Second Life: Third-Party Viewers 2018 w2

There is some interesting news. Not much but a bit.

The Alexy Ivy Viewer was updated in week #2. This is very likely its last update in the RC stream. The next step for Alex Ivy is a promotion to the main viewer.

Oz Linden expects that to happen in week #3. Of course, this depends on not finding any show stoppers in testing.

When Alex Ivy promotes, Oz plans to publish a blog post to encourage people to update to 64 OS. The difference in crash rates is HUGE.

Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee

The Maintenance Viewer is there…

The Voice Viewer has no known problems. So, it will be the next likely to promote after Alex Ivy.

The 360-Image Viewer is out there… Oz says it is verging on becoming an RC version.

The Animesh Viewer is expected to move to RC status in a couple of months. If you are following the Content Creation UG meetings you know not much new information is coming out. The project is into the ‘make things work correctly’ phase. So, no changes or additions.

The Rendering Viewer is fixing render bugs.

Oz tells us will be a new media update branch. Things like CEF will be getting updates.

Also, another round of tool updates is planned. The Visual Studio version the Lab I suing is 1 version behind.

HTTP, when Alex releases the Lab will be depreciating all non-HTTP API’s. Older viewers not using HTTP will lose functionality.

The Lab will start work on ACI in a couple of weeks. Oz says they plan to fix bad incentives. Some things are calc’s to cost too much and some cost too little. So, they’ll be tweaking the ACI.

No word on a Firestorm release date. But, Firestorm is limiting LoD settings to <=4. Higher values will NOT persist. Plus, they are adding warning and advice not to change because of some notecard advice in the Debug Settings.

Oz says they found backend problems in the group notices system. Partially fixed. Memory leak. Restarting the servers solved most issues.

28:30 – Oz talks about Linux 64-bit viewer. TL:DR – There is one, but it doesn’t work.

EEP – Rider Linden is making the EEP assets. Once done, test regions in Aditi will come up. So, the project is progressing.

New Skies for Firestorm

Hamlet has an article about Stevie Davros’ enhanced skies. In 2011 Firestorm added a feature that allows replacement of Second Life™ clouds. Thank you for the computer code, Cinder Roxley. Back then Vincent Nacon was creating new cloud images for this feature.

Stevie Davros Dramatic Skies

So, this feature is not new nor limited to Firestorm. JuicyBomb wrote a tutorial NEW CLOUDS FOR SECOND LIFE, May 2013, for those using the Linden Viewer. The instructions are good for any viewer.

Not much has changed since then. I just checked in the Linden Viewer 5.1.0 and there is still no provision for selecting a different cloud texture. So, it is still a manual change. Continue reading

Second Life News 2018 w2

Ugh… still fighting something between a cold and flu…

Servers

The main channel is getting a restart but will continue to run version #17.12.01.511131 rolled out 12/12.

All three RC channels with get version #18.01.08.511751. This change is declared to have internal logging improvements.

Worlds 3

Worlds 3

Viewers

The Main viewer remains version 5.0.9.329906. We first saw this version as a RC candidate in week #47 as a Maintenance version. It promoted to the main viewer in week #49.

Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 5.1.0.511732 – This is an update from 5.1.0.511248 which we saw in week #48.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.0.10.330148 – Another update. Replacing version 5.0.10.330123 out week #51.

Second Life Voice Viewer version 5.0.10.330039 – Last updated in week #50.

Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 5.1.0.506743 – no update since week #27.

Second Life Project Animesh Viewer version 5.0.10.330058 – Last updated in week #49.

Second Life Project Render Viewer version 5.1.0.511604 – has updated from version 5.1.0.511446 released week, #50.

AS of this morning the Wolfpack version of the viewer has disappeared. As this is a version of the main viewer with additional data reporting, I think we can expect it back when the main viewer next updates. Continue reading

Second Life Bits and Pieces 2018 w01

Crap. I’m coming down with a cold… sniffle, sniffle, hack, hack… need more chocolate. So, I’m browsing through the Second Life™ related blogs finding things I think are neat.

Strawberry

Strawberry Singh has a nice article up titled 10 Years of Second Life Fashion. Damn. She has always looked good.

10 Years of Second Life Fashion

10 Years of Second Life Fashion

Click the image and jump over to Flickr. Read the comments. Check out her albums.

…and you do know she does videos from Sansar? HMSS Videos

Torley

Sansar News Blog has the article, Special Torley-Inspired Scavenger Hunt Edition of Atlas Hopping with Berry and Drax, Saturday, January 6th at 11 a.m. PST. Yeah, that whole thing is the title.

Seems Torley is connecting with Drax and Strawberry to pursue a hunt in Sansar. I suspect they will be streaming it to YouTube. Continue reading

Catznip Viewer R12 – Awesome or Not?

This is the first final release in something like a year… It has great stuff in it. Definitely worth a try. And for anyone playing the inventory maintenance game, this is likely the winner’s choice of viewer.

Catznip R12 Opening Splash Screen

You can download the viewer here: Catznip Viewer Download. If you have the beta links, forget them. They have stopped working.

While 64-bit is the preferred choice, those of you with HD Graphics may have to run the 32-bit version. There is a notice on the download page explaining the problem and what you can do.

Install

The download is about 98MB if that matters these days. Install runs, no problems.

Test Drive

My first login I butter-fingered the password. I mistakenly added a space at the end that didn’t belong, assumed it wouldn’t matter, it did, and then I could not get the viewer to accept the password without the space. The Login button would not wake up. I had to restart the viewer.

This is a quick viewer. In my standard test places, I get 107 FPS on my porch, 122 FPS in my green-screen room at 1500m, and with 12 avatars in my field of view, it drops to 19-33FPS. The first two are faster than any of my other viewers by 20 to 30%. The ‘avatars present’ slowdown is typical.

The viewer uses its own cache. For this viewer, I have an empty cache. So, I was thinking scene render is a bit slow because of that. However, on return to a place, it renders things fast. But, textures are lagging.

After 3 or 4 hours of use, I was unhappy with the speed of Catznip scene renders. I went shopping. That’s when the problem became unbearable. During that time, I switched back and forth between Catznip and Firestorm. I was checking to see if my connection was acting up, memory loading up, the region was just slow, or what. I decided it is just Catznip. However, running the cursor over a thing I wanted to render helped and was quick to fully render whatever. But, it would not stay rendered.

So, both Firestorm and the Linden viewers were rendering the shopping areas in the Region Evocative, the SWEAR stores for men are there, way faster than Catznip and they stayed rendered. So, doing cam-shopping with Catznip and my SpaceNavigator is out.

View after 45 minutes…

I ran into texture thrashing. Thrashing may not be the best word in this case as I think of ‘thrashing’ as a faster thing. But, it is the words we use to describe the problem. When textures did finally render, they would drop back to a blurry render. Then on a somewhat slow cycle, they would render, stay clear for a bit, then go blurry. They might remain blurry indefinitely. I seldom see texture thrashing in ether Firestorm or the Linden viewer.

While writing this I took my avatar home. Most of my textures there did not render while I typed the majority of this article.  I would use the viewer, write some more, use the viewer… never did see most textures fully render. Some did, but they did not stay fully rendered

I tried the trick of removing all the HUD’s, restarting the viewer, leaving chat closed… nothing seems to help.

Profiles come up WAY faster in Catznip than in Firestorm. Is that just me that has slow, way slow, profile renders in FS? I use web profiles, not the legacy. So, that may not be a fair-to-Firestorm comparison. Catznip’s Profile panel is more the legacy type profile.

I’m not a fan of the Profile panel in Catznip. But, I like fast.

Inventory search has an upgrade or two to make finding stuff easier and improves how results are displayed.

The Quick Preferences is awesome. Ctrl-Shift-P to open. Inara explains how to use the panel, so I’ll skip the details. There are other WAY handy features not found in other viewers. So, this could become the shopaholic’s viewer of choice.

Inara is, apparently, a heavy user of Firestorm’s Photo Tools. I am too. What I use most is Firestorm’s change to WL Sky, which in Catznip is the Fixed Sky setting. So, for the majority of my use, the Catznip Quick Pref’s are good enough. And the Windlight presets, while extensive, have been cleaned up.

RLVa is available. It is off by default. You’ll find it in Preferences->Catznip->General. A viewer restart is required when changing the setting.

Summary

Inara is adopting Catznip as her alternate viewer. For her Firestorm remains the preferred Viewer with Catznip in second place. For me, the slow Catznip render during shopping kills it for me. The Linden viewer remains my primary backup. Other viewers, I consider as specialty viewers, best for specific tasks.

Black Dragon for photos when I need to adjust poses. Catznip when I have a lot of inventory maintenance to do. Linden for playing with new features, think animesh. Firestorm is my primary viewer.

I’ll do more testing with Catznip throughout the week. I am hoping it is something transient. The features in Catznip I could get really attached to. I think they are awesome.

Second Life News 2018 w01

Today the No-Change-Window is closing. Developers with a bit of extra time over the holidays have finished up upgrades to the viewers they make. So, we have some new third-party viewers out. The Lab, of course, was closed over the holidays. So, not much news from them.

You can not escape it.

You can not escape it.

Servers

There is no Deploy post today. No rollout was expected for the main channel. Whether we will see one on the RC channels is still iffy.

I am showing the last restart of my main channel home region as 12/26.

Viewers

The main viewer remains 5.0.9.329906. Last updated

Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 5.1.0.511248 – Last updated in week #48.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.0.10.330123 – Last updated in week #51.

Second Life Voice Viewer version 5.0.10.330039 – Last updated in week #50.

Second Life Wolfpack Viewer version 5.0.10.330113 – Last updated in week #51.

Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 5.1.0.506743 – no update since week #27.

Second Life Project Animesh Viewer version 5.0.10.330058 – Last updated in week #49.

Second Life Project Render Viewer version 5.1.0.511446 – released week, #50.

Third-Party Viewers

The big news is the Catznip Viewer updated in Beta the 26th and in final version yesterday 1/1. This is a big update. Now version R12.

I’ll be downloading it later and will post after I get to use it for a bit. However, Inara has a good review of the release and changes: CATZNIP R12: INVENTORY, SHOPPING AND MORE. She put some effort into the review. Check it out. You’ll get the keyboard shortcuts to get to the fun stuff.

I’ll download it and post my take later today.

Black Dragon has a New Year release, version 2.9.6. This is a bug fix release.

Second Life News 2017 w52

Christmas is sort of over. We are on to the post-Christmas battery buying days and OMG, why-did-they-think-I-would-wear-this returns…

Second Life is in a ‘No Change’ window. Many Lindens are off work this week. So, there is little news. There is however a Friday post from the Lindens in Featured News: Unboxing 2017 and Looking towards 2018 in Second Life! Worth a read.

without thinking of anything

without thinking of anything

Other than saying they will make Second Life™ better in 2018, they don’t say much about what is coming. If you have been reading here you know of some things.

I used to do reviews of the events of of the year. It is a bunch of work. So, Inara is doing her year-in-review: 2017 IN REVIEW – PART 1. I’ll leave that work to her. I am thinking of doing a review in video… If it proves fun, you’ll see it. If it turns into work, I’ll probably abandon the project. Continue reading

Second Life News 2017 w51

I think the Server-Scripting UG meeting is about the last UG meeting of the year.

Servers

There is no Deploys thread as of 10:45 AM. Nor has my region in the mainland been restarted. The last main channel restart was 12/12.

Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures

From the UG meeting we are told no new updates this week or next. So, all is quite… until 2018. Next UG is Jan 2. But, without a package on the RC channels a main channel roll is unlikely.

Simon tells us he is working a new shiny that we’ll see next year. O.O what a tease…

Viewers

The main viewer is still version 5.0.9.329906. It last updated in week #49.

Second Life Alex Ivy Viewer version 5.1.0.511248 – Last updated in week #48.

Second Life Maintenance Viewer version 5.0.10.330035 – Released December 13, week #50. So, this is a new item in the viewers list.

This viewer caries the Nalewka code name, a Polish drink. Nalewka is bringing you the next sweet batch of fixes. It’s what you’ve come to expect – we fixed some crashes and memory leaks, threw in bugfixes and improvements for a smooth and pleasant experience.

A little over a dozen bug fixes. Release Notes

Second Life Voice Viewer version 5.0.10.330039 – This is a new version released 12/12, week #50.

Second Life Wolfpack Viewer version 5.0.10.330001 – Last updated in week #49.

Second Life Project 360 Snapshot Viewer version 5.1.0.506743 – no update since week #27.

Second Life Project Animesh Viewer version 5.0.10.330058 – Last updated in week #49.

Second Life Project Render Viewer version 5.1.0.511446 – This is a new version arriving late last week, #50. I plan to try this one over the holidays.

Third-Party Viewers

No sign of a Firestorm release. So, it is looking Like Whirly had the inside line and we won’t see a release until after the first of the year.

The rest of the third-party viewer field is quite too.