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Try Out the New Viewer 2.4 Beta, Now Available



Today we’re making available the first beta release of Viewer 2.4. We’ve done a great deal of maintenance work for this release, with significant help from the Second Life open-source community, including fixing a number of interface problems, hunting down and eliminating some key crash bugs, and making several performance improvements.

A number of features and changes are worth noting with this release. For the most part, we consider the work we're releasing today to be intermediate steps on the way to a better future:

  • A new auto-updater: Whenever there’s a new viewer release, the viewer will now download the new installer automatically in the background, and offer to install an upgrade when you next log in. You still control whether you want the new version, of course. We’ll continue to improve the auto-updater experience in future releases.
  • Clearer preferences: We’ve reorganised several of the preferences tabs to make them more understandable (and to make it easier for us to create new preferences, should the need arise). We've added some colour and transparency options, and fixed some bugs too. There will be more work to come in this area as we strive to make the viewer more customisable.
  • External text editor support: This is one we’re extremely happy about, as it's something Residents have wanted for a long time. If you’re a scripter, then you can now use your own text editor for scripting. The feature still needs a lot of user interface work, but as we work more on build tools in coming months, it will keep getting better and easier to use.
  • Graphics improvements: We’ve also integrated some graphics improvements as we work towards integrating mesh import into Viewer 2. Our graphics systems are undergoing major renovation, and there have been improvements to anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and snapshots, with more to come in future releases.

So, although Viewer 2.4 is fundamentally a maintenance release, it has a lot of great stuff in it. Please give it a try and give us your feedback!

Download the Viewer 2.4 Beta today, try it out, and Twitter your thoughts using the #slviewer2 hashtag.

Helpful Links


Recommended Comments

When you disabled "Show Admin Menu"... you took away the built-in "fly in no-fly zones" tool. Is there a way to enable this function via a debug setting? I've always used the "Show Admin Menu" method.

Also, llTextBox with multiple lines of text is still broken looking... but it does work. And glow on snapshots is still very broken.

Great job on the new preferences panel, love the "Allow Multiple Viewers" and "Show Grid Selection at Login" checkboxes. Can't wait to see this background updater in action!

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There are two known issues with llTextBox that are being worked on.

Jira issues

STORM-712 -- Multi-line prompt problems and

STORM-713 -- XML/UI issues, especially the clickable area on the Ignore button is a tiny sliver near the top of the button.

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Yay!!! We can use our own text editor for scripts!

I'd like to hear suggestions from people who have used a non-Linden editor for lsl scripts.

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Please make the background download optional. To brute force a background download is a particularly bad idea for folks on slow, metered or mobile connections.

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Particularly looking forward to seeing the auto updater (really happy you guys are developing that as It's a bit of a pain downloading new updates regularly, and I'll definitely be allowing auto updates!) and the graphics improvements (I've been having a few issues with antialiasing and snapshots so fingers crossed it might be fixed)

Keep up the good work Snowstorm boys and girls!

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First impression is very good. The viewer run smotthly on my Macbook Pro 4 years old. No lag . I don't find how one can use an external editor for scripts. I have an Edit button in the viewer editor windows, but it makes nothing.

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The sidebar remains a design failure because it blocks HUDS, maps etc when it slides onto the screen (making it detachable does not really help). Also, the microscopic media control buttons remain squeezed into the top right corner instead of on the bottom bar where they belong. Sigh. These are basic design mistakes. In my opinion, V2 is, was and will ever be a kludge. I'm sticking with Phoenix.

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In the release notes, many of the referenced links for details about the bugs or fixes are inaccessible to us 'normal residents'. Please 'declassify' the JIRA entries that you are releasing to the public, so we can see the discussion on what was changed, and why.

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For those wanting a slightly different experience - Snapshot-wise - there is a slightly earlier (and completely unsupported...this is pre-beta) 2.4 version that has camera controls for DOF - Depth of field.

To experiment with DOF in 2.4, see this is the 2.4 build  215872

Tory just put out a great blog on this here   *experimental* depth of field camera blur effect... / @ @

Also, another discussion of DOF can be found at this Jira VWR-19244

Sample picture using these camera controls to have things "out of focus" (this is a straight view - a screen save - with NO post processing whatsoever. This is how the viewer looks with things in and out of focus.)

Note - as of this post the three controls for DOF are only found in that particular build mentioned above.

Also - check out this Jira  VWR-18327 for having Metadata (EXIF) - the information that is found in real life camera picture files - incorporated in Second Life Snapshots.

And....once you have those Snapshots...now a place to put them:  Jira VWR-19134 and VWR-19135 for saving those to one's Second Life Dashboard.


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I hate the new viewer it is a bad idea. I liked things they way they were before like in viewer one and old viewer 2. This new display text is also a very very very bad idea. It was a stupid thing to allow. Now griefers can take someone else's name and use it instead of their own and get someone in trouble or even banned. Did anyone at LL even stop to think of consequences of any actions they have taken into their hands to allow things such as noobies for griefing and covering one bug with another. I mean come on now SL now has more issues than WOW which is really bad. Let us not forget LL wants to condense everyone's first and last name and give the name resident to everyone's account. Enough is enough you need to stop, think, and analyze what you are doing. This may be just a game, a virtual world for you to escape to but stop making bad decisions. I could have prevented LL from making so many mistakes. I am smart maybe to smart sometimes with compys, but there is so much wrong with the grid, the viewers, and the list could go on and on. I can fix it all but I don't think philip would allow me to. There is so much going wrong in SL but no one seems to fix anything the right way but only to make it worse. WOW has taken away from SL so much with the new improvements and 24 hour surveillance and everything they have done to make it so much better even up to having a graphics system better than SL. But than I also want to say I hate WOW it is like compucrack. Once your hooked you can't stop, but me I hate WOW either way. I want to love and enjoy SL but there is so much that has been ruined and changed for the worse it is insane. I want to have a wonderful experience but it seems things have well...gotten outta hand with all these outrageous problems and just doing things but never taking the time to think about the consequences. You have to remember...will this drive others away from SL or will it draw them in more. Like take money for example, now almost impossible to make enough or even get it. More people are broke on SL now than ever. I see sims fall and clubs close. If things don't improve or change for the better I can see SL falling down and turning into the failed DBZ online rp where no one even plays it hardly. Bad part is Counter Strike Source and WOW have now increased dramatically just within the past year. I don't want to see SL fall, I want to see SL overtaking and getting up in the top 3 best played online games ever. Please LL fix things for the better. I want to see you rise up higher and higher. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

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Please make the background download optional. To brute force a background download is a particularly bad idea for folks on slow, metered or mobile connections.

The option can be unset in the "Preferences" - but I would also like to see it being 'opt-in' rather than 'opt-out'.

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The sidebar remains a design failure because it blocks HUDS, maps etc when it slides onto the screen (making it detachable does not really help). Also, the microscopic media control buttons remain squeezed into the top right corner instead of on the bottom bar where they belong. Sigh. These are basic design mistakes. In my opinion, V2 is, was and will ever be a kludge. I'm sticking with Phoenix.

I don't think V2 is as bad as that, but I would agree that both the sidebar and media control need more design work. Undocking the sidebar was an awesome step in the right direction. The problem I have with it's current state, is that undocking adds more clicks and you have to go thru those extra clicks everytime you want to use the sidebar. Basically, I don't ever want the sidebar to dock. I want to click the inventory tab and it just opens where I want it to open, and when I close it, the tab appears back on the side, no docking and undocking involved. Sure, docking can still exist, but not be essential to opening and closing the window. I'd also love if it went transparent when not in focus. These changes would affectively make V2 alot more like using V1.

Overall, I really like this release, but I've not tested it much. The keyboard triggering local chat instead of movement was really big for me, and more transparent windows was something I've been begging for since V2 was first released. Of course, I'd love to see even more transparent windows, like the minimap. IMHO, the minimap is used for a specific few purposes, and most that use it, have it open all the time, and do not ever need it to be opaque. I already mentioned the sidebar panels needing to go transparent when not in focus, but the most important window that I think needs to go transparent is the Search window. That window is by far the largest window that we have and it requires alot of space. It only makes sense to me, that if you are using search and are going to be shopping or tping to alot of different places, having an opaque window hindering your view of the place you tped to is not the best way for the search window work. I'm just saying, the window covers your whole screen.

Only other thing that bothers me a bit, is shadows. I've spent ridiculous money upgrading all my pcs and programs and other things, but I've been waiting and waiting and waiting for shadows to be in the official viewer. Why is this a big deal? I love the look of shadows, especially as an animator. As great as Kirsten's viewer is, I still can't upload animation in it, or I'd use it all the time. Kirsten's viewer always has the latest updates and I don't have to download 4 different viewers to try them all out.

Again tho, overall I think this is probably 1 of the best viewer releases for V2 that I've seen. Kudos to LL! You get a hard slap on the arse from me.

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Opt-in is not such a good idea since one will have to explain to new user than they can activate this option at least at first launch if not each time an upgrade is required, since there is no reason that they think that this option exists and though ask how too activate it. On the opposite, if someone is annoyed by it, then he/she will have the motivation to ask how get rid of it.

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Change the debug setting SidebarCameraMovement to True and it will allow your huds to remain visible when the sidebar opens. This actually reverts back to the former action of the sidebar in viewer 2.

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Hi Jack, thanks for the blog.  On another subject.. can you please verify if it is true that you are leaving us or not?  I hope not.

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I can't believe this was not highlighted in the blog post!

One of the biggest design flaws, dating back to the original Viewer 2.0 beta in February, has finally been fixed in V2.4 beta 1. No more jumping around and flying into avatars when trying to type because you needed to put focus on the chat bar manually every time you clicked off of it. This was so bad it became laughable.

FINALLY. Thank you Linden Labs. Now stop outsourcing software development (or at least put it through a rigorous "SL usability" filter, like it seems you've been doing the last several months, BEFORE putting it in the hands of users).

And thank you Winter for beating me to the punch and highlighting this overdue fix!

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you have the choice to see Residents names or their display names.  so if you are concerned, just look at the residents name.  cant hide that.

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I'd really like to know who thought that:

  • "SH-178 As a non-god, I don't want to see admin options and be confused about them, but as QA I still want to be able to access admin options as non-god "


Was possibly ever a good idea without checking with the residents first.


I have to do a large amount of mentoring on how to play media streams in second life and I have to be able to use the show admin options so I can see what people messed up in the URL field and show them snapshots of what setting options should look like.

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@Rich Revnaud  -  *I think there is an 'app' for that!! (well, a Preference item)

Me / Preferences / Advanced / Automatic position for: / Sidebar


Sidebar is checked = SidebarCameraMovement = True

Sidebar is UNchecked = SidebarCameraMovement = False

No need to use the Debug Settings to make the change.

When checked, the width of the screen is shrunk ~ 80% (about 10% screen width from each side disappears when the sidemenu is slide out) 

HUDs that are against the right side (when the Sidebar is 'docked' - will be covered if they are within that area that temporarily disappears.

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This is worse than the entire 2.x viewer interface fiasco:

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-24062   (enough textures blinking every second to the point of wiping out some photosensitive communities quitting SL entirely, cache bias up to 1.5 instead of at zero as if cache was super-super full, zombie texture fetch threads never die, most small help panels in multiple sims are both blurry and blinking fast)

It's not new of this release, affects ALL viewers across ALL OSes since a server version change about 5 weeks ago. One more of my friends quit SL over it today, I am so pissed!

(not to mention it makes land hard to rent, people think it's bandwidth-laggy when it's not)

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Can some braver soul than I try installing this on an iMac and let us know if

1) it doesn't crash

2) antialiasing actually works?


Much appreciated...

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I am unable to get it to launch in OS X Snow Leopard on my iMac. It freezes on startup, the initial window never appears, and I have to force-quit from the Dock. I tried three times. Activity monitor shows it as "not responding."

I'll try the next one.

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There is a debug setting to turn admin menu on called AdminMenu.

Admin Menu is on the developer menu. Advanced-> Show Developer Menu (ctrl-alt-q). or is in the prefs now.

Odd that LL is hiding more things while they say having to go to debug settings all the time is a problem. I think there are a few aspects of admin menu that need to be brought to advanced. Like teleport anyone, show urls regardless of parcel owner preferences so we can see what urls are being offered and decide if we want to run them instead of being expected to load unknown URLs. (infantile to hide because anyone can still get the uber sekret radio station url with available O/S commands or utilities), fly if we want, etc. But the other admin menu stuff can be hidden as far away as LL likes since they are the only ones who use it.

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OK tried it for like 5 minutes. I can not LIVE without my outfits working right!!! The links in the other post tell how to work around it, um.... like way to complicated for me. I need this feature to work! It is the only thing I have organized. I am going back to Viewer 2.3.

UPDATE: Tried to go back to Viewer 2.3 won't let me. It just tries to send a crash report and won't let me open the program. I might have to reload everything. I guess to most people this would not be a problem but I have over 120 Outfits. I can't reset all of them! This is very upsetting!!!


UPDATE: Used remove programs to delete 2.4. 2.3 is loading now.

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