Kokua: catching up to release 6.4.13

I hadn’t actually realised until this past weekend, but I’ve let my coverage of the Kokua slip by a fair few releases – my apologies to Chorazin and the Kokua team for allowing this to happen.

However, given this is the case, and given Kokua 6.4.13 has recently been released, I thought I’d run through a quick round-up of the changes since 6.4.2 and 6.4.14, with a focus on the most recent release.

Menus

Since Kokua 6.4.9, any clean install of Kokua will result in the viewer displaying an updated menu structure that comes closer in layout to the official viewer. It see the removal of the Edit and View menus. This sees the more popular options from these menus moved to the Me and Command menus.

The old (top) and new (bottom) Kokua menus. Note the new menu will be used following a clean install of Kokua.

Note that the menu can be reverted via the last option on the Advanced menu  – a restart will be required, however for the change to take effect.

Rapid Update Round-Up

  • 6.4.4:
    • New licensing of KDU for better rendering and LL Havok third party extensions.
    • Parity with the official viewer release 6.4.3 (FMOD studio update).
    • Implemented the Firestorm feature show the parcel boundary highlighting up to 4,000m (Build floater → Advanced Build Options → check Show parcel Selection Outlines and “…up to maximum build height”.
Enabling parcel boundary highlights to maximum build altitude

In addition, these updates incorporated all RLV updates from release 2.9.28.1 to 2.9.20.0, together with multiple improvements from the Kokua team for RLV functionality, and also assorted general bug fixes and improvements.

Kokua 6.4.13

Jelly Doll Improvements

Jelly Dolls old (l) and new (r). Note the colour and rendering of attachments on the left – the latter of which adds to the cost of rendering the Jelly Doll. This is no longer the case with the new Jelly Dolls

The 6.4.13 brings Kokua to parity with the official 6.4.13 Jelly Dolls viewer, revising how “Jelly Dolled” avatars are rendered.

  • Originally introduced in 2015 (and with various updates since) Jelly Dolls is a means for users to reduce the avatar rendering load on their systems, by having any avatars around them that exceed a certain complexity value (set via a slider) render as a solid colour and minimal detail.
  • There have always been a number of visual and technical issues with the manner in which these avatars have been rendered.
  • The new Jelly Doll updates now included in this release of Kokua improves how avatars are “jelly dolled”, by a) rendering them as a simple grey shape (rather than a solid colour) and avoids attempting to render attachments.
  • In addition it also improves to how avatar imposters are rendered and updated.

These changes should result in demonstrable improvements in view performance in environments where there are a large number of avatars, and the capability is sensibly used.

Group Updates

Kokua 6.4.13 adopts Kitty Barnett’s (Catznip) improves to accessing  / display Group related information.

Previously Group information was presented as one tab within the People floater. Accessing any elements of Group information – such as notices – was presented in the same floater. This meant information on only one Group could be opened at a time,and made actions such as viewing or creating a group notice somewhat complex.

With these changes, Kokua now:

  • Presents the Profile of a selected Group in a separate panel – this allowing multiple Groups to be viewed.
  • Similarly breaks out the Group notices creation option as a separate panel – which can also be accessed from the Conversations floater.
The new break-out Group floater and options available in the People floater (and via the Conversation floater)  for creating / viewing Group notices (which may be subject to permissions)

The new behaviour is enabled by default but can be switched back to the former behaviour by unchecking Preferences → Kokua → General → Group settings open in a new floater rather than within the People floater.

Block List, Object Derendering and Avatar Rendering Exceptions

Also ported from Catznip is a new floater that combines Block / Mute operations and Derender / Avatar Rendering options into a single place, allowing them to be viewed / reviewed / unblocked. The floater include options to add avatars / objects to the block list and also unblock avatars / items on the list.

Note that:

  • When a derendered object is removed from the list, it may not immediately be re-drawn, but may require a TP  away / back or a re-log to make it visible in your view.
  • A facility to block/mute objects has been added to Sound Explorer however there are some caveats to be aware of due to differences between sound and object handling:
    • Blocking/muting will generally not work if an object is in a different region or is beyond draw distance.
    • A sound may continue to play even after blocking/muting the object responsible. This typically happens when several objects are all playing the same sound – each object playing the sound must be blocked/muted before the sound will stop. The Sound Explorer has a facility to pause the listing which can be handy when trying to select several items.

Additional Updates

Two further ports from Firestorm;

  • Configuration options for chat message toasts: a new options panel has been added in Kokua / Preferences / Chat to allow many parameters relating to chat toasts to be tweaked, including their width.
  • Active Gestures: a new option on the Gestures floater to only show those currently active, originally.

The release also includes a number of fixes from the Kokua team – please refer to the release notes.

Feedback

There are three third-party viewers I’ve tended to use in Second Life: Firestorm, Catznip and Kokua. All three offer a different emphasis for users,and Firestorm has tended to be my first choice.

However, both Catznip and Kokua have their own attractions, and with the recent progress with Kokua in particular, coupled with its higher cadence of updates, it is fast becoming a viable alternative to Firestorm, particularly as tends to offer a slightly higher frame rate. Certainly, for those who are looking for an alternative that offers a similar menu layout and largely comparable capabilities in terms of commonly-used options, Kokua is very much the viewer to consider.

Links

2021 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 21st

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

  • Current release viewer: Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates), version 6.4.13.555567 and dated February 5th, 2021, promoted February 17th – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Love Me Render (LMR) 5 project viewer updated to version 6.4.13.555871 on February, 18th.
    • Simple Cache project viewer updated to version 6.4.13.555641 on February 16th.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • Kokua updated to versions 6.4.13.46998 (No RLV) and 6.4.13.50041 (RLV variants) on February 20th – release notes.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2021 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 14th

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

  • Current release viewer Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer, version 6.4.12.555248, dated January 25, 2021, promoted February 1st, 2021 – No change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • No updates.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

2021 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 7th

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

  • Current release viewer Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer, version 6.4.12.555248, dated January 25, 2021, promoted February 1st, 2021 – NEW.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Project Jelly viewer (Jellydoll updates) update to version 6.4.13.555567 on February 5th, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links

Speedlight: a round-up of recent updates

via Speedlight

I’ve fallen behind in my tracking of Speedlight, the browser / Android / iOS Second Life client. There are several reasons for this – most of them down to me & time (or lack thereof), although I admit a couple of issues with the application have also kept me from using it. With regards to the latter, I’d like to offer a doff of my virtual hat and a “thank you” to the Speedlight Live Chat support mechanism and Speedlight Support Manager QuincyJohnes (that’s a name you have to love for it’s little play on things) for getting me sorted in very short order.

There have been numerous changes to Speedlight since my last article in July 2020 (see: Speedlight: group functionality and other updates), some of which are more under-the-hood than user visible, and there are several more in the pipeline. As such, this piece is offered as a quick round-up of things for those interested in Speedlight but who also haven’t yet had cause to use it, or like me, haven’t used it in a while.

Account Changes

  • Since November 22nd, 2020, Speedlight has no longer requires a dedicated user account to access the service.
  • While the option to create an account remains, new and existing users can now sign-in to Speedlight using any one of the following services on which they have an account: Google, Facebook, Apple or Discord.
  • Note that this is signing-in to the Speedlight service; it is not about logging-in to Second Life itself via Speedlight – you will still need to use your SL user name / password for this.
  • In addition, Speedlight on iOS supports FaceID log-in (again to the Speedlight service, not to Second Life).

IM Updates

  • User name is now displayed as well as display Name.
  • Long-tap / right-click options to pin IMs, mark them as unread, close an IM session or view the other person’s Profile.
    • Pinned IMs will appear with a red dot alongside them, at the top of the list of current / recent IN exchanges.
Speedlight IM exchange options – long tap (iOS / Android) or right click (browser) on avatar name in IM list to display
  • General improvements to link parsing in IMs, and improvements in reading off-line IM reading, starting IMs, etc.

Autoresponder

Speedlight now incorporates the ability to set-up and use auto responses to incoming IMs, accessed via IMs Autoresponder

  • Two options are available:
    • Autoreponse to be set when Speedlight logs you “Away”
    • Autoresponse when you are at your keyboard but do not wish to be distracted by responding to IMs immediately.
  • Each option has a default message than can be edited to suit your needs.
  • The relevant check box must be tapped / clicked in order to apply either / both settings, AND the Save Settings button tapped / clicked.
  • When initially set, the top of the Autoresponder panel will display “settings saved”.
  • In addition, the IM option in the left menu will display a red-bannered AUTO, which will also display the number of newly-received IMs.
  • Those sending you an IM will be sent an autoresponse based on your settings / status the first time they IM you (the message will not be repeated each time they IM you while they have the tab / panel to you open).
Speedlight Autoresponder options. Via IMs Autoresponder

Note: You can set the time your status will automatically switch to AWAY via Settings → General → Time to “Away” (default: 15 minutes). This option can also be accessed by tapping  / clicking the Configure option under the “Away” autoresponse field in the autoresponder panel.

Group Support

  • In my last update, I  noted the expansion of Group related capabilities in the browser version of Speedlight (e.g. search, view and send group notices, leave a group, invite someone to a group). Since that time, these capabilities have been extended to the Android and iOS versions of Speedlight.
  • It  is now possible to see your active group in the Groups list and change your active group via the Group Info panel.
Speedlight: identifying and changing your active Group
  • In addition, Speedlight now provides the ability to view Group roles, with the promise that the ability to edit them (by those with permission to do so) will follow in due course.
Speedlight: view Group roles

Pop-Up Notifications

Speedlight: notifications with interactions

Pop-up notifications are now available in all versions of Speedlight (i.e. IM, friendship offer / request, teleport offer / request).

  • Requests / offers requiring a response will include suitable buttons (see right).
  • IM pop-ups will include the text of the IM, but you’ll have to go to the IM screen to open and reply to the message (tapping / clicking the pop-up will not automatically open IMs).

General Updates

  • Ability to copy / paste location SLurl in Summary panel.
  • Multi-line chat input supported in all versions.
  • L$ and Transactions:
    • There is a “New recipient” warning for transactions.
    • The page now displays a list of recent recipients.
  • 3D World rendering:
    • Chat overlay in 3D world view available to all users, Gold and Free.
    • Interactions (long touch / right-click) on objects available to Free as well as Gold users.
      • Options are Touch (dialogue menu), Sit, Stand.
      • Dialogues are displayed in the top right of the 3D rendering panel.
  • Gold (subscription / payment) user updates for 3D view:
    • 3D  world view walk autopilot added to replace on-screen joystick.
    • In-world object touching with single click/tap.
    • In-world object touching using a pop-up menu.
    • Improved 3D GUI.
  • iOS version:
    • Now available via the Apple Store for anyone (Gold and Free).
    • Price is £22.99 (approx. US $31.37 / €26.09.
    • Price includes 1 free lifetime Gold membership with limited time offer on up to 3 avatar accounts.
    • Note price is set via Apple pricing / commission requirements.

Future Updates

Work continues to update Speedlight across the board, with feedback also being sought from users concerning features. A major update – with no time-frame on delivery at present – is an overhaul of the 3D rendering to provide full avatar rendering in the world view, rather than the current stick figures.

Upcoming avatar rendering. Credit: Speedlight team

Feedback

Not all of the above are necessarily “new” updates for Speedlight – as noted, I’m playing catch-up. However, it’s fair to say that those I’ve particularly highlighted increase the usability of the client, although things can remain a little rough in places – such as with 3D rendering, which even allowing for the aspects outside of Spreedlight’s direct control, still has a good way to go. But, as I’ve mentioned before, such a capability didn’t simply happen overnight with the likes of Lumiya – so further time needs to be allowed for further improvements to the capability beyond things like better avatar rendering.

For those who simply need mobile access to SL without necessarily needing 3D rendering, Speedlight continues to build out solid functionality, marking it as an effective communications  tool (chat, IM, Group, Friends),  with good transaction capabilities, and a basic set of inventory options (that will also hopefully be built on). And if you’re on iOS, remember you don’t have to purchase the App version; it is possible to run Speedlight through a browser on a mobile device via the website. Certainly, given its current capabilities, Speedlight could potentially give the Lab’s upcoming iOS / Android communications App some strong competition.

Related Links

2021 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 31st

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

  • Current release viewer version 6.4.11.551711, formerly Cachaça Maintenance RC viewer promoted on November 12th – No Change.
  • Release channel cohorts:
    • Dawa Maintenance RC Viewer updated to version 6.4.12.555248 on January 25th, 2021.
  • Project viewers:
    • No updates.

LL Viewer Resources

Third-party Viewers

V6-style

  • No updates.

V1-style

Mobile / Other Clients

  • Speedlight v10.029.0648: updated Jan 27th (search updates) Jan 28th (lifetime Gold for iOS) – release notes.

Additional TPV Resources

Related Links