Second Life: Chrome Embedded Framework Update

Linden Lab is apparently making lots of headway on putting CEF support in the Second Life™ Viewer. They will have a project viewer out ‘real soon’. The Lab will need someone in the Linux community to step up and move that new code into the Linux viewer. If not, the Linden Linux viewer will go way out of date.

Chrome Girl

Chrome Girl by Stuart Williams, on Flickr

I think this will be an awesome change in the viewer. WebKit is used now and it is a bit of an orphan.

This will allow developers to use more HTML5 to develop panels in the viewer. It will also affect many parts of the viewer. There are also possibilities for what can be done server side.

WebKit and CEF are about displaying media in web pages and web pages. Essentially, many panels in the viewer are dynamic web pages fed by information from the server and viewer. Think the search panel.

I am curious how much work it is going to be for Third Party Developers to change their viewers over. Viewers like Firestorm and Black Dragon have custom floating panels I think will be affected. But, I don’t do UI development for viewers so, I don’t know modular things are or aren’t. We’ll find out.

Third party dev’s have known this change is coming for some time. They may be well ahead of the curve. Some may have improvements hidden away waiting for the Lab to open the starting gate. I think my oldest article that mentions CEF is a 2010 article. (reference: Media Plugin Webkit Fail)

19 thoughts on “Second Life: Chrome Embedded Framework Update

  1. The only places the Viewer uses webmedia in the UI i can remember right now are: Login Screen, First ever login loadingscreen help video and possibly the F1 help (which i killed in my Viewer anyway). The internal webbrowsers obviously not counted as these are only used if you actually open them or select to open a link in the internal browser, same for media on a prim, they are counted as inworld content and don’t really belong to the UI. So i don’t think it will be a big change, not even for Firestorm, should be just: Webkit out, Chrome Embedded Framework in, a few compile fixes here and there, that’s it, happy HTML5 yay!

      • I can’t believe that it will be “Webkit out, Chrome Embedded Framework in, a few compile fixes here and there, ” – – – it’s taken the Lab more than a year to get to here and they’ve been promising a beat release for 9 months – they brought in a specialist coder to work on it.
        I’m assuming that any viewer will be using CEF for the inworld media on a prim too.

        • I think the biggest reason for the Lab to go to CEF is MOAP. I understand MOAP is broken on the Apple side. CEF is the fix.

  2. It is *extremely* *shocking* that LL is using Linux and GNU/GPL software and tool chains for their own servers, saving millions of dollars over the past 11 years when compared with what they would need to buy from proprietary software companies to replace the Open Source software, and that they are not ready to hire a single Linden over a month or so to ‘port’ CEF to their Linux viewer…
    And I used quotes around ‘port’ because, ironically, CEF has originally been developed under Linux and a Linux CEF pre-built distribution does exist, so I’m kind of surprised that LL can’t manage to use that for their viewer (are they SO *incompetent*) ?

    Of course, I’d have volunteered to help them, but they don’t accept my contributions since I refuse to give them (irrelevant and excessive for the purpose) private information (such as a snail mail address and phone number: like if they would need to phone me or send me a happy birthday card !)… Too bad for them…

    • ‘Incompetence’ isn’t the issue. As they have said, the economic justification for expending limited resources just isn’t there.

      To avoid copyright and liability issues they have to be able to prove where code came from. With the number of haters in the world someone would steal code, deliberately poke it into the Lab’s code claiming it was legitimately owned, and then disappear when the crap splatters and it is time to pay the suit. No prudent attorney is going to allow code without a RL source into the system.

      That you want to keep your privacy is understandable and you are free to do so. But, your claims of incompetence because they have made a prudent decision is unjust.

      • Please, re-read my message. There are three paragraphs in it, for a purpose…

        In the first paragraph, I explain why LL’s claim for limited resource to embedded CEF in the Linux viewer is right out scandalous when so much resource (money, programing, etc) has been saved already by the use of GNU/Linux on their own server. When a physical or moral person (here, the Open Source community) helps you, the least you can do is to redeem it !

        The second paragraph explains how surprising no Linden seems “able” to embed CEF in LL’s viewer… I *doubt* very much this claim, thus why I propose a (purposefully and ironically) upsetting alternative: incompetency ? (notice the question mark in my first message).

        The third paragraph explains that I simply will not be able to help LL and reply to their plea for help, because of their own bureaucratic (and illegal, in France & Europe) claims for private data in their license agreement.

        • I read your first paragraph. I understand the saving involved. But, if you have $2,000 and buy a $3,000 car because you can get it on sale for $2k and save $1k, you still have $0 left.

          You seem to feel they owe Linux something for using open source. If using open source incurred a debt, it wouldn’t be free.

          The Lindens are ’embedding’ CEF in the Windows and Mac versions. They are choosing not to work on the Linux version. That choice does not mean they have no one that could do it. I still don’t see where it is a competency issue.

          And I explained why in a litigious world they will require a source of material they plan to include in their products and be held responsible for.

          What law in France makes it legal to request proof of copyright ownership before publishing it?

  3. I can’t wait for this. The main reason being that due to deprecated stuff on the mac, the old Webkit can’t play flash videos, this has lead to not live streaming video on a prim for mac users. I used to run an experience that used HUD based Cut scenes using youtube videos which ended up breaking on Mac.

    I was also originally interested in using the media plugin to create interactive web based puzzles and stuff, but the webkit was never robust enough with the emerging HTML5 and CSS3 technologies. So all the potential of web a prim quickly fell flat.

    Looking forward to taking the Beta Viewer for a spin.

      • Not just me, wouldn’t this also open the doors for Linden Lab to do more with their own web based SL pages such as Profiles and SLfeed?

  4. (posting my reply to Nalate as a new message, because a third follow-up would reduce the text width to a single word…)

    Yes, when you are using *for free* something someone provides you with, you (at least *morally*) owe them something (like providing help for free as well latter)… That’s at least how I conceive things.
    Without GNU/Linux SL (and thus, LL itself) won’t have existed in the first place. LL’s officials should *think* about that, just once…
    Also pretending that, because their Linux viewer is only used by a small percentage of their user base, these users do not deserve their support is a right out an insult to them, a slap in their face even.
    There is not JUST money in life, at least not in my dictionary… and the cost of such a modest development as CEF embedding (again, the work is already 90% done by CEF developers who provide a pre-built library) is worth a man-month of work (at worst), i.e. a very small amount of money when compared with what LL has already been able to save thanks to GNU/Linux (whose developers – or at least some of them – are also part of their Linux user base, by the way).

    As for the license agreement, please see the sl-devel (AKA opensource-dev) mailing list archive: I explained that in details couple of times there and don’t want to spam your blog with it.

    • I am not sure why you think those contributing free code want to place a debt on those using it. If you feel a moral obligation, isn’t that your thing?

      I am also not sure how you predict with any certainly what would have happened without Linux. Human society seems to find a way to do whatever it is it wants to do. So, without Linux history indicates LL would likely have used something else to achieve a similar result. All “what if’s” are speculative and not really proof.

      As to how many time people at LL have thought of and appreciated Linux no one has anyway to know. Isn’t you statement presupposing facts not in evidence?

      Why do you think anyone is pretending someone doesn’t deserve the Lab’s support? Don’t the people of Sierra Leon deserve your financial support? What about the poor of Nigeria? Does everyone have to provide their time and effort to those that deserve it?

      While cost may not be a consideration in your book, LL has financial responsibilities to the investors. If you borrow money, would you ignore your financial responsibilities to the lender?

      As you refer me to the post in the mailing list on the legality of requiring proof of ownership, I’ll take it there is no law and you have a long opinion arguing your personal preferences.

      • ‘I am also not sure how you predict with any certainly what would have happened without Linux.’

        Just look at the stats… How many servers are running Linux on Internet, for a start ?… How many are running Apache as their web server and MySQL as their database server ?… Think of how much money it would cost to ISPs and Internet companies, if they were to pay big bucks to Micro$oft & Co instead of using GNU/Linux and Open Source applications, and just deduce how far Internet would be widespread today, with the cost difference taken into account… LL is no different. Their servers are running Open Source software, mostly, and they saved a lot of money *thanks* to GNU/Linux and the very people who are among their Linux users… YES, LL does deserve a minimum of repayment for that !

        ‘As you refer me to the post in the mailing list on the legality of requiring proof of ownership, I’ll take it there is no law and you have a long opinion arguing your personal preferences.’

        You can’t be wronger… Since you are insisting, here you go. See: http://www.cnil.fr/fileadmin/documents/en/Act78-17VA.pdf in Article 6, para 3
        Citation:
        ‘Processing may be performed only on personal data that meet the
        following conditions:
        …/…
        (3) they shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to
        the purpose for which they are obtained and their further processing.’

        Requiring snail mail and phone number is excessive for the purpose (they only need my real name and signature), inadequate (I moved 5 times already: my address changes often, too often for my own taste) and irrelevant (my phone number won’t be of any use since I can’t understand a word of English spoken by an American and can’t either speak properly English).

  5. I think opensource software can be use in commercial application.There is no attachement to moral obligation explicitly mention in FSF. Only restriction depends on the liscence of the particular opensource project is under. The use of the program for any purpose is part of the Open Source Definition. So its perfecly legitimate to LL to choose and pick what they use from open source. The part that they use must respect the opens source intent of its creators and be open for other to reuse as they see fit .

    As far as I know In the case of SL that portion give birth to third party viewer and to opensim project. That is the only I owe you they have under open obligations.

    Henri work is greatly appreciate by many including linux users like me . In my case I still can ride along in second life with my old machine mainly because of his dedication to the task. He was the first to bring mesh to third party viewing window and opened the coding door to anyone interested in achiving same provided his open work was recognised. Henri is an incredible asset to the SL community and desirves respect and recognition for his work. That SL disregard his qualitfication is an error in my humble opinion.

    • Henri is talented and I and many people I know appreciate his talent. But, when it comes to his understanding the Lab’s licensing liabilities he is a bit of a curmudgeon. He’s entitled…

      • “he is a bit of a curmudgeon.”

        Many thanks for the insult…

        Note that this may also be a cultural trait: in France, we consider money as a mere commodity (a mere way to visualize and ease services exchanges); unlike some cultures, we never raised the money to the status of a ‘God’ (and in France, there are as many atheists as there are believers in any god, so the universality of such a status is totally out of question for any concept anyway 😛 ).

        The behaviour of the Lab is nonetheless best described as ‘greedy’, in French view… Yes, moral and money are two things that are tightly linked in my (and probably a overwhelming majority of French citizens’) view… Call us idealists if you wish, but I’d call you greedy capitalists in return…

        • You could be right… for a curmudgeon and all… 😛

          And I can see where a socialist society would see us as greedy capitalists.

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