Monday, October 31, 2011

LL Viewer 3.2.x Many UI Improvements, Moving Forward.

Posted by Darren Scorpio on 12:06 PM

When Linden Lab released their Viewer 2.0 last year it was not well received by the majority of SL users. I personally did not mind it, while yes it lacked the features and ease of use of the Phoenix Viewer, I found it slick, innovative and fun to use. I will admit though that I rarely use LL official viewers as I find them to always be unstable and always very buggy. I have preferred the likes of Firestorm, Dolphin, and the now on hiatus Kirsten's Viewer.

If you are a viewer freak like me and follow everything viewer related (yes I have 6 different viewers installed), you are aware of LL's development viewer which you can download from here.

I am pleased to see LL finally listening to what the users want and are finally working to improve the viewer UI. Here is a short walk through of what you will find.

After downloading and installing the fun will begin.

The first thing you will notice is that there no longer is an option to log in on a dumbed down "basic" mode. This is good because I always found it to be idiotic and it confused the noobs more than it helped them.

Here is where the major changes have taken place. Immediately you will notice that the sidebar is gone and has been replaced by toolbars. The toolbars are on the bottom, and left and right sides. The toolbars are configurable and I will show you how. The next thing you will notice is that the favorites toolbar has been moved and merged with with the navigation bar and thus taking less space than it used to. Another chance is the position of the chat window pop ups that have now been moved to the top right of the screen. This layout makes a lot more sense to me and seems to unclutter the screen.

When you click and drag one of the toolbar buttons you will see the toolbars highlighted in blue, this is where you can drop your buttons.

Con: Although you can drag and place each button in the position you want them the size and position of the toolbar is not configurable. I guess I am too used to Linux and like my panels which are completely configurable, I would like to have full control of these toolbars as well. Like I would like to be able to change the size, and location of them, but I guess this is a start. However the buttons are themselves configurable. You can choose which buttons to display and also whether you want a label on them or just the icon.

Choose buttons will open the following window:

Simply drag buttons to and from this window onto your toolbar. Then you may also decide to display icons only.

This is how my setup looks.

The bad, The ugly, The Uggh Why Can't They Fix This:

The People window is still huge. I would like to be able to change the width and length of it not just the length. I also do not need the idiotic recent tab, it is only taking up space. On the nearby tab I would love to see what Firestorm and Kirsten's has and that is the range in meters of the people on the list. If i cannot tell how far the nearby people are from me then this window is of no use at all to me. 

I should also mention that on the inventory window there is a new item called Received Items. I am assuming this will be for the new direct delivery think they are trying out. I hope this is properly implemented when it finally makes its way to the grid.

So if you have been waiting for a better viewer from the Lab, I recommend that you give this one a try, you might like it. 


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