Lots of things are breaking loose. New features are coming and new Project Viewers are being released. Some interesting stuff.
A new Project Viewer is out that incorporates the region controls for WindLight settings. There is a SL Wiki page for the project: Windlight Region Settings Project Viewer. There are Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. Of course this viewer feature is only useful if you have control of a region. There is lots of information about the new feature and how it works on the same page.
Update: Lindens announce Project Viewer for Estate Windlight 6/13 Link
The purpose of this feature is to allow region owners to set the environment for their region. Residents that use the viewer’s default environment setting will see the region as the owner intends. So, you can see how regions with Windlight settings work.
The feature is incomplete. But, it allows some testing to begin. For those testing Oz Linden wants them to join the “Windlight Region Testers” group. With the newer viewers with updated search you can select GROUPS and find it. But, there is no link for use in chat or email. There is a cut, copy, and paste, if one right clicks, but they don’t work. Annoying.
The ability to set region Windlight is already in all servers on the main grid. For those that awnt to see a region with Windlight setting changes visit: BlakOpal region, Caledon, Hippo Hollow and Hippotropolis.
Oz Linden seems to be behind on the idea of sharing Windlight settings. Or maybe I’m confused. But, I remember seeing Windlight settings in my KirstenLee Viewer’s inventory.
See VWR-25942 for details. This would allow some formatting in chat. Think bold and italics. If it is implemented, the formatting will be simple. For things like lists are unlikely.
Oz Linden again mentions in passing that lots of work is ongoing regarding chat. This idea may get tossed in the bucket.
It appears this feature will simply be removed from the SL Viewers at some point. See Second Life Translators Dying for the background story. Google is turning the service off December 1, 2011.
We should see dynamic shadows make it into the main SL Viewer this week or month. Shadows will release before mesh.
People have been shuffled around to get more people working on Chat and the Mesh code merge. So, the pace of viewer develop is not as blistering as it was. This will give third party viewer developers a chance to catch up. We are still online to see lots of new releases this year.
Tateru at Dwell On it has an interview with Rod Humble, Linden CEO, in which he says a few things about viewer development. See Behind the curtain: Talking with Rod Humble about usability. This interview is well worth the read.