On Tuesday, July 25th, I received an e-mail from Nicky Perian, lead developer for the Kokua viewer. Sent to the Kokua Dev mailing list, the notice was also later posted to the Kokua website.
In short, Nicky will, in October – and for very good reason – be stepping back from a direct, hands-on leadership role in maintaining Kokua, and he is hoping that those in the community who are able to support viewer development will step forward to fill the void and take responsibility for helping to ensure the viewer continues into the future.
The notice – which I’m sure Nicky will have no problems in seeing reproduced here reads in full:
This coming October I will turn 75 years old. I intend to have minimal (consulting only) involvement with Kokua after that. Hopefully, someone will take over the project or it will fade away.
Between now and then I intend to cut some routine building and updating. The first cut will be the RLV build of Kokua OpenSim followed by RLV build of Kokua Second Life then NoRLV build of Kokua OpenSim.
That will leave The NoRLV build of Kokua Second Life version.
I want to thank all who have contributed to Kokua including other third-party viewer project developers and those that work for Linden Lab.
I will try to complete the Alex Ivy integration. Kokua Project Alex Ivy Windows versions can be built and tested now.
Nicky has worked tirelessly to develop and maintain Kokua, and other, the viewer has been one of the first v5 style viewers to update with features and code from Linden Lab, as well as maintaining strong support and parity with Marine Kelley’s RLV. While Kokua hasn’t been my primary viewer, I have always found it to be stable, reliable and straightforward to test as updates have been released. As such, I’d like to thank Nicky for all of his work in keeping the viewer and the project going.
Should anyone fancy taking on the work with Kokua, individually or as a team, as well as following the links to the repositories as Nicky has provided, do please contact him and discuss opportunities and intentions with him so that if more than one person does step forward, you can all be put in proper contact with one another.
I’ll of course continue to cover the updates Nicky is planning, and will cover any future updates and releases of the viewer and the project hopefully rolls into the future.
In week #21, both the Kokua viewer for Second Life and the Restrained Love viewer updated to achieve parity with the current SL viewer release (version 22.214.171.1246444 at the time of writing).
Kokua for Second Life updated to version 126.96.36.199208 (release notes) on Friday, May 26th, 2017, while the Restrained Love updating to version 188.8.131.52 (release notes) on Thursday, May 25th.
As the core changes to both viewers are more-or-less the same in terms of their parity with the official viewer, this review provides a combined recap of these updates for both viewers, from the oldest to most recent. Kokua users please note that the documented changes do not necessarily apply to the Kokua OpenSim version.
Custom Folders for Uploads
Kokua 184.108.40.206208 for Second Life and Restrained Love 220.127.116.11 users can now select the inventory folders into which uploads – images / textures, sounds, animations and mesh models – are saved by default (rather than having all textures + images go to Textures for example).
To set a custom folder for an upload type:
Go to Inventory and right-click on the desired folder.
Select Use As Default For. This opens a sub-menu of upload types (shown on the right).
Click on the type of upload you wish to always save to that folder.
Note that this only applies to uploads: images / textures, mesh models, etc., received via transfer or will still go to the their “default” system folders (so a texture received via transfer will still go to Textures, for example).
The folders set for uploads can be reviewed via the new Preferences > Uploads tab.
Block List Tally and Grid Status Button
Kokua 18.104.22.168208 and Restrained Love 22.214.171.124 now have display a tally of those blocked in the viewer (People Floater > Blocked), and include the Grid Status button which can be added to any toolbar position in the viewer window, providing direct access to Second Life grid status updates, which are displayed in the viewer’s built-in browser.
The Options for how another avatar is rendered are now Default (i.e. in accordance with your avatar complexity threshold setting); Always (i.e. always render the selected avatar) or Never (i.e. permanently render them as a grey imposter). These options have also been moved to a sub-menu on the right-click Avatar context menu.
Following Firestorm’s lead, adjusted settings for avatar rendering will now persist across log-ins for the viewer, until either reset or your settings are cleared by a clean install or similar.
There are two new options for Avatar Complexity, located on the Preferences > Graphics tab.
The first is a check box, Always Render Friends, which is pretty much self-explanatory: when checked, friends will always fully render, regardless of the viewer’s Avatar Complexity threshold.
The second is an Exceptions button, which adds a further level of control for how other avatars – including friends – are rendered by the viewer.
Note that Kokua’s pie menu does not display the “Default” option correctly when used on other avatars. Instead, the option is labelled as “>”. As per Nicky’s comment below, this is now fixed.
The Exceptions button described above enables named avatars to be either fully or never rendered by the viewer, regardless of any other avatar rendering settings. It comprises two new floaters: the exceptions list (Avatar Render Settings, below left) and the search floater (Choose Resident, below right), accessed by clicking the “+” button on the exceptions list and then selecting whether you want to always or never render the avatar you’re about to choose.
It is possible to update how an avatar in the exceptions list is displayed by right-clicking on the avatar’s name and selecting the required option (Default, Always, Never) from the displayed drop-down list. Note that “Default” will remove the avatar’s name for your exceptions list and display them in-world in accordance with your overall Avatar Rendering Complexity setting.
Kokua and Restrained Life have become the latest viewers to update to v5.x status, with release of versions support the Project Bento code.
Kokua 5.0.0..40327 for Second Life (release notes) appeared on Saturday, December 17th, bringing with it Bento rendering support, plus additional fixes and improvements:
FMOD Ex audio streaming libraries updated to version 4.44.64.
Avatar texture display now works.
Pie menu updates.
Pie menu “Sit here” response no longer ignores llSetSitText(string), and should now display the defined scripted target prompt (e.g. “Ride” or “Fly”, etc., rather than “Sit Here”).
Just in case there is anyone who missed it, Project Bento adds numerous new bones to the avatar skeleton to improve and enhance support mesh avatars (Bento does not work with the Second Life system avatar). This makes it easier to create and animate things like additional wings and limbs, and offers the opportunity for greater facial animations with mesh heads and faces, and even finger manipulation on mesh hands.
As with all Bento viewers, the visible viewer update is to the avatar menus (both right-click context and pie menu in the case of Kokua), where the Reset Skeleton and Reset Skeleton with animation options can be found.
These options have been added because sometimes, when changing between one mesh avatar and another, the basic SL avatar can become deformed, resulting in it looking squished, stretched, caught between two looks, or something else. This problem is generally the result of race conditions when the avatar’s appearance is being updated, and both of these buttons are intended to correct the problem – the option to reset animations being intended to fix deformations which may be due to animations also kicking-in incorrectly / at the wrong time as well, which may cause an avatar to deform.
Restrained Love Viewer
Restrained Love Viewer 2.9.21 (release notes), released on Friday December 16th, brings Bento support to that viewer as well. As with Kokua and other Bento capable viewers, this also sees the Reset Skeleton and Reset Skeleton with Animations options added to the right-click avatar context menus as the most visible sign of Bento support (outside of Bento meshes rendering correctly!).
In addition the update includes a minor change to RLV, with the “?” symbol no longer being used to identify a cheat inside emotes, as some emotes may end with genuine questions.
Kokua, the viewer 4-style Second Life and OpenSim viewer has forked development between the two platforms.
The announcement came on Monday, September 26th, with lead developer Nicky Perian announcing the initial release of KokuaOS-126.96.36.199653 in a blog post thus:
Gavin Hird (macOS) is the lead developer for KokuaOS. This viewer is for OpenSim grids and is branched off at Kokua version 4.0.2. The default grid is set to 3rd Rock Grid as their support for Kokua and Imprudence extends back a number of years with the Hoagie sim contribution.
The reason for the split appears to be the increasing complexities in having a unified viewer code set supporting both OpenSim and Second Life, with Nicky noting:
While the ability to log on to Second Life is present, Jelly Doll support is not, and we expect more wandering away from Second Life as new features such as Bento Joints, and server infrastructure removal take place.
However, this shouldn’t be taken to mean that the OpenSim viewer will not be implementing changes made to the SL viewer; simply that only those changes which make sense to adopt will be carried forward into the OpenSim variant.
So, for example, KokuaOS-188.8.131.52653 includes the code from the Lab’s recently released Visual Outfits Browser, allowing OpenSim users to browse through their outfits using the thumbnail image feature, and the Windows version also includes the switch to using a media plug-in based on LibVLC to replace QuickTime.
Core updates with the OS-184.108.40.206653 release comprise:
There is no auto update capability. New updates must be manually installed and downloaded
Windows media content is handled by VLC media plug-in
Excluded SL updates comprise:
Avatar Complexity (aka Jelly Dolls) and Graphics Presets
Media content on Linux uses Gstreamer, but can be switched to VLC by editing skins/mime_types_linux.xml- You can upload and play back sounds of up to 60 seconds
The Mac OSX version now use a gamma of 2.2 which improves tonal range of the scene.
Microphone and volume can be tested without an active session
Additional functionality in support of the OpenSim Export function
Almost complete localisation of the viewer to German.
Full details of all changes and known issues can be found in the OS-220.127.116.11653 release notes, and the download is available via the Kokua downloads wiki.
Following this, on October 1st, Nicky announced the release of the Second Life version of Kokua, version 18.104.22.168717. This update see the removal of all code which facilitated the switch between logging-in to Second Life or to OpenSim grids, and brings this viewer to parity with the Second Life 4.1.1 code base and with RLV-22.214.171.124.
Core updates in this release comprise:
Most menu items with OpenSim specific functionality has been deactivated.