Open Source Second Life client announced

I was very encouraged, back in October, to hear Jim Purbrick (AKA Babbage Linden) confirm Linden’s plans to “open source Second Life as soon as possible“, starting with the client and eventually opening up the server too. I’m excited to report that the first part has finally happened, and today Phoenix Linden announced the open source Second Life client.

This is an important step. Remember the recent technical Town Hall meeting? One lovely quote from Cory:

“As we’ve talked about, the long term goals for Second Life are to make it a more open platform. Part of that process is learning how projects like libSL can be beneficial to all of Second Life. We should be thrilled that we’ve built an interesting enough set of technologies and communities that people want to tinker and explore. In the long run, this is why we’ve talked about wanting to be able to Open Source eventually. My hope is that in 2007 we’ll be able to get there.”

Yay for Open Source. This could mark the start of a very important shift in Second Life’s development, from being a closed-source proprietary platform to something more open, taking contributions from the wider community.

6 thoughts on “Open Source Second Life client announced

  1. From the SL licensing page:

    “Note that some components necessary for use with the Second Life viewer are licensed from third parties under different licenses. The license for those components is clearly marked inside the distribution of those components. Some components may require payment of royalties or have other restrictions associated with copying, modification or redistribution. Please consult the license for all components when licensing the software.”

  2. As an avid Second Life user, consultant and “serious” application developer I have made a significant investment of money and time in Second Life, and in the last few months I have often been afraid of losing (part of) my investment. In fact, I was persuaded that if Linden did not start opening the platform very soon, Second Life would fade out with the arrival on the scene of open platforms more suitable for business applications, but I did not think they would start opening the platform so soon. If, as we hope, opening the client software is the first step towards opening the entire platform (or at least licensing the server code under suitable conditions including the right to modify it), then I think serious operators will be much more willing to invest in Second Life: they will know that they will be able to run their own modified versions of the server if they need to do so. If I could run a Second Life server, the first two changes I would do are: permitting users choosing freely their own SL name, and in particular using their real name; and integrating a real-time voice system.

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