August 13, 2012
With Linden Lab now toeing the Havok line and requiring Third Party Viewers to being used only for Second Life, this is an excellent opportunity for the creation of new viewers. It means that viewer developers are no longer hampered by crappy policies and shackled by shabby coding. They are now free to build viewers that use and test the fullest capabilities of OpenSim and AuroraSim.
Which means that we, the community, have a golden opportunity to talk about what we would like to see in those future OpenSim viewers.
So, gridlings, let me kick this off with my own…
First and foremost, I want a viewer that can be used in OpenSim and AuroraSim. While I use both Sim’ware, I do prefer AuroraSim. But it is lacking in public acceptance. Yes, I know, the AuroraSim devs aren’t all that forthcoming with news and information. Yet how many of us contact them asking for that news? I must confess, I am just as guilty of that as anyone else. The only mitigating factor to that is the fact that I have located Excelsior Station on an AuroraSim based grid, Created Worlds, and not rebuilt it for OpenSim.
To the point at hand, though. With more viewers able to access AuroraSim grids, more people would be able to go and take a look. And they would then talk with the builders of those grids who would then contact the developers with bugs and feature requests. Growing use can and does drive growth in a product.
Another feature I would like is one similar one that is part of Niran’s Viewer. Niran’s has the ability to let you switch from standard SL to RolePlay graphics. And those RP graphics are really nice! But Niran’s went the SL route, so now I have to find a different viewer for use in Kitely. Good thing there’s an Index of Viewers available. So, one feature I would like would be different default graphics settings to suit what I might be doing, whether its building or hunting zombies.
I am primarily a builder. So there’s features that I want that are good for building. Being able to make nanoprims down to 0.001m. This is a great feature if you are a jeweler. I make weapons, armour and other RP equipment. I make starships and alien colonies, which need control panels and energy systems. That small size is excellent for making very detailed objects.
Hollow to 99% is another good feature. Glass tubes that don’t look like they are made of bullet proof glass. Lamp shades that look like they are made of paper and not wood shingles. Fabric clothing that looks like silk and not canvas.
Show axis on the root prim is definitely a need. In the virtual world, the object rotates around the root prim, despite where the axis is. Its a pain in the … well, let’s just say that not having the axis on the root prim adds some difficulty to building and positioning.
And then there’s backing up our builds. Why do viewers that can upload mesh no longer have the ability to export or import XML linksets? Only Phoenix and Cool VL Viewer have both. And what’s wrong with the Heriarchal Primitive Archive or HPA? HPA let’s you export you builds WITH the contents. Astra 1.0 uses HPA as does the latest Angstrom.
So, another set of features I want is to be able to upload mesh, export/import linkset XMLs and to export/import HPAs. I build a lot and I want to be able to store those builds for the long term as well as to be able to upload them to my various instances.
I also want to keep the Pie Menu. Right click an object and then choose the function, with the 6 or 8 most used being on that first layer. That is simply too convenient to do away with.
Built in AO is definitely a feature to keep, too. Again, its nice and convenient while removing something from your field of view.
If I had all those features in my viewer, I’d be a very happy camper.
So, how about you, fellow gridlings. What would you like to see in future OpenSim viewers?