Linden Lab’s Het Grid

Yesterday Linden Lab announced the migration to a new client-server messaging system (Link):

In the next release, 1.18, we’ll be shipping a project called “Message Liberation”. This project lets us make almost all viewer updates be optional, so you can download them if and when you want.
Second Life has a “message system”, which is the code that moves information between the viewer and the simulators (servers). The message system has a file, called the template, that describes the format and encoding of the information. In the past, when that template changed, even a tiny bit, all the programs in the system had to be updated to use it and restarted. This meant that if someone added a feature or fixed a bug, you needed to download a new viewer, even if it didn’t affect you.
When the message system is “liberated” from the template, it will be possible for most changes to be backward and forward compatible with different versions of the software.

Last night there was a bit of a follow-up (Link):

Very soon, Linden Lab will release Second Life version 1.18.0. As Zero posted about “Message Liberation,” almost all viewer updates will be optional, so you can download them if and when you want. Message Liberation lays the groundwork for a project known as “Heterogeneous Grid,” or “Het-Grid” for short.

Now it’s this part from the first post that gets my attention:

Now, to be sure, there are still some kinds of changes where we’ll require you to download a new viewer. Closing security holes is a likely example. And there are others, like some database maintenance, where we’ll have to close the entire grid for an update. But, our aim is to do these as little as possible, and Message Liberation goes a long way to making that possible.

Unfortunately, my question hasn’t been answered:

Would it be accurate to say you’re currently working toward complete liberation?

I don’t think it’s going to be answered, either. Unless I’m missing something, for a few good reasons, the answer to this particular question is almost certainly “No”.

Don’t read that the wrong way. The fact they’re moving in this direction is a big deal, in my opinion, and I can only wonder what the competition is thinking right now.

For reference:

“The Innovation of Insecurity” – reLink

“Second Life architecture” – Technovia (Link)

“Gears Turning for Peer-to-Peer Worlds” – reLink

“Layers of Peer-to-Peer Worlds” – reLink

“More Google Gears Tech” – The Meshverse Journal (Link)

“Second Life’s New Architecture Croquet Influenced?” – Croquet 2 Play (Link)

2 thoughts on “Linden Lab’s Het Grid

  1. csven, to be fair, I didn’t understand your post to the blog, and only just now figured out you were referring to open source. Yeah I’m slow, but perhaps some others are too :)

  2. “a kind of plug-in platform” (if you’ve not already, you should grab a feed to the Meshverse Journal)

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