Singularity provides update to address AMD Catalyst driver issues

singularityUpdate, March 21st: AMD have release a new set of Catalyst™ drivers, version 15.3 beta, which include a potential fix for the rigged mesh issues – see my notes here.

As I’ve previously reported in this blog, recent AMD Catalyst™ driver updates have resulted in numerous issues for SL users running AMD graphics cards and attempting to use the latest driver updates. These started with the 14.9.1 drivers, but which became particularly pronounced with the  14.9.2 drivers failing to render rigged mesh unless hardware skinning is disabled (see: BUG-7653), problems which increased with AMD switched yo automatic updates with the release of their 14.12 drivers.

In December 2014, Yoho Waco offered a workaround for the problems affecting more recent drivers (e.g. 14.12) using the 14.9 DLL files to overcome some of the issues presented by those drivers, and which should work for most viewers. With Yoho permission, I offered his workaround as an article in its own right, and DMC Jurassic reported the same approach could be used with 1.4.4 driver DLL files to resolve issues caused by both the more recent driver updates and those cause by the 14.9.2 driver update.

Recent AMD Catalyst™ drivers (1.4.9.2 onwards) have been problematic for Sl users, presenting a series of mesh rendering problems as a result of changing openGL support within the drivers (image courtesy of Maestro Linden, click for full-size)
Recent AMD Catalyst™ drivers (1.4.9.2 onwards) have been problematic for Sl users, presenting a series of mesh rendering problems as a result of changing openGL support within the drivers (image courtesy of Maestro Linden, click for full-size)

Now the Singularity team have stepped up, offering their users who use AMD graphics cards and who have particularly been affected by the rigged mesh issues found when using the more recent Catalyst™ drivers.

Version 1.8.6.6157 of the viewer, released on February 27th, 2015, is labelled as a “supplemental” update to the viewer because, as the release notes state, it only provides a fix for this particular set of problems, and offers no additional updates to the viewer as a whole.

Therefore, if you are not affected by the Catalyst™ driver problems, there is no need for you to update. However, if you have been affected by the problems, then this update could well be for you.

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With thanks to Maya Rosenstar for the pointer.

Kokua and Singularity updates

Both Kokua and Singularity issued what amount to maintenance releases in the latter half of week 35, with Kokua releasing version 3.6.4.29422 on August 28th,  and Singularity releasing version 1.8.2.4929 on August 29th.

Kokua 3.6.4.29442

The release keeps Kokua on a par with LL’s code base, being built on the 3.6.4 code. The release notes identify a potential issue for Linux users with the last release, with Nicky reporting that:

A user on an older version of Linux reported an auto update issue that resulted in no working viewer. Kokua recently updated build systems from Debian Squeeze to Wheezy. While great for users that move ahead of the pack in updating their Linux distributions it left one user (and maybe more) without a working Kokua on their system. So, the request to upgrade was acknowledged and new Kokua was installed. But, it would not run then, when the old Kokua was tried it was stuck wanting to update.

Further testing revealed the issue appears to exist within LL’s Linux build as well, and a JIRA – OPEN-186 has been raised as a result.  In the interim, the team have reverted to building using Debian Squeeze.

This release also sees Kokua gain two potentially useful features – one for mentors / helpers, the other for builders.

Kokua can now optionally display the age of an avatar in the name tag. The option is off by default, and can be enabled via Preferences > Kokua > General > Show each avatar’s age in their name tag. When enabled, the option defaults to showing the age for avatars up to 28 days of age. However, this can be increased / decreased as required, with 0 meaning avatar ages will always be displayed.

The idea behind this is to make it easier for mentors and helpers identify new starters in a welcome area, so that greetings and offers of support can more readily be made.

The new avatar age display in name tags (Preferences > Kokua > General) and the new button for duplicating values for size, offsets, etc., on maps
The new avatar age display in name tags (Preferences > Kokua > General) and the new button for duplicating values for size, offsets, etc., on maps

This release also sees Kokua implement a Duplicate Values button in the Texture tab of the Build floater. This allows the settings for the size, offsets, repeats, etc., set for a texture / normal / specular map to be immediately duplicated to the other maps on an object / object face, saving the need to manually set them in turn when applying maps. If there are no additional maps applied to an object / objects face (e.g. a diffuse map, but no normal or specular), the button is disabled.

The remaining updates for the release include:

  • Sit Here or Stand Up options are now only shown in the right-click context menu for objects
  • A Teleport Here option has been added to the context menus to go with the Sit Here option
  • OXP backup crash fix to prevent selecting individual object(s) from a linkset, rather than the selecting the entire linkset, from causing an immediate viewer crash
  • Links no longer include the trailing “?” in the link when asking to load the indicated web page in notifications
  • Fixed a variable scope bug in LLVOVolume::getApproximateFaceNormal().

Please refer to the release notes for further information.

Singularity 1.8.2.4929

The Singularity release comprises a substantial list of tweaks and updates, including a change to the .DAE and .OBJ export permissions when using the viewer on OpenSim, such that if the grid on which the viewer is being used does not support explicit “export” permission, the exporter now follows the rules set by the original Imprudence exporter.

Additionally, the update includes:

  • Additions:
    • Ability to save textures from the inventory menu
    • An option to open inventory folders in a new separate window
    • An option to show landmarks on map
    • An option to hear speakers at the same volume unaffected by position
    • Show Profile button on teleport and inventory offer notifications
    • Ability to show only legacy names for speakers (in Adv. Chat > Chat UI preferences)
  • Fixes for:
    • The German translation where login notifications appeared as ‘[FIRST] [LAST] is online’ instead of showing the actual avatar name
    • The crash when opening Bumps, Pushes, and Hits floater
    • Windows, audio volume control for plugins is now working allowing gradual falloff in volume for prim media objects that are farther away
  • Improvements:
    • Updated Spanish translation
    • Legacy (pre-multiwear) wearables on some grids showed as (body part) shapes. Clothing (not body parts yet) now show with a (new) red question mark icon in the inventory, and can be used again
    • Animation uploads save the values for ease-in/out parameters for future uploads
    • Disable/Enable UI shortcut changed to Ctrl-Shift-F1 on Linux since the default Ctrl-Alt-F1 is used for switching virtual consoles. The same has been done for the other ctrl-alt-F# shortcuts on Linux
    • Imported changes from Linden viewer to introduce consistent ground texture generation and fix crashes in mesh upload.

For details on the contributors for the above, please refer to the release notes.

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