2018 viewer release summaries week #7

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 18th

This summary is generally published on every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.1.512121, dated January 26th, promoted February 7th formerly the Voice Maintenance RC – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Media Update RC viewer version 5.1.2.512574, February 15th.
    • Nalewka Maintenance viewer version 5.1.2.512522, February 14th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

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2018 viewer release summaries week #6

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 11th

This summary is generally published on every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version  5.1.1.512121, dated January 26th, promoted February 7th formerly the Voice Maintenance RC – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • Project Render Viewer updated to version 5.1.1.512446 on February 9th.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • MetaChat updated to version 1.2.22 on February 5th.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2018 viewer release summaries week #5

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, February 4th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.0.511732, dated January 9th, promoted January 16th formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Nalewka Maintenance viewer version 5.1.1.512226, January 31, 2018.
    • Media Update RC viewer version 5.1.1.512264, released January 30, 2018.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • Black Dragon for Windows 64-bit updated to version 3.0.1 on February 1st and then to 3.0.2. on February 4th (release notes).

V1-style

  • Cool VL Viewer Stable branch updated to 1.26.20.42 and Experimental branch updated to 1.26.21.7, both on February 3rd (release notes).

Mobile / Other Clients

  • MetaChat updated to version 1.2.21 on January 22nd, 2018.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2018 viewer release summaries week #4

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 28th

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.0.511732, dated January 9th, promoted January 16th formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC – no change.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Voice RC viewer updated to version 5.1.1.511952 on January 23rd and then to 5.1.1.512121 on January 26th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • MetaChat updated to version 1.2.21 on January 22nd, 2018.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Firestorm 5.0.11.53634: rendering, LOD and physics

On Wednesday, January 24th, 2018, the Firestorm team released Firestorm 5.0.11.53634. This is a significant update to the viewer, incorporating code updates from a number of recent viewer releases from Linden Lab, as well as some major updates from the Firestorm team and a number of important new features and updates, as well as a range of bugs fixes and improvements.

Given the extent of the updates in this release, and in keeping with my usual approach to Firestorm releases, what follows is  not an in-depth review of everything new  / updated in version 5.0.11.53579, but rather an overview, highlighting some of the more significant changes and updates I feel will be of most interest to users.

For full details of all changes, and all due credits to contributors, etc., please refer to the official release notes.

The Before We Begin

  • There is no need to perform a clean install with this release if you do not wish to.
  • Do, however, make sure you back-up all your settings safely so you can restore them after installing 5.0.11.

Major Lab Derived Updates

Firestorm 5.0.11 brings the viewer up to parity with the Lab’s 5.0.9 code base. It includes the following major updates from the Lab.

  • Asset-HTTP Project: Firestorm now fetches the majority of inventory assets (landmarks, wearables – system layer clothing and body parts), sounds, gestures and animations) the same way as textures, mesh and avatar baking information: via the Content Delivery Network (CDN), rather than through the simulator. This should make loading of such content both faster and more reliable.
  • 64-bit Havok sub-libraries: the 64-bit version of Firestorm now uses Havok physics with the mesh uploader , and can now visualise the pathfinding navmesh.
  • Group ability Always Allow ‘Create Landmark’:  this was accidentally removed from the viewer, and has now been returned. When enabled on a group role, it allows members of that role to override the teleport routing (e.g. right-click >teleport to) on the parcel if a landing point is set, as long as Direct Teleport is enabled on the region (BUG-100719).
  • Incorporation of the Martini (November 2017),  Moonshine (September 2017) and Margarita (August 2017) viewer updates.

Note: while Firestorm 5.0.11.53634 includes the 64-bit Havok sub-libraries for Second Life, it is not using Linden Lab’s Alex Ivy 64-bit code base. That will be for the next FS release.

Firestorm Updates and Additions

Viewer Performance: Mesh Rendering Information Features and Updates

Key among the updates to this release of Firestorm are new features and updates to a number of floaters intended to help users make better judgement calls on how content in Second Life might be affecting their viewer performance, and potentially make more informed choices about the goods they purchase in-world.

Build Floater – Physics View

The Show Physics Shape icon (Build Floater > Features tab) – disabled (top); enabled (bottom)

Firestorm now includes an option to viewing the physics shape of objects you can edit. Among other things, this can help avoid having items you drag from inventory fail to appear in-world, with the message “Failed to place object at specified location. Please try again.” appearing in the top right corner of the viewer window.

The option is on the Features tab of the Build floater, and takes the form of an eye icon to the right of the Physics Shape drop-down.

  • If displayed with a red line through it (default): show physics shape is disabled
  • If shown without a red line through it: show physics shape is enabled.

When enabled, the selected object’s physical shape is shown in blue. Sometimes this will match the shape of the object itself (below left); other times, it may not (below right). Any attempt to rez another item on the part of the object covered by the blue will succeed; any attempt to rez on the part of an object not covered by the blue will likely result in the “Failure to place object” message.

The show physics shape option: Build floater > Features > eye icon next to Physics Shape Type drop-down. When enabled, it shows the physics shape of an object, which may (l) or may not (r) match the physical shape of the object. Click for full size, if required

Showing the physics shape of surfaces reveals why some may be walkable and why avatars may have problems with others – such as colliding with “something” while apparently not standing close to an object, or being unable to pass through a gap or open doorway.

Notes:

Build Floater: Mesh Information

The Build floater also provides a range of new information specific to mesh objects and their level of detail (LOD). This can be seen on the Object tab of the floater when a mesh object is selected. For prim objects, the tab is unchanged and will display the “old” information (Path Cut, Hollow, Twist, Taper, etc.).

For a detailed examination of LOD please refer to For LOD’s sake stop! by Beq Janus. The following is intended to provide a brief overview of the mesh object information.

Mesh objects can comprise up to four different versions, as defined by the creator a very High detailed model, with a high count of triangles, displayed with the object is being viewed up close, and then up to three models with progressively less detail (fewer triangles), designed to be used the further away the camera is from the object (Medium, Low and Lowest). These are collectively referred to as level of detail models, and are designed to improve the rendering of scenes. In essence, the further away (or smaller) and object is, the less detail can be seen and so the less detailed versions can be under when rendering it, easing the overall rendering load.

The first two parts of the mesh information related to these models when a mesh object is selected:

  • Mesh Information: lists the number of triangles used in each of the LOD models the creator has provided (note that if two ore more of the model types has the same triangle count, it indicates the same model is being used (so if Low and Lowest both show 3, or example, the same 3-triangle model is being used for both)
  • Default Drop-down: allows you to preview each of the different LOD models for the object (make sure Default is selected after use).
Up to four LOD models can be defined for SL – from a highly detailed, high triangle count version to a very low detail / low triangle count version (top). The Mesh information display allows the triangle count for the available LOD models of an object to be checked (Mesh Information section), and the actual models themselves previewed (Default drop-down). It also provides information on when the models will be swapped, one to the next, according to your viewer’s LOD Factor and the distance of your camera from the object (shown enlarged on the right) – click for full size

The Object LOD behaviour section defines the distances from your camera at which the different LOD model will be swapped one for the next, as defined by the Linden Lab (LL) default LOD Factor (1.250), the Firestorm (FS) default LOD Factor (2.000) and your current LOD factor setting.

Continue reading “Firestorm 5.0.11.53634: rendering, LOD and physics”

2018 viewer release summaries week #3

Logos representative only and should not be seen as an endorsement / preference / recommendation

Updates for the week ending Sunday, January 21st

This summary is published every Monday, and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Current Viewer Releases Page, a list of all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware), and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy. This page includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog
  • By its nature, this summary presented here will always be in arrears, please refer to the Current Viewer Release Page for more up-to-date information.

Official LL Viewers

  • Current Release version 5.1.0.511732, dated January 9th, promoted January 16th formerly the Alex Ivy Maintenance RC – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
    • Nalewka Maintenance viewer version 5.1.1.511871, January 17th, 2018.
  • Project viewers:
  • Linux Spur viewer, version 5.0.9.329906, dated November 17th, 2017 and promoted to release status 29th November – offered pending a Linux version of the Alex Ivy viewer code.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V5-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links