* WGs marked with an * asterisk has had at least one new draft made available during the last 5 days

NOTE: THe following is out of date. It was posted for consideration during the process of approving the MMOX BOF. The BOF is approved and charter discussions continued on the MMOX mailing list.

Draft Charter for MMOX Working Group

The following is a proposed draft charter for the MMO/Virtual World Interchange (MMOX) Working Group. It is important to understand that this is a _draft_ and the authors are currently seeking substantive input from the technical community.

The IETF is the right forum for this work because this work will have a close interaction with existing IETF RFCs and STDs, the IETF has a diversity of viewpoints and experience to ensure a successful protocol, and the IETF has a IPR policy suitable to creation of a viable vendor-neutral suite of standards. Therefore, we are requesting a BoF session at IETF 74 to agree on a working group charter.

Working Group Name:
Massively Multi-participant Online Technologies

Meadhbh S. Hamrick <infinity@lindenlab.com>
David Lavine <dwl@watson.ibm.com>

Area and Area Directors:
Applications Area
Lisa Dussealt <lisa@osafoundation.org>
Chris Newman <chris.newman@sun.com>

Responsible Area Director:
Lisa Dussealt <lisa@osafoundation.org>

Mailing List:

Description of Working Group:

Virtual Worlds and other Massively Multi-Party Online Applications are of increasing interest to the internet community. Innumerable examples exist of such applications, most using proprietary protocols. With their roots in games and social interaction, Virtual Worlds are now being increasingly used in business, education and information exchange. With a user base expected to grow to beyond 50 million by 2011, creators of such systems have begun to look at ways to make such systems interoperate. There have have been several ad hoc efforts since 2007 to develop interoperability. We believe the process would now benefit from a formal, established process.

The objective of the MMOX working group is to provide an application-layer wire protocol for Virtual Worlds to a) enable interoperability between applications, b) provide for access and exchange with other systems on the internet such as web services, e-mail and other information storage systems, c) allow network layers to recognize VW traffic and make routing decisions based on its characteristics.`

The core work of the group will be the production of the Open Grid Protocol suite (OGP), a set of application protocols to communicate and interact with the state of Virtual World applications. Foundational protocols in OGP include the publication of: 1) LLSD, an abstract type system for representing application layer objects along with serialization rules for protocol messages between these objects. 2) OGP Base, a messaging abstraction to support the unique needs of VW interactions. 3) Guidelines for using a PKIX compliant X.509 infrastructure to authenticate protocol endpoints. The OGP protocol suite makes use, where ever possible, of existing, established standards. For example, image data is typed and transfered using MIME and HTTP; serializations are encoded in XML and JSON.

The MMOX working group is not proposing the standardization of any one complete proprietary protocol, but the definition of a extensible core protocol and layers of agreed functionality as they are developed. Because the OGP suite is layered upon a core that is deployable before the entire range of VW functions is considered, we believe that the efforts of the MMOX working group are achievable within a reasonable time frame.

Goals and Milestones:

October 2009 Publication of LLSD Draft as an Informational RFC
October 2009 Publication of the PKIX Profile for Inter-Simulator Communicaton Draft as an Informational RFC
February 2010 Progression of OGP Base and Event Queue to Proposed Standard
February 2010 Progression of OGP Virtual World Primitive Object Format to Proposed Standard
June 2010 Progression of OGP Authentication to Proposed Standard
June 2010 Progression of OGP Teleport to Proposed Standard