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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Open Source, distributed, peer-to-peer SecondLife 

I was idly wondering about how it could be possible to build objects in SL off line in a more clever and responsive environment. Something better than the current on line tools anyway. Initially I thought you could have your own little SL server running a small hived off little environment where you could do stuff without being on line and experiment with things like scripting without having the worries of testing it on a live grid. This is probably a good idea in itself. One day what the creator thinks is a completely harmless script is going to cause havoc when it gets into the grid. Being able to test scripts etc off line would be a great safety feature.

Then I thought... well if you have a little server running that has your land on it why not connect all the little servers up into one big honking distributed network. You would have to have "flexible geography" somehow so if a persons server went down people in the game see a gap. Its more like Neal Stephensons metaverse where his own house was stored on his own computer.

As things are more distributed it should be easier to put in things like VoIP as your talking directly to the computers of the AVs in your locality instead of the VoIP traffic having to go through centralised servers. Another advantage is that you could make backups of your personal server in case of problems. There would have to be some centralisation... for example on working out what AVs were in a given locality, the flexible geography and for private conversations outside of a locality. Keeping everyone on the right version of the code would be important... but if windows update can do it why not this?

Perhaps a hybrid solution with centralised servers doing the infrastructure and distributed mini-servers/clients for the content would be best. Its got to be possible but probably very difficult.


Permanent link and Comments posted by Rob Cornelius @ Thursday, November 30, 2006

I agree with testing scripts offline {and even building offline], to some extent - but it would still have to see testing in the grid...

and, well... the land idea is cool, but - isn't that what the underlying architecture of SL already do? ;-)
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