Monday, April 3rd, 2006

Hive7 – The (Virtual) World Ajax Built

Category: Showcase

With all of the utilitarian uses for Ajax that we all see every day, it’s always a nice refresher to see a site taking the technology and using it to bring an older medium back up to date. In this case, it’s the “virtual world” idea and, with the help of some Ajax, Hive7 pulls it off.

Immediately upon loading up the interface, you’re dropped into a room with other avatars of people all around the world. You start as just a guest, but you can create and customize yourself either as a predefined character or by uploading your own. The other avatars move around the room as they’re talking, and bubbles can even be seen when they speak publicly. A “web chat” box appears down in the bottom right so you can add your two cents into the conversation.

From a quick glance at the source of the page, there’s no embedded elements to be seen – just HTML and Javascript powering this lightweight app. There’s even custom menus for the additional functionality the software offers. I took a look at the Javascript behind the application and was pleasntly surprised to see a heavy use of Prototype to run the Ajax connections. It fetches the locations and messages that are associated with each avatar.

Head over and check it out, if for no other reason than just to see what can be done with a powerful amount of Javascript.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 6:00 pm

3.7 rating from 74 votes


Comments feed TrackBack URI

Chirs, prototype is indeed our lowest level API. Front room is delibereatly made “easy” so not to confuse first time users too much.

To see full AJAX goodness of hive7 concepts visit
(security: look, don’t change)

As developer i like to hink about Hive7 as “AJAX ecology”. you can right click and do “Edit script” on any item (in rooms you have rights to do so). Items carry their own ajax script with them – thats how chess, shared browser, and all other items works. Anybody can come in to Hive7, experiment with his AJAX items and if people like it – they will use your item in their own rooms. we will be publishing our Hive7 interfaces added on top of prototype soon.

bonus link: type /debug to see behind the surface.

Comment by MaxS — April 3, 2006

I dont get it…this seems to me such a poor use of web technologies…who really cares if its ajax, flash, flex, aflac, etc…what really matter at the end of the day is the user experience and with hive7 all i see is a really poorly implemented chat client with some backgrounds and the ability to drag around characters that dont interact with each other or the environment…can someone help me understand what is so interesting about this?

Comment by alex — April 3, 2006

Looks like The Palace, c. 1997. I think someone needs to come up with a better visual metaphor for this type of thing than disconnected human figures in a room.

Comment by MH — April 3, 2006

I played around on Hive7 a little bit. Some points:

+ nice to see something as unique as this, on the web
+ stretching javascript to the bones
+ extremely nice draggable elements, and scrollable screen

– slow loading time
– who needs this anyways ?

Comment by varun mathur — April 3, 2006

First thing when I entered Hive is horrible experience, fully cluttered. Usability of the app is very much important than the technology itself. But this is a good Ajax project to expose the capabilities of it.

Comment by Pavan Keely — April 4, 2006

hombre me parece bien interesante este mundo de ajax , agradeceria enormemente si me facilitan la documentacion reciente de este marivillosa tecnologia , gracias por su ayuda y colaboracion

Comment by edison — April 7, 2006

[…] Secret Sauce: NOTHING TO DOWNLOAD. That’s a huge deal in the virtual world community — and Hive7 does this by using (drumroll) AJAX! So Hive7 lives in your browser, not your computer. So for many of those (and there are many) whose computers don’t meet the intense requirements of Second Life graphics, this is your chance to enter the metaverse. The features and stuff is, you know, avatar, rooms, animals, talking, social network, etc. Headquarters: Silicon Valley Management: Naval Ravikant, co-founder of Epinions, and Max Skibinsky Funding: Naval Ravikant (also CEO of and Gaurav Dhillon, founder of Informatica. Seen and Heard: Again, with the buzzword of Ajax, the blogerati is all over Hive7 (especially since Ravikant also sued August Capital and Benchmark) — Om has a good write up here and Silicon Beat and Ajaxian. […]

Pingback by Under the Radar » Blog Archive » A game of Hive7 and seek — April 12, 2006

[…] Looks like you culd have a lot of fun with this new PHP framework. Dutch Pipe has similar features to the other virtual-world/avatar sites we’ve seen earlier (e.g. Hive7), but is actually an open-source framework rather than a single (stovepiped :-) destination site. Some people have questioned how useful these things are; if there was ever a chance to find out, it would be an open framework like this where people can incorporate it how they please. […]

Pingback by Ajaxian » Dutch Pipe: Open-Source Avatar/Chat/Virtual-World PHP Framework — April 17, 2006

[…] So why am I so interested in a technology that I rarely use myself? Currently, the Second Life client is heavy, and one needs a decent graphics card. Not all users have these cards and the world gets a little choppy. In other words, it takes too long to fire the thing up, and then when I am there it takes too long to get anything done. Interestingly enough, an ajax world, Hive7 has been built. Obviously Hive7 is in no way comparable to the complexities of an evolved offering such as Second Life, but it may not be that far off until it is. So what is it that I find so interesting? […]

Pingback by » Stopping to Smell the Synthetic Roses: Exploring the Virtual World Marketplace — May 9, 2006

Like many comments above I am somewhat confuse what is this hive7 tried to achieve. Using AJAX just because they can doesn’t mean a thing. Why use javascript and dynamic html to do all of this fancy user interface when it can be done easily and cleanly with flash? No download of plugin? Get real! The user interface of this site is challenging. Page refresh is horrendeous and javascript is soooo slow and I am using a pretty good pc on broadband. I spent about 10 minutes on the site and it tired me out. I saw about 20 users in all the rooms. Go figure! If the future of the web is going to be like this I say please save us the pain and suffering.

Comment by blahblah — June 22, 2006

taking a lot of time to load resources

Comment by brain teasers — June 26, 2007

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.