Announcing the Kokua Project (Updated)

We are very excited to announce a new stage of our project’s development: the Imprudence Project is becoming the Kokua Project!

As well as getting a shiny new name, we are also gaining a new team member, and expanding the scope of our project. We will soon be offering two companion pieces of software: Kokua Viewer, and Kokua Sim.

Kokua Viewer is the spiritual successor to the Imprudence Viewer, but using the latest SL Viewer 2 source as the starting point. Many of the improvements we have made in Imprudence will be carried forward to Kokua Viewer, and we will be applying the same dedication to creating high-quality, usable software that we have put into Imprudence for the past two years. If you are not a fan of the Viewer 2 UI, rest assured that we will be putting a lot of effort into making it more usable, and you will have plenty of opportunity to give us feedback about how it should be improved.

Kokua Sim (previously codenamed “Aurora”) is a new project based on OpenSim, spearheaded by our newest team member, Revolution Smythe. The focus of Kokua Sim will be on making more polished sim software that “just works” for the average user. We will also be creating new features, driving sim development towards a better virtual worlds experience. Kokua Sim has been in development under the radar for quite some time, and already has tons of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes compared to vanilla OpenSim. Update: “Kokua Sim” will be keeping its original name, Aurora.

By having both the viewer and sim developed by the same project, we will be able to closely coordinate our efforts, even to the point of having the same developers work on both the server-side and viewer-side parts of a new feature. This will greatly reduce the barrier to developing exciting new features that require support on both sides.

That said, we plan for Kokua Viewer to remain fully compatible with Second Life and non-Kokua flavors of OpenSim. Likewise, Kokua Sim will work with other viewers, but they may not be able to provide the richest experience possible. When you combine Kokua Viewer with Kokua Sim, the result will really shine!

With such exciting new things happening simultaneously, this is a time of change and renewal for the project. It is a fresh start in many ways, and we feel this is a good opportunity to renovate the project, giving it a new, more fitting name.

Our old name, Imprudence, was rooted in our response to Linden Lab’s development process and policies. But, over 2 years have passed since we started Imprudence. Linden Lab’s development process, policies, and relationship with the open source community have changed a great deal, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Meanwhile, our own identity and priorities have shifted, too. We are focused primarily on OpenSim-based worlds now, rather than Second Life. We have grown our own development process, philosophy, and way of doing things. We continue to support Second Life, and thus are not completely independent of Linden Lab, but we are certainly no longer defined by our contrast with them.

So, it is time for a new name that better reflects the spirit of our project: Kokua!

Kōkua (koh-koo-ah) is a Hawai’ian word meaning “help, aid, support”. More broadly, it embodies a communal spirit of mutual assistance, lending a hand and helping others without concern for your own personal gain.

In the context of this project, Kokua describes both our efforts to offer useful software to the community, as well as the community’s wonderful support and willingness to participate and help out in return.

Our thanks go out to Wagner James “Hamlet” Au for inspiring the name. He originally suggested kokua as the name for our support team, and we absolutely fell in love with the word, its meaning, and its spirit.

Here is a look ahead at what you can expect in the near future:

  • The first version of Kokua Sim will be released within the next few days. Update: The source code for Kokua Sim / Aurora is available now! There are far too many improvements to mention them all here, but a few things you will notice are much more complete and reliable scripting and physics engines, and a fully-featured setup that works right out of the box, without the need to tinker with obscure configuration files.
  • Over the next few weeks, the website and project infrastructure will be transitioning from “Imprudence” to the new “Kokua” name. That means a new domain name, new inworld groups and IRC channels, and so on. We will have plenty more information about these changes in the days to come.
  • Imprudence 1.4 will continue to be developed concurrently with Kokua. Version 1.4 will be the last version released under the “Imprudence” name. We are hoping to release Imprudence 1.4 in late November/early December, and start weekly Kokua Viewer Experimental pre-releases before the end of the year.

We hope you will walk with us as we begin this exciting new journey, and lend your kōkua as we build great things together.

the Kokua Team

The Kokua logo, a stylized purple hand performing the shaka gesture

50 Responses to “Announcing the Kokua Project (Updated)”

  1. Sasy Scarborough

    looking forward to it :)

  2. Maria Korolov

    Congrats! I am very much looking forward to seeing media-on-a-prim and mesh without the SL V2 interface!

    Will Kokua Sim and Kokua Viewer be compatible with the existing distributions of OpenSim? Will we be able to hypergrid teleport from a world running mainline OpenSim or the Diva Distro to the Kokua Sim distro?

    Also, will you add some much-awaited hypergrid features — like a fix for the 4,096 bug, hypergrid landmarks, a hypergrid “back” button, and a hypergrid-enabled “Teleport Home” function?


    — Maria Korolov
    Editor, Hypergrid Business

  3. jokay

    Congratulations… exciting times in the metaverse!

  4. Neil Canham

    This is fascinating and I think very encouraging news. I’m really looking forward to seeing what can be done with a real partnership in development of viewer and server components. Does the difference in perspective regarding the license issues of Viewer and OpenSim code mean that the server element will be a totally separate fork?

  5. Stephen Venkman

    Looking forward to it.

  6. Daniel Voyager

    Sounds great. :)

  7. Lalo Telling

    Two big questions:

    1. Am I correct, that ‘Kokua Sim’ will be server software for a standalone region, either to self-host on one’s own computer or to run on a hosting service?

    2. Will it support hypergrid?

  8. zoebuggy

    positive beams
    congratulations on your positive development

  9. Per Eriksson

    Good news, exciting times, eager to try viewer and server combo makes lots of sense to me. What about Hypergrid?

  10. Jean Horten

    Sounds very exciting, I only hope the Kokua Viewer will have a useable GUI and not something like Kirsten’s which is pretty much as unuseable as LL V2 in regards of the Sidebar and the Communication System. When will we get a first beta??

  11. Timo Gufler

    Sounds like wonderful news. I really wait for the new Kokua viewer. How about changing the logo too? :)

  12. Kalor Rayner

    Awesome news! I look forward to seeing how this new viewer develops and what happens with the sim as well.

  13. GoSpeed Racer

    Yes, but will it OGG?

  14. Stryker Jenkins

    You wrote, “We hope you will walk with us as we begin this exciting new journey, and lend your k?kua as we build great things together.”…

    My first gut reaction was … “NO”… But as most great things it takes time to get to know the consequences. I will there for wait and see. In anticipation of things to come.

  15. Sidney Kwon

    One of the main things that kept me from using V2 was the lack of features I’ve grown to love and use on a daily basis. If you’re able to shoehorn all the Imp features in, I’d force myself to relearn to do pretty much everything in SL and beyond.

  16. Lance Sorex

    Having worked with Revolution on multiple projects in the past, and more specifically having worked most recently with him on the Aurora Grid Project it is yes a standalone sim product, which you can host on your own, and it does/will have hyper grid functionality. I dont know what there plans are now with regards to any of that, but the Aurora platform was originally intended that way.

  17. Ai Austin

    Excitiing developments. Very best sishes in yiur aims. Let me make a plea to contribute the core server side developments back to influence the direction of OpenSim itself. Also to continue to persuade the community of the value of the add on modules that really make such an environment a comprehensive development usable out of the nix without having to search for and configure a wide range of elements from various sources.

  18. Ai Austin

    And PLEASE keep in step everyone with hypergrid developments, so we don’t fragment on that important aspect of interoperability.

  19. brinda allen

    OK…I’ll give you guys time to let the dust settle……
    But, if your new viewer looks anything like 2.ought oh, I can’t ever see using it unless it is the only way to log in.
    2.ought oh is an unmitigated disaster.period. stop. end.

  20. DD Ra

    Very good news ! I hope Kokua as a viewer and as an Sim server will be as succesful as the Imprudence Viewer !
    … and that the answer to Lalo’s questions is yes for both ^_^

  21. Opensource Obscure

    /me sends love

  22. Ken Savage

    This sounds like very BIG and exciting news, BUT… can the Kokua server also be used to connect directly to grids such as OSGrid like we can do now without requiring us to use Hypergrid?

  23. BlueWall


    Looking forward to walking the next leg of the journey.


  24. dahlia

    Wishing you the best of luck with your new project :)

    I’m curious, does the Kokua sim include modifications to ODE? If so, will those modifications be submitted back to the ODE community? I’ve not seen a contribution agreement for ODE which would restrict contributions.

  25. Jeeper

    Exciting times ahead!

  26. Tazy

    sounds like fun, exiting !

  27. WhiteStar

    Info on Aurora, also refered to as Kokua Sim.

  28. Jacek Antonelli
  29. ShadowFur

    Will windows users finally get SSE3 and SSE4 support?

  30. Ansariel Hiller

    SSE3 and SSE4 support for Windows is limitated by the c++ compiler coming with Visual Studio – it only allows compiling against SSE2. :(

  31. Ansariel Hiller

    Are comments reviewed first and then manually released or why does my comment still not show up after one hour of waiting?

    Anyway: SSE3 and SSE4, SSE4.1 and SSE4.2 support for Windows is limitated by Microsofts c++ compiler coming with Visual Studio. It only allows automatic code optimization for SSE2. If you want support on newer SSE features, you either need to manually change the code to support SSEx intrinsic functions or use Intel’s c++ compiler – which is not available for free. :(

  32. Wordfromthe Wise

    More info about Project AURORA here:
    Impressive Feature List ..

    RevolutionSmythe is now not only my PhysixxsGod in OSGRID but also my MainGod, besides the other Devs at the Opensim Project .. :-)

  33. Lilly

    I used this viewer because of the interface, and in hopes to have the multiple tattoo layers and radar.

    Now you’re telling us you’ll put the fucked-up UI of Viewer 2, the hardship to use and those hateful stupid “extra” folders that do nothing but clog inventory and confuse people???????

    Time to abandon this viewer and go seek for some others that have the features we want, with the UI we want.

    What a pity. Looked so promising.

  34. christesre

    I wish you courage and success, this new project, I look forward testing, keep us posted.;)

  35. Michael

    Great news, IF you manage to civilize the 2.x UI. Its logical to switch to the 2.x codebase to avoid backporting an ever increasing set of changes.

  36. Jacek Antonelli

    @Lilly: I completely understand your frustration with Viewer 2. I’m not a fan of many of the design choices LL made with it, and I know many, many people feel even more strongly about it. But remember, Kokua Viewer will not be Viewer 2! We’re only using it as a starting point. In the same way that a sculpture is not the same as the lump of clay it started as, Kokua Viewer will not be the same as Viewer 2.

    McCabe and I have three years of experience each in modifying and improving the Viewer 1.x UI, and that experience is still applicable to the Viewer 2.x code. In fact, the UI code in 2.x is much more powerful and flexible than the code in 1.x, so it will be even easier for us to make big improvements to the UI. And we are eager to do exactly that. We have our sledgehammers polished and ready, and we’re not afraid to use them. ;)

    Really, our goal is to make you guys say, “Holy crap! Now this is what Viewer 2 should have been!” So I hope you (and everyone else who thinks “Viewer 2? Ugh!”) will give us a chance to show what we can do. :)

    P.S. We’re still working to make Imprudence 1.4 the best possible 1.x-based viewer we can. And we will never, ever, ever force anyone to switch to Kokua if you don’t want to!

  37. Prudence Memo

    Exciting news that you’re taking V2 by the horns, I’m impatient to see the results. Pity about the name change though ;-)

  38. Andros Baphomet

    I agree with Lilly here. I tried Viewer 2 again today, just to remind myself of why I tossed it. The UI is utter rubbish. It isn’t just bad, it’s actively hostile to use. It takes away so much of the UI freedom you have in Viewer 1 and is a confusing and disheveled mess. I can’t believe they paid Big Spaceship to design this phenomenally repugnant turd; it shows that whoever designed it never set virtual foot in an environment like SL.

    Given that, you’ll forgive me if I’m extremely skeptical about this move. Minor tweaks to the UI won’t cut it this time. Making Viewer 2 usable is going to require major surgery. And yes, my rubric will be Viewer 1, because it lets me get things done and doesn’t get in my way or try to “help” me like I’m a drooling moron. If I can’t do things in Kokua as easy and as conveniently as I could in Imprudence, what’s the point in switching? Because it’s new and shiny? Faugh.

    Bottom line: You’ve got your work cut out for you big time. I will not be surprised if this attempt creates a slightly more polished turd, though a turd nevertheless. I’ll be following your progress, of course. But I am an exceptionally hard critic, and it will take a LOT to make me enthusiastic about this project.

    That said, I AM enthused about the Kokua server project, and will be taking a look a it shortly.

  39. Bashful Pixie


    Fair enough. but what about those of us who actually *like* Viewer 2 mostly the way it is now (minus bugs, of course)… Will that be an option? Because Imprudence has better features than Emerald ever did and all the Phoenix users don’t have a clue LOL …and obviously LL Viewer doesn’t have the features.

    What I am hoping for is a Viewer 2 with Kokua Features. Keiki aloha ku’u home-O, kaha’a lu’u, know what I mean?

    But really… Will there at least be a “default, officialized Viewer 2 skin”?
    Personally, I like Viewer 2 (because I actually took the time to learn and get used to it, unlike most who bash it).

    Thanks for any reply.

  40. Ansariel Hiller

    Will my comments ever show up???

  41. Jacek Antonelli

    @Ansariel: Sorry about that, Akismet marked them as spam for some reason! (And yours too, Maria and GoSpeed.) Bad Akismet, no biscuit!

  42. Mimetic Core

    @Imp Devs: Aside from being the only TPV developers who a) are intelligent coders and b) fully understand the dynamics of viewer/server interoperability, I’m eager to see what you do with the 2.0 codebase. Obviously, none of us are fans of the new LL viewer – otherwise we wouldn’t be using Imp. However, I know firsthand that underneath the ugly shell there’s a code structure that is totally underutilized. People need to stop focusing on the UI issues. That can obviously be reworked which I’m sure you will with great success.

    @ those who keep whining about the changeover or doubting the Imp Devs’ abilities to roll out another great viewer: feel free to throw down your own code so we can all be schooled.

    Oh, and thanks for the new server too ;)

  43. Morgaine

    Well done folks, it’s great to hear about these close new ties and direct collaboration between Imprudence and Opensim developers! This has been much needed for a very long time, and you’re spearheading the brave new direction for open viewers and open worlds very nicely.

    And congrats to Revolution Smythe for leading the Opensim side of the effort!

    Beware though that the last thing that anyone needs is more closed, walled garden grids, of which we have a large number already. As Maria Korolov and others have suggested above, Hypergrid is extremely necessary functionality for Kokua Sim, and should be well supported in Kokua viewer.

    Without Hypergrid, the project would be going essentially nowhere, because making new accounts and newbie avatars in each new grid gets old and boring extremely quickly. Kokua needs to do better, and make the user experience with open worlds a more friendly one.

    Best wishes to the new Kokua team, exciting times ahead!

  44. brinda allen

    @ Bashful Pixie
    I guess there are a few of you…sadly.

    Just today I met another nooblet one day old… I asked her to download 1.23.5….same response after relog and 5 minutes, “Wow, this is so much easier to learn!”

  45. shamus

    saw this and could not help but think v2

  46. Mewling Moy

    Congrats on the new project…. I think.
    There are some features in V2 I like but have learned how to do without them. For that matter, there were features in Emerald I liked too (OK, only the radar) but have learned to do without that as well. Now I’m wondering what will come next and hope it won’t kill my computer.
    I’m not a techie, and don’t go on to grids other than SL. I’m happy for those of you who do but SL is still the place I want the most usefulness.
    Keeping my fingers crossed and waiting.

  47. James OReilly

    Great, Imprudence’s mission statement remains usability, based on the user, and not based on the cherry-picking whims of the developer, as happened with the SL viewer…

    So what are the user problems, user use cases, user needs, user requirements?

    My use case is a virtual NASA project management environment… I haven’t seen it yet…

    Another use case is a virtual Engineering & Designing Office for CAD-CAM… I have seen a video with a university course resembling this… Using SolidEdge CAD pulled into Reactiongrid’s Jibe, and employing 3D glasses…

    This use case shows the results of the application of OpenSim linked to real hardware in a mixed reality experimentation scheme…

    Merely bike pedaling to achieve software features is not enough… Usability also requires holding the handlebars and eye-opening to read a roadmap for alignment and guidance…

    On June 24th, 2009, IBM announced its first virtual meeting capability for remote, mobile and global teams- Virtual Collaboration for Lotus Sametime

    How can this be focussed on CERN’s Grid Computing? GridCafe… THE place to learn about Grid Computing

    And this… Super Computer Conference for Education
    SC Education – The SC09 Education Program portion of the annual SC Conference 2009 focuses on engaging educators and students across the K-20 spectrum in learning about the latest technologies and applications for advancing scientific discovery. The educators are supported in their endeavors to integrate emerging technologies and methodologies into the preparation of the future workforce.

    How can all this merge into an Education Grid Architecture?

    Tour for Moodle-Jibe/Unity and using SolidEdge CAD

  48. Andrew Hughes

    Very exciting! Let me know how our team could help!

  49. Geister Pfeffer

    Can you make the viewer compatible with Mac-OSX 10.4 ( not intel ) ? Would be very nice to have it on a Ibook too :)

    Your idea sound´s good, i´m still waiting for results.

  50. Axaes Xandal

    It’s a daring attempt, not sure what I think about two projects hooking up to …hm, specialize. As long as code can flow from aurora to opensim and back it’s a good thing I guess, and Kokuaviewer teaming up with a server platform isn’t bad either, as long as there’s no lock-in in the long run.

    The reason I’m a bit sceptical is because I’m always sceptical of diversification rather “standardization”. In de fractals of FOSS-development, it’s often the branches of/f the main stem which whither away first in the onslaught of a drought.

    But then, this is nature happening…