Second Life is prettier, especially with the release of Windlight, but Sun’s Darkstar project gives us another glimpse of the collaborative workspace we’ve all been waiting for. Daily builds of Sun’s new shared office environment (called MPK20) can be downloaded and run on a local server behind the corporate firewall. The key capability of sharing applications is something many users want for their intranets and extranets. Above is a picture of me (as a default avatar) standing inside Sun’s virtual project room.
According to Sun’s Immersive Education wiki: Project Wonderland is a 3D scene manager for creating collaborative virtual worlds. Within those worlds, users can communicate with high-fidelity, immersive audio and can share live applications such as web browsers, OpenOffice documents, and streaming media services. MPK20 is an acronym for Sun’s 20th building in Menlo Park, California and the first example world created for internal collaboration at Sun and is now available as open source for knowledge enterprises to build and operate their own private, safe and secure 3-D Web platform.
Here is another screenshot from my Vaio laptop. Whilst there are other avatars in the world inside my laptop they were all simply bots. Documents around the walls were created with OpenOffice applications which are open source and run inside the shared space.
Sun’s Project Darkstar is an online games server, in the process of researching which I came across another Sun project codenamed ‘Neuromancer’ after William Gibson’s seminal cyberspace novel (on which I shall write more at a later date).