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Different viewers?


Davina101
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Yes, I'm a newbie, and I have no idea what these different viewers are, like Firestorm or Pheonix. I played with SL many years ago but it quickly outgrew my computer, so I just quit. I never got very far and I think, back then, getting dressed was a couple clicks and you're done. So, I have a new computer and decided to try again. Very different today. But I downloaded and installed what I thought was the latest release for a SL viewer, that was two days ago. Now, already, SL is telling me that there is a newer version. It wants me to download 2.8.3.238392 and I assume that is specific for my Windows 7/64bit system. So, I don't understand what all these "names" are and if they are specific viewers for specific platforms. Are there certain advantages that some viewers have over others or should I always be downloading whatever SL recommends?
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Regarding allways downloading the newest version, NO!   Disable automatic downloads in prefs, and check in the forums before dl'ing a new version. Might save you a lot of trouble :)

 As for the other viewers, as many ppl are on SL, so many different opinions are there for these. :)

I suggest, after getting used to SL again, read about them or even try 1 or 2, and find what Viewer YOU  are most comfortable with ! :)

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Just a little followup, because basically, I don't have any other viewers to compare this one to at the moment. But I suppose that will come with time. But I noticed a [check-box] in the set-up that said [Allow Multiple viewers]. Any idea why this would be a benefit?

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Thank You Marianne, I just have the one, that's probably enough for me to keep up with for now. But I did just get a message box telling me that SL automatically downloaded some update. I have been looking for where to turn that off but haven't found it yet.

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Thank you so much Tristizia, I don't know why I didn't see that before. This time, I looked at [Preferences] before I logged in. I don't know if that matterss but I found it. I'm sure that will save me a lot of grief. I do that with Windows updates too. So, anyway, being really new, I have nothing to compare my viewer to. All I can say is that it is version 2.8.1 as of Aug 4, 2011. I don't understand the "naming" convention people are using here to refer to different viewers. Seems to work fine but then again, how would I know. But I am so amazed at how helpful everyine is. This is such a cool thing to do. I only wish I had more time.

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This is a link to a list of viewers not created by Linden Labs, but officially supported by them.

 http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

Any version of a Linden Lab viewer using their open source Viewer 1 code is refered to as V1. Any version of a Linden Lab viewer using their open source Viewer 2 code is refered to as V2. The next version of the Linden Lab viewer will use a new code set & will be called Viewer 3 or V3, but it's not the official viewer yet.

http://www.examiner.com/second-life-in-national/coming-changes-second-life

 

Third Party viewers are based on the open source code of official Linden Lab viewers, but are tweeked in various ways to meet the needs of different users.  In general, the more popular a viewer is, the more people like using it, so that's a pretty good indicator of which viewers are good to use. Everyone's has different tastes & needs, though, so it's a good idea to try out a few different viewers to see which you like best.

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Oh, that's so funny!  ((rofl))

@ Davina, you're doing better than me because when someone first asked me what viewer I use, I said "the one that says download here".  I had no idea there were different viewers or even what they were talking about.

For graphics so far, on my machine, Firestorm is best, but my Firestorm got corrupted or something and I hope Firestorm makes an update soon, so I can install a fresh version of Firestorm.  I had to switch to Phoenix and in my personal opinion, the graphics are not anywhere as good as Firestorm.  I'm crossing my fingers for a new Firestorm soon; Firestorm definately had the best graphics overall, far, far better than Phoenix. 

And with mesh coming out soon, you're better off trying to get one of the newer viewers working before you get attached to Phoenix, and then it won't work anymore when mesh is here. 

 

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Most excellent information. I am still playing, and LEARNIG a lot. Just building the right avi takes time and patience which has always been one of my problems. But now, I think it's fun to slow down and try different things. I really appreciate the link to the list of viewers. I have to try each one for a while to see how it benifits what I like. But, just as a possible forum concensus, which viewer might be best at giving you a very detailed view of yourself when you turn around to look at your makeup and such?

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One thing you will never get is a clear consensus on viewer choice.  A lot depends on what your computer can handle and what features you want.  Even when you've chosen a viewer, there are many things you can do to personalize your settings to get the best graphics and performance on your system... that may require a bit of research.

The best thing you can do for now is use the official viewer until you get used to it.  Then once you're set with that, try out a different viewer that is on the third party viewer list and see which one works best for you.

I have to point out that the viewers on the third party viewer list are merely sanctioned for used by Linden Labs (meaning the code has been checked and approved), but they will not provide support for them.  Most third party viewers have their own support teams... you can find that information on their websites.

Also, make sure you only download third party viewers from their official sites and never ever use a viewer that someone just sends you a link for or you find through Google, because then you won't know if the code has been tampered with maliciously.

Hope this helps ...Dres

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I tried that Kirstens? viewer, worked okay for a few hours then something nuked my video.  Had nothing but a black screen unless I booted into safe mode.  Took me all day to fix that.

Now I'm using the basic SL viewer, the first one I downloaded but something is weird,  I don't have access to my inventory or anything.  No "Move" button on the bottom either.  I think I need an update or something.

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Mayalily wrote:

And with mesh coming out soon, you're better off trying to get one of the newer viewers working before you get attached to Phoenix, and then it won't work anymore when mesh is here. 

 

Mayalily, that's not entirely correct :matte-motes-smile:. It's not that Phoenix won't work anymore because of mesh, it will work for a period yet to be determined but it won't be able to render mesh and won't accommodate new features.

From the phoenix support page:  "While it is true that V1 based viewers are nearing the end of their shelf life, this is not because LL will be 'blocking' them. LL will NOT be blocking Phoenix or other V1 viewers. V1 viewers like Phoenix will not be blocked, rather they will begin to break as LL rolls out new features that these viewers cannot accommodate."

and

"As mesh becomes more and more popular, and I'm sure it will.. more and more people will be selling, buying, making and using mesh in their daily sl lives. As the usage increases, the world will look more and more broken for Phoenix and other V1 users."

However, who knows how long it will take before using Phoenix becomes a significant problem. I don't know and I don't think anyone really does. Until that day comes, I'm happy to use this viewer as it's stable and rarely causes me any issues :matte-motes-grin:

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I was in "Advanced" mode, but I can't even really blame that Kirstens viewer for the crash.  I have a bad habit of not restarting my computer but once a week if I even remember to do that.  I just close the lid and let it go to sleep so it restarts instantly.  And I had done something foolish.  I installed a temp file cleaner, updated my video card for possible better 3D rendering, and installed that Kirstens viewer, all without having to restart.  And all was fine until I was on SL and had an ugly log-out and unexpected computer shutdown.  Upon restart, no video at all, just a black screen.

 

I got video in safe mode and tried rolling back the video adapter driver, deleting it, and everything else I could think of.  Still, black screen, or no monitor at all half way through boot-up.  It wouldn't even let me get as far as my password.  The monitor comes on initially but goes black or shuts off on the middle of the POST.

 

Took an entire reformat and reinstall to fix it.  Now all is back to normal and actually working better.  Less bloat with a reinstall.  And I keep very good backups so nothing was lost.  But now that you mention it, I know I was in advanced when the crash occured but I could have restarted everything in basic.  I just deleted the viewer and reinstalled it from this website a few minutes ago.  haven't even tried it yet.  And I have a feeling you are right on Mayalily, I was probably in basic mode.

 

I think I'll play it safe for a bit and stick with that V2 until this new MESH gets tested pretty good.  This is a high-end laptop with a core i7 and 4GB of RAM but I'm not sure the video is that great.  Just an Nvidea GeForce GT 230M.  When I was checking for updated drivers, it was at the bottom of the list even though this laptop is only a year old.

 

But SL is too much fun.  I have to find a stable platform to play on.  And I really appreciate everyone's suggestions, thank you

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I'm sorry, it was Leyna who suggested I was in "Basic" mode.  And you were right.  Didn't notice that when I reinstalled the viewer.  All seems well now.  All except I'm still not sure what caused the crash, if it was that Kristens viewer or something else I did.  But everything seems fine now.  Thank you all so much for your help. 

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I'm glad your computer is back to normal :matte-motes-smile:.

I don't know if this helps but I turn my computer off, every day and reboot my modem at least a few times a week if not more. Maybe this is why I rarely crash. I've only had one issue since I've been in S.L. that was resolved by doing a clean reinstall.  

My cache for Phoenix is stored in a different location to the SL viewer cache (when I did have SL viewer installed) and from what I've read here in the forums and in the viewers support pages, it's beneficial to do a clean reinstall if you have issues that aren't resolved by the usual steps i.e. rebooting modem, manually clearing cache etc.

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Sl is designed to run in their software (ie... viewer 2 or The 1.23 version (Which now is unsupported))  I think of Emerald, and then Phoenix, rising from the ashes? The ashes of Emerald?  Just a thought.  V2 is a bit unstable at times, and we all must ponder if the basic server software is to blame.  Things ain't what they used to be.  Personally my company, which is active here, uses V2.  One tempts disaster with third party viewers.

I don't understand why the server software changes every week, and with that, I think,  the browser must change too.  Why can't we just settle in with something that works and leave it alone.

As for  advice, use Linden's Viewer 2 and make that the only one you have resident on your computer.

Just my thoughts

Kelley

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Unfortunately, a self proclaimed newbie is not going to get your inference about Phoenix.

The server changes are supposed updates, which usually brake something else that they have to fix then roll out yet another version.  LL has a penchant for releasing things before they get them right, as they did with V2; then expecting us to not only live with their missteps, but help them to fix them as well.  That's just how it is.

...Dres

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Once upon a time there was this thing called Viewer 1.0.  It was buggy, prone to crash, suffered from intense lag, objects not rendering and many other problems.  We complained to the Linden God's but very little changed so we just learned to live with it. 

Then some very smart people who both loved Second Life and loved to play with code began to look at these problems and discovered they could be fixed.  In their generosity they began to make these fixes available to their fellow Residents who embraced and loved these fixes and hence were born Alternative Viewers.

And the Linden God's sat there and did nothing.  Until.......

One day a War erupted in Second Life, what became known as The Viewer Wars.  Residents chose sides.  Friends were pitted against friends, brothers against brothers, mothers against fathers.  Even partnerships broke as Residents chose sides.  And great chaos fell upon Second life and darkness upon the faces of the deep.

In their great wisdom, the Linden Gods gathered together a great treasure trove of golden prims and paid a company to develop a new viewer.......a viewer to end all viewers, and hence was born Viewer 2.

The Linden Gods came down In World and gathered the Residents together and said it is time to end the War and to do this we have a great gift for you and they gave to us Viewer 2.  They passed this gift out to us and many of us unwrapped the gift but as we gazed upon it our joy and wonder slowly changed to insanity.

The Linden Gods made a great mistake.  Rather than seeking from the Residents those who loved both Second Life and coding, they had given the job of creating the new viewer to a company who knew nothing about Second Life. And great dismay fell upon the Residents and War broke out again.

The Linden Gods were dismayed.  They did not know at first how to respond.  At first they said there is nothing wrong with this Viewer.  After all we payed a great treasure trove of golden prims for it.  But finally they had to admit that there were some problems and they patched together a couple of fixes and some of the chaos was assuaged.

But there were still some problems.  We asked of the Linden Gods that they fix these too.  But the Linden Gods replied that it couldn't be done.

But then some Residents who still loved Second Life and loved to code took another look at what was happening.  They discovered that there were ways to fix some of the problems that their fellow residents were having.  And hence were born new alternate viewers.   Among them is one called Firestorm.

I myself decided to try this new Viewer, being wearied by lag and crashes and objects constantly not rendering.  And behold, I discovered a whole new world.  My eyes were opened and I suddenly could see things I had never seen before.  I stopped crashing all the time.  When I logged in I didn't  have to wait forever for objects to rez.  When I'd go places with friends, I would be rezzed and ready to go long before they were.  I even found that I could walk in places that previously I had been unable to walk.

So this is my story.  While I know I read of those who claim that Firestorm does not work for them, every one whom I know personally who has tried it has found its performance superior to both Viewer 1 and Viewer 2.  Yes there are still some functions I find easier to do in V1 and in Phoenix (mainly building and sorting inventory) for my every day general living in Second Life, I am totally loving Firestorm.  After going through a brief learning curve which the Firestorm Gods have provided tutorials for, My second life is more enjoyable than ever before.

If only the Linden Gods would learn to listen........................................

 

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Very well said- I never realized how much better SL could run on my middleground machine until I got Firestorm.  It doesn't have all the features I love in Pheonix(yet)- and there are a few bugs- but as a work in progress it is nothing short of fantastic.  I swore I'd never give Pheonix, but seeing what mesh looks like in V1 code is pretty convincing.  There are screenshots in the aforementioned Pheonix blog of what it will look like.

**People with ATI gpus should be aware that the last 3 driver updates may be unstable with Firestorm and cause frequent crashes.  11.5 is a stable update though, and you only suffer a small performance loss by "downgrading" your drivers.**

I gained 15-20+ fps everywhere I go switching from Pheonix to Firestorm.  I have almost no visual lag in even crowded places.  Things rez much faster.  I don't know what those geeky geniuses did, but I ♥ them for it.  Now if only it will hide my "look at" crosshairs like it says it will... and show me other people's =P

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I was a fan of Phoenix, and am a fan of Firefox.  Not so much because of any big performance improvement, or because they both offer a nice set of extra features that I use.  The really huge thing about Phoenix/Firestorm is support.  There are video tutorials to get you started, and detailed FAQ's and a Wiki with all sorts of useful trouble shooting information.  There are in-world courses that walk you through every setting, or you can read detailed descriptions of each setting on the web.  And, there is an active in-world support group where there is amost always someone to answer questions.

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I use Firestorm for the built-in Client AO option, among many many other things.

Most of the sims I frequent require me to de-script as much as possible, and with some of the AO HUDs out there, that's difficult unless I want to walk around like an action figure with a grand total of 5 movable joints.

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