I see that yesterday a new version of the Lab’s Development Viewer was released: Second Life 3.5.1 (270826) Feb 26 2013 07:22:18 (Second Life Development). There are no release notes yet, but that is normal. So, we can’t easily know what is different in this viewer.
I’ll remind you this is not a viewer the Lab recommends for everyday use. It is pre-Beta and likely buggy. So, use it at your own risk. So, far it has been working for me.
The obvious change is the Chat Hud User Interface (CHUI).
This change has been in development for weeks. We have had a CHUI Project Viewer for some time. So, we have gotten to see the new CHUI. Some people like it so well they have been using that project viewer as their primary viewer.
I tend to run the Dev Viewer most of the time. So, I am very happy to see this change merge into the Dev Viewer branch. I expect little else has been added into this version. By limiting changes they can usually get a single change through faster. If the Lindens are making that play we can expect this change to move quickly to Beta and then the main viewer.
Not only do we get a new chat interface, the Preferences panel changes too. The next image is the panel from the SL Viewer 3.4.3.
Here is the new panel from the 3.5.1 Dev Viewer.
This is quite a change. It gives you far more control over your messaging and notices. I’ll be using this viewer over the next few days. If you try it, let me know what you think.
The CHUI is much more like the Firestorm chat interface. However, the code that runs chat in the viewer has changed. This means the Firestorm Team will have to make a lot of changes to get their chat interface working with the code. It will be interesting to see if the Firestorm interface morphs into something new. Whatever the case, the FS Team is busy with a load of changes.
I am unclear on whether there is any server side change needed for the new CHUI. I doubt there is any change that will break older viewers.