The Alchemy Viewer team has released a new beta version of their viewer. I have yet to try it. But Inara has written up a good review. See: Alchemy 3.7.19: mainlining HTTP and enhancing legacy search.
The viewer’s page announcing the release is here: Alchemy Beta 3.7.19.
It appears we get a search feature in this version that has a new User Interface (UI). The change will change how you use search. It sounds much more efficient. Still, it depends on the SL Search Engine, so I doubt the hit accuracy has improved. That will take some work on the Linden server side to improve. But, this new UI should be nice to use.
The Camera Control gets compressed. But, this is just the standard camera control, not photo tools, which is why I often use Firestorm.
The World Map gets a revamp. They make more efficient use of screen space, or read as removing white-space from the controls. The panel looks busier now. I’ll have to try it before I can decide if it is better or just different.
The Teleport Screen changes. Seems a lot of people do not like staring at a black screen while the world de-renders and then renders the new place.
They go on and on with features. Many things have been redone. Chat, events, region alerts, … on and on.
Memory Leaks have been fixed. The team is saying they have fixed 100+ leaks and performance bottle necks. That is impressive. I want to check it out. I seem to be seeing more bottlenecks in the Firestorm and Linden viewers.
HTTP/CDN are new aspects of the Linden Viewer. These features are in Alchemy. To use CDN (Content Delivery Network) one doesn’t require a new viewer or any viewer side change. The SL regions have always told the viewer which server to go to to get assets. That hasn’t changed, they now tell the viewer, all viewers, to use a URL that leads to a CDN server.
HTTP Pipeline use is a bit different. The viewer does have to change. There is an RC Viewer with that changed code. See Alternate Viewers to download it. The change compliments CDN. Using both makes for significant changes in render speed. Now that all the regions in SL are using CDN, it is a good thing to have a viewer that can handle HTTP Pipelining. Alchemy does. About two weeks ago Jessica, Firestorm Project Lead, was talking about their next release being in November. But, I am not sure if that date will give them time to add time to add the HTTP Pipeline code. If not, it may be 3 months or so before the next Firestorm release that would have it. We’ll have to watch their blog for announcements.
To me the Alchemy Viewer is looking pretty good. I’ll be downloading it. Oh… it comes in 32 and 64 bit versions, Windows and Mac. Linux is in the works.