Tag Archives: Linden Viewer

New viewer release process implemented


Finally an explanation I can understand of the new release process the Lab is using for LL viewers. Well done Inara!

Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World

Update July 23rd: As release candidate viewers are now available for download on the Alternate Viewers wiki page, I’ve added some notes on manually installing and running multiple release candidates to this article.

secondlifeThe new viewer release process announced by the Lab in May 2013 has officially been implemented.

Officially called the Viewer Integration and Release Process, It is designed to improve how the Lab can put new viewers before users and progress them through to a release status while avoiding bottlenecks such as those witnessed in late 2012, when an issue with the Viewer Beta channel effectively stopped any new viewer releases for around a two-month period.

With the new system, early versions of viewers will still be made available through “dedicated” project and beta viewers, all of which will be available for download via the Official Alternate Viewer wiki page. However, the major change to…

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Sometimes it is just no fun being right


As I posted in an article on December 20, Linden Lab is no longer offering Viewer 1.23, the download is gone from the official download page. Thanks to Tateru Nino for spotting this notification from Oz Linden (I am unable to find where Oz posted it). LL is deploying changes to the inventory backend that will need a patch in all viewers and they have made the decision not to include this patch in 1.23.

If you are using Viewer 1.2.3 you will have serious inventory problems beginning some time in the next few weeks when this change is deployed into the asset servers.

If you use a Third Party Viewer (including V1 based ones) you can expect an update very soon with the necessary patch.

My suggestion to those using V1 viewers is to bite the bullet and switch to a V2/3 viewer, this is only the first in a series of updates that will eventually break V1 for good.

I wish there were better alternatives for those of you who struggle in SL with V2/3 viewers 😦

Update: Nalates has a very good explanation of this at her blog.

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There is need for a “Lite” Second Life Viewer


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.

  1. Build– strip everything away except rez, stretch (re-size with the white handles), rotate and move.
  2. Windlight– remove the dialog, use region default at all times.
  3. Inventory– full functionality, one window only.
  4. Avatar appearance and clothing- full functionality.
  5. 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.
  6. Transactions– full ability to buy, transfer, etc. both L$ and items both in person and via a vendor. Also to accept deliveries via Marketplace.
  7. Movement– basic arrow keys + page up/down. No double click teleport or other enhancements and options.
  8. 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.

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A Message from On High


The messenger has made his way down from the towers of the gods.

The herald has read the proclamation and it is posted outside the city hall for all to see.

All is well in the world and the future is bright!

Specifically:

  • The Linden’s first experiment with creating a new feature set, then actually making an application of it (Linden Realms) has worked out well. In the process of actually creating something using the new gaming code LL learned a lot and hopefully gained some respect for the residents struggles when they have to debug half baked ideas implemented before they are ready.
  • As a result of their hands on experience with the new gaming tools they recognized that there is potential for abuse in some of the features so they will not just be made available willy-nilly to everyone. They will be introduced via a “creators” program which will verify those with access to them.
  • Linden Labs introduced a new viewer with an improved user interface. I can’t help thinking that they are still following the lead of the Third Party Viewers like Firestorm, but they are doing it their way, incorporating their own take on the “ideal viewer”. The way they handle buttons is in some respects an improvement over the Firestorm viewer I am most familiar with.
  • After a very long and painful development period Mesh is with us to stay. There is still more to do, a parametric deformer so clothing works properly being the most obvious thing still lacking. Over the next year or two we will see what resident creators can do with the new technology. Right now it seems limited, but so did sculpties when they first came out.
  • Additional benefits of premium memberships began to appear in the past year. Not enough I think to make a real difference but more are promised in 2012, hopefully enough to inspire more people to buy land of their own. The mainland really needs it. (Dare I again suggest increasing the tier allowance for a premium account?)
  • We are assured that tier will not increase in the coming year. Ironic in that there has been an unrealistic outcry that tier should be decreased.
  • The first promised new feature of next year will probably be “pathfinding”. This will greatly improve the performance of Zombies 🙂 and other objects which are tasked to move around a region.
  • Lastly, and far from least; Linden Labs will be launching some completely new products that have nothing at all to do with Second Life. – – – – – calm down! – – – – -. This is actually a good thing. Diversity will increase stability for Linden Lab, both as a business and with their workforce. Give them a chance, this does not necessary mean they are taking their eye off Second Life.
  • Finally we are thanked for being customers. That is something LL has not always remembered. Customer is a big step up from guinea pig or victim.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and a Bright Sosltice.

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Communication vs. Rumor from Linden Lab


SLUniverse has always been a valuable source of information about Second Life, mixed with roughly equal parts drama and rants. When Rodvik Linden, CEO of Linden Labs posts however it tends to be treated as an “announcement”. His discussion of PathFinding and the potential uses in SL is interesting follow up. His enthusiasm is a good thing!

Then he posts:“For the UI changes. First you will see a merge of the modes. (basically click to move + new camera coming into advanced which you can turn to old way if you like). That should be End of this month.

Next a large GUI change for all our users. Yup we are taking another crack at UI design again…(Moria drums)

So in fairly short order you will be enjoying a new Linden Lab UI AND new features to help things run amok inworld.

Good or bad it will be glorious (emphasis mine). Does he not understand that “new UI” sends shivers of dread up almost every virtual spine in SL?

Mind you I am not complaining about LL creating a whole new UI, it is badly needed. It is the flippant attitude that bothers me. We have seen a lot of what a bad UI can do and it is anything but “glorious”!

Rod needs to follow the same rules regarding announcements he expects the rest of the Lindens to follow. Posting important stuff to unofficial sites is just not done. Posting from the pub is never a good idea.

A correction and apology– – – kind of – – – I guess.

On 10/04/2011 Rod posted at the Linden blog “Soon you will see us merge the Basic and Advanced modes, which will eliminate the need to switch. All functionality will be in one mode with easier-to-use controls. After these modes are merged and deployed, you can expect us to release an improved UI into the viewer. This should be a lot more flexible for user flow for all users.” Sorry Rod, I read your post at SLUniverse as a whole new viewer. I guess you intend to modify the existing Viewer2/3 in stages much like the third parties viewers are doing. Blame it on my Linden Viewer paranoia.

Update and News!

Tateru Nino has posted an “official” communication with Rhett Linden regarding the nature of the changes. Good Bye Sidebar!!!!!

Nalates Urriah has screenshots  It is still a development viewer so there are bugs but this looks a lot cleaner. I actually like the buttons on the left side idea better than Phoenix/Firestorms buttons on the bottom. I have a wide screen monitor, I can spare space at the sides. The best solution would be a drag and anchor button bar, let everyone customize their own view.

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