Vizitant: Is Opensimulator the ‘metaverse’ Apache?

International Business Machines Corporation

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve started a new blog over at Vizitant for posts about telepresence, virtual presence and the growing convergence between the two. It’s also a placeholder for a new project I’m working on, about which I’ll be able to write much more in October.

Despite my conviction that the ‘next web’ will be a 3D web I haven’t spent much time in Second Life lately or kept up with other developments in virtual worlds. I’d been vaguely aware that Linden Labs had released their Second Life client software under an open source license but I’d totally missed the exciting project aiming to reverse engineer the server. That project is Opensimulator.

From the Opensimulator wiki – "The OpenSimulator Project is a BSD Licensed Virtual Worlds Server
which can be used for creating and deploying 3D Virtual Environments.
It has been developed by several developers. Out of the box, the
OpenSimulator can be used to create a Second Life(tm) like environment,
able to run in a standalone mode or connected to other OpenSimulator
instances through built in grid technology. It can also easily be
extended to produce more specialized 3D interactive applications."

This is undoubtedly the most direct step so far towards a true "metaverse". SLOG has a great take on what makes Opensim so intriguing

"So what I think will happen is something akin to what happened with the NCSA web server and Apache. NCSA launched the ‘first’ web server, ages ago, when the first graphical web clients appeared as well. Everybody used the NCSA server and Mosaic as a client. But the programmers were tired of dealing with NCSA’s slow response in developing additional features on their server software… The talented programmers switched over to launch a new project β€” Apache β€” which was mostly NCSA-compatible at start, but evolved hugely afterwards….
And what happened in the industry? People like IBM dropped their own in-house web servers, and simply started to use Apache instead. They understood that their revenue came from their applications and the services β€” not from licensing their own web server…. The OpenSim might very well become the "Metaverse Apache".

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