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Second Life client becomes open source E-mail
Tuesday, 09 January 2007
Linden Lab has made public the Second Life game client source code. Source code for the server software is also expected to be released very soon.
In the latest official SL Blog entry Lindel Lab explains that: "At Linden, we have always been strong advocates of the use of open standards and the advantages of using open source products. Though Second Life makes abundant use of non-standard technologies, our basic UDP protocol message system for example, we rely on open standards and open source implementations when appropriate and available. Since many of the components that will make up this network are not yet done, we are not publishing long white papers or RFCs at this time — instead, we are giving everyone what we have along with a goal of producing those open standards with the input and assistance of the community that has brought Second Life to where it is now.

Releasing the source now is our next invitation to the world to help build this global space for communication, business, and entertainment. We are eager to work with the community and businesses to further our vision of our space."

Official press release follows.



Linden Lab To Open Source Second Life Software

Creator of Leading 3D Virtual World Releases Source Code To Viewer Software

San Francisco, CA – January 8, 2007 – Linden Lab®, creator of 3D virtual world Second Life® (www.secondlife.com), is releasing the code of its Viewer application to the open source software development community. Developers can now access the source code to the Second Life end-user software in order to make modifications, enhancements and to add new features. The move marks Linden Lab’s continued commitment to building the Second Life Grid as an open, extensible platform for development, rather than a closed proprietary system.

The Second Life Viewer is used by subscribers or ‘Residents’ to access the virtual world’s Grid. Freely-downloadable from the Second Life website, the Viewer software enables Residents to control their in-world avatars, interact with each other via Instant Message, create content, buy and sell objects, access multimedia content and to navigate around the virtual environment. The source code for the sophisticated client software will now be made available to developers who wish to extend and enhance its functionality.

“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. 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.”

Linden Lab intends to incorporate certain code changes and enhancements into the official version of the Second Life Viewer, which will only be available from the Second Life website. All code developed outside Linden Lab’s in-house engineering team will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure quality standards, stability and security. Support will continue to be given for the official version of the Viewer only, with third party projects unsupported by Linden Lab.

Initial projects may include: bug fixes; improvements to compatibility with less common hardware configurations; support for additional multimedia types; User Interface changes; and potentially new look and feel ‘skins’ for the Viewer itself. Timeframes for these enhancements will vary depending on the scale of the project and project team.

The source code and additional information will be available from Second Life’s website at http://secondlife.com/developers/opensource.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Second Life and Linden Lab

Second Life is a 3D online world with a rapidly growing population from 100 countries around the globe, in which the Residents themselves create and build the world which includes homes, vehicles, nightclubs, stores, landscapes, clothing, and games.
The Second Life Grid is a sophisticated development platform created by Linden Lab, a company founded in 1999 by Philip Rosedale, to create a revolutionary new form of shared 3D experience. The former CTO of RealNetworks, Rosedale pioneered the development of many of today’s streaming media technologies, including RealVideo. In April 2003, noted software pioneer Mitch Kapor, founder of Lotus Development Corporation, was named Chairman. In 2006, Philip Rosedale and Linden Lab received WIRED’s Rave Award for Innovation in Business. Based in San Francisco, Linden Lab employs a senior team bringing together deep expertise in physics, 3D graphics and networking.

Second Life® and Linden Lab® are registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc.

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