I haven't really thought all that much about this yet, lots of details hazy or simply missing; i thought about posting here cause some people here might be able to contribute ideas and with some luck might even kickstart the project.
Two main "components" in the idea:
* The platform: A flexible and expandable bootstraping user modifiable environment, with object oriented capabilities ("object" in the programming sense)
Somthing like a MOO (Multi-Use-Domain Object Oriented), but completly abstract at first, concepts like "rooms", "avatars", motion, spatial relations etc created from scratch from the basic elements; it should allow anything, want 4 dimensional spaces, go for it, non-euclidian space, no problem, fractal dimensions, why not, 2d grid based environment with portals, sure. And the same way you define things, you define what is said on the network; for example, if you are working in a rooms based environment, besides defining the geometry of the room, you define how to translate raw parameters into a text description for text based clients, how the geometry is sent to 3D rendering clients, the physics involved with touching walls, friction, materials, textures etc, define access control and so on (inheriting things when useful instead of writing from scratch) . Protocols standardization would be based on popularity and community interactions.
* What the platform will run on: distributed decentralized processing and management network (somthing kinda like what Bitcoin and Freenet do)
People would run server nodes on their machines, contributing spare and/or donated processors cycles, storage space, bandwidth etc to run the backend. People would have ways to define what sorts of things get done, how much resource to use etc; both lower level and within the platform custom programing (choosing which types of worlds to (co)host, restrict to things owned by a certain identity or groups of identities, what things from a certain type of world or even from a certain world to deal with etc) ; so depending on who is offering the resources and the rules programed on specific universe types, individual universes, world types, individual worlds, item types and individual items etc, anything from anonymous wikilike virtual environments to highly controlled corporate 3d chatrooms and beyond can be done. And kinda like with Freenet, storage would get redistributed with the goal of keeping commonly accessed data closer (based on network speed and latency, not physical distance), but also do it in a redundant way both for load balancing and for resiliency purposes.
I guess some of the key goals are:
* Do not depend on centralized servers
* Do not assume the platform developers can think of all possible ways the users may use it and therefore do not impose any hardcoded behaviors (don't assume people will always use a 2d screen, don't assume people will not want to fly, don't assume people will want humanoid avatars, don't assume people will expect moving in a straight line will always move away from starting position, don't assume people will want to restrict who will be allowed to obtain and use copies of their creations, don't assume people will want static environment geometry, don't assume two people are expected to see the same scene the same way, don't assume people will use text based or 3d clients, don't assume communications will happen via TCP/IP or similar etc)
Basicly kinda a distributed, decentralized "anarchist" virtual multiverse platform capable of mimicking and exceeding all virtual environment platforms out there and being twisted to suit anyone's needs and desires without getting in the way of anyone else twisting it to suit their different needs and wants (could even become kinda like the Internet (or equivalent) in the future as described in many different fiction works, "sites" can be anything from a room to a whole planet to an interactive virtual newspaper to somthing that requires a virtual computer with a virtual screen running a oldschool browser rendering HTML text to a surface; and where you can be a floating giant version of your wetware head, floating eyes, a smell, nothing, just your shadow, millions of intelligent independent point-like entities etc, you enter into games as if it's just another place you go except it applies certain restrictions on what you can be, what you can do etc, but you can still pull out a game gun in any place (that doesn't restricts you from doing it), ride game vehicles in shared public areas etc)