The newest release is: Imprudence Experimental Release: 2010.09.04
The Imprudence team is changing the name of their Weekly Release to Experimental Release. They feel the term “Weekly Release” has some people thinking the Weekly is a required download and install, which it is not. The hope is this change will make it easy for new Imprudence Viewer users to tell the latest Stable Release from the Experimental Release. I have both but I actually use the Experimental most of time.
This release has several new features. See: Imprudence Experimental Release: 2010.09.04 Viewer
Voice chat using Vivox is now part of the install. That makes voice chat on SL much easier.
Spell check and translate are new to this release and are what you would expect. Enable spell check in Preferences -> [Advanced] -> [Spell Check]. It is not enabled by default. The default dictionary is US English. There is a get-more-button that allows you to download and install a load of other dictionaries.
Imprudence Viewer has an Autocorrect feature. One can create a note card with common typo’s or abbreviations one wants expanded. The feature allows multiple lists and they can be prioritized. There are 3 options for working with autocorrect. This feature is on the same tab as spell check.
Translate is still stuck on the Text Chat tab (at the bottom). I still have hope that someday they will add a quick on/off choice to the chat windows for translation as I normally have it off. So, it is a pain to get it turned on when needed. Keeping it on is kind of a pain as odd things tend to turn up in chat with it on.
Windlight Note Cards… is a feature implemented by Katherine Berry. I assume she thought it up. Imprudence Viewer is commonly used on the OpenSim where they are ahead of SL in the use of Windlight. One of the features being implemented across the OS grids is Lightshare. This allows one to click an object and have it adjust your Windlight settings. This allows SIM owners to better control the lighting, water, and sky effects on their SIM’s. There is a setting on Preferences -> [Advanced] -> [Main] that allows you to automatically accept Windlight settings, be asked about them, or automatically reject them.
Windlight Note Cards supposedly let you share settings with friends. I have yet to figure out where the feature is or how it works.
For builders there is a ‘texture from disk’ feature the team calls Local Texture Support that sounds handy. When setting a prim’s texture there is a new tab on the Pick:Texture dialog, Computer. This allows you to do a temporary texture upload. You will see the texture on the prim. There is no texture upload cost. Also when you change the texture on your computer, the in-world view is updated without having to reselect the texture.
In the build object dialog copy and paste have been added. This allows one to copy the position, size, or rotation of an object. Then one can paste the information into another prims settings. It saves copy/pasting the X, Y, and Z values one by one.
Chatbar Commands – this is a feature Emerald has had for a long time. It is very handy. It allows one to change the draw distance by typing ‘dd 32’ (without quotes) in local chat and pressing enter. The draw distance is set to 32m. This is handy when one visits a mall with a zillion textures. The command ‘rezplat 20’ allows one to rez a prim in the air, but this is the only command that does not seem to work. You can find this feature in Preferences -> [Advanced] -> [Main] near the bottom of the panel.
On the same panel is the HTTP Texture Get setting. I don’t know the status of this feature on OpenSim grids. I consider it experimental there. SL has enabled it on their servers. I have yet to try it on SL.
The Mini-Map has a couple of upgrades. One can now turn on and off the objects render. With it off one sees terrain and people only. With it on the buildings and other prims are shown too. Things are a bit faster with object render turned off.
One can also now see in radar if a person is ‘map enabled’ . If your friend has allowed you see where they are in-world that will appear in the radar.
SpeedRez – This is a controversial feature. The purpose is to change the draw distance automatically when one teleports into a SIM. It shortens the draw distance on tp. Then every 12 seconds, or whatever you set it to, it increases the draw distance until it reaches your draw distance graphics setting. It can be found in Preferences -> [Advanced] -> [Main]. The controversy is about how much load it throws on the server. Apparently the way viewers and servers work each draw distance change causes the viewer to discard the render and start over, asking for all the textures to be reloaded. The cache is supposed to hold recent textures, so this mean once downloaded they do not have to re-download. But, the request to download is apparently made and the SIM has to send information thus adding work load.
The change to HTTP Texture Get is supposed to take this load off the SIM. The process will be much more like a web page download. Once a texture/image cached the query for a texture/image is only sent once the cache age expires. This would reduce load on SIM’s and improve render speed. But, for now, this is all new and not yet implemented everywhere. So, on some SIM’s the SpeedRez adds load to the SIM and lags it, and on other SIM’s it just speeds up your render. Thus the controversy as confused people whine about problems.
Another nice and ongoing feature of Imprudence Viewers is the Tool Tips. In the feature and settings dialogs the tool Tips are growing and becoming more helpful. So, it you don’t know what a setting does, try hovering your mouse over it and see if a Tool Tip comes up.
On Ultra Graphics settings without shadows I’m getting about 37 FPS. (Dual Core2 w/8800 GTS). Going into Preferences -> [Advanced] -> [Main] and turning on dynamic shadows drops me to 1 FPS. The setting says it is an unstable feature. So, for shadows I guess it is still Kirsten’s S20 viewer that one wants. But shadows are still not a main feature of SL and OS viewers yet.