Today Linden Lab have published a new SL video showing many big improvements that the lab has introduced during 2013. The video runs for 57 seconds showing many new features and improvements. It’s a really good video for Second Life to highlight 2013 and everyone should watch this I think. I’m sure there will be more new features to come in late 2013 and next year in 2014. I guess we will have to wait and see.
(first 10 seconds)
- in 2003, Second Life launched.
- In the last 10 years…Second Life has evolved in many ways
- And in 2013, we’re celebrating…
(after 10 seconds to 56 seconds)
- 7 big improvements…
- Better graphics & enhanced lighting
- Better performance & faster avatar loading
- New & improved welcome experience
- Streamlined chat & communication tools
- Sharing to Facebook
- Simplified shopping experience
- Virtual reality headset support, coming soon
- What will the next 10 years bring ?
What SL improvements have you liked this year and what improvements do you want to see introduced in the near future ?
The latest developments on server side baking on third party viewers. SSB renders clothing layers, avatar’s skin, tattoos, alpha from the client side to the server faster. Linden Lab are testing server side baking for official SL viewers which is due to be released hopefully within 2-4 weeks.
As of 25th April 2013
- Firestorm Viewer 126.96.36.199720 has added support for Server Side Baking
- Singularity Viewer 1.8.0 has added support for Server Side Baking
- Cool VL viewer supports Server Side Baking
- Catznip Viewer R8 has server side baking support (SSB)
- Kokua Vewer latest build includes experimental code
- Nirans Viewer 2.2.0 Alpha (2656) contains the update SSB (Server Side Baking)
More updates will be published soon.
Top 3 resource links that I can find for places to visit and explore on the grid of InWorldz during 2013. I hope this is a useful guide to interesting places, shops and much more in InWorldz. Today there are 1, 258 regions and that number is growing on a weekly basis. These are great ways of finding new places and new friends. The Events tab and the Map tab in Search is another good way of finding beautiful sims on the grid and new people. Favourite places to visit in InWorldz during 2013 ?
- Landmarks board on InWorldz Desert Island – Hundreds of locations to visit in the specific categories shown below. Very useful for newbies joining InWorldz today and for existing residents of InWorldz that want to explore more of the grid.
- InWorldz Places Website - Number one website at the moment for updated locations around InWorldz to check out and hangout. There are a number of categories at the top of InWorldz Places website with amazing snapshots of many places across InWorldz.
- InWorldz Freebie Stores - The most popular freebie stores are located at InWorldz Desert Island and there’s more.
Check out this InWorldz Desert Island Map of Stores which is very useful to see where each store is located on the sim. In the next month or so InWorldz Desert Island will be a major layout change. Stay updated on the latest on the InWorldz Forums.
Today Linden Lab announced some exciting news on the official Second Life blog about a new Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) for the Second Life viewer. To use the new CHUI you have to download version 3.5.0 (273444) of the Second Life viewer via Release Notes.
Snapshot of (CHUI)
- Add participants to a conversation already in progress
- See all of your conversations and everyone in those conversations, using an inventory-like UI
- Quickly move your voice connection between conversations and effortlessly adjust individual volume or overall volume in a single click
- View all of your recent communications in one window (Conversation Log)
- See what was said in any conversation (Conversation Transcripts)
- Set Do Not Disturb to focus on other things and get all the communications (and inventory offers!) you missed, after you come back
- Choose from four levels of notification for each of five different kinds of incoming communication. You can set IMs from friends and IMs from non-friends to different levels of notification
- Turn sound on and off for four different events, such as inventory offers and teleport offers
- Access voice morphs more easily
- Get to chat preferences and privacy preferences directly from the Conversations window.
- Type your chats into an expanding, multiple-line box
- Select multiple users across different conversations and start a new conference with them
- Choose which conversations are in their own windows, and which should be in a tabbed window — you can have both now.
- Collapse any conversation to a single-line input with popup messages.
- See users and objects you have blocked in a new tab in the People window.
What is CHUI?
As we’ve previously blogged about, CHUI puts Second Life’s communications tools in a more flexible UI that lets you customize it for the ways you prefer to communicate inworld. You can even turn it all off when you want to build, make movies, or simply be left alone for a while.
Watch the NEW VIDEO below about the new (CHUI) by Torley Linden.
What do you think about the new Communications Hub User Interface (CHUI) in the Second Life viewer ?
Today I decided to sign up to Pixie Viewer and try out the first look release. Pixie Viewer is a web browser-based viewer for virtual 3D environments. Pixie Viewer is currently in the Alpha phrase and runs on tablets/mobiles which supports HTML5 internet browers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc. Hopefully soon it will reach the beta/public release stages along with new features.
The sign-up process was very quick and easy to register with my SL username. The login process takes seconds to load and render objects in the new resident Pixie experience. My first impressions was that the Pixie Viewer shows a very basic user interface with limited amount of controls around the edges of the screen. Also it’s very quiet in terms of avatars nearby which is somewhat expected I think. I liked the large Welcome Sign with things you can do in the first look version of the Pixie Viewer.
Basic User Interface buttons:
- Play/Mute/Pause buttons with volume slider
- Current time
- Stats button which brings up the Scene Rendering Info
- Build button which brings up basic shapes window
- Chat which brings up Public Chat
- Report Bug sends to bug report webpage
- Logout button ends the session
It’s worth trying out if you like beta testing new developments in the SL metaverse.
What can you do with the Pixie Viewer ?
- Explore a 3D World running inside any WEB GL enabled browser
- Chat with others
- Interact with some objects
- Build basic shapes and with a set of starter models
- 3D Photo Booth allows you to print your builds in 3D
Pixie Viewer signup page
Pixie Viewer welcome area
Will you be testing out the new Pixie Viewer ?
There is a new release of the Lumiya Viewer at version 2.4.1 which is now available on Google Play. Lumiya Viewer requires version 2.1 and up on android phones and tablets in order for the app to run well. Lumiya Viewer costs £1.85 with no monthly fees after and it’s 4.8M to download.
It now comes with support for mesh objects and clothing along with support for RLV. There is now support for server-side baking and there’s much more in the whats new list. This new update has been available since 31st January 2013.
- Support for mesh objects and clothing.
- Support for RLV.
- Support for server-side baking.
- Animation requests are no longer auto-accepted.
- Fixed display of outfit folders in inventory.
- Fixed duplicate messages in chat.
- Fixed inventory appearing empty after teleport.
Lumiya Viewer features…
- Navigate Second Life world around you in 3D;
- Exchange instant messages with your Second Life friends;
- Teleport to various locations in Second Life world by using landmarks from your inventory;
- Send and receive messages in local chat;
- Interact with in-world objects and more.
I think Alina Lyvette the developer has done a great job on developing Lumiya Viewer to be one of the best SL android apps ever. From reading the reviews it seems to be all positive and the amount of downloads is somewhere between 10, 000 to 50, 000. I’m going to have to try out Lumiya Viewer very soon.
On 25th January 2013 it seems Oz Linden removed the well known third party viewer Zen Viewer which is rather alarming I think. Zen Viewer was removed due to a request of the developer apparently from the Third Party Viewer Directory Viewer List. It’s unknown why the developer of the Zen Viewer wanted to remove the viewer from the Third Party Viewer Directory.
If you visit the Zen Viewer SL wiki page now it looks like this…
The Zen Viewer has been removed from the directory at the request of the developer.
The download link for the Zen Viewer seems to be dead which is bad news.
I enjoy using Zen Viewer so I guess it’s presence will be missed from the Third Party Viewer Directory SL wiki page from now on. Hopefully more details will be announced about this major change.
Jessica Lyon the project manager of the Phoenix/Firestorm project in Second Life have relaunched the previous phoenix homepage to a new look. The Firestorm Viewer new homepage looks more updated and it comes with exciting new customizable skins to choose from.
Bookmark and subscribe to the new links below…
- http://www.firestormviewer.org/< Official Firestorm Viewer Website
- http://www.flickr.com/groups/firestormviewer/< New Firestorm Flickr group
Amazing transformation from the old look to the friendly new look website which is a good move to start 2013 of with I think. Very exciting times indeed for the Firestorm team and Firestorm viewer users. What do you think of the new look website of Firestorm ?
The big news this weekend announced by Jessica Lyon during a recent Phoenix office hour with the SL community is that the Phoenix Viewer support will be ending on Monday 31st December 2012. Apparently the Phoenix Viewer will then be removed from the SL third-party directory and Phoenix links will be removed from the Phoenix Official Blog. In 2013 Firestorm Viewer will be the default popular third party viewer and more new developments will continue to happen.
The reason for why Phoenix Viewer support will be ending is because Linden Lab will be rolling out server-side avatar baking in 2013 which should be interesting. TPVs have been told about this 2013 avatar baking roll out and hopefully the deployment will go without any major issues.
It seems like the server side baking rollout is at it’s final stages now with a timeline of 8 weeks according to Oz Linden via the Open Source Mailing List recently.
Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence)
For any of you developing viewers that are not in the TPV Directory and
so didn’t get the notice there….
We have now made available the code for our upcoming server side baking
changes – you will need to update to be compatible with this in order
for users to see avatars correctly once the server side change is rolled
out to the main grid (some time > 8 weeks from now, but no date has been
for information on this new code, and watch it for updates.
Tonya Souther blogs about this roll out here…
As Oz said in the meeting, the clock is now ticking. We asked for at least two months’ notice, and yesterday we got that. LL would like to roll the code out to the grid in February, but they’ll work with TPV developers to make sure we all have had the code and a good chance to implement it before they actually roll it out.
History of the Phoenix Viewer
- Transition from Emerald controversy to Phoenix in September 2010
- Phoenix Viewer added to The Third-Party Viewer Directory list in September 2010
- Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 in July 2011
- 40 groups enabled on Phoenix Viewer in January 2011
- Phoenix Project turned one years old in September 2011
- Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 with Mesh Support in September 2011
- Phoenix classes started in 2011
- New changes to TPV policy & Phoenix TPV policy meeting in late February 2012
- Phoenix Viewer support ends 31st December 2012
What do you think about this major announcement and will you be switching to Firestorm if not already?
On Tuesday 4th September 2012 Oz Linden on the behalf of Linden Lab said that Firestorm viewer has taken over the number one spot on the list of Second Life viewers. Firestorm users are spending longer time in the viewer (total user time) and even more than the previous Phoenix viewer. Firestorm is now the most stable viewer and popular viewer in Second Life.
Happy 2nd Anniversary Firestorm!
It’s nice that Linden Lab have noticed this happening and I would like to say congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team for being the number 1 viewer in Second Life today and for making SL a better place. I hope there will be a list of viewers usage stats somewhere public because that would be interesting. This email below was sent via the opensource-dev mailing list. There are more details on the Official Phoenix Firestorm Blog post by Jessica Lyon.
Snapshot of the email
On Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 7:53 AM, Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence) oz at lindenlab.com> wrote:
On behalf of Linden Lab, I’d like to extend congratulations to the Firestorm Viewer team.
Last week, Firestorm took over the #1 spot on the list of Second Life viewers in terms of total user time, surpassing its elder cousin, Phoenix. The Phoenix viewer still has a slight lead in number of sessions, but Firestorm viewer sessions are on average significantly longer – which may in turn be due in part to its substantially better stability.
The Firestorm team has worked long and hard to support users who want both the latest Second Life features being developed by Linden Lab and the additional capabilities you provide, and this achievement is one you can all be proud of. Thank you.
Awesome news and this is a fantastic achievement for the Firestorm team.
Yesterday on 25th August 2012 the new resident supported Firestorm Support Region opened to all Second Life users. The Firestorm Support Region is a nice updated walkthrough tutorial of the basics of Second Life and the Firestorm viewer. This is the first time a third party viewer team have created a support region for it’s userbase I think.
- View my Snapshots Here of Firestorm Support Region - my visit to the region
- Jessica Lyon opening speech - from the grand opening
- Phoenix Firestorm Blog - latest news and viewer releases
Firestorm Support Region from above
The Firestorm Support Region is only used for those that need help with all things Firestorm. It’s not being used as a hangout place apparently and that’s understandable. I went to visit the region and I was very impressed indeed. Members of the Resident Help Network have joined this effort. Teleport to Firestorm Support Region.
Exploring the Firestorm Support Region
Visit today and enjoy the new user experience of Firestorm.
Q Linden announced the new version of Viewer 2.5 on the Official Second Life Blog yesterday afternoon (SLT), which comes with the new web-based profiles. I downloaded and installed the new version from the Viewer 2.5 release notes page from the SL wiki to view the recent changes. I noticed that Viewer 2.5 on my PC was faster in performance which is way better than previous versions of Viewer 2.
I still much prefer to see profiles in-world (sidebar) instead of opening up a web browser or tab to view them each time. It would be good to have a choice between them. The new privacy settings make sense for how public SL profiles are seen and there is definitely room for improvements and changes for web-based SL profiles like including Plurk in social networking options. There is still alot of mixed reactions to the new SL profiles on the web and it’s going to be interesting to see what Linden Lab does with web based profiles during 2011.
I think this is a great feature that Linden Lab has introduced with Viewer 2.5 to access landmarks from the login screen to favourite places in-world. It would be nice to view existing favourite LMs from one’s inventory too.
History Timeline of Viewer 2 Versions
- Launch of Viewer 2 Beta - 23rd February 2010 (Viewer 2 1st year anniversary coming up soon)
- Viewer 2.0.1 Beta 1 – 15th April 2010
- Viewer 2.1 Alpha – 10th June 2010
- Viewer 2.2 Beta - 23rd September 2010
- Viewer 2.3 Beta – 27th October 2010
- Viewer 2.4 Beta - 3rd December 2010
- Viewer 2.5 Beta – 19th January 2011
What do you think of Viewer 2.5 release ?