There’s been plenty of talk over the past few days about Linden Lab’s “Contingency Plan” (Link) and some of the information that’s come out of Linden Lab as a result. I’ve been reading the posts over on 3pointD (3pDLink 1, 3pDLink 2) and Clickable Culture (CCLink 1, CCLink 2), but generally I’m not overly surprised at this development, as signs of strain on the SL grid have been increasingly apparent.
The “re-architecture” talk by Linden Lab has, however, reminded me of what I said some time back: Linden Lab might be working on an upgrade to Second Life; a Second Life 2.0, if you will. Turns out they’ve been working on a new architecture for some time, so I may have been right on that count. As stated before (reLink), my assumption was that such an upgrade would become part of their “open source strategy” where they could release the current system into the wild and use it as a connective medium, plug into it with their own newer, more capable, more stable grid and from there continue to grow the platform.
So far, so good. Now for the wrinkle: there may be a new virtual world player in the game. Robert Scoble writes about “Outback Online” (Link), an Australian virtual world project currently underway, which sounds very much like Croquet with a persistent and constantly updated “seed”. In other words, they’re taking the old argument over virtual worlds – centralized versus distributed – and done what I believe to be the logical thing and created a hybrid; note that Linden Lab’s virtual world is centralized. This hybrid model probably has its own quirks, and I’m dreaming those up already, but I’ve been wondering when someone would take this route and, if someone already had, why it wasn’t getting any attention (I’m certainly unaware of any such system). There must be some catch I’ve not yet considered. Anyway, needless to say I’m interested in this news and will be watching this project develop.