Toward a free metaverse
Posted Feb 27, 2006 3:13 UTC (Mon) by petetron
Parent article: Toward a free metaverse
Disclaimer: I'm the author of the Virtual Object System.
A few comments.
- The current business model of Linden Labs (creators of Second Life) is to "selling" virtual property on their servers. As such, they have a strong anti-freedom business motivation, as they wouldn't have a revenue stream if just anyone can set up a server. How far would the web have gotten if the only way to have a web page was to pay Netscape for the privilidge of hosting on their servers?
- The state of 3D hardware support on Linux doesn't help the situation much, but is essentially a separate issue. It is true an open source client means that features such as software rendering can be supported by people who need it.
- I think people vastly underestimate the scope and difficulty of the task. We're talking about an application that combines the most difficult parts of a 3D engine, database, network middleware, scripting langauge and end-user browser application. Just maintaining working cross-platform code can be a full time effort.
- "One would think that such an inherently fun project would attract more developers." -- People want something that works before they will contribute to it. However, due to the difficulty of bootstrapping even a minimal codebase (above, and discussed in detail here), it requires a heroic amount of time and effort just to get to the point at which one even has enough functionality around which a community can start to gel.
- World of Warcraft has probably done more to set back free metaverse development than anything else :-)
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