Monday, October 8th, 2007

AjaxLife: A Second Life Ajax client

Category: Ajax, Sencha

Apparently, boredom breeds inspiration and innovation as displayed by 15-year old Katharine Berry, the creator of the AjaxLife Second Life Ajax client.

Due to some combination of boredom, wanting to talk to people in SL, and inspiration from a vague memory of something Interfect Sonic did, I decided to start work on an AJAX based SL client.

It’s still under heavy development, but the result so far is an application/page/site called AjaxLife.

Leveraging resources from libsecondlife, an open source project which aims to pinpoint how Second Life’s client and servers tie-in together, Katharine was able to create a web application using the Ext JS framework that ties into the 3-D virtual world and provides the following features:

  • Basic map
  • Teleports
  • Accepting/declining teleport offers
  • Local chat, instant messages (now fully supported)
  • Inventory received notifications
  • Friend on/offline notifications
  • Balance change notifications, etc.
  • Person search
  • Partial profile viewing
  • Inventory browsing
  • Viewing of notecards, scripts and textures
  • Teleporting to landmarks in your inventory
  • Doesn’t Ruth any more, generally speaking.
  • Region stats window
  • Nearby avatars window
  • Offering teleports via profiles
  • MobileSafari (iPhone/iPod touch) gets a different login screen.

Overall, I think this is very impressive work for such a young developer who is solely doing this in her spare time. It’s garnered her tremendous attention and even a writeup in Reuters.

The web application has also been setup on Google Code and the code is available for download via SVN:

If you’re a Second Life community member, you can see the application in action at

Posted by Rey Bango at 6:30 am

4.4 rating from 42 votes


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Wow, 15 years old.

Is this the real-life Lain? (Serial Experiments Lain)

Comment by Thomas Colliers — October 8, 2007

Is Katharine a real-life girl?

Comment by Tio Malandra — October 8, 2007

I’ve the same question ;): Is Katharine real and is she really 15 year old?
Incredibly… !

Comment by der Jörchen — October 8, 2007

is she single?

Comment by bigo — October 8, 2007

is the background a static image?
and very good! especially for a 15 year old!

Comment by Uriel Katz — October 8, 2007

I haven’t read Digg yet today, but this should be the top item. 15 years old? Geeez.

Comment by Ivan — October 8, 2007

15 years ? I can hardly believe that .No ofence , but …
Anyway , the app looks promising :)

Comment by Adrian — October 8, 2007

Hey, I’m 15! And I’m real too, for that matter.

Can’t prove it without scanning a passport or something (which would be a bad idea on several levels, and I don’t have it (or a scanner) to hand anyway), but I’m sure there are enough dumb/depressive rants about school/friends/TSL/whatever on my blog to prove it. Or you could just note the horrible quality of my code. *cough*

15-year-old girl is not necessarily equal to stupid, however. (I know what the X in Ajax stands for! >.>) That said, thanks for the comments. :)

Now I just need a server that has enough RAM to run the thing properly. Fixing the server-side memory leak would probably help too….

Comment by Katharine Berry — October 8, 2007

this is bad ass. this can take a team of programmer to code. 15 year old girl? too bad she’s not old enough to be hired yet.

Comment by Simon Jia — October 8, 2007

i like your comment on the last blog entry:

NOTE: It is highly unlikely this will work in IE6, and it may not work in IE7 either. However, I’m too tired to chase down browsers that don’t deserve to exist.

Comment by mhr — October 9, 2007

Someone built what’s essentially a business app for fun? That’s impressive indeed!

Comment by Tim Cooijmans — October 9, 2007

The thing is, how a 15 year old girl/boy can develop an app for a service that it’s supposed not allowed to under 18?

Comment by victorcoder — October 9, 2007

bad ass! “kids” these days really surprise the hell out of me. I have yet to master extjs!

Comment by Liming — October 9, 2007

i am 18 and already worked for a company(as a web developer) for 2 years,i start working when i was 15 in,too bad i need to go to the army(i live in Israel).

the age doesn`t matter,it is the skills that matter,and young people get things faster,it is the same as a kid can learn a language(a natural one) very fast compared to a older person.

Comment by Uriel Katz — October 9, 2007

@Uriel: Hmmm. While I agree that age doesn’t make a difference in being able to develop an application, I don’t agree that young people get things done faster. I’ve worked with plenty of “young” developers (in their early 20’s) that were slow and sloppy. Your generalization of performance based on age is way off base.

Comment by Rey Bango — October 10, 2007

hehehe just joking Kathy! I used SL and I know about the TG grid, really I’m very impressed by your work, no matter how ald are you.

Keep on the good work!

Comment by victorcoder — October 10, 2007

@Uriel: I was a teen too… and I was stupid in my teen years, hahaha. The advantage of your generation, is the access to information (right use of Internet, of course). When I was a teen, Internet was a dream not reallity. When BASIC and COBOL are the only languages capable to run in your MSX, tutorial are made on paper, and posibilities are too bad :(
Congratulations to you and Kath, there are smart teens too.


Comment by Andrés Testi — October 10, 2007

i apologies if anybody thought i meant that young people work faster than older people,i meant that as human beings when you are young you learn faster,thats it.

i have all the respect to people with more experience and i always like to learn from people that are smarter than me and have more experience.

Comment by Uriel Katz — October 10, 2007

Wow. honestly I have thought of this idea but I didnt take it seriously. I didnt know someone has a courage and time to implement this. Cheers to Katharine! Hope to hear more from this innovative idea.

Comment by freedev — November 16, 2007

Ofcourse we are making webpages etc,
in a world where the computer rules our life.
Greetings a 15 year old boy ;)

Comment by 1992utopia — June 26, 2008

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