09 April 2008

Second Life's Grand Opening

I wonder whether in retrospect Linden Lab's decision to open up the code of Second Life will turn out to be as momentous as when Netscape gave its Navigator code to the new Mozilla project? Interestingly, Linden Lab specifically invoked that precedent when it made the announcement:

In 1993, NCSA released their liberally licensed, but proprietary, Mosaic 2.0 browser with support for inline images arguably heralding the start of the web as we know it today. In an act of either acceptance of the inevitable or simple desperation, Netscape Communications released the bulk of the Netscape Communicator code base to form the foundation of projects as Mozilla, Firefox, and Thunderbird.

We are not desperate, and we welcome the inevitable with open arms.

Stepping up the development of the Second Life Grid to everyone interested, I am proud to announce the availability of the Second Life client source code for you to download, inspect, compile, modify, and use within the guidelines of the GNU GPL version 2.

A year later, it's a good moment to review where we are, and here are two useful contributions, one from Wagner James Au, the other from LWN's Jonathan Corbet. Things seem to be moving on, and it will be interesting to watch how this area develops.

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