Linden Labs has released the Second Life client under the GPL.  No word 
on their plans for releasing their server software at this point.

How does this affect VOS?  Well, first off I've long maintained that the 
client side is not the most interesting part of Second Life.  It is the 
server side that has the most interesting technical innovations.  
Second, without a free server implementation, Second Life remains a 
proprietary platform, so there is still an opening for a completely free 
3D virtual world solution.  Finally, VOS is an extremely flexible 
platform with a goal of focusing on interoperability, so I expect that 
one day it will be possible for VOS a Second Life to talk to each other.

A couple of other points:

 - Linden Labs describes this as "embracing the inevitable".  Although 
they've been talking about potentially GPL'ing their code for while, 
more likely the "inevitable" event they were trying to head off was the 
development of a reverse-engineered client (using libsecondlife) that 
was entirely out of their control.  With the release of the client, they 
can co-opt these developers.

 - If they're interested in standards, it takes a least two 
interoperating implementations to establish something that can 
legitimately be called a standard.  So if they are serious about 
standards, there's going to be a space for alternative implementations 
(just like the market for the web supports dozens of web browsers and 

 - The VOS platform is about more than just 3D graphics.  For example, 
the main pages of the website are served using a small 
HTTP model written for VOS.  I need to take a hard look at the Second 
Life architechture, but I suspect as a deliberately open-ended design, 
VOS has more potential for long term evolution.

That said, this does put a kink in some of our plans.  I'll follow up 
with another email about what I've been working on these past few weeks.

[   Peter Amstutz  ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ][ [EMAIL PROTECTED] ]
[Lead Programmer][Interreality Project][Virtual Reality for the Internet]
[ VOS: Next Generation Internet Communication][ ]
[ ][ pgpkey:  18C21DF7 ]

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