Lately I have had several discussions with residents seeking a very efficient SL viewer. In all cases these people either 1) have computers that are on the low end of the Minimum System Requirements scale; or 2) use their computer for other things while they are in SL (have several applications running at once in separate open windows). What they all are looking for is a viewer with full graphics but minimal “bells and whistles”, one that is very efficient and uses as little computer memory as possible. They would be happy most days with a viewer sufficient simply to live in Second Life; on those days when they want to build or have need of the more advanced features like windlight settings, they can log in on a full featured viewer.
One approach might be cloud streaming SL as Hamlet discussed at NWN, although this is not really what they want and based on Hamlet’s assumptions would be a pay service.
Text viewers are another way to go. These have very rudimentary graphics if they have any at all. For the people I have spoken to this is going too far, the graphics are a big part of what makes SL enjoyable to them.
So, what could such a viewer do without, and what must be kept.
- Build– strip everything away except rez, stretch (re-size with the white handles), rotate and move.
- Windlight– remove the dialog, use region default at all times.
- Inventory– full functionality, one window only.
- Avatar appearance and clothing- full functionality.
- Graphics– preset Low → High based on computer properties detected during install. No advanced settings. No Ultra setting. No shaders. Maybe a LOD (level of detail) slider. Draw distance slide max at 256M.
- Transactions– full ability to buy, transfer, etc. both L$ and items both in person and via a vendor. Also to accept deliveries via Marketplace.
- Movement– basic arrow keys + page up/down. No double click teleport or other enhancements and options.
- Eliminate– built in AO, spell check, translator, flight assist, color selection for chat or tags, or any of the other nice but unessential features found in advanced viewers.
Whether it is built on a V1, V2 or V3 code-base, or some mix is not nearly as important as that it runs efficiently and treads lightly on computer memory.
If people think this is important enough to leave comments I will do my best to drum up some attention from Linden Lab and third party viewer developers.