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Subject:Second Life mapping and popularity
Time:10:51 am
Current Mood:excitedexcited
I've been playing recently with the Second Life Mapping API—the tool that Linden Lab provides that lets you put Second Life's in-world map on webpages—and had some success in making a basic map utility with it.

And since I'm a Apple Developer Connection member, I got a preview version of Dashcode, the in-house Dashboard Widget development tool that they'll be shipping with Leopard, OS X 10.5. I made a quick widget that reads an RSS feed; that takes about a dozen clicks and 30 seconds, so I cast about for something a little more complicated to play with. Aha! Mashup time!

The result is the Second Life Map Widget. It's pretty nice; you can browse through the map, jump to sims you want to look up, and teleport to the location you've got showing. Once I got it working well enough to release, I put up the webpage there and submitted it to the SL forums and some download sites, including Apple's Dashboard Widget site.

If you're viewing that link soon after I've posted this, you'll notice that the Second Life Map Widget is there on the front page as the Featured Widget. It first showed up there last night; it was in the "Staff Favorites" list below that a few hours after I posted it on the 10th. [Edit: For posterity, here's a screenshot.]

Gosh.

By my logs, there've been 2581 direct downloads of the zip file from my site as of 2007-04-12 10:48:00.

I'm glad (though I'm sure not much will come of it) that I put an invitation to donate and a paypal link on the page before I posted to the directory sites. (There's also my SL name -- Taper Pirandello -- and someone has donated L$100 there, the equivalent of 3.8 US cents. Woo hoo!) [Edit 2: whoops, more like 38 cents. Calculator dropped a decimal.
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chocorisu
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Time:2007-04-12 11:05 pm (UTC)
That's awesome! I didn't realise there were even 2500 active accounts on Second Life, let alone using Macs.
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taper
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Time:2007-04-12 11:53 pm (UTC)
3622!

According to the webpage there's some 30k users on right now; I had thought they only got that high on weekends. Ah, expansionist worlds.
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ronbar
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Time:2007-04-13 12:56 am (UTC)
Cool that people are using your widget! Not cool that you attempted to blame the machine for your currency conversion error. The machines will have their vengeance.

Is Second Life fun at all? I tried to run the Linux client and it crashed my entire machine, not just X. Google Earth and every single GL xscreensaver hack work just fine on this machine, and I use Google Earth a lot.

If it's fun and the Linux SecondLife client stays in alpha interminably, I might consider building a Windows partition again, but I'm leery of connecting it to the Internet ever since my XP SP 2 partition was infected with some kind of spyware or something.
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taper
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Time:2007-04-13 07:12 pm (UTC)
Actually it was the currency conversion program on my Treo -- the keyboard will sometimes not-- debounce? The same key twice in a row not registering. So I hit 00 but only got 0, so it _is_ the machine's fault. But I make it up to the treo by taking it dancing later.

I really enjoy Second Life, mostly for the building and avatar customization aspects, and shopping -- the economy end of it is something to be seen -- but it does take time and money; real architecture takes land, for instance. But one of my favorite free things is just exploring what other people have built; there's some stunning stuff in there.

I managed to get SL running on Linux once a year ago, and then my video card stopped working in 3d at all. I'm considering getting a new nvidia card and seeing if that works.
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ronbar
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Time:2007-04-13 07:38 pm (UTC)
Taking your phone out dancing is a great visual gag, especially when I imagine it starting out grumpy and sullen. Do you buy it flowers?

I hate shopping, even online, but exploring what other people have built sounds fun.

Sorry, I lied. The SL Linux alpha didn't lock up my machine, it just hung (without affecting anything else) after doing a bunch of preparatory stuff after login. I downloaded the latest alpha last night and tried it a few times and got the same behavior. It did seem like it got a little further than before (based on the debugging output on the terminal when I let it sit for a half hour or so), but once all the messages were about connection timeouts downloading textures or something, I killed it.

3D with the X.org server has worked without a hitch on my laptop. Even the SL client displays what I'm guessing is part of the 3D world as a backdrop at the login screen. My laptop has an Intel 915G or 925G, something like that. I'm not sure exactly what it has because I've never had to find out-- it just worked after installation. I've seen it in the KDE device list.
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