last updated: October 8, 2012
Viewers are just as important to the Metaverse as OpenSim or AuroraSim are. After all, without a viewer you can't access the Metaverse at all. But not all viewers are created the same. Each has a little something different from the others. Which is great since each of us seeks the best possible experience. And there's always lots of discussions about the various pro's and con's of viewers. Yet, it seems to me that there isn't a listing of the viewers and their features. Yes, Second Life has their Third Party Viewer directory, but even that doesn't list any of the various features. Well, no more. Here's Misfit's Index of Viewers.
But first, a bit of info about what I've done here. I downloaded the latest release of each viewer listed, current as of the date above. I installed each viewer “over top” of the previous installation so as to keep my settings. I tried to test every feature that I am used to as well as those that I see people talking about. I am hoping that people will let me know of features they like so I can add them. But, there are a lot of features to test each time and so I am limiting things until I can fully incorporate the information. Each viewer has been tested on my home setup which is a two computer LAN using Ethernet, not wireless, across a Cisco Linksys router left on default settings. One computer does duty as the server and the other as the client. Both computers are 64bit and both are running Windows 7-64bit. Each viewer is the 32bit version unless otherwise noted under the Version heading.
This index will be carried on as a separate page on this site and I've added a link to the menu on the left (note, that the separate page is this page). I have laid this index out in 2 distinct sections. First, a set of tables that lists the features and whether they are available, or what the feature's limits are. I have added special notes below each table if any further explanation might be needed. The second part is a short section for notes specific to individual viewers.
This Index will list viewers that can be used to access OpenSim and/or AuroraSim based grids and stand-alones and are not focused on any one grid. It will not list Second Life only Third Party Viewers or viewers that are dedicated to a specific grid.
Only viewers that are PC/Laptop based with a fully functional Graphic User Interface (GUI) will be listed. I don’t have an Android phone or a tablet, so I cannot test those.
These viewers are the versions released and downloaded as of October 8, 2012.
|Angstrom Viewer||1.1.7 (28947)||Aug 26, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Astra Viewer||1.6.4 (1)||Jun 4, 2012||no Home Page | Download Page|
|Catznip Viewer||R6 (3.2.2)||Feb 25, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Cool VL Viewer||1.26.5 (13)||Oct 13, 2012||| Home Page | Download Page|
|Firestorm Viewer||4.1.1 (28744)||Jul 9, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Imprudence Viewer||1.4.2 (Beta)||Sep 11, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Kokua Viewer||126.96.36.19907||Sep 3, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Phoenix Viewer||1.6.1 (1691)||Mar 19, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Singularity Viewer||1.7.2 (2956)||Sep 15, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Teapot Viewer||0.2.6||Sep 2, 2012||no Home Page | Download Page|
|UKanDo Viewer||0.1.5.0||Sep 3, 2012||no Home Page | Download Page|
|Voodoo NXG Viewer||1.2.0 (8)||Aug 20, 2012||no Home Page | Download Page|
|Zen Viewer||3.4.1 (5)||Oct 6, 2012||Home Page | Download Page|
|Viewer||Interface||Grid Access1||AuroraSim Compatible||Export Linkset XML||Axis on Root||Nanoprim||Max Hollow||Undo/Redo|
|Cool VL Viewer||V1||Manager||no||Yes||no||0.01||99||Yes|
1 Grid Access refers to what is done to enable the viewer to access various grids.
'Switch' refers to the need to modify the link by adding —loginuri <grid url> switch. With the advent of Linden Lab’s SL only policy, this feature will be removed as developers produce viewers that comply or don’t comply with that policy.
'Manager' refers to a built in Grid Manager that allows the user to add, delete and update grids via a specific window, accessible on the login page and/or through Preferences. Do not confuse this with a Grid Selector.
2 HPA or Hierarchical Primitive Archive is a format that allows for the exporting and importing of objects which allows the object to retain its Contents.
|Viewer||Built-in AO||Radar||DbleClik Minimap TP3||DbleClik Land TP4||Support Mesh||Command in Chat5|
|Astra Viewer||Yes||on MiniMap||calls World Map||Preferences||See6||Yes|
|Catznip Viewer||HUD||no||calls World Map||Preferences||Yes||no|
|Cool VL Viewer||HUD||Top Taskbar Menu||calls World Map||Preferences||Yes||no|
|Firestorm Viewer||Yes||Preferences||calls World Map||no||Yes||Yes|
|Imprudence Viewer||Yes||on MiniMap||Yes||no||no||Yes|
|Phoenix Viewer||Yes||Bottom Taskbar Button||calls World Map||Preferences||Yes||Yes|
|Singularity Viewer||Yes||Top Taskbar Menu||calls World Map||Preferences||See6||Yes|
|VoodooNXG Viewer||Yes||Bottom Taskbar Button||calls World Map||no||See6||Yes|
|Zen Viewer||Yes||no||calls World Map||Preferences||Yes||no|
3 DbleClik Minimap TP refers to the feature of double clicking on the minimap to teleport to that location. An entry of "calls World Map" means that double clicking on the minimap will open the World Map for your teleport.
4 DbleClik Land TP refers to the feature of double clicking on a spot inworld to teleport to that location.
5 Command in Chat refers to a feature where the user can say in chat a specific command to initiate something. Example: saying in open chat gtp 128 128 100 will teleport the user to the coordinates of 128, 128, 100. Saying dd 512 will change the draw distance to 512 metres.
6 See means that the viewer can “see” mesh inworld but does not have the ability to import mesh objects.
|Viewer||OSSL Script Support||Power User7||Build Height||Copy & Paste Prim Parameters||Remove Scripts||Max Draw Distance8||MoaP|
|Astra Viewer||Yes||Yes||4096m||Yes||Yes||1024m||Load Texture9|
|Catznip Viewer||Yes||no||4096m||no||no||to be checked||to be checked|
|Cool VL Viewer||Yes||no||4096m||Yes||no||512m||Load Texture9|
|Imprudence Viewer||Yes||no||10000||Yes||no||to be checked||to be checked|
|Kokua Viewer||Yes||no||10000||no||no||to be checked||to be checked|
|Phoenix Viewer||Yes||no||4096||Yes||Yes||1024m||Load Texture9|
|Singularity Viewer||Yes||no||4096||Yes||Yes||1024m||Load Texture9|
|UKanDo Viewer||Yes||no||4096||no||Yes||to be checked||to be checked|
|VoodooNXG Viewer||Yes||no||4096||no||Yes||to be checked||to be checked|
7 Power User refers to a setting allowing the user the following extra abilities:
Animation Priority up to 7. Meant for animations that should override anything and everything at all times. DO NOT USE THIS FOR GENERAL ANIMATIONS.
Right click > Destroy objects. Permanently deletes an object immediately, when you don't feel like waiting for the server to respond.
Right Click > Explode objects. Turns an object physical, temporary, and delinks it.
WARNING: Be careful when enabling Power User functionality as it can really screw things up for you. (I accidentally exploded a build that was over 1,100 prims)
8 Max Draw Distance is the maximum drawing distance that you can set in the viewer’s Preferences under Graphics. This can be over-ridden using Command-in-Chat.
9 Load Texture refers to the necessity of loading the parcel’s media texture onto the prim face first. Caveat: I don’t use MoaP and so I am unfamiliar with setting it up properly.
Angstrom Viewer: Can bulk upload sounds. Angstrom has the LSL<>Client Bridge feature. This Bridge is functional only in Second Life. Disabling the use of the Bridge in OpenSim has no effect that I can discover. If you leave it enabled, however, the viewer will attempt to attach it, will not be able to and will drop it on the ground, leaving an invisible prim that is almost impossible to find and grab. This invisible prim does count against your sim’s parcel allowance. Linkset Imports have a 254 prim limit.
Cool VL Viewer: Requires installation of Snowglobe 1.4.2 from Linden Lab. There appears to be incompatibilities with either Windows 7 or 64bit systems or both. Mesh functions, Copy & Paste Prim Parameters and others are disabled on my setup. I do know that those functions work under Windows Vista 32bit as I used them when I was running that operating system. The version tested here is the experimental version. There is a stable version available on the download page above this experimental version listing.
Firestorm Viewer, Phoenix Viewer: Only the OpenSim based versions are included. Both of these viewers have the LSL<>Client Bridge feature. This Bridge is functional only in Second Life. Disabling the use of the Bridge in OpenSim has no effect that I can discover. If you leave it enabled, however, the viewer will attempt to attach it, will not be able to and will drop it on the ground, leaving an invisible prim that is almost impossible to find and grab. This invisible prim does count against your sim’s parcel allowance.
Teapot Viewer: Can Search for new grids from Login Splash page. Can enter new login URL on Splash Page.
Zen Viewer: Includes photography and video tools. Can Search for new grids from Login Splash page. Can enter new login URL on Splash Page. Login Splash page includes information of when new releases are available.