On Thursday, March 23rd, 2017, Linden Lab issued a new Maintenance release candidate viewer – 188.8.131.524882 – featuring a number of bug fixes and improvements.The viewer was actually a replacement for an earlier Maintenance RC, version 184.108.40.2064646, which was withdrawn after it was noted it lacked some of the expected improved functionality.
In particular, this RC viewer brings some additional options for managing Avatar Complexity (aka Jelly Dolls), gives us a new option for checking the Grid Status page and offers a number of other nice nips-and-tucks to the viewer, as well as resolving a series of bugs.
As is my usual approach the following is not intended as an in-depth review of the RC, but is intended to highlight the core changes.
Avatar Complexity Rendering Updates
There are several improvements to avatar complexity, which are outlined below.
The Options for how you render an avatar have been updated to Default (i.e. in accordance with your avatar complexity threshold setting); Always (i.e. always render the selected avatar) or Never (i.e. permanently render them as a grey imposter). These options have also been moved to a sub-menu on the right-click Avatar context menu (shown on the right).
Also, and following Firestorm’s lead, whatever setting you select for an avatar will now persist across all log-ins for the viewer, until either reset or your settings are cleared by a clean install or similar.
Finally, the viewer gets two new options for Avatar Complexity, located on the Preferences > Graphics tab. The first is a check box, Always Render Friends, which is pretty much self-explanatory: when checked your friends will always fully render, regardless of your Avatar Complexity threshold.
The second is an Exceptions button, which adds a further level of complexity control for how other avatars – including your Friends – are rendered in your view.
Using Avatar Rendering Exceptions
Clicking the Exceptions button opens a new floater, Avatar Render Settings, shown below left. This comprises a people filter for the list of names recorded on the floater (which is obviously blank when first opened), together with a + (add) button.
Clicking + will display a pop-up with two options:
- Always Render A Resident
- Never Render a Resident
Clicking on either of these will open the Choose Resident floater, shown above right. You can then use the Search, or Friends or Near Me tabs to select an avatar or avatars, adding them to the list on the floater. Clicking OK will add them to the Avatar Render Settings panel. The avatars will also be rendered in accordance with whichever option you used to launch the selection process (Always render or Never render).
You can also update how any avatar in your Exceptions list is displayed.
To do this, simply open the list floater via Preferences > Graphics > Exceptions, locate the name of the avatar in question (use the filter if you have a lot of avatars in your exceptions), and right-click on the avatar’s name.
This displays a sub-menu of rendering options, with the currently selected option indicated by a tick. Click on either of the other two options to change it. Note that “Default” will remove the avatar’s name for your exceptions list and display them in-world in accordance with your overall Avatar Rendering Complexity setting.
Grid Status Display Toolbar Button
Maintenance RC 220.127.116.114882 adds a new Grid Status toolbar button to the viewer. This can be accessed via Me -> Toolbar or by right-clicking your toolbar to select Toolbar Buttons. Either of these routes will open your Toolbox floater. You can then drag the Grid Status button to the toolbar location of your choice (left, right or bottom of your screen) where it will be displayed.
Clicking on the button will open the Grid Status page in the viewer’s built-in browser, regardless of your Preferences setting for how web content is to be displayed.
In addition to the above, this RC viewer also includes the following improvements:
- Inventory Offer messages now display the name of the object being offered to another avatar
- Library items can now be worn via a right-click context menu, and not just drag & drop
- The Snapshot floater will now remember what you did last, and open with that mode next time (until you next relog)
- You can now see and change the type of block (Voice / Text / Particles) from within the block list in People floater
- LLTextBox message lines will extend along with the length of the message now.
The release notes provides the following list of bug fixes with this release:
- Some builds wouldn’t link to release notes. Now they do.
- Other minor UI tweaks and adjustments
- Removed several instances of legacy People API usage, thanks to Ansariel Hiller.
- Inventory floater was missing UI for spawning new Inventory floaters. So now you can do it even if you don’t know the Ctrl+*Shift*+*I* shortcut.
- Build floater used to hide behind other floaters due to wrong Z-priority. Not no more!
- Appearance editor didn’t “Save as” as well as it should have, but now does.
- Avatar animations wouldn’t play after several operations with editing and wearing objects, but do now.
- Closing inventory window used to leave an orphaned context menu.
- Active listings folder stayed active after everything was cut from it. We don’t need that confusion.
- Teleport offers and Eject messages will show complete name when that’s what you’ve chose to see.
- You can now remove friends even when you’re in a Groups floater looking at Members list.
I’ve not driven this viewer for more than an hour thus far, so cannot give any feedback on performance / stability. In terms of the improved features, making Avatar Complexity settings persist between log-ins is a welcome addition to the viewer. Both the Always Render Friends check box and the Exceptions options are also nice additions. .
The Grid Status button is also a handy addition, and should provide help for those of us wanting to know what is going on with the grid (when suspecting something might be wrong), but who get a little annoyed at having to manually visit the grid status page in order to do so.