Update February 28th: Nicky has posted that the CHUI code has now been merged with the main Kokua code, and a new version of Kokua is available for testing with it.
Nicky Perian, working on the Kokua viewer for SL / OpenSim, issued an experimental version of the viewer on January 24th which includes the new SL Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI).
Release 3.4.4 (CHUI) has a dedicated repository, and is available for Windows and Linux.
As reported on its launch, CHUI complete overhauls the communications floater within the official viewer, and introduces a new Conversations Logs floater, allowing users to access saved chat and IM histories from within the viewer. In updating the Conversations floater, CHUI brings some functionality to it which users of several TPVs may find somewhat familiar, even if the presentation doesn’t match anything they’ve been used to in the past.
A Kokua blog post accompanying the release of the experimental viewer provides additional information:
The Communication Hub UI has Instant Messaging , Chat, and Voice controls in one floater as was done in version 1 viewers.
Imprudence users have asked that Kokua implement the Imprudence UI for communications. I would like comments from Imprudence users about this interface .
This merge affected many parts of Kokua code. Please test and report problems using our bug tracker.
There is also a link to the Kokua wiki page on recommended practices for using Kokua experimental viewers.
The implementation appears to be a “straightforward” merge of the code, with the familiar Kokua UI colour changes, but otherwise no additional updates. “Straightforward” is given in inverted commas because, as the Kokua blog post notes, the CHUI changes impact many areas of the viewer’s code, making integration somewhat difficult – particularly if the TPV merging the code already has modifications to how communications within the viewer are presented to the user.
The experimental viewer also includes the default “account creation” prompt found in the beta and development versions of the SL viewer which appears to be in relation to the forthcoming SL / Steam link-up, and which is displayed on the viewer’s log-in splash screen if no account details are found on the local computer when the viewer loads. As with other viewers which have merged-up with SL viewer development code, this should be taken as a sign that the code has been included in Kokua by default rather than having any deeper meaning associated with it.
Other recent updates for Kokua (from the 220.127.116.11633 release of January 13th, 2013) include:
- The use of Vivox as the default Voice system, as a result of the latter relaxing licencing requirements for grids
- The addition of a draw distance slider to the top right of the menu bar
- The ability to set a minimum draw distance of 3 metres (seen as a means of improving performance for those involved in close-quarter combat / duelling)
- Minor UI changes (such as the “Me” menu being renamed “Avatar”).
Overall, this looks to be a clean implementation of CHUI, and one which gives OpenSim users a further opportunity to get a look ad feel for the revised / new floaters for communications.