OOPSLA 2007 « Dan Weinreb’s WeblogOne of the common themes of modern science fiction is that the human world fissions into mutually incomprehensible domains.
... Jim Purbrick and Mark Lentczner of Linden Labs, the creators of Second Life, explained a great deal about what Second Life is and how it works. The most interesting thing is that 15% of the residents actually do coding, in a language that lets you make active objects. There are 30,000,000 running scripts, 2.5 billion lines of code. Generally there are 15,000 scripts actively running on each “region” (processor), updating at 45 frames per second, and there are 4,000 processors. There are 30,000,000 concurrent threads. The language itself they described as “terrible”; they are working on bringing up the Mono implementation of the CLR so they can provide good languages. There are some complicated issues in which threads must be migrated from one CPU to another as an object moves around within regions of the Second Life world. The most impressive thing is how many people with little or no technical training are doing programming. They also talked about how the Linden Labs developers, eight of them at five physical locations, use Second Life itself as a collaborative development environment; they say it works really well, particularly due to having stereo audio that’s good enough that you can tell where sounds are coming from. During the talk they showed Second Life on the big screen and moved around and interacted with people, so that you could see what it’s like...
Babel 2.0, in other words.
I can see that happening.