"You got Drupal in my Second Life!" "You got Second Life in my Drupal!"Bridging the virtual world and your information in Drupal

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Second Life logo behind crumbling wall

From an illustration ŠiStockphoto.com/Simfo

We're pleased to announce a brand new Drupal module...

...but first, the reason we created it:

No matter how appealing an online service is, users and developers alike always feel frustrated when their noses bump up against walls.

Facebook users feel it when they receive email messages notifying them that they've received Facebook messages... without saying what those messages contain. LinkedIn users have felt it when they try hunting for a news feed for their own LinkedIn Answers.

And Second Life users feel it when they want to find some way to connect their in-world activity in some way with the rest of the online world; with a few limited exceptions (and to their credit, Linden Lab is working hard to expand them), that can be an exercise in frustration.

Maybe we can help change that.

Drupal (hearts) Second LiftIntroducing the Second Life framework, a free Drupal module that allows scripts within Second Life to interact over the web with applications running on a Drupal web site.

This is an enabling module, built for developers. It allows you to create new Drupal modules with cool Second Life-integration functionality, but doesn't add new functionality in and of itself. It's built to interact with scripts written in LSL, the Second Life scripting language. (We built it as part of a larger project within SL; more on that as it develops.)

The download package includes a sample module and a handy Second Life client emulator. (It lets you test your work even if you aren't running Second Life. That reduces development time and lets you write modules for SL even if your LSL scripts aren't ready yet.)

The module was created by Khalid Baheyeldin of 2bits, our Drupal programmer of choice for brilliant coding. (Khalid is starting to take on mythic qualities. The other day, we mentioned to a friend who moves frequently in Drupal circles that we were working with Khalid. "Ah," the friend said, his eyes widening slightly. "'The Hammer.'" Apparently we aren't the only ones who think there isn't a Drupal problem out there that Khalid can't crack.)

He worked closely with LSL whiz Catherine Winters as they braved the idiosyncracies of LSL and mapped out the protocols needed for Drupal and Second Life to talk to each other.

We have our own cunning plans for employing this module, but we're eager to see how the community puts it to work. Exposing SL activity to the rest of the web? Bringing blog content interactively into SL? Using Drupal as a database for an SL script?

We hope this module will work alongside efforts like SLFeed to help break down the barriers that separate avatars from the wider world of the world-wide web. There's some amazing stuff going on in the walled gardens of the online world; it's time some of those walls came down so we can all have a look.

And if you're working with Drupal and Second Life, drop us a line. We'd love to know what you're up to.



Roland Tanglao says

November 29, 2007 - 2:14am
cool, sounds like a perfect module to present at a Vancouver DRupal meetup in 2008, i'll get Dale or Boris to contact you!

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