On Saturday 17th October, Niran V Dean released Black Dragon 18.104.22.168, 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 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.
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.