Tech Talk

SecondLife kicks off new avatar with project Bento

Linden Lab announced today that SecondLife will get a new avatar skeleton with bones that enables finger, facial and tail animations in addition to the possibility of adding more arms and legs to an avatar. 

"We are introducing extensions to the standard Second Life Avatar Skeleton that give you dozens of new bones to support both rigging and animation, and accompanying new attachment points! This extended skeleton, which is fully backward compatible with existing avatars, rigging and animation, gives creators the power to build more sophisticated avatars than ever before.”

The new skeleton is made available to content creators through sample files and a project viewer and will add the following new bones to it:

  • 11 extra limb bones for wings, additional arms, or extra legs.
  • 6 tail bones
  • 30 bones in the hands (all 10 fingers!)
  • 30 bones for facial expressions
  • 2 other new bones in the head for animating ears or antennae
  • 13 new attachment points associated with the new bones

The new skeleton imported into Cheetah 3D

Full details and download links to the project viewer and demo material in the SecondLife Blog

Fonts for OpenSim dynamic textures

OpenSim has functions to generate dynamic textures, including text, but what fonts can it use?

For OpenSim on OS X (Server) it turns out that all fonts installed in /Library/System/Fonts in addition to fonts installed in ~/Library/Fonts for the user that OpenSim is running under is available to mono and therefore to OpenSim. 

A discussion on how to make fonts available for OpenSim running on Linux and Windows can be found in the Kitely Blog, where they also provide a script for testing the fonts available. 

A modified script that includes some of the Apple installed fonts is below. Place the script in a prim and scale it so the texture with the fonts becomes readable. Fonts existing on the system will show properly formatted, the rest will be set in the same type. 

//fonttest MT

list lFonts = ["Abadi MT","Agency FB","Algerian","Andale Mono","Arial","Arial Rounded MT","Avant-Garde","Baskerville Old Face","Bauhaus 93","Beesknees ITC","Bell MT","Berlin Sans FB","Bernard MT","BernhardMod BT","Bitstream Vera Sans","Bitstream Vera Sans Mono","Bitstream Vera Serif","Blackadder ITC","Blackletter 686 BT","Book Antiqua","Bookman Old Style","Bradley Hand ITC","Braggadocio","Britannic","Broadway","Brush738 BT","Brush Script MT","Brushwood Italic","Californian FB","Calisto MT","CaslonOpenface BT","Castellar","Centaur","Century Gothic","Century Schoolbook","Chiller","Colonna MT","Comic Sans MS","Cooper","Copperplate Gothic","Courier","Courier New","Curlz MT","Desdemona","Edwardian Script ITC","Elephant","Engravers MT","EngraversGothic BT","Eras ITC","Eurostile","Felix Titling","Flexure","Footlight MT","Forte","Franklin Gothic Book","Freestyle Script","French Script MT","Garamond","Georgia","Gigi","Gill Sans MT","Gloucester MT","Goudy Old Style","Goudy Stout","Gradl","Haettenschweiler","Harlow Solid Italic","Harrington","Helvetia","High Tower Text","Hippo","Humanist521 Bold Cn BT","Impact","Imprint MT Shadow","Informal Roman","Jokerman","Juice ITC","Kino MT","Kristen ITC","Kunstler Script","LcdD","Lucida Blackletter","Lucida Calligraphy","Lucida Fax","Lucida Handwriting","Lucida Sans","Lucida Sans Typewriter","Magneto","Maiandra GD","Matisse ITC","Matura MT Script Capitals","Mead","Mercurius Script MT","Mistral","Modern No. 20","Monotype Corsiva","MS Sans Serif","News Gothic MT","Niagara Engraved","Niagara Solid","

OCR A","Old English Text MT","Onyx","Onyx BT","Oz Handicraft BT","Palace Script MT","Palatino Linotype","Papyrus","Parchment","Perpetua Titling MT","Placard Condensed","Playbill","Poor Richard","Pristina","QuickType","Rage","Ransom","Ravie","Ribbon131 Bd BT","Rockwell","Script MT","ShelleyVolante","Showcard Gothic","Snap ITC","Stencil","Swiss721 BlkEx BT","Tahoma","Tempus Sans ITC","Terminal","Times New Roman","T-Roman","Transam","Trebuchet MS","Tw Cen MT","Utopia","Verdana","Viner Hand ITC","Vivaldi","Vladimir Script","Westminster","Wide Latin","Xerox Sans Serif","Xerox Serif","Utopia","Zapf Chancery",

// Microsoft fonts

"Andale Mono", "Arial", "Arial Black", "Calibri", "Cambria", "Comic Sans MS", "Candara", "Consolas", "Constantia", "Corbel", "Courier New", "Georgia",  "Impact", "Times New Roman", "Webdings",

// urw-fonts

"Bookman", "Zapf Chancery", "URW Gothic L", "Palatino", "New Century Schoolbook",

// Apple fonts



string sContentType = "vector";

string sData = "";                               

string sExtraParams = "width:1024,height:1024";

integer i;

integer j;

integer k;

draw_fonts(list fonts)


    sData += "PenSize 5; ";

    sData += "PenColour Red; "; 

    sData += "FontSize 14; ";    

    for (i = 0; i <= llGetListLength(fonts); ++i)




        if (i>=40)


            j= i-40;

            k= 250;


        if (i>=80)


            j= i-80;

            k= 500;


        if (i>=120)


            j= i-120;

            k= 750;



        sData += "MoveTo "+(string)k+","+(string)(20*j)+"; ";

        string name = llList2String(fonts,i);

        sData += "FontName "+name+"; Text "+name+";";


    osSetDynamicTextureData("", sContentType, sData, sExtraParams, 0);









How to prevent OS X Server from sleeping

When running OpenSim on OS X Server – at least in grid mode, the thing you don’t want to happen is for the server to go to sleep or spin down the disks. For some reason this happened on one of my servers where the disk kept spinning down regardless of how the System Settings control panel was configured. 

To override the control panel, you can open a terminal session and type the following (with an administrator password):

sudo pmset -a disablesleep 1

Swift goes open source

Unveiling the website Apple has fulfilled the promise they made at the WWDC 2015 to take the Swift programming language open source in 2015. 

"We want everyone to learn Swift as their primary language, and we want — when developers invest in Swift — to be able to use it everywhere from scripting to apps for mobile down to writing code in the cloud,” Apple’s senior Software VP Craig Federighi told The Next Web. "We think the best way to enable all of that is to open source it.”

Swift was first announced at the WWDC in 2014 and made available to Apple developers initially focussing on iOS development in version 1.0. Over the next year the language was improved and many of the initial shortcomings removed so when version 2.0 was introduced in 2015 it had developed to a system level language also with proper support of OS X, where the goal is also to address the enterprise world bringing Swift to the servers.  IBM has reportedly been "a major source" of feedback, and eager to use Swift to port mobile apps to cloud services.

Swift is likely to replace Objective-C in the medium to long term in all Apple programming, but Federighi claimed that it will still have a place. – "Objective C is forever," he said. "I don't think anyone should fear for the future of Objective C. We're going to continue to support Objective C for ourselves and the developer community. "[Apple] has an investment in many many millions of lines of Objective C, and that's not going to change," he continued.

What do you get?

Swift is being released under an Apache 2.0 license, which is incidentally the same license Microsoft used when it open-sourced a big chunk of its .NET framework last year. The project is hosted on GitHub and includes the compiler, the LLDB debugger, the REPL command-line environment, the standard and core libraries, and code from supporting projects. New to Swift (and also open source) is the Swift Package Manager, described as an “early-stage project” that will serve as a repository for Swift modules and will evolve with input from the community.

Binary packaging is currently in Xcode 7.x for OS X, or for Ubuntu 15.1o and 14.04 from the download section of

For non OS X users, Cocoa and most of the iOS and OS X toolbox libraries are not available, and applications submitted to the Apple App stores must still be compiled and finalized with Xcode. 

Get started with IBM Swift Sandbox in your web-browser

Only hours after Apple made its Swift programming language open source, IBM has introduced a new, simple, and free browser-based way for developers to get started writing code. 

If you don’t own a Mac with Xcode, cannot be bothered to download the binaries and install on Linux, but still are curious to what the Swift language has to offer, IBM’s Sandbox tool will let you write in code and get the result immediately displayed directly in your web-browser. 

The sandbox runs on IBM Cloud in a Docker container, and allows testers to use both the latest versions of Swift and its standard library. John Petitto said that the Swift Sandbox tool "barely scratches the surface of what's possible”, teasing that this is just the beginning from IBM, which has openly embraced Apple's programming language for iOS and OS X.  

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