Second Life Client Goes Open Source

    January 8, 2007

Linden Lab, creator of the popular Second Life virtual world, is making the code for its Viewer interface available in open source format. Developers will now be able to access the source code for the Second Life client in order to make modifications, enhancements or to add new features.

This move will take some of the pressure off Linden Lab in developing the user end of the experience, and allow the company to focus on back-end improvements, such as hardware and infrastructure, to streamline the experience of navigating Second Life’s virtual environment.

“We feel we have a responsibility to improve and to grow Second Life as rapidly as possible,” said Philip Rosedale, CEO and founder of Linden Lab. “We were the first virtual world to enable content creators to own the rights to the Intellectual Property they create. That sparked exponential growth in the richness of the Second Life environment.”

Rosedale adds, “Now we’re placing the Viewer’s development into the hands of Residents and developers as well. This extends the control Residents can have over the Second Life experience and allows a worldwide community to examine, validate and improve the software’s sophistication and capabilities.”

“Open sourcing is the most important decision we’ve made in seven years of Second Life development. While it is clearly a bold step for us to proactively decide to open source our code, it is entirely in keeping with the community-creation approach of Second Life,” said Cory Ondrejka, CTO of Linden Lab.

“Second Life has the most creative and talented group of users ever assembled and it is time to allow them to contribute to the Viewer’s development. We will still continue Viewer development ourselves, but now the community can add its contributions, insights, and experiences as well. We don’t know exactly which projects will emerge – but this is part of the vibrancy that makes Second Life so compelling.”

Both I and CNET are hoping that some enterprising developer won’t take it upon himself to script an end-user macro within the client to create flying genitalia. One round of those shenanigans was enough.

Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.