Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bob Johnson said... Our Response to Common Misconceptions

Bob Johnson commented to our blog saying...
'So let me get this straight.
-You are using OpenSim, which is reverse engineered from the Second Life client. (Linden I believe allowed Opensim to happen, they could of stopped it)
-You are using Hippo client which is Open Source Second Life therefore all the graphics in your environment are from the viewer which is built by Linden

Yet Linden is the bad one? What do you do if Linden stop allowing you to use their tech? (e.g. viewer) they have a lot of people working on that. You can price lower than Linden because you do not have to pay for viewer developers. What that math says to me is that you are stealing from the company that is feeding you.'

Some might call this gentleman's commments as 'pot stirring', but we feel strongly that if we are a viable company we should be capable of responding to most anyone's concern's and opinions in a professional manner to at least try once to educate and clarify. So here goes, and please forgive the long winded response. We felt it important to point to facts to substantiate our reply, seeing very strong words were used to describe our business, as is evident above.


Hello Bob and thank you for your comments and questions. Many people express similar opinions that simply aren't founded on fact. We like to think its not out of spit of fear of us as competition, but rather out of their devotion to Second Life(r). We can understand the sentiment. After all we're a team of SL veterans, (2005) and Virtual Worlds (Active Worlds 1995).

First, the client was open sources by Phillip Rosedale in January 2007 in hopes that the community WOULD INDEED do exactly as they have, and reinvent it in their own vision.

"We think that if we open source Second Life its product quality will move forward at a pace nobody's ever seen," says Rosedale.

We'd wager the open source community played no small role in achieving the stability we enjoy today in Second Life(r).

Secondly, lets look at the most widely accepted definitions of Reverse Engineering and Re-Engineering and see what side OpenSim falls into. We're quoting this recognized leader in the programmer community:, according to Chikofsky Cross 1990.

Reverse engineering is the process of analyzing a subject system to identify the system's components and their interrelationships and create representations of the system in another form or at a higher level of abstraction. Reverse engineering generally involves extracting design artefacts and building or synthesizing abstractions that are less implementation-dependent.

Re-engineering, on the other hand, is the examination and alteration of a subject system to reconstitute it in a new form and the subsequent implementation of the new form. Re-engineering generally includes some form of reverse engineering (to achieve a more abstract description) followed by some form of forward engineering or restructuring. This may include modifications with respect to new requirements not met by the original system.

To say OpenSim is a reverse engineered platform is really not accurate. The history of the OpenSim project started in the fall of 2006, months before the SL client was open sourced on January 2007.

But, if you want real proof that the OpenSim is an animal of a different breed, simply come on in and work in one for a few days. How different is it? Well, if Second Life(r) were to swap out their platform with the OpenSim platform an estimated 50% of the Second Life(r) grid assets to become completely unusable, if not outright crash the server. Why? Because its simply not the same code. That doesn't mean LSL and SL Scritps won't run on OpenSim - they do, but some need a bit of tweaking to perform best.

Also, it should be noted that SpotON3D is NOT a rehash of Second Life(r) OR OpenSim. Many make assumptions in this regard, but we all know what is said about assuming. :P Never was that more true than in this case, as SpotON3D has completely reorganized how a grid is organized, adding in tiered membership systems, security in a technical, social and legal manner and a working economy the permeates the grid experience through its web based selling portal,

All these differences add up to three major improvements many experts have called for as necessary to making the 3D Web a reality - The Universal Registration, Universal Avatar, and the Universal Inventory. There is a fourth - 3D in a web page, which is right around the corner - 3 to 5 years using server side rendering technology that other game industry experts are working to make a reality. Just check out this company's promos: and you'll get the big picture.

Thirdly, YES, Linden Labs could elect to resend their open source client status and make the 2.0 viewer closed source, but they could not ‘stop’ anyone from using what was out there already - only be able to legally prohibit the use of what new client code they put out. Anything up to that point would still be considered open source code and available for anyone to use as long as they make their changes public and contribute changed back to the source code community as we have.

And lastly, SpotON3D is a six figure and counting commercial project, which in fact does include client and platform programmers. Thanks to their hard work it simply runs better, allowing us to host 120 regions on just two servers. Being able to host so many islands on so few servers is one of many reasons we can price our product so affordably. To call that 'stealing' or saying LL is 'feeding' SpotON3D is just grossly inaccurate, something I hope you can recognize as an unfair statement.

I’d like to think that SLers can look beyond their attachment to Second Life® and see SpotON3D™ for what it is – simply an alternative grid primarily for business, education and social nets and communities, yet, with room for responsible players too. IN OTHER WORDS AN EXPANSION OF THE METAVERSE. We are here to show there is a real industry for people to grow with – not just one company with one vision. Thank you again for your comments and we hope you can find a way to be a tad more open minded, welcome this evolution and become a part of the solution.


  1. Bob --

    What's the latest status of hypergrid on Spoton3D?

    The info page says: "Any grid wishing to utilize the Hypergrid technology into the SpotON3D grid will be required to submit their real world corporation papers, have at least 12 months of pristine operational experience, be in good standing with the Open Simulator™ Core Team, agree to follow our business practices, present all applicable disputes to the SpotON3D™ Mediation Panel and adopt the SpotON3D™ TOS and Community Standards. "

    Do you currently link to any outside grids? Is there any way for hypergrid visitors to teleport in?

    Or is this feature only available to private grids that are managed by SpotOn3D?


    Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business

  2. Ms Korolov -
    Thank you for responding! Your blog has been one of the primary must reads along with Maxping and CyberTechNews. What an honor to have gotten your attention!

    To address your concern, we understand and respect your commitment to the Hypergrid community and the value of that technology. We feel its a brilliant technology for communities built upon open source content. We hope to support that ideal with contributions of our own and by fall of 2010. This will be done by populating the build located in our region called THE LOUNGE with royalty free and open sourced content for anyone to enter and commandeer. To get to it all anyone has to do is enter our grid with their favorite NON-SpotON3D client. We hope by leading by example our creators will be encouraged to do the same.

    The rest of our grid is designed to provide creators with a safer and reasonably priced alternative for them to develop, display and sell their content. We've developed our own patent pending grid2grid distribution system that supports the Universal Avatar & Registration, respects the creator's rights as a V-Retailer (virtual retailer), and puts the choice and responsibility of selling their content squarely in their hands, where they belong.

    This is in response to the difficult times the creators have faced over the last two years. Being a team of long time creators ourselves with 2 to 15 years experience in the 3D Web and Virtual Worlds and we felt there simply was not enough done on their behalf. We had some pretty solid ideas on how to address them by providing technical and community driven social and legal solutions to handle all disputes - not just content.

    Currently Second Life(r) is SpotON3D's exclusive Trusted Grid to deliver to using our cross grid distribution system as we continue to development this exciting new protocol that makes the Universal Avatar a reality. Would we be open to working with other grids? Sure. SpotON3D is known for collaborating on a very professional level with many business and educational folks that share its goals and standards. After all, this isn't about any one grid or company. If the 3D Web is to truly become a reality, no one company can be the 'owner' of this. SpotON3D hopes to be just one voice in the community, bringing innovative ideas and technology to the table to help expand the Metaverse in a responsible and tolerant manner to the benefit to all in the community.

    We hope this has answered your questions and that you take the time to get to know more about us. Many make broad assumptions about our grid systems, but after coming in and getting a tour realize this really is a unique and innovative offering. We hope you'll afford us the benefit of the doubt, and give us a chance to educated you on our vision for the 3D Web.

    Thank you again!
    Tessa Kinney-Johnson and the SpotON3D Team