If you run an OpenSim, this is big news. This release of the server software changes the ‘default’ physics engine from ODE to Bullet. I’ve never really liked how ODE worked but it was easy to set up. For some time Bullet has been developed for use with OpenSim.
Developers are expecting some differences and say behavior will possibly be enough different from Second Life’s engine (Havok) that ODE will keep as a fall back engine, likely forever.
This version of OpenSim also provides ‘varible regions’ or varregion as they call it. This will allow those running simulators to set region size and reduce the number of region crossings. Instead of just the basic 256×256 region regions of 512, 1024, etc. can be built.
This change requires a recent version of Singularity, Firestorm, or Kokua. Previously Megaregions used a flaw in the SL Viewer compatible viewers and double teleports to move around the larger regions. This has to do with how the viewers handle region coordinates.
You’ll find the release notes here: OpenSim 0.8 Release Notes.
The changes point to new directions in OpenSim development. This is a lengthy list of fixes, changes, and enhancements.
The Cool VL Viewer also supports \varregion\s, or at least as well as other viewers… Last time I checked, there were still issues when teleporting from a normal region to a far (not in draw distance) varregion, due to server-side protocol flaws; not sure these issues have been fixed in OpenSim v0.8.