Saturday, 17 February 2007

AMD Dev Central in Second Life

AMD Dev Central has just opened and I have to say I have mixed feelings about it, in its current form. The build is certainly very professional, the work of Metaversality (among whose numbers I count some friends) but it is intended as an outreach site for AMD developers, yet it mainly comprises a couple of large assembly rooms. These are ideal, perhaps, for pushing a message to attendees, but are not well suited to a collaborative environment.

In short, it feels like a marketing person's idea of what they need - not a developer's. And in this case, it is the latter's needs that should be addressed. I should know, I used to be one - and still dabble when I can!

I have been having conversations with a couple of my Metaversality chums about this. I reckon they need to add some smaller rooms, for team use, kitted out with the sort of stuff that a techie needs - whiteboards and the like. In other words, the site needs to make sure it has attractions for its "community of interest." The work being done by many universities and college would provide a good basis.

Without taking these sort of steps, AMD risk creating (yet another) empty shell - pretty to look at, but without staying power. I know Metaversality has the know-how to produce this, but AMD need to recognise it too. After all, they're the client - and the builders can only do what is asked of them.

Hmmmm... this all sounds a bit negative for a site that has a lot of potential - and could be a great "honey pot" for the AMD developer community worldwide.

One potential attention-grabber for you freebie-groupies... Win a Dell Dimension with 4 (count then, 4!)GB of RAM.

Anyhoo - here's the piccies - you decide. IMHO, all the white is a bit stark...

PS: Peter - if you get to read this - y'see? The fish are out of the water! LOL

Here's some sundry gubbins from the press release:

AMD Opens Developer Pavilion to Promote Collaboration and Innovation in Second Life and Beyond- Contestants face off to win an AMD powered Dell Dimension System

Dev Central Pavilion on AMD Dev Central Island located within the Second Life (SL) metaverse, to extend its Developer Outreach program into a virtual space for meetings, lectures, training courses and networking opportunities for developers. To celebrate the launch of the pavilion, AMD will host a three-month treasure hunt contest with interactive Linden scripting language (LSL) and open source programming challenges. Developers who successfully complete the challenges in the Pavilion will be entered into a prize drawing for a Dell Dimension E521 system, powered by an AMD dual-core Athlon(tm) 64 X2 processor, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, 320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive, 20 inch widescreen digital flat panel
monitor, and more.

There's more - but that's enough I think! You can track down the whole text elsewhere, I'm sure. But to fill the gap here's an article on SL from the AMD Dev Central website.

UPDATE: The first event at the AMD Dev Central Pavilion will take place Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007, at 1 p.m (PST) [= Second Life Time (SLT)]. Prominent members ofthe SL Open Source movement will speak about the challenges and opportunities presented by an Open Second Life.


Anonymous said...

Darn fish rezzers :D

Dually Goalpost, here, AMD Dev Central's representative in SL. Thanks for the comments, and I would welcome other feedback from your readers. Drop me a line at the pavilion's reception desk. There is a formmail widget there for your convenience.

Note that the types of events we plan to host are informative lectures on topics such as multi-threaded game development or the challenges of an open SL. Also, this is really a phase one "proof of concept," so many of the more pricy features require some initial concept validation before we can move forward.

By the way, did you catch our multi-threading round table video in the main event hall?

Also, features such as the white board sound really really cool, and I am very willing to consider them. Realistically, do you think that professional developers will opt for an SL platform for code collaboration vs. other collaboration tools out there? That's not a rhetorical question, and I definitely solicit all feedback! One thing we've talked about is an integrated code project repository, supporting both LSL and other relevant development platforms and projects. What other features would you like to see?


Aleister Kronos said...

Thanks for the update and feedback.

Dually asked: "Realistically, do you think that professional developers will opt for an SL platform for code collaboration vs. other collaboration tools out there?"

No I don't - but I'm not talking about collaborative work environments (CWE). I'm talking about small , less imposing spaces being used for "verbal, informal collaboration" thru discussion within small groups. This would be greatly assisted by the provision of suitably tooled-up rooms. You might want to consider something like Vivox as well, for group voice chat - although promoting the use of SecondTalk (Skype for SL) may be easier and just as effective.

In the longer term, the proliferation of web2.0 features, coupled with the growth of web3.0 (3D internet) will lead to new models of CWE, based in virtual worlds. However, I don't think SL itself will be that world - I see it rather as a forerunner. It has too many flaws to make it viable.

That said, as a front-end User Interface to a bunch of non-SL web services, it could well have some mileage, even in its current incarnation.

If I was looking at SL development (both scripting and building), then a project source code repository and control system for LSL - and other inworld entities, like textures and objects - would be an excellent idea.