24February

New Site, New Horizons, & Past Visions

Changes, Updates, & Commentary

New Site, New Horizons, & Past Visions

Over the years a lot of work has been done here. In past iterations we've had classes for college credit, explorations of educational technology, academic papers published in programming, poetry, HCI, and/or art journals, multiple art shows, academic presentations, VC pitches, and just all around some great discussions here. Those discussions typically happened live in on one of the multiple websites / multi-user technologies we've used. In every situation we've gained new knowledge and new skills.

Most recently, there's a lot of updates and changes that have happened and that are coming. To make the Virtual Work database function we had to make a new site in Joomla 3.4. We dropped much of what wasn't useful before and started exploring new items that may or may not be useful.

specific goals below:


 

  • The Database of Virtual Work is the next big project here. Anyone who has explored the big Oculus Rift/HMD or WebGL sites knows what a mess they are. You can't search intelligently, and heaven help you if you want to learn about design and best practices. The only thing sadder is the missing history of web3D works in general. Academics reviewed work from their private ivory silos and typically ignored web3D as a whole. For them VR was big flashy immersive projects or cultural cotton candy done by brand name individuals or institutions. Meanwhile the average person documenting works focused¬† on their own technical communities in Second Life, X3D, WebGL, Unity etc. Sharing lessons between technologies or academic disciplines just isn't done.

    Worst of all, most works are now offline or unsupported by today's upgraded technology. So with great hubris pop icon technology promoters talk about the future without a clue as to the past. Great lessons have been lost and we tire of seeing well funded ignorance drive the development of this medium.
  • WebGL remains interesting, but we've stopped developing in it. We'll check in with various flavors of it at the end of the year and see if enough progress had been made.
  • Our Unity / Jibe multi-user site is coming down. We had huge issues just trying to log into it. The provider (while nice) pointed to trace routes and blamed the issue on the internet. Sadly we can't fix the internet so no solution was ever going to come. Unity 5 offers a lot of promise (and problems) for multi-user work. We will likely have something up and running by year's end. Maybe VR Chat
  • Patents remain a point of interest with us. Big players and little trolls are already active. Given the nature of the work here, the potential for innovation coming from the arts, we want to do what's best for hardworking, community-mind developers who create work here. Our community knows a great deal about what's been done and what has not. (Trust us when we say there's a lot that hasn't been done.) Understanding the patent process and all the ramifications of patents are on the table. Our first patent is in the legal pipeline.

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