'Second Life' software becomes open-source

by admin January 9, 2007 at 6:55 am

Linden Lab on Monday released as open-source software the viewer used to access Second Life and plans to follow suit with the server software that powers the company’s virtual realm.

The initial move means outsiders will be able to modify the Second Life viewer software. That practice isn’t a guarantee for success, but it has worked well with other open-source projects such as Linux and Apache. Linden Lab Chief Technology Officer Cory Ondrejka hopes initially for bug fixes and a better Linux version of the software, but in the longer run expects more significant changes.

“It’s pretty clear when building something as open as Second Life, you want the product itself to be open,” Ondrejka said. Second Life participants already have written millions of lines of script code to control Second Life objects, he said. “It would be a little silly to not allow that talent and energy to be applied to the client (viewer software) itself.”

Second Life is a virtual world where people’s electronic incarnations–called avatars–can chat, fly, buy goods and interact with programmable objects. Basic membership is free, but Linden Lab sells real estate to those who want to set up shop.

Full article: CNET News.com