On Tuesday, February 16th, the Alchemy team announced the release of Alchemy 188.8.131.52374 Beta.
The release – as indicated by the version number shifting to 4, incorporates code for the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) for media handling. Already in the official release viewer on some TPVs, CEF replaces the ageing QTWebkit framework, and supports all modern web technologies including HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL.
This release also implements the Lab’s auto update feature, which means that when a new version of Alchemy is release, users well get a notification prompting them to allow the updater to run and install the latest update when they log into an older version.
Perhaps a more visible change to the viewer is the ability to initiate nearby chat through a local chat bar, rather than either through the Conversations floater or having the detached Nearby Chat bar always open either full-sized or minimised.
As with similar local chat bar options found in other TPVs, this will only work if you set the viewer so that pressing letter keys starts local chat (Preferences > General). You also need to ensure that Preferences > Chat > Open Conversations When Initiating Nearby Chat is unchecked. Once done, starting to type within the viewer window will open a compact chat bar, which will close automatically upon pressing Enter.
Removed from this version of Alchemy is media pop-ups, which aren’t supported by CEF. Other updates are reported to be directed at OpenSim use, together with a few “hidden gems” and also under-the-hood updates intended to improve performance. There are also a number of fixes implemented, as indicated in the release notes.