I just tried out that Second Life Snowglobe Viewer. I’ve reviewed a few other viewers, Gemini, Emerald, MeerKat, RealXtrend… see the blog for those reviews. Snowglobe is a Linden promoted open source branch of the standard SL viewer. It may be known by other names like: SLDev Viewer. The real point of this project is to get 3rd party changes and improvements into the main viewer faster. I’m not seeing it… but I didn’t dive into the details either.
Snowglobe has the new PG/Mature/Adult settings. It also seems to have the group chat errors, but it is hard to tell if it is a viewer or SL thing causing those errors. (Update: It is the current SL server version 1.26 that is the problem in group chat. Linden Lab plans to roll out the new 1.27 version between 6/7 and 6/13) Inventory is unchanged. Everything seems to be pretty much as it is in the standard viewer with the exception of how the maps works. Both the Mini-map and map have greater zoom range… Oh yay… (underwhelmed)
The frame rate is mixed… In some places I was getting better frame rates. In some I was getting slower frame rates. Places where Gemini was getting 20 to 30 I was getting 10-15. But, after a few minutes the rate would jump up to 30-35. Stand still and it climbs even higher 35-45. In general it seems better than the standard viewer and in a few places better than Gemini. In the standard viewer I was getting about half the FPS for a longer time. But then it jumps up. This is not a scientific measurement. I just walk into places I know and check the frame rate. I stand around for 5 minutes or so and watch the frame rate change, I have no life. I run on High and windowed at about 1,500x930px. I found Gemini more impressive on FPS.
Bandwidth usage seems to have improved.
Combat players will be bummed that there is no Radar/AV List. RP players will be bummed there is no whisper. No double click to wear and no ‘Worn’ tab. Drop down dialogs are bright blue which is really distracting after using the Gemini viewer with its charcoal grey dialogs. Amazing what difference that makes.
Hopefully we will see more out of the Snowglobe viewer in the future.
I am writing and playing more with Snowglobe and plan to post more after the 4th.