Astra Viewer Release Review

I keep wondering why I get so many hits on the Astra Viewer. My last review was in November 2011. The web site for the viewer seems to have disappeared.  I had assumed that development on the viewer had stopped. But, it seems not.

Astra Viewer Splash Page

Astra Viewer Splash Page

One can Download Astra Viewer from Github: aurora-sim Astra Viewer – Download. This version is 7 months old. I can’t really see where it is being actively maintained. But it seems to get updated every 3 to 6 months, which would suggest a new update may arrive at any time.

The site shows the viewer as forked from the siana/SingularityViewer.

On Github the viewer is described as:

Astra Viewer is a Second Life protocol compatible client application. It can be used to access Second Life service as well as a number of other such as those based upon OpenSim plattform. It is directly based upon source code of Ascent Viewer by Balseraph Software Group, which is in turn based upon source code released by Linden Lab, with contributions from various sources.

I have no idea who Balseraph Software Group is, at least no solid information to pass along.

The last version I tried was 1.6.0.

The current download is about 39mb and downloads pretty fast, couple of minutes for me.

It installs over the previous version rather than creating a new folder.

Astra Viewer V1 User Interface

Astra Viewer V1 User Interface – Click to Enlarge

The viewer is very much a V1 user interface. Also, I find it horribly slow rezzing regions. I went into Mayfair, an all mesh region to see if it handled mesh well or not. The answer is not. The same region in the main SL Viewer 3.4.2 (267137) rendered the place in about 1 minute.

I keep a copy of the viewer installed because it is designed for Aurora and OpenSim. It has a grid manager. So, it is about the only grid hopping viewer I have left.

Other than being slow on initial region render, it seems OK.

4 thoughts on “Astra Viewer Release Review

  1. “Balseraph Software Group” is what Ascent team called themselves. Astra 1.6 is a derivative of Singularity between versions 1.5.10 and 1.6.0 with Aurora var-size region support added.

    I doubt there will be an update. The last commit is 7 months ago, at which point the viewer was no longer well maintained, only a handful commits and it didn’t look like they wanted to reconcile divergence with Singularity. This is also about when VoodooSam forked Singularity into VoodooNXG, reapplied var-size region support and together with Nhede Core (Angstrom Viewer, Firestorm derivative) they fixed it up majorly, so those two are preferred viewers on Aurora-based grids right now. VoodooNXG is maintained up to date with Singularity.

    This should not be taken as endorsement, merely information.

    • As a word of warning, when using Phoenix outside Second Life, you need to disable LSL bridge or you may make some people very angry, because you may be leaving little scripted invisible prims on the ground around your landing point.

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