2021 viewer release summaries week #29

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

Updates from the week ending Sunday, July 25th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: Fernet Maintenance RC, version 6.4.21.561414, dated July 14th, promoted July 19th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

  • No updates.

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2021 viewer release summaries week #28

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

Updates from the week ending Sunday, July 18th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14th, promoted June 23rd – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Fernet Maintenance RC viewer updated to version 6.4.21.561414, on July 14th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2021 viewer release summaries week #27

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

Updates from the week ending Sunday, July 11th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14th, promoted June 23rd – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • No updates.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2021 viewer release summaries week #26

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

Updates from the week ending Sunday, July 4th

This summary is generally 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.
  • Note that for purposes of length, TPV test viewers, preview / beta viewers / nightly builds are generally not recorded in these summaries.

Official LL Viewers

  • Release viewer: Project UI RC viewer, version 6.4.20.560520, dated June 14th, promoted June 23rd – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • Kokua: updated to versions 6.4.20.47617 (no RLV) 6.4.20.50805 (RLV variants) on June 29th – release notes.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Kokua updates to revised viewer UI

Kokua released version 6.4.20 of their viewer on Tuesday, June 29th, which sees all three versions include the Lab’s Project UI viewer updates (see: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users and The Project UI viewer: a look at the new user Guidebook); however it does so with a couple of twists. The release also includes a number of bug fixes.

As noted in the two blog posts linked to above, and via the Lab’s official blog post via Alexa Linden (see: Viewer UI enhancements), the UI changes are the first in an on-going series of updates designed to improve the viewer and – with these in particular – help new users get to grips with the viewer more easily, including during their initial orientation as a part of the on-boarding New User Experience.

In all, the changes comprise:

  • A new menu option called Avatar, and streamlined / revised right-click avatar context menus intended to make it easier for new users to get to grips with basic avatar-related functions.
  • Improvements to the Inventory panel.
  • An updated Places floater design to make getting around SL easier.
  • A new Guidebook, intended to help new users gain a familiarity with basic functionality in the viewer – walking, talking, finding places and people, etc.

Kodua 6.4.20 includes all of these changes, most of which I’m not going to go into great detail here, as they have been covered in the blog posts linked to above. However, it should be noted:

  • If you are using Kokua with the classic menu layout enabled (Advanced check → Classic Kokua Menu + viewer restart), then the Avatar menu will not be displayed.
  • The right-click context menus retain some of the original options found within these menus (both from the official viewer and from previous versions of Kokua).
The revised right-click context menus (l) the official Avatar menu and the Kokua implementation (purple menu option highlight); (r) the official attachment menu & the Kokua implementation

Kokua Changes

Several of the Kokua updates are bug fixes for issues with the Bugsplat crash reporting code, and address issues with the Kokua viewer.

Most notable among the latter is a fix for issue KKA-866 “Double-click to TP bug”. In short, prior to the arrival of the custom key mappings ability (SL viewer version  6.4.17.557391 / Kokua version 6.4.17), double-click teleports would be ignored if any one of ALT, CTRL or SHIFT was also pressed. Following the introduction of custom key mappings, an accidental double-click whilst using one of these keys (e.g. when ALT-camming) will trigger a teleport.

To avoid confusion, Kokua has added a new Preferences option: Preferences → Move & View →  Mouse →  Do not treat ALT/SHIFT/CTRL modified mouse clicks as unmodified mouse clicks when no specific ALT/SHIFT/CTRL modified binding exists.

  • When enabled (as it is by default), this option will not trigger a teleport when double-clicking in combination with pressing ALT, CTRL or SHIFT (e.g. pre-custom key mapping behaviour).
  • When disabled (unchecked), this option will trigger a teleport when double-clicking in combination with pressing ALT, CTRL or SHIFT (e.g. post-custom key mapping behaviour).

For the remaining Kokua updates, please refer to the Kokua 6.4.20 release notes.

Summary

A further incremental update from Kokua that allows it to maintain pace with the official viewer, and also become the first of the popular v6 viewers to incorporate the UI updates from Linden Lab.

The decision to include the additional options in the right-click avatar and attachment  context menus tends to make these menus more involved than their LL equivalents, which might be argued as making them more confusing to new users. BUT, the options that have been retained by Kokua can useful for established users, and so are worth the effort of inclusion.

LINKS

The Project UI viewer: a look at the new user Guidebook

via Linden Lab

In  May, the Lab issued the Project UI RC viewer, part of the work to overhaul the new user experience and provide greater context and support for incoming users when getting to grips with Second Life and – in this case – the viewer.

At  the time it was issued, I  provided an overview of the viewer based on my own walk-through of the viewer as it was at that time, and notes supplied by Alexa Linden (see: Lab issues Project UI viewer aimed at new users).

Since then, the Project UI viewer has progressed through the RC process, and was promoted to de facto release status in week #25. Along the way, it saw some revisions and additions, including a Guidebook to help new users find their way around the viewer. And it is that Guidebook I’m taking a look at here.

Before getting to it, however, a quick recap on the changes within the viewer previously covered:

  • A new menu option called Avatar, and streamlined / revised right-click avatar context menus.
  • Improvements to the Inventory panel.
  • An updated Places floater.

All of these are looked at in the blog post linked to above.

New User Guidebook

The Guidebook appears to be a case of taking an idea first seen in the Basic version of Viewer 2.0 a decade ago, and greatly enhancing it.

In 2011, the was to provide new users with a simple guide to tackle basic actions such as walking and chatting through a pop-up How To guide accessed via a toolbar button. The problem was that the idea was never really followed through: the How To guide was brief to the point of being ignored, and never fully leveraged.

The new Guidebook takes the same initial approach as the old How To, using a button within the toolbar to open a dedicated panel, samples of which are shown below.

The pages of the new Guidebook relayed to avatar / camera movement –  click for full size

However, it is at this point that all similarities with the How To approach ends, as the Guidebook dives a lot deeper into basic needs – walking, communicating, interacting with objects, an overview of avatar customisation and using avatar attachments, finding where to go in SL and where to meet people. It also offers pointers to various viewer menu options and how things like right-click context menus work.

On first being opened, the Guidebook will display the first of the pages dealing with avatar movement, with each page including “next” and/or “back” buttons. Pages display information clearly and concisely, and good use is made of illustrations.

The Guidebook menu

All of the topics covered by the Guidebook can be accessed directly at any time via the three-bar Menu icon in the top-right of panel, then clicking on the desired topic. This index also includes an option to teleport to a Welcome Back Island – a duplicate of the new Welcome Islands incoming users may arrive at, giving those already in SL the opportunity to hop back to an environment where they can gain a refresher. In addition, some sections within the Guidebook also reference locations within the Welcome Islands that also help new users gain familiarity with Second Life and the viewer controls.

Obviously, not everything can be covered in a single guide like this, and people will doubtless have their own views on what “should” be included. However, what is provided should provide incoming users with a reasonable grounding in finding their way around the viewer. It’s also worth remembering that these updates may not be all that’s coming by way of viewer UI updates and/or simplification.

A further aspect of the new user experience is that the Welcome Islands will use an Experience, which in turn uses web page links, it is possible there are yet-to-be revealed elements accessed as new users explore / travel through the new Welcome Islands that may actually give further context to the viewer. As such, any final judgement on what is available in the viewer as released might be premature. Given this, I’ll likely / hopefully be returning to these updates to the viewer as an when the new user experience comes on-stream.

In the meantime, the Project UI is available as the default official viewer download, and the updates it contains will, as usual, be a core part of all future viewer updates and releases from the Lab.