Server-side Javascript?

by Simon Email

The more I learn about Javascript, the more I like it.

Could it be used server-side as well as client-side?

It has closures, like Ruby, but has a nice regular syntax like Java.

What's holding it back?

Startup Crazy

by Simon Email

My life seems to be full of startups these days... it seems that London is awash with them.

Most are concerned with social networking and are caught in the tail wind of the mega sites like Facebook and Flickr.

It all reminds me of my own experiences back in 1999 trying to do my own startup (FillMySpace - an idea before its time? Modelled on the US site Homestead and prefiguring MySpace in some ways).

In the current bout of startups and advising and thinking about the whole thing I've come across some really interesting thoughts from others:

Getting Real - by 37 signals (who invented the Rails framework).

Full of sage advice - basically keep it lean and mean. A philosophy I've always adhered to.

Also a great blog by Marc Andriessen of Netscape fame:

He has the time (and money!) and generosity to share his hard-won wisdom. I've really enjoyed reading articles on startups, hiring and venture capitalists.

It's funny to compare the silicon-valley-based experience in these books/blogs with what's happening in London/UK at the moment.

Most of the ones I've come across are not looking for venture capital - at least in the short term - and are funding stuff with their own money.

This might be a reflection of the lowering costs of starting up an IT operation these days.

Beauty and Crime by Suzanne Vega

by Simon Email


One of my favourite musicians has at long last released a new album.
(Same timeframe as another favourite - Bjork. It's like Christmas!)

I've listened to the album twice, and am in the delicious phase I always have with her music.

The first listen everything things both strange and samey.

The second time I begin to remember the different tracks, and become drawn in.

Subsequent listenings will embed the music in my brain and I will be addicted, as I am to all her other music.

A strong memory - walking around Wivenhoe in Essex listening to 99.9 degrees fahrenheit on my walkman. My personal life a mess, but beautiful surroundings and the feeling of becoming addicted to the music.


by Simon Email

I'd like to suggest a direction for LibSecondLife-Java

There are some factors behind this suggestion:

*) LibSecondLife has been built rather piecemeal, and includes "messy" code and unclear abstractions
*) Linden have released an open source version of their viewer since the initial port was done
*) there are other 3D worlds which may join SecondLife to produce the 3D web

I think that we should:

1) continue to use the "lower level" classes from LibSecondLife - i.e. the packets and messaging parts

2) develop a clearer class library representing the main entities in SecondLife - i.e. regions, avatars etc...

3) make the library "plugable" so that it could eventually support alternative 3D worlds

Any comments are gratefully received.

In the meantime could we try to assemble a list of candidate classes for 2)?

I will do so myself by looking at both LibSecondLife and the Open Sourced viewer.

SecondLife thoughts

by admin Email

What makes SecondLife (and other metaverses) different?

A shared experience... the simulator state is shared by all the visitors.

Here web-interactivity, which is essentially solitary, becomes social. We emerge blinking through the other side of our monitors.

As with the web, the protocol will be king. There will be multiple servers, and fewer viewers.

Organisations will run simulators like they run websites. We will run viewers, like we run browsers.

Killer application? Imagine visiting the John Lewis virtual department store - looking at 3D models of washing machines, speaking to a sales assistant avatar.

The sales assistant speaks and demonstrates to us. Other people in the vicinity can hear and participate.

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