« Second Life Ironically Declared to Be "Dying" By... Digg (Seriously) | Main | New in Second Life: Visit Rieri, Japanese Town Inspired by First-Person Photos of Tokyo's Arakawa Lock Gate Region »

Wednesday, June 06, 2018


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Han Held

>As with many open source-based projects, OpenSim was relying almost solely on the community spirit and voluntary work of assorted tinkerers and enthusiasts -- and that rarely leads to a commercial product with a consumer userbase.

Commercial isn't the same thing as viable. As for viable? Just ask Redhat, Firefox, VLCplayer and Blender.

It's not to hard to see the trend that SL is taking if you follow gridsurvey and watch the login numbers on the firestorm screen. We're back to the days where it's not uncommon to see only 28k people in SL at any given time.

I do believe that Opensim is winding down. For at least five years (if not more) I've been saying that we're going to reach a point where Opensim will be a niche similar to Ham radios. I'm old enough to remember the CB radio craze, and just like they didn't go away entirely ...it hasn't been mainstream for decades now; it's been a niche filled with hobbiests.

That's not a bad thing, particularly if you get over the "we're gonna take over the world" mindset and can accept the niche for what it is.

As for HGB? Since 2015 I've been running a yearly festival on the hypergrid, and Maria (the owner of Hypergrid Business) was very supportive, encouraging and helped us get off the ground ...not just with publicity, but also with advice.

For that I'll always be greatful, and I hope that whatever she moves on to brings joy to her life and a ton of fulfillment as well.

Thank you for so much, Maria!

Dartagan Shepherd

Actually not true about open source not producing commercial software. It produces some of the most widely used software out there, commercial depending on the business model. Mostly it dominates the enterprise on a commercial level.

Although I know the intent was commercial game/entertainment/virtual world software.

While I was never deep into OpenSim, it was also not short on the politics with developers with vested interests running their own grids, drama and friends.

I think the failure of OpenSim was mostly due to the fact that it duplicated SL and then failed to carve its own path and feature sets to be able to produce something better.

It's too bad. There were some great efforts, some great people and ideas and a sense of not being bound to SL's monetization schemes.

If anything was going to be the distributed virtual world server it was going to be open source, not the walled garden that SL is.

I don't think Phil's venture will succeed either for the same reasons SL won't be the go-to server architecture ... Phil can't escape the funny money schemes as he sees the architecture as nothing more than a base for the fake money revenue stream.

There's a place for virtual money within the world (or game) but not as a replacement for real money purchases.

I keep saying virtual worlds will never evolve to the next level until SL and its clones are gone and we start fresh.

mikka luik

HGB has been a source of a lot of info over the years but can't blame Ms Korolov for wanting to move on to other things or even kick back for a bit =^^=
As for a niche, its a sizeable one. Can see ser Han's point in a way - for me the mix of SL/Opensim pretty much fits what I want as a space to muck about in - the stand alone work of Mister Ferd clinches it. Mix that with being back on the big grid mainland and yes I am happy for now and if its still kicking in another decade then even better. Doubt I will ;) Plus can dabble in all the other fun stuff without feeling the need to commit - pretty much bloody blender proved that to me. And godot, processing, numerous engines etc... all fun diversions.
The G+ stuff is fine but a bit splintered and tends towards much 'events', some ads, a soupcon (wheres the accent in this moap anyway) of dramaz and some tech and stuff so sort of ok. I wonder if anyone is going to fill the HGB void. I'm far too lazy.
So yes - thanks Maria.

Adeon Writer

OpenSim wanted to remain compatable with popular SL viewers, and SL Viewers wanted to remain compatable with SL

You can't evolve separately from SL in those consitions.

Hamlet Au

Shit got all forked up!

Random Googling for "most successful open source products" gets us this list:


The only two used by a mass market as consumer products (as opposed to back-end products implemented/used by hardcore geeks/engineers) are Firefox and WordPress -- both of which are backed by for-profit companies. (Mozilla Corporation and Automattic, respectively.)


For years Opensim attracted someone because of the lover prices, larger regions and other features like that. But after a while, you see those who tried that, that go back to SL (only few stay or stay in both). Why? Usually the answers are: «my friends are in SL» and «...all the inventory I have too» and they have to restart from zero. The inventory maybe isn't the bigger deal (not to mention those who resort on copybotting, although that won't get the scripts), but given how many people use SL for social things, you have the old issue: people stay where people are. For the same reason it has always been hard to make a popular alternative to Facebook or Whatsapp (or MSN messenger before), until either something game-changing comes (e.g. the advent of smartphones and tablets) and/or you offer something new that works enough (e.g. Instagram). Therefore a SL clone would have an hard time, no matter the good features. Either you make a true successor - offering similar experiences and to migrate all your contacts and enough content - or you aim at something different enough, taking advantage of new market opportunities or not yet filled niches. Now your Facebook -> Instagram equivalent, rather than VR headgears, would be more likely a mobile based virtual world. Which isn't a SL adjusted to run on those devices, but something truly new and conceived for mobile devices from the beginning. And if you know how many mobile device users there are already... On the other hand, a small screen may be not the ideal for something as immersive as a virtual world. Maybe someone would find the right mix eventually and everyone else would facepalm wondering why they didn't thought of it before. I doubt that would be a SL clone though.

Han Held

"Mozilla Firefox (or simply Firefox) is a free and open-source[21] web browser developed by Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, Mozilla Corporation. Firefox is "


Couldn't find any office apps, graphics apps or mulimedia apps in your cursory google search there, Hamlet?

Mmmmmhmmm. Do tell.

Han Held

Ah, Sorry...I meant to post the following in my comment; but I got distracted by having to chase my rolling eyes:

Re:Mozilla foundation, for-profit, etc:

"The Mozilla Foundation (stylized as moz://a) is a non-profit organization that exists to support and collectively lead the open source Mozilla project."

So speaketh Wikipedia.

Chic Aeon

I was VERY active in Opensim from the end of 2013 until about a year ago. There were some months when I was in OS much more than in SL. It wasn't just the lure of free lands; it was for awhile the only place I would upload. After the dire TOS that gave away many of our rights I took eight months off.

I loved Opensim for its pioneer spirit. On some grids I really did have to make most everything that I wanted. And THAT was an adventure.

There is a downside of course to that "free" platform -- and that is theft. It is OH so very easy and OH so very prevalent. For awhile I only sold prim builds but eventually I sold the mesh that I had been making there during my skill building years. I sold a lot both inworld and on the Kitely Marketplace. I still get checks regularly and as long as I do, I will leave my products up there. It is almost guaranteed though that there are copies being passed around with someone else's name on them. I simply gave up worrying about that.

I left Opensim about a year ago. I logged in once to answer a question for a customer (no email to grids in OS) and that's been it. Partly, it WAS that my friends were no longer there. Partly it was that I saw the writing on the wall that Maria mentions. Likely she saw it then too.

In my mind the primary problem with Opensim is that no one can agree to agree -- or make an effort to find a meeting point. Everyone wants things "their way" and while that is all well and good and POSSIBLE in Opensim, it isn't really all that practical. Too many versions of server codes -- all acting differently in the physics department; no way to even work on an official OS viewer because one (very loud) person wants one viewer and another (maybe even louder) wants THEIR favorite viewer and then there is the third (you got it, also yelling in typing mode) wants to build a new viewer from scratch.

There was really no way that I could see things could continue -- let alone grow.

In looking up how long I was over on other platforms, I found a couple of posts made more than a year before I left. Even then the theme of Opensim was individuality and freedom in that "I want what I want and I don't CARE what you want" mode.

This is close to my last post on that blog; dated from October 2015. It didn't get better after this writing and I haven't kept up with the Google group; it simply became too tiring. It might be of interest to some for historical purposes.


I DO very much wish the folks on all the Opensim grids a bright future. There are some great people there! Most of the people that I hung around with have all departed though; mostly back to SL. I do get to chat with one very good friend fairly often. So some things remain beyond borders and beyond platforms.

And I am happy that is true.

Pussycat Catnap

"We're back to the days where it's not uncommon to see only 28k people in SL at any given time."

I've got an item that records the login numbers and keeps track of the highest ever and lowest ever. The lowest it ever got was the mid 5000s, and that was 7 or so years ago. Highest in 8 years was around 78,000.

These days it is usually in the 50,000s. A few years back it was usually in the 40,000s.

Keep in mind that the highest an MMO video game ever got for 'concurrent logins' was Guild Wars 2's launch event - at around 330,000. Which was supposedly 3-4 times HIGHER than World or Warcraft has ever seen - not WoW's norm, but WoW's highest point ever - was maybe just over that 78,000 I saw for Second Life. Guild Wars 2 quickly sank back to more normal numbers.

In other words... the Concurrency of Second Life is similar to that of World of Warcraft. Which means it is quite healthy...

Han Held

Going by the firestorm login screen, the logged in numbers fluctuate from high 40ks to ...as I said... around 28k to 30k during the slower hours.

During the 2009/2010 period I never saw it dip below 45k, ever.

That's my personal observation, if concurrency numbers are tracked anywhere, I'm not aware of it, unlike region numbers (gridsurvey has it's own tale to tell on that front).

User numbers are not in free-fall, but they sure as heck aren't growing, either.

I'd be very surprised if SL's concurrency even approaches WoW's. Granted, I only did a brief and superficial search, but from what I can gather WoW had a monthly concurrency of 40 million users in early 2018; SL had something along the lines of 600k (according to the atlantic and vice news).

Hamlet Au

"The Mozilla Foundation (stylized as moz://a) is a non-profit organization that exists to support and collectively lead the open source Mozilla project."

Yes, and to develop Firefox and other Mozilla based projects, the Foundation operates a for-profit corporation that pays its 1000+ developers and other employees a good salary while they're doing that:


And the company is doing damn well -- US$103.8 million net income from US$520.4 million revenue in 2016 alone.

Incidentally, this is probably a good model for the Firestorm viewer. It's crazy how many talented developers are basically volunteering their work for free to maybe 300,000-plus users. Charge $60 for a yearly subscription free for regular updates, and even if only 100,000 pony up, the Firestorm team would have $6 million dollars a year to work with. After expenses you could easily pay 40-50 top developers and designers to improve Firestorm full-time with that kind of money!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Making a Metaverse That Matters Wagner James Au ad
Please buy my book!
Thumb Wagner James Au Metaverse book
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Bad-Unicorn SL builds holdables HUD
Dutchie Evergreen Slideshow 2024
Juicybomb_EEP ad
My book on Goodreads!
Wagner James Au AAE Speakers Metaverse
Request me as a speaker!
Making of Second Life 20th anniversary Wagner James Au Thumb
my site ... ... ...
PC for SL
Recommended PC for SL
Macbook Second Life
Recommended Mac for SL

Classic New World Notes stories:

Woman With Parkinson's Reports Significant Physical Recovery After Using Second Life - Academics Researching (2013)

We're Not Ready For An Era Where People Prefer Virtual Experiences To Real Ones -- But That Era Seems To Be Here (2012)

Sander's Villa: The Man Who Gave His Father A Second Life (2011)

What Rebecca Learned By Being A Second Life Man (2010)

Charles Bristol's Metaverse Blues: 87 Year Old Bluesman Becomes Avatar-Based Musician In Second Life (2009)

Linden Limit Libertarianism: Metaverse community management illustrates the problems with laissez faire governance (2008)

The Husband That Eshi Made: Metaverse artist, grieving for her dead husband, recreates him as an avatar (2008)

Labor Union Protesters Converge On IBM's Metaverse Campus: Leaders Claim Success, 1850 Total Attendees (Including Giant Banana & Talking Triangle) (2007)

All About My Avatar: The story behind amazing strange avatars (2007)

Fighting the Front: When fascists open an HQ in Second Life, chaos and exploding pigs ensue (2007)

Copying a Controversy: Copyright concerns come to the Metaverse via... the CopyBot! (2006)

The Penguin & the Zookeeper: Just another unlikely friendship formed in The Metaverse (2006)

"—And He Rezzed a Crooked House—": Mathematician makes a tesseract in the Metaverse — watch the videos! (2006)

Guarding Darfur: Virtual super heroes rally to protect a real world activist site (2006)

The Skin You're In: How virtual world avatar options expose real world racism (2006)

Making Love: When virtual sex gets real (2005)

Watching the Detectives: How to honeytrap a cheater in the Metaverse (2005)

The Freeform Identity of Eboni Khan: First-hand account of the Black user experience in virtual worlds (2005)

Man on Man and Woman on Woman: Just another gender-bending avatar love story, with a twist (2005)

The Nine Souls of Wilde Cunningham: A collective of severely disabled people share the same avatar (2004)

Falling for Eddie: Two shy artists divided by an ocean literally create a new life for each other (2004)

War of the Jessie Wall: Battle over virtual borders -- and real war in Iraq (2003)

Home for the Homeless: Creating a virtual mansion despite the most challenging circumstances (2003)

Newstex_Author_Badge-Color 240px
JuicyBomb_NWN5 SL blog
Ava Delaney SL Blog