Awportals Technology Review (PT 2)
Written by Awportals.com
Technology review covering some of the more interesting and powerful aspects of the Awportals.com technology sets which help us be the #1 Activeworlds resource.


Part two relates to our public bots and distributed nodes, as well as the Hyperpath service.

Series: Part 1

Eclipse Evolution 2 / [Zeus] / [Alpha Supreme


Eclipse Evolution is the premier Activeworlds world controller. Initially designed as an expert-level tool for trained users its role was extended to cover Global Command Services; providing functional commands to tens of thousands of users across a wide range of worlds including the first editable integrated Heads-Up Display system, Jump Points, Command Building and several different Chat Relay methods.

While the number of Eclipse Evolution bots running at any one time is low the Eclipse Evolution technology is constantly servicing more users than any other 3rd party technology in Activeworlds and is currently deployed in Alphaworld, AWTeen and AWGate.

Chat Interface Application


One of the newest additions to the Awportals.com technology line-up is the Chat Interface Application drones which have recently be deployed to major hotspots around the Activeworlds universe. These tools are designed to store the last few minutes of chat in each location and upload it to the Awportals.com database[limg]http://host.awportals.com/chronicles/20090718_apcia.png[/limg] so that users may view the chat through the Live Archives functions.

Most of these bots operate in receive only mode - that is to say that they only receive chat. However, several of these bots also allow the use of the ChatBack feature of the Live Archives to chat directly from the website into Activeworlds. In this case the Bot is constantly looking for new messages from Awportals.com registered users which are then broadcast into world prefixed by their user names.

These bots also have the ability to connect to Eclipse Evolution 2 relay channels, allowing the Live Archives to display messages which appear on global channels as well as those messages which occur near to the bot.

Despite their CIA namesake the Chat Interface Application bots are programmed to only display information and chat which would be available to a normal user running their browser in a similar location in the world.

Hyperpath


The Hyperpath technology was first proposed by Strike Rapier in reply to a forum posting and subsequently produced as a replacement to pre-existing Multipath scripts.

While the standard Multipath script is simple to setup and install it suffered from a need to iterate each path for every object potentially causing a single user visiting a world for the first time to trigger thousands or even tens of thousands of object requests between the Multipath and the servers it was configured to search.

The Awportals.com Hyperpath is based around a high performance database configuration and caching; details of each Hyperpath as well as the remote web servers that contain the paths, their priority and their allowed elements are stored using our tuned MySQL databases.

[rimg]http://host.awportals.com/chronicles/20090718_hp.png[/rimg]When an object is first requested our system identifies the type of request be it a model, texture or avatar etc and looks up all of the possible paths that support that kind of object - our system allows for individually configuring each remote server profile including its priority in the list and which types of items it includes. A path may be used for sounds and sequences but not for models and textures.

The system then proceeds to ask each of the remote servers if it has the content in question available and if so its location is recorded in the database and the user is passed the new URL to request the file from. If each server is tried and the file can not be found on any of them then the database records this also - preventing erroneous objects from causing a strain upon the local or remote server resources.

Depending on configuration, it is possible for the local server to store an actual copy of each object it locates passing the data back directly rather than redirecting the browser to download from the other location. Cached results are stored for 24 hours or 10 minutes for successful / failed lookups respectively.

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