I’ve received word through Thoys Pan and Dahlia Trimble that Latif Khalifa has passed away after losing his battle against a long illness.
A software engineer by profession and known in Second Life and OpenSimulator as an enthusiastic technologist, content creator, and viewer developer, he was responsible for the popular Radegast open metaverse lightweight client, as well as contributing to third-party viewer development, notably through Singularity, from which he forked his own viewer, Replex, in 2014.
I first got to know Latif as a result of my growing interest in the viewer ecosystem within Second Life. In fact, it was partially through his encouragement and the conversations we had, that I started blogging about viewers in greater and more informed detail. We became better acquainted in 2011 as he was enhancing Radegast and preparing for the release of Radegast 2.0, and I was privileged to be able to preview the work on several occasions. We also enjoyed many discussions on a range of subjects inside and outside of Second Life, something which led Latif into inviting me to join his Advanced Worlds Group in SL.
Occasionally irascible in the heat of impassioned discussion, Latif more than compensated for this with a generous heart and supporting nature, always willing to offer a helping hand, words of encouragement and friendship.
Commenting on Google+ after hearing the news, Dahlia Trimble said:
I’m very sad to hear that we lost Latif Kalifa
Latif was a good friend and collaborator. He was very helpful when I was implementing mesh physics, materials support, and particle system enhancements in OpenSimulator and also contributed many other fixes and enhancements He was the primary maintainer for libopenmetaverse for the last several years. He was the primary developer of the Radegast viewer which, among other features, had many features for the visually impaired. He was also a major contributor to PHP. His passing is a huge loss to me and I’m sure it is for the field of virtual worlds as well.
Doubtless, many within the metaverse community, including myself, will feel the same way on hearing the news. My condolences to his family, Kristina and all those closest to him at this time.