Second Life Gets New Open Source Viewer

    June 25, 2009
    Chris Crum

Second Life creators Linden Lab have launched a new Second Life-compatible viewer, which the company developed with the open source community. The company’s goal was to create a "widely-used, openly developed version of the Second Life client."

Snowglobe will contain new Second Life features before they become available in the official release. That said, not all features will make it there.

The main feature that Linden Lab is highlighting is a new map. "Zooming out is fast and seamless," says Rob Linden on the company blog. "The icons only show up when you’re zoomed in close enough for them to be useful, and don’t clutter the view when you’re zoomed out. Map tiles load quickly with the right amount of detail for the view. In short, the map really works now."

Better, faster, more zoomable World Map & Mini-Map in Snowglobe Viewer from Torley on Vimeo.

There is also a mini-map, which lets the user zoom in for extreme close-ups. "Handy for those large gatherings where all of the avatar dots just seem to pile on top of each other," says Linden. "It’s also more fun than you ever knew you could have with your scrollwheel."

Linden warns that the viewer may be less stable than the official Second Life viewer because it is developed on a more rapid release schedule, and in a less formal manner.