I messed up the publish dates on the post and the one below it… So, this is older information on the SLV2.6 viewer than in the article below it.
Changes to the Second Life Viewer are always interesting to me. Today I just downloaded a new copy of the SLV Development version 2.6.0-224080. Some of the changes and coming changes follow.
This 2.6.0-224080 is getting 40 to 60 FPS in my little cottage. In Celtic Myst, a complex region I like to test viewers in – plus I like the magic jewelry, I get 28 to 35 FPS. I think the viewer had memory leaks and other problems. Closing the viewer appears to fail to clear all memory used. I have to restart my computer to get something like 20% of my machines memory cleared. Also, once memory in use gets to about 85% I risk a computer lock up. I’ve been getting computer locks with the Development Viewer since 2.5.1.
Viewer Evolution Group
This is new user group. You’ll find it in the SL Wiki under Viewer Evolution Group. It is for those that want to work with Linden Lab to improve the SLV2.
The viewer still does not allow removal of the SPEAK button. The chat field can be resized. Search is still slow and sucks.
Blocking Group IM
Now that we have 42 groups, the number of IM’s popping up in my viewer is becoming annoying. I generally want to know what is going on in the groups that I join. But, not all the groups are well moderated. Discussion in the groups wonder off topic. For instance I don’t need to listen to a bunch of clowns slam Viewer A in Viewer B’s support channel. So, I need a way to shut down the group when I want. SVC-2820 is a JIRA item about just that issue.
The coming new XMPP Chat system will begin to implement user requested changes once it is moved to the main grid. Right now the main effort is toward better performance… removing chat lag. We should see an XMPP Chat Project Viewer in mid April. Once that appears there will likely be an XMPP Chat User Group created and residents can begin to add feedback and suggestions.
I’ve written about this feature in the article Phoenix Viewer 126.96.36.1997 Beta. The idea is the filter can protect one from RedZone like abuses that use the viewer’s media request. You can control which sites your viewer is allowed to request media from. The problem is that it is so freaking annoying everyone is turning it off.
Part of Lab’s handling of the problem is now reveal the URL of any media your viewer requests. Currently in the main SL Viewer estate owners have the choice to show or hide the media URL. It seems that is going away. URL’s were originally hidden to help with the presentation of live performances in SL. I’m not sure how that is going to be handled.
Possible Sidebar Changes
It isn’t going away… Some of the changes to the sidebar in the FireStorm Viewer are being considered for the SLV2. These are minor changes. If you want to see what the Firestom Viewer has done with the user interface, you need to join the Phone-Firestorm Preview Group, look in announcements, and pick up the announcement with the note card that has the download URL. It is a pre-pre-alpha release of the Firestorm viewer and they want to be sure it is only downloaded after you have read their warning about using it. However, many are now using it as their daily viewer.
Radar and the Nearby Friends in the sidebar are starting to merge. Some viewers have a floating mini-map and some use a map in the sidebar. In many cases I think having the sidebar open to see the map is wasting screen space. My personal preference is a floating mini-map. We’ll see how this radar feature shakes out.
One of the interesting things is the TPV’s built in radars use previously downloaded data and adds no additional server load. HUD radar pulls information from the servers when activated.
Chat lag is horrible right now. The fix is a server-side change to the chat system. We are still weeks away from the chat system being rolled out to the main grid.
Esbee then Q Linden was the owner of the Snowstorm project, meaning he was the Linden responsible for it. Now that Q has left the Lab it is unclear who will take it over and run it. It appears it will be Oz Linden. We should know in a couple more weeks. For now Oz is running the group and Snowstorm is moving forward.