Both UKanDo and Black Dragon have recently incorporated the Lab’s Experience tools, following their were promotion to release status in the official viewer on June 30th, 2015.
UKanDo arrived with Experience Tools on Thursday, July 2nd, with the release of version 126.96.36.199122. As with the official viewer, this adds the Experiences floater access to the ME menu, and also has the Region / Estate and About Land panel also updated with their respective Experiences tabs.
In addition, as a part of this release, UKanDo updates to RLV 2.9.12, with the NaCl / Marine Kelley avatar shadow rendering updates for rigged mesh – see my article of RLV 2.9.12, available here.
Black Dragon release 188.8.131.52 sees the Experiences floater added to Dragon > Edit menu. As with UKanDo, it also adds the Experiences tabs to the Region / Estate and About Land Floaters.
This release, which arrived on July 4th after a couple of hiccups with versions 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11, also includes Niran’s July 3rd update, which focused on a complete RLVa update, as per the release notes for that version.
I’ve not had an opportunity to extensively drive either of these viewers; my time is a little squeezed at the moment, and I’m struggling to clear a backlog of work and bits. So, consider this more a heads-up than any attempt at a review.
As the version number suggests, this brings the viewer to parity with the Lab’s 3.7.28 code base, and specifically with the Viewer-Managed Marketplace (VMM) functionality.
For those who may not recognise VMM, and keeping things relatively brief, the aim of the project is to enable merchants to manage the creation and management of Marketplace product listing through the viewer, bypassing the need to use the Merchant Outbox (and have copies of items stored on the Marketplace inventory servers) or using Magic Boxes.
It does this by adding a new Marketplace Listing panel to to viewer, which will eventually replace the Merchant Outbox entirely, and by adding additional back-end and web functionality which allows merchants to carry out a number of tasks associated with their Marketplace listings from within the viewer, and by enabling products to be delivered to customers directly from the Lab’s asset servers, rather than having to store them as separate inventory on the Marketplace servers.
Rather than go into a detailed explanation of all the functionality here, if you haven’t come across VMM before, please read my notes from the initial testing in 2014.
The key point here is that, at the time of writing, VMM is still very much undergoing beta testing, and the viewer-side code has yet to reach a release candidate status in the official viewer, so the 3.7.28 release of UKanDo is slightly ahead of the curve – the Lab prefer that TPVs don’t release code which the Lab themselves have not issues in release candidate form.
To this end, Connor has clearly indicated this 3.7.28 release is a beta version of UKanDo, and the earlier 3.7.27 update remains available as the full release.
It’s also worth pointing out that initially, the current VMM beta was by invitation, so if you want to try the functionality either using the UKanDo beta or the Lab’s own project viewer, you’ll have to apply to join the beta via the link towards the bottom of your Merchant Home Page on the Marketplace.
All that said, I’ve been driving the VMM version of UKanDo over the last couple of days, using it to gradually convert my own modest store on the Marketplace from Direct Delivery to VMM (as shown in the image above right, taken as I got started), and have found absolutely no issues with it – not that I was actually expecting any. Everything works smoothly, and updates made via UKanDo are accurately reflected when checked in the official VMM project viewer.
For Merchants who prefer using UKanDo over the official viewer, and who would like to try-out VMM as the Lab moves it gradually towards full deployment (which could occur in June 2015), the 3.7.28 presents an opportunity to do so.
Note that as a VMM beta release, the 3.7.28 update does not contain any other functional or other updates compared to the UKanDo 3.7.27 release.
UKanDo, Kokua and the Restrained Love Viewer (RLV) have all seen recent updates in April 2015, bringing them up-to-par with the Lab’s 3.7.27 code base, which features the most recent maintenance updates from the Lab. In the case of UKanDo and Kokua, this means that Avatar Hover Height (AHH) is now available in the viewers, while RLV sees a couple of tweaks to AHH.
Core updates to the three viewers are summarised below.
UKanDo updated to version 18.104.22.168099 on April 16th. As well as incorporating AHH and the maintenance updates from the Lab, this release also brought with it:
An update to RLV release 2.9.8
Complete disabling of the Develop menu option allowing people to turn off HTTP Inventory loading. This is to ensure people do not encounter issues with avatar and / or inventory loading as a result of the Lab removing UDP inventory messaging support for the simulator code – see my notes on this for further information
The addition of a new debug setting, EnvironmentPersistAcrossLogin. When set to True, will to counter MAINT-2477 Feature Request – Sun position override should not persist across logins
The ability to toggle the Paste As Link option in the Inventory right-click context menu on or off, according to your personal preference (Preferences > General > Inventory Show ‘Paste As Link’ Option
A change to allow copy of worm items – So links for worn items can be created
Don’t show inventory item links or folder links in Recent Tab.
Kokua updated to version 22.214.171.124441 on April 23rd. As well as incorporating AHH and the maintenance updates from the Lab, this release also brought with it:
File -> Upload -> Set Default Upload Permissions does nothing – Ticket #344
Changing the grid-selection option in preferences crashes viewer – Ticket #346
Determine correct webkit libraries that need delivered with the Linux version of the viewer – Ticket #347
Kokua 126.96.36.199845.x86_64 Linux Fails to start – Ticket #348
Chat history compact mode does not convert the Avatar Name in OpenSim – Ticket #351
Issues and feature requests can also be found in the release notes.
RLV updated to version 2.9.8 on April 8th and then to version 2.9.9 on April 21st. The 2.9.8 release saw the existing avatar height slider in the RLV top bar tied to the Lab’s new Avatar Hover Height functionality, so that using either the top slider or Avatar Hover Height from the Avatar right-context menu will use the same code and result in the same adjustments.
In addition, the 2.9.8 update saw a tweak the viewer so that HTTP Inventory is enabled by default in the viewer, again in line with the Lab’s recent move to deprecate the UDP messaging for inventory loading server-side. As RLV previously had HTTP Inventory disabled by default, this meant RLV users were no longer seeing their own avatars render in-world, and could lead them to experiencing inventory load issues as well (see my nots, linked-to in the UKanDo section above for further information). The release also saw some nips and tucks to RLV functionality.
Version 2.9.9 added a small fix to the linked AHH functionality and incorporates the Lab’s 3.7.27 maintenance release updates, as noted at the top of this article.
There have been a number of rapid-fire TPV updates this week, so here’s a quick overview for Black Dragon, UKanDo and RLV.
Black Dragon 2.4.2 Beta
On Monday, March 23rd, Black Dragon updated to version 2.4.2 Beta, with Niran focusing on further updates to rendering, although there are some interesting WIP elements as well.
In particular, Niran notes that he’s done further work on the volumetric lighting capability, notably adding a Falloff slider to both Preferences -> Display and the Machinima Sidebar (F1), so that Godrays will fall off the closer they are to the camera which will be further smoothed in future releases), and working to get volumetric lighting working with FXAA and glow.
Also within Preferences -> Display, Niran has added a check box for enabling alphas in depth of field calculations. When unchecked, this excludes alpha from both depth of field and volumetric lighting calculations to prevent focus issues (depth of field) and odd lighting effects (volumetric lighting). when checked, both depth of field and volumetric lighting calculations will include alphas in the field of view.
Other additions with this release comprises:
A Custom System Memory option and a separate slider for the “linked” memory version
A chat colour for Friends
(as a work-in-progress) a new information system for Preferences to tell possible performance breakers and problems that could occour with certain options.
As always, for a full list of changes / updates, please refer to the viewer’s release notes.
The UKanDo v3 style viewer updated to release 188.8.131.52080 on Tuesday, March 24th. This update brings the viewer up to parity with the Lab’s 3.7.25 and 3.7.26 code, and almost up to spec with Marine Kelley’s RLV updates (2.9.7 of RLV having appeared just after the UKanDo update).
In particular, this release sees UKanDo gain the maintenance fixes from the 184.108.40.2069021 official view release and the new Avatar Hover Height functionality which has just become a part of the official release viewer.
In addition, this release of UKanDo includes:
Disabled the RLV start-up restriction feature by default. Re-enable via the “RLVStartUpRestriction” Debug setting or the RLV tab under General in Prefernces
FIRE-15489 by Ansariel Hiller – Add confirmation when unlinking objects, released under LGPL
RLV – Quick fix Courtesy of Nicky Perian, and tidy-up.
A fix for the “nolink>” parser bug, courtesy of Drake Arconis (Alchemy Viewer).
This release of the Restrained Love Viewer sees assorted fixes for recent RLV release and the inclusion of the Lab’s Avatar Hover Height (AHH) capability, which came about as a result of a detailed formal proposal being put before Lab by members of the Firestorm team during a TPV developer meeting in June 2014.
Currently, and as noted by Marine, AHH is not yet linked to her existing “@adjustheight” capability and slider in the top bar of the viewer.
Both the UKanDo viewer and Black Dragon saw updates in week #6. Each of the release contain under-the-hood (so to speak) changes, with UKanDo in particular being something of a catch-up release more than anything else, as noted below.
The last UKanDo update was in October 2014, so it’s been something of an extended period between releases for the viewer. However, there is a good reason for this: Connor Monaron, the man behind the viewer has a good reason for this: he’s been off in the United States tying the knot with his SL (and now real life) partner. So the first thing to do here is offer congratulations to Blackrose and Connor.
Obviously, being away and being focused on such a major event in one’s life means that all things viewer naturally take a back seat. As such, the new release of UKanDo, version 220.127.116.11064, released on Wednesday, February 4th, is more about catching-up with all of the recent output from the Lab. This being the case, the release see the viewer gain parity through and up to the following LL releases:
18.104.22.1685700 – Monty Linden’s last round of HTTP updates, also for October 2014, which improve texture and mesh data fetching and which offers significantly faster inventory loading
22.214.171.1246094 – the GPU removal update and the subsequent 126.96.36.1997128 update which fixed an inherent crash issue within the 188.8.131.526094 release
184.108.40.2066724 – the winter open-source contributions release from November 2014, providing improved Japanese language input, improved projectors rendering, fixes for object editing when rotating and for an OS X Yosemite full screen crash issue
220.127.116.117296 – the winter maintenance release from December 2014, which included a range of fixes to voice, texture animation, object rendering, privacy, inventory management, etc., and which included fixes to previously released changes in the way joint offsets in rigged meshes are handled
18.104.22.1687643 – the Experience Tool viewer (at the time this article was written, the de facto release viewer from LL).
As well as these LL-derived updates, this release also sees UKanDo reach parity through recent RLV updates from Marine Kelley from 2.9.3 through to the latest 22.214.171.124,
So while this release many not offer anything “new” in terms of TPV updates, it does bring the viewer right up to the cutting edge in terms of formal releases from both LL and RLV, which should be more than enough to keep UKanDo users happy.
The latest version of Black Dragon, version 126.96.36.199, was release on Friday, February 6th, and is the latest in a series of nips and tucks to the viewer as Niran continues to integrate code updates from the Lab and also work on refining the UI.
The core update from the Lab with this release is the inclusion of the winter maintenance release code from the Lab’s 188.8.131.527296 release, including the fixes for previously released changes in the way joint offsets in rigged meshes are handled. This means that deformations to an avatar’s shape are more intelligently tracked, and the viewer should be able to correct them without necessarily having to have the attachment causing them removed, or requiring a re-log in order to fix.
The other major update for this release see the Friends List undergo a revision. The accordion tabs separating on-line from off-line friends have been removed, and the Friends list rationalised so that on-line friends appear at the top – their names now in blue – and an duplication of names has been removed.
The release notes also list the following updates / changes:
A possible fix for RLVa detach and re-attach issues via RLVa commands
A possible fix for a crash caused by the connection issues panel when the region becomes invalid
A viewer compile fix
Max VRAM has been changed 1024 Mb in Preferences > Display Settings
Incremental steps for Shadow Blur changed to 0.1 in Preferences > Display Settings
The connection issues panel will no longer briefly appear when logging-in with the viewer
Appearance floater outfit status colour has been changed
Worn items are now listed in italics in the Appearance floater, rather than in bold
Beacon colour has been changed to stream “blue-ish”.
On Thursday October 8th, the UKanDo viewer updated to version 184.108.40.206056 for both Windows and Linux.
The new version leap-frogs over a 3.7.16 release (the September release being 3.7.15), and instead combines the Lab’s 3.7.16 and 3.7.17 code base updates into a single release.
UKanDo version 220.127.116.11056 incorporates the Lab’s updated log-in splash screen, which sees one of two different screen displayed, depending upon whether the user is logging-in to SL for the first time (or has performed a completely clean install), or is returning to SL having previously logged-in (the screen shown below).
As well as the log-in screen update, the release also includes the last set of maintenance updates from the Lab to become the release viewer, and which comprised fixes and updates for: inventory & outfit management; appearance editing; group & group ban management; multi-grid support for favourites; camera controls; notifications management and stability improvements, as well as various UI bug and viewer crash fixes.
There are also a number of updates requested by UKanDo users included in the release:
An option in the Status Bar menu to show / hide your L$ account balance (shown by default) – useful for those taking snapshots or screen captures which include the UI, as they can hide their account balance if they wish. when unchecked, the account balance display slides out of sight
An option to show the UI in Mouselook has been added to Preferences (Preferences > General > Camera). This is disabled by default, requiring the use of the ALT key to move the cursor
The “Save to Disk” button in the Snapshot floater has been re-labelled “Save to Computer”.
Further updates in this release comprise:
FModEx updated to 4.44.41
lqtwebkit updated to 4.8.1 (contributed by Drakeo), which should fix Flash video not working for GNU/Linux users
FS pose stand updated with additional validation checks (via Ansariel Hiller).