Prototype Software Lets You Run Second Life In A Web Browser - InformationWeek
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7/9/2007
08:48 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Prototype Software Lets You Run Second Life In A Web Browser

AjaxLife lets you run Second Life without the need to install or run the service's resource-intensive client. AjaxLife is quite primitive, but as a proof-of-concept, it's remarkable.

AjaxLife lets you run Second Life without the need to install or run the service's resource-intensive client. AjaxLife is quite primitive, but as a proof-of-concept, it's remarkable.

Even more remarkable: The author, Katharine Berry, "is a British teenager who built this partly out of 'boredom, wanting to talk to people in' Teen Second Life. Nothing like disrupting the entire online world industry just for fun," according to New World Notes..

She seems to have doubts about whether people will be interested in this project. Hah!

Berry says AjaxLife works in Safari 3 (but not Safari2) or Firefox. You can do some basics, like chat, teleport, and instant messaging, although you can't initiate instant message sessions except with people on your friends list. No mention of whether it supports content creation; I'm assuming it doesn't.

I was able to run the software in both the Camino and Firefox browsers for the Mac. I could chat and instant-message with my friends. One friend teleported me to her location. She said my avatar appeared "ruthed," which is Second Life jargon for an avatar that's had all its customizations removed and which has returned to its default states. I was also able to teleport back to my home location.

The biggest lack in AjaxLife: No graphics whatsoever. You're blind in Second Life, you can't see anything around you. I don't think audio is supported either.

Still, you can IM, and text-chat, and teleport in a limited fashion. That's a great start. As a Second Life friend said: Give it a year and it'll become a fully functional client. The only practical purpose I can see for now is if you want to have a chat or IM session but can't get at your own computer, and need to use a a computer on which SL is not installed.

The need to install specialized software to run Second Life is a big handicap for the service, most people would rather not bother. Getting Second Life running in a Web browser will be a big help in driving popularity.

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