I’m always curious about what new toys and fixes we are getting that makes a difference in how we use Second Life or at least the viewer. I don’t really care that a button is in the wrong place or some text is not highlighting correctly. But, I love learning about features that make something easier or solve a problem. So, what is in the tube?
Some of the following are being worked on, others are in the ‘Backlog’ of things to do. If you see something here that you would like to hurry up, visit the JIRA and add yourself to the watch list. Voting is pretty much depreciated.
Speak Button: The ability to hide this button when voice is disabled is now in several versions of the SL Viewer.
Sidebar: The Snowstorm Team is working to change the sidebar so the various panels can be torn off or otherwise made to float as separate panels. See Storm-644 This is being implemented in some Third Party Viewers (TPV) now.
Mini-Map: Depending on what one is doing in Second Life, they use the mini-map in different ways. Some of the features people like can be seen in TPV’s. Phoenix probably has the most comprehensive set of features for RADAR, or the mini-map. The Lab is providing more and more of those features in the SL Viewer. One of the features is synchronizing the mini-map and the Nearby List.
Synchronizing means when a name in the Nearby List is clicked it highlights and in the map above the dot representing the person highlights. This only highlights in the map within the panel. Not in the floating mini-map. See STORM-645 This feature is now in SLV 2.6.8.
STORM-646 is about adding above and below indicators to the names in the Nearby List.
STORM-647 is about displaying the distance to avatars in the Nearby List.
STORM-648 is about how we can sort names in the Nearby List.
STORM-649 is about adding a range slider to the Nearby List. I suppose that would be handy at events where we have 40 or more people in a region.
STORM-650 is about adding grouping to the Nearby List. The groups suggested are Within Whisper, Chat, Voice, Shout, and beyond Range.
STORM-651 is about adding a teleport to the Nearby List. This would allow you to tp to where someone in the list is. It is a common feature in TPV’s.
STORM-652 is about adding a beacon option to the Nearby List. In some viewers this is like the beacon one sees when they tp to a location, the big red laser beam that shines up into the air. In combat games people use it to tag people and chase them down. In some SL games they consider it an exploit. The problem is knowing when someone is using it or not.
These things would bring features found in many TPV’s radar into Second Life’s main viewer.
More Things: There are currently 48 more items in the backlog. Some make no sense to me, some are just strange, and others seem like a good idea. Following are a few I like. There are even more in the JIRA VWR group that have not been moved into the STORM group.
One is to Add Qarl Fizz’s Alignment Tool to the build dialog. See STORM-468. That is a brilliant idea. (tongue in check emoticon goes here) If you want such a feature, put your watch on VWR-360 as it is more likely to get implemented. If you are wondering why TPV’s have had this feature for so long and it is not yet in the SLV, consider what the addition of mesh may do to this feature…
STORM-247 is about displaying the prim Face Number when texture editing.
STORM-252 is about wanting to be able to access all the features of the sidebar without having to open the sidebar. You may have noticed the sidebar is becoming less of a ‘must use’ issue. The Kirsten and Kokua viewers use a button to turn on and off the sidebar tabs that stick to the right side of the screen. Other buttons open the various panels. So, while I am not sure if we will see the need for the sidebar removed in the SLV’s we very nearly have it in TPV’s.
STORM-273 is a feature request to add a texture browser to the viewer. This could be either thumbnails in the folder or an actual viewer that displays the textures. Some TPV’s have it now. So far, none measure up to some of the third party texture managers one can get in SL. However, the built-in texture viewer does have the advantage of not having to be loaded and organized before use.
STORM-276 is about adding spell check to the local, group, and IM chat windows. Several TPV’s already have this feature. I find it odd that it has not been added to the SLV. I suppose there are more important features to add.
These are some of the features waiting in the wings. If you see ones you want, be sure to visit the JIRA and add yourself to the watch list. If there is a feature you want, search the JIRA to see if someone has put in a request for a similar feature. If not, make your own request.