MaDViWorld is an object oriented software framework supporting the implementation of fully distributed virtual worlds on the Internet. While the World Wide Web proposes a document paradigm with HTTP servers containing documents consulted by users with the help of browser applications, MaDViWorld supports a much richer paradigm based on room servers hosting spaces populated by full-fedged objects, that avatar applications can activate, move and share transparently. Nevertheless, the dissemination of virtual worlds on the Internet suffers from two main weaknesses: (1) they are typically based on centralized architectures and do not scale well; and (2) they usually propose a rather closed software environment with limited extension and programming facilities.
Within this context, the MaDViWorld project main goal is to provide its users with the appropriate software environment for creating all kinds of new collaborative objects and for sharing them transparently with others. The present paper illustrates this process with several examples from projects recently accomplished at the DIUF (Department of Informatics of the University of Fribourg, Switzerland) and shows how MaDViWorld provides the hooks for taking care of some of the most challenging distributed virtual world problems such as managing event propagation and securing access to ressources.