Wednesday, August 03, 2011

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Big Breakthrough: You Can Run Second Life in Facebook with SpotON3D's Browser Plugin Wrapper!

Second Life in Facebook

A new browser plugin wrapper developed by SpotON3D can run an OpenSim world in Facebook, as I reported last week, but early beta tester Hitomi Tiponi discovered something just as important, if not moreso: You can also use the plugin wrapper to access and run Second Life in Facebook. Above is a screencap she took in Facebook while also in SL's orientation area. What's more, she tells me it's easy to access, and it performs in Facebook's canvas pretty well:

"It was surprisingly easy, Hamlet," Ms. Tiponi tells me. "Just bring up Preferences -- and in the options where you choose which grid to point at, select 'Second Life' - it is already available as one of the options!" You can also access other OpenSim grids in this manner. As for performance in Facebook: "It seems to work fine running in Facebook like that. Speed is about equivalent with running it in a normal viewer with a window that size."

This isn't even the only technology that can run Second Life in Facebook, read on:

AVWorlds claims they will launch an embed of their own this week. So we now have a strong movement to bring Second Life, which has remained a niche in great part because it is a downloaded client, to the largest website in the world.

Unsurprisingly, this move doesn't come without controversy: a number of OpenSim developers/competitors have complained about SpotON3D's bid to patent some of their technology, which you can read about in the comments on my original post, and better yet, in this very balanced article in HyperGrid Business. Hopefully controversy doesn't kill this very real opportunity to bring 3D virtual world experiences, including SL, to a much much larger audience.

As for SpotOn3D, the plugin wrapper is currently disabled in Facebook, but you can request to join the company's Facebook group, for updates.

Much thanks for this tip to Hitomi, who created the popular Starlight viewer skin for SL. (Wonder if she'll soon make such a skin for SL in Facebook.)


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heh... Hamlet - you need a technical adviser. really.

Ann Otoole InSL

Better do more research dude. Start here where the real story is:


Girl: "You put your virtual world in my social network!"
Boy: "You put your social network in my virtual world!"
In Unison: "That's two great tastes that taste great together!"

Announcer: "Offer not valid in low bandwidth environments, on PCs more than 1 year old, in countries that restrict FaceBook, and in the state of Delaware. Pseudoanonymous users may experience sudden identity exposure and should discontinue use immediately. Teens are not permitted on FaceBook or mature areas of SL and probably should go outside and get some sun anyway."

Hamlet Au

I changed the description from "plugin" to "plugin wrapper".

Jay Kaufmat

My friend Katharine made an in-browser client a long time ago using AJAX (AjaxLife; I believe it was mentioned on this blog before). Considering that, I'm actually kind of surprised that nobody has made a Second Life client on Facebook before now. Granted, it was finally taken down in July due to very good reasons, but I'm sure someone could have come up with something that fulfilled all of LL's requests.

I'm really interested in how far this will go.

Jay Kaufmat

Oops, I mean, July of last year.


I still don't understand the value of a "plugin wrapper" (which is a euphemism for "not a plugin") that requires a local SL installation. This is not a breakthrough in any way, and in fact, it's not even newsworthy.


I still don't see the purpose of this. You still have to have an account in whatever virtual world you visit. This seems more like it's trying to make Facebook relevant. If you and or your friends have accounts, why not meet in that world? What does involving Facebook add to this experience?

Jay Kaufmat

Kim and Curious do bring up good points. It's kind of redundant when you think about it.


Hamlet--you should also change the "Big Breakthrough" to "Big Whoop" while you're at it :) You're on a roll this week-first "atoms," now this junk.

Yordie Sands

Thanks for the great information. I took the plunge and joined, then spent 20 minutes trying to make my avie look like me in SL. I'm off to a good start but I can see i'm gonna need to do some shopping really quick. tc

GoSpeed Racer

Gee guys, snark much?

Adeon Writer

It was disappointing that it wasn't actually a real plugin. A real web-app wouldn't need to install anything. I'm sure it's possible... It just requires more work than wrapping up a viewer. :/

Nathan Adored

Heh, some "big breakthrough"! They appropriated the code, and the credit, from a group of open source devs. Now they're trying to claim a patent on it, even though they didn't really invent it.

Jack Abraham

But why would you want to?

Hitomi Tiponi

SpotON3D have issued a statement concerning the patent application and other stuff - it is also worth reading the comments below it from Kitely's creator rebutting some of their assertions.

foneco zuzu

Redudant information!
For sure soon a few will start to understand that:
Sl is not for the masses,
Is for creative adult open minds, a small niche in these days!


I don't understand this Big Breakthrough... instead of installing SL and hit the exe-shortcut to start the program ... i install SL and then hit the 'start' button on a website to start the program?
When you log into your account on the SL webpage .. on the upper left side there is a button "Launch Second Life" ... and when you hit it, the program starts ... not in a small window on your internet browser BUT in an own SL window !!!!... THIS i call innovation !!!!!


the idea behind AjaxLife, a web based client, is the only way to get what you so deeply desire, Hamlet

Arcadia Codesmith

No patent claim for this tech is going to withstand a challenge... and if they try to enforce a worthless patent with bigfoot tactics, that sets them up nicely for a fat countersuit.

I think Linden Lab themselves should roll out a wrapper, with hooks in the client for full Facebook interoperability (background download, quick registration, etc). They're in the best position to laugh off frivolous litigation by two-bit patent sharks, and a free open-source implementation would be a great boost for the virtual world community as a whole.

(I still hate Zuckerberg's Tragic Kingdom, but there's no reason not to raid it for new recruits).


During the 2008 vr worlds hype a rama, at least 3 VC funded companies placed VR worlds into plugin engines and wrappers that worked in Facebook. None gained any tractional usage. All are now dead. 3D "you build it" platforms IN Facebook just dont matter. But some just wont let that go...

shockwave yareach

Why would I want to have a 3D virtual world inside Fakebook in the first place? If I want creativity and fun, I'll go to SL. If I want to hand over my private information so Zuckerberg can afford a third solid gold Porsche, I'll go to Facebook. I don't need Facebook knowing and selling details about what sexbeds I'm buying, thank you.

I would no more enter SL through Facebook than I'd go to a lit fireplace after dousing myself with Gasoline.

Hamlet Au

shockwave, are you an active user of Facebook and player of Facebook games?

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