Second Life Opens Up

Popular online world, Second Life, is entering into the world of open source, by releasing the code to the client application that allows users to access it. Says the Second Life blog, in a post entitled ‘Embracing the Inevitable’:

At Linden, we have always been strong advocates of the use of open standards and the advantages of using open source products. Though Second Life makes abundant use of non-standard technologies, our basic UDP protocol message system for example, we rely on open standards and open source implementations when appropriate and available. Since many of the components that will make up this network are not yet done, we are not publishing long white papers or RFCs at this time — instead, we are giving everyone what we have along with a goal of producing those open standards with the input and assistance of the community that has brought Second Life to where it is now.

This is an interesting move for Linden Lab, the company behind SL. CNN quote Sibley Verbeck, CEO of Electric Sheep – one of the top SL ‘construction’ companies:

Linden Lab has done extraordinarily well creating a platform for very motivated early adopters. But they have not made the front-end experience ready for the mass market. It’s hard to learn, hard to use, and hard to find content even once you learn how to use it…those barriers will be addressed very rapidly upon the adoption of this open source initiative.

Thanks to John for pointing out the story.

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