Second Life Development Viewer 2.6.1 Update Review

Write a viewer update and the next day something new comes out…  This is about the new SL Development Viewer, the nightly build viewer. No claims of stability are made for this viewer. You may find it buggy. It is the generalized bleeding edge viewer from Linden Lab. So, use it with trepidation.

Viewer Modes

The 2.6.0 Beta viewer I was looking at yesterday does not have ‘modes’. Only the 2.6.1 Development version has modes. For now there is a BASIC and ADVANCED mode.


SLV 2.6.1 Login Modes

Before logging on, in Basic Mode, there is no top menu. The bottom login menu changes too. There is a new Mode drop down. The Location drop down disappears. As best I can tell the last location is used for your login location. But that is what I was using before switching to Basic Mode, so that may be a holdover from my previous settings.



Second Life Viewer 2.6.1 Bottom Menu

Once logged in, in Basic Mode, there is no sidebar. The buttons on the bottom menu bar have changed to; Destinations, My Avatar, People, Profile, and How To. The top menu changes too. The usual items like Me, Communicate, World, Build, Advanced, and Develop…. are all gone. Sound and media is simplified… So, lots of changes.


Destinations in Basic Mode

Destinations – This button opens a selection bar across the bottom of the viewer. It reminds me of Windows XP. I tried using it and locked up my computer. Reset to reboot lockup.



My Avatar - Appearance in Basic Mode

My Avatar – This button opens another bottom bar for selecting from 24 avatars. See image.



People in SLV 2.6.1 - Like Radar

People – This is very much like radar in many of the TPV’s. See image.

Profile – This button opens the Web Profile you have seen in the 2.5 viewers.


Simplified Help

How To – This button opens a simplified HELP Tutorial. All the basic stuff is there.

Right-Click Avatar – Depends on the avatar. If you click on your avatar, nothing. Clicking another’s avatar gives the choices to select; IM, About, and Zoom In.

Right-Click Attachments – Opens a two item menu; Touch and Detach.

Navigation – Double click Blue Mars style navigation is on by default.

Hot Keys – These change. The shortcut to TP home is off as are many others. Cntrl-P will not open Preferences.

Exiting – The quit menu item is gone. One uses the ‘window close’ icon in the upper right of the window to close the viewer. I suppose this is in keeping with creating a user interface like a browser’s.

Changing Modes

One can only change modes at logon, AFAIK. One changes from Basic to Advanced or vica-versa then restarts the viewer. Not too handy. But, this not something one will do often. So, it probably doesn’t matter.

Switching to Advanced restored the settings I used before testing Basic Mode.

Version 2.6.1 in Advanced mode looks like version 2.5.1.


In general I get 25 to 32 FPS in complex areas. I had various little problems with the viewer. A crash, note cards refusing to open, the Debug Setting CameraOffsetRearView was changed and had to be reset.


The Basic Mode may help new players. It is going to be of no use to existing residents. But, the ‘Modes’ ability can be expanded. Eventually one may be able to save modes. That would allow one to configure a viewer for role play in a combat area or for building or shopping. We’ll have to see where the feature is taken.

This change to modes will create problems for new users getting help from residents. Because the hot keys are different and the user interface is significantly different, existing residents will not be able to offer much help. I suppose new users will be LESS confused by this viewer… if not…

I’m curious what this will do to skin design. More complex? I would think so.


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