Linden Lab, the developer of virtual online community Second Life, is releasing the source code for its viewer application to bring in new ideas and thinking:
Open-source developers will be able to modify and improve the viewer code and contribute any changes back to the project. The code release is being done under the GPL Version 2.0 license.
Second Life is a simulated community that allows participants to create virtual lives for themselves and other "people" using avatars (See Computerworld's Second Life FAQ). Registration is free, but users can pay for additional features and more elaborate virtual activities. Using the Second Life Viewer, users -- called "residents" in the virtual world -- can control their avatars, interact with each other via instant messages, create virtual environments, buy and sell objects, access multimedia content and move around, according to the company.