2007 Begins with a Bang

by Glyn Moody

Wow: has there ever been a month in computing like this one? A January distinguished by not one major announcement, not two, but four significant events that will surely go down as milestones in the history of technology.

First, and probably most importantly for readers of this blog, Linden Lab announced that it was releasing the code of its Second Life client under the GNU GPLv2. I've written before about why Second Life is important, and why, therefore, it matters that the open source world participate in this revolution on equal terms with proprietary platforms.

My prayers have been granted, it seems: for not only is Linden Lab releasing the client-side code, but it is committed to releasing the server-side stuff too. Although some have remained sceptical that this will ever happen, Linden Lab's CTO, Cory Ondrejka, told me last week that the company will be making an announcement sometime this quarter about its roadmap for open-sourcing the rest of its code, and what this implies for the underlying architecture.

Meanwhile, you can keep yourself occupied by playing with the viewer, joining the SLDev mailing list, reporting bugs and even earning bounties for them. But hurry up: some people have already started - within 24 hours of the code being available, Linden Lab had accepted a patch from an external contributor.

The second major announcement was Apple's iPhone – or whatever it ends up being called. For Mac fanboys (and fangirls), its unveiling was a life-changing experience, as are all of St. Steve's revelations. But even for those of us immune to the JRDF (Jobs Reality Distortion Field), it would be hard to miss the significance of the fact that “Apple Computer

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