Shared Media and data URIs

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Data: URIs can be used with Shared Media. If you're not a geek, why should you care?

In short, one possible use is: say you have some content you want to show on a prim face, but you don't want to go through the trouble of creating an HTML file and uploading it to a webserver. (Or, you don't have a server.)

You can use a data: URI tool to convert web content into a long link you can paste into Shared Media. It saves time and trouble.

Here's a simple example:

  1. In your web browser, go to The data: URI kitchen. This is an easy tool to convert HTML into a data: URI.
  2. Insert your HTML between the <body> tags. Change <p></p> to <p>This is a test!</p>
  3. Click the Generate button.
  4. Copy the full data: URI in your web browser's address bar. It should look like this: data:text/html;charset=utf-8,<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-%2F%2FW3C%2F%2FDTD HTML 4.0%2F%2FEN">%0D%0A<html lang%3D"en">%0D%0A <head>%0D%0A <title>Test<%2Ftitle>%0D%0A <style type%3D"text%2Fcss">%0D%0A <%2Fstyle>%0D%0A <%2Fhead>%0D%0A <body>%0D%0A <p>This is a test!<%2Fp>%0D%0A <%2Fbody>%0D%0A<%2Fhtml>%0D%0A
  5. Using the steps described in "Adding Shared Media to an object", paste that exact URI into Shared Media on a prim.
  6. The result should look like this:

Data URI with Shared Media.png

Feel free to use more advanced code to gain familiarity.

KBtip2.png Tip: A data: URI can be up to 32 kilobytes. The maximum length of an URI/URL in the Viewer is 1024 bytes, although an URL-shortening service (as described below) can prevent this limit from being reached.


This shows several lines of styled text:

data:text/html;charset=utf-8,<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-%2F%2FW3C%2F%2FDTD HTML 4.0%2F%2FEN">%0D%0A<html lang%3D"en">%0D%0A <head>%0D%0A <title>Test<%2Ftitle>%0D%0A <style type%3D"text%2Fcss">%0D%0A <%2Fstyle>%0D%0A <%2Fhead>%0D%0A <body>%0D%0A <p>This is a test!<%2Fp>%0D%0A%0D%0A<p><strong>But it gets fancier because we're using styled text.<%2Fstrong><%2Fp>%0D%0A%0D%0A<p><em>Feel free to play with HTML snippets and jazz it up.<%2Fem><%2Fp>%0D%0A%0D%0A<h2><font color%3D"%23ff0080"><strong>That's why we call it rich content%2C yeah%3F<%2Fstrong><%2Ffont><%2Fh2>%0D%0A%0D%0A<p><strike>This line has intentionally been struck out.<%2Fstrike><%2Fp>%0D%0A <%2Fbody>%0D%0A<%2Fhtml>%0D%0A

This embeds a Flash video:

data:text/html;charset=utf-8,<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-%2F%2FW3C%2F%2FDTD HTML 4.0%2F%2FEN">%0D%0A<html lang%3D"en">%0D%0A <head>%0D%0A <title>Test<%2Ftitle>%0D%0A <style type%3D"text%2Fcss">%0D%0A <%2Fstyle>%0D%0A <%2Fhead>%0D%0A <body>%0D%0A <p><object width%3D"640" height%3D"480"><param name%3D"allowfullscreen" value%3D"true" %2F><param name%3D"allowscriptaccess" value%3D"always" %2F><param name%3D"movie" value%3D"" %2F><embed src%3D"" type%3D"application%2Fx-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen%3D"true" allowscriptaccess%3D"always" width%3D"640" height%3D"480"><%2Fembed><%2Fobject><%2Fp>%0D%0A <%2Fbody>%0D%0A<%2Fhtml>%0D%0A

This embeds an SVG (scalable vector graphic) of three interlocking, colored circles. Since SVGs are vectors, they can scale smoothly to any size:

This embeds a Flash panorama of a Second Life scene, as explained here:

data:text/html;charset=utf-8,<html lang%3D"en">%0D%0A <head>%0D%0A <title>Test<%2Ftitle>%0D%0A <style type%3D"text%2Fcss">%0D%0A <%2Fstyle>%0D%0A <%2Fhead>%0D%0A <body marginheight%3D"0" marginwidth%3D"0" topmargin%3D"0" leftmargin%3D"0" rightmargin%3D"0" bottommargin%3D"0" style%3D"overflow%3Ahidden">%0D%0A <p align%3D"center"><object width%3D"100%25" height%3D"100%25">%0D%0A<param name%3D"movie" value%3D"">%0D%0A<embed src%3D"" width%3D"100%25" height%3D"100%25" type%3D"application%2Fx-shockwave-flash">%0D%0A<%2Fembed>%0D%0A<%2Fobject><%2Fp>%0D%0A <%2Fbody>%0D%0A<%2Fhtml>

Those data: URIs are so long! Can I shorten them?

Yes, an URL-shortener can make them a lot easier to copy-and-paste, although most popular ones (like and — no relation to SLurl) have troubles, and reliability is dependent on the specific service. TinyURL appears to work, as shown above.

Can I embed other data types too?

Yes, like images. The Image to data URI convertor can convert small PNG, JPG, or GIF images into a data URI. The resulting code may appear quite lengthy but give it a try.

As shown above, SVGs can work, too.

Can I make pure JavaScript work in a data: URI?


In fact, data: URI is best for displaying limited (up to 1024 chars), but constantly updated information without having to send a bunch of httprequests and bogging down a server. For example, updating a Media on a Prim speedometer on a .2sec timer interval.

//Copy and Paste the below directly into the homepage URL for a prims media.

data:text/html,<html><head><style>#ADiv{background-color:#EEE;width:100px;height:100px;}</style><script>function doit(){alert('Hi');}</script></head><body bgcolor='#222' onload='doit()'><div id='ADiv'></div></body></html>

What's the difference between a URI and a URL?

This gets fairly technical, but "URL vs. URI vs. URN, in More Concise Terms" has a good explanation.

See also