Kokua: Admin changes and the 6.2.4 release

The Kokua team released Kokua 6.2.4 on Friday, August 16th, 2019, and with it come some changes to general administration of the viewer’s website and management tools.

In terms of the latter, and for ease on management going forward, a number of changes are in the works including:

  • The use of the Atlassian Confluence platform to provide:
    • A blog capability.
    • Release notes support.
    • A master download pages.
    • RSS feeds.
  • The use of Atlassian Jira (as used by Linden Lab and the likes of Firestorm) for bug reporting and tracking.

The switch-over is still a work-in-progress, so the existing blog, wiki and bug tracker remain in operation for the time being, however, relevant links for the new environment are given as:

While the switch-over is in progress, users are advised against linking to individual sub-pages within these sections, as pages may change as things are bedded-in. For this purposes of this blog, the new Kokua home page is referenced in the sidebar links (right, under Maintained Viewers) and within my Current Viewers Release Page and the weekly release summaries drawn from that.

Kokua 6.2.4

Kokua 6.2.4 brings the viewer to parity with the most recently Linden Lab viewer release (version 6.2.4.529638, formerly the Love Me Render RC viewer dated August 5th, promoted August 12th). In addition, it updates the RLV version to Marine Kelley’s RLV 2.9.26.2.

As has been customary with Kokua releases of late, the viewer is provided in three versions for each of the supported operating systems (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, all 64-bit):

  • Non-RLV – version 6.2.4.45881.
  • “Standard” RLV (can be enabled and disabled via a viewer restart) – version 6.2.4.45882.
  • “Full Time” RLV (RLV is active all the time) – also version 6.2.4.45882.

In addition to these updates, Kokua 6.2.4 includes a number of third-party additions, most notably from Firestorm, as noted in the sections below, and with due credit to the originators of the code updates.

Settings Backup

Sometimes when installing a new version of a viewer, there can be a recommendation to perform a “clean install” – removing all cached and settings files. This can make any viewer installation labour-intensive, as settings all need to be restored after the installation is complete.

The Settings Backup (Preferences > Backup) eases some of the pain by allowing users to back-up many of their global and account settings to a local hard drive. Once done, the back-up can then be restored to an updated version of Kokua (e.g. if a clean install has been required, or if some settings have become corrupted). Settings can also be backed-up at any time as changes are made.

The Kokua Settings Back-up option, courtesy of Firestorm

Settings can be backed-up to any location on a local drive, and users can select those settings they wish to back-up by unchecking / checking the available options. It is also possible to save settings on a per account basis. So if you have several accounts, each with different settings, you can back-up each of them separately – just make sure each back-up has a unique location.

Restoring previously backed-up files requires the viewer is restarted after the restore – and again, this is conveniently taken care of by the viewer allowing you to quickly log-out following a successful restore – although you’ll have to manually re-start the viewer once you’ve been logged out.

Sounds Output Device Selection

Preferences >Sound and Media includes a new drop-down allowing users to select their preferred output device for playing in-world sounds.

Sound output device selection, courtesy of Firestorm

When using it, note that:

  • Selecting Default will always select the first output device in the list.
  • If Default is selected but the previous device is no longer available, the viewer will automatically switch to the next available “default” device as defined by your operating system.
  • Manually selecting an output device from the drop-down  prevents the viewer from automatically switching to another device if the selected device is no longer available. Instead, the field will show “Unavailable Device” until such time as the nominated device is again available, or the drop-down is changed to Default or an alternate is manually selected.

Updated Debug Floater

Finally from Firestorm, Kokua 6.2.4 includes an improved debug settings floater with search and sanity checking of key values.

The improved Debug floater, courtesy of Firestorm

Other Updates of Note

Finally there are a number of fixes/improvements on the Kokua code base itself, notably fixing the pie menus so that the Hover Height command appears (i.e. was there but a mistake in the file concerned prevented it being shown). For details, please refer to the Kokua 6.2.4 release notes.

Feedback

Kokua 6.2.4 continues to maintain parity with the official viewer whilst also importing some additional updates from Firestorm that Kokua users will doubtless find useful and which are likely to help enhance Kokua as the go-to viewer for those who have used Firestorm , but who are looking for an alternative that offers reasonable familiarity.

Additional Links

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Kokua 6.0.1.44611/619

On Saturday, January 26th, 2019, the Kokua viewer updated with the release of version 6.0.1.44611 (no RLV) and version 6.0.1.44619 (originally .44610).

The RLV version of the viewer initially brought the RLV version of Kokua to parity with RLV 2.9.25, released on January 25th. However, that release had a bug in it, forcing Marine Kelley to issue a hot fix release, version RLV 2.9.25.1 on January 26th, which was quickly adopted by the Kokua team into Kokua 6.0.1.44619. Outside of this fix, .44619 is functionally identical to .44610.

RLV Updates

The RLV updates can be summarised as:

  • Force a rebake whenever attachments and wearables are changed.
  • Prevent the avatar from going into T-Pose while editing an attachment that has been worn only for a few seconds.
  • When in Mouselook, don’t show rigged attachments that are worn on any head attach points.
  • Optimise the rendering of the vision restriction spheres.
  • Remove the artificial far touch restriction when vision is restricted, to allow objects to beyond an avatar’s visual range to be touched.

Kokua Updates

Both the .44611 and .44619 releases include the following updates from the Kokua team:

  • New Avatar right-click context menu option Reload My Outfit: this can be used to resolve clouded logins by manually forcing another attempt to wear the default outfit, effectively adding the current outfit onto itself.
  • Addition of Firestorm’s Wear Items option added to the inventory folder right-click menu. This causes the wearable items in the folder to be worn, replacing any items on the corresponding attachment points.
  • Reinstatement of the Help > Kokua Support Group option to obtain in-world help from other users (issues / bugs should still be filed via the Kokua Sourceforge support option).
The new right-click avatar content menu option Reload my Outfit (l); the right-click Inventory context menu option Wear Items (via Firestorm); and the reinstated Help menu > Kokua Support Group option (r)
  • Removal of the following menu options:
    • Disable Build Constraints (no longer supported by Second Life servers)
    • Texture Memory Stats (there was no code behind this menu entry, so it would always do nothing)
    • Toggle PG (again, there was no code behind this option)
  • Addition of various Firestorm improvements to login, inventory handling and outfit wearing.
  • Internal changes to make the performance statistics code more efficient.
  • A switch to using Linux GCC V7 from V5 for compilation.
  • Fixes for a number of errors in the XML configuration files for menus and floaters. These reduce the number of entries written to the log files and provides a small performance benefit.

I’ve not had time to drive this viewer following the release, so cannot comment on general performance, etc. However, as chance would have it I did get the chance to try the Reload My Outfit option, which seemed to work pretty well.

Kokua 6.0.1 updates

The last version of Kokua I looked at in these pages was version 6.0.0, which primarily added Animesh functionality to Kokua.

Since that time, there have been a number of further updates, up to and including 6.0.1.44454 (RLV), and this article is intended to catch up to the current releases. In short, the intervening updates have been:

  • 6.0.0.44291 (RLV), November 29th, 2018: focused on parity with Marine Kelley’s RLV 2.9.24.
  • 6.0.0.44301 (RLV for Windows), December 8th, containing RLV bug fixes and four new RLV information panels.
  • 6.0.1.44374 (RLV) and 6.0.1.44375 (No RLV) for Windows, Mac and Linux, released on December 13th.
  • 6.0.1.44454 (RLV), December 17th, 2018 for Windows, Mac and Linux – essentially a bug fix release for a issue with the 6.0.1.44374 (RLV) release.

In addition, the 6.0.1.44374/44375 updates saw Kokua merged to parity with the (at the time of writing) current SL viewer release, version 6.0.1.522263, formerly the Spotykach Maintenance RC viewer, promoted by the Lab of December 13th, 2018 (release notes here).

It is the the 6.0.1.44375 and 6.0.1.44454 (RLV) updates that I am focusing on in this update, together with an overview of the new RLV panels introduced with 6.0.0.44301.

Menu Restructuring

The major visible change to both 6.0.1.44375 and 44454 is a revised menu structure. Up until now, Kokua has used the legacy (going back as far as v1 viewers) initial menu structure of  File, Edit and View, as opposed to the Me, Communicate and World options found in the official viewer and followed by (for the most part) most other v5/v6 viewers.

To help Kokua users gain familiarity with the new menu structure, the Kokua team have produced a document outlining how and where options have been moved between menus in converting them from the old format of File, Edit and View to the more standard Me, Communicate and World.

Advanced menu > Classic Kokua Menus allows users to toggle between the “legacy” (File, Edit, View) and “current” (Me, Communicate, World) menu titles. A restart is required for each change to take effect

By default, the new menu structure is OFF, to avoid the risk of confusion for users not expecting the change. For those wishing to to use the new menu system, it can be enabled via Advanced menu > unchecking Classic Kokua Menus. The viewer must be restarted to apply the change. This option can also be used to switch back to using File, Edit, View, if desired (again with a viewer restart required).

RLV Updates

Kokua 6.0.1.44301 implemented a new set of RLV diagnostic panels designed to assist RLV users, as these were initially only available in the Windows version of the viewer, I’m covering them here, as they are now available on all OS flavours of Kokua.

The new panels are a combination of code from the Script Error window found in the standard viewer, and some code from the RLVa implementation within Firestorm. They’ve been designed by Chorazin Allen of the Kokua team, who gives full credit for the base code used, although as he notes, the operation of the panels based on Firestorm’s RLVa implementation have been substantially modified to work with RLV and his own design preferences.

The new panels are all accessed via the RLV menu, which includes a new section for the panels, shown on the top right in the image below.  Chorazin also provides a comprehensive guide to their use, and I refer RLV users to that document for further information.

The new RLV windows – click for full size, and also refer to New RLV Information Windows on the Kokua viewer blog. Console, Status and Attached / Worn panel images via the Kokua website

From 6.0.1.44374 (RLV) to 6.0.1.44454 (RLV)

Version 6.0.1.44374 (RLV) and 6.0.1.44454 (RLV) are functionally identical to one another with the exception of the Out Of Character (OOC) functionality – that is, the use of “((” and “))” in text during role-play to indicate comments / messages that should not be considered part of the on-going role-play exchanges.

In short, a change was implemented in RLV 2.9.24.1 that affected how OOC chat is handled when a user is under certain RLV restrictions. However, the change broke the OOC chat processing logic. While not a problem for the dedicated  RLV third-party viewer, it has caused problems for Kokua users (see OOC chat with (( )) not working with Kokua RLV 6.0.1.44374).

6.0.1.44454 fixes the issue through the provision of two new options in Preferences > Kokua > General:

  • Allow OOC chat using (()) (requires restart): enabled by default, this must be checked in order for OOC chat to work at all. If it is disabled, all OOC will appear as “…” in local chat. So, only disable this option if you do not want to see OOC in local chat at all (as the option notes, you will have to restart Kokua when enabling / disabling this option).
  • Send OOC chat to redirected chat rather than local chat – enabled by default. This has two functions:
    • When enabled and applicable RLV restrictions are in operation, all OOC chat goes to redirected chat handlers and it will not appear in local chat.
    • When disabled, the expected OOC behaviour applies, and OOC chat will appear in local chat in the usual (( and )) parentheses.
    • This option can be set independently to the first, and does not require a viewer restart.

You can find out more about this update in Kokua 6.0.1.44454 – RLV OOC chat handling fixed.

Additional Links

Kokua goes Animesh with version 6.0.0

On Sunday, November 18th, 2018, Kokua issued version 6.0.0, which includes full Animesh support. As always with Kokua, the viewer is offered in two options:

  • With RLV support: 6.0.0.44120.
  • Without RLV support: 6.0.0.44121.

Both of these options are, again as always, available for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux.

As well as Animesh support, the update includes a series of third-party updates and additional bug fixes.

Animesh

As per my release overview, Animesh has been in development for about a year, and like Bento, has been a collaborative effort between Linden Lab and Second Life content creators. Essentially, it allows the avatar skeleton to be applied to any suitable rigged mesh object, and then used to animate the object, much as we see today with mesh avatars. This opens up a whole range of opportunities for content creators and animators to provide things like independently moveable pets / creatures, and animated scenery features.

Rigged mesh can be set to be used as Animesh through the Build / Editor floater

To help people get started with Animesh, there is already a range of available resources, including:

In particular, the user guide and test content offer the best way of getting started with Animesh for those who haven’t tried it thus far.

And, Animesh isn’t just for content creators: it has been designed such that just about any rigged mesh can be converted to Animesh directly from the Build / Edit floater. Do be aware, however that simply converting an object will not cause it to start animating – you’ll obviously need suitable animations and a script to run them.

Like any other object utilising animation, this is done by adding the animations and scripts via the Edit > Contents tab for your converted object. If you’re not a scripter / animator, you can still use the Animesh test content and have a play around with things.

Additional Updates

The 6.0.0 release of Kokua re-introduces the NACL viewer sound explorer (found under World > Sound Explorer). In addition, a number of options have been ported from Firestorm:

  • The animation explorer (under World > Animation Explorer).
  • The Money Tracker/Tip Tracker (View > Money Tracker).
  • Phoenix-style extended hovertips (View > Highlighting & Visibility > Hover Tips > Show More Information).
  • Avatar Complexity score in name tags (Edit > Preferences > General) along with the Only If Too Complex and Show Own Complexity options.
Kokua adds Firestorm’s approach to display avatar complexity information

Other updates comprise:

  • A bug fix so that Turning on Full Res Textures works.
  • If RLV is active, the Message Of The Day will appear in chat at login as a substitute to it being suppressed on the login progress screen.
  • Further ports of:
    • Reporting the latest grid status bulletin in chat at login (Edit > Preferences > Notifications).
    • The ‘do not hide worldmap after teleport’ option ( Edit > Preferences > Kokua > General).

I’ve not had time to take the viewer for a thorough test of the viewer, and the Kokua team note they’ve not had the opportunity to test Animesh. Therefore, If you see any strange behaviour please check it against the LL viewer and then either raise a Jira ticket on the LL viewer or against Kokua at: https://sourceforge.net/p/team-purple/kokua/tickets/.

Additional Links

Kokua update, MetaChat issues and Firestorm version block

A quick round-up of news relating to a handful of viewers and clients.

Kokua

Kokua 64 bit (Windows, Mac and Linux) updated both the RLV (5.1.7.43693) and non-RLV (5.1.6.43692) flavours of the viewer on Sunday, August 11th. I’ve not had time to drive the update – and my not be able to, due to other commitments. However, the core of the update brings the viewer to parity with the SL viewer 5.1.7 code base, and offers some updates from the Kokua team, described in the release notes as follows:

In addition the options for configuring the chat range rings and colours move from the Kokua General preferences tab to Kokua Chat which as well as being more logical also frees up space needed in the RLV version for a new option on the General tab.

The RLV version gains an option on the Kokua General tab which allows @standtp to be disabled. This has been added because @standtp tends to operate in various counter-intuitive ways despite operating as intended.

Here’s one scenario that illustrates the problem:-

  • @standtp is applied to the avatar.
  • The avatar hitches to (sits on) a cart.
  • The avatar pulls the cart from location A to location B.
  • The avatar is unhitched from the cart (stands up).
  • At that point @standtp teleports them back to location A.

Links

MetaChat

MetaChat the iOS client  is having problems courtesy of Apple. The app was removed from the iStore on August 9th, as part of a purge by Apple on “gambling apps”.

Enquiries have been lodged with Apple on when / if the app will be allowed to re-list, but thus far, no response has been given.

In the meantime, versions already downloaded  / downloaded and installed will still work, this move by Apple only affects the client’s listing on the iStore.

iOS / MetChat users can read more on the MetaChat blog, where updates will also be posted.

Firestorm Version Block

A reminder to Firestorm users, Firestorm 5.0.1.52150 (released December, 2016) will be blocked from Tuesday, August 14th, in keeping with the Firestorm team’s policy of only allowing the current, and the two version immediately prior to it.

This means that if you are still used Firestorm 5.0.1, you need to update to a more recent version: 5.0.7, 5.011 or the current 5.1.7 release.

To find out more about why Firestorm versions are blocked, please read this blog post from the Firestorm team.

Kokua presents Alex Ivy based 64-bit Linux Viewer

Viewer support has been a subject of frustration among SL users who prefer to use Linux (around 1%-1.5% of the total SL user base) over the lack of official support for the operating system.

As I reported at the time, in 2015 and due to a lack of Linux expertise, Linden Lab pulled back from active Linux viewer development in favour of seeking support from the open-source community in order to maintain a Linux version of the viewer (see here for more). More recently, the Lab has been looking to provide a means to build a Linux flavour of the viewer, based on their Alex Ivy 64-bit code base and libraries, but not distribute or build all the various dependencies required for the viewer, instead leaving this to TPVs to do as part of providing their own support for Linux users (see here for more), although this is taking time to happen.

In the meantime, on May 6th, 2018, the Kokua team released the first third-party viewer for Linux based on Lab Lab’s 64-bit Alex Ivy code base, although built using Kokua’s own Linux libraries.

Kokua release 5.1.3.43237 (RLV) and Kokua release 5.1.3.43238 (no RLV) are  are supplied in Windows, Mac and Linux flavours. In addition, and as is to be expected, both are built using the latest LL release code base (SL 5.1.3) while the RLV version is at parity with RLV release 2.9.23.0.

The viewer is currently available for download on the Kokua website for those who wish to try it – just scroll down to the RLV 64 bit (active development) or the NORLV 64 bit (active development) sections of the download page for the version you’d prefer to use.

If you are a Linux user and opt to download the viewer, please do take the time to report any issues you find with it via the Kokua Issue Tracker at Sourceforge,  as refinement and enhancement of the Linux flavour of the viewer is dependent on the Linux community, perhaps more so than the Mac and Windows flavours (which each have the advantage of larger user bases and more chances of issues being more widely identified and reported).

It should be noted that the Linux flavours of the viewers does come with a warning:

Some areas of the Linux release are still being worked on, however we believe that enough is working and well enough to share this with a wider audience to help us squash any remaining gremlins.

– The Kokua May 6th 5.1.3 release notes

However, the news that there is now an up-to-date 64-bit Linux viewer available for download which is based on the Lab’s current code-base should hopefully come as good news for Linux users.

Additional Links