There is little that any of us can do in the face of aggression on such a huge scale. There are already wars going on in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, and now a huge military operation in the Ukraine risking global war and already the beginning of another "cold war".

Ukrainian and Russian citizens remain welcome here, but supporters of any war are not. There is no justification for war or aggression against other countries except in genuine defence, nor the killing of innocent people under any circumstances. Supporters of any right-wing ideas, including those of Russia or Ukraine, deserve a total international boycott in everything they do. That includes the authoritarian régimes of Putin and Lukashenko, which bear all the hallmarks of fascism but not the name. There is a highly dubious far-right paramilitary group called the Pskov Regiment in Ukraine. Don't think that I'm excusing any authoritarianism, racists or warmongers on any side.

I've put up a "no to war" sign in Ukrainian and Russian in the welcome area linking to the site, where people can donate to those in need in the Ukraine. Please remember that not all of those in need are Ukrainians: there are people of other nationalities, including Russians and also refugees from Syria and residents who are from Asian and African countries. The latter are facing racist discrimination in some cases and being denied the same rights to asylum in neighbouring countries as Europeans are receiving.

There is nothing anti-Russian in this post. Russians are not responsible for this (unless they support Putin) and are suffering massive economic repercussions for themselves and their families because of what the authoritarian dictator Putin is doing. Essentially he is acting precisely as Hitler did in the 1930s, taking over neighbours by force with no regard to human life, the rights of other nations or international law. This is also a disaster for minorities such as LGTBQIA+ people, ethnic minorities and so on, who are repressed in Russia even more than in other Eastern European countries, including Ukraine. The Russian régime routinely assassinates and beats up opponents. It does not have an independent judiciary or any genuine legal commitment to human rights.

It's a small thing, I know, but I've raised the Ukrainian flag here in solidarity. Even if hardly anybody sees it here. I will keep flying it quietly for as long as oppression of the Ukraine by the Russian dictatorship and their Belarusian authoritarian allies continues. I hope Russia and Belarus remove these essentially fascist régimes and restore genuine democracy and freedom of speech. Today, even saying that Russia has gone to war with Ukraine is criminalized. They are using treason laws against ordinary people for simply voicing their opinion or sending support to those in hardship and in need.

It was St David's Day yesterday, 1st March. Traditionally we follow the advice attributed to the saint "Gwnewch y pethau bychain" ("Do the little things").

Independent Ukraine news links:

Journalism in Ukraine
Independent Journalism in Russia
Humanitarian Aid and Human Rights

Short version: we are operating Display Names but you have to TP to a special region (currently Cefnfor, but this may change, so watch this space) in order to change them. We are checking how well things like the cache work (which sets the miniumum time between name changes).

There are very few grids that support Display Names, so this is quite an accomplishment for a small private (but publicly accessible) grid like Ocean Grid, even though it is under testing and you may find it extremely unreliable when logging on via and to servers that don't fully support it.


At present there is a lot of testing to do to work out how best to make it work consistently, given that most of our servers aren't actively operating Display Names. What *seems* to be the case is that both people need to have met in the special region that is capable of Display Names while the names are still cached on the server and quite possibly in their viewers. Thereafter, it *seems* that you can still log in and see the other person's name elsewhere, which *seems* as though it may be because it is cached in your viewer. This is far from being definite! But at least it's fairly reliable in the special region.

We're not sure what you need to do to be sure whether people are seeing the name or not. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you see the name and the other person doesn't, sometimes the other way round. It's not clear yet exactly exactly what all the factors involved are. If they have only seen you in the other regions, it appears that the display name won't ever be seen.

Short of slightly downgrading the software and running the dev version as described further below, this won't be easily resolved. Why doesn't OpenSim incorporate the patches for this functionality?!

Long version follows for those with a technical interest:

OpenSim does not support Display Names as such, meaning that it will allow them to be displayed but not changed or fetched from remote grids. However, its development fork Consortium does enable them, along with the scripting feature Experiences as developed in Second Life™, a Terms of Service (TOS) prompt on login and several other technical changes mainly aimed at admins and scripters.

At the time of writing, Ocean Grid has recently been upgraded to OpenSim and Consortium appears to be roughly in sync with OpenSim Yeti Dev, so we were not keen to downgrade the entire grid again just in order to implement Display Names across all regions/sims.

The solution was to implement a development region for the purpose as previously. This is currently called Cefnfor but this is confusingly similar to some of our sea areas which are so named because it means "ocean" in Welsh, with the addition of the words for the various compass points. Watch this space for a decision on where to place a region more conveniently near the other simulators.

This does mean that we are now running three parallel instances of all the Robust (server) services as well as instances of the OpenSim simulator for each region or (in the case of Manaw and the sea areas) for groups of regions on a single simulator. One is the original (plain HTTP) server, one is for secure TLS and the third new one is currently plain HTTP but enables Display Names. Interestingly, it does not matter which one you use to log on but it does matter that you are in a region where both the services and the simulator software enable Display Names, like this one.

The upshot is that you have to TP to Cefnfor (or wherever we place an appropriate sim i.e. region or group of regions in future), change your Display Name and then TP back to other sims/regions that don't support changing Display Names. The name persists and is visible there. It is only to change them that you need to go to this particular sim/region.

The software is supposed to support Display Names from outside too, but only the special region actively fetches them from remote servers. However, they are usually cached in the viewer. Further testing may reveal how well this performs across grids, the main problem being that most people run OpenSim or a distribution like Diva/D2 that do not support Display Names, so it's pretty hard to get an opportunity to test it unless I set up a totally separate grid elsewhere. These three servers operate technically like separate grids with two key differences: they share a database; they share an IP address and thus see each other fairly seamlessly as home, even if they are individually operating different regions on the grid. I'm not aware of anybody else experimenting with hybrid HTTP and TLS grids or even grids using multiple versions of Robust, but these may well exist among developers and testers. What is quite often seen is grids operating regions running different minor point versions of the software (as major point releases may have incompatible database schemas and thus cause problems for each other). It's common, for instance, on OSGrid.

The upgrade was performed successfully. All other systems are working as normal, including groups, profiles, search, events, mute list (including public chat) and offline IMs, as well as the Wifi web interface. The grid is accessible via the Hypergrid once again, although with some ongoing glitches for outgoing connections via HTTPS to certain grids like OSGrid, and it remains listed on OpenSimWorld as before.

FreeSwitch voice is not currently available but it does not see much use and is non-priority: there are currently no plans to restore it unless there is a real demand in future. IRC is only used for private, back-end admin purposes and public chat is not available outside the simulators.

There have been some minor changes to explicit type casting in YEngine but these did not break any scripts; some switch statements to undefined states whose code had been removed (relic code that served no current purpose) were no longer silently ignored and simply needed to be removed.

To do

Establish why some grids refuse identity checks for outgoing hypergrid connections (e.g. OSGrid) and fix the configuration. Update: the new GateKeeperURIAlias and HomeURLAlias settings have not resolved the problem.

An upgrade to MySQL caused the grid to fail to connect to the database, since OpenSim was not properly configured to connect to MySQL 8.0 by TLS, which is what MySQL 8.0 now assumes by default unless instructed otherwise, unlike in earlier versions.

There is a Mantis report that outlines the issue. However, default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password was already set in /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf and no change was required (Ubuntu 21.04.3 LTS).

There is no need for the overhead of TLS since the connection is being made on localhost, so the solution was to connect without TLS and thus without needing to configure the certificates by changing a line in Robust[.HG].ini as follows (with the parts in bold added):

    ; MySQL
    ; Uncomment these lines if you want to use MySQL storage
    ; Change the connection string to your db details
    ; Remove SslMode=None if you need secure connection to the local MySQL
    ; If using MySQL 8.0.4 or later, check that default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password rather than caching_sha2_password is set in /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf (not applicable to MariaDB).
    ; In most cases ssl is just a pure waste of resources, specially when MySQL is on same machine, and closed to outside
    StorageProvider = "OpenSim.Data.MySQL.dll"
    ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Database=opensim;User ID=opensim;Password=*****;Old Guids=true;SslMode=None;"

You will notice that this hasn't been documented, whereas it has been documented in GridCommon.ini and StandaloneCommon.ini as follows (with the suggested extra documentation added):

And also there needs to be a change to GridCommon.ini

    ; MySQL
    ; Uncomment these lines if you want to use MySQL storage
    ; Change the connection string to your db details
    ; Remove SslMode=None if you need secure connection to the local MySQL
    ; If using MySQL 8.0.4 or later, check that default-authentication-plugin=mysql_native_password rather than caching_sha2_password is set in /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf (not applicable to MariaDB).
    ; In most cases ssl is just a pure waste of resources, specially when MySQL is on same machine, and closed to outside
    StorageProvider = "OpenSim.Data.MySQL.dll"
    ConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Database=opensim;User ID=opensim;Password=***;Old Guids=true;SslMode=None;"

    ; Uncomment this line if you are using MySQL and want to use a different database for estates
    ; The usual application for this is to allow estates to be spread out across multiple simulators by share the same database.
    ; Most people won't need to do this so only uncomment if you know what you're doing.
    ;EstateConnectionString = "Data Source=localhost;Database=opensim;User ID=opensim;Password=***;Old Guids=true;SslMode=None;"

This requires a patch to the documentation so that the same problem won't affect others.

Patch suggested:

The Bishop of the Isles, not content with earlier extensions of the great cruciform cathedral church of St Eve and St Lilith on the Isle of Celyddon, instructed his master masons to draw up plans for a monumental and grandiose scheme project to extend and enlarge the cathedral, to outdo even many of the great mainland cathedrals. It stands on a grand, elevated cathedral close above the castle that dominates that town and the islands, built in a mixture of Norman and early Gothic styles. The cathedral has an unusual retro-choir behind the high altar, beneath a great rose window. In the latest renovations, the cathedral close has been enlarged, double aisles have been added to the nave, the transepts have been extended with a new central tower over the crossing, and aisles have been added behind the choir, sanctuary and retro-choir. These lead to an ambulatory around the the new apse, replacing the demolished Norman towers at the east end. Beneath the retro-choir and the east end of the apse, the crypt has been re-built to house the remains of the line of bishops and the chapter of the cathedral. Above the chapel of St Eve in the south transept is the cathedral library. Beside the great cathedral tower, on the top of the middle tower of the castle, is a chapter house housing a Star Chamber for the clergy to meet and discuss the matters of the day.

But little do the townspeople know that unseen forces have been disturbed on the old misty fell where the work to construct the cathedral has been carried out. Sinister forces have fled the high hell (known to locals as Y Crib) for the nearby, seeimingly barren, mysterious island of Ynys Wern in the west, where the townspeople have long feared to tread since the plague wiped out its population two centuries ago. All is not as it seems. Something nefarious stirs there. For how much longer will the town be safe? The bishop has provided a chapel of ease on the Longbridge to the island for the townspeople, but who knows if that is enough?

Come and see - before the peril grows too great! - the tombs of the two saints of the Hebrew Old Testament, the great spire and the four doors of the Tower of the Winds, the great rose window in the East, a pair of transept-chapels with the tomb of St Eve at the crossing, and a highly unusual interfaith retro-choir with the tomb of St Lilith in the crypt beneath the floor. Wonder at the strange inscriptions and effigies. Changes have been made to the castle to secure the cathedral's defence from seafaring raiders and pirates. But perhaps the real enemy lies somewhere closer at hand...