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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


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Shockwave Plasma

So should he be renamed Linus Linden ?


seems a bit late to the party and what real promise is there that the work on the viewer will be maintained or is it just a this quarter initiative? LL is so random it is hard to rely on anything. Anyone say roadmap in lindenworld?

A more serious discussion would be about mesh on the grid to increase realism.

Opensource Obscure

Ouch. The "Linus Torvalds" reference isn't much appropriate here - SL server code is still totally closed-source, and the SL permission system still doesn't support real GPL/CreativeCommons-like sharing.

Nor is the OpenSim definition as a "standards war competitor with Second Life" (if I got it right) much appropriate IMHO: OpenSimulator and Second Life are going to be mutually complementary - or, at least, this is what I extrapolate from both Linden Lab and Opensim development team strategies and statements. People likes to think to OpenSimulator as the Good alternative to Bad Linden Lab, but OpenSimulator is just a (awesome) platform - at the end of the day, it depends on the people that are managing the servers, your inventory, your identity, giving assistance to you and enforcing policies. This can be done in good or bad ways, but it doesn't depend on code.

This said, I heartily welcome this initiative!
Very encouraging!

Mo Hax

Obvious to most, but probably worth mentioning that OpenSim, although based in part on code used in the Second Life viewer has nothing to do with the viewer and client side in general. OpenSim, currently, is all about the server-side. From my read of Philip's blog post, this is just about the SL client/viewer and not, as least currently, about anything server-side.

Valiant Westland

Who is this initiative really going to serve and how will it help SL/LL be more competitive with other Virtual World environments? Trying to Crowd-source your way to a more compelling or user friendly product offering is risky at best. Quick, name ONE (1) "Fat Client / Client Server, Open Source Business Productivity or MMOG application that is a household name or "owns" the market!

Even if you love Linux/Open Source, the reality is Windows dominates with 86% of the desktop OS market! Apple, at a little over 4% of the market, is the only other OS with "significant" mainstream market share. To have a client that caters to the lowest common denominator of proprietary UI design, simply to make it "feel good" to Open Source proponents is competitive suicide!

No matter what your particular area of interest (education, role playing, social networking, science, etc.) is, almost every Second Life user would benefit from core functional upgrades like: (no particular order)

> Rich in-world Messaging
Enough of these useless group messaging pop-up windows that provide flat information with no live links to additional content! We want messages we can interact with, from following a URL/SLURL to watching a video or adding an event to our synchronized in-world calendar (see below)

> Real Document Creation / Collaboration Tools
Let's face it, NoteCards just don't cut it. We need direct access to Google Docs in the client! These documents should be able to be viewed and manipulated in a re-sizable browser window or viewed with more limited functionality on a prim.

> Integrated Personal / Community Calendar(s)
SL users are constantly producing a stream of interesting, informative and entertaining events. Let's build a robust calendar system into the client, that can synchronize with Google Calendar & Outlook (90+% of the market) and allows for event invitations to be easily turned into calendar entries/reminders. Let's go a step further and build in group calendaring features that allow people to more easily schedule meetings or give an event sponsor an idea of how many people might be attending (RSVPs).

> Robust Contact / Presence Management
I'll admit it... We all love all our SL friends/contacts, but we need a better way manage them, with RL categories like Associate, Vendor, Friend, Family, Acquaintance, etc. There are times we want to be "visible" / available to some of our contacts, but not necessarily everyone we know. If we are in a conversation with someone or in a meeting or just working on a project, our status should be visible to people BEFORE they send that first IM. We should also have a better method of controlling who can see various elements of our personal profiles.

> Integrated VOIP, SMS & Email Integration
Let's face it... SL Voice is "Cool" when it works, but ubiquitous personal communication is where it's at! We should be able to seamlessly make/take calls or send/receive SMS messages from in-world. A true email gateway, that didn't append huge strings of worthless text, choke inbound message lengths and offered Rich Text / Media messaging is required. ps. Would someone please shoot SLIM and put it out of our/its own misery!

> Mesh (AutoCAD) Content Support
This is an almost ABSOLUTE requirement for broader adoption of the platform for business use. There is a huge body of content and pent up demand for bringing 3D content into a Virtual World, where it can be prototyped, analyzed and used for real/virtual world integration! Without this support, architects, engineers, planners, etc. are simply going to bypass SL for other platforms that support Mesh (CAD) import/export.

I could probably name a dozen more features I would like to see in the SL client, that have nothing to do with gee-wiz shading, maps or other misc. geek-driven priorities. Many of these features are ideally suited to a "premium" membership (no I did NOT use the word community) structure, that offers tangible incentives for having a paid plan.

If LL is committed to augmenting their in-house development team via the Open Source community, they should at least take a leadership role in prioritizing the projects and accelerating the process of application development. One way to do this would be to offer competitive rewards for the "Best" new application enhancement(s) in categories with the greatest potential market share ROI for the platform.

I hope LL "gets" this Memo and prioritizes making SL a truly robust and feature rich platform for content sharing, collaboration and social networking. If they don't and they survive, I predict they will wind up like Linux is today, with less than 1.5% of the Virtual World market; a "Fan-boy" environment, largely ignored by business and consumer users alike.


Open Life says they will have mesh support on their OpenSim based paltform (might have already, my last look was last year).

Alas, like SL, the OL crowd is bent on getting the new "shinnies" and not on getting a stable platform therefore lag, bugs and many frustration for builders awaits those intrepid enough to try it.

I have no confidence Philip Linden's will be better, as under his reign SL was always after the next buzzword technology and rarely after stability.

I do hope someone succeeds on Open Source sims and virtual worlds though. Competitition is better for us cinsumer of virtual worlds platforms

Gary Kohime

@ Phillip, Thank You !!!!!!! looking forward to the leadership and the evolution of your vision as well as your expertise.

@ Valiant Westland: Just because 86% of the market share is windows OS, does NOT mean that a 'viewer' HAS to be coded to work with that. Windows might be a standard, but its closed off to innovation by its innovators. History shows us that give them the code, and they will build, is a proven method of long term success in its offering. This is NOT an OS, this is an application on top of the OS. Your pessimism falls on deaf ears. Your encourgement would support it better.

@ Renmiri: And your from where?

@ RightAsRain: As I've always seen, a thoughtfull and honest response, albiet your acknowledgement of this being a good thing is duely noted and respected. Thanks

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