We have a new release of the Main SL Viewer: 3.6.2-279258. If you don’t have automatic updates enabled get the newest version here: Second Life Download. You can find the Second Life Viewer’s Release Notes here. Look for the version with the 279258 number.
This version got the Vivox updates. Vivox™ is the service that provides voice chat for Second Life™. We cannot see the JIRA notes on MAINT-2696, so we cannot know exactly what changed. My understanding this only affects reliability of the service. You should have fewer problems with voice chat failing.
There are some known problems with this viewer, mostly on Linux versions. Ones that will affect Windows users:
- CHUI-838[c] Opening chat history for groups only works once per session, if at all.
- NORSPEC-246[c] CLONE – Shiny objects or objects with reflections look shiny white
- NORSPEC-262[c] Dragging and dropping a normal map onto an object it will apply as the diffuse texture to a single face
- NORSPEC-267[c] Observing avatar does not see materials updates to object which he cannot edit, but has selected
- NORSPEC-274[c] Overblown bloom with corrupt pixels on MacOS 10.6.8
I don’t see any of these as being enough of a problem to prevent my updating.
I am still seeing a lot of textures fail to render in certain regions with version 3.6.1-278007. I have noticed that I can leave an area for a few minutes and return and different textures render. I do have to move away farther than the adjacent regions.
In other regions textures render quickly. I have yet to find an indicator that can consistently tell me whether things will or won’t render well. But, once things do not render, they are not going to render no matter how long I wait.
Another step in adapting the system to the viewer release pipeline is the change in the Second Life Download page. It no longer has a link to a Beta Viewer. Instead it has a link to the Beta Viewers page: Second Life Beta Viewers. We now have 4 beta veiwer versions and two project viewers.
CHUI Viewer Beta – 3.6.2-279321 – Release Notes – There is a long list of CHUI fixes. If you are having chat problems, this might be a good version to try.*
Google Breakpad Viewer Beta – 3.6.2-279364 – Release Notes – This beta implements Google Breakpad as an ‘out’ process. I am doing some guessing here. Since Breakpad is an error reporting process that resides in the Cloud, I would guess the Lindens are looking at moving to it or they are improving their use of it. Those crash reports have to go somewhere. I’ve never looked to see where they go.
Maintenance Viewer Beta – 18.104.22.1688900 – Release Notes – This viewer has the latest batch of maintenance fixes, which includes a particle system selector for muting particles. There are about 36 fixes and 9 known problems. Linux users should be warned this version has Market Place Outbox problems. If you need to select particles to mute a griefer, you may want to try this build.*
Snowstorm Viewer Beta – 22.214.171.1249119 – Release Notes – I’m not sure what the point of this viewer is. It is listed as: The latest updates from Snowstorm. Once upon a time there was a group that meet with residents to talk about viewer development and bug fixes. Those fixes went into the Snowstorm viewer, which I think may have been inspiration for the Firestorm Viewer’s name. I have no clue whether that name came from one-ups-manship or from the exuberance of building a better viewer based on user input. That doesn’t help us with understanding the point of this viewer. I am assuming this is probably just a name for another channel of viewer testing.
This version does have several fixes for scripters using the viewer’s script editor. If you do lots of scripting you will probably want to try this viewer and give the Lab feedback on the changes.*
Project Cocoa Channel – 126.96.36.1998025 – Release Notes – Mac Only – The goal of this project is to update the Mac version of the viewer to use Apple’s current Cocoa libraries.
Project Materials Channel – 188.8.131.528784 – Release Notes – This release contains maintenance updates to the Materials viewer. There are lots of updates. If you are working on adding new materials to things in SL, this is probably a must have viewer.*
*WARNING: The pipeline has some gotcha’s. Unless you are experienced in using SL Viewer installs only install one Linden made SL Viewer at a time. Meaning only have one viewer version installed on the computer. You can have as many third party viewers installed as you want. The SL Viewer installs have little if any effect on them.
The beta and project viewers will install over the top of the main viewer and replace it. All your files and generally your settings will be kept.
If you change to another beta or project viewer, it will install over the previous one.
In general, all of these Linden viewers install to the same folder by default. They overwrite any previous install. There is an option to choose your install folder. But, the install program does not seem to be designed to allow multiple viewer installs as in previous beta and project viewers. The registry links that lead your computer to the files needed to run SL are also overwritten. I am finding that over write to be inconsistent.
Pointers to the SLVoice files seem to never be updated after the first install. I have not extensively tested which version and which pointers do and don’t get updated. But, this inconsistency means you can’t be sure which files are being used with which versions, unless you check each install by examining the registry.