Sunday, October 31, 2010

Viral Update

I am constantly revising my ecosystem code, as such, it is often necessary to update all the scripts in a given species withing a particular simulator. However, this is often easier said than done. While it is technically possible to keep track of the UUID of each object in the sim, and update the scripts in each object as needed, a more elegant solution is the "viral update" technique, whereby objects "infect" their neighbors with new code. First pioneered by SL user Sera Rawley, I've adapted the technique for OpenSim, and to work with my new plant protocol. Watching a viral update in progress can be pretty cool, if one properly color codes the objects to show their updating status:

This mode of update has several uses, aside from simply replacing outmoded bioware. For example, allowing multiple interacting scripts in an animal to be exchanged with other scripts in nearby organisms allows us to emulate evolution in action, in ways that go beyond the simple adaptation hard coded into the basic plant or animal scripts. Selection for particular combinations of scripts, for example, is somewhat different than selection based on variable parameters within particular scripts.

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