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, 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!


  1. That snapshot window is seexy.

  2. I also saw the $L balance being shown 24/7 as an unnecessary thing as well, so putting it and the upload features on the inventory are a welcomed change. And the snapshot preview is /always/ sexy Ayamo.
    Off-topic question though: I'm pretty new to use of Black Dragon, how does it receive updates? Is it updated by a built-in updater? Or downloading the installer again? And also, if the latter, does it need to be clean installed like other viewers?

    Also, thanks for making the only viewer that I can run above 20FPS. Enjoying being able to actually see SL in all it's beauty.

    1. Updating is currently still done via manually re-downloading the latest version as it becomes available. I had a few tests with the auto-updater but the Viewer refuses to download from bitbucket and/or google which are pretty much the only 2 download sites i would want to use as they are usually really fast and reliable.

    2. You didn't mention deleting cache and settings files, does that mean I'll be able to leave those and just overwrite over the old install?

    3. Usually, deleting cache and settings is never really necessary. However, there are exceptions:

      Example 1: The way the Viewer reads and writes the cache entirely changes, in this case the old style of caching may result in the Viewer loading objects wrong or not at all causing it to halt rezzing up to a crash.

      Example 2: Settings that have a certain functionality, lets say Debug feature 'XYZ', its function is to show a button. Now if i change the functionality, lets say invert it so on is hidden (instead of visible) and off is visible (instead of hidden) you may find yourself seeing things that are not meant to be seen that way. The thing here is that these "default" settings only apply if the user didn't change them, since i cannot make sure that everyone hasn't changed this setting i changed (therefor automatically using the new default) i have to tell people to reset their settings to make sure everything is set properly as it should be.