What’s wrong with SecondLife Viewer 2.0?

Kitty Barnett, over at the Catznip blog, posted a question a little while back, asking for, in concrete terms, what people don’t like in 2.0.

As an aside: every now and then I’ll poke someone I know to ask what little things they didn’t/don’t like about 2.0 or what feature(s) they’re missing from 1.23 but surprisingly very few ever seem to really have usuable feedback so since I can’t release I’ll open the door for suggestions on what to do while I/we wait for a stable 2.1 to release

So I sat down and thought about this some…

The biggest thing that I really find distressing about 2.0 is the sidebar. I hated them when web browsers did them, and I hate them in 2.0. It’s just not enough space for many of the panels they try to cram into it. And it only lets you look at one thing at a time, which for much of that information is just completely unacceptable. I’m not opposed to having it in the viewer, I just want it optional, like say, Firefox and it’s sidebar.

And by optional, I mean, everything in the sidebar can also be viewed as separate windows… not a floating window that contains what’s in the sidebar, but actual separate windows for each type of thing it encapsulates. I want multiple profile windows open at once, for instance.

I’m also not too fond of not being able to dock local chat in with my IMs. And the local chat text entry box is way too small (though that wouldn’t matter if I could dock chat with my IM window).

Still, as irritating as I find the sidebar, I’d use 2.0 for Shared Media in spite of it, if it weren’t for the the features from third party viewers that I’ve come to rely on, the biggest being “always rez in land group,” followed up by lesser things like double-click-to-top and client side radar (that can feed in world objects). And less so, ground-sit anywhere, no tp-progress screens (though really I’d like to have this only be for in-sim tps) and shadows.

Without “always rez in the land group” as an option, I’m not gonna be using a viewer for real work. That one is non-negotiable. The other stuff is mostly about helping the viewer get out of your way and fade into the background.

PS Summer correctly points out that temporary textures are pretty critical to building. And bulk temporary textures would be a huge win for sculpty makers like her.

Kitty followed up in SecondLife on Fri Jun 25 2010:

[6:22:26] Kitty Barnett waves.. just wanted to say thankies for your comment :) the sidebar is kind of a huge thing to get rid off though so nothing I can take on and maintain in addition to everything else :| I’ve tried some things like specifying which tabs should auto-hide when the mouse isn’t over it, etc but that doesn’t involve doing a complete UI rewrite :|
[6:22:27] Kitty Barnett: double-click tp and “ground sit anywhere” are Snowglobe features now so any viewer based off of snowglobe will always have it btw :)

And I replied:

[9:24:09] Winter Seale: Hi hi =) Yeah, the sidebar is a huge huge task, and I’m sure will be the focus of many a third party viewer mod (Kirstin’s is already going down that road), so I don’t blame you at all for not tackling that. If you added rez-as-land-group though, I’d love you forever. =)
[9:32:33] Winter Seale: oh lol, and Summer reminds me, Temp Textures are critical too, and if you were to add Temp Texture support to batch upload then she would love you forver too, lol.

Pics from inworld

One of my biggest wishlist items would be the ability for scripts to have some control over the screenshot controls.  Obviously this has lots of security implications, but it’d still be a nice thing to have scriptable.  I developed something that for me, is the next best thing.  Like all those SL blogging services, I setup a little email gateway that takes pics from in world and puts it on a webserver.  It’s still sitting at around the proof of concept stage, but I do intend to add a gallery view to it at some point.  For now, you can see the most recent picture from my feed below:

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