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Jan 29, 2008

Audio: Jim Purbrick and Mark Lentczner on Challenges in Second Life Programming

(Recommended Audio - MP3 From

Second Life is a massive persistent 3-D world that has millions of users. Jim Purbrick and Mark Lentczner talk about the programming challenges they face in developing in and for this environment. Regardless of what you think of Second-Life itself, this is a truly intriguing and informative talk.

Talk Index

  • 0:00:00 - Intro / About Second Life
  • 0:18:24 - Problems with internal scripting in second life
  • 0:34:22 - A new approach to internal scripting (really cool stuff here)
  • 0:54:54 - Collaboration, Communication and Teamwork
  • 1:14:33 - Questions

While listening to this my mind turned to the Wayne's World scene where Wayne and Garth are comically bowing to Alice Cooper, chanting "We're not worthy!!! We're not worthy!!!" (Even if you don't get the reference I trust you get the idea). They're programming on a 3D persistent world with 30,000 to 60,000 concurrent users, 15,000 CPUs, and 30 million concurrently running scripts; this is mind-blowingly cool stuff.

I am but a humble business programmer. It's fun and I enjoy it but even at it's very best the cool factor of my work would only reach a 2. It was nice to glimpse through the looking glass and briefly see the world beyond; Follow the white rabbit and all that... perhaps some day I will.

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