Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Second Life Skylight Browser Based Viewer - Is My VURL Wish Coming True?

When I wrote "Observations from the Linden Lab Layoffs" in June I included my #1 wish for Second Life. A VURL. It's like a SLURL, but it's a VURL - a viewable URL. 

At that time, Linden Lab has just released a press release announcing an organizational restructuring designed to strategically align Linden Lab with longer-term goals that included creating a browser-based virtual world experience, eliminating the need to download the Second Life software.

While details were scant, the idea sounded like it could be what I'd expressed as my #1 wish in an interview about Musimmersion when asked "What things do you most wish you could do in SL that are not yet possible?" My answer:
I have a rather long wish list, but you qualified it with "most" so here's a big one and it's one I've never shared. NOTE: This assumes that all of the poorly performing group, communication and event services within SL are working tip top.
I wish you could "see" any public place on the grid, at any time. I don't mean a map view with green dots, I mean actually see (and hear) what was going on (in 3D) at any given moment, like a little sneak peek portal.
This sneak peek is something you can share, and send everywhere, to everyone, at any time so that they could see a place or an event before deciding to go there. And by anywhere, I mean ANYWHERE. You don't have to have the SL client to view it, it's built on something like a streaming video service that allows you to peek into the world, anytime and anywhere (in world and on the web) and then, go right there.
It's like a SLURL, but it's a VURL - a Viewable URL. That's my #1 wish.

I don't know if my VURL wish will be met by the emerging SL Skylight "browser based access" that Claus Uriza mentioned on twitter today, but I sure hope it is! 

I do know that if there's a line up for early adopter testing on or before November 8th, I'll be in it.

UPDATE:  Tateru Nino took the initiative to ask the Lab about Skylight and the Lab confirmed that in the pursuit of easier access for people to enjoy Second Life "tests will run from time to time and for various lengths, and we may chose to further pursue some or none of these approaches, depending on what we learn from our testing." More on Tateru's blog.

UPDATE #2: More details are emerging regarding the testing of Skylight. An interesting FAQ can be found at the Ambrosia Dance Club blog post Beta Testing of Project Skylight Web Viewer for Second Life.

Q: Will the test participants be distinguishable from existing residents? 
A: Yes. Each guest will have a temporary username that distinguishes their “guest” status. All guests will be identifiable through use of a common naming protocol.
That common naming protocol looks something like this. (more Tateru hat tippage).

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