Wednesday, 24 February 2010

First Impressions of the SL Viewer 2

The first thing I noticed was that after launching the new Viewer it took a full 5 minutes before anything happened! Just a black window. It did eventually load.

On logging in I found myself where I had logged out from, and I was now a cloud, and it took around 15 minutes for me to rezz as my avatar. The other scenery took around 10-15 minutes to rezz, and sculpties took another 5 minutes oin top of that. It appears it was completely redoing the cache. Pity it could not use the Viewer 1.23 cache.
BM Toolbar
Viewer 2 Side-toolbar icons

One of the first things I noticed was the similarity in the side-toolbar icons with those used in Blue Mars. Do these look similar to you?

A couple of things I did like were the new tattoo layer, separate from the skin, and the Alpha Masks, which mean no more wearing invisiprims to hide body parts (to create aliens, dragons, furries etc).

You also do not have to tpe 'Worn' in the Inventory search box to display everything you wearing, there is now a simple Current Outfit folder in your Inventory to show everything you are wearing.

The navigation bar is nice, and you can go back to where you teleported from at a click, and also get up your teleport history (not so much of an innovation this one, as MystiTool users have had this functionality for years).

I was not happy to see the new location for the World Map and the MiniMap, as these are now accessed via the top menu, World > Mini-Map or World > World Map. Which puts them a further click away, and I feel this is a mistake, given that these are two of the most commonly used functions in the UI. Similarly, File Upload is commonly used, but now is several clicks away, hidden in the Inventory menu bar.

HTML on a prim is excellent. A real competitor for the Blue Mars flash on a prim. Glad to see the competition DO watch now what each other is doing!

I found a bug with streaming audio. The sim I was on had streaming audio, and I wanted it off so i could concentrate. In the audio options I unchecked the allow Streaming Audio checkbox, but it continued to play. Only by setting the Streaming Audio volume control to minimum could I get rid of the sound.

The new ratings (previously PG, Mature and Adult) are now General, Moderate and Adult. I did chuckle at some of the suggestions from the SL Forum, where SuezanneC Baskerville suggested Mild and Spicy, while Veritable Quandrykerville suggested something akin to the Chinese Restaurant ratings, but using 1 raised eyebrow up to 5 raised eyebrows!!

All in all, I approve of Viewer 2, I like its style and modern look. As for functionality it is certainly improved, though with a few bugs, but hey, it is in beta don't forget, so LL will be looking for plenty of feedback from the user community, and set up a forum just for this topic.

Give it a spin.