As of today, SL Viewer 2.4 is the default Second Life Viewer download for new Residents! As was mentioned in the Viewer 2.4 Beta blog post, this is largely a maintenance release focused on improving user experience, stability, and performance. This release does, however, have a few important changes and additions, including the following:
A Cleaner User Experience and More Customization Options in Preferences
Throughout 2010, we’ve added many new Preferences to the Viewer and it was time to not only reorganize and clean up the layout, but also add popular customization options, such as:
- Color and transparency options that allow you to change the look of Viewer windows
- Options to easily enable the Advanced and Developer menus
- A new preference that you can use to turn group and IM chat pop-ups on or off whenever you like
Support for External Text Editors when Working with LSL
Here’s a good one for content creators and developers. Now, you can use your favorite script editor to edit LSL scripts outside of the Viewer. In Viewer 2.4, enabling the new ‘ExternalEditor’ debug setting will allow you to specify the path to your own text editor (for example: /Applications/TextMate.app/Contents/MacOS/TextMate). When the setting is enabled, just open the Script Editor in the Viewer and click the “Edit” button, and the text editor you specified in debug settings will then open with the script you have open in the Viewer. Any changes you make and save in the text editor will automatically appear in the Script window in the Viewer.
We continue to make numerous improvements to Viewer graphics as we move closer to integrating Mesh Import into Viewer 2. You can see more detail in the Release Notes, but we’ve improved antialiasing, anisotropic filtering, snapshots, and we’ll see even more in upcoming releases.
Viewer 2 performance is improving, as shown by steadily decreasing crash rates that are now close to those for Viewer 1.23, but we know there’s still more to do. So if you do crash, please be sure to send us a crash report, as they are essential to helping us understand where issues occur, which allows us to better prioritize our work.
An Auto-Updater Tool
We now have an auto-updater for Viewer 2! This means that whenever a new Viewer is released, the next one being Viewer 2.5, it automatically downloads the newest software in the background and offers you the ability to upgrade when it’s ready. You can still decide whether you want to install the new version or not, but the auto-updater will help ensure that you’re always using the most up-to-date version of the SL Viewer. Keep in mind, the auto-updater will only work with optional updates. Mandatory updates will continue to work as they have in the past.
Finally, to those of you who gave us feedback on previous versions of Viewer 2, we offer a heartfelt thank you for all your bug reports, forum and blog comments, and Tweets using the #slviewer2 hashtag. Your input is invaluable as we continue to prioritize our 2011 Viewer 2 roadmap.
So download Viewer 2.4 -- and keep that feedback coming!