OpenSearch and the Linden’s World

Fixed-size search window

As Felix explained yesterday, thanks to DrenBoy, we found a way of hooking up any search engine into the newest release candidate, so we quickly were able to implement our vision of OpenSearch. (We have a JIRA request on that) That was working great… big window, lots of space to see the search results… up until 2 hours ago, when Linden Lab released a new release candidate. This newest one doesn’t allow the search window to resize. Why oh why, I wonder…

We can still run OpenSearch in it, but the window is smaller. It’s bigger than the Web-on-the-profile, but it can’t be made even bigger.

I’m starting to suspect that someone at Linden Lab is doing an intentional ban on having web-browsing capabilities within the viewer. For example, the Web-on-the-profile is a teaser; like “we can do it but we really don’t want to.” Same thing with the search window. Even though what we see from Linden’s search is HTML, they go to great lengths to make it look like it isn’t, giving it a look&feel of all the other non-html windows.

OK, it’s their world, they can do whatever they want. In particular they can prevent a whole pandora’s box of competing emergent behavior related to the use of Web browsing inside SL. I can only say “tss tss tss” while shaking my head in disapproval. This is definitely not the openness that they talk about in their PR.

It’s pretty clear to me that any 3D world that wants to be open, like the Web, but immersive and social, like real life, must incorporate the Web and add the 3rd dimension to it. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel for the necessary 2D content that the human race has come to adopt in many flavors for storing and transmitting information. But maybe Linden Lab doesn’t want Second life to be the 3D Web after all, that was just a temporary PR glitch, or maybe a collective misunderstanding. Looks like Linden Lab wants Second life to be their own 3D game. They have all the right in the world to do that.

My only hope for this is that the general idea of the Metaverse has been placed out in the open. Sooner or later it will happen, with or without Linden Lab. The real OpenSearch will probably have to wait until that happens.

2 replies on “OpenSearch and the Linden’s World”

  1. Hi all,

    I stumbled across this post because of a saved blog search that I run for the term “OpenSearch”. As it turns out, OpenSearch is also a well-known format used by search engines and web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.) to identify and syndicate search results. As I poked around here a bit I realized that while you are also using the term for an unrelated project, you might actually be able to use bits of the existing OpenSearch standard for your own work syndicate search to Second Life.

    If you’re interested you can learn more about the other OpenSearch here:

    In any case, this is interesting work! Best of luck,


  2. Diva Canto says:

    Duh! I didn’t realize there was a queue of comments waiting for my approval. I only found them today… It’s a good thing too, because at the time I wrote this post I was pretty frustrated with Linden Lab. I’ve overcome that on the day I installed OpenSim on my machine back in January. Peace! V :-)

    We can now stop being frustrated, and “leave Linden Lab alone”, by contributing to OpenSim.

    I’ve been playing around with the rex viewer all morning, and I can’t stop jumping up and down with excitement. I’m excited that they decided to plug in OpenSearch, of course, but that’s not all I’m excited about. The TP hack is fantastic! — looking forward to see that done better in future releases of OpenSim. And the interface to X10 also blew me through the roof. Yey!

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