Second Life [Was: [Linux-aus] In the news today]

Christopher Yeoh cyeoh at
Tue Jan 30 18:58:40 UTC 2007

At 2007/1/30 21:21+1100  Jeff Waugh writes:
> It's great that they've freed their client, but it remains to be seen how
> open they're going to be about the whole stack. Indications are good, but
> they're not there yet.

For some time now, they have consistently stated that they plan to
open source both the client and the server code. They did deliver
with the client much earlier than most people expected.

I have read in interviews where they have stated that an open
standardised protocol is of higher importantance than an open source
server, but I'd expect that documentation of, and standardisation of
the protocol will flow pretty naturaly from the GPL'ing of the client
as it will make working with community much easier.

> So, right now, Second Life is the Compuserve or AOL of virtual worlds. Is
> that something we as a community want to promote right now? Sure it's all
> funky and bleeding edge and epistemologically fascinating and so on - I'm
> weighing the difference between agitating for openness from the inside or
> choosing to avoid a closed ecosystem.

I think its important to recognise that there is already a Free and
Open Source community within Second Life. And there is certainly a
Free Culture environment, with the Creative Commons organisation
active within SL organising talks etc. So in a way they are already
part of our community.

The other attractive part about Second Life is that there is no
monopolistic presence (building/scripting/etc), and its very early
days in terms of development.  So it is a great opportunity for open
source developers to demonstrate what a community can achieve on a
more level playing field.

Even if SL eventually falls in a heap (there is certainly no guarantee
that SL is the future of a 3D internet), or the servers never get open
sourced, I think an open source 3D user driven environment much like
it is pretty much inevitable. And the community will learn a lot in SL
about what works well and what doesn't in a virtual 3D environment,
and this knowledge and experience will transfer well to whatever
eventually does emerge.

cyeoh at

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