This morning I’m not sure if we are getting a rollout for the main channel. My ‘region restart detector’ isn’t showing a restart this morning. Actually, no restart since 9/26.
There was no Deploys-post for this week until about 11:30 AM PT. A couple of people are complaining in the forum about the lack of any information this week. We’ll see if they show up at the UG meeting.
Caleb or Mazidox Linden usually post the server updates in the forum and wiki. No posts either place as of early this morning.
From last week, we know the RC releases were explained as ‘internal fixes’. If there is a roll to the main channel it will be one of the 2 RC’s running this past week.
We did get a post so my post is a bit scrambled.
#17.10.06.509394 went to the main channel. However, my home region as of 1:45 PM PT is not showing a restart.
#220.127.116.119701 will go to Blue Steel, Le Tigre, and Magnum Wednesday.
These both have only internal fixes listed.
The main viewer has updated to 18.104.22.1689115. (Release Notes) This is the version named Moonshine and it is a maintenance release with lots of interesting changes. The main viewer last updated in week #35, about 7 weeks ago. This version was out as an RC in week #39.
This version has an improved Develop->Avatar->Animation Info. Enabling this display you can see which animations are being used by your avatar. The display changes in real time. Previously, the display showed a lot of zeros. That has been fixed.
This version has a new ‘Worn’ tab in the inventory panel. It shows ‘worn’ items in a way better format. I’ll describe it as ‘in context’. See the image. I like this change. I put the FS ‘worn display’ up for comparison.
Also, the cache should be improved. They made changes. You can open the Viewer Statistics panel (Ctrl-Shift-1 toggle) and look in the Advanced->Texture section for Cache Hit Rate and other stats about the cache.
You can set your cache to 10±GB (max) for the best performance. I use both a RAM Drive and an SSD for caches. My main viewer is using the RAM Drive as it is the fastest. My other viewers use the SSD, which is significantly faster than a spinning hard drive but slower than my RAM Drive, considerably slower.
I have a couple of places I stand to check my FPS rate for comparison with other viewers. This version hits 100-105 at ground level. At 2500m elevation that bumps up to 125±. At a HUB with 25 people FPS drops to 25-35 FPS.
This viewer closes so fast I suspect it is crashing on exit. Maybe not…
Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 22.214.171.1248209 – No change since week #37. We should see an update soon. There is a fix or two the Lindens have been working on to reduce the crash rate. I think it is already low, but that is on this computer. This is the viewer I use when running a Linden Viewer. It doesn’t have some of the 5.0.8 changes, so I expect those to be integrated soon.
Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 126.96.36.1999464 – This is a new maintenance version named Martini, after the drink. The previous maintenance version is now the main viewer.
The big change in this viewer is the email thing. If you have not verified your email address, this will disable send IM’s when offline as email. The button will show in the viewer as disabled.
I expect we will get another announcement about email verification when this version rolls out as the main viewer. About half or more of SL users will be totally shocked by the news, having never heard of the change and thus have never verified their email address. Suddenly they will be surprised when their emails of IM’s stops.
There are about a dozen and a half other fixes. (Release Notes)
Second Life Voice Viewer version 188.8.131.528552 – This is an update from 184.108.40.2069250, which was released in week #40.
Second Life Wolfpack Viewer version 220.127.116.119128 – No change since week #39.
Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 18.104.22.1686743 – No update since week #27.
Black Dragon 64x – Beta 3 “Bit Dragon” is out. I’ve been playing with Beta 2. I wanted to check out the ‘Pose/Animation Manipulator’, which is actually way neat. (Dragon->My Useful Features->Pose/Ani…)
Beta 3 is a 96MB download. The install is going to freak out computer novices. You’ll get a couple of overly helpful warnings from Microsoft that this viewer might be malware. It isn’t. NiranV Dean has been around SL for a long time, January 2007. Lots of people in the viewer design community know NiranV. In June Hamlet of New World Notes infamy wrote about Black Dragon. And there are a bunch of videos about BD on YouTube.
My download of Beta 3 was the 69th, I think. There is probably some deep karmic meaning in that ‘coincidence’. Beta 2 has been downloaded 4,234 times. So, while not massive acceptance, it has a decently sized user base.
Performance is good. On the ground, I am getting 75±FPS. In the clouds at 2,500m, I get 118±FPS. In the SL Landing Hub with 34 avatars, I get 14-25±FPS.
The Ambient Occlusion is better in BD than FS. William Weaver made a number of tutorials for using FS Photo Tools and he mentions that AO in FS kinda sucks. So, if you are getting grainy AO in FS, you may want to check out BD.
Beta 3 improves on the Animation Manipulator. With Beta 2 I was wondering why didn’t NiranV… and now NiranV has gone and DONE IT. So, animations are easier to manipulate. Thanks, NiranV. Check it out. (Download)
This viewer is likely to become my favorite for photography. Firestorm has some neat Photo Tools and has been my favorite. The controls and tools are different between BD and FS. So, there is a learning curve.
With Black Dragon, I have always had a ‘where did NiranV put it’ problem. I still run into that to some degree. Things are not in exactly the same place in BD as in the Linden viewer. But, about half the things I use are close enough to Linden/FS locations I can find what I want. I really miss Firestorms ‘Preference Search’. So, about half the stuff I use is somewhere else and I have to seriously search.
Then there are the things NiranV doesn’t use and leaves out and I spend forever trying to find.
I think you’ll find some of the things are moved are in places that make good sense. For instance, NIranV put all the UI color controls together. Not what I would expect from using other viewers, but handy once I found them. I mean… a tab labeled colors… why would I think chat text colors would be in there? Doh!
The Machinima Tools are behind a button, Machinima Sidebar. It is a Viewer v2 type sidebar. It works well and controls are easy to get to. Easy as in I can quickly get to them.
The default sky and stuff are stuck off over in World, Environment… Setting sun direction is awkward. But, not any worse than in FS. About the same number of clicks. Here NiranV didn’t stick with grouping related things together.
UI-wise on the tools it is a tossup which is better BD or FS. It depends on what you change most often for your photos. But, you can’t beat the Animation Manipulator in BD.
I have pose controls and the Animare and AnyPose HUD’s. BD’s controls beat the Animare HUD hands down. But, only I can see the resulting poses, which is OK for photos. Plus BD provides Bento level control. I have yet to see a poser with Bento support.