Viewer release summaries: week 52

Updates for the week ending: Sunday December 28th, 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: 3.7.23.297296 – no change –  download page, release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (See my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Experience Keys RC viewer version 3.7.24.297643 released on December 22nd – provides support for viewing and managing Experiences and for contributing content for Experiences (download and release notes) – Alternate Viewers wiki page still to be updated
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

V1-style

  • No Updates

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates

Additional TPV Resources

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High Fidelity tutorial videos

HF-logoEarly December saw High Fidelity slip out a series of introductory videos on their YouTube channel under a play list entitled Intro to High Fidelity: The Basics.

At the time of writing this piece, six video are included in the play list, which together run to a total of some 16 minutes, although individually they range from just over the minute mark to just shy of five minutes in length. All six are narrated / produced by Chris Collins from HiFi, and the topic areas covered are:

  • First time log-in
  • Edit entities
  • Stack Manager
  • Oculus Rift set-up
  • Hydra support
  • Leap Motion controller.

First time log-in: takes the user from the point at which they have downloaded and installed the High Fidelity client software – referred to as “the interface”, and have logged-in for the first time, arriving in the High Fidelity sandbox area.

From here, Chris takes users quickly through changing the appearance of the default robot avatar by using one of the available pre-sets (“Ron”, shown in the image above), and noting that people can also upload their own avatars. He also covers ensuring the audio is correctly set (microphone pick-up, etc.), and basic navigation between domains / locations within the High Fidelity topography. Interface customisation through the use of JavaScript elements is also touched upon (the entire interface is written in JavaScript and includes some additional elements, making it highly customisable).

Editing entities: the second video provides a very high-level overview of creating and editing content (entities) in High Fidelity, starting with making sure the toolbox is correctly displayed (if necessary). Importing pre-built elements supplied with the interface is covered, and the ability for collaborative building within a domain is mentioned as is using FBX animations, and editing object properties is looked over.

A quick overview is also given on uploading custom content (in .FBX format), noting that it needs to be available from a web service (such as Dropbox or your own web server, if you happen to run one.

The Stack Manager focuses on building your own server to host a dedicated domain where you can build and share content, invite friends to come an join you and interact with them, etc. Servers can be run on your own local machine, or on any other machine to which you have suitable access (e.g. a web server).

The video runs through everything from downloading and installing the Stack Manager through to importing initial content. An overview of various settings (security, audio) and tools (logs, nodes), is also provided.

The final three videos provide quick start guides to using the Oculus Rift, Sixense Hydra and Leap Motion (attached to the Oculus Rift headset). All assume that you already have the hardware set-up and ready to go with your computer, and so each simply steps you through the basics to get yourself going (making sure the correct scripts are running, etc.).

Using the Sixsense Hydra with the High Fidelity interface
Using the Sixense Hydra with the High Fidelity interface

As noted, these are introductory videos, so don’t expect them to go into great detail in terms of what you can do, troubleshooting or anything like that. However, as quick start guides, they are clear, concise and do exactly what it says they do on the label.

Related Links

Videos courtesy of High Fidelity Inc.

CapEx and Skill Gaming: activities still frozen, but some progress

Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab's Skill Gaming Policy
Capital Exchange has seen activity in its stock market simulation game frozen since the November 1st enforcement of the Lab’s Skill Gaming Policy

Saturday November 1st brought with it a full enforcement of the the Lab’s updated Skill Gaming Policy, as the last had previously notified would be the case.

As I reported at the time, an immediate casualty of the enforcement was Skip Oceanlane’s Capital Exchange (CapEx). Although described as a fictional stock market simulation game which does not offer any opportunity for direct real-world investment or profit, CapEx does operate on what amounts to a “pay to play basis” through the trading of L$-valued “securities” in the SL-based companies listed with the exchange, and thus appeared to fall under the remit of the Skill Gaming Policy.

This being the case, Skip had placed an application for CapEx to become a Skill Gaming activity with the Lab in July 2014, just after the announcement of the new policy. However, by November 1st, the application had yet to be approved, prompting CapEx to suspend market activities (although ATMs remain open for L$ withdrawals) pending further feedback from the Lab on the matter.

Following this, on November 11th, 2014, Skip indicated that the Lab’s attorney was in contact with his attorney on the matter, and further questions had been asked. By December 4th, both parties were still working on the matter, and on December 12th, Skip provided a further update, indicating that there are three issues of concern that require resolution in order for progress to be made. In the post, Skip comments in part:

I’m not going to get into detail of what those 3 issues are, but I’ll restate what my attorney told me.

One issue is easy, another issue is not so easy, and one issue is difficult that will require a detailed response. After talking with my attorney, it was decided that we would meet again after he sends me information requested by the Linden Lab attorney. I am going to come up with a detailed response to each area of concern, and my attorney’s law firm will put it into “Legalese” as a response to Linden Lab.

It had been hoped these responses would be put to the Lab prior to the Christmas break, but whether this was achieved or not is unclear, as there have been no further updates. However, at the time the last blog post appears, Skip was hopeful a resolution could be reached in early 2015, which the Lab also appears to be keen to achieve.

This doesn’t automatically mean that CapEx will be able to resume trading; it is still unclear as to which way the Lab’s final decision will lean. But as Skip does note, at least progress is being made, and both sides are working to resolve matters such that informed decisions can be reached.

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