#SL Development Viewer Update

I have been watching for a Development Viewer update since February 6. Yesterday SL Dev Viewer 3.3.1 (250315) became available for download. See: Snowstorm. If you are not closely following viewer development it is hard to know what new features and fixes are in the development viewer. If you read ‘repositoryese’, it is easier. I’m not that good at it.

ADITI Receive Testing Area

Viewer related fixes and features from all the various projects make it into the Development Viewer before moving to the Beta Viewer. The Development Viewer is for those that like to play with the bleeding edge tech from the Lab and do not mind some problems. The purpose of the viewer is to allow SL users that want to help to test the viewer. For most users of the Dev Viewer it is mostly about running and using the viewer and letting it send crash reports. Filing JIRA’s to help explain problems is greatly appreciated the various teams. Bitching about bugs in the viewer is poor form that displays a lack of understanding.

Download & Install

The download is about 28mb and it’s fast.

The install is simple straight forward run and done.

Experience

Nothing new at login.

This viewer does NOT have the planned Pathfinding Tools shown in the wiki: Pathfinding Tools in the Second Life Viewer.

The viewer apparently does NOT have the special Received Folder needed for testing the feature in the GC Test regions.

I’ve used the viewer for hours on the ADITI grid without crashing, and I’m using the nVidia 295.73 driver. I was playing with Pathfinding. So, lots of script updates and building.

I started having problems on the main grid. But, others were crashing too. So, it may not be this version of the viewer today.

Whatever the problem, I found 4 copies of slplugin.exe running, part of the viewer’s media system, after trying to relog. It was using 100% of all 4 CPU cores. Closing the viewer didn’t stop slplugin.exe. I was down to about 4 FPS in a region with SIM FPS at 45.

To clear out the running copies of slplugin.exe one can restart the computer or use the Task Manager to kill the processes. I close the process and sub-processes.

On a clean start of the viewer I see two copies of slplugin.exe start. I’ve never noticed before if that is normal. After logging  in I see a third copy start. Later when opening parcel music I see a 4th copy start up. It doesn’t seem to be a problem. Closing the media stream end the 4th copy.

If you have not read NVIDIA Drivers Update Problems, you probably are not aware of the problems nVidia is having. I can’t tell if the problems are better or worse with this version of the SL Viewer. As best I can tell it is a hardware and driver problem unrelated to SL. A number of other games are having issues too. So, it would not be surprising this version suffers from nVidia’s problems. A work around is to turn off Hardware Acceleration in Adobe Flash. To do that jump on Facebook (or any place with a Flash game or video) and open a game. Right click on it and look for settings. There are 5 tiny pages of settings. The first page or far left tab/button has the setting.

Destination Guide

The pop out guide works once for me. I can link to one location. After that the panel is sort of dead. Clicks do nothing. The pop up descriptions don’t come up. Basically useless.

Summary

I seem to crash less often than with the previous Development Version.

There are no exciting new features. I think we have a load of fixes and changes in this version.

So, this viewer is only for you if you want to help with providing crash/error reports. It is not recommended for daily use.

The main viewer is currently 3.2.8 (248931) and the Beta is 3.2.9 (249510). The Dev Viewer is  3.3.1 (250315).

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