It’s been a while since the last release of Catznip – mainly because the team has had a number of other projects and RL things to deal with, but R7 is now here, and it sees the viewer get an extensive update and overhaul, with new features, updates large and small and bug fixes galore.
Not only has the viewer itself been overhauled, but the Catznip team have been putting considerable effort into matters of support as well – which is where this review starts.
Catznip JIRA, Wlki and More
With the R7 release of Catznip, the team have moved away from Bug Genie and adopted JIRA as their issue reporting and tracking tool. As a part of this, anonymous postings to the tracker will not longer be allowed, and users will have to register an account. However, this does mean that the team will be better able to deal with specific issues and contact those logging problems with greater ease.
Release R7 also sees the formal arrival of the Catznip wiki, providing additional support, information, documentation and information on RLVa. The wiki is still under development, and (as with all wikis) is constantly evolving, so should be a bookmarked resource of anyone who uses Catznip as their primary viewer.
The Catznip wiki, together with the Catznip blog can be accessed from within the R7 release, via the HELP menu. Similarly, HELP->REPORT BUG will open the Catznip JIRA in your web browser (or the built-in browser, depending on your preferences setting), rather than attempting to open the default LL Bug Tracker.
So, to the Release itself.
Download and Install
The Windows installer for Catznip R7, at 29Mb in size, is just a tad bigger than the official Second Life viewer installer. Installation for me was smooth and incident-free, as all Catznip installs have been in the past.
On start-up, the familiar viewer 3.x-based FUI is displayed, with button ranged to the left and along the bottom. As with most TPVs and the official viewers, Catznip forgoes the ability to place toolbar buttons at the top of the screen, which is no great loss. Sadly, R7 hasn’t implemented the ability to align buttons to the left or right at the bottom of the screen (which I’d personally love to see gain more widespread adoption among TPVs) or at the top or bottom on the left / right of the screen. However, this also doesn’t detract from usability in any way.
The following sections provide an overview of some of the more significant updates, starting with floater updates. For a complete breakdown of updates and features in this release, please also refer to the Catznip R7 release notes. Please click any images of floaters, etc., for an enlarged view.
The Appearance floater has received significant work, with updates to both the Outfits and Wearing tabs.
The Wearing tab has been significantly updated to make viewing, ordering, finding, and sorting worn items a lot easier. The main revisions to the tab are shown below.
The Outfits tab has also been revised, with key elements shown below.
In both tabs, FIND ORIGINAL will out the inventory floater with the original item for any link selected. Additionally, attachment point details are now included for all attachments shown in the Wearing tab.
Detaching Folders, Touching Worn Mesh
Catznip introduces two useful features – Detach Folder and the ability to right-click on worn rigged mesh items.
Detach Folder is a context menu option which allows you to remove an entire folder with a single click.Simply right-click on an attachment you’re wearing, and select Detach Folder from the menu, and the attachment and everything else in the same folder will be removed: other attachments, clothing, alpha layers.
The Inventory floater has received a number of updates with the R7 release, with new buttons, the ability to use separate search filters on different tabs, a new “custom tab” option, a revised cut-and-paste option, and more.
Significant points of note with the inventory floater with R7:
- The overall layout of the floater has been tightened
- As shown above, the sort options have been moved from the gear icon button to their own button, simplifying the re-ordering of an inventory display
- Custom tabs allow you to open additional inventory views in their own tabs and apply specific search filters against them
- The right-click context menu for FOLDERS includes an option allowing you to open the folder in a new tab within the current inventory floater, or in an additional inventory floater instance
- The right-click context menu for ITEMS includes an option to FIND ALL LINKS within your inventory for a given item (moved from the gear icon menu)
- Cut & Paste operations work in a more file manager-like way. works the way you would expect from file manager with cut are marked and moved on Paste
- COLLAPSE ALL will not collapse top-level folders that are currently open
- A SHOW RECEIVED ITEMS option has been added to the gear icon button. When checked, the Received Items panel will be displayed in the Inventory floater; when unchecked, Received Items appears as a folder within the Inventory floater.