I’m delighted to announce that Mono is ready to launch as part of the 1.24 Server deploy starting today.
Mono is an open source technology that improves the stability and speed of scripts – particularly calculation-intensive ones. In some of the internal benchmarking we’ve done, scripts running on Mono ran up to 220 times faster. This extra speed both increases the gamut of scripted applications that can be developed in Second Life and also makes Second Life more responsive when running existing scripted applications that have been converted to run on the Mono scripting engine.
Because Mono has been integrated in to Second Life alongside the original scripting engine, scripters are able to opt in to Mono. Unless scripts are explicitly converted to run on Mono they will continue to run on the existing scripting engine. There is no automated conversion to Mono and all existing scripted content will continue to run on the original scripting engine as before.
As well as providing immediate benefits, the integration of the Mono virtual machine makes many future improvements possible: the use of mainstream languages to script Second Life alongside the existing LSL language; the removal of arbitrary per-script limits on script resource usage and the use of mainstream libraries and tools for scripting to name a few.
Mono scripts run on the Second Life server and so can be used with any compatible viewer, however to create new Mono scripts requires a client that can select the Mono engine as the target when the new script is saved. Once the 1.24 server deploy is complete we will release the 1.21 Release Candidate Viewer, which contains these interface elements and will allow the creation of scripts targeting the Mono runtime.
Please note that the 1.24 server deploy will take a number of days and during this period Mono scripted objects will not function on all regions. Once the deploy is complete and the 1.21 Release Candidate Viewer is available it will be safe to use, buy, sell and distribute Mono scripted objects across the entire grid.
The integration of Mono is the first step in the evolution of Second Life into a true software development platform. Thank you to all the residents who have helped us take this first step.