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LL - the so called 'developments' leave much to be desired....


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I've been a bit out of the loop over the past couple of years ( I was quite active 2006-2009), just logging in every now and then to pay some gallery rent, reply to messages etc. and all through that time I've been using Viewer 1.23. I used to be happy  with it. Sure there was an occasional crash but nothing to interfere too much with my enjoyment of SL, and I never had a rant about SL before.

So, trying to get back into SL again recently I thought I'd try the latest viewer  ( 3.2) - must be better than the old 1.23 I thought...better developments must have taken place over the past couple of years...

I was wrong.

What is going on?

  • The interface seems more clunky, especially the view/move controls. Why change the interface - just for change's sake?
  • Search is abominable -I don't find it user friendly at all.  What was wrong with the old one? If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!!!!! For example,   I tried to look at listings under Arts and Culture in 'Places'. In the older viewer I would have seen a list of all the relevant places, so I could happily pick some to go explore - you can't do that with this viewer. It seems you have to put something in search field - but if I don't know what's out there how can I put something in the field to search for it!! I reckon a lot of smaller places will lose out in traffic because of this, which long term might mean less of the great smaller builds and events. Poor search facilities might just drive people away to the competition. This also means that my places are not showing up in search unless you know their names to search by! And my paid classifieds didn't appear either. So what the heck am I paying for???
  • CPU usage goes through the roof when trying to log in to the latest viewer - 60-100% usage compared to a maximum of 50% with 1.2. I've checked the specs and meet the requirements.
  • I am having contstant problems with the latest viewer crashing. By comparison 1.23 was very stable.

I guess I'll have to continue with my old viewer, but that doesn's seem to be performing as well as it used too - I'm seeing object viewing problems such as being able to see some of my buildings, texture problems.  As it's no longer being supported however, how long will it be till it becomes too outdated? With the terrible performance of the newest viewer I can see perhaps having to forget SL - so no more premium membership from me Linden Labs, no classifieds payment,  no spending by me in SL or creating places for people to visit and hang out. That would be a real shame, because I think SL is a fantastic concept, and I have met people and seen builds, art, had great discussions, which I would never have in RL.

Perhpas Linden Labs are becoming too complacent. I suspect it's only a matter of time before there is a viable alternative to SL (there is already one with potential and I hear many from SL have left for it).

If I'm having problems just getting into and using SL with the new viewer and not being able to easily find places and events that are happening, I dread to think what other changes there are that I have yet to catch up on!!

It's not about getting used to change. I'm believe in change if the change is good and an improvement. From what I've seen this isn't. If I have got some things wrong through lack of knowledge then I'll be happy to stand corrected. But so far I am very very far from impressed!

Rant over.

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If you think that LL's latest viewer (the V3) is clunky, you should heve seen the one they had between the current one and 1.23. It was the V2 and that really was clunky. 95% of people who did LL's poll were against it but LL pressed on with it regardless because that's what LL does best - ignore their customers. By comparison to the V2, the V3 is a breath of fresh air. The camera controls that you mentioned is my big complaint with it. They are unusable in the way that many people use cam controls - permanently on-screen. The buttons system is excellent though.

Search has been a pain for many people for years. But you always did have to type something in to search on, so that's not changed. Perhaps you're thinking of the old Popular Places tab. If you are, it never gave anyone a genuine selection of places to look at. It only displayed the places that did the most traffic gaming - organised-pseudo-popularity.

LL keeps fiddling with SL because it's their bread and butter, but they only fiddle. They don't do anything for customers as a whole, and they don't listen to customers. For a while, they've been trying to make SL acceptable to Facebook lovers instead of making SL itself more desirable for people in general.

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Thanks very much for your responses. I 'm not really one to moan in the forums, and don't like to be negative, but  I find it really frustrating is that SL as a concept is so utterly fantastic but things like poor search functionality, a viewer that is constantly crashing etc. will drive people away. I respect everything LL has done in terms of creating SL and making the world possible, but I don't feel like they are moving ahead of the game from what I've seen and heard. That's a real shame.

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The short answer about the changes is that Linden Labs redesigned the viewers layout without any input from the users and also added the capability to see Mesh objects, which were introduced recently into SL as well as to support other new features.  If you have an older computer the new viewer may too much for your computer to run efficiently.  The old 1.23 viewer is no longer supported and is obsolete and you won't be able to see Mesh objects properly with them or take advantage of other new features.  It may continue to work to a degree for a while yet, but to my knowledge, no one has said when it will cease to function entirely.

The good news is that there are several third party viewers available that use the old 1.23 format on your screen, don't require a newer computer to run correctly and that support many of the new features in SL.  You can look in the wiki here for a complete list of TPV's approved by LL and get links to them.  It sounds like using a TPV is your going to be your best bet

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Evangeline Arcadia wrote:

Thanks very much for your responses. I 'm not really one to moan in the forums, and don't like to be negative, but  I find it really frustrating is that SL as a concept is so utterly fantastic but things like poor search functionality, a viewer that is constantly crashing etc. will drive people away. I respect everything LL has done in terms of creating SL and making the world possible, but
I don't feel like they are moving ahead of the game from what I've seen and heard
. That's a real shame.

They're not. They are working on other non-SL things, so their efforts, as far as SL is concerned, is more-or-less keeping it ticking over and fiddling with it a bit, because it's their bread and butter.

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Thanks for the information Amethyst. It seems a bit poor that I would have to use a third party viewer because LL can't produce one that's stable....thank you third party providers though! Where would people be without you. Looks like I might have to try one out.

I was thinking, what about new users though?Those who have heard about SL and want to give it a try, download the latest one then don't get a good, or full experience of SL because the viewer is unstable, or because they don't get to see all that SL offers because the Search isn't what it was...potential loss of customers for both LL and SL residents...

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  • CPU usage goes through the roof when trying to log in to the latest viewer - 60-100% usage compared to a maximum of 50% with 1.2. I've checked the specs and meet the requirements.

I've been meaning to comment on something like this.  Perhaps my machine is slower, so instead of seeing that rise in CPU usage I'm seeing an extended amount of time between launch and the login screen.

(If you actually mean the later process of logging in and connecting to a sim and rezzing in-world, a viewer-specific slow down there is likely to be the result of some differences in settings, rather than the viewer code itself.  Well... there is HTTP Textures and HTTP Inventory that aren't in the old viewers, but they're "mostly harmless" finally.  Usually.  I think.)

With later viewers it may have gotten worse (and I think it has), the total amount of time to launch any SL viewer and get in-world is way, way too long.  Imagine if it took this long to launch Angry Birds.

With "instant on" being such a priority also for machine manufacturers now, this waiting around for a viewer to collect its wits... that's just not viable, especially not to the demographic to which SL seems to be targeted now.

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Evangeline Arcadia wrote:

 
  • Search is abominable -I don't find it user friendly
    at all
    .  What was wrong with the old one? If it ain't broke don't fix it!!!!!!! For example,   I tried to look at listings under Arts and Culture in 'Places'. In the older viewer I would have seen a list of all the relevant places, so I could happily pick some to go explore - you can't do that with this viewer. It seems you have to put something in search field - but if I don't know what's out there how can I put something in the field to search for it!!

Search is for searching, if you just want to browse then look at the destination guide.

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I must admit, if I had taken a year or two out of Second Life, I would be finding it very hard to come back into; both from an emotional point of view, and because of the massively different official Second Life viewer.  However, I've been evolving with Second Life, during the short four years I've been a resident, and as Phil said in his earlier post, if you think Viewer 3.2 is bad, you really should have seen Viewer 2 when it first came out.  Heck, the interface was so user unfriendly and dark, it was like peering through a letterbox into a dingy hallway.  So, on the whole, improvements have been made.

Regarding the unpalatable suggestion that you could try one of the approved third party viewers, they are not there because LL have failed to have the ability to make their own workable viewer, rather because LL are encouraging people to share knowledge and be a bigger part of Second Life by joining in (voluntarily I might add) with the development of viewers, and the testing of same.

I don't mind change, if it's gradual, and for a good reason.  I did not personally feel that it was necessary to create Viewer 2, but I have to bear in mind - as we all do - that LL have their reasons for doing things, and they do own Second Life and can make or break the rules as they wish to.

New residents to Second Life automatically download Viewer 3.2, and at that point don't know any better.  Some stay, and some leave really quickly, depending on how they take to Second Life - just as before with the viewer 1.23.  Some residents like to test absolutely everything, and so will hear about the third party viewers and try them all out, just as they probably also have accounts with IMVU, Inworldz, WoW, etc. 

My own personal fear (not quite a fear, as SL is only a recreational tool for me), is that one day quite soon I won't be able to access SL at all, because my computer is getting very out of date, and my graphics is just not up to it. Maybe. Second Life seems really unique in so many ways, not least because it is a steep learning curve, and a very heavy drain on a computer's resources.

As for Search - that is just clusterf4ckery.  I rarely use it, and if I do, I tend to scroll randomly down the pages, because I don't trust the top ranking places to be anything other than bot-infested holes. Even now, even though the use of bots to fake traffic is supposed to be a thing of the past. Also, I did a test with a group of friends, some on Viewer 3, some on Phoenix, Firestorm, Imprudence, Exodus viewers, we all searched for the same coffee house, and all of us got rather different results from our searches! 

You just can't beat good old word of mouth for finding the best places.

Anyway, do you think you will stay in Second Life? Or do you think you might make a forever break?  It sounds like you've had better things to do for a couple of years. 

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nope , you hit the nail on the head there. and the third party viewers have also been forced to used LL coding. the alternative (1 of them) is OS grid, and SL will lose many more people to it if they dont forget the pretty wsitches and buttons and get back to basics of makings things work first. and as you said, why fix things that work well?...i cant answer that, have been trying to since the changes.....Perhaps LL just wnats sl all to themselves? thay have attempted to grow too fast to big in pursuit of bigger profits, and ruined the whole thing, but they wont learn coz now they are stuck with the hideous monster they have created.

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You're lucky you missed Viewer 2 - rofl

In an Linden Poll...95% disliked/ hated it (that was the initial version....it did improve later on, so some people were saying)

Cool Viewer is a 1.23 Viewer that can also view Mesh and uses Http Textures.

 

In-world SEARCH is scuppered, because Linden Lab want you to use Marketplace instead.

 

 

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wiked Anton wrote:

[...] and the third party viewers have also been forced to used LL coding.[...]

No they haven't. They use LL's viewer code because LL releases it. People are perfectly free to write their own viewer from scratch, just as the OpenSim people did with the sim server, but it would be a silly thing to do because they can use the LL code and make some modifications to it. Much less effort.

 


the alternative (1 of them) is OS grid, and SL will lose many more people to it if they dont forget the pretty wsitches and buttons and get back to basics of makings things work first. and as you said,
why fix things that work well?
...i cant answer that, have been trying to since the changes......

The bolded comment is about the LL viewers. They didn't try to "fix things" when they developed the V2. They tried to make a significant change, in the hope that the style would attract people who are into social networking. So, even though almost all of us were strongly against the V2, LL had a different view of things than we users did, and that's still true. Their view was the attempt to attract people from elsewhere into SL, and our view was that the V2 was a horrible piece of junk for us.

Eventually, they had to admit (to themselves) that the V2 was really bad, because it never gained in popularity, and most people used 3rd party viewers, or stayed with LL's V1. So they bit the bullet and brought out an excellent viewer in the V3. It compares very favourably with their V1. If they'd brought it out instead of the V2, the majority of people would have praised it, as I did when I tried it. I even started a thread to praise it. They continue to try to attract social networkers, of course, but in a more sensible way, with stuff like users' walls, and followers. It's stuff that I have no interest in even even looking at but, and it's a big but, it doesn't get in the way of users who aren't interested in it. The V2 was an ugly piece of crap and right in your face, so we rejected it. There can't be any criticisism of their current efforts to attract social networkers. Although, LL using Twitter and such to announce things to the SL users is still gross stupidity. By all means, use it, but as an 'as well as' and not an 'instead of'.

 


   
Perhaps LL just wnats sl all to themselves?
thay have attempted to grow too fast to big in pursuit of bigger profits, and ruined the whole thing, but they wont learn coz now they are stuck with the hideous monster they have created.

That isn't the reason. They've always had SL to themselves.

 

It shouldn't be forgotten that there is a fundamental difference between LL and we users. We users want SL to be how we like it to be - for us. LL wants SL to generate as much profit as possible. The goals are fundamentally different. We may think things like, "Don't add all that social networking crap because we are not interested in it." but LL might think, "We need to get more people into SL to increase profits." We all think that SL needs more users, but for different reasons. For LL, the reason is profit. For us, it's more about the place being busier so that we can either make more money in our businesses, or find more places to interact with people, etc. LL simply wants more users for more profits. We want more people like us, who are generally happy with SL. The ways of going about getting more users are, therefore, different.

I'm not an LL fan or supporter. In fact, I'm exactly the opposite. I have negative respect for the company (I can't think of a word for it) and, imo, they've brought about the current bad situation, and decline, all by themselves, through their own stupidity. So I'm not defending them. It's just that I don't criticise them for everything, just because its LL. The V3 is an excellent move on their part. And adding the social networking type features is also an excellent move. Even if the latter doesn't attract more people, I'm sure it will be used and enjoyed by many SL users.

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Try using the third party Phoenix viewer.  You wont see mesh...but, for me that is no loss currently. 

If you want to see mesh, the Firestorm viewer is a bit less clunky than the LL viewer.  The chat/im/notices and appearance mode are still horrid as need to comply with LL, but it is better overall imo.  And, the Firestorm team is great so hope overtime they will make further improvements.

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Use the latest CoolViewer....it has the V3 engine (same libraries) but with the 1.23 UI. You can see Mesh, you can create 64m mega prims, double click TPs and it has a very good inbuilt radar. The layout will be very familiar to you.....it's basically a new engine with old bodywork !. A lot of memory leaks are plugged and doesn't kill your CPU.....you can also select "Swapping" in Advance Menu, to allow larger memory usage (at the cost of swapping) on systems with less than 4Gb of RAM.

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For me, LL Viewer 3 was working quite well until a few days ago, when its performance suddenly got much worse, although I haven't changed anything.  Perhaps the original poster's return to SL coincided with the performance downturn - if indeed that was a general problem, not just specific to me!

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