Monday, January 08, 2007

Second Life Viewer Open-Sourced

This is quite simply the most important SL news ever. Don't I seem excited? Well, I am. You could say I am cautiously optimistic.

Linden Lab has put a lot of thought and planning into this move, as evidenced by the info-laden open source page and new wiki. I can only hope they know what they are doing.

Yes, part of me worries about the negative effects we will almost certainly see in the near future. This has the potential to be much worse than the CopyBot scare, and with good reason—this turns the Grid upside-down. The assumptions that had been in place are now defenestrated, and business models will have to adapt, and adapt fast. Except for scripters and sex workers, there is no SL market I can think of that will not have to fundamentally rearrange itself.

Honestly, Linden Lab should have given an announcement several days prior to the source code release, to give time for preparation. I would not be surprised if many content providers close down temporarily, until they decide what to do.

We will probably see theft and panic. Temporary economic instability. But people will adapt. New business models will emerge. And most importantly, new tools will be created to improve Second Life.

Let's have hope for the future. The next few days will be rough as vendors panic, but things will calm down. Later, probably within a week, some new tool will be released to exploit some security hole, and more people will panic. But things will calm down again.

And then we'll see some really neat stuff. The kind of stuff that restores your faith in humanity.

That's how I see it, anyway. Time will tell.

1 comment:

Dixie Starr said...

Is there any indication of how the SL community that could participate in as open source contributors will organize themselves to take advantage of this news. Will a community be formed? Will they use open source tools such as JIRA and Confluence to "manage" the open source software in a somewhat controlled manner? Have you heard anything?