SLTalker - FAQ

SLTalker is a new personal project of mine. This blog post is my way of presenting it to the world, in the form of a FAQ. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.

What is SLTalker?

"SLTalker" stands for "Second Life talker", and is a Second Life client that aims to give you the same interface and user experience as the one you have in a Talker.

What is a Talker?

A talker is one kind of MUD. You can try to know a more complete definition by reading what Wikipedia says about it, but I guess that the best way to know is simply visiting one. If you're a Portuguese speaker, I recommend Selva; if you prefer an english-speaking Talker you might want to try Enchantement Under the Sea.

What is SLTalker for?

SLTalker is basicly for those that want to go into Second Life but that, for any reason, prefer a text interface. Usual reasons for it are the fact that talkers are considered "work-safe", "blind-friendly", quicker interactivity, among others. My personal reasons as of why I prefer this kind of interfaces were written countless times here and there, but I guess that by reading my blog you will find a hand full of them.

Why are you doing this?

Because this is something I'll use. Because I know others that will also use it. And more.

Hey, I'm doing the same as you (or something simillar)!

Great! Please leave a comment in this blog post telling me about it!

Can I help you?

Sure. Please leave a comment and we'll talk about it.

What does that mean to you other related projects?

Well, I've talked about several things that might be considered "related projects".

Tints aims to be a talker protocol, but it's yet being developed, and in a phase where I can only contribute with ideas and thoughts, but not with code. I'm still on the mailing list, and waiting for the first release of code, but until then there's nothing more that I can do for it, I'm afraid. When it is in a state where I can help more, I intend to do it, and, by then, I'll probably rephrase this paragraph. Anyway, both concepts (that of TINTS and SLTalker) aren't really clashing - as a matter of fact I think that they can both be used toguether.

GNUnet-chat is another thing I've talked about a couple of times. I aim to do a talker based in the GNUnet network, but for that to happen, the next release of GNUnet have to be out there. GNUnet-chat will probably have, by then, much more attention by me than this project, since with GNUnet I can build the Virtual World I allways wanted to see, and I'm not even very keen of Second Life. But, until then, I wasn't really helping GNUnet until now, so it won't loose nothing with this, just probably win (since I think I'll learn a couple of things with this project)... Also, don't worry, I won't ditch this project to embrace fully GNUnet-chat without making myself sure that this project isn't going to die.

What about VOS? I've had the idea to do exactly this, but for VOS instead of for Second Life. I still believe that VOS is a much better project and will enable the creation of much better virtual worlds than Second Life. Yet, VOS is still in heavy development, so it's better to postpone the talker interface for VOS for one year or so, and until then I'm getting lot's of usefull experience for that specific project.

I'm not willing to let Mamnuts die, but unfortunately I don't have the patience to maintain it as once upon a time I had. If you're willing to help me out with Mamnuts, that's great. I'm looking for a developer to that particular project, and if you make me feel like you're taking Mamnuts to the direction I want to (a less buggy, more stable and more secure Mamnuts) I'll gladly give you the project.

Finaly, PyTalker, the project that will surely suffer. PyTalker isn't really in a usable state at the moment, even if I know of at least three talkers using it as a talker base. 0.1.* had good and awfull things, 0.2.* had good and awfull things, and the next version planned is 0.3.0, which I started some months ago, completely rewriting the damn thing, and using the good stuff from 0.1 (basicly the modularity and the sessions handling) and from 0.2 (characters handling, database). I've been stuck with some issues regarding external libraries, but I've fixed that today. But there's still a lot of code to be written before I can release 0.3, and I don't think I'll be into the mood of doing it until there isn't a more or less stable version og SLTalker. Sorry.

Where can I try SLTalker?

Hold down your horses mate, you still can't, so it's not about where but when. Yesterday I made my "0.0.0" version (a backup tarball basicly), that already works. With it, I was able to log in, teleport, peek my inventory, talk, shout and use Instant Messanging. For each one of those operations I hade to hand-write XML - not fun. Also, the experience didn't work as good as it should - IM'ing, for instance, broke what I said into several messages, some of them with whitespaces only. This basicly means that, while I'm on the right track, there's an awfull lot to do until there's something you can peek into. When it is, I'll set it up as a talker (with telnet and telnet-ssl interface, as an usual talker), and I'll let you know.

Will it be Open Source?

In the right time, yes. First, I have to write a working version. Then, going publicly about it, I'll surely stumble upon lot's of bugs and issues, stuff that needs to be fixed until I can call it a "proper version". Then, I'll have to clean it up, package it, find the right license for it, and yes - by that time it will be Open Source.

Where can I find more about it?

Now? Nowhere, really. I expect to create a website for SLTalker soon, where you can keep track of its development, and more. Until then, keep reading this blog and I'll keep you updated.