KirstenLee Viewer S20(39) Review


KirstenLee S20 Logo

KirstenLee S20


KirstenLee has released viewer S20(39). It has taken longer than usual to get to this release. KirstenLee explains it is the number of changes made to this viewer that have taken time. Kirsten lists 39 of the changes. If you read the review on the latest SL Beta Viewer, you know Linden Lab made literally hundreds of changes in that viewer and a number of those were to the user interface.

Up to version 38 multiple core CPU’s were optional. With this release at least a dual core CPU is required. Older computers, as in older than 3 years, are just not going to run this version of the KirstenLee S20 viewer, often referred to as KL20.

Kirsten redid the user interface, again. Changes at the Lab apparently forced this. Apparently the code coming from the Lab is not yet modular enough to allow separate user interfaces. At least the SLV2 user interface is changing.

The major advantages in the Kirsten s20 viewer are listed as;

  • Custom Viewer 2.0 UI – Ability to use custom skins.
  • Custom Deferred Render Pipeline.
  • Global Illumination, Projected textures, SSAO, Touch Glow etc.
  • Modified Camera Controls.
  • Post Process Effects, Including Anaglyph 3D shader.
  • Multi wearables – Multi Attachment System.
  • Extra Windlight Settings and Enhanced Environment Controls.
  • Ability to control visual elements such as Hover text.
  • Enhancements to Build Controls, Planar textures , Transparency.
  • Extra Controls for shadows, viewer, performance, global illumination.
  • Higher Frame Rates on supported hardware.

Changes specific to S20(39) are;

  • Fix in Voavatar Done ( LL a bit late to the scene ).
  • Merged to 2.2.1. – I think Kirsten means all S20 code is now current with all SLV2.2.1 code.
  • All snowstorm patches and Viewer Identity Code as of 30/9/2010 – I think this is about Display names.
  • Render/Math/Primitive and Image Components Compiled for Parallel CPU operation. – This is a performance thing. This is why dual CPU’s are required.
  • Openjpeg DLL(2.0.3 S20J) is used by default and is the fastest OpenJPEG going. – OpenJPEG verses the KDU decoder for images is where many of the render and performance differences occur between viewers. KirstenLee has compiled this version with performance settings rather than compatibility settings.
  • The Starlight skin is again disabled due to changes in the user interface. – There is a wiki page at SL where the information on the Starlight Skin is regularly updated by Hitomi Tiponi. Changes are coming fast enough now the updates are falling behind. The information and download for Starlight Skin 2.2.1 for the SLBV2.2.0 (Beta ) is a separate page.*
  • Both Default and Azure Skins have been updated for the new viewer.
  • Include VWR 20094 Script Cut N Paste Patch. – This is the fix for slow loading scripts that freeze the viewer while loading. There is still a problem with the text and cursor being out of sync. Editing scripts in the viewer is difficult because of the sync problem. One can reduce the problem by setting the user interface scale to 1.
  • A bunch of Linden Lab additions, fixes, and changes. – The Lab is making hundreds of changes per week now. Also, code for future new features is being added. So, there is a lot of work going on and TPV folks have quite a task keeping up and advancing the viewer.

Consider Donating to KirstenLee for the viewer.

This viewer does not have vertical tabs for chat. It does have a customizable bottom menu bar. Right-click it to turn buttons on and off. Click and drag them to rearrange buttons.

The mini-map has some changes. Hover you mouse on a ‘dot’ and you get the Info Popup, click it to have a choice of IM’ing or opening the Profile. The popup shows avatar age and the first few lines of the Profile About. These various uses of the Profile About Info are all so messed up. I see no way to make one work and display correctly. I have some text pictures in mine and they are all broken because of the different line lengths used to display the information. :/

MOAP (Media On A Prim) is working. Web pages render and Flash renders and works.

The new Help Bubbles are in this viewer. You can turn them off in the HELP menu item.

If you haven’t used KirstenLee’s viewer, the Sidebar-panel is moved into a button on the bottom panel. Clicking it brings up the Sidebar tabs in an icon menu. Clicking the icons opens the usual sidebar panels. Each is opened as a separate window. The viewer remembers open panels and their location from session to session.

Anti-Aliasing works, but with a glitch. When I enable it the viewer the viewer goes into a spasm as it tries to change over and drops to 0.6 FPS and did not recover in a couple of minutes. A restart and all was ok. Most viewers do not immediately turn it on. They require a relog.

Linux users: Advanced Menu opens with Ctrl-Alt-Shift-D, which is different from Windows and Mac.

For those with Ghost avatars, otherwise known as particle balls, know that the RenderUnloadedAvatar setting is in Preferences->[Graphics]->[Advanced]. This setting forces a render of the avatar. The Ruth/Roth default may be what you see. The setting saves you having to find it in the Debug Settings.

For machinima types there is an option to turn off script lights… script effects… whatever, those swirly lights we see when a script runs. This has been an often requested feature. LL has added it to the Development Viewer so it will be generally available soon.

Show Network Stats is on the same panel, but it interferes with the media play controls. You can still trigger the control, so it is not biggie.


The download is about 26 mb.

The install remembered most of my previous settings. Most importantly it remembered the special cache location I use for the viewer.

Recent information in the Open Source Mailing List indicates server side changes may be corrupting the cache. It seems to come from how SLV1 and SLV2 series viewers handle images and inventory.


OMG! The default skin has changed the opaque panel borders to a horrible military olive green. The Azure Skin is nice… but I like blues.

This viewer is nice! I used it this morning for a couple of hours. No problems. Cloths changes and inventory management tasks were easy. I get good speed, 30 to 40 FPS using High setting with Anti-Aliasing  x2 on Dual Core2 2.4ghz w/nVidia 8800 GTS.

Going up to Max setting blacks my screen and then recovers. FPS = 25 to 30.

Turning on Lights & Shadows puts the viewer into a black then clear screen spasm. When it comes back I am running at 0.6 FPS. But it came back. After a relog it came back to 25 to 30 FPS.

Turning on Sun/Moon+Projectors does another clear/black spasm and comes back running 4 to 15 FPS, which is pretty nice.


This is a usable viewer. For first a couple of hours it was stable. In the 4th hour I started to have some stalls, pulling me down to .5 FPS for 2 or 3 minutes. I will use this viewer more. It is a big improvement over (38).

Update 2010-10-18 – I used the viewer to travel through Burn 2. It worked well and I had decent frame rates even when I extended draw distance for photos. After several hours it would lockup. Usually around 4 hours.

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