Niran’s Viewer 2.0.4 (2321)Release Review

The 27th of November Niran released version 2.0.4 (2321). The download is about 50mb. Source Forge is the code and binary repository. You download from Source Forge. It was very slow this morning taking 15 minutes to download.

Nirans Viewer – 2.0.4 or 3.4.4?

I don’t use Niran’s viewer much anymore because Niran experiments with the user interface. I think that is a good thing, it just makes using the viewer inconvenient for me. I am forever in: where did ___(some control here)___ go mode. I needed to look at the viewer for another article I am working on, so I updated and checked it out.

On starting the version numbers were confusing. The site labels the version as 2.0.4 and Help in the viewer and the splash screen label it 3.4.4 (2321). I had to check that the correct version I just downloaded was the one running.

Permissions

Niran has run into a Windows Permissions problem. The viewer needs permission to write data for some of its features into Windows Program Files area. Windows considers that a security issue, which is why most programmers write the information into the Application Data areas on Windows machines. So, I’m confused as to why this problem is in Niran’s viewer. Whatever, the problem means that some settings will not be saved and revert to some other values each time the viewer starts, which could get tedious.

Niran has a work-around described on his blog. The problem Niran is solving is a USER permissions problem. User Access Control is the source of the problem. Some of us run with it turned off, but that is not a recommended solution.

Preferences Panels

A user can solve this problem. Roger Abell, Microsoft MVP (Windows, Security) MCSE (W2k3,W2k,Nt4) MCDBA, (all those letters spell GEEK) wrote (with some edits by me):

Strictly speaking it is not the program that needs write permissions but the users running the program. Say this was installed to C:\Program Files\[some_program]. You can use the NTFS security dialog in the properties of the folder (in a safe mode boot if needed or Home ed) or more simply at a cmd (command) prompt issue: cacls “C:\Program Files\[some_program]” /e /t /g Users:C—

More information than you will ever want on cacls is here: Modify NTFS Permissions. You can also open a command prompt (Start cmd enter) and type: cacls. This will give you the terse help built into the command.

If you need more help, look in these places:

Install & Experience

Niran’s viewer is always novel… there is no login button. Click on the big Second Life™ words just above the login ID/Password fields.

The viewer renders the world well with good color and contrast.

Rose Art Gallery

The Preferences panels are completely different than anything you have seen in another viewer.

Summary

I went to visit the Rose Art Gallery using the viewer, which is where the pictures were taken. I browsed through viewer controls while playing the piano. Niran has done an interesting job of rearranging them. Browsing the controls is not a problem. Trying to find specific ones is frustrating, at least for me. But, it is a nice layout and provides the room needed for control labels in German.

If you have followed any of the Materials System development you know one of the challenges in implementing materials is making additions to the Build Panel. The space needed for labels really complicates the design. For building the Niran style of Preferences panels is not going to be a solution, but it brings up some ideas.

If you have not gotten into viewers and don’t know the controls well, you’re probably going to be frustrated with the viewer. However, if you hate the user interfaces you have seen so far, you may fall in love with Niran’s viewer.

2 thoughts on “Niran’s Viewer 2.0.4 (2321)Release Review

  1. The actual problem is that it’s coded the wrong way. Instead of writing directly to the program files folder, you should either write to the viewers global app data folder or the user-specific data folder. Both can easily be determined using the LLDir class and the ELLPath enum. ;)

  2. I hope to get my new Build Panel done until Materials hit the Grid , for now im busy updating the Viewer , fixing problems everywhere , finetuning stuff , relabeling options or giving them proper tool tips , maybe rearranging them and generally cleaning up the UI

    heres a peek at what i plan to do with the Build panel and what i´ve done so far…

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