Viewer release summaries: week 48

Updates for the week ending: Sunday November 30th, 2014

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version updated to version 3.7.20.296724 December 1st (formerly the Snowstorm RC viewer – Japanese input; improved rendering of projectors; fixes for object editing bug when rotating and for crash on exit on OS X Yosemite in full screen mode, etc.) –  release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Attachments viewer RC version 3.7.21.296904 released on November 25th – adds some fixes to previously released changes in the way joint offsets in rigged meshes are handled & fixes some issues found with adding and removing attachments after the recent AISv3 deploy. this update includes 2 further bug fixes (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.1 on Thursday November 27th, and then to version 2.4.1.1 before version  2.4.1.2 on Friday, November 28th – core updates: bug fixes (change log)
  • Kokua updated to version 3.7.21.35082 on November 30th – core updates: parity with LL code base releases 3.7.12 through 3.7.21 – group bans, viewer benchmarking, unified snapshots floater, HTTP pipelining, attachment fixes, etc. (release notes)

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Merchandise and the Lab

Marketing Second Life is something we all have an opinion about, and as such, Linden Lab has often taken a far amount of flak from users on the subject. I’m as guilty as anyone in this; in the past I’ve been particularly verbose on the subject through posts in this blog such as Business, Collaboration and Creative Growth, Tell me a story: marketing Second Life, and Advertising SL: the machinima effect (the latter of which has been somewhat overtaken by the Lab recognising the power of Draxtor Despres’ The Drax Files; World Makers series.

However, there is another potential marketing strategy the Lab is missing, something which was recently brought home by by a segment of The Drax Files Radio Hour.

During a visit to the Lab’s HQ for the show, Drax had a chat with Shaman and Kona Linden, both of whom were holding items of merchandise available to Lab staff – a Rubik’s cube featuring the Second Life logo on one face, and a FIC (Fêted Inner Circle) mug. Lab personnel have also seen out and about wearing a certain t-shirt proclaiming their leading role in provisioning virtual worlds.

Shaman Linden holds a Rubik’s cube with the Second Life logo and Kona Linden, with an arm around Caleb Linden,  holds a FIC mug (image: Draxtor Despres)

Other items were mentioned as being available, leaving Drax to wonder why the Lab doesn’t market these goods to users; and he has a point. True, there are issues of the Lab’s international user base and the cost of postage – but these are things that can be factored-in, and if the Lab doesn’t necessarily want to handle the additional weight of merchandise orders, etc., itself, there are companies who will do it for them for a small commission on sales.

Certainly, the appearance of the merchandise has sparked discussions in a number of areas since the show. Ciaran Laval, for example started a thread over on SLU (although admittedly, it got somewhat sidetracked into a discussion of the meaning behind a particular term, which eventually involved Kevin Bacon – who said the six degrees of separation was dead?); others elsewhere have expressed an interest in having at least some of the merchandise, and other items that have been seen in the past.

The Lab's current t-shirt (l), and two styles of jacket / track suit top worn in the past by Philip Rosedale - all have been the subject of "want" attention from SL users
The Lab’s current t-shirt (l), and two styles of jacket / track suit top worn in the past by Philip Rosedale – all have been the subject of “want” attention from SL users

Take the jackets that were variously sported by former CEO (and co-founder of the Lab) Philip Rosedale; these were oft been admired and a subject of attention at the likes of the old SLCC events; so why not make them available?

And how about an updated version of the 10th anniversary varsity-style jacket the Lab made available in-world in 2013? Replace the 10th anniversary logo with the SL logo, and it might well be something users would buy if offered in the physical world. I know I wouldn’t object to having the opportunity to buy one, although admittedly, that might be something a tad too expensive to produce and sell…

If I understand things correctly, there’s even a JIRA-related t-shirt, something which would likely prove popular within the coding community;

The in-world 10th anniversary varsity-style jacket: an updated version might have potential in the physical world
The in-world 10th anniversary varsity-style jacket: an updated version might have potential in the physical world

Some items made available in the past, such as a pendant, and Ciaran makes mention of  Jack Linden once offering those at his office hours meetings a “bag of swag” (although where this was physical world items or not is unclear to me – I didn’t attend Jack’s meetings – but Ciaran seems to lean towards this being the case). Were they to appear again, they might prove popular enough to make it worthwhile.

The advantage to the Lab in making these items available for users is not just a potential (albeit modest) revenue stream through the sale of the goods – it’s the broader reach of marketing and promotion they offer. Of course, some might thumb their nose on seeing someone else wearing a Second Life jacket, but that’s no reason not to offer them; and a FIC mug in the office is a way to start conversations (and depending on the nature of the office politics, might end up being something everyone wants, regardless of whether they are SL users or not! 🙂 ).

So how about it Ebbe? Why not give thought to making merchandise available to your users? Even if you only dip a toe or two into the water to see how things go, it might prove worth your while.

A Calas Galadhon Noel

Calas Galadhon Noel 2014
Calas Galadhon Noel 2014

Ty Tenk and Truck Meredith not only run the Calas Galadhon parklands, every Halloween and Christmas they set-up a special region, reflecting the theme of each period respectively.

This year, they gave us the Darkwood for Halloween, a darkly Tolkien-esque place offering orcs, elven boat rides, trolls, dragons, eagles and barrel trips. Now, with December opening its doors, they bring us the Calas Galadhon Noel, the region beautifully made over into a festive wonderland, with sleigh rides, magic reindeer flights, cuddle spots, ice skating and a whole lot more.

However, rather than me wibble on about it at length, I thought I’d cut to the quick and bring you a short video which I hope will encourage you to visit.

Calas Galadhon Noel is now open to the public through until the end of the month – and if you previously visited the Darkwood, I hope you’ll watch the video right to the very end :-).

To fully appreciate the region, do make sure you have local sounds enabled and have region’s music stream active – Ty has put together a very special selection of music to accompany your visit.

Related Links

Kokua 3.7.21: group bans, unified snapshots, HTTP pipelining and more

kokua-logoUpdate, December 7th, 2014: Kokua 3.7.22.35091 was released on December 5th. This update includes fixes for issue #292 noted in the review below, and for an issue with the automatic updater (issue #322.

Nicky Perian released the latest update of Kokua for SL on Sunday, November 30th.

Given the last Second Life specific release of the viewer was in July, the new release, version 3.7.21.35082 sees the SL version of the viewer bounce up to parity with a lot of recent LL viewer updates, as noted in the release notes. This being the case, please note that a clean install is highly recommended.

The code updates from the Lab comprise:

The Kokua 3.7.21 release sees the addition of the unified snapshot floater
The Kokua 3.7.21 release sees the addition of the unified snapshot floater

In addition, the viewer also includes the following LL updates which, at the time of the Kokua release, are still at release candidate status within the SL viewer:

  • 3.7.20 code base:
    • Attachments updates – adds some fixes to previously released changes in the way joint offsets in rigged meshes are handled & fixes some issues found with adding and removing attachments after the recent AISv3 deploy
    • GPU Benchmarking update – removes the need for the GPU table by performing a series of tests when first setting the graphics defaults for the viewer (note this code contains fixes for issues found with the original benchmarking code release in the official SL viewer)
  • 3.7.21 code base:
    • Snowstorm contributions release – Japanese input; improved rendering of projectors; fixes for object editing bug when rotating and for crash on exit on OSX Yosemite in full screen mode, etc
    • Maintenance updates – a broad range of fixes for voice, privacy, rendering, texture animation, avatar distortion, inventory management, sounds, mouselook in Mac, and more
    • Pipelining Enhancements release – reduced pipelined texture and mesh fetching timeout.
Group Bans now a part of Kokua with version 3.7.21.35082
Group Bans now a part of Kokua with version 3.7.21.35082 – click for full size

Kokua Team Contributions

In addition the the merging and testing of recent code release from the Lab, Kokua 3.7.21.35082 includes the following contributions:

  • The viewer has been updated so it will no longer automatically start following a Windows install
  • Custom currency support has been added so that the local grid currency symbol will be displayed (original work by Armin Weatherwax)
  • New option to hide account balance in snapshots: Preferences > Kokua > Privacy > Do Not Show Money Balance on Snapshots (original work by Armin Weatherwax)
  • An option to open the movement controls has been added to View > Movement Controls.

In addition, Nicky notes:

  • On Linux Mint 17 32 bit, the load library path was not set correctly, and this has been amended for both 32-, and 64-bit.
  • The gridargs.dat file is no longer reader when starting kokua. Instead pass parameters along the command line (e.g.  ./kokua –channel “‘Kokua XonXoff'”)

There are a few known issues with the release, all of which are being tracked via the Kokua ticket system. These include:

  • The option to display your avatar’s name in the viewer’s title bar ((Preferences > Kokua), should only be set after logging-in; if set from the log-in splash screen, they will crash the viewer – Issue #289
  • Teleport from SL search fails. Teleports from Legacy and Map searches work. Landmarks from inventory work. Issue #292
  • The YouTube media volume control doesn’t work –Issue #312
  • [RLVa] Names are not all gone in nearby chat list of names –Issue #314.

Related Links