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Second Life Virtual World to Get Firefox 207

Posted by Zonk
from the fox-in-the-digital-house dept.
lecreuset writes "Clickable Culture has an article discussing the imminent wedding of Firefox and Second Life. From the article: 'The virtual world of Second Life will leverage an embedded version of Mozilla Firefox in a future release, supporting in-world web browsing and the display of web pages on the surfaces of 3D objects, according to developers at Linden Lab.'"
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Second Life Virtual World to Get Firefox

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  • That's great unless they start sticking advertisements all over the place with it...
    • According to the Linden Lab statement [secondlife.com], it will be used primarily for integrating content into the environment. So yeah, it could be used for annoying "banner" ads, but the most useful applications would be for commerce or communications, or gaming. With the ability to generate HTML from a script running within SL comes all sorts of potential uses, everything from a complex web app to a quick and low-bandwidth way to render text on a sign, rather than forcing the client to download and decompress a texture.
    • by wralias (862131) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @03:16PM (#12730456)
      That's great unless they start sticking advertisements all over the place with it...
      Hah! Anyone who knows Second Life will know that it is already saturated with advertising. The problem is not advertising from the "first life" economy, but advertising from "companies" in the Second Life economy. Tringo [tinypirate.com], anyone?

      More likely, I see people linking to their real-life websites from their virtual homes or stores. There are already some pretty cool web / Second Life integrations, such as the ability to purchase and deposit virtual money [ige.com] into your Second Life account from the web, or to buy virtual goods [slexchange.com] in real time on the web.

      Also, this integration may allow people experienced with javascript and web application development to do some interesting things in SL (even though SL has its own scripting language already).
    • Obviously you're not a resident. We already have advertisements all over the place. :)
      • I'm not.... From what I've been shown by my friend who is, people just have big virtual orgies there... Does a game really need the ability to customize your character's dick size?
        • I always thought that was what a new graphics card was for ;)
        • I'm not.... From what I've been shown by my friend who is, people just have big virtual orgies there... Does a game really need the ability to customize your character's dick size?

          Genitalia is not an included feature of Second Life's character models. Genitalia are created, scripted and sold by residents who don't mind making a buck on the more prurient interests in-world.

          I think you'd better take a closer look at Second Life, though. There's a whole lot more to it than what you're describing. I've been
    • I donno, I think a few silly billboards could be fun. Imagine if Thinkgeek / Penny-Arcade / Slashdot / etc put up pseudo-parody billboards on a secluded corner. Could be fun if it's the right company and done with tounge firmly in cheek.
    • It already happens.

      Difference is, it's advertising for inworld products and services. The 'Second Life' economy, is a fairly large one, there are people generating over $50K/year through inworld products and services (one such person [anshechung.com] reports they will be doing over 100K this year.)

      But, one of the big problems is letting people know about your products and services. A person inworld setup MetaAdverse [metaadverse.com] as a way of advertising your inworld products via inworld billboards - these billboards usually act as spon
    • Advertisements? We should be so lucky!

      Remember kids, where there's HTML, there's goatse.
      I can't wait to visit goatsehouse in Second Life.
  • Second Life (Score:2, Informative)

    by sound+vision (884283)
    I read this and I was like "Second life? What?" To save you lazy suckers Googling: http://www.secondlife.com/ [secondlife.com]
    • Re:Second Life (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Solder Fumes (797270) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @03:08PM (#12730420)
      If you've read Snow Crash, Second Life is currently the closest thing we have to Snow Crash's cyberspace. As time goes on, I only see it getting closer to that concept.
    • I just assumed it was a game that was at least four times as good as half-life.
    • I think it is the 90s version of the 80s hit VZones [vzones.com], or something.

      I remember trying it out when it first came about, thought it was another Alysma [alysma.net].

      Although for all I know it might have been an attempt to take market share away from EQ [sony.com]?
  • http://secondlife.com/whatis/ [secondlife.com]

    "Second Life is a virtual world - a 3D online persistent space totally created and evolved by its users. Within this vast and rapidly expanding place, you can do, create or become just about anything you can imagine. Built-in content creation tools let you make almost anything you can imagine, in real time and in collaboration with others. An incredibly detailed digital body ('Avatar') allows a rich and customizable identity. A powerful physics simulation running on a backbone of hundreds of connected computers and growing with the population allows you to be immersed in a visceral, interactive world that as of April 2005 covers more than 12,000 acres and 20,000 owned plots of land. The ability to design and resell 3D content, combined with the ability to own and develop land and a microcurrency, which can be exchanged to real money means that you can build a real business entirely within Second Life."

  • Popups (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maelstrom (638) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @02:51PM (#12730331) Homepage Journal
    Wow can't wait to have 3-D popups hording my screen. I love the fact that unscrupulous advertisers have figured out how to game Firefox, I'm starting to see more and more popups again. I guess its time to turn off Flash.

    • Just get Flashblock + Adblock. Flashblock will stop any flash popups (unless you click on the flashblock icon anyway). If I ever get a popup from a flash that's clicked on, I simply adblock the entire server it came from and that puts a stop to it. This works with pop-unders too.
    • Re:Popups (Score:2, Informative)

      by WhiskerTheMad (765470)
      This [mozdev.org] is the answer to your flash problems. Blocks *all* flash, if you want to see it, just click on it. Works great for sites that have a lot of annoying flash advertising, and simple to use :)
    • Re:Popups (Score:3, Insightful)

      Unscrupulous? And you think actively blocking the content that pays the bills of the people whose websites you frequent isn't?

      Popups may be annoying, but they're hardly dishonest. Just because something opens a new window doesn't make it malicious. Unscrupulous would be more along the lines of the Gator people managing to get changes approved to Firefox to make their popups work.
      • Re:Popups (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Heisenbug (122836) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @04:50PM (#12730855)
        Here's my "moral" stance: when I load a url, I'm giving the site permission to do whatever they want -- within the bounds of the window. That means annoying overlapping divs are fine, but opening new windows, resizing the current window, playing sound, etc, are all out. If you want to do anything that doesn't fall within the confines of the window I opened the url in, you ask permission. As a simple rule of thumb, anything that doesn't revert simply by clicking the back button definitely crosses the line.

        Is breaking that rule malicious, unscrupulous or dishonest? I don't know. I do know that I sure won't feel unscrupulous for enforcing it.
      • Re:Popups (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! (70830)
        >Popups may be annoying, but they're hardly dishonest.

        Actually, they are incredibly dishonest to the point that they would be illegal if similiar tactics would be used in a more mature industry, like in print ads or television.

        Take a look at your typical pop-up. I collect ad servers for my ad blocking hosts file [everythingisnt.com] so I'm kinda a connoisseur of this crap. First and foremost, the current trend is to make the ads look like a windows system message. Not just any message, but mimicking the style of the secu
        • Popups may be annoying, but they're hardly dishonest.

          Actually, they are incredibly dishonest to the point that they would be illegal if similiar tactics would be used in a more mature industry, like in print ads or television.

          Oh? Let's see...

          First and foremost, the current trend is to make the ads look like a windows system message. Not just any message, but mimicking the style of the security center and warning of 'unsafe computing.' There are many variations on this theme like, "you have new e

      • I've solved that problem by simply not visiting sites that use pop-ups. Besides, running a site and making money by advertising has been shown to be an unprofitable business model.
    • Navigate to about:config, then right-click and add a new integer property. Call it "privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins" and set the value to 2. Voila! No more popups from Flash.
    • More importantly, why on earth can't I mute firefox? I don't want to mute my computer, but I don't want to hear a peep out of anything being spawned by firefox.exe.
  • Still arround? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Umbral Blot (737704)
    I am surprised Second Life still exists. After all if I am going to pay a monthly subscription I would much rather have something that gives me content (W.O.W.) than something that asks the community to produce its own. Second Life sounds like something that should have been an open souce / free / funded by donations project.
    • Re:Still arround? (Score:3, Informative)

      by ShawnDoc (572959)
      After all if I am going to pay a monthly subscription I would much rather have something that gives me content (W.O.W.) than something that asks the community to produce its own.

      Um, Second Life doesn't require a monthly fee. There's a one time fee of $10 and after that you are free to play as much as you like. Now you do have to pay to buy properties and some other in-game items, however there are plenty of free "sandboxes" for you to use to practice creating things and show off your wares.

    • even if they aren't producing their own content, they still have hosting costs and development costs to take into account, which aren't free
    • I'm perfectly satisfied right now with my $10 one-time fee. You can go anywhere, build stuff and sell it, basically anything except own land. It takes time to develop modeling skills, so if I'd purchased land I'd be wasting it.
    • Re:Still arround? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cmacb (547347)
      Second Life sounds like something that should have been an open souce / free / funded by donations project.

      There probably WILL be an open source system such as Second Life at some point. But that point might be ten years in the future for all we know. While there are a few Open Source projects that come up with something totally new, for the most part Open Source is a lot like Microsoft, wait for an innovation and then copy it. My feeling is that Open Source eventually does it better, but it rarely doe
      • I've had the basic idea used for this for a while, but it's not really a few-person project (especially without graphics programmers). Anyone want to help?

        http://sourceforge.net/projects/moo3d/ [sourceforge.net] for the engine
        http://sourceforge.net/projects/tasogare/ [sourceforge.net] for the core/environment

        It wouldn't necessarily need to be free of charge, either-- something like this can easily fund itself similar to Second Life does, charging for services (virtual land, etc hosted on the server)
      • There probably WILL be an open source system such as Second Life at some point. But that point might be ten years in the future for all we know.

        My favorite candidate on the Open Source camp is Croquet [opencroquet.org]. It is designed by some of the early pioneers of the user interface such as Alan Key [gatech.edu]. It's goals are broader than Second Life, I hope it succeeds!

        On the other hand, I think that eventually Linden Labs will open source it's own system, and simply keep control of the economy like they do right now.
    • You obviously have no idea what a virtual community really is all about. Virtual communities aren't designed to be a 'game', with 'instant gratification'. They are designed to be a secondary life, where making your whole content is the whole idea. You can't compare W.O.W. to virtual online communities, they are totally different.
  • by heatdeath (217147)
    iirc, there's a quake mod that renders html as textures, although it's not browsable. I couldn't access the site, though. It got slashdotted already. Does it just display the html as a texture, or is it browsable?
  • Okay... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fizban (58094) <fizban@umich.edu> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @02:53PM (#12730342) Homepage
    Wait a dog garn minute, let me get this straight...

    I'm going to be able to slack off from my virtual life (and say, read slashdot) while I'm slacking off from my real life playing Second Life?

    Okay, and meanwhile, in Darfur...
    • I'm just hoping they'll release a Second Life client application that runs inside the embedded Firefox browser. Then I can escape my humdrum, everyday SecondLife virtual existence and create a more exciting virtual virtual life...call it ThirdLife..
      • Re:Okay... (Score:2, Funny)

        by GrubInCan (624096)
        Or even better, a real life client application that runs inside the embedded Firefox browser. Then you could escape your humdrun SecondLife by escaping into a new (and possibly different) real life.
    • Re:Okay... (Score:2, Funny)

      by samoverton (253101)
      What would be better is if they create a client for Second Life that runs in a web browser. I think you can see where I'm going with this...
    • I'm going to be able to slack off from my virtual life (and say, read slashdot) while I'm slacking off from my real life playing Second Life?

      Yes, and you will be able to do it from your virtual mom's virtual basement.

    • "I'm going to be able to slack off from my virtual life (and say, read slashdot) while I'm slacking off from my real life playing Second Life?"On the plus side, you'll also be able to read Slashdot in Second Life.

  • This article certainly brings up an interesting topic: integrating different programs and making them work. It might be useful to have a media player that also acts as a web browsers or a file manager that autmatically downloads news from a website. I don't expect something like what I just suggested to catch on anytime soon, but multi-purpose programs would be nice to have -- after all, who wouldn't want a program that does everything?
    • Re:What if (Score:4, Funny)

      by 0racle (667029) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @03:21PM (#12730488)
      Or like a web browser thats integrated into the underlying OS that also acts as a help file renderer and file manager. I can't believe that no one has ever thought of this before! You know what would be totally cool? Having a bar along the side of your web browser that could go out and get headlines from your favorite news sources. Damn I'm brilliant, I'm going to be rich.
    • It's called Emacs. Just combine it with Octave and Blender, and I think that will take care of the few missing loose ends--no need to run anything else. Ever.

      Note: I'm a vim user, but I'm not a zealot about it--Emacs is good too, it just doesn't fit me.
    • Re:What if (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Derleth (197102) <chbartsNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday June 05, 2005 @07:39PM (#12731717) Homepage

      For one thing, it's difficult to design a program that does everything. This is because the complexity in software mainly comes from the interfaces between components, and the more your program does the more interfaces it has to have.

      (Interfaces aren't always explicit, but the best ones are. Bad software is mainly characterized by fuzzy boundaries between functional units and promiscuous sharing of data between blocks of code that don't need to know it.)

      The easiest program to design does one thing and hooks up to a simple API for its communication with the outside world. Unix command-line programs are built this way, and it has resulted in a lot of stable programs. Trying to expand a program is usually best done by splitting it and giving each part an easy way to talk with the other parts. This can be as easy as a bunch of subroutines that call each other or as complex as a client/server pair that send data to each other over the Internet. That way, each part can be reasoned about in isolation and ignored when you need to think about other parts, or the connections between all of the parts.

      For another thing, it's difficult to change one part of a program. Making the boundaries between parts clear and strong helps, but it's never quite as easy as you first imagine. If you want to change the web browser component, do you really want to rebuild the entire project and try to integrate another browser into your framework? (If you don't have a framework of some kind, it would be easier to scrap the project and start again. An ad hoc communication system between components is usually impossible to change cleanly.)

      It could be done. But I don't think it could be done well.

  • Yeah, why do I have to wake up from my virtual game world to reach for my iPod on my real desktop? I want all my virtual objects with me in my virtual world.
  • by imroy (755)
    Browsing the web inside a game? Somehow this reminds me of Penny Arcade comic [penny-arcade.com]. Yeah, I'm Karma whoring...
    • by gl4ss (559668)
      well, why not. imagine slashdot headlines scrolling on some display ingame. or current world news in the ingame newspaper.

      with second life probably it's to allow the player to create something that displays something from the web though.
  • Firefox in the sfterlife? this confirms a lot of my thoughts:

    Firefos IS heavenly!

  • Just in case anyone from Linden labs is reading this, I would like to say that I almost signed up for their free trial, but did not because they required me to sign up for an account in order to get the free trial.

    I will never sign up for one of those "free trials" where you have to cancel before your free trial expires, otherwise you pay. First of all I tend to be forgetfull and I may not cancel at the right time, also god knows how complicated their cancelation procedure is.

    I am disappointed that a comp
    • Porn sites, and AOL. We can't forget the atrocities of AOL.
    • Maybe they expect more people to actually be responsible. What a concept OH WOW!!

      I don't know how long their free trial is, I'm guessing a week maximum. It probably takes 2 days of being on there all day (basically all day) to determine if you want to stay. I'll go as far as to say 3 days. If you start playing in it and decide the place is the Suck, and you don't cancel right at that point, and you don't cancel the next day while you're deliberately Not logging in because you KNOW you're going to be bored
      • That's hogwash. You have no idea how hard it is to cancel, or that when you do that they'll acknowledge it. There have been plenty of horror stories from AOL and porn sites where once they've got your card it becomes a nightmare of phone calls to have it removed.

        Perhaps none of this happens for Linden which is still irrelevant. Forcing someone to hand over their credit card number for a small amount of play is a tactic deliberatly designed to snare people who forget, who are confused by the terms and cond

    • They have very strict adult verification requirements (self imposed) and so you HAVE to sign up using a credit card (I know this isn't foolproof verification). So in theory there is no such thing as an anonymous user. They either know who you are or at least know who someone is that trusts you with there CC.

      Nonetheless there are many people who have signed up for the $10 one-time membership who are regular users. There is only a monthly bill if that is what you select when you sign up. Monthly billing
    • Wall Street Journal also does this. But if it's so offensive to you, write directly to Linden Labs rather than post on slashdot... that way you won't have to worry if they're reading this site. And how do you know it's a tactic mainly used by porn sites? Got burned a few times that way, did you?
    • You don't have to sign up for an account or pay anything. Before the end of your free week, you have the option to pay $9.95 once for a basic account, or $9.95/month for a premium. Your credit card is not automatically charged for anything if you don't cancel. The credit card is used to verify identity and age, as Second Life is for adults only. (There is a teen grid for those under 18.)
  • Wow, lets add another thing to second life to further lag things out. Recently an "update" was rolled out which added quicktime movie support to objects in game. Pretty nifty concept, except when people go outta control and put 20 automatically running Hillary Duff music videos inside the same piece of land, then its nothing but lag-fest.

    Can't wait to see what happens with it when the HTML contains a ton of animated images, or annoying popups.
    • except when people go outta control and put 20 automatically running Hillary Duff music videos inside the same piece of land

      You can't have more than one video stream going at a time, since video streams are one per land parcel, and your avatar can only be in one land parcel at a time. The streams for neighboring parcels can only play when you step into their land.

      Besides, you can turn off streaming video in your preferences if it's a problem.
  • Second Life rocks (Score:2, Informative)

    by John Zero (3370)
    I've seen Second Life mentioned on Slashdot around last summer, and I'm still in game :-)

    It might not appeal to all -- it's not exactly a game, more of a virtual place, where you can live your imagination, build, socialize. Don't expect WoW-like quality and content, but you can get and do much more, many things you can imagine, can be scripted to an extent. Or you can make clothes, build houses, cars, etc.

    It's a virtual world, and it's getting somewhat similar to the Metaverse (like in Neil Stephenson's S
    • by jafuser (112236)
      I think one thing that doesn't get mentioned about SL very often is that it isn't run by the company's sales & marketing department, like most games are.

      The people at Linden Lab (the place responsible for developing SL) are geeks. They like Linux, they share opinions about languages, database, file formats, and protocols, they play the same games we play. They laugh at obscure geek jokes that we do.

      And unlike any other MMOG, you *can* catch the designers, developers, administrators, and occasionally
  • The virtual world of Second Life will leverage an embedded version of Mozilla Firefox in a future release

    I'm sorry, the links are totally Slashdotted... what is second life? Is that like another AlphaWorld?
  • by Daath (225404)
    Sounds nifty with an in-game browser. Almost all non-fps games I play, I play in windowed mode, so I can read mail and browse while playing. But ok, this is for advertising in-game, I would guess. There are probably also usefull things you can do with it in the game.

    But many of us still need to get a first life, before we can move on to a second one ;P
  • Linux version? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MarcOiL (265430) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @03:53PM (#12730636)
    What about the Linux client they promised at start? If it's good enough to run their servers [secondlife.com], it's good enough to have a client. Specially as they use OpenGL for graphics and already have a MacOSX client.
  • I tried to join second life, but apparently US military members overseas are forbidden to join. The US military has used the same mail system for decades, yet second life insists on using a billing verification system that apparently does not allow APO/FPO billing addresses or non-US phone numbers. Almost every other retailer in the world knows how to bill and ship to an overseas APO/FPO address and online credit card verification is a fairly mature technology, so it is very strange that their system is c
  • What I really wanted to try was to open a web browser inside second life, and use a remote PC applet to log onto another computer and log in to second life again. So you could be playing second life inside a browser inside second life. Or you could even do real work in the browser using workspot.

    The question is, would other users be able to read and see what's on your screen?
  • by jncook (4617) on Sunday June 05, 2005 @07:45PM (#12731759) Homepage
    Callum Linden and I are the two developers at Linden Lab working on Mozilla embedding. Some details:

    Why bother? We want to allow people running Second Life [secondlife.com] full-screen to access our web site. Right now, if you want to bid on a piece of virtual land, or read the scripting language wiki, you have to either run in a window or switch out to your browser. That sucks, so we're fixing it.

    The second goal is to get to third-party web sites. I want to trade SL currency on Gaming Open Market [gamingopenmarket.com] while staying in-world. Our internal scripting language supports e-mail into and out of the world, as well as XML-RPC. Lots of people have used this to build cool web sites that tie into the virtual world. See the postcards on Snapzilla [sluniverse.com] postcards and the Second Life del.icio.us tag [del.icio.us] for examples. Getting these connected into the world would be a big win.

    Why Mozilla? Could there be any other choice? :-) Our competitor There.com [there.com] uses Internet Explorer to do their internal web browsing, but they only support PCs. We love open source tools and use LGPL stuff extensively in both server and client. Plus, we need support for Win32, Mac and Linux.

    Working with the Mozilla codebase has been interesting. It's huge, and very complex. But I'm proud to say we've found and fixed a couple bugs in Mozilla, and contributed the changes back to the Mozilla folks. I'm looking forward to Firefox 1.1 and the potential for the new Cairo/OpenGL rendering subsystem -- that may really help with embedding for 3D worlds.

    So despite the linked description, Callum and I are working on getting an interactive 2D browser working first. Web pages on the surfaces of 3D objects may not ship in the next version (1.7). It'll ship as soon as it's done.

    As an aside, if any of the Mozilla developers are reading this, we could use some help with embedding, specifically how to post mouse-click events into an embedded instance, please send me mail.

    Cheers,

    James

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