Demeter Overview

Demeter, an Activeworlds terrain editor, allows any visitor to a world running Demeter to modify the terrain around his or her buildings.  The interface is very similar to the Activeworlds browser's interface for editing terrain.  The difference between the AW browser and Demeter is that Demeter uses objects to edit the terrain, while the browser does not require objects when a user has Caretaker rights.

Using objects has several advantages over the browser's terrain interface.  First and foremost, objects can make use of the world registry in order to prevent terrain from being modified under existing buildings.  Second, the use of objects allows the terrain under a building to be reproduced exactly when copied by a bot simply by creating and moving a propdump or Xelagot survey file.  Under normal conditions, difficult to master SDK functions for determining exactly how much terrain to copy and actually copying the terrain would have to be used, and a propdump would still be required.  Finally, it is possible to create a variety of unique landscapes using objects not possible with the default terrain editor.  Since the object properties dialog box has more flexibility than the default terrain editor, one can quickly modify the terrain over an entire area, for example, by pressing CTRL-insert with the terrain object at the appropriate height.  Using the browser's terrain editor that disallows multiple cell selection, such a task would be onerous and would require many more times more work.

Demeter has been programmed to seamlessly integrate with existing worlds.  Demeter only concerns itself with terrain under its "marker" objects, and ignores terrain that does not have any markers above it.  As a result, Demeter can be started in worlds where terrain has already been built, since there will be no terrain "markers" in a world where Demeter has never before been run.  In these worlds, Demeter will not delete any existing terrain unless a new marker is created above or below it by a citizen in the world (see the world registry for security concerns).

Demeter was conceived in March 2002, as the release of version 3.3 of the Activeworlds browser neared, by Brant.  With a great deal of assistance from Grimble, an accomplished professional programmer, the project will change the way citizens build in Activeworlds!

A more detailed description is available on the Building with Terrain page.

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