We have new updates to Linden Lab’s viewers. I haven’t had much time to play with them. I’ve only been on a couple of hours in the last few days because of RL work. But, I do have them installed and running.
Second Life 3.4.0 (262596) Jul 26 2012 – Second Life Development
I’ve seen some odd behavior in this viewer. I had problems installing it. Files like static_data.db2 failed to update giving an error: can’t write to file. I think there were 3 of them, all dot DB2 files. But, the viewer seems to work.
I have noticed that some mesh avatars and mesh objects disappear as LoD levels change. Oskar Linden wears an avatar (or outfit) that blinks in and out as you move away from it.
I am getting more FPS from this version which is nice. With L&S, Ambient Occlusion, and Sun/Moon enabled I’m staying in the 20’s tending to be around 28 FPS in my house.
Second Life 3.4.1 (262681) Jul 27 2012 13:45:09 – Second Life Development
This version was released the next day. I picked it up Sunday.
This viewer release has the same problem as its sister (262596) installing; static_data.db2, static_index.db2, win_crash_logger.db2. All three fail to update. I’ve added a JIRA: VWR-29386.
There are some interesting little changes in this version. For one, the list of grids has changed. The long list of Linden internal grids is gone. This viewer only lists ADITI and AGNI. This version also includes the Pathfinding Tools.
Performance is surprising. In ADITI’s PathTest1 I was getting 45 FPS, which is a big step up. However, some things were just not rezzing. My Serge knockoff made from two spheres and a sculpty would not completely rez.
Also I haven’t updated my Pathfinding scripts for a few weeks, so they don’t run. That’s not really a viewer issue. I did notice no other PF scripts in the area (PathTest1) were running. So, that may be more a problem with the region than my script. More examination is needed to figure out what’s up.
Back over in AGNI my FPS was down to something more expected. I got 18 to 28 FPS in my house. The average is around 20 FPS.
It took about 30 minutes for the viewer to crash and cascade into crashing the Win_crash_logger too. But, that could be from the install problem.
Second Life 3.3.4 (262321) Jul 24 2012 – Second Life Release
I’ve had even less time with this viewer. But, it installed no problem with the DB2 files.
I think it is faster than previous SL Release versions. But, haven’t used it enough say for sure.
This version does not have the Pathfinding Tools.
I do see some people having login problems after an update. It is a pretty small number. There are 2 or 3 a day asking for help in the SL Answers section of the Forum. They tend to be people that provide very little information, other than: ‘I can’t login’. So, one can’t see a trend or cause.
Viewers are still updating at fast pace. The Lab has made a major change in how they change, test, and release updates to servers and viewers. That pace has changed the nature of how I see updates. For viewers it has just gotten tedious. Most of the changes have little impact on our day-to-day use. I tend to lose interest in those small changes, so you see fewer viewer reviews coming from me.
The server updates are a bit more interesting. But, they take some time to move out to where they affect us. Pathfinding and Advanced Creator Tools (aka: Experience Tools) will have significant impact on users. They have taken months to develop. The new Shining Project is going to take months, but will likely result in significant improvement to Second Life™ performance.
The Lab’s pace of software development is pushing third party developers. Back in the days of the Emerald Viewer each new release seemed to include new features. I thought they were mostly power user features, but they were fun to play with. So, with each release one explored the menus and found the new features.
Now I am seeing fewer new features released. The last really hot feature was the Particle Editor. The features being released now are deeper features that change how we use SL. It will be interesting to see how the Pathfinding, Creator Tools, Mesh, llSetKeyframedMotion(), and other new features affect Second Life and viewer development.
Here are some of panels that make up the Pathfinding Tools seen in the Development version of the viewer. It looks to me like these have been revised to make it easier for Third Party Viewer (TPV) Developers to implement the tools without having to add the Havok code needed to render the PF Navmesh.