And no, I’m not talking about sculpties, voice, WindLight, or any of the stuff that’s been coming out of Linden Lab. I’m talking about a Second Life client…that runs in a Web browser.
If you just heard something go “klunk!”, that was your jaw hitting the floor. Pick it up. 🙂
The client is called AjaxLife, and was written by Teen Grid Resident (!) Katharine Berry. Making use of, as you might expect, Ajax techniques, it runs in the Firefox and Safari browsers right now, with limited support for Internet Asploder and Opera. On the back end, it uses libsecondlife to interface to the Grid. She designed it to connect to the Teen Grid, but it will actually plug into the Main Grid as well. (Unsurprising; according to reports, the TG is actually a small, walled-off portion of the Agni grid a long “distance” away from the MG environs in Grid-space.) It’s limited in scope; you can chat, IM, use the map, teleport, and check your Friends List and L$ balance, but that’s pretty much it for now. Still, it’s something…and for some applications, it may be just enough.
Ms. Berry designed the application to “scratch an itch,” much as many open-source developers do: she claims “boredom, wanting to talk to people in SL” as her inspiration. She also says, “If there’s enough interest I’ll make a version that you can run on your own machine to connect to, once it’s further developed.” I think we can answer that question for her right now…and I would encourage her to release the source under an open-source license, to allow others to build on her work and perhaps get it farther, faster, than she could on her own.
I know I’ve had my misgivings about the libsecondlife project in the past, seeing as how its most-publicized uses up till now have been for various “bots” constructed for perhaps-shady purposes (CopyBot, CampBot, LandBot, D35V-bot, etc.). This is the sort of project that can really justify the effort put into libsecondlife, and I would encourage the developers of that project to extend any assistance to Ms. Berry that she might want.
As for Ms. Berry herself…I believe that, if she doesn’t get hired by LL–and she probably should!–she has a bright future ahead of her in the open-source-SL-code world.
(Incidentally, Ms. Berry, I notice that the tagline of your blog is, “Probably the world’s most useless and redundant blog.” You’ve just proven that false in about the most spectacular way I can imagine. 🙂 )
UPDATE: Hamlet Au gets the inside scoop from Ms. Berry here.