Friday, February 26, 2010

Second Life: 2.0 beta viewer experiments

The first public beta of the Second Life 2.0 viewer sports some nice improvements. For me the most interesting part, is definitely the Shared Media part.

Back in 2006, 2007 when we were investigating Second Life as a business tool, we sorely missed the ability to easily work with HTML on a prim. Documents, presentations, dynamic content: it was impossible or very nearly so. A few years ago 'HTML on a prim' finally became a reality. A step forward, but it could really only be used to display a static website.

The new 'Shared Media' implementation in the 2.0 beta viewer is much more powerful. As a matter of fact, the viewerr sports a full implementation of WebKit, the open source browser engine. It allows the 2.0 beta viewer to display pretty much anything the average browser can, and as dynamic as the browser too. HTML, flash movies and games, it's all possible.

The media are placed on a specific face of a prim. I created a simple prim, and put a Google Docs presentation on it:
SL2.0: experimenting with Goog...

So far it works fine. I can login to Google Docs and work with the documents available to me. If only this had been possible a few years ago!

I have noticed that access credentials to content in a shared media texture, are stored in Webkit; they are not connected to the prim the media texture is on.
First, I created a prim with a media texture containing a Google Document for my RL Google account; I logged in and used it. Then I deleted the prim, created a new one, and put a Google document for my Sered Woollahra Google account on it. Upon saving it, the message on the media texture said my RL Google account wasn't allowed to view Google Documents owned by Sered Woollahra! I had to logoff and login back to SL to be able to use the other credentials.

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