Exodus Viewer now SSB/A-ready

exodus-4With Server-side Baking / Appearance due to be enabled on the LeTigre Release Candidate Channel on Wednesday July 10th (from which it will gradually roll across the grid), the Exodus team have issued a new version of the popular Exodus viewer. Classified a beta release, the new viewer update has the version number 13.7.9.1, and includes the latest code updates from the Lab.

This means that with this release, Exodus is:

  • Server-side Baking / Appearance ready
  • Includes the Lab’s Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI)

However, the release:

  • Does not include materials processing support
  • Removes RLVa support.

CHUI and SSB/A

VHUI now a part of the Exodus viewer
VHUI now a part of the Exodus viewer

There is not actually much to report here per se, other than both work entirely as expected. CHUI sees the LL integrated chat / IM conversations floater working in Exodus.

Simlarly, SSB/A works exactly as expected on SSB/A-enabled regions, with other avatars rendering correctly in Exodus, and your own avatar rendering correctly to others.

Exodus SSB/A: (l) my avatar on Exodus and my CTA on the SL viewer - both render correctly in Exodus on the Aditi SSB/A test regions. (r) The same agin, but this time my avatar (foreground) on Exodus, as rendering in the SSB/A-capable SL viewer.
Exodus SSB/A: (l) my avatar on Exodus and my CTA on the SL viewer – both render correctly in Exodus on the Aditi SSB/A test regions. (r) The same agin, but this time my avatar (foreground) on Exodus, as rendering in the SSB/A-capable SL viewer.

That both SSB/A and CHUI do work flawlessly tends to hide the amount of work the Exodus team have put-in getting both ready to go prior to SSB/A being enabled server-side.

Why No Materials and RLVa?

Materials

Both the integration of CHUI and SSB/A capabilities into a v3-based viewer are very large amounts of work (CHUI has something like over 1200 change sets of its own). They therefore require time and effort to implement – and have likely been keeping the Exodus team more than a little busy (on top of some of them being actively engaged in developing the materials capabilities in SL as well as working on other items such as the Mac Cocoa project).

There’s also the fact that while materials doesn’t use CHUI itself, both the materials code and the CHUI code touch on other areas of the viewer code. Therefore, it makes sense for the Exodus team to focus on implementing CHUI first and then merging and cleaning the materials changes sets (which is exactly the order in which the Lab did things), rather than racing to implement materials, only to find those updates impacted at a later date by required CHUI updates.

So for all those hoping to see materials in Exodus – it will doubtless be coming, you’ll just need to wait a little longer.

RLVa Removal

The blog post for the release explains the reasoning behind the removal of RLVa support from Exodus thus:

By its nature and by necessity, RLVa is an extremely invasive patch. We do not have the resources to maintain this code, and it is the primary reason for our lack of updates recently. We hope that this removal enables us to produce more frequent updates going forward and apologise for the inconvenience.

While the loss of RLVa is perhaps to be regretted, how much it is likely to be missed obviously comes down to the number of Exodus users who make use of it, obviously – and it is worth pointing out that RLVa was something of a late arrival to Exodus in the first place, so it may not be that greatly missed.

Other Updates

This release also sees Exodus:

  • Using Cocoa instead of Carbon on Mac computers
  • Gain full screen support on Lion
  • Fain Retina support for the Retina MacBook Pros.

Feedback

This is not an in-depth test of the latest Exodus beta, but a quick spin around the Aditi block. Everything works, as notes, as expected, and the rendering enhancement which have been part and parcel of Exodus for a long time certainly make their presence felt even in a default rough & ready snapshot such as the one grabbed above for the SSB/A comparison.

I didn’t do any performance tests this time around, as I was on Aditi – I’ll save that for another time :). That said, I’ve always found Exodus to be a solid performer on my current hardware, where it has tended to be my “reserve” viewer (along with Dolphin).

This is a very tidy and timely update to Exodus which brings it back to a par with other popular v3 viewers, and perhaps even a little ahead with the Cocoa support. Kudos to the team!

Related Links

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “Exodus Viewer now SSB/A-ready

  1. When I first came into SL, there were several things that depended on RLV, beyond the elements of sexual play. It’s a system that allows control of viewer settings by in-world scripts, and so it could do things such as emulating photographic filters by changing Windlight settings.

    Over time, some of these uses have been supplanted by new viewer features, such as those which appeared in Linden Realms. In other cases, there is a partial overlap. Anyway, who need a gag when the Lindens give you free chat-lag?

    Like

  2. Well one less viewer i have to download!
    I only wear or unwear outifts, hair and much more, mthat are on my rlv folder via open collar menu and im not a sub r whatever, its just the best way to have a well organized folder and avoid using my outifts or having to open a inventoey windows every time i wish to dress or undress, add a parachute, ride a horse and so on, all that is wearable is on my rlv folder!

    Like

  3. I am a user of Exodus due to being the less laggy viewer to me with some extra’s the Linden viewer does not have, but the new release is buggy. Seems like it has been done in a haste to not fall behind the new developments. Closing down sometimes refuses after some extended use in time or features. TP’s do not open via a SLURL or inworld via a link. Already two times I got totally stuck in movements and I found my HUD for a photostudio to be non-responsive as well after some trials with images I was taking. Last but not least: Detaching of objects also refused when the issue of being stuck became active. Teleporting did not help either as a sort of reset. It simply refuse to TP me or I would hang in some space in no mans land. But it is called a BETA viewer, so we will see if all of this is temporary. Hope so! I love the viewer.

    Like

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Rezarea. As noted, I didn’t have the time to do an in-depth review. Had planned to do one when LL release their “post SSB/A” viewer updates & TPVs implement them.

      Like

      1. Yes, and this certainly was and is no critics on your always good work, merely a user report, for what it’s worth. I may be the only one having these troubles after all. Hope not . . that would mean it will not change probably . .

        Like

        1. Oh, I didn’t take it as a critique of my review :). My comments replies are sometimes brief as I’m often banging them out en masse when I should actually be working!

          Feedback is always genuinely welcome here when it can objectively state issues encountered (as yours did), and help others gain depth from what is otherwise a very short, focused piece on my part :).

          I’m sure you’re aware of the Exodus forums. They might help you ascertain whether you are alone in having the issues, or whether others are having the same or similar experiences (which can at least be reassuring when it comes to the “hang on, is it just me?” thoughts – which I also suffer from when things go wonky with a viewer!). There’s also the JIRA as well, if you do find the problems persistent and want to give the Devs a heads-up :).

          Like

  4. yay for someone else taking the time to incorporate CHUI. i was test driving viewers a day or so ago (before this latest update), and was completely embarrassed and amazed at how much i missed the CHUI style tab in every single viewer i was in. they all had fine points, but none seemed to make many IMs make sense to me anymore.

    Like

    1. I’ve gone the other way. I liked CHUI a lot early-on, but have since been swayed back towards Firestorm’s approach to communications. Part of this, I know, is a case of familiarity, but there are some things about CHUI which really do grate on me, sadly. That said, I love the ease with which additional people can be quickly and reliably pulled-in to an IM session.

      Like

  5. i ‘m with Inara on this most cause Chui fills a lot of screen space and makes a lot more harder to use local chat, wondering if they do wish users to stop typing and use voice instead!
    So if Chui can be really helpful for the ones that deal a lot with mass communications and use Sl mainly to chat it is really disturbing for those who much prefer to have the most free space on the screen, even when using local.
    Hope some tpv’s will be able to make the best of both worlds!

    Like

Have any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.