Release Candidate 1.19.1 was released today by Linden Lab. At first the announcements on some of the web pages I read this morning seemed to indicate that ‘Web on a prim’ had finally arrived. I then popped over to the Second Life webpage and looked at the release notes for RC 1.19.1
It appears from the notes that there is now a new media type that can be displayed in-world on prims. There is a small little snag in the display of a webpage on a prim as media, the page is static. None of the links or controls on the page is active. So pages like YouTube will not work when displayed this way in-world. They say that this will be a feature that is added in a future release.
People have been placing screenshots of web pages on prims for a long time now. I don’t see how this is any different, and is actually more restrictive because only one page can be displayed per parcel. It seems odd that Linden Lab would release this with so little functionality (beyond the static JPG’s of pages that already litter the landscape).
I’ll have to try this out later today at the CUE Conference Second Life Playground. More comments to follow later today.
Update: I was able to find a video from Torly about this new feature that confirms my suspicions above. It looks like you paste a URL into the media box and the client sets what type of content it is, but you can change it if it is wrong. Torly displays his turorial web page as a sample, and then goes on to say that the scroll bar does not function (I had thought at least this would work on the static page), nor do the links or other active content work. So if the page is bigger than one screen, you literally can’t display the whole page on a prim.
The only logic to releasing this half-baked feature is to show the public that there is actual work being done to bring this feature to Second Life. I would have preferred they waited for a fully functional ‘Web on a prim’ before releasing it as a new feature. In my opinion this feature is of limited use (you don’t have to pay L$10 to upload a JPG of a webpage) and won’t satisfy anyone who’s been waiting for this feature to be added.