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Linden Lab and Torch Mobile: Replacing the Second Life Web-browser

Tateru Nino

In development discussions surrounding the Second Life viewer's Web-support and internal Web-browser, WebKit has been a frequent discussion item. WebKit was originally derived (by Apple) from the Konqueror browser's KHTML software library and now functions as the core of Apple's Safari Web-browser. A number of companies have extended and adapted WebKit over time. A primary sticking point with adoption into the Second Life viewer, however, involved the terms of WebKit's software license.

Now that the licensing barrier has been overcome, work on integrating QtWebKit into the viewer is proceeding apace, as Linden Lab works in conjunction with Torch Mobile (makers of the Iris Browser) to finalize the integration, and sort out a few lingering issues.

"We applaud Nokia's move to simplify the licensing of Qt," said Joe Miller, vice president, Platform & Technology Development, Linden Lab. "We find Qt to be intriguing and innovative technology regardless of licensing, but the new licensing has greatly simplified our decision to pursue QtWebkit for integration into Second Life."

The new QtWebKit based browser looks to replace the Mozilla implementation that is currently in-place. We sought comment from Linden Lab about this earlier in the week, but they have not yet responded. At present, it is not clear when WebKit-enabled builds will be available from Linden Lab.

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