As well as bringing the viewer up to parity with the Lab’s code base through to 3.7.1, this release also sees a set of updates from the Kokua team, the core of which can be summarised as:
- The Mac version of the viewer (issued as a test version in January) is now available as a release version with this update, thanks to the help and support of Mac users
- The Draw Distance slider on the status bar is now turned off by default as new users were apparently confusing it with a volume slider. It can be re-enabled via the debug setting ShowDDSlider (Advanced > Show Debug Settings)
- The Windows version of Kokua now uses the FmodEx library for music streaming, and incorporates the avatar name in the title bar (port from Firestorm)
- Opensim variable-sized regions and Aurora Sim regions are now supported
- A number of issues with the UI have been resolved with assistance from CtrlAltStudio’s Strachan OFarrell.
Perhaps the most interesting update to Kokua with this release is a new Refresh Scene feature. This is primarily aimed at mitigating the missing prim issue, and can be accessed through both the Commands and Advanced menus or by pressing CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-R.
When selected, the option carries out a number of tasks:
- Basic Shaders are deselected, increasing the viewer’s frame rate and allowing the viewer to more quickly pull-in the basics of a scene
- A message is sent to the viewer log, allowing the viewer to run a little longer without the shaders
- Basic Shaders are re-enabled to complete re-dressing the scene, which should now be correctly rendered.
There have been some reports in the comments following the release notes of issues running the 64-bit Linux version of the viewer on Ubuntu, which are apparently under investigation.
I did encounter initial issues running the viewer on 64-bit Windows using my Crash Test Alt, which saw the viewer repeatedly going non-responsive within a minute or so of logging-in. However, I confess to not having performed a clean install, so this particular issue could have been as much my end as anything else. When I did perform a completely clean install, the issue went away. So if you do encounter issues, try a clean install, if you haven’t already.
All told, another nicely packaged update to Kokua, one which probably hides a lot more in the way of under-the-hood changes than might at first appear to be the case. The Refresh Scene option is an interesting approach to resolving the missing prim issue, and may well prove to have other benefits in the future as well.