As one might expect, this update brings a large number of user-facing updates, which are quite comprehensively documented in the accompanying release notes, and rings Catznip up to parity with the current LL released viewer code base 5.0.9. It is currently only available for Windows, in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, the latter conforming to the Lab’s Alex Ivy 64-bit build.
Given the depth of the release notes, I’m providing an overviews of just some of the updates here:
- Quick Preferences updates.
- Inventory Management improvements.
- Chat / group chat updates.
For the rest of the changes, please refer to the release notes.
Quick Preferences Updates
Main Quick Preferences Panel
The main Quick Preference panel sees a number of small updates and improvements:
- The short cut
CTRL-SHIFT-P no longer conflicts with Print Selected Object Info (the latter now
- The panel can now be minimised via a button (item 1 in the image below)
- The Other Section of avatar rendering now includes a button to open the Exceptions panel for listing exceptions to your avatar rendering settings (item 2 in the image below)
- The worn items tab button (item 3 in the image below) now displays a tab with button to display sort options for the items listed in it (item 4 in the image).
We all use HUDS – HUDS for AOs, HUDs for mesh bodies, HUDs for mesh heads, HUDs for appliers, etc.). However, wearing the all, all the time not only clutters the viewer’s window, it actually eats texture memory. We also have certain things we like to wear all the time. However, even if you dump all of your HUDs into a single folder in inventory, finding the one you want can be a pain.
Catznip R12 helps ease some of this pain through the provision of a Quick Inventory function. Used via Quick Preferences, this can afford faster, cleaner access to your HUDs, etc. To use it:
- Create a folder anywhere in your inventory (if you don’t already have one ready to go).
- Drag and drop your HUDs an bits (or links to them ) into it.
- Open Quick Prefs and click on the inventory button (item 1 in the image below).
- Click on the Folder <click to select> button (item 2 in the image below) to open a folder picker.
- Click on the folder with your HUDs and bits to select it.
- The contents of the folder will be displayed in the inventory tab of Quick Preferences each time it is opened, allowing you to easily Wear / Add items from it (right-hand picture in the image below).
- The folder can be changed at any time by clicking on the folder button in the inventory tab.
Inventory management updates make up the core of the R12 changes, and these come in a number of improvements, from how you chose to receive goods purchased in-world in your inventory or passed to you by others, through searching inventory to where boxed items are unpacked and stored in your inventory.
Accepting In-World Purchases and Inventory Offers
With Catznip R12 you can now designate where the items you purchase in-world or are given by others, are stored within your inventory. So, for example, you could opt to receive all your in-world purchases in a folder you call “Shopping Bag”, any demos you grab in a folder called “Demos”, anything your offered by friends in “From Friends”, and so on. How you organise things is entirely up to you. This means both the Pay and Buy floaters in Catznip R12, together with the Accept Inventory floater now offer you the ability to select where incoming items are going to be stored in your inventory.
The options should be fairly self-explanatory. Check Accept in and the remaining options are activated. The drop-down will display a list of folders you have opted to allow incoming items to be delivered (show in the image on the right), the browse button allows an alternative to you list of folders in the drop-down to be selected, and the spanner button allows you to establish your list of destination folders. The roadmap of these various options is shown below.
Not only can you select the folders into which you want incoming purchases to go, you can also set Catznip R12 to dynamically create new folders in which to place incoming items. This means, for example, that if you got to a big shopping event at one location, you can set the viewer to deliver all the demo you obtain / items you purchase into folders define by – say – the month in which you got them, and the location where they were obtained.
So, for example, if in April you go to shopping event X on region YYYY, and grab a load of demos, and then later in the month go to event A on region BBBB and grab more demos, you can have them delivered to sub-folders in your “Demos” folder, respectively labelled “April 2017 YYYY” and “April 2017 BBBB” – both of which are dynamically created by Catznip as they are needed. So even if you don’t get around to trying them for days after your visit, you can quickly and easily locate the demo items without have for fiddle around searching for folders and objects.
In a similar manner to receiving folders and objects from in-world / others, Catznip R12 allows you to select where an item you unpack is stored within your inventory. By default, this will be in the folder in which the boxed item itself is located (thus keeping the unpacked item and its original box together), but it could also be any folder you have set-up for the receipt of goods, or any folder you care to select.
This means, for example, that if you like to store all your demo items in a single folder, you can now unpack them to that folder, rather than having them unpack into a top-level folder in your inventory, and then have to locate and move the folder to where you want it to actually be.
To achieve this, Catznip R12 again adds a set of options to the Object Open floater (shown on the right). These are, from left-to-right):
- A drop-down list of available folders (“Object:” followed by a name indicates the object will be unpacked and placed in the same folder in your inventory as the original boxed version).
- A Browse option allowing you to browse your inventory and select a folder where the item will be unpacked (in a sub-directory of its own).
- A wrench icon for setting up destination folders (see above), and an option to disable the automatic selection of the folder the item was originally received into.
- Note that unchecking Accept In will cause the object to unpack to a top-level folder in your inventory.
Inventory searches can be a pain. Even with the search filters, things are hardly ideal. To help improve things, Kitty has in the past added additional search options to Catznip such as Open Folder In, which considerably eases the pain for further refining searches / making items visible in folder which might otherwise remain hidden as a result of the search term / filters initially used to try to find things.
With Catznip R12, she further improves things by adding a new Contents In capability. Rather than displaying the results of a search in a separate tab, this option displays the folder(s) matching your search criteria with all of the contents visible, rather than just the items which might match your search criteria, making it much easier to see if the folder(s) contain what you are looking for (particularly where some / all of the items in the folder might not be consistently named, and so might otherwise be masked from view after a search).
Finally, Catznip R12 sees further refinements to the inventory search features themselves, and highlighted in the set of images below. I’ll have more on this when the viewer is ready for release.
Additional Inventory Updates
- Show Contents In: often you’ll be searching for something and either only the folder containing the items shows up, or only one of the items shows up. In that case, you can either right-click the item and go Open In Window, or cancel the current search and find the folder manually. With Catznip R12, you can right-click the folder and pick Show Contents In / Current Search. This makes all the items in that folder visible regardless of whether they match the current search words or not.
- Mark user-created folders as protected/system folders: if you right-click one of your own folders you’ll have a new option to treat it as if it is a system folder. This means that it sorts at the top on the inventory floater along with the other system folders when Sort System Folders To Top in sselected. It also prevents you from accidentally deleting it. Note this is a local setting, it is not applied to other viewers, and must be set on a per computer / account basis.
- Take (Replace Links): Firestorm added a convenient Replace Links feature (also contributed to the official viewer). Catnip R12 uses this, and adds Take (Replace Links) option to the context menu of a rezzed object which will take the item into inventory and pre-fill the replace links floater. Note that the option will only show if the rezzed object has links pointing to it in your inventory.
Chat / Group Chat Updates of Note
Catznip R12 add three new options to the Chat History floater:
- A filter drop-down allowing you to filter the chat history down to a specific year (or month).
- A search option for locating a specified word/sentence. Note that when you open the chat history it opens the last page by default so if you search for something you’ll need to click the back button to search back in time.
- A text file icon which, when clicked, opens the chat log in your standard text editor (e.g. Notepad).
In addition, Catznip R12 includes the following chat / group chat updates:
- Friends-only conference calls: Catznip R12 add an option to only allow conference calls from people on your Friends list (Preferences > Privacy > Only Friends Can Ad Me To A Conference).
- Group chat snoozing: R12 adds a per-group option to always snooze group chat when you hit the little x to close group chat, and a way to configure that specific group’s snooze time-out; the “next occurrence” option simply closes the group chat session until the next time someone says something (whether it’s 5 seconds after you close it, or 5 hours) which can be useful if you run a support group for instance. See the release notes for further details.
- Notifications update: R12 adds a Since Logoff option to the Notifications floater window. When selected, this only shows those notifications that were added since your last log-off (and any from the current log-on session).
- Mouse walking: you can now walk by pressing and holding both mouse buttons, and steer by mousing the mouse. Releasing any button will stop you. With either the left or right button pressed, you can orbit the camera while keeping your avatar facing the original direction.
- Build floater updates: clicking the Flip button on the Build floater will flip the horizontal/vertical scale for diffuse, normal or specular maps depending on your current edit mode. When tinting objects, hex values are now accepted by Catznip R12.
- Region restart shaking: an option has been added to the region restart pop-up. When unchecked, the pop-up will no longer shake when displayed.
- Avatar rendering options: these are now displayed in the Blocked / Derender floater (Communicate menu).
For all remaining updates and fixes, please refer to the Catznip R12 release notes.
I’ve been driving Catznip for around five hours. As per usual, it is solid, reliable and the new features are well conceived and executed. The inventory options for shopping, etc., will doubtless find favour with shopaholics. For my part, I do like the new Quick Inventory option for managing HUDs. I’m still – frankly – not a convert to Catznip as my primary viewer, as it lacks own or two things I rely a lot – like Phototools. However, it is once again back up to my Number 2 viewer of choice.