Because, avatars are welcome at Plurk! If you like Facebook, then maybe you might be able to use apps or whatever other features to help with your biz. I don't know much about it, but looked around plurk and figured it is the best place for me to add a account IF I was collabing and had a fan base...I don't foster either via social media. I am simply a much slower and non news worthy builder, I keep it simple and just fill out descriptions...more modest I guess, or just not a socializer. I like forums....but do see the use in plurk for the more social!

Any more uses, or examples of you use of Plurk, please?

7. In world tools that use API's.Like a twitter feed getter and displayer.

Why? It allows you to easily get in world updates or whatever from your freinds. These are mentioned seperate from web on a prim because they are more specific, you will need to make one to work with your choice of services that have API or you need to buy one and search for it in world or online. I can't remember any other than the twitter one and blog readers/displayers. THey get text from the websites API and then bring it in and place it on prims! Simple, lets you see updates from those who are not able to be in SL at that time!

8. Render farm via your PC's connected.(not for many, only for very very few users...but woth adding)

Takes all night to render the complex particle magic textures you want to use on a prim? Render farms! They work by splitting up the rendering cmputation between a few computers. Yes, you guessed it...blender can do this! How, I duno...but there is software for this avalable...for free!

Wierd stuff you are not knowing about? Not in that much of a rush? Yes, I know. Narrow usage? Yes, but you might need it one day...and these are tricky to set-up at last minute!!!

Plus, you migth get faster results with a stand alone particle system or special effects software. Houdini, after affects do this. Blender does it for free....um, there may be plug-ins for 3ds and other softwares (as well as scripts/add-ons for blender) and lightwave has some new stuff added for particles (uh...fur and other neato stuff) as well as....uh, heck C4D does particles to...right? So, you can see there might be another choice that is faster to render with.....Houdini is marketed for speed....so, yeah, starting there might help. It costs a bit though, so...yeah, render farms and whatever you have now work for that one off 'gotta have it by tommorrow' sort of deal. Big sales day deadlines, providing content for third parties as a gold provider or whatever....you might want fast in house stuff if it repeats....right? But, you should plan that out before hand, right!? Ah, anyway....I am rambling again!

Caveat: If you mess up someones PC, they might not trust you any more! And, if they mess up yours they might not trust themselves as well! If the software crashes and takes longer, or you use it without knowing you need it....well, yeah, it can be costly if you use a second service...I mean, as far as Linden world prices go. I mean, if you make $50 on an item, you can't spend 30$ rendering one animated sequence for the fire lol.

9. Scripts to automate and/or allow automated action upon interaction of an employee.

What for? Well, if you want to roll out a sale you prep the stuff for it. The hour strikes and all the changes, signs and all that can be controlled by a employee via scripts with no need for that person to be actually on group or have tag this or whatever. Plus, you might be ableto automate you own scritped vendors (or ones you have access and rights to modify) to go on sale at a particular time, with a manual overide for the employee. In fact, you might be able to do a secret 10% discount via secret word promotion....or whatever, maybe even a haggle box is available that are all automated OR you can make one! Listen, change variable and you are done! How you do this is all up to you. But, yeah...in world scripts. There are some that allow group usage, for example. Maybe make your own to!

Caveat: scripts can be unreliable in high traffic, as far as I have seen (a year or so ago) and been told. So, you might want to test OR have a backup method lol.

10.  Uh....telephone. Plus, abacus and whip and buggies.  Seriously...you never know!

OK, not just the phone. But yeah, old world tech works as well to and is sometimes forgotten. So, here it is mentioned. Why the whip and buggy? Heck, for you simulatioon research pleasure! Just take a video camera, take notes and so on! Whip can be used for sound effect, as well as animation and even a few pictures here and there are an obvious texture source possability. Check on model release forms or whatever....yeah, legal stuff is all over....but, references are to look at and don't use any of the image directly! You sketch or use procedural creation for materials texturing and model the shapes using it as a rough guideline of realistic demensions..change it and you are in no trouble...I hope! (see genetica, 3D softwares internal material making ect. 'Procedural' the key word here)

Caveat: As usual...trust and obviously you don't want to get caught at work saying "But, the kitty pooing animation and poo lump modelling was going so well.....that was some great looking poo, man! Whaddaya mean you had to redo the poo!?" :P You MIGHT get odd looks, or fired!

 

That is enough time spent doing this! I am forgetting to eat again...off to get more calories and take a break from this typing, exploring and getting more detials...I find this fascinating....though useless for me...I am not in a team and like to work alone in SL. But, some of this works for other things, and if SL ever grows more and I have the ability I might end up as part of a team, bcause you can get more done and faster bring tech to market. I have some ideas, explore a lot and do have a few projects.....but, non seem to have a market...so, alas I don't do any collab or even know anyone to work with! lol. Yeah...food now. Goodbye.

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Wafers these days, healthy stuff. The avatar is the wafer monster after all! Those things are looking like small wheet crackers to me, or maybve exotic ones....so, the prepetually eating monster must also be on a diet....he would be dead by know otherwise...right?

 

Oh, yes. Collaboration software, techniques and tools are neat and might lead to a better future where we telecommute and sit in our houses and become so unhealthy we die by the age of 45, right after we get fat and sedentary, blind from monitors and are in pain with repetative stress injuries and all that....hey, wait!! :( what the heck......ugh....what are we doing!

Ok....

11. Treadmill.

Because, it seems to be changing from the rat race to the hamster race where we all sit in our cotton wool filling plastic houses and hope we can get tubes to run through and dread being paraded out in a bubble to run around constantly trying to escape but always never being able to break the ball open....:( oh on....

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Ziggy21 Slade wrote:

Dude - TLDR!!!!

I find Google docs really useful for collaboration, mostly the word processor but also spreadsheets etc. 

 

 

You do not need to read the whole thing, there are numbers and a listish sort of approach! If anyone sees anything in the list that tickles thier fancy....well, it isn't my fault they had thier fancy out.....uh..yeah, anyway. Yeah, they read more!

YES, google docs and other online offic programs are good! I should have mentioned those, they do help with ideas and smoe have some stuff to help leave messages for people, make task lists etc! Spreadsheets do cover alot of that stuff, just make your own task list thingy, lists and so on! Good call!

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