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The need for an OSS Second Life?

There’s a Linux Journal (LJ) blog post on the need for an Open Source Second Life implementation. Their main reasons are:

  • Enough of a user base now that open sourcing the client’s won’t mean much
  • Their revenue stream derives from buying virtual property in the Second Life metaverse

While they are valid points, the main issue holding back Second Life being very useful on Linux is the really binary driver situation with nVidia drivers and ATI drivers. In general, I favor nVidia and ATI publishing enough so open source 3d drivers can be written in but there seems to be a serious amount of resistance. My only guess is that ATI and nVidia are in a standoff match and even releasing a glance at how they put their secret sauce together will lead to the other competitor gaining a serious upper advantage.

Is that true? I’m not sure. I’m wary of that excuse though.

Getting back to Second Life though, I’m completely indifferent about it. Perhaps Windows and Mac users might be happy with an Open Source version however I’m not sure those users would care as much.

I’ve never used Second Life before and find no compelling reason to dive into it right now even though I like 3d graphics stuff quite a bit.

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