Applications and Tools, Collaboration, Second Life

“Clickable” Web Pages from within Second Life

By way of the Metaverse Journal, a new product available on SLExchange allows residents of Second Life to browse Web sites in world using chat commands to navigate.

HTML on a prim is one of those features of Second Life that is frequently promised but that has arrived in fits and starts. Virtual worlds and environments like Qwak and Project Wonderland are partly premised on the ability to access external content. In the case of Qwak at least, this content can range from Word documents to Web sites, and navigating this content is as simple as point and click.

For Second Life, HTML on a prim presents challenges. The current iteration uses a parcel media stream, and recently it was improved to include ‘real time’ updates - for AJAX Web sites, for example, the Web site embedded in Second Life is updated as the external site is updated.

But there are two barriers to HTML on a prim: one, you can’t click it. And two, you’re restricted to one media stream per parcel. Linden Lab intends to overcome these deficiencies by embedding HTML in a texture rather than through the media stream. However, this presents policy in addition to technical challenges. (If you thought ad farms were bad, imagine every face of every prim being a Web page - and the attendant lag this could cause.)

Daden has created a work-around, however.

By creating a proxy to interpret chat commands which are then interpreted as navigation instructions. Using a similar technology to screenreaders for visually impaired Internet browsers, users in world can instruct the Web site to navigate using commands such as home, forward, or URL (to pull up sites).

Daden is promising corporate-ready versions. They highlight that like screenreaders, the Daden product faces limitations for applications like Flash and youTube and other sites that are not WAI AA compatible.

And at 2,400L, the Daden Navigator is a steal.

speak up

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