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Second Life Viewer Changes

Alternate Appearance Editor?

Over the last 10 days there have been some changes to the SLV2 and a number of bug fixes. Here are the interesting ones. Some of which have been fixed and some are still in progress. What is now in 2.4 production viewer and what is in 2.5 test builds is unclear. If you hit one of thse problems check the JIRA I have included to see where it is as things change quickly. 

Appearance Editing

The current Apperance Editor in SLV2 is different than the one in SLV1. But, they are more similar than different, IMO. Add in the multiple layers in the style of SLV1 and it seems pretty kluggy to me. Erin Mallory has suggested a different interface for editing appearance. I think it is pretty nice. I’m not willing to say it is the best way, but I think it is better. See the image I show above.

The image is a prototype. I’m not sure if it is a mock up or something Erin built into her viewer.

Whatever the case, it certainly has some advantages over the present system. I think it shows the various attachment points with the layers arranged horizontally. I think it would be more intuitive if the layers were arranged vertically to indicate which item was in the top layer. But, I wouldn’t complain if I got this nice visual tool for appearance.

I don’t have a JIRA number for this one. So, I can’t vote for it. I’ve sent an email to see if Erin will make, or has made, a JIRA.

Linden Balance

You may not have considered this. The new Market Place (formerly XStreetSL) and the Linden balance in your viewer are now tied together. If one is using the viewer and the Market Place (MP) while shopping you may notice the Linden balance get out of sync. The Second Life Market Place may show one balance and the viewer another.

An addition to the viewer is the ability to click on the balance and have it resync. A click sends a request and the current balance shown in the viewer is updated.

Destination Guide

It broke. About the 10th of December people started to have trouble with the Destination Guide not working in search.

Calling Cards

This are a little used feature of SL, at least I think little used. There are some limitations on their use. Since a card is almost like friending someone it gets complex. I would like something like a business card that is less then friending but more than just giving them a name to reference. See: STORM-28

64 Bit Viewer

More work is being done to get SLV2 running in 64 bit. As more and more computers move to the 64 bit operating systems the demand for a 64 bit viewer is increasing. There are good reasons to move to 64 bit. But, this change over is likely to bring in lots of bugs and problems. We are also likely to see many previously fixed problems return.

I think in the end the changes to 64 bit will force repair of many quick fixes to be more deeply looked at. I am hoping the end result is a better viewer. I expect some pain getting there and that is just part of the software development process.

The TAB Key

This problem has popped up in the Mac version of the viewer. The tab-key moves the focus from field to field in dialog panels. Those of us that fill in felids without taking our fingers from the keyboard use the tab often. See VWR-24172 if you have run into the problem.

Partial Outfits

There is a bug related to using Replace Outfit. The idea is one could have an outfit that is a top, skirt, necklace, ear rings, and bracelet. Replace outfit should not remove your current hair if no hair is included in the outfit. I may want to wear a dress with different do’s… ‘may is not accurate, I usually do.

I have not started using outfits because I use viewers that have just started to support outfits compatible with SLV2. So I have not noticed the problem. See STORM-702.

The recent attempted fix didn’t work so well. The Product Engine people are looking at it now.

Ctrl-\

Now this Ctrl-\ is something I missed.

CURL Library

This is totally geeky. Lots of financial and secure data transactions use the CURL Library. The SL system is working toward an update to CURL 7.21. I know about CURL from working with web sites. With some luck we’ll see more reliable transactions after the update.

Preferences

If you are one of the people that use larger fonts, you have seen that some items in the Preferences panels are cutoff. Work is in progress to fix those problems. I usually make mine smaller so I never see the problem. See STORM-625 and VWR-21493, if you have run into the problem.

Texture Picker

If you are not a builder, you have not seen this problem. If you have multiple textures open, then the texture picker messes up. See: STORM-622.

Script Dialog Panels

Those blue drop downs in the upper right and now the gray (I guess now depends on skin?) popups in the lower right are having some formatting problems in the SLV2’s.  That is being worked on under STORM-713.

Inventory Folders

Some folders manage to get above ‘My Inventory’ master folder. The viewer crashes if one tries to move them. See: STORM-703

There is a problem when copying items into an outfit. Dragging an item from inventory to and outfit should drop a link to the item. Apparently it drops a copy of the item, which creates problems. See STORM-771.

There has been a problem changing Permissions in inventory. See:  STORM-288 and STORM-776.

There are some sorting issues with inventory.

User Interface Layout

The idea is that a builder needs a different interface than an explorer or shopper. Just as Photoshop and Dreamweaver allow one to customize the interface layout and save different layouts for different tasks, so too would the SLV allow layout arrangement and saving.

This is not a minor add-on. Don’t expect to see it anytime soon. But, the idea is being implemented. See: STORM-2 and STORM-777.

Favorites Logon

STORM-34 is about adding a favorite’s drop down that would show favorites or may be a list of recently visited locations at logon. Rather than just Home, Last Location, or typing in a destination one would have a drop down with a list of choices.

If you like this idea get to the JIRA and vote. As yet Esbee and Q have not made a decision on the feature or added it to the backlog.

Several Toasts Fixes

Toasts are the IM and Group chat text notices that popup over in the lower right corner. They can interfere with the side panel, HUD’s, your view, their selves, and all sorts of stuff. The fade timing, transparency, and ability to turn them off are all being worked on. See STORM-391.

External Script Editor

There are problems when using this feature to edit more than one script. See STORM-781.

A script related problem is slow loading scripts that stall the viewer. See: STORM-229.

KDU v6.4.1

This is a big update. KDU is the third party software that handles the compression and decompression of JEPG2000 images. This update should make things faster, when it finally gets to us.

Part of the current work is to make using KDU or its free alternate OpenJPEG easier and cleaner when compiling a viewer. This means better compatibility for TPV’s and less work for TPV Developers.  The actual viewer compile will not have to compile KDU as it will be a pre-compiled link to library.

KirstenLee has been working to make a better OpenJPEG for use with the S20 viewer.

Getting the compression issues cleaned up will reduce the compatibility problems from using different compression software. So, you AV should rez with less problems and there should be fewer texture decompression hangs that we see as lag and slow renders.

But, this update is still in the tube. But it is getting closer to our end of the tube. See STORM-151.

Teleport History

There is a bug in the TP History that messes up the sort by date grouping into 2-Days Ago, 3-Days… etc. That fix is in progress. See: STORM-508.

Debug Settings

This isn’t as geeky as it sounds… or may be its… whatever. We have a new list of Debug Settings and explanations of what they do. The descriptions are brief but better than nothing. Best of all, the wiki page is searchable and the drop down list in the viewer is not. See: Debug Settings

There is now a script so that one can build lists of the debug settings from the latest viewer. This is good because the list is changing quickly. For instance, if you look close you may notice that the Depth of Field settings are not there. But, DoF is only in the Mesh Project viewer as of 12/15.

Socks 5 Support

This is geeky not fashion. This is about improved support for network connections behind corporate and educational organization firewalls. It is still in process. The CURL Library update is holding up this change. CURL is moving to wider testing (STORM-453). So, we may soon see some work on VWR-20801 Socks 5 Proxy.

New Graphics Card Support

…actually lack of it. The graphics features supported by new cards is in a file named featuretable.txt (PC) and featuretable_mac.txt (Mac obviously). Apparently those files are 2 or more years old. Q Linden says the viewer uses an online version of the files and updates these. My copies of the file show the nVidia 7900 series cards as the latest card. If these files are updated, I don’t see it. Presumably the file downloads and is used on the next start up… which doesn’t sound all that useful to me. Especially if one is trying to improve a new user’s first hour.

This is revealed in a discussion where Trilo Byte is trying to sort out why an nVidia Quadro 4000 video card does not work with SL on his Mac.

Memory Leaks

If you haven’t noticed, there is a big memory leak in recent builds of SLV2. I personally have to restart the viewer after a few tp’s or a couple of hours. Maybe STORM-336. Its not just me as this has come up in the open source mail list.

Second Life Wiki Moved

The SL Wiki has been rebuilt and moved to new servers. So, it should be faster and more reliable.

Yoz Grahame asks, “If you find any more problems, please file a WEB issue with “wiki.secondlife.com” component.”

DCS and SLV2.4 Problems

DCS2 is one of the better known combat meters in Second Life. The upgrade to SLV2.4 being downloaded as of Dec 19 is causing some problems. This affects players of any game or role play using the DCS meter. I haven’t been keeping up on the other meters so I don’t know if this is affecting those meters too.

This is enough of a problem some games are recommending Phoenix and Imprudence.

Emphasis Shift

I think I’m seeing a shift from fixing things to the Snowstorm team looking at how to implement changes to resolve viewer issues. The past months have seen a large number of bug fixes, some years old. This has pushed Linden Lab to develop new ways of doing some things. The new viewer has pushed all of us to find new ways to do things.

Now some fixes and advances require considering how they affect use and the fun and easy aspect of SL. Once those decisions are made we will likely see a new round of changes, or may be we could call them features, come through the tube.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Blane Yordstorm, Russell Holt. Russell Holt said: Second Life Viewer Updates http://bit.ly/fh5VZW #secondlife #lindenlab […]

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