Friday, January 9, 2009

Guest Blogger Ophelia Hax : OpenCollars

Hello everyone.. Deirdre here, introducing a guest blogger. Ophelia mentioned the OpenCollar project to us, and I suggested she tell us more. Here is the result.. with any luck, we may see more excellent posts by Ophelia soon.

(lelo was kind enough to stand still while I snapped all those collar pics.. thank you, sweetie)
The one thing that every submissive needs is a collar. There are many collars available, good and bad. It used to be that you got what you paid for. That is no longer true since OpenCollar has arrived.

Opencollar is a full-featured collar, with loads of poses (including my favorite - subhug), locking, advanced owner management, and full RLV support.

And it's free! You can pick one up at the OpenCollar project headquarters. If you join the group (you may have seen people wearing the 'Ask about Opencollar' tag), many cute, elegant, playful, themed, or just bluntly brutal designs are available.

I had a nice chat with one of the founders of OpenCollar, Athaliah Opus, while we were relaxing on cushions in a skybox.

Ophelia Hax: You the founder of the OpenCollar project - what role are you playing in it?
Athaliah Opus: OpenCollar was created as a small project between friends that quickly grew. Nandana Singh and I started it going but now we have many scriptors and other people donating time to help improve it. We gave out the scripts only using word of mouth and it just started to spread and grew to what it is today. It came from a simple idea to make submission free in SL.

OH: What do you think is the best feature of the OpenCollar?
AO: You mean other than the ability to hand a full perm collar to someone where they can look at the scripts and learn how it is put together and how each part works? There are so many features in it, and we add more to it all the time.

My personal favorite is the badwords feature. Here's how it works. Every time I say a word that is on the badwords list, I get warned by the collar. Then it places me into the punishment animation, which the owner can set.

Mine is set to put me underground so that I am not able to be seen by anyone on the same level unless I type out the penance phrase. The default one is set to be "pet is very sorry for her mistake" but again, the owner can set it to be anything thing from "Uncle" to "My owner is an amazing god and I grovel at my owners knees to beg forgivness".

There is a lot of fun that can happen with a creative owner. And I will say, when you’re frantically trying to get that penance phrase in, it can take a few tries.

OH: Are there any features that you are still missing in the collar?
AO: Not that many. We encourage everyone to go to our code site and put in suggestions on what they think is missing. Sometimes there is discussion, and sometimes something is added quickly as it was forgotten. Open Source has always been been flexible in that way.

OH: Opencollar is Open Source, GPL [Gnu Public License]. Are you going to enforce that?
AO: Yes, each collar has the license inside of it. I will be following up on it, but in my mind people are smart enough not to pay a lot for something they can get free at the headquarters.

OH: Are you concerned that someone will insert malicious code into OpenCollar?
AO: Not really as we do have a few checks in it and we have some very smart scriptors that are amazing. Everything is tested several ways before being released to the OpenCollar group and then some time is spent before it is placed as a stable release.

OH: How many contributors do you have?
AO: Oh my. I can give you a list but the ones that have contributed a lot have a donation board with their name under it in the Headquarters. We didn't at first, but had to add them because we had so many requests on how to thank people. My part of the donations also go towards support tier.

OH: If our readers feel compelled to contribute work ... what should they focus on?
AO: Find a part of it that interests them and improve on a part of it. Passionate people make great things. We also have a help wiki where we need help adding more content and making it a better resource. All of the URLs and code database URLs are kept in the group notices so that anyone can help.

OH: OpenCollar is quite successful. What is the next big thing we may expect from you and the group?
AO: We have gotten a lot of requests for other things but for now we are going to focus on the collars. Well, it also depends on what others want to help with. If we get a lot of people inspired to make things to go with the collar, we will see.

OH: I have seen a few other OpenCollar devices - personally I like the hood/helmet!
AO: That is a very unique hood Collar. Quitero Klaar made it and a lot of other non-traditional designs.

OH: One last question: Do you still find time to USE your OpenCollar?
(Athaliah laughs). I do but most of the time I tend to use mine to show the features to Masters/Mistresses at the headquarters. Also I use it a lot to try and duplicate issues. OpenCollar keeps me busy.

OH: Athy, thank you so much for this interview! And thank you and your group for Opencollar! OpenCollar is great!
AO: Thanks! (Athaliah giggles).


Ophelia Hax: Rereading the interview, I am still amazed by Athy's enthusiasm and devotion to the project and its free products. The collars are beautiful and feature rich, everything you find in the standard collar and then some. Highly recommended - not only for those who start in SL-BDSM, but for everyone to find out what Opencollar might add to their D/s experience.


Link to the OpenCollar Developer Site and Wiki :

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