Black Dragon 2.4.4.3: going Chromium

Blackdragon logoOn Saturday 17th October, Niran V Dean released Black Dragon 2.4.4.3, which sees his viewer merged with the latest release from Linden Lab, gain the Lab’s Chromium Embedded Framework code for media, and which  includes some updates from Niran himself.

The latter most notably take the form of a re-working of the Display tab in the Preferences floater. Here, Niran has replaced the older scrolling tab layout with a more compact version, with expandable sub-tabs allowing feature sets to be viewed and expanded whilst also offering quick and easy on / off check boxes for functions users may wish to enable / disable, but where they don’t necessarily wish to change the associated settings.

The new Display tab in Preferences offers a series of function defined expandable sub-tabs, some of which had default on / off check boxes.
The new Display tab in Preferences offers a series of function defined expandable sub-tabs, some of which had default on / off check boxes.

The sub-tabs can be individually opened / closed by checking on the + to the right of each tab’s title bar, and those opened will remain so until either closed, or the viewer session is closed and re-started. Opening multiple sub-tabs will add a scroll bar to the right of the Preferences floater when displaying the contents of the Display tab, allowing for smooth navigation between sub-tabs.

Clicking on the + on any od the Display sub-tabs will expand it to reveal all the associated options and settings. Sub-tabs will remain open until either manually closed or the viewer is shut-down
Clicking on the + on any of the Display sub-tabs will expand it to reveal all the associated options and settings. Sub-tabs will remain open until either manually closed or the viewer is shut-down

The inclusion of the CEF code from the Lab sees Black Dragon move a little ahead of the curve feature-wise, given the code still is only at project status when the Lab prefers TPVs not to adopt it until it has reached RC status.  That said, the code appears to work well within the viewer, allowing media to be easily viewed and well as allowing the expected manipulation of webGL elements either through the viewer’s MOAP capabilities or through the built-in web browser, as the very simple video below demonstrates.

Overall, a tidy update for the viewer, with the new Display tab layout present an interesting approach to encapsulating the myriad from display options available in the viewer in a format that allows for ease of use and viewing. While scrolling and expanding options aren’t to everyone’s liking, it does offer a tidy way of presenting things, with the quick on / off check boxes on some of the sub-tabs providing a good alternative to the growl factor of otherwise having to scroll and / or open / close sub-tabs to in order to disable or enable the functions.

Those on Black Dragon who produce media products in SL, or who wish to test their MOAP applications can, with this release, get to test their items without having to necessarily fall back on the Lab’s project viewer, but with the potential for updates to be pushed out by the Lab slightly ahead of them reaching any TPV, it might still be an idea to watch the Lab’s own viewer channels, just in case things get slightly adrift.

Note the video included in this article is only a very simple demonstration of WebGL manipulation in a CEF viewer. It is not intended as an in-depth demonstration or as a significant commentary on CEF use within the viewer, where it is intended to replace the use of llqtwebkit for media support (including within in-world televisions, etc.). WebGL demos via David Walsh and with thanks to Whirly Fizzle for the link.

Additional Links

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2015 viewer release summaries: week 42

Updates for the week ending Sunday, October 18th

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: 3.8.5.305531, October 13 – formerly the Maintenance RC viewer 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):
    • Notifications RC viewer updated to version 3.8.6.305981 on October 14 – new Notifications floater separates incoming notifications into System, Transactions, Invitations, and Group. It provides a better way to view, interact with, prioritize and manage incoming notices for busy residents (download and release notes)
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V3-style

  • Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.4.3 on October 17th – core updates: CEF integration, merge with current LL release viewer.
  • UKanDo updated to version  3.8.5.28153 on October 14 – core updates: merge to latest LL viewer release.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No Updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

A Lick of Indian summer in Second Life

Belleck House; Inara Pey, Oct 2015, on FlickrBelleck House, Oct 2015 (Flickr) – click any image for full size

The seasons change, and in the northern hemisphere winter draws closer, while in the southern, summer beckons. In Second Life, and almost bridging the two, Sera Bellic offers us a new design for her Lick Sim Designs demonstration region of Oyster Bay.

Belleck House present those of us in the northern hemisphere with a period of Indian Summer in the midst of late autumn, while for those south of the equator, it offers a taste of the summer to come. What’s more, in contrast to recent builds on the region, such a The McFly Project, which I wrote about in July, and the apocalyptic End of the World before it,  it offers a much simpler canvas in which to immerse oneself – although “simpler” should not be taken to mean lacking in detail. Far from it.

Belleck House; Inara Pey, Oct 2015, on FlickrBelleck House, Oct 2015 (Flickr)

This is a wonderfully rural scene, the simplicity of which is in the very light touch of buildings and balance of open spaces and wooded surrounds. For me, it had a ring of England’s Cotswolds in part, whilst also being far removed from them, but the feeling was enough to help me feel a comfortable level of familiarity as I stepped out of the high stone tower of the landing point and wandered over the hill and into the region proper.

Belleck House is another design which amply demonstrates Sera’s eye for placement and design. The houses, church and folly are all carefully placed while remaining entirely natural within the surrounding landscape, the tracks and long, undulating stone wall serving to add a sense of being dee within the countryside, where sheep calmly gaze, and the church might just serve a small hamlet, perhaps just over the slopes behind it.

Belleck House; Inara Pey, Oct 2015, on FlickrBelleck House, Oct 2015 (Flickr)

This is both a serene place and one that is highly photogenic. In fact, such is the overall natural beauty of the setting, that I wouldn’t have been at all surprised to have wandered down into the fields and through the gap in the dry stone wall to find a painter sat behind easel, capturing the view in watercolours or oils. In fact, a peep inside the main house suggests there is an artist living or staying there, although they may well be a little sidetracked with the decorating at the moment. Whoever they are, they do appear to be taking care to compose a letter, and also to enjoy Lewis Carroll. Perhaps the latter is why a little afternoon tea has been set out on the garden table…

At a time when most of us are focused on Halloween, spooky comings and goings and the promise of tricks or treats, Belleck House offers a pleasing side step into those long, lazy summer afternoons just ripe for a wander along tracks and between fields, simply seeing where your feet take you and what may lie around the next corner or over the next brow.

Belleck House; Inara Pey, Oct 2015, on FlickrBelleck House, Oct 2015 (Flickr)

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