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.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Black Dragon 64x - Update 4.0.3 "Refreshing Dragon"

After a unusually long time its finally here! I'm really sorry it took this long there have been many road blockers for this release but i'll get into that later.

Let's go through what this update does first. First and foremost the biggest change in this update is bringing the Viewer a little up to date (upped 8 versions at the time). I was trying to bring it all the way up to the latest version but that ended up in the Viewer spectacularly breaking so i had to revert it all and restart the merging process. Even those 8 versions alone brought a lot of issues (but also a lot of changes and internal fixes) which had to be resolved first, most of which should be resolved hopefully.

But it isn't just fixing up the code merge it was also a chunk of bugs reported by users that have been fixed, since the list kept getting longer and longer and i only release when all of the known bugs are solved (those that can be solved short term) it took a bit to get the Viewer in good shape again. Then real life happened, those who follow Discord know about the lawsuit issues and finally (just recently) a massive amount of reports started rolling in about missing and vanishing objects, rezzing issues and the like all of which seemed to be related to 4.0.2. Sorting out whether this was an actual Viewer issue or not took some time, it is now however known that these issues are not related to the Viewer, they are happening for a lot of people regardless of Viewer and seem to be related to switching between Viewers, particularly rezzing something on Firestorm and then switching over to other Viewers. A good part of the issue was also a lot of people suddenly turning on "Fast Cache Fetch" and not realizing that this option causes similar faulty behavior, if you enabled said option, disable it ASAP and clear your cache, this option essentially corrupts your cache until you no longer see anything at all. Outside of said option there is a rampant (what seems server related) issue that is troubling rezzing right now. We will need to wait and see how it goes.

To the Viewer itself, which has gotten some fixes for some recently introduced issues as well as some really old ones too. One of those recent issues that cropped up is a crash when switching camera presets, another one would be zoom and up/down axis for controller freaking out, both of which have been resolved. The snapshot window has had its layout fixed so the JPEG quality slider is no longer hidden behind the save button and the selection outline styles "Linden" and "Wireframe" have been swapped as it seems more accurate that way around. Older issues... and i mean really old issues include rigged attachments not actually hiding themselves in mouselook when they are attached to the head, after all these years i've finally fixed this and even went one step further and added an experimental implementation of what VRChat does, scaling down your head bones while in mouselook, this will effectively eliminate your head in mouselook, no matter where it is attached, the results so far were good but we'll see how this fairs on humans. Another old issue i attempted fixing is the rare case an animation overwrites/stops the Poser, sadly i had to take this change back last second as it broke the Poser entirely but with the latest code also came another issue that essentially broke the Poser, killing its posing animation every time an avatar appearance update was sent, maybe this has been the issue all along, i can't tell, we will see whether this ever happens again.

Other miscellaneous fixes include some nametag clipping issues, glow settings in the machinima sidebar hiding (rather than just disabling) themselves and some cleanup and improvements all around the code.

This update also includes LL's own keybinding system which of course i had to completely ditch because i already have my own, i did however try to get mouse bindings in but currently only extra mouse buttons are bindable (left and right mouse are not), when i find a sensible way to bind them without accidents i'll enable left and right mouse as well, allowing you to bind them to walking forward, i'm sure a lot of people have waited for this becoming a feature for a while.

Last but not least i implemented a new very simple avatar performance ranking system very similar to that of VRChat. At first i went into detail like they do but i quickly had to realize that it will always end in absolutely everyone getting the worst rating at all times (which is to be expected because all avatars are absolutely horribly optimized)... which would make this ranking basically useless, instead i opted for something more simple based on complexity. It scales from 40.000 to 250.000 complexity and will tell you via icons on nametags how "complex" avatars are at a glance and which might be causing issues. It should be somewhat obvious but in case it isn't, a green star means excellent, green dot, yellow dot, red dot and finally red exclamation mark are the rankings from good to very poor.

Now let's get to the known issues, apart from the already mentioned rezzing issues i am aware of the Poser rarely stopping (again i've been trying to reproduce this but its so rare that it never happened for me and even if it did it would have to happen many times to give me some attempts at fixing it), binding left and right mouse are not possible yet and keybinding in general might break in some conditions... if that happens please report these issues in as much detail as possible..., deleting all notifications still sometimes saves all attachments to inventory... this one is extremely unrealiable to reproduce and there is no indication as to why its happening both BD and LL use the exact same code for the delete function and all they do is delete them, there is never ever a call that triggers an inventory offer or anything like that, i couldn't reproduce when i tried it. Fast Cache Fetch is causing trouble and i need to remove this option so people stop using it.

With all that being said let's get into the lawsuit thing. What happened has been previously already explained here on the blog in a previous post, now this all finally did a round trip and we got a warning that we haven't paid yet (paid what), until then we didn't even know how much to pay to whom yet, lucky for us our good old friend government was there to help (and warn us) that we only have to pay a measly 1500€, nothing too fancy, something anyone can easily pay with his change money. At the same time i was told that we still have an open payment of 6500€ for child money payback due to an issue with my brother not being properly signed off from working thus netting my mother child money for him when she shouldn't have. Panicked and absolutely defeated i asked around in Discord for a solution and some people suggested a GoFundMe campaign, having almost no options i opted to take said advice and open one up. This went on for a month until i collected enough money to pay off the 1500€ lawsuit, unknown to me that this had a timeframe of 2 weeks... not being able to pay it in time i was forced to pay another 500€ on top of that... which i luckily still had at hand thanks to saving up money in case anything bad would happen. This put a huge hole into my savings and effectively put me back to 0... if anything were to happen now i'm fucked. Luckily it seems that's it for now, at least for the lawsuit, i have absolutely no idea how we are going to pay the 6500€ but if anything happens i'll let you know. For anyone interested in helping the GoFundMe Campaign can be found here. It's sad to see i had to do this and i would rather not because i already feel bad about the Patreon thing but having to go for a GoFundMe in addition to that seems super scummy to me...

Steering away from overly sad news let's get back to something nicer. With coming updates i'll slowly bring the Viewer up on par to the latest LL code again, fixing all issues that arise on the way there and keep on (re)working the Viewer, there are a couple things that are now in dire need of changes, particularly the sidebar, the keybinding system and the nametags.

With that being said i wish you all a Merry Christmas and thank you very much for your support i'm sure this Viewer would be dead by now without your support!

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