PostHeaderIcon Second Life Enterprise. Ummm, NO.

Second Life just isn't cut-out for enterprise-level... anything.

The technical limitations are just too many. An example, and proof are in an attempted meeting between a company and share holders. The issue has to do with the capabilities required at all ends. Creating three dimensional imagery on a computer requires massive number-crunching.

People these days just have no idea what is really happening here. Additionally, all the content that appears as 3D is user-created, and likely not optimized for speedy download to the client viewers. So, take into consideration what's really happening here:

The server stores all the data that tells the viewer how to draw the virtual world on screen. It includes the data the creates the primitive shapes (cube, cylinder, pyramids and so on). It also includes the information of how each of these primitive shapes are twisted, sized and rotated, and how they are positioned adainst each other to appear like an object, such as a chair. It sends this information down to the viewer on your local computer.

Then the textures that are applied to each and every cube, cylinder, triangle and so on is mapped (positioned on the primitive) and also sent down to the viewer.

Then the information that arranges all this stuff together is sent, along with lighting and shadow information (changing the textures slightly) - and the full scene assembly information... all so your viewer can put all this together, making it appear like a three dimensional environment on your computer.

Now, consider this...

Remember the old days when a web page would take forever to load into your browser because the pictures were too large? Or there was a movie or music or something? It was excruciating and often you would just decide to bounce off to the next web site.

Now imagine those same over-sized pictures, dynamically color-changed and twisted and distorted to match the shape of a particular primitive, all based on what it might look like in the real world from the angle you are seeing it from.

30-times a second.

Now, imagine ten people demanding all this information from the server at the same time. Imagine 40 or 50 people demanding this.

Oh, and the highly detailed other 'people' you see (3D shapes representing the others in the area you can see.) And of course they have to make themselves look really good, do they have highly detailed and complex "attachments" such as hair and clothing and jewelry all made of primitive objects, each textures differently. And, much of these have scripts to make them 'bling' and flash and blink and a number of other functions.

So, the server is trying to send all this information to your computer, and to 49 other computers, and also to read, understand, and execute scripts (just like little computer programs all by themselves) and deliver dozens of texture pictures to all these computers, and the color changing and twisting, deforming information and ...and ...and....

Then, on top of that, your viewer is sending information back to the server to distribute to the other 49 viewers.

All this at the same time.

Hence, small meetings of 40 or 50 people on the same virtual world server in Second Life can be frustrating at best. Fortunately, Linden Lab is working on it.

The following is a first-hand experience perspective:
Onillon was very satisfied that a real dialogue was realized between retail-shareholders or at least interested people wherever on the planet they were and the management. However, ArcelorMittal also realized that a mass event in Second Life is technically not possible. Of course, one could have a central place to gather the participants, and work with virtual screens in other locations in Second Life. For a shareholders meeting with a lot of newbies, this would be very hard to manage. Even now two auditoriums were used, and in the second (smaller) auditorium I witnessed how newbie-attendees struggled with the interface.

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