Second Life Viewer 2.5 Beta Released

A new Beta viewer came out 1/19. There are some things to consider about SLV2.5 Beta and coming changes. If you run a business or are in other ways dependent on your Profile, you need to read on.

Web Profiles

This Beta uses the new Profiles. I suggest you get 2.5 Beta and check out your Profile. Or you can visit the web site and see your Profile, actually you should probably do both. To visit the web site and see your Profile you need to build a URL.[first.last]

Replace [first.last] with your avatar name.The dot is important. This will bring up your Profile. If you login, you can edit the Profile. There is a Facebook setting, so you can link Facebook and SL. There are links to LinkedIn and Twitter too.

I personally think the new web profiles suck. But, I believe we are stuck with them. They require we work with profiles differently than we have. The side bar Profile is gone. However, one can now open multiple profiles. They are huge and eat up screen like crazy. I suspect the new profiles will NOT be popular. They aren’t to me. I prefer the compact one’s of the series 1 viewers.

Login Favorites

For a few weeks now the Snowstorm group and team has been discussing the Login Favorites feature and how to provide it and maintain privacy. They have included the feature in this Beta. You should probably check it out and commend or complain. Now is the time to request changes.

Turn the feature on in Me -> Preferences -> Privacy.  Check the box for Show my Favorite Landmarks at Login. Understand that others using the computer and version 2.5 Beta will be able to see the list of places. So… if you’re trying to keep your boyfriends separate, take care.

Be sure to put some Land Marks in your favorites. Do that by opening Land marks and dragging them to the top of the LM sidebar panel.

KDU Upgrade

I’ve been writing about this for weeks. It is finally here.

KDU is the software that compresses and decompresses images/textures in Second Life. Third Party Viewers (TPV) use OpenJPEG. So, they will not see the change and speed up.

The Lab’s measurements are showing the change to KDU 6.4 improves texture decompression by 30% or so. This should make a noticeable different in render time for complex places with lots of textures, I think malls.

I tried out the malls in Dance Island. I think the rez is faster. It is not any smarter. The TPV’s have more smarts about what to download first. Viewer based speed-rez is spoiling me. In the SLV distant stuff was rezzing ahead nearby stuff, even nearby prims were slow rezzing. But, overall the rez does seem faster.

Viewer Metrics

The Beta, Project, and Development viewers have the new Viewer Metrics. The data is provided to the Lab so they can see how the changes are affecting SL performance. The goal being to make things better.


A number of QuickTime and WebKit fixes are included. WebKit is used to display the new Profiles.

Bug Fixes

You can read about the bug fixes here: Release Notes for Beta 1 – Second Life Beta Viewer 2.5.0 (218716) There are about 120 or so fixes listed.

SLV2.1.1 End

The 2.1.1 viewer is being phased out. I suppose one has to wonder how much longer the SLV1.23.x and third party series 1 viewers are going to last. I suspect 2 or 3 months.

Development Viewer 2.6.0 (219259)

Today’s 219259 Development viewer appears to work well. Inside my little cottage I’m getting 60 to 80 FPS. On Dance Island in the mall it was a more realistic 20 ro 30 FPS.

Over the last 40 days the Snowstorm team has put out about 68 new versions of the viewer per day.

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