Cool VL Viewer gets Merchant Outbox

The Cool VL viewer becomes the first V1-style SL Viewer to gain the Merchant Outbox for Direct Delivery. The new capability comes with release (.7b for Linux due to a repackaging issue), released on April 5th.

The implementation is slightly different to Outbox support found on V3-based Viewers, as the notes accompanying the release specify. In particular:

  • There is no support for the Beta grid (Aditi) or the Beta Marketplace
  • The Outbox is implemented as a folder within Inventory, rather than as a separate floater
  • There is (currently?) no right-click->Copy to Merchant Outbox capability for items / folders, as seen in V3-based Viewers with Outbox functionality.
Coll VL Viewer: Merchant Outbox folder

To use the Outbox, simply drag and drop folders / items to be transferred to your SL Marketplace store to the Merchant Outbox folder. Or if you prefer, COPY and PASTE them.

  • If you are dragging one or more folders, a copy of each folder will be made in the Outbox folder with the same name as the original
  • If you are copying one or more objects into the Outbox folder, each object will be placed in a folder bearing the object’s name (same functionality as V3-based Merchant Outboxes)
  • To send items to the Marketplace, right-click on the Outbox folder and select SEND TO MARKETPLACE. A pop-up will be displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of the Viewer window upon successfully transfer (and will also note any issues encountered).

As is to be expected, all other constraints (number of items, nested folder levels, etc.) are the same within Cool Viewer and for other Outbox-capable Viewers (as these are LL-imposed contraints).

In testing the capability, I found it functioned smoothly and without any incident: all items dropped into the Outbox folder arrived safely (and suitably “foldered” themselves, where required), and the upload handled multiple items and nested folders without incident.

If there are merchants who have been waiting for a V1-style Viewer to implement Merchant Outbox support prior to committing themselves to Direct Delivery (and allowing for current Marketplace issues), then Cool VL Viewer now provides the answer.

Cool VL Viewer gains mesh support

Fresh on the heels of Astra 1.5.10.(2) gaining mesh rendering support, Henri Beauchamp has issued an experimental release of the Cool VL Viewer, also with mesh rendering support.

As with all versions of the Cool VL Viewer, the experimental release requires Snowglobe 1.4.2 to be installed first, with the CL VL package then installed over it. This is smooth enough, taking just a few seconds to complete. Once installed, the Viewer can be loaded using the Cool VL Viewer icon not the Snowglobe icon.

Given it is one of the longest-running TPVs in SL, Cool VL Viewer comes with  everything you’d expect of a TPV, and I’m not going to repeat the impressive list of features here – as this item is about the mesh rendering (although I should point out the release also includes full support for dynamic lighting and shadows).

As with Astra 1.5.10.(2), I used the SL mesh sandboxes to test the Viewer and took a look around – starting with Don Linden’s familiar examples and Oskar Linden’s black duck in the background.

Mesh samples in Cool VL Viewer

As can be seen, they all rendered well in Cool VL Viewer for me, although there is an issue that Henri is aware of at present. Sometimes mesh objects get stuck in the lowest level of detail (LOD) setting, causing them to appear semi-rendered. In the case of in-world objects, a quick right-click fixes this.

Mesh objects LOD issue – right-click on the object to resolve

Sadly, the same solution doesn’t work on mesh clothing worn by others, which may also get stuck in the lowest LOD rendering. However, as this is only an experimental issues of the Cool VL Viewer, things should hopefully improve as the code is refined.

There is currently no upload option for mesh at present, so those wishing to upload will have to use either the official Viewer 3 or Kirstenlee’s S21 (build 9 and above); this is currently a fact of life for the majority of third-party Viewers, although the situation may obviously change in the future.

If I’m honest, the LOD issue was not something I encountered in testing Astra 1.5.10.(2) and mesh at the sandboxes – but Cool VL Viewer does score over Astra 1.5.10.(2) in that it is a recognised Second Life Viewer with a pedigree people know and love; this is liable to make this version very popular, and any bugs in the current release are, as mentioned above, bound to be worked out.

Cool VL Viewer also scores over Astra 1.5.10.(2) at present in that it is also available as a Linux download.

So if you are a confirmed V1.x user, either on SL or OpenSim, and want to see mesh, why not give it a go? Just please bear in mind that it is currently experimental, as as such, may be subject to stability issues, so don’t get mad with Henri if it does!

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