Extended Snowglobe FAQ

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Why is this the "extended FAQ"

This is the "extended FAQ" because there is also a main FAQ. The main FAQ is meant for non-participants and newcomers who may not understand what this initiative is about. The extended FAQ is for people who are already excited about participating, and are mainly asking questions about how to do stuff.

Is there a roadmap or a timeline of Second Life being Open Source we can see?

Yes, there's a roadmap on this wiki, which covers some of our immediate milestones. This document will evolve to provide further information.

What are some examples of projects (features) we've been waiting for a long time that will reasonably come faster with Open Source?

We're not sure. We have vague ideas of what people may do with this (e,g, fixing problems with video cards they happen to own, or radical reworking of user interface elements), but we're not going to pretend we're in control of what others do with the source.

How will Residents be able to collaborate on Open Source submissions? Will we be able to use Second Life itself to do it?

Possibly. The first step is to join the email list. We're certainly considering in-world developer meetings, but note that it's difficult to stay in-world while modifying the viewer, so we'll probably have to rely on multiple channels of communication.

Are you going to be running a showcase for customized Second Life viewers with prizes for the best?

Not at this time. We are considering ways to accelerate certain areas of development (for example, a bounty program), but we want to first work with the community to understand how our resources are best applied.

I think it'd be cool to have a system to allow Residents with certain needs have them met by offering L$ or US$ for custom clients, what do you think of that?

That would be cool. We don't have a plan to facilitate that, but that's something we would consider if there's strong community demand for it. In the short term, feel free to coordinate such activity.

Is someone who builds their own Second Life viewer allowed to sell it?

As long as that person complies with our licensing, they may do whatever they want, including sell the software.

How do I get a copy of the code to play with?

See Get source and compile.

How do I build my own Second Life viewer? What are the technical requirements?

See Get source and compile.

Is there a website where I can find the homebrewed versions of Second Life that other people have created?

Yes, see Alternate viewers.

Can I do anything I want with the Second Life client code?

Anything within the applicable licenses. Use of Linden Lab's servers will still be governed by the Second Life Terms of Service].

Who can answer my questions about changing the Second Life code? I have some ideas for improvements but I don't understand how it works!

Ask your question on one of our forums or mailing lists.

If I find a bug in Second Life, and know how to fix it, how do I submit the required code change?

First, file a bug in the issue tracker to describe the problem. See How To Submit A Viewer Change

Will source code availability make it possible for me to run my own grid on my own servers at home and not be connected to your (Linden) network?

Not really. While it's theoretically possible for anyone to create a server that is compatible with the open source viewer, it's not something that will be easy to do. While we hesitate to underestimate the ingenuity of the resident community, we don't expect that anything like this to evolve quickly. Linden Lab is not open sourcing the server infrastructure at this time; and even if we were, the system isn't designed for home deployment.

What's more important with Open Source SL, fixing new bugs or adding new features? There are a lot of bugs to be fixed and I think it'd be great if all the bugs could be worked on first.

We're not going to impose our priorities on the community. We are much more likely to accept fixes for bugs than new features, but that shouldn't stop anyone from experimenting on new features.

How does Mono relate to the open sourcing of the Second Life viewer? Are they going to come together?

This is not related to our work on Mono, since the Mono work happens on the server. However, our pending move to Mono and our open source initiative are two ways in which we're moving Second Life toward a more open, standardized architecture.