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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Black Dragon Update 2.4 Beta


start sarcasm
It is finally happening, many weeks of playing all kinds of games, eating, drinking (ice tea), working on my AO and doing everything else except working on my Viewer finally comes to an end! Many hours have been put into anything else than my Viewer and you will see the difference!

Let me get this straight, right from the beginning.


It's NOT yet done. I just felt that i have held this update back for far too long, i finally want to share what i have been working on the past weeks. You will see a gigantic amount of changes, literally everything (and i shit you not) has been changed, hopefully to the better of course. Many floaters have been re-sized, re-aligned, filled and generally overhauled in functionality and reliability, i chose an uniform layout which i will forcefully squeeze into every floater from now on, you will notice that as soon as you open the first few floaters.

Apart from those crazy interface changes, many small things have been changed and fixed as well, being unable to write /s or /w gestures without the Viewer auto completing it to /shout or /whisper is one of many of those small changes.

I will need a lot of feedback on pretty much everything everywhere though, all those things i changed look totally fine especially since i know what they do and what i want to do with them in future which somewhat biases my opinion about it. Note though that feedback like "OMG OMG OMG DIS IS SO AWSUM" or "DIS IS UGLY BS CHANGE IT BACK" will totally not help. I chose a direction and i will keep it. I want constructive feedback about how stuff works, not how you want the UI to look like. Short: I want bug reports. Proper ones. Reports like 'im constantly crashing pls fix' will not help either. I will need detailed info on what you did (pressed a button, a tab, opened a certain floater etc) as well as your crash log file. Note that i will most likely NOT fix crash bugs coming from LL that are buried deep into the rendering engine or something similar. All i can do is fix surface stuff, the user interface and most of it's code, keep that in mind.

I will continue working on finishing the rest of the interface as well as fixing bugs, adding new little features and generally polishing every area before i move on to the next big project, tiny tip: Skin.


There are 2 versions available.
The normal one is the latest one i had before i merged it with Linden's Release and the 'Current' one is the version merged with Linden's Release, expect unfixed problems when using the 'Current' one.


Use the Changelog link on the right sidebar of this blog ->

Friday, September 26, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#11)

Today is a good day to announce something everyone of you wants to hear.

No, not that there's a new update available for download but something very similar.

First lets get today's changes outta the way!

I spend 2 days working on a few 'Picks' panels, 'Picks' is the leftover of the old Viewer 2 profile which later got removed in favor of web profiles. 'Picks' contains ...well picks you can create as well as advertisements for... your SIM or shop or whatever. I didn't just change the layout a bit but also overhauled those 'Picks' entries so they use their available space better.

This seems to be a huge waste of time, i know, especially since these picks are basically useless and rarely used for anything else other than listing your roleplay family and or shop and quickly closing it after you are done but yea... it has to be done at some point.

And today i swapped to overhauling something that is more important such as the map, i will continue doing the 'Picks' panel later. The layout has been changed moderately, the left side contains all controls such as teleporting around and copying the SLurl and it also contains the legend (that stuff explaining what each icon is). You can now open the search functions which are on the right via the 'Show Search' button, other than for searching for SIM names or tracking your friends this side is basically useless now. All important things are on the left and always visible, they cannot be hidden.

As you may notice, the left side contains buttons which is really unusual for me. The reason this toolbar contains buttons is that these buttons are basically showing the floaters i need to finish before i'm done with the 'main' stuff, everything else is just optional and will most likely be updated over time. That means, 'Places', 'Gestures', 'Build', 'Picks', 'Preferences' and 'Chat' are not overhauled yet but will be until 2.4 Release.

Which brings me to my announcement, this weekend you will get an update for my Viewer! Yes that's right. Up. Date. This. Weekend. It will be a Beta tho and it will still miss some floaters (some of those listed above) and probably contain a lot of bugs and other nasty things i overlooked, which is why i want to share it so you can go all over it like you usually do. I will post more details about that update when the time has come, stay tuned! The end is nigh!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#10)

Boob-tastic day my fellow fetishists.

Today i wasted my time with playing Guild Wars 2 finishing another panel, today it's the 'Outfit Edit' panel, another one of those panels that looked utterly broken and cluttered but no more! It looks usable (probably won't make me use it tho) and pretty cleaned up now, also of course a bit more screen space saving and less pain inducing, we all like that don't we? Without further unnecessary talking i'll show you a picture so you can see what it looks like now.

I am satisfied with the boobs not quite satisfied with the ordering of the bottom buttons, maybe i should put the 2 sort buttons to the right and the save and revert button in the middle? Yea sounds good i guess.

Now open 'Outfits' in your Viewer, click the wrench icon to start editing your outfit and compare what you see to the picture above. I am sorry that many of you probably won't see boobs when you start editing your outfit.

I guess next up is a check through 'Outfits' if there are more panels i have to do before moving on to Appearance (shape and body part editing).

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#9)

Give me some time, lots of ice tea and Komodo Edit.

What i can do with these 3 things is beyond 'godlike' for some of you. Whether it is anything even remotely close to 'godlike' or not doesn't matter for me though, for me it's all the same. Work, that includes a lot of love.

So does the complete overhaul of the 'Group Info Panel'. It was a real pain in the ass to align everything, use a streamlined look like it is used in all other panels and floaters and still make it as functional as it was before, it's worth it though. It's smaller, it's fancier, it's cleaner and it features at least as much functions as the original (if not more).

It is finally done. I might make a few more very small changes over time though but this is pretty much what you'll get with 2.4.

It's time to move on to the next panels. How about... 'Appearance' (editing body parts)? Chat could use some minor tweaks... or the rest of 'Outfits' (editing/creating outfits)? There's also Preferences which could use some redo with the new style...there is definitely still stuff to do but i'm getting really close to an actual update!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#8)

So yesterday i got sick of the old login screen, i was wondering if there is even anything else i could do with it, i literally iterated through several login screen designs like you change your underwear.

What else is there to do? Not much, i'm not going to do another super experimental login screen this time, instead i made something... 'normal'. This time also including the long lost grid selection. Yay.

Wanna have a sneak peek?

Of course you do!

Mhhh, looks too good doesn't it?

To the changes, 'changelogs' will link you to my changelog page, forgot password has been removed but for that the grid selection has been added. Lets be honest, who used forgot password, ever? Everything else stays basically the same, just rearranged and packed into a totally new design.

What will be next? Find out when its ready ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#7)

You hear this? This is the sound of progress my friends.

Okay, i know this was shamelessly stolen from Team Fortress and i also know most of you don't even know what a Team Fortress is, so lets get this post done ok?

I spend a few hours the last few days to start redoing the group info panel as well the appearance floater, you know, those being absolutely horrible and broken since ages, those you had so many problems with.

First i started with the appearance floater, moving stuff around, creating a base layout for everything and trying several others on the way, the final outcome is this for now.

As you may or may not notice, the search bar is gone and is now replaced by a button that will slide the search bar in (and the name out) in case you are really so desperate that you need to search your outfits, other than that the whole appearance floater looks pretty straight forward, you can create new outfits with the + button, edit a selected one with the wrench button and of course save and save as, trash or wear it with the bottom buttons, nothing new here, just a huge cleanup.

Today i spend some hours on making the base group panel look similarly structured like the appearance and people panel is.

I think it's pretty obvious isn't it? The similarity in their core layout is... really obvious, but the main panel is not enough, the content panels (General, Roles etc) need a lot of work, they just look horrible, i never touched them because they worked fine but looked like horrible shit which i never cared about (and honestly i still don't care about groups, it's not the focus of my Viewer) but tjey are in need for some tweaking regardless.

It's still a bit in progress and those other 3 tabs (and their sub tabs) aren't even touched yet. So there's still quite a lot to do but in the end it will be worth it i guess.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#6)

Aaand another bunch of changes, still mainly focused on the Inventory.

Good news tho, looks like i'm done for now, the Inventory looks pretty now, all sliders are properly aligned, all re-sizing issues should be fixed and the Marketplace inbox is now also prettier.

Have a look:

The question is, will i ever get done with this? This question will forever stay a mystery i guess!

Here's the list of changes since the last changelog update:

Dragon #26: Changed: Default skin colors slightly.
Dragon #26: Changed: Background color of flat_list_views.
Dragon #26: Added: Floater shadow background texture.
Dragon #26: Added: Navigationbar background texture.
Added: image_overlay_alignment attribute to buttons so we know it exists without looking into code.
Changed: Rip out the entire account balance system and transplant it to the Inventory floater.
· Changed: Entirely realigned and mostly redesigned the entire Inventory floater.
· Changed: Realigned and swapped the inbox panel button image for something less ugly.
· Changed: Default Inventory size, made it slightly smaller.
· Added: Account balance display to Inventory.
· Fixed: Scrollbar offsets of all Inventory panels.
Changed: Make all Inventory panel widgets our given XML values a bit more.
Changed: Made scrollbar widget and background slightly smaller to fit better with the rest of the widgets.
Changed: Realigned People floater for a cleaner look.
Changed: Slightly realigned several Preferences floater panels to prevent the scollbars from being cut off.
Changed: Widget background colors (has no effect).
Fixed: Accordion scrollbars having a slight offset from top/bottom.
Removed: Old navbar background textures.
Removed: Old 'Colors' tab in Preferences which is not used anymore.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#5)

Seems like i will be using today's free time for changing so tiny things that you will never notice not even if i told you... the question is, why do i tell you anyway? I. Don't. Know.

Did you ever open up floaters like 'Inventory' and 'People' and thought: "Something in this floater looks incredibly fishy and i can't seem to find out what it is..."? I tell you what it is... these tiny little inconsistencies scattered throughout the entire UI are really annoying, so annoying they make my AV's boobs flat out pop like balloons. Look:

Just look at them, soak it up like a sponge and let the anger flow. It's really REALLY cringe worthy. Cut off buttons and slider drag bars, totally dis-aligned inventory panels, too much or too less space in-between widgets and so on.

I tried fixing this mess several times already, especially the Inventory which seems to be completely resistant to any change in its XML files, guess why, its because its another prime example of why doublehubletripledipplenipple hard-coding attributes of a widget and/or rewriting its functionality and or behavior several times throughout the code, overwriting the absolutely fine and properly working automated UI creation when working with the XMLUI system they made. Example?


A button. It should follow the top and left edges of its containing panel. It is 200 pixel wide and 23 pixel high. It will toggle debug 'TestDebug'.

In code:

Above mentioned button should follow all sides. It should move horizontally depending on another button that is by default on the left of it. It has a parameter and function wired up that does essentially the same as toggling 'TestDebug' just in 5 times more steps and shows/hides another panel.


That button will now follow everything, resulting in it ignoring the predefined width and height and it will double-toggle 'TestDebug' which then shows/hides another panel, it will also move to the right depending on the width of the button on its left.

The problem:

That button now scales with the containing panel, which might have been a panel that is as big as the button was predefined as but now is not available anymore because i removed it, making it crazily big and filling the entire major panel/floater minus a given width on the left due to the button, which is also not there anymore because i moved it somewhere else (on the right as example), making the button re-position itself behind it causing it to go off panel/floater/screen. It will also hide that panel that may or may not be there anymore because i removed it because it only contained a button that had a fixed position that never changes no matter what and then made the button itself hide only, this could lead to a crash in worst case as the viewer is trying to execute an action with a not existing widget. There are more problems caused by this but i don't want to go more into detail here, i think that's a big example already.

The solution:

DO NOT HARD CODE THINGS THAT CAN BE EASILY DONE VIA XML SUCH AS TOGGLING A DEBUG OR SHOWING/HIDING A PANEL AND DO NOT EVER PLS HARD CODE ATTRIBUTES SUCH AS follows="" IN CODE, IT'S HORRIBLE AND CAUSES A LOT OF PAIN WHEN WORKING WITH THIS UI. Not to mention that it would save me going through several files looking for the problem, changing all kinds of UI code, just to fix a stupid inventory scrolling bar which is cut of a little.

Here's the fixed version (far left red rectangle):

The other red rectangles show these inconsistencies i'm talking about, too much space in-between widgets, dis-aligned buttons etc.

I know you may say why the fuck am i even doing this, this is just a stupid pixel being cut off. It may be just a stupid pixel cut off or a pixel too much space but it a huge part of the overall extremely low and buggy quality that is present in Second Life and i want these fixed, even if i have to go on a war with these.

What did we learn from this?

PS: look into llfloatertools.cpp and floater_tools.xml and start removing all those double hard coded attributes, they don't belong there, they cause problems, they limit customizing and they can somewhat destroy and/or limit the translation process if you limit certain buttons and texts to certain widths and follows.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Progress Update to 2.4 (#4)

Here we go again!

I wanted to post something for days but never felt like actually doing so, today's addition of my Snapshot floater changes gave me a reason to do so tho.

So what are these changes i'm talking about?

In the past i have been working on the Snapshot floater (you saw the first iteration of my new snapshot floater in my latest update) and Oz came to me telling me that he likes it and would like to have it in the Linden Viewer, so i stopped everything else and started working on getting it into the Linden Viewer asap. Fast forward a few weeks, these changes are now in the official Release Viewer, so next time you use the Linden Viewer you might see this:

This is the new snapshot floater layout, it was made because i was unable to get the separate snapshot preview to work on this floater so i decided to make the existing preview a lot bigger and introduce changes that allow working properly with it. You can show/hide the preview with the double arrow left/right, access all important snapshot functions right on the main snapshot floater (except the silent snapshot feature which is an advanced feature for reasons), use filters for any snapshot type even including your inventory and mails and set custom resolutions easier than ever! I really like the outcome even tho some things could be better still.

Next up would be working with Oz to un-uglify the CHUI floaters which are just horribly aligned and seem like their buttons and widgets were just randomly thrown into the available space at times. I told Oz i could do that but my Viewer has priority for now.

About 2 weeks later i finally started working on my own Viewer again and literally went on change-mania, i went through the entire Preferences floater as well as the entire main menu 'Dragon' to fix up alignments, missing features, broken features, remove doubles and so on. A lot of changes have been done there and even tho they might not look different at first, they definitely were improved to make sure they meet a certain minimum of quality i want in my stuff. Here's a simple example of these little improvements i did all over the place:

Left (middle window) is the new improved version with which's check-boxes have been moved further to the right so they are on the same horizontal position as all other check-boxes all over the Preferences tabs, the maturity drop-down has been changed to an icon drop-down, making the icons behind the drop-down widget obsolete and overall everything has been a bit realigned to make sure everything is absolutely straight.

Apart from this long overdue 'cleanup' you may have noticed that my main interface changes removed the account balance display, it has been moved into your Inventory and will also be shown in the buy floaters later (if it isn't like that already). Example:

The reasons for this change is simple, there is no reason you need to see your account balance 24/7, it's unnecessarily eating up resources to refresh and render it up there and you only look up there to see if you can buy something for which you can very well just open your inventory to have a quick look, you will open your Inventory somewhere in a session anyway. Since money also is part of your Inventory (non-physical tho) and you are able to upload from your Inventory it fits there just as well as in the upper right corner. Not to mention that it frees up space up there.

Note that these changes are all made just for this very skin, i have another skin planned, a clean, grey-ish one which will most likely visually return the original Black Dragon interface layout.

I think that's it for today, there are a lot more changes done than what i just listed here, you can find these changes by clicking on the 'Changelog' link on the right side of my blog (link section), all my current changes are listed there (excluding Linden changes currently which are probably twice as much as my changes if not more), there will be more soon!