UKanDo a whole lot more with 3.6.8

logoConnor Monaron released an updated UKanDo viewer on Saturday October 20th. Version 3.6.8.27869 brings the viewer up-to-date with the latest viewer release code from the Lab, including the “hot fix” to prevent crashes for those using the latest AMD Catalyst drivers (13.9, 13.10, and 13.11), and adds a lot of useful nips, tucks, tweaks and additions.

Download and Installation

The Windows installer remains unchanged at 28.7 MB in size, and installation was, as with the first version of the viewer I reviewed, smooth and without incident.  I ran a completely clean install out of curiosity, and the viewer again installed without a hitch, and AVG Pro didn’t hiccup over things like the voice plugin, etc.

Improved UI

One of the things I found a little hard with UKanDo last time around was the UI colours. The white-text-on-blue-buttons was not always easy to read (for me, at least on my 1440×900 monitor). I’ve no idea if the issue was widespread, or if Connor felt the same, but 3.6.8.27869 sees buttons with black text / icons by default (text turns white when the button is active), which I do find easier on the eyes.

Buttons and Placement

Version 3.6.8 brings with it a couple of new buttons – Quick Tools and Area Search (both of which are looked-at below), and sees UKanDo gain improved toolbar button alignment. As with some other TPVs buttons on the bottom bar can now be ranged to the left or right, and buttons to the left or right of the screen can now be ranged to the top or bottom – kudos, Connor!

Quick Tools

UKanDo Quick Tools
UKanDo Quick Tools

This release brings with it a Quick Tools floater (and associated toolbar button), which is similar to the “Quick Prefs” floaters found in other TPVs, providing rapid access to things like Draw Distance, Bandwidth, Max Avatars, Particle Count, the Windlight presets and so on. The list of options isn’t as extensive as some TPVs provide, but what is here is more than enough to allow users to make rapid-fire adjustments to core settings when necessary – such as when operating in a crowded environment.

Also with this release, and found in the Quick Tools, as well as in Preferences > UKanDo > Miscellaneous, is the ability to set Windlight cross-fading when moving between different Windlight environments / changing Windlight settings.

 Area Search

Another popular TPV capability is that of area search: being able to locate a specific object within a region using a range of criteria – object name, creator name, etc.  This makes its debut in UKanDo version 3.6.8.27869, and is likely to be a welcome addition among users. It can be accessed either via a dedicated menu button or via the UKanDo menu or by pressing ALT-A.

Area Search comes to UKanDo
Area Search comes to UKanDo

Context Menu Updates

A couple of the context menus in UKanDo get updates as well. The right-click avatar context menu sees options added to copy an avatar’s name, UUID or Profile SLurl to the clipboard. Additionally, and in the case of estate owners / managers / parcel owners, the avatar context menu includes options to Freeze / Unfreeze and Eject / Ban where appropriate.

Options to copy an avatar's name, UUID or profile SLurl can now be found of the right-click avatar context menu (l) and context menu in the Nearby tab of the people floater (r). In addition, both menus can offer estate owners / managers / parcel owners options to freeze / eject avatars
Options to copy an avatar’s name, UUID or profile SLurl can now be found of the right-click avatar context menu (l) and context menu in the Nearby tab of the people floater (r). In addition, both menus can offer estate owners / managers / parcel owners options to freeze / eject avatars

These options are also available in the right-click context menu within the Nearby tab of the People floater (with the freeze / ban options only appearing for estate owners / managers / parcel owners).

Other Additions, Tweaks and Touches

  • RLV is updated to 2.8.5.8
  • Toolbar Buttons floater New “Close” button
  • World Map New “Clear Selection” button
  • Help->UKanDo Support Group menu option will either open the group profile or, if you are a member of the group, start group chat
  • Allow Media to Auto-play is defaulted to off
  •  Play Sounds from Gestures is defaulted to off
  • Option to allow Chiclet bar and/or Notifications to be placed top or bottom right
  • Viewer gives audible warning when trying to shift-drag while in edit linked parts/select face mode & object remains locked in place
  • Plus more – see the release notes

Feedback

Version 3.6.8.27869 represents a tidy set of updates and tweaks to UKanDo. The addition of Area Search is liable to be popular, as is the arrival of a Quick Tools floater. I personally like the additional button ranging options (I like my toolbar buttons over to the right of the screen and out-of-the way), and the ban / eject additions to context menus may well prove useful to some!

Performance-wise, this version of UKanDo is right up there with the last, and faces-off very well compared to the SL release viewer upon which it is based. In my PC, with ALM enables, ambient occlusion and shadows (Sun/Moon + projectors) enabled, and a couple of others on my home region, I was again hitting an average FPS of around 68-70.

I did find one or two things at odds in my version compared to the release notes (RenderVolumeLODFactor is reported as defaulted to 4.00, but in my clean install, I found it set to 1.25), but these were very minor issues and easily fixed. One thing I would recommend, however is that the icon for the Quick Tools button is revised. It is currently the same as the icon used on the Preferences button, and when operating with the buttons in Icon Only mode, it could lead to confusion.

I’d still like to see the media filter added to UKanDo, just for the added comfort when wanting to fiddle with media on other land; having something like Will Weaver’s Phototools appear in UKanDo would also be a blast – but these are purely personal preferences. As it is, UKanDo is a perfectly useable viewer, and for those looking for something sitting between the SL viewer and TPVs with all the bells and whistles, it’s worth taking a look at.

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