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Evangeline Arcadia

What third pary viewer do you recommend

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Well after repeated crashes, every time I try to use SL at one point or other, I'm giving up on the latest SL Viewer (3.2...). It's dreadful and the constant crashing is really ticking me off. I've had enough and uninstalled it.

So...I would like to try a TPV as someone suggested to me in another post today. But not every having used one before I'm not sure where to start. Should I go with one of the ones LL says complies with it's policy ( http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory) i.e. Singularity, Phoenix, or Prudence, or one of the others listed further on?

I guess my questions are:

  1. Are these 3 more 'reliable' than the others, whether that be stability, or security?
  2. Is there anything about the other TPVs not in these 3 to highly recommend them instead?
  3. Which is most stable in terms of not crashing? (my system is Winodws XP, with 1GB Ram  2.66 GHz, NVidia Geoforce 7600GT)
  4. Which TPV do you like best and why
  5. Is there anything to watch out for when choosing a TPV?

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

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Sounds a bit odd you posted this in the official Second Life Viewer subforum. Certainly not the best place to promote such or such TPV. I suppose you could ask that in the General Discussion but il any case, there is not a "best" viewer: download TPVs and see by yourself which one is the best for YOU. And, to answer partly your question, I would certainly no recommend using TPVs other than those officially approved by LL.

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ALL of the TPVs on that page are "self-certified" (not LL certified) to comply with TPV Policy, not just the first three.

1 and 3. In the TPV list, viewers are "ordered from best to worst crash rate (% of sessions that end in a crash)."

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A lot of users moved to the 3rd party viewers after they launched V2 of the LL viewer since it was so poorly laid out and hard to use.  A lot of that that came from the fact that is was so different and hard to get used to but it even after some time on V2, it was still a bad UI.

That has changed significantly with the Viewer 3 and if you have not tried it, you may want to.  It is stable, easy to customize and much better GUI than the V2 application.  If you have not tried V3 and are looking for something better then V2, you may want to download it and see.

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if you are used to LL's V2/V3 viewers you might want to try from the TPV list Firestorm with it you can log in V3 mode Firestorm mode or Hybird mode plus there is an excellent inworld support group you can join if you have issues. while i find it reliable and stable you may not there is also the Dolphin viewer based on V3. Phoenix and Impudence are V1 based viewers i think Singularity and Emergence are too and possibily Restrained Love. the rest of the viewers are non graphical.
of the full viewers install the ones you want and test them out till you find one you are comfortable with 

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This is a good question however the answer would be that out of those three only one I would really recomend to try. Singulariy, since Imprudence is old and has not been updated since a few months by now (the developers are working mainly on OpenSim and have dropped SL development I think totally now) and the Phoenix developers are shifting all their effort to their newer Viewer Firestorm.

I have heard good things about Singularity and if you are looking for a v.1 based viewer then trying out this one and Cool viewer would be the best option. However I would rather take a v.2 based viewer like Firestorm (that is the one I use and I sadly don't know the others well enough to recomend one .. but look for the Blog 'Nalates' Things & Stuff [i am never sure if I can post links or not so you will have to google it] as she has always in depth reviews of many different viewers and also looks at completly new ones that are not on the LL lsit yet).

As for reliability then this would be hard to tell since on the technical side it depends on the computer, the connection as well as on the way one uses the viewer and on what features are those used most often. Some viewers are better used for one thing while others are better on other fields. On the side of security then it is all about looking at the website and the information provided .. going to a office hour if provided or joining a support group (Phoenix/Firestorm has a excelent one, and they have also been very informative in this group and outside of it, like on thier viewer wiki) and then looking if the information about the people, their beheviour and openness in development are satisfacionary or not. If a viewer is active since a vers long time (Cool Viewer for example is around for several years now, has a extremly invovled and capable developer and the only reason it is not on the lsit is, because the dev does not like the list and LLs idea of viewers being on it).

For choosing the best viewer it is best to just ask around and compare the answers followed by taking up those mentioned as best (and explained why) and then testing them if they work good for you too (and when using them .. use seperate cache folders or they will negativelly affect each other). Your system seems a bit like my old one and some viewers might be a bit too 'heavy weight' for it. I have run Firestorm and Phoenix on it, but only with reduced grafics and some lag. It worked but in your case I would try Singularity frst as it has always been a viewer that was a bit mroe light then the others and offering good performence even in mor laggy areas.

Cool Viewer is another option of course but all in all there i only one thing that has to be said when it comes to chosing a viewer (this includes the LL one). There is no 'best' one. There is always just one that is best for any given person and their opinions will always differ.

So try some out, look what they offer and one of them will give you what you need to have the most fun in SL!

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With one GB of memory, realistically you can't run a viewer that supports mesh. All mesh viewers have very similar code to render mesh and right now it leaks memory. It's not uncommon for SL to end up using more than a GB of memory itself in a crowded area.

 

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:

With one GB of memory, realistically you can't run a viewer that supports mesh. All mesh viewers have very similar code to render mesh and right now it leaks memory. It's not uncommon for SL to end up using more than a GB of memory itself in a crowded area.

 

I have run the first incarnations of mesh viewers ... Firestorm ... as well as the non mesh versions of Phoenix and also Firestorm on a 1 GB computer. It actually works (however it was a very good computer bild by a freind who knew what he is doing) and that is why in such cases I would suggest both Cool Viewer and Singularity since the other viewers might include too much other code besides mesh that be too much to have running for longer periods of time .. but then .. I used Phoenix and Firestorm on that computer and it has worked ^_^

*Is very happy to have a new one now that is sooooo much better*

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I have switched back to using Cool Viewer for a number of reasons.  The latest is mesh capable and extremely well done as Henri keeps on top of it and makes sure it's run's as well as possible, plus he fixes issues with lightning speed.

It has V1 User Interface with a few options.  The underlying mechanics (base code) is V3 with some optimizations which don't load down a client PC as some other viewers do.  

Additionally, a BIG +   If you are a scripter he keeps Cool Viewer up to date with the latest developments that are implemented on the SL Servers.  The LL official viewers have not updated any of the scripting info in their viewer since May of 2011 and there have been many additions & modifications to LSL since then.  So if you are editing scripts and making new ones, many of the new functions are missing in the internal editor and you will get errors thanks to that... which as a scripter, that IS most annoying!

You should also look into a RAM upgrade for your computer if you only have 1 gb, that just won't cut it in todays world and RAM itself is quite cheap now days.

 

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Do yourself a big favor and upgrade your ram. Check if you system can support more than 2GB, if it can go for 4GB. You will see a very nice improvement not only in SL but in your computer performance as a whole. RAM is pretty cheap these days. That alone will give more stability to the viewers since they won't be caching to and from the hard drive as much.

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Most of the viewers are decent. But, many of the problems you are experiencing likely comes from the basic core Linden Lab code. This is the same code used by most of the TPV's. So, you may not escape the problems.

I think the Exodus Viewer team is the only team working on modifying the render pipeline. So, you may have fewer problems, or possibly just different problems, with their viewer.

The Cool VL Viewer is another possibility. I'm not sure if Henri B. is changing the render pipleline. He has adapted it to work with the older style user inerface from the Lab's 1.23 Viewer. I suspect he has fixed some bugs.

The SL Viewers are; 3.2.5 - Main stable release, 3.2.5 - Beta, and 3.2.7 - Development Viewer. The 3.2.5 just came out as the main viewer and it has most of the OpenGL fixes. It is much better than the 3.2.2 version. Make sure you have an updated video driver. Prior to 3.2.5 you may have to use an older video driver for nVidia.

Inara Pey and I both do reviews of viewers. She has been testing them for performance. The Lab's 3.2.5 version was the fastest at the time she tested. The TPV Directory lists viewers in the order of stability. Singularity is the most stable according to last month's data.

All the TPV's have different features. Phoenix is probably one of the best known viewers. But, support for it is decreasing. The Developement Team and support people are moving to its replacement Firestorm. I would avoid Phoenix and go direct to Firestorm. It can be set to run in Phoenix mode.

Dealing with different user interfaces is a problem. Dolphin Viewer 3 has a very SL Viewer 3 style user interface. It recently updated and is using code from the Lab's version 3.2.6. The update came after Inara's tests. So, it is probably faster than the ranking in her list.

If you are going to run more than one viewer, there are some things you should know. A big one is to install the latest SL Viewer from the Lab before you start installing TPV's. Having it installed will save you problems. 

Also, install the viewer you plan to use most, last. If you change you mind, just reinstall that viewer so it is the last installed. If you want to know more about running multiple viewers read: Second Life Clean Install. The methods outlined can save you problems. I have about 20 viewers in various versions installed and all work well.

My favorite viewer is... I don't have one. I like the SL Viewer. Like you I had lots of problems with it. For at least the last 3 months I have been running on development version of the Lab's viewer to escape the problems. Right now I alternate between the Lab's and Exodus.

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