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.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nirans Viewer <-> Black Dragon

I'm in a very good mood for some reason, don't ask me why, i know that it won't stay for too long but i want to talk a bit about my plans, they are huge!

Nirans Viewer will be no more...

Soon. (aprox. 30 weekly Betas from here) 2.5.0 will be the final Release this Viewer will officially see, after which i will continue privately (because otherwise i would have to use another Viewer), not sure if i will ever make them available for the public again, the source however will and must stay available to everyone, that means everyone who feels the need to do so can just compile my latest code (which will ofcourse get updates because i love pushing stuff to bitbucket =3). How long will it be until then you may ask... aprox. 30 more Betas of which each is released weekly, 30 more weeks to go, thats still more than half a year and i'm not even sure if i can afford this time so this might change.

So why am i saying that the Viewer won't be anymore but at the same time i say there will be still 30 more Betas? Because the Viewer as you know it right now will not be continued anymore due to several reasons...

1. CHUI.
2. Random FPS drops in Deferred (for me and some other people)
3. I want to redo alot parts of the Viewer.

The Viewer as it is now was always build for minimalistic needs and maximum effectiveness aswell as minimastic but still fancy UI design, while LL continued to waste 600x800 pixel per window on your screen, i was minimizing space wastage, that worked pretty well but right now i'm totally sick of it. Minimalistic UI design also means alot of limits and i hate limits because limits are in some cases just stupid and unnecessary!

<-> Black Dragon???

Black Dragon will be the new name, no more Nirans Viewer, it sounds selfish and stupid, it also reminds me of a certain guy...

So, what am i going to do with it? Alot. I will redo the whole main UI and with it probably revisit every damn floater to work with the new planned style, thats alot work and will take probably several weeks but i dont care, i want something truly different, something no one would ever do (most of my old stuff wasnt done by anyone else too...but, it was just... a game, a little game, a piece of what can be done with the UI and i want more, not just one piece, i want ALL OF THEM :)

User Interface redesign ideas...

This is a work in progress UI redesign, im extremly happy that most stuff works as intended right now, the right upper part will make problems however. This is mostly static, the buttons at the top left and below the navigationbar are all unmovable and unhidable but honestly i dont care, really. It looks better with them and it still wastes less space than... fuck this, i dont care about space anymore!

Next topic on my list are the "Achievements", YES ACHIEVEMENTS, i implemented them long ago but some of them were broken, they didnt tell you when you finished one and the achievement floater simply looked....simple...i'm going to change that, i will make every achievement repeatable, they will award points and they will notify you when you finished one (hopefully). Coupled with a RLVa-like system those points could be used in a inworld store from me to get some cool stuff...or...they could be just e-peen extensions.

CHUI. Yes i know what you think... but you said "I will never ever implement this piece of shit.". Yes, but i have to, no way around it. Coding a way around it is something Firestorm can do, but not me, i dont have time, will and or knowledge to recode literally the whole chatsystem to work like the old V2 system and still include all the new stuff of CHUI, i will simply bash it in and make it work better... as good as i can.

Preferences floater and the panel as it is right now are both somewhat a huge mess, the floater doesnt offer enough space without doing dozens of ugly tabs and the panel right now doesnt quite work like it does in games because SL's User Interface scaling works totally differently than that of games, therefor i will totally redo it and mash it all into the sidebar, yes, you heard right, a sidebar just for preferences! It will ofcourse always open the graphics panel by default because it should somewhat stay a machinima sidebar. 


After the Viewer reaches a somewhat "finished" state i will start to do a huge "Walkthrough" for my Viewer that will explain all the things, why is X there, why is Y not there and what does Z? Hopefully everything will be answered. It will contain bugs and their solutions if there are any. It will also contain pictures, lots of them... comparison shots and explanation pictures.

Topbar, Toolbars and no Toolbelts...

As you might have noticed in snapshots above i'm going to throw out the old cloud and topbar design and replace it with something hexagony (what a word...), toolbars left and right will work just as before, top and bottom will probably get a double toolbar which allows them to have those "connected" hexagon buttons with offset, not sure yet tho, will have to see how it turns out. I also kind of grew sick of having to iterate 3 different files to make changes to the topbar, i will simply combine it all into one single file, this should make things alot easier.

I might also do reimplement the autohide function and extend it a bit, make it fancier maybe. I want shit to blow minds!

Misc informations...

The new Viewer will include and exclude pretty much everything it does now, RLVa, SSB, pie menus, lots of customisations, tons of graphical fancyness and soon also CHUI and Materials, i will want to make the last release a nuke, not just a bomb.



  1. Looking forward to see the first preview.

  2. I am sorry to say that I am a little disappointed, because this means that like it or not eventually it will be like the previous viewer you did skins for. (Sorry it's name escapes me right now).

    If I am reading this right, regardless of all the cool stuff your going to do, even changing the name of the viewer still means that after the 30 weeks that's it. No more development of Nirans/Black Dragon and it will only be a matter of time before the viewer is un-usable.

    I can appreciate that there is a lot of time, hard work and even down to having the motivation to do it, but even with all the good stuff your going to do, we're left in the same boat where by unless like you did, someone picks up and continues to develop this then it will end up broken at some point.

    Personally I wish I could afford in some way to pay you to continue, or find some way to make you reconsider but it sounds like you have already made your decision and nothing the viewer community can type etc will change your mind.

    So while I appreciate and think this is the best viewer I have ever used, I will no longer be recommending it to anyone because it's lifespan is already on it's way out, I look forward to seeing the changes and I hope at least there will be maybe a year left before I am forced to find another viewer which will not be what I want, certainly there is no way I will be using Firestorm, nor the LL viewer.

    I have tried a couple of other viewers but none of them come close to the the feel, the graphics etc that come with this viewer.

    So yea, this is deja vu and as you put you don't even know if you can do the 30 weeks, so pretty much we could end up with a viewer that is unfinished, no longer being developed and stuck.

    It was good while it lasted though I won't deny that. Good luck with your plans Niran.

    1. Time and motivation are 2 things you cannot buy directly.

      It will definetly contain Server Side Baking, Materials and several other things that should make it able to survive some time on its own... it all depends on LL.

  3. Well as long i can use it, i'll do it for the same reason stated above!
    But truth is that seeing other Tpv's builds, Niran's end will mean the end for All that really wish to enjoy Sl at its best graphics!

    1. There's always Exodus viewer, provided they get their development efforts back in gear.

    2. Compare Niras with Exodus is like compare a Ferrari F12 with a tata indaca

    3. 1. What is a tata indaca?
      2. How fast is a F12?
      3. Which one is the Ferrari?

    4. Hi Niran

      small mistake was Indica
      this one http://newcarpictures.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Tata-Indica2.jpg

      The F12 is the lighter version of 599 (70Kg less)
      740 Hp (is not a mistake is true) 340Km/h 0-100Km/h in 3,1 sec.
      More or less the like your viewer lighter than linden one but more powerful and faster...

  4. So, no more Niran Viewer... but you'll continue to work on i privately... I don't see why you couldn't upload on source forge any big updates you do Privately, then state them on your inworld group. Or use a site to share each big update directly, I've never directly posted a project on Source Forge, so I'm unsure if they charge per-file or something.

    Still, in a round about way your still supporting your viewer, which is good. Just give a shout when you do anything Major, don't see why ya couldn't. via Blog, or group, whatever. So people like myself who can't install code to viewers can update, especially in LL implements something major in the coming years.

    1. I wont share it anymore for the open public because i dont want anymore, sharing it open for everyone means everyone can get it, annoying people, stupid people and "problematic" people included. In other words there are several people (with potentially more everyday) that are making problems were there shouldnt be any, supporting a Viewer for all kind of people and systems is alot of work and time i cannot afford endlessly.

      However, my blog will stay open so people who are interested might just ask me if they can get an update if viewer-destroying stuff should arise from LL's side.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I understand and it is a shame that to be honest a few are going to spoil this for the majority. However, with what you just said Niran, would it be possible then, to get hold of an updated version SHOULD something break and make the viewer unusable.

      Basically no more weekly updates, etc etc, no more support for it, but IF/WHEN it does break due to LL would we be able to get a new working version, cause that would be awesome. Cause likely it would be maybe once every 6 months, (I don't know I'm guessing).

      I would be totally happy with that, since it would mean the viewer I like best I could still use. :) It would be great if you could consider it, or something like that please.

    4. Yes. Those builds are private and might therefor be broken in some or many ways depending on if i am/was working on it.

    5. So just to clarify. In the future once you have done the "final public release" if LL breaks something, there is a good chance we (those interested) could get a newer version that works?

      Again I'm not asking for the full on support, etc etc etc, I totally get that you don't wish to do that any more, all I am concerned with is having your viewer (regardless of it's name) working so I can use it. As I am sure others are as well, I would be quite happy for it to be available with NO support, just AS IS. :)

      Probably being very selfish, but I feel that it would be better to have the viewer working, even if it's only updated once in a blue moon, and has no support coming directly from Niran, rather than a broken viewer in the future which will mean I have to use a different viewer.

      Thank you for all your hard work so far Niran, and I am true sad that folks have made life regarding this viewer so difficult that you no longer wish to put a wonderful viewer on the public domain.

      I wish I knew how to do the compiling etc, cause then at least I could have a go for myself at keeping the viewer working once LL do something to mess it up.

  5. like the new ui style looks cool ehehe. yeah getting a new update if things do break bad seems good. this is only viewer i can use. since my pc loves it, so does my gpu kinda hard to use anything else probably wont since anything out there be a waste of my gpu power and insanity. but i look forward to whatever remaining releases in mean time. best viewer in my existance of SL use and have no problems or slow downs though i only get fps drops when covenants on private simulators are mostly to long always happened to me on any viewer

  6. Hi, Niran. I've spoken with you before regarding an issue (nothing major) with your viewer, and was more than pleased with your assistance.

    I take many many pictures in second life, and am always rewarded with compliments abuot their quality because of your viewer. I absolutely love it and feel it's such a shame that after some time, development on it will be ceased. This is sad.

    I've tried the BlackDragon viewer, but it really doesn't feel the same. The way the avatar on Niran's Viewer is so close to the screen (full body) as if I am my Avatar is beyond amazement; Alongside your magnificent windlights, shadowing, everything... i've truly grown accustomed to it.

    I acknowledge on another post where you said with the BlackDragon viewer, you want to implement the 'old feeling' of SL back... but honestly (and I say this with the utmost respect), I didn't like it. It's really not the same.

    I realize that there is alot of time, headache (i assume), and patience it takes to code... but you have thousands of people who rely on this particular viewer to make their SL as fulfilling as possible, so why stop? Niran's viewer is breathtakingly amazing. It's the only one that I use to play the game; why? because I hate "ant-avis", basically meaning everything/one looks so miniature on fire-storm, let alone the LL viewer. In addition, the graphics are superb! I don't think I can express enough how much your viewer in it's current state mean to me.

    I hate the way that when you zoom in on your avi (on firestorm), as you start to walk, it zooms right back out. It's ridiculously annoying. Not only that, but the avis are not as detailed as with your viewer. However, looking at the beta pictures you have displayed above, it kind of resembles Nirans...(if it's at it's regular camera angle/distance and you're not just simply zoomed in on yourself for the picture's sake)..I like that.

    I sincerely hope that by after 30 beta's, you make the improved viewer (BlackDragon) as close to the old one as possible. That would be so awesome. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say you are doing a really fantastic job. So smart. Please make us happy! :D You're truly amazing!

    P.s: My name inworld is CashMoney Crazyboi.

  7. If I'm reading your announcement right, you will still drop your code on Github/Sourceforge, just not binaries, yes?

    If so, will you be accepting an occasional patch?

  8. I love your viewers, I am sing all of them for a long time, but suddenly... this is happening on 4320x2544 pictures http://images.plurk.com/vda7-6XjKprrnDHQYyxGVSETRTD.jpg

  9. Make sure unnecessary GPU memory eaters in background arnt active, also do a relog after you emptied your GPU memory. The more complex the scene is you want to do a super snapshot of, the more texture (GPU) memory it will take, if your GPU memory is already nearly full with all kinds of crap, your images will have this tiling effect because your GPU can't effectively render and put these tiles together.

  10. Hi your viewer is a nice idea
    in 15 years SL i see much come and go. Your disclaimer is clear and arrogant. OK read, ignore or block my comment its up to you. But i try to help with my feedback what you don't need fury i know. Your viewer is in the moment a small firestorm copy with same fault as FSV. If you want to outperform Firestorm, consider: User feedbak makes MS win to win 10, or firestorm to firestorm they all hear thankful of the user what read your post's and try to help you as your fan's. Your members are not rich people with i7 and 2 graphics cards. Most are older and have no job and therefore time. These often have older PC's so do not forget 32bit keep your 3 versions up to date. I like and watch your project as a fan. ;-)

    1. It run on my old P4 with strong graficcard not on my Toshiba i5 quad older grafic chip same as firestorm it is not helpful ;) so give my a reason why i will change its same problem... LLV its the only one what run fine on ALL older PC's ;)

    2. You're making the mistake of thinking that i ignore user feedback. I'm not.

      I'm just don't want or can't implement everyone's feedback in a meaningful matter without ending up just like Firestorm, a big bulky, slow and hard to maintain Viewer. Their Viewer is all over the place.

      There are many problems you don't see or understand as user why any of this isn't as easy as it is and why it is better how it is currently than how it could have been if i followed Firestorm's road.

      Let's start with the elephant in the room: Firestorm's many features. People love them, i hate them. They slow down the Viewer, they cause drama, most of them don't improve Second Life in a meaningful way or don't fix things that SL should have had fixed long ago. They are a huge random collection of bobs and ends for no reason, they don't add up to anything meaningful, they are just there for the sake of being there because someone wanted it and now they are getting the backlash for it. Maintaining their Viewer has become incredibly finicky and as a result of this the quality of their releases has steadily dropped over the past. Besides what did it do for Firestorm to have all these features? Have 2/3 of the userbase? Many are still unhappy and some are even changing Viewers.

      I'm trying to offer the complete opposite, a small, tight, targeted experience that is meant to work in a somewhat fixed way. A way i can control to make sure the Viewer is used for the things i want it to be used and to make it easier for me to maintain and support it. Most of the features from Firestorm are not needed, they are merely QoL hacks and i try to stay away from hacks. I have a goal and this goal does not include implementing hacks and low effort features to bog down the Viewer just so a few more people are happy. I'd rather keep my small but dedicated userbase, one i can work with.

      Second is: You assume i care much about compatibility. Compatibility is innovations biggest enemy. Besides i've done much more for keeping compatibility as high as possible already, more than i care to admit. Hardware compatibility is not one of these. Old hardware is simply an excuse. I don't have a job either, i'm on the verge to having no money (only the Patreon thing is basically keeping this project alive) and still i managed to get hardware that is decently modern and capable of playing everything up until today, having no job or money is simply an excuse to me, but that's mostly okay since lower hardware isn't necessarily the bad thing here, the Viewer runs fine on a pretty dated PC all the way down to a GTX 460 and a Phenom II Quad Core you'll still see a usable Viewer even with most everything on, that's hardware over 10 years old (my current CPU is over 6 years old). In 10 years you should have been able to afford at least a tiny upgrade, a new GPU or CPU isn't expensive at all. The biggest problem though is the 32bit version. I cannot and will not support 32bit any longer. There is NO advantage to 32bit and 32bit OS should have been removed right after Windows XP, the simply reason that 32bit Windows 10 even exists still baffles my mind, every CPU today and back to 10+ years ago supports 64bit without a problem, there is simply no reason ever to take a 32bit OS, ever. It shouldn't exist and as such a 32bit Viewer shouldn't exist anymore either. If i keep supporting this old trash forever people will never get a reason to update. People have this "never change a running system" mentality and they will apply it until the end of time even if it is absolutely stupid what they do: using 32bit still.

      Besides, keeping 3 versions up-to-date, especially 2 completely different ones such as a 32bit and 64bit version eats up a lot of time and a lot of space on my disk, the 2 AVX and non AVX versions already eat up a good chunk of my free time leaving my computer essentially unable to do anything beyond watching a few videos and playing very low demanding games.

    3. "Older PC's", we're talking about either 32bit Windows (that's software, not hardware) or PC's that are far beyond 10 years old are simply not on my radar, this is a Viewer for graphics, photography, machinima not to stay compatible with as many machines as possible just like Star Citizen and Crysis were/are for the super high-end PC's of their time so is this Viewer aimed at medium-to-high-end PC's. I want to push SL forward, not stay in the past like LL did for so long due to "compatibility concerns". Ignoring compatibility is what brought this Viewer where it is now, i'd betray all my work, my morals and my users if i changed that.

  11. Hi maybe you can help me out. I dl'ed your viewer and use to love it now my gaming pc can't even get the viewer to open for 5 seconds without crashing. I'm having difficulty uninstalling the program tho. There is no uninstaller anywhere in your files. Can you help me out here?

    1. What's the problem? Any error message? Have you followed the download page instructions for prerequisites? Made sure you are using the correct version? 32bit for 32bit OS, 64bit for 64bit OS and AVX for newer CPU's and normal for older ones?