Viewer 3: further releases

Viewer 3.2 continues with almost weekly releases. The 3.2.1 (244864) release went public of the 15th November brings the release viewer almost up-to-par with things recently seen in the Beta and Development Viewers, namely:

  • Chat translation options – in time for the Google free API end-of-line, although the debate over Bing fees is liable to continue
  • Destination Guide open by default
  • New Neck and Centre attachment points.

However, there is still no revised snapshot floater.

The Viewer also includes a number of crash and performance fixes, together with a bag full of minor bug fixes and corrections.

In the Development branch, the Viewer reaches 3.2.4 (245302). There are no obvious release notes with the Development version (empty wiki page), and no obvious UI updates. I assume the release carries more in the way of bug fixes, etc.

Performance-wise,  the new releases (3.2.1 & 3.2.4) offer something of a performance boost on my usual hardware set-up: Viewer frame rates are constant in the mid-30s when on sims with a handful of others but still falls on its bum when shadows, etc., are enabled (to roughly 1/2 the frame rates of Firestorm, and roughly 1/3 those of Exodus). This gives rise to noticeable “stutter” when panning the camera particularly.

Both the new release and the latest Development versions continue to run significantly better in Linden Home regions than Firestorm (again on my set-up). I’ve yet to encounter a single disconnect in these regions when using the official Viewer, whereas, as I’ve mentioned, disconnects and crashes are a fact-of-life when running Firestorm in many of these regions. Frame rates for the 3.2.1 while in Linden Home regions were also significantly better than with the 3.2.0 release of the viewer – 18-20 fps, rather than single digits sitting around the 3-5 fps mark.

I’m not sure where the OpenGL fixes stand – it is hard to get along to Viewer meetings; there is a “dedicated” development stream for fixes to this issue, but I have no idea if these fixes are making their way back to the main Development -> Beta -> Release flow.

The Viewer installer and executable still have yet to be corrected: as far they are concerned, people are still installing and running “Viewer 2”. Tateru Nino raised this point recently (and tbh, I hadn’t actually noticed until she did). I don’t find it an irritant myself, but it is mildly amusing.

The mouse movement / click-to-move reversal is still there however. For those unfamiliar with the problem: up until now (unless using the Basic Viewer mode), you could steer your avatar using the forward / back keys and by pressing and holding the left mouse button with the pointer over your avatar; moving the mouse left / right would move your avatar in the appropriate direction.

With SINGLE CLICK ON LAND set to MOVE TO CLICKED POINT sees this reversed – move the mouse to the right, and your avatar moves left.  There’s a JIRA out to request a fix to issue.

Beta-wise, no changes have been made, and the release number remains as per last week.

Overall, 3.2.4 (Development) looks pretty stable, fast and comfortable to use. As I’m not affected by the OpenGL issue, I’m completely unable to comment on how it fairs on impacted graphics cards, and will have to leave that up to someone else. Otherwise, and pending the official release of the OpenGL fixes, these releases may indicate the “radical” element of the Viewer UI change is coming to an end, and it’ll be more a case of polishing things in terms of small enhancements and bug fixes.

And on that subject, if anyone from LL is still reading this blog – there are a few JIRAs on the new UI besides the one linked to above. You might want to point your colleagues towards :).

12 thoughts on “Viewer 3: further releases

  1. I’ve been running the Dev builds linked from SH-2240 and SH-2276 (The OpenGL fixes) and it looks like they’ve got a good handle on it. That’s how I was able to log on with Mesh for Draxtor’s latest Fluffee shoots as a Shemp… and then get eaten!

    Looking forward to when they try to get that into the main viewer builds… so Firestorm can incorporate them. 😉

    Until then… fires up Phoenix.

    -ls/cm

    ( Look up Shemp and Ted Raimi if you’re not familiar with the use 😉

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    1. Crap,

      Thank you :). I feel rather blessed in having an older generation card that is unaffected, but feel the frustration you and others have experienced.

      Just caught up with Flufee – loved the guest appearance :).

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  2. I’m surprised to see your mention of “Linden regions” — I didn’t know there were such things where plain folk are allowed (supposing that’s what you mean).

    In any case, are you saying that Firestorm crashes there, but not the official viewer? And are you implying that it is the contrary case in non-Linden regions?

    I’ve not tried the official viewer for many months because it crashes so consistently, while with Firestorm I crash so infrequently that it’s always a major surprise. I don’t say that to knock the official viewer, because I’ve seen people report the exact opposite.

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    1. My apologies. “Linden regions” is a poorly-considered shorthand for the multiudinous regions featuring Linden Homes. I really should have used the continent name, but a fit of forgetfulness / laziness meant I didn’t.

      It’s more a general observation that for me, personally, I’ve found Linden Home regions harder to navigate / spend time in using Firestorm (as reported in my Linden Home review), and my experience there has been much better with Viewer 3 (and indeed, Phoenix, although I tend to avoid any Viewer 1.x nowadays like the plague, as I personally find them combersome and unwieldy. I’m not suggesting anything is tweaked on the part of LL, just that it has been my personal experience.

      Elsewhere, I’ve tended to find Firestorm much the more crash / disconenct resistent of the two Viewers – in fact, I’ve tended to find my Firestorm experience a lot smoother than several friends who run it, and complain of frequent crashes and issues.

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  3. The OpenGL fix is the most important for me. I really want to use the viewer with the latest Nvidia driver. The only viewer I can use at the moment is this “shining-fixes” build, which works pretty good for me with latest Nvidia driver. Can’t wait to see the fixes get into the beta/stable viewer.

    Oh… new attachement points! LOL.. I did not even notice until now!! Thanks for telling..

    I really would like to see the new snapshot window soon. And really waiting for the draw distance slider. Can’t say how LONG I wait for this feature.

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    1. So many people are waiting on the OpenGL fixes – even those of us unaffected by them (*so* keen to stay playing with the release of Firestorm that is waiting on them!).

      The new attach points actually arrived on a couple of TPVs ahead of Viewer 3.2 – both Exodus and Dolphin had them, but this makes them “official” :).

      Not sure on the draw distance slider – only Viewer 3.1 / 3.2 variant I’ve seen it on is Marine Kelley’s RLV implementation of the new UI. It’s not part of the current Development build….have you seen something on the “Shining fixes” builds we’re not privy to?! 🙂

      I really must get to grips with learning how to compile a Viewer. I have most of the official build environment software downloaded and installed, but get the configuration sorted out is turning into something I keep putting off…

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    1. It’s curious how subjective (in terms of one’s own hardware) SL actually is, isn’t it. I had chronic performance out of 3.0.x in the Linden Home sims & moderate performance on Firestorm, subject to crashes and disconnects (ateempting to tp = disconnects; trying to use snapshot = crash). 3.1 & the Dev 3.2 give precisely the same frame rate and rezzing experience I get on Linden Home sims as I get from Firestorm – minus the disconnects / crashes (I can even walk across 3 sim boundaries to reach the home of a friend!).

      But you’re right, the LH regions are largely lonely places; possibly moreso than elsewhere – although that could be an illusion due to the volume of houses…

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  4. As i never used shadows on any game or whatever i never used it on Sl either (And there are games that look much better with them, not Sl).
    So i run using draw distance always at 1024, all specs but shadows max ones.
    And as i have a Nvidea Gtx580 Im lucky for refusing ot use a LL viewer!
    And as i tried firestorm pre meshes and at the time i couldn’t use it (terrible viewer for my eyesight, as it was barely impossible to see what i was typing in local before hiting enter key), I just used since then Phoenix and Singularity (I on the other end found that V2 or its’s Tpv’s can’t never reach the graphic details and beauty of Phoenix, at 32 anisotropic and 16Q Antialising, that i use via Nvidea control panel, the shiny the bright, all its perfect with it!), so all i can say is, Tpv’s devs, bring up all these new shinny features ported to V1:), but 1st get the multiple tattoo lawers and on phoneix, the meshes, lol

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    1. Please cut your draw distance.

      Unless they changed it, long draw distance can cause client side lag to other people around you as well. If I’m 900m away from you with your 1024 draw distance, my viewer needs to communicate once I get pinged to tell you what I look like – I don’t know exactly what/how, but I’ve heard this slows me up a bit too.

      I’m not certain, but I think this works against people near you as well, needing data on what you’re seeing.

      In crowded places its common to see signs requesting people cut viewer distances – related to this. If wrong, I’m sure someone will pipe in with the correct info.

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      1. I actually use dd to dynamically adjust my Draw distance; as such, it varies between 64 and 360m, depending on where I am, what I’m doing and how many others are on-sim. When sin-world shopping, for example, my dd is down to 64m, simply because I *don’t* want to be overwhlemed with data coming in as I wander a mall. The average is probably around the 120 mark.

        There’s nothing wrong with the responsible use of Draw distance – some sims in fact demand a higher distance than others, due to the nature of the builds. But I agree – 1024 is overkill.

        In this regard, shortcut commands such as dd in TPVs like Firestorm and Phoenix are an absolute boon; similarly, having a menubar slider (as with the likes of Marine’s RPV implmentation of Viewer 3) is equally beneifical. As long as people use them.

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  5. I -WANT- that snapshot update thingy… After reading your blog last week I was drooling to see it in my viewer ASAP and so disappointed when I couldn’t find it.

    Also WTB whatever skin Ossian is using in her profile pic up there, assuming the body still matches my tastes. I think I bought 3 or 4 skins over the weekend in a search for a new look. 😉

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