Thursday, June 16th saw the first full release of Singularity in almost two years, with version 188.8.131.5261being offered for download.
As the release notes explain, the delay in updates for the viewer have been due to a number of reasons – not the least of which was the sad passing of Latif Khalifa (to whom this release is dedicated), and also the departure of one of the viewers core developers for pastures new. There have also be various infrastructure and hardware issues which have frustrated attempts at update.
The new release is currently for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit, and Linux 64-bit only, The team hopes to get the Mac version back on track as well, and are currently seeking a Mac developer to help with this.
Given the length of time since the last full release, there have obviously been a lot of changes, including getting back towards parity with many of the Lab’s own updates, as well as singularity’s own bug fixes and the adoption of elements from Alchemy.
As usual, I don’t propose giving an in-depth review of all the changes to the viewer here, but will attempt to highlight some of the more significant.
Tool Chain Update
Perhaps the most significant change with this release is under-the-hood. Singularity is now built using the latest tools and libraries recommended by Linden Lab. For Windows, this means that with the 1.8.7 release, the viewer no longer supports Windows XP. It also means that when the Mac version of the viewer is updated, Singularity will no longer support anything earlier than OSX 10.7 going forward.
TLS 1.2 Support
Singularity 1.8.7 is TLS 1.2 complaint, meaning you can use the built-in web browser to make LindeX transactions or SL marketplace purchases if you so wish.
The Lab’s Hover Height functionality has been added to the Singularity Quick Pref panel (click the
UP arrow button, lower right-hand corner of the viewer window). As per the official Hover Height it works to a range of +/- 2 metres.
Independent of Hover Height, but a little similar in nature and so worth mentioning here is a new /hover command, which is described as “supporting values of -50 through 50”, however, during testing on Aditi, I found that the maximum height by which I was moved was around 5 metres, regardless of anything set above that. I therefore assume the release notes should read “supporting values of -5.0 through 5.0” – although admittedly I’ve not referred this back to the Singularity developers for confirmation.
Other Lab-Driven Updates
- Latest inventory protocol (AISv3) support has been merged in to maintain future SL inventory handling compatibility
- QtWebkit browser has been replaced with a Chromium variant
- The SLVoice plug-in (Vivox) has been updated to parity with the SL viewer
- Server-Side Baking (avatar appearance has been updated
- Avatar rendering information is now reported to the simulator (although the local complexity limit slider has not been implemented in Preferences > Graphics) so this is not a full Avatar Complexity implementation).
Input and Camera
For combat enthusiasts, Preferences > Input and Camera includes two new options:
- Display targeted avatar’s name under the crosshair
- Display position and avatar health (your own avatar, in damage-enabled regions)
Communication Chat Preferences Updates
- Preferences > Communications: you can now select which conference calls to accept / block (Accept all, accept Friends Only, Block all)
- Preferences > Adv. Chat > Chat UI allows you to select displaying user names, display name, display name with user names or user names with display names from a drop-down list
- Preferences > Adv. Chat > Autoresponse now splits auto response options into separate sub-tabs. Also, autoresponse options can now be selected via the World menu > Status sub-menu
- Adv Chat > Spam includes a new option to block LM offers.
- System > General allows you to enable teleporting or auto-pilot against a double-click
- System > Command Line includes two new commands:
- /hover – described above
- /resync – to resync animations (also available via Singularity menu > Resync Animations)
- System > Security & Privacy:
- Allows you to hide your own Lookat Beacon
- Can make your avatar sit down when AFK
Singularity 1.8.7 now has the Alchemy region tracker. This is described as described as, “letting you keep tabs regions gridwide from anywhere in Second Life”. Accessed via the Singularity menu or via a dedicated toolbar button (View menu > Change Toolbar Buttons > check Region Tracker) , This opens a new floater that works in conjunction with the world map.
The floater lists all regions added to the Tracker, displaying them by label (set by the user), the region’s maturity level, its actual name and the number of avatars in the region.
The list can be sorted alphabetically by label or region name, and numerically by number of avatars present, and the width of the individual columns can be adjusted.
The top right of the floater includes three buttons which are, in left-to-right order:
- Refresh: refreshes the list and updates the avatar count in listed regions
- Bin: deletes a selected region from the list
- Map: opens the world map focused on the selected region.
Regions are added to the floater by opening the world map, locating them via Find, and then clicking the Track Region button. This will display a dialogue box allowing you to add a custom label for the region (it otherwise defaults to the region name). Clicking OK in the dialogue box adds the region to the Tracker.
Other Updates of Note
- Folder links now support drag-and drop operations, as well as pasting
- Teleport and Look options have been added to Area Search
- Clicking a “[Friend] is Online” notification will now open an IM with them
- Ability to edit descriptions and names of multiple objects selected in bulk
- Ability to right-click on multiple avatars to invite into a group
- Ability to right-click on an inventory item and Share it with others
- Ability to right-click on an avatar and view your chat history with them (if one exists)
- A Cloud Setting option has been added to the Windlight Floater
- Search All tab now behaves similar to modern Web search
- Panning around avatar possible with alt-shift + pgup/pgdn/e/c (ctrl-shift + pgup/pgdn/e/c in Linux)
- Radar improvements
- RLV/a updates
- FMOD Ex has been updated to FMOD Studio.
Again, for a full list of all updates, please refer to the release notes.
Another packed update for Singularity which brings new features, enhancements and fixes that should keep Singu users more than happy. I’m not a great user of v1-style viewers, so I haven’t driven the viewer in anger in any way shape size or form. However, while running around on Aditi with it, I encountered no problems whatsoever, and found that just about everything worked as the release notes stated.
Kudos to the Singularity team in getting the viewer back up to speed.
With thanks to John (Johannes1977 Resident) for the nudge about the update being released.