A new version of an older KirstenLee Viewer has been released, which is surprising. The news comes from KirstenLee’s blog. It is a short one sentence announcement. I show the blog page as this first image.
KirstenLee’s last release was in September 2012 and a version S22. In December of 2011 Kirsten had to stop viewer development when his (RL)/her (SL) family was dealing with health issues. See: The End of Kirsten’s Viewer, which describes the failure of a ‘CrowdFunder™’ effort to save the viewer.
We heard of the end of KirstenLee Viewer development in September 2011. See Kirsten Viewer Stops Development. In August of 2011 KirstenLee’s viewer was the most stable viewer in use. See: Kirsten 1st Place Stable. I think that was version S21(9).
The viewer was known for being the first choice of Second Life photographers and innovative rendering features. It was in May 2011 that version S21(8) added 3D rendering, something that is currently on our minds with the news of the Oculus Rift. At the time 3D was not that popular. The anaglyphic process distorts color. The active shutter glasses require 120hz monitor and cost about, at the time, about US$100 to $150. The combined cost putting active 3D around US$300 to $500. The Oculus Rift at a rumored $300 with a supporting video card in the $200+ range doesn’t beat that price point. But, the effect/quality of the Rift may push the price-value point to an acceptable value-for-cost level. Along with real inflation rates hitting double digits 3D may take off.
This image below shows the KirstenLee Viewer download page at Google Code. There are no release notes published. One will need a code/repository management utility to read the development branch and access the code, which might have some notes on changes to the S19 version. The repository doesn’t have any new notes that I can find, so unless they are in the code…
Inara Pey is reporting (You can’t keep a good viewer down – Kirsten’s S19) that the viewer is SSA (Server Side Appearance) ready. That means this will soon be the only working version of the series of KirstenLee viewers.
Inara has played with the viewer and has her review of the viewer up. S19 appears to have a working 3D render. The view has Pathfinding Tools but no Navmesh render. Including Navmesh in a viewer requires getting a Linden Havok sub-License, which limits a viewer to the Second Life grid.
Inara noticed when using Advanced Lighting and shadows the render tended to go black screen. I remember problems with dynamic shadows causing black screens and odd shadows in Kirsten’s viewer. That got fixed in later versions.
I can’t really figure out why it was version 19 that KirstenLee chose to update. It was February 2010 that saw the release of S19. This was during the Emerald Viewer era of their version 1.23.5 (1582). This is when Script Counters, LSL Preprocessors, and dynamic shadows were new things. Emerald had just introduced spell checking. It is still very much in the V1 user interface days and S19 presents a green V1 interface. Not long after that we saw Linden Lab’s V2 release.
The S20 versions were moving into the V2 user interface. That is the only significant difference between S19 and S20 that I remember. The S19 only lasted a couple of months. The move from S18 to S20 only took 2 to 3 months. At the time KirstenLee was releasing updates faster than any other viewer team.
I suspect the code base changed between S19 and S20. I’m not going to dig up that information, so it’s just a guess. But, that could be a reason for the choice of S19. Inara sees V3 code in the viewer. So, this may have just been a version that merged with V3 code with few errors. Whatever the case, we have assort of new version of a KirstenLee Viewer that will live past SSA rollout.
As I write this there have been 20 downloads.