Second Life is GPL
I thought it was still at least 8 months off or more before this would happen. However, I just found out that the client source-code has just been open-sourced. This is big news and according to boingboing, the blogosphere is already burning over it.
I nearly fell out of my seat.
I started waiting for this day years ago. It was when I came to the cynical conclusion that Linden Lab could not mature the technology as fast as the demand required. I stopped submitting bug reports and participating in pre-releases. Their management style was very creative and allowed for some really neat breakthroughs -- but it stopped being so wonderful when things like the UI started being ignored and eventually went straight down the tubes. When bugs I reported years ago are still present. When they still haven't hired a dedicated UX designer. When several promises went unfulfilled (I'm still waiting for a full-version linux client guys; let alone the updated physics engine, better avatar meshes, and a distributed asset management system).
This will hopefully change a lot of things.
Things I can't wait to see:
- An offline sim you can run on your own local LAN (Possible with just a client if you can reverse-engineer the protocol; even if only in a small sand-box sim).
- In-world hyperlinks
- A feature-complete Linux client
- Pluggable rendering engines (anyone want to take a crack at an ASCII version of SL?)
- More communications protocols with outside services like SSH, svn+ssh, rsync, http, etc.
- Embed-able text editors
Now the wait is on for an open-source version of the sim code and a published standard of the communication protocol.