I haven’t been active in Second Life for months now and figured I’d check up on it again. When I was reading other blogs I found a link to Opensim which is an open source project working on their own server similar to Second Life. In fact with every grid I checked out I used the Second Life client to connect. The servers I tried weren’t very busy but I was really only checking out how it compares to Second Life. There’s plenty of stuff that is missing and they are maybe years from getting everything to the level of Second Life.
Just by copying the shortcut for second life and adding some parameters you can log into one of these servers easily. Changing your appearance isn’t explained very well. You start off with a basic female avatar. You have to create a body, eye, skin and hair parts so you can wear and change them. On OSgrid you can play around with web pages on a prim! The most interesting thing I found was when I read articles about how they want to hook these grids up to Second Life and be able to move your avatar from one grid to another. It also seems like Second Life have plans of something like that too. With IBM and Microsoft interested in this project it looks very promising for the future.
After I played around with the other servers I decided to see if I can start a server of my own on my computer. I tried building with the source code but I got errors. Didn’t want to figure out why so I downloaded the already built server file. Got a server running on my windows system in minutes. Logged in and could walk and fly around a small island. To me that’s impressive and if these servers get more popular it could be very competitive to Second Life.