Black Dragon is MY Viewer, i decide which feature i want to add and which to remove, i share this Viewer to show the world that user base size is not important, i do rate quality by effort, thought and love put into the project, not some rough estimated numbers. I consider feature requests only if i you can name proper valid reasons i can agree on. It is my (unpaid) time i'm putting into this project, i'm not here to cater to every Joe's desires.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Release 2.0.4 (2321)

NOTE: See instructions below for solutions on reverting settings!
UPDATE: Added Mig´s Linux version , please read the "Linux" part of this Blog down below

hai hai :|
lots of changes due to 2 weeks without update

Fixing reverting/non saving Settings:

First of all , this is mostly my fault. The Viewer you unpack is a local copy of the freshly and most up-to-date version (at the moment of packing) you can get , its the version i am/was using , that means you will basically get everything packed up i do have aswell and when i packed the Viewer i forgot to delete my presets with which i tested the save/load preset functions. This function will save ALL your (and mine) settings into a file , one of these settings is a string (a text) that resembles the name of your video card , this string is used to determite what video card you use and therefor what features you can use and which you cant use. Everytime this string changes , you will get a notification on startup that the video card has been changed and therefor graphic settings have been reverted to a default that should be fine for that new card. This is an intended feature and existed for a very long time in ANY Viewer.

Heres the problem: 

If YOU load any of my presets , this "GTX 460" string will be set in your current settings. When you´re finished building your settings on top of that preset you will most likely save it again , you will also save that "GTX 460" string into those settings. If you relog now , the Viewer will notice that your video card changed from GTX 460 to X (whatever you got) and will revert your settings , usually you will want your settings back , so you´ll just load them again , causing GTX 460 to be set as your video card AGAIN , reverting your graphic settings on next start AGAIN.


To break this semi-endless revert issue you will have to delete all my presets (and yours just to be safe). You can find them in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Nirans Viewer\app_settings\graphic_presets
in this folder you´ll have to delete ALL files (DO NOT DELETE THE FOLDER!!!).
now go to:
C:\Users\Niran\AppData\Roaming\Nirans Viewer
delete the "user_settings" folder. This will completely terminate all your settings and clean everything that could still cause any issue like this.
start the Viewer again , set everything you as you want it to be and then save it as a new preset. Loading this preset should not cause any issues anymore.

Heres problem #2 (not saving settings):

You as the User need write permissions for the graphic_preset folder located in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Nirans Viewer\app_settings\graphic_presets
otherwise the Viewer will not be able to save its presets in there.

Solution #1:

Log in to Windows with your Administration User (Administrator) , not your normal User (if you created one)

Solution #2 (Not confirmed): 

Right-click the Viewer exe and select Preferences , select the "Compatibility" tab at the top and tick the option "Run as Administrator" , select "Apply" and then "Ok" (if you got the rights to do this)

Solution #3:

Log in to Windows with your Administration User (Administrator). Right-click the graphic_presets folder and select Properties , select the "Security" tab , in the first list , select your current user and tick "Full Control" on the left side ("allowed" column) and make sure theres a tickbox in every right especially "Edit" , now click "Apply" and then "Ok"

Please correct me or tell me any other possible way how this issue can be fixed (if you find any other way) ,
also take a look at:
SLU Forum , reverting settings issue
My SecondLife , reverting settings issue
for more help , please keep in mind that im using a German Windows , some names or tabs above might be labeled slightly or completely different! Please tell me if so.

User Interface:

Changes here , changes there , changes everywhere =D starting with chiclets now beeing able to go from far right to far left (see picture)

ESC will now close Preferences as proposed and requested. Only works when Preferences is open , otherwise it will reset your camera.

I fixed the hide/always hide/deselect options which enabled/disabled each other making some strange combinations hard or impossible to achieve.

Preset saving and loading has been upgraded a bit , it will now save all your settings weither they are default or not and it will overwrite an existing file instead of always adding ".nv" to its name.

A bug that was reported causing the "Set Voice Key" dialog not detecting your pressed keys has been fixed and should now work correctly again.

The Inbox panel in your Inventory when opened became extremly small and was hardly usable , i made it bigger and user resizable.

Inspectors have been revamped because they looked broken and ugly , they should look much cleaner and visually more appealing now!


Lots of code and comments has been removed and or cleaned up aswell as alot of Debug Settings that werent used anymore were removed.

A bug that was reintroduced with Beta merge causing the inability to move an object more than once into the same container was fixed (was also reported by a few people)

Translation and Socks 5 both have been removed from preferences and out of my Viewer code as both seem to be absolutely unusable and/or obselete.

For the other tiny changes please see the changelog at the bottom...


Miguael gave me a link to his Linux version compiled from the source 7 days ago , that means that it is missing some fixes/features , those fixes/features are:

tweaked SSAO shaders and settings for a slighty smoother and less grainy look
enabled Quiet Snapshot to Disk by default
fixed save presets adding ".nv" on already existing presets and made it save all settings
fixed hide/deselect chat options logic
fixed Sidebar appearing on Left side instead of right
fixed IM chiclets not beeing able to move to far left of your UI
removed FPSCounterAsText debug

You can find it below the usual Windows Download.


Heavily tweaked shadow detail and appearance, they should now look like if you´ve set resolution to something like 2.0 , without hitting on performance , blurring also has been reduced a bit and projected lights will now throw much better shadows that dont go all jerky and pixelated that fast anymore.




added missing texture refresh option in right click dropdown on objects
added ability to close Preferences panel via ESC if its open
disabled TCMalloc
disabled Private Memory Pool by default
enabled VSync again for this release
enabled Quiet Snapshot to Disk by default
redone all inspectors including Avatars , Groups , Objects and remote Objects
moved Preferences panel on top of everything else
fixed IM chiclets not beeing able to move to far left of your UI
fixed hide/deselect chat options logic
fixed Voice "set key" dialog doesnt detect pressed keys
fixed inbox panel in Inventory becoming tiny and unresizable
fixed scripted objects not moving correctly
fixed flexis beeing broken and appearing as disks sometimes
fixed slight shadow acne on some camera angles
fixed a bug causing an object not beeing placable into a container more than once
fixed save presets adding ".nv" on already existing presets and made it save all settings
fixed (potential) öäüßè and other labels becoming unreadable crap in german translation
tweaked quick Soundprefs to slide in horizontally instead of vertically
tweaked RLVa Avatar Z Offset feature to allow up to 3 decimal numbers
tweaked some german translations with a more fitting label
tweaked shadows and projected light shadows extremly for a higher detailed look especially on distance
tweaked Preferences panel background opacity slider to allow up to 90% opacity
tweaked SSAO shaders and settings for a slighty smoother and less grainy look
removed obselete FPS bar
removed lots of unused code and comments scattered around the viewer
removed all Translation debugs
removed FPSCounterAsText debug
removed RotateRight debug again
removed RegInClient debug
removed PostFirstLoginIntroViewed debug
removed PostFirstLoginIntroURL debug
removed all Socks5 proxy debugs
removed LastPrefTab debug
removed LocalFileSystemBrowsingEnabled debug
removed LeftCLickShowMenu debug
removed RenderAnimateRes due to non functionality
removed unused old graphic preferences floater
removed Socks5 Proxy and all its features
removed Translator and all its features

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Some Questions...

Before i can release, there are a few "things" im not yet sure what to do, so i figured i could ask you what you think about it. Write your answers into a comment like this:

#1. blablabla bla blabla bla

#2. blabla blabla bla blablabla

#3. ...

NOTE: This post might be updated with new questions... so check back sometimes

Updated: I added the overall summary in which my own opinion is also included and what it means for you , no obviously means that it wont be done.

Login & First Use:


Would you like to see a "how do you want your Viewer" screen on first start that will ask you lots of questions and set the Viewer depending on what you set as answer?



Should i rename/relabel "Login to SecondLife(tm)" to just "Login" (is that a more obvious login button for you)?

No, instead make user aware of it beeing a button and not a title.



Should i merge up all the latest development code (earlier than beta), which contains lots of Firestorm Crashfixes, the new HTTP Project (which i had in 1.49), some UI optimizations and other stuff?
(Warning this might make the Viewer again extremly unstable, no guarantee here)

Has to be done, but not yet, will wait until next or next-next Release.

User Interface , Widgets & Labels


Should i re-check all options for better labeling and missing tooltips?

I should re-check them when i come by and someday start a systematic overall check.


Are you happy with the new Preferences Panel or is there something that could be done better (i thought about centering the panels on the right so they dont start at the top and enabling Escape Key to close it)?

Yes, pretty much everyone seems to be happy, ESC close has been implemented and the Preferences Panel is beeing investigated if theres something that could be finetuned.


Do you want Floaters (windows) to fade out on close (or fade in on opening) like toasts (system messages , IMs and chat) do?

Probably not, maybe some day...


Would you like to see a re-design of the main UI (Navigationbar , Favoritesbar , Menubar , IM chiclets , Local chat , Toolbars etc) and what do you think could it look like (more MMO-ish? something completely new?)?



Do you think the FPS bar (not text , at the top right) is useless and could be replaced/forced to text style all the time?

Yes, its useless and has been removed.


Do you like the default skin or could there be something way simplier (like LL style grey as example)?

The default seems pretty ok, will delay any plans on doing a new skin infinitely until theres a reason to do a new one.


Does the Viewer have enough options to set your preferred graphics or do you know anything else thats missing or could be added?




Do you like the new layout and look of the Blog or was the old one better?

The old one seems alot better to most people, however i liked the old one more because it was different. New one will remain however.


Should i shorten my blog posts (release posts)? Should i lengthen them (explain more)?




Did my shader fix help you enabling Vertex Shader and/or Deferred , Shadows and that stuff that didnt want to activate previously?

Fixed for those that had problems enabling certain options, did not alter the experience for everyone else. Perfect.


What do you think about this song? could it be used for a new video? maybe for login?


What do you think about the whole "No @ 98% of Firestorm/Phoenix features" philosophy?

Its fine. It makes the Viewer what it is and i would have never even thought about changing this philosophy.


Did you ever try the new scripting editor with all its new colors and layout? Is it good (i had no problems when scripting with it)?

Those who script seem to like it, the rest cant tell.


Should there be less updates? Should they stay on a regular base or more on a "when its done" one?

Regular is good but "when its done" is also good, meaning that nothing will change...


Should i implement some sort of Live Chat for helping as example?

By GOD are you crazy , NO!


Do i really have to implement a Viewer doomsday feature that disables the Viewer as soon as an update is online to make you update regulary?

Those who read my blog obviously answer no, those that dont read it... are those at which this question was directed, making this decision hard, but probably... no.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Release 2.0.3 (2262)

WARNING: My Viewer uses a Depth of Field Resolution of 1.0 by default! this can cause serious FPS drops (if you zoom so close that your camera would start mirroring itself) up to a freeze at which your drivers will "freeze" and Windows will automatically start the driver recovery (black screen for a few seconds), this can either be prevented by disabling driver recovery or by pulling Depth of Field Resolution to a lower value, it can also be "prevented" by lengthening the amount of time (2 seconds by default) after which the driver recovery should kick in, this will give you alot more time to just turn the camera around/zoom out or generally clear Depth of Field again without the drivers crashing and therefor your Viewer crashing (however this needs some registry hacks, please see a tutorial on how to do these and please only do them if you know what you are doing!)

NOTE: To all you people having problems with always re-baking avatars and objects, THIS IS NOT ONLY MY VIEWERS FAULT! It happens in all other Viewers aswell, so far users on Singularity, Catznip, Linden Viewer, Phoenix and Firestorm confirmed its happening to them aswell! Not sure tho if its a widely spread Viewer issue or Server issue.


The Viewer again has undergone some heavy changes internally, i rebased my code on Linden Lab´s latest Beta again so it contains all its shinies and also not so shiny things (if there are any) , those shinies so far include a fix for rezzing friendlists/grouplists causing extreme FPS drops, reducing memory usage, some pathfinding changes and fixes, group handling code for groups with 10k people, localization of server messages and other stuff i havnt yet noticed...

User Interface:

A few fixes here, a few fixes there, add some salt everywhere...

I fixed those pesky green ad-hoc conversation icons that plopped up behind avatar icons when having IM/Group toasts active.

Also the invisible login button of connection overlapping the "close viewer" button is also gone now...well its not gone its just shortened more so even with opened preferences you should be able to click it normally.

Pressing ESC with opened "Set Voice Key" floater will now close it, in next update i will also make ESC close Preferences without you having to click cccept or its menu entry (or shortcut).

I changed the Script Editor´s color theme completely, inspired by Microsoft Visual Studio 2012´s color theme, have a look! it looks really nice


Graphics havnt been touched, just "fixed" the anti shadow acne. Here are 2 examples of what i mean...

I MIGHT have fixed an compatibility issue with Exodus´s Post Shaders (i should tell Geenz about that fix if it works) that caused some video cards with older OpenGL especially ATI and OpenGL 4.0 to be unable to enable Vertex Shader and all its options, the same fix might also fix the issue for some other people that cant enable Deferred Rendering or Shadows and so on.


Performance should have been drastically increased in terms of its longlivity, before, in Deferred my Viewer went into "crawl" mode really quick due to 1-2 avatars already occupying all its memory, now that the memory usage has been reduced drastically to a point where i can go into a club with 35 people and still only use 1.0gb memory, it will take ALOT longer for the Viewer to break down into crawl mode. "Crawl" mode will also usually only engaged in Deferred Rendering and higher so for all windlighters theres nothing to fear, nothing should have changed for you anyway.


Oh and... i got bored again so i recorded a super smooth 30 FPS video with active Deferred and Tone Mapping =D




fixed refresh snapshot label getting truncated
fixed "set voice key" and "set middle mouse" button had inverted functions
fixed anti shadow "acne" (small shadows vanishing on distance)
fixed (potential) some people not beeing able to enable Vertex Shader or above due to Exodus´s post shaders
fixed green ad-hoc conversation icon
fixed Login to Second Life button overlapping the close button when prefs were opened
fixed mostly all rendering related breakdowns , a few are still there :/
fixed groupslist/friendlist loading causing extreme performance drop or freezes up to disconnects
rebased code completely on Linden Labs latest beta , that includes alot of changes/fixes
reduced memory usage and memory usage buildup extremly
merged alot of translations especially for all non supported languages
cleaned up some code and XML files everywhere
changed ESC button to close voice key floater (will do same for prefs in next update)
changed "dublicate" label to duplicate
changed Script floater color theme to a MS Visual Studio 2012 inspired color theme
changed snapshot floater refresh label background a bit
changed german "save to computer" label to match the panel button
tweaked default glow strength a bit
removed some unused and not working achievements

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Release 2.0.2 (2225)

ERROR: Error while loading Error.
WARNING: The Error is still loading.
NOTE: Dont forget Cache clear and Settings reset if nothing else helps!
NOTE #2: You can do a settings preset before changing to the new version, it might come in handy to just load your settings in again.

Yea we´re getting back into that weekly update routine and i encourage you to update , all previous versions werent listed for some reason...

User Interface:

I remade the loginscreen as the Group and SLU users may have seen already , i´ve also made a new Video for it to go with the new loginscreen , watch it here! well...or on Youtube... you know...

the whole new thing pretty much looks like this in the Viewer...

and comes with a basic preference panel to revert core options if you broke something inworld and it somehow got saved , causing you to freeze/crash to death... clicking "Settings" will open it. For those that asked about the small one-way-in street sign (xD) to the left of those preferences ... well thats the unnecessary "Close Viewer" button you basically wont need because you can just click the X , however if you should come across Space Magic and the menu should vanish and the X button of Windows not work anymore then you can click that little X button over there haha... also the Version information at the lower left corner is now the "About" button , just click on it and the About Nirans Viewer floater will pop up. As you may have noticed , without the preferences opened it looks alot more basic than before , only revealing very important stuff like the huge LOGIN TO SECONDLIFE button which is actually the login button you have to press in order to login (Captain obvious Renamon just stated the obvious again).

I fixed a missing code line that prevented the "set group button" (wrench icon) in tools floater from becoming enabled asswel as corrected a little "mistake" i made somewhere in SLURL code preventing the "none" label from appearing when no group was selected.

All Privacy and Personal related options like "send IM to my E-mail when im offline" , "only friends and groups know if im online" , "show me in search" and all that stuff didnt work until now because the internal message delivering your personal information that are needed to pin those options to your account wasnt coming through to my preferences panel. They should be fixed now.

I made a dangerous change in my Featuretable´s that will "hopefully" allow everyone to enable all high end graphic options even tho they are not supported or may result in complete breakage of the Viewer, crashing your drivers or even damage your OS. Please be FUCKING carefull with that, i think i´ll find a way to display you some more informations about what your video card can do in "About" in later updates, so you can see what your video card can do. You can then decide easier if it might be dangerous for you to enable certain options.

Some minor things again most of you wont notice, i updated the tips n tricks shown in the loadingscreen tips floater and translated them, aswell as the local texture selection panel and the navigation bar Pathfinding tooltips when hovering over those Pathfinding icons

About Users , the Blog , my opinion and stuff:

A fact is that im really pissed, pissed because of alot of things, not just that it looks like some/one/all TPV dev/s seem to see me as the new Kirsten asshole. No! , im also pissed that some people seem to boycot updates which makes me start building up rage. As if that wouldnt be enough theres also those kind of users that dont even have the balls to read atlast the blogpost of the version they are downloading, its sad and it makes me angry. In meantime while the viewer is unpacking/downloading you could have easily read half up to a complete post. This would ensure that you atlast know whats new in this version and whats going on, especially if theres bad stuff known like bugs , crashes or things in general you should know, but alltogether this is by far not the worst. Some people dont understand what im doing here, im literally doing a whole Viewer on my own with all kind of side projects, like support, people that think im an evil person because sometimes im going in INSANE MODE on my blog are the worst... you have to understand that im trying to support all my users even tho i basically dont care about them WHILE caring about them. Its paradox, i know and thats why i will try to explain it. You leave = i dont give a fuck. You give constructive feedback where i want it = i care. This is "my" Viewer, if i would be in mood, i could just stop it, right here, right now, right out of the sudden and for no reason. So if all users whould run away now, i wouldnt care because, hey, no users = no people having problems and i would just go private with the Viewer, taking it off the TPV list and im fine. The reason im not doing that is because i am enjoying more or less happy users, also people would beg me and ask me for a download link if i would teaser them with my stuff all the time. Thing is, im really pissed and when i am pissed, i will tell you, beeing a dev behind a Viewer doesnt prophibit me to act like i want, remember im not restrained in any way, in that case im just a normal user just like you, i have the rights to use my mouth to tell you when you´re pissing me off and i will do, thats for sure.


Just a tiny change, that involved changing 2 debug settings (basically disabling them) which should prevent shadows from dissapearing with certain sky presets at certain camera angles (like Maroon or Burn)


*sarcasm* most of you wont even notice but.... i did a radical change to the overall blog layout and style...just btw *sarcasm end*





added missing changes for allowing ALL cards to enable high end graphics
redone login screen panel and added mini preferences to it
fixed preferences backgrounds sometimes not loading
fixed shadows vanishing on some sky presets in certain angles
fixed "set group button" always beeing disabled
fixed group name in tools floater not showing "none" when no group is selected
fixed personal info never coming into preferences , resulting in all privacy options to not work
tranlsated missing Deferred lights option
translated Pathfinding navigationbar tooltips
translated Local Browser texture selection
translated tips n tricks floater
updated all tips to the most recent version as they are shown on teleporting
changed channel to Nirans Viewer - Reboot (Nirans Viewer 2.0 Reboot before)
cleaned up texture selection floater