We seem to be coming to a crunch point in viewers. The Lab is changing things so quickly third party developers have a challenge keeping up. Henri Beauchamp does well with Cool VL Viewer, which is a viewer based on V3 code with a vintage V1 user interface.
Image by Kitty Barnett
Niran seems to have leapfrogged the Niran’s Viewer to having all the latest Linden features by jumping to a recent SL Viewer V3 model. Niran’s Viewer is now Nirans Black Dragon viewer. Niran’s features from previous versions are being added to the new SL V3 Viewer code in Black Dragon. Eventually Niran will have Black Dragon on a feature par with his previous versions.
So, both of those viewers have materials. Firestorm 4.4.1 doesn’t and Tonya Souther of the Firestorm Team explains why, in a blog post: Tracking LL’s big changes, and why the 4.4.2… well now that there is an emergency roll out… 4.4.3 version won’t either. Continue reading →
I liked the Imprudence Viewer. But, it is far too behind the times for me to use it. But, that may change.
There is an article on Hypergrid Business by Maria Korolov: Work Resumes on Imprudence Viewer. Maria has news I had yet to hear. Seems a team is taking on updating the old viewer.
They will be avoiding the Havok Code Licensing. Unless a grid is going to implement Havok Physics and add Pathfinding there is no purpose to having the code in an OpenSim viewer. Plus few people even know what the code does or how to use it in Second Life. So, there is little point to adding it.
However, mesh, media on a prim and other parts of the SL tech will be added to the viewer.
It seems they will retain the V1 user interface. For a V3 interface one can use the sister viewer Kokua.
I wish them the best and will be watching how they progress.
OK, I’m surprised. There is a new experimental release of the Imprudence Viewer out. You can get more information here: Imprudence Blog.
I removed the viewer some time ago. At one time it was my preferred viewer for building in-world. For even longer it was my viewer for OpenSim grids. But, it was slow adopting mesh and AFAIK still does not support mesh.
As far as I can tell this viewer is not Sever Side Appearance baking compatible. So, it is good for from 2 to 8 weeks, until the Lab rolls out SSA.
It has been a while since I took a look at a number of viewers. Rather than post them separately, I’ve lumped them together, except for Nirans. I had not used it for months, so I expected lots of changes.
The main Linden Viewer is still at version 3.4.5 (270263), pre CHUI (Chat Hub User Interface). I seldom use the Beta Viewer now. It is more of a fall back viewer for when a Development Viewer version has problems. This morning the Beta is at version 3.5.0 (271345). The Development Viewer had been at version 3.5.1 (270826) for about 10 days. Today it updated to 3.5.1 (271386).
I am still fighting with the CHUI update to keep it the size I WANT IT. Other than sizing problems I like the new CHUI. The new build 271386 seems to have some of the sizing problems fixed.
I don’t keep up with Kokua and Imprudence as much as I might and certainly not as much as I used to. Imprudence Viewer was for some time my favorite viewer for both SL and OpenSim. Soon it slipped to being my choice just for OpenSim. Then it fell so far behind I stopped using it. I still have it installed… I’m not sure why.
There is a small effort to update Imprudence. But, I think it is so far behind it is no longer usable.
Kokua was to be the primary OpenSim viewer. I had hoped to see Aurora and Kokua offer some competition to Second Life™ by providing combined viewer and server features creators could use. I got the impression there was a goal to develop viewer and server dependent features more quickly and lower the wall between the viewer and server.
I saw today that Linden Lab has announced revisions to their Third Party Viewer policy. The Firestorm/Phoenix tema has already posted a reaction. They are also planning to discuss the changes at their next Phoenix Hour, planned for Feb. 28 at 2 PM SLT/PST.
I think Jessica phrases their take on the meaning of the changes in a pessimistic take. However, she may well be right. It is hard to know. You can read her take on the changes on the Firestorm/Phoenix blog. See: New additions to the Third Party Viewer Policy.
These changes, if intended as Jessica takes them, will be explosive. I see the changes impacting Firestorm and other viewer negatively. Exodus and Nirans viewers may become ineligible to connect to the grid. If so, I’m sure this will create a massive amount of blow back.
The development team building Imprudence started work on a new viewer Kokua. They were attempting to maintain Imprudence and build the new viewer. With limited resources working on both slowed development of both. It also seemed to me to be burning out the developers. Whatever the case, during the last of 2011 and January the team took some time off.
This year the team has been deciding what to do and how to move forward. Open meetings made it clear the community wanted the new viewer, Kokua. Not everyone wants the new viewer. Some remain Imprudence fans and have no desire to change to the new viewer. There are also developers that want to develop Imprudence. Others want to develop the new Kokua.
One per son working with Imprudence development but not part if the Imprudence team is Onefang Rejected. The Kokua-Imprudence team is welcoming him as a member. He will be the lead developer for Imprudence.
This coming Sunday, 2/26, at 12:00 PST/SLT the team will have an open meeting in Hoagie, 3rd Rock Grid. The team is looking for additional volunteers to help with development of Imprudence. Some decisions on how to proceed with Imprudence are likely to be made.