VastServer Developer Edition RTW

Today marks the release to web of a new flavour of VastServer, known as VastServer Developer Edition.

As the name implies, this version of the server is targeted at developers and aims to provide more information on the framework’s behaviour, a little closer to the metal than has been possible in the past.

The user interface for the server is written with WPF and looks like this:

Click for larger view

Some of the more interesting features are covered in detail below.

Server Usage History

Many of the factors that contribute to server load such as send/receive rates, send/receive queues and client connections, are visible at a glance, with a rolling 60 second view of activity graphed:

It’s likely additional metrics will be made available in future releases, such as dynamic element counts, owned element counts, mutex holders, etc along with the ability to filter and manipulate the usage history graph.


Each world maintains it’s own log that displays IMML notifications such as those related to scene.ui:writeline, along with any world related notices, errors and warnings that the framework associates with that context.

A system log is also available via the View -> Log menu. It contains log information related to the networking infrastructure.

File Hosting Support

One nice new feature is the ability to host assets along side client IMML, meaning that IMML can be coded with relative URIs.

This supports the use case where a team wants to avoid setting up a web server or using a public storage provider such as Amazon S3 and is a convenient way to consider developing worlds.

For example, the model in this IMML:

<IMML xmlns="">
  <Model Source="models/ground_path1.model" />

Is resolved to the client folder of the hosted context via the HostingRoot:

In the above example, the HostingRoot is at My Documents\VastPark\Server\ and the hosted context is called “sanctuary” (for some live shots of sanctuary in action, see here) .

Client Metrics

The client tab displays the behaviour of all clients connected to a specific world.

Information on user alias, connection time, framework version, ping, message resends, and time since last message provide the ability to troubleshoot scenarios where certain clients are experiencing difficulty with the system.

Both v1.3 and v1.5 clients are supported by this release of the server, the network stack has remained compatible between these versions of the framework.


VastServer Developer Edition is freely available to developers for download with a limitation of 10 concurrent user connections across all hosted worlds. It’s built for windows and requires .NET Framework 4.0

License keys are available to partners and enterprise customers to remove the concurrent user limitation.


Rebuilding the platform

Over the past few months things have been fairly quiet in terms of new releases and general info appearing on the Official VastPark website. But I can tell you this has been for good reason.

Behind closed doors at VastPark central we have been working quite hard on a totally brand spanking new rewrite of…everything!

Some of the more notable changes:

Of course, to top this all off there is a new website which should come online in the next few days.

XAML Image Browser v0.2

Just released a new version of the XAML Image Browser tool that I use to inspect my XAML Image Libary. With this release a number of new features have been implemented as well as some cosmetic changes and some configuration options.

Read all about it on the XAML Image Browser page and feel free to comment about it here.

XAML Image Browser v0.1

As a side project, I built a simple XAML image browser application to assist me when developing WPF applications that use XAML based images. It lets you preview a directory of XAML and copy the XAML to the clipboard for pasting into Visual Studio/Blend/etc.

Check it out over at the XAML Image Browser page