Catznip Viewer Review
Catznip uses the V3 user interface. The current version is R7 (2012-23-10 or Oct. 23, 2012). Trinity Dejavu tells us on the Catznip blog that it will be ready for Server Side Avatar Baking and have RLV working with it.
Seems some think RLV will fall apart when SSAB rolls out. Trinity says not true. The team has not been working with RLV as much as they have been working on updating the viewer. So, the RLV is a bit behind. Expect it to catch up.
There is no CHUI change.
If you want an RLC capable V3 user interface viewer, this is a good choice.
Cool VL Viewer Review
This viewer uses an odd install. Once installed it all the updates are easy, just download and install.
The download today was very slow. The 35mb file was expected to take 30+ minutes. So, I didn’t get it loaded in time for this article.
Restrained Love Viewer (RLV)
The current version is 18.104.22.168 was posted 12/15/12. In the HELP->About… panel it lists as Second Life 3.4.4 (0) Dec 14 2012. This viewer is based on the V3 viewer interface. It is chiclets oriented, no CHUI interface.
Of course this viewer is RLV capable. Marine Kelley is the prime mover behind RLV and as far as I know all TPV’s base their RLV features on Marine’s code.
I can’t leave out Firestorm, SL’s most stable and popular viewer. The current release is 4.3.1 (31155) December 2012. My coverage of the Firestorm Viewer is here: Firestorm Viewer Reviews.
I am not a big user of Firestorm. I do think it is the best viewer available for prim building in SL. It also has added features for machinima and photography. In general it is pretty awesome. I think much of the reason for that is the team’s determination to make it the most stable viewer in SL. That means they spend time chasing down bugs and fixing them, no easy task. But, that also results in fewer releases. So, to see more of the new stuff coming I need to use the SL Dev Viewer.
A slower release cycle has some benefits for the user. One is if you are building or working in SL, you can be much more productive because you are not learning new viewer stuff in place of producing. For a blogger a slower cycle really doesn’t make for lots of news.
I consider Firestorm the Power User’s General Purpose Viewer.
I’m not seeing a lot of new features coming out. I think most of the reason for that is the fast and complex development pace set by the Lab. Just getting all the new stuff the Lab is pumping out debugged and integrated is eating up a lot of the TPV Dev’s time.
Also, I have not heard of new features that would make my life better. Things like the Materials System are going to be cool. That will let me build prettier stuff, but doesn’t really change how I shop or change clothes.
We used to get better radar, better tools for combat games, and things to help with role play. Most of the things we got have spread through the TPV’s.
It seems searching for the best viewer is less of an endeavor than it once was. Nor is there as much need to keep users updated on new features. Plus the new features are so uniform across viewers there is less need to do viewer reviews and feature lists.
I am starting to see how it is possible for people to come back to SL after 2 or 3 years away and say it has not changed. It has, but not in a dramatic way. I see it getting incrementally better. I am sure the Lindens that code eight hours per day would be put off to hear that. So, too would the TPV Dev’s.
There is a lot changing. I write 5 to 15 articles per week on the changes. But, other than changing from dumb two-prim nipples to more realistic mesh nipples my life in SL has not changed much.