New release, Kirstens S21 2.8.0 (8) Jul 10 2011, with new stuff is out. This viewer is based on Linden Lab’s viewer code 2.8. The Snowstorm Development viewer has just gone 2.8.0 this week. This viewer will give us a glimpse into new features coming to SL.
Download & Install
File download size is about 32 mb. The install is typical Kirsten. The previous RC3 is uninstalled. Settings, logs and other stuff are saved, except for your graphics settings which are changed to the defaults for your graphics card.
There are some reports of problems from the settings file. So, if you run into problems, delete the settings.xml from C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Kirstens S21\user_settings. The viewer will generate a new file on the next startup. See: S20 Cache & Settings Manual Clearing Howto.
Also, there are some inventory features that are a bit laggy as some of the new stuff in inventory is not yet supported by the server side. That should correct as the features get rolled out to the main grid. Part of the problem is your inventory is connecting to the SL Market Place and that can cause an initial delay.
INSTALL UPDATE 7/11: The normal uninstall/install doesn’t work well. It is better to do a clean install of S21 for this version. See the comments for where KirstenLee noticed that my install was not right.
KirstenLee was kind enough to point out that my install was messed up. The purple tabs on the estate settings dialog is apparently the clue (see image).
I ran the S21(8) uninstall. It appears that the uninstall built into the new version’s installer does not remove all the files one needs to remove from the previous version. So, I started a clean install of Kirsten’s.
My first step was to run uninstall. This is the uninstall in version S21 2.8.0 (8) Jul 10 2011. The uninstall leaves the Kirstens S21 folder (C:\Program Files\Kirstens S21) with five files and 5 subfolders. Some of those are from my renaming DLL’s as I changed to other versions of the OpenJPEG DLL’s. Deleting all the files in Kirstens S21 forlder removes about 15,000+ files and that is after the uninstall ran.
The uninstall program removes the cache files (C:\Users\[user_names]\AppData\Local\).
The settings and log files are not removed (C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\Kirstens S21\). The folder browser_profile, logs, and user_settings can be deleted. The folders with avatar names contain your chat logs. It is personal preference whether you keep or delete them.
I also took this opportunity to clean out the last of my S20 files. Everything in a Kirstens S20 I removed. I used the Bulk Rename Utility to rename all my S20 chat logs from something.txt to something.old.txt. Then moved them.
Next I run the S21 install program. Once installed I start S21. The initial window is full screen by default. Oddly the login screen shows the grid selector but no Home or Last login choice. I think it is odd because the grid list is just for the SL grids. However, there is a Local choice.
Next I need to go through all my settings before logging in. In this version the default bandwidth is 1.5 mb/sec and the cache is set to the max, 9,984mb. There are only 2 skins in this install, Green and Linden. In general most of the default settings are what I want. A few need changing for my personal taste. I find DoF displeasing.
Once logged in I recheck the privacy settings to make sure they are as I want them. Some of the privacy settings are retained on the SL servers not in the viewer.
I took a look at the Region/Estate Settings to see if it had changed, it did. See new image.
This release has the Parcel Privacy Setting. When enabled avatars within the parcel are ONLY visible to others within the parcel. Those outside the parcel cannot see or hear the avatars within the parcel. I guess this means you can take a screamer home and not disturb your neighbors.
Direct Delivery is also included. If you have not heard of this feature, check this out. To market products in The SL Market Place (SMP) one needs to have a Magic Box in SL. A Magic Box is just a prim with scripts. You place your packaged products in the Box. The scripts send stuff’s info to the SMP servers and the stuff appears in you SMP Inventory. The SMP web site sends information back to the Box and products are sent to customers. It is common for the system to have problems and deliveries fail. Plus you must have a place in SL where your Magic Box can reside.
Direct Deliver changes the sales and delivery aspects of the system. There will be some means of telling the system which of your items in inventory should appear in your SMP inventory. Once in SMP inventory you’ll be able to list them for sale. Delivery will be directly from your inventory.
This means the end of Magic Boxes. While there will be a transition period, Magic Boxes are going away.
Default Skin changes from purple to green. I prefer purple… The skin has been reworked and seems to work well.
UUID Fetch – When you right click on an object in SL the popup menu has a new item: UUID. When you select the option it places the objects UUID in your clip board. Every object in SL, including your avatar, has a unique identifier, a UUID or Universally Unique ID. The UUID’s are used in scripts but I’m not sure why this is considered handy enough to appear in the right-click menu. But, I am guessing it is part of the new Direct Delivery system.
New Windlight System – The Windlight system is being completed. Now Estate Managers will be able to set the Windlight values for their land. Those with updated viewers will see those settings when they come into the land. This should improve our experience in SL.
It is possible for a resident to override the land’s settings. While I have not been able to test it yet, in general the idea is if your viewer is set to use the Windlight Defaults then you will see the land’s settings. If you are using custom Windlight settings then you will NOT see the land’s settings but continue on your custom settings.
Part of this change is removing the Shared Windlight Settings assets. So, those Windlight Settings objects in inventory are gone, which is disappointing. But, makes sense I suppose.
Anti-Griefer Patch – Some griefer figured out how to use animations to crash the viewer. There is a patch to prevent that exploit.
Cache & Bandwidth – The settings for cache size and bandwidth have changed.
Mesh & Code Updates –Mesh updates and recent code branches have been merged into this viewer.
Bug Fixes – There are a number of fixes included in this version. See the Release Notes for a list of those.
The skin change seems to have changed my button arrangement. No biggie.
The first thing I notice is green… yep this interface is green. I’ll probably have to try another skin. I usually stay with a viewer’s default skin to minimize problems.
Next I notice I have my foot up my butt… how embarrassing. Attachments have been appearing in odd places whenever I use S21 for the last 3 or 4 versions. It happened with SLV Development viewers too. But, I have not seen it in SLV recently. Detaching the attachments and reattaching them corrects the problem. While the attachment shows as attached, I can walk off and the attachment remains stationary.
Clicking the ‘detached attachment’ and detaching it makes it disappear. But in Outfits and Inventory it shows as attached and I cannot reattach it. I have to first detach in Outfits or Inventory and then reattach.
Speed is good I get about 28 to 38 FPS in my cottage. In Celtic Myst I get about 15 to 25 FPS after things load. Sleek Beach Club with 40 people pulls me way down. I get 5 FPS and see dozens of 1×1 textures at -1m filling the texture cue. After 5 minutes most of the avatars and much of the area has yet to rez. SIM ping goes way up too. Going over to Dance Island with 41 people I get about 10 FPS and ping stays under 200ms.
I still have selection problems. I mouse steer so I really notice them. Also, clicking hair to select and edit is often a problem. Clicking hair selects some object behind you. I do lots of cam’ing around when exploring. The camera anchor point selection is an annoying problem. Sometimes the camera just takes off. Other times I have no idea what it anchored to. Sitting often gives surprising results. Selecting pose balls is unpredictable too.
Trying to use landmarks I ran into problems. Seems every time I turn around every folder is expanded. I have dozens of LM folders to support my shopping habits. Having them all expand each time I open the Landmarks panel is no fun. Going through Inventory to get to LM’s works way better.
By default the graphics settings reset to turn on AA. A 4x setting is used. You can pick up some FPS by turning it down to 2x or off. The SLViewers have AA off by default, at least my last development viewer did. AA makes a big difference in the render image. The difference between 2x and 4x needs a sharp eye to be seen.
If you want to know more about graphics settings, see: Graphics Tweaking for Second Life.
A lot of work went into this update in a short time. The viewer gives us a good look at what is coming to other viewers, eventually. The viewer is aggravating to use because of the selection problems. However, it gives a great render.