The main developer of Astra Viewer is Siana Gearz. (See comments for a correction) Posting in SLUniverse’s forum Siana wrote:
Oh and never mind my fork of Astra, forget it, it’s for private OpenSim/AuroraSim installation only, It’s a special purpose version of Imprudence.
Siana was writing in a thread about the Singularity Viewer to answer someone question about Astra. If you have questions about Astra, contact Siana.
So, Astra is not a Second Life Viewer or at least not intended for use on the SL Grids.
For OpenSim Use
If you are playing or working on OpenSim then download a copy of Astra. Astra Viewer Download (broken) Update: Astra Viewer Download (from Google 11/2011) which eventually leads to a Singularity Viewer download.
The web site is mostly empty. Update: 11/2011 the site is gone.
According to the Astra Viewer web site the viewer is a combination of MeerKat and Imprudence, blending features of both. I suppose we could say Astra is a MeerKat descendant.
Like MeerKat, Astra has extended export and import features. Import is via HPA (Hierarchical Prim Archive) file type. Playing with that feature I crashed the viewer. I think the crash was my fault.
Exporting there is an option to export a prims contents. Interestingly I can export my scripts and they come out as text files named with the scripts UUID and file extent lsltext.
Importing is pretty neat too. I find my HPA file and import. When it completes I get a chat message saying:
[01:11 PM] FINISHED IMPORT
[01:11 PM] posting content lsl2 script as 4c84f1a4-1b66-6b11-3d90-fcdbf0e95c6b
[01:11 PM] Script saved
[01:11 PM] completed upload, inserting
[01:11 PM] import completed
The script I exported is brought in and inserted into the prim. This makes for a great way to backup my builds and is particularly handy for specific items. I don’t have to back up the whole region, which I do pretty often.
I’ve kept a copy of MeerKat for exporting and importing to OSGrid. The features in Astra are way better. I can now let MeetKat go.
The download is 31mb, nothing exciting there. The install is standard easy.
The viewer uses its own cache. The Max Bandwidth is set to 5,000 kbps, which would be a problem for OSGrid. But, the throttling there should handle it.
HTTP Texture Get is off by default. Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Main
Spell Check’s Show in Red is off by default. Edit->Preferences->Advanced->Spell Check
Also, there is a FONTS tab in Preferences. There are 4 font choices and some settings.
I did not see a setting for using LightShare, which is becoming popular on OSGrid. That is the feature that changes one’s Windlight settings when they enter a new region.
There are settings for RLVa. Top Menu->Advanced (Ctrl-Alt-D)->RLVa.
My first login on OSGrid was a pain. I suspect that was my computer more than the viewer. A log-off and reboot later things were much nicer. While I had previously been getting 1.2 FPS after rebooting my computer I was getting 25 to 43 FPS, much nicer.
The viewer worked well. I had problems selecting items, grass, flowers, etc. Things with transparencies among similar things.
The Build Dialog has Build Math but not the position, size and rotation copy paste features.
I spent over an hour on OSGrid teleporting about. No crashes or hangs. My regions are down as I’m using the computer for video editing right now. So, I did not get to watch the region console for problems. But, the viewer seems nice and stable.
The Import and Export feature is way nice.