Difference between revisions of "Viewer Visual Update"

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(Video Tour)
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[[Image:NewViewer.jpg|thumb|300px|Preview screenshot]]
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[[Image:Dazzlelicious.jpg|thumb|300px|First Look: Dazzle vs. main viewer]]
  
=== Project Description ===
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'''<font size="5">First Look: Dazzle info</font>'''<br /><br />
  
The purpose of this project, internally code-named "'''Dazzle'''," is to modernize the visual appearance of the Viewer User Interface. We will use the Viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.
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<font size="5"'''» [http://secondlife.com/community/firstlook.php DOWNLOAD DAZZLE!]'''</font>
  
=== Project Goals ===
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"'''Dazzle'''" is meant to modernize the visual appearance of the viewer User Interface. We will use the viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.
  
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== Goals ==
 
* Improve visual appearance with modern UI graphics and icons
 
* Improve visual appearance with modern UI graphics and icons
 
* Improve discoverability through expanded use of iconography
 
* Improve discoverability through expanded use of iconography
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* Document technical limitations of current skinning capabilities
 
* Document technical limitations of current skinning capabilities
  
=== Preview Files ===
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== Frequently Asked Questions ==
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=== What's Dazzle? ===
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Linden Lab continues to work on key areas of importance for our Residents, and alongside performance and stability is ''usability''. '''We're pleased to announce First Look: Dazzle, a "refresh" for the Second Life viewer's appearance which makes the UI (User Interface) more accessible and pleasing.'''
  
Try out an early version of the new look for yourself! Download the following file and follow the included instructions to install the preview files into an existing Second Life installation:
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=== Is Dazzle just a color change? ===
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No. Dazzle includes a new color scheme, and ''also'' has revised icon art (e.g., the build tools and Inventory window) ''and'' under-the-hood changes/cleanup which will make future customization easier.
  
<font size="3">'''[http://s3.amazonaws.com/dazzle-preview/SecondLife_UI_Preview_Rev2a.zip > DOWNLOAD PREVIEW FILES <]''' ''Rev. 2a (2007-11-15) [13.3 MB]''</font>
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=== How is making stuff look better going to improve my experience? ===
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[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesthetics Aesthetics] matter. '''Seemingly small changes make a big difference.''' A simple psychological exercise: think about eating a steak in a prison cell with harsh fluorescent lights. Then, think about eating that very same steak in a posh restaurant by candlelight. Which experience would you prefer? And which would you regard as the higher quality?
  
The Dazzle preview has been tested with Second Life 1.18.5. '''Please note that the preview files do not work with the 1.18.6 RC Viewer or Windlight First Look Viewer.''' The installation is completely reversible by simply re-installing the full version of the Second Life Viewer from the [http://get.secondlife.com/ Second Life website]. This action will not affect any of your saved settings or user preferences. Note that Linden Lab uses [http://aws.amazon.com/ Amazon AWS] to store and distribute large files.
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In a similar way, even if actual inworld content looks the same (like the steak), if the environment you use to experience it — the user interface — looks awful, you're likely going to feel uncomfortable and annoyed, even if you can't describe exactly why.
  
Check it out and let us know [[Talk:Viewer_Visual_Update|what you think]]!
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We've already had numerous instances of small changes clearly making big differences: some of you may remember when no-modify notecards were difficult to read because they had dark gray text on a somewhat lighter gray background. Changing the colors, a straightforward tweak, helped a lot. And in Dazzle, it's even better.
  
==== Preview Installers ====
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=== What's this mean for me? ===
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'''Dazzle is especially beneficial if you're new to Second Life, but its increased legibility will also help veteran Residents enjoy extended inworld sessions with more fun, and less fatigue.'''
  
Jana Kamachi created another patcher for windows and mac(Untested). These are NOT associated with linden labs nor supported by LL. Simply run the file and select the installation of SecondLife you want to modify. You do not need to change anything beforehand, everything will be done.
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Some history behind this: over the years, we've heard a lot about how difficult SL can be to use, notably how scary the "old-style" UI looks. Cryptic icons, low contrast, and "things you click on that don't do what you expect them to do" are all frustrating to newcomers, and at last — Dazzle's here, because we want to make it easier for you.
  
Forum Thread: http://forums.secondlife.com/showthread.php?p=1851426
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=== What's a First Look? ===
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'''A "First Look" is an ''optional'' download which tends to be a technology preview of a "themed feature"''': in this case, it's a better user interface. Over the next stretch of weeks, we're giving you time to try Dazzle out and share your feedback with us, so we can improve it before it's included in the main viewer.
  
Windows: http://janashell.com/dazzle/DazzlePatcher.exe
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For examples of earlier First Looks, see [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Windlight WindLight] and [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Voice Voice].
  
Mac(Untested!!!): http://janashell.com/dazzle/DazzlePatcher_OSX.app.zip
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=== What if I don't like Dazzle? ===
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This is understandable, particularly because Second Life's UI has basically been the same for several years. Change can be hard if you're accustomed to the way things currently look and have been with us for awhile. (We appreciate it!)
  
- [[User:Jana Kamachi|Jana Kamachi]] 15:13, 25 January 2008 (PST)
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'''We recommend trying Dazzle out and giving it at least a week to get used to''' — don't just glance at screenshots, use it in your everyday Second Life — and let us know your feedback. As part of the "First Look" cycle, we'll pay attention to your constructive criticism and use it to refine Dazzle further.
  
'''Dazzle Patches Below Have Been Pulled For Update'''
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(And to be fair, there are a few Residents who prefer the viewer UI [http://secondlife.wikia.com/wiki/Image:SL1.0GUIFull.jpg when it was green years ago!])
Yukiko Omegamu created the following patches, one for installing Dazzle and another for restoring the current look and feel. If you choose to use these patches you do '''not''' need to download the preview files above. '''Note''': These patches are not officially tested or supported by LL. '''Please note that the Patchers do not work with the 1.18.6 RC Viewer or Windlight First Look Viewer.'''
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'''Dazzle Installer''' ''(Windows only)''
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=== Will I be able to revert to the older UI? ===
* [http://www.foxpawhosting.com/sldazzlepatch/SecondLife.exe Download Dazzle Auto Patcher 1.18.4.3]<br>
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For now, First Look: Dazzle is ''not'' the main viewer, so you can run them side-by-side.
* [http://www.foxpawhosting.com/sldazzlepatch/SecondLifeReleaseCandidate.exe Download Dazzle Auto Patcher RC 1.18.5.0]
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'''Dazzle Uninstaller''' ''(Windows only)''
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When Dazzle ''is'' in the main viewer, then no, you won't be able to revert easily. If you're so inclined, you can manually change the .XML files, but this isn't user-friendly for the uninitiated. Context: before this easy-to-install First Look, Dazzle was available as a patch-it-yourself demo, and we got great help from some enthusiastic and technically-minded Residents. Now, we're opening Dazzle up for our whole community.
* [http://www.foxpawhosting.com/sldazzlepatch/RestorePatches/SecondLifeRestore.exe Restore Patcher 1.18.4.3]<br>
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* [http://www.foxpawhosting.com/sldazzlepatch/RestorePatches/SecondLifeReleaseCandidateRestore.exe Restore Patcher RC 1.18.5.0]
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'''Installation Notes'''
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=== Does Dazzle mean I can easily add my own skins? ===
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Not yet. But as a first step in that potential process, '''Dazzle paves the way for improvements to come'''. For further technical details, see our [http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/User_Interface_Roadmap User Interface Roadmap].
  
In the directory of \Program Files\SecondLife\skins you need to remove the folder called 'textures' before running the patcher or the installer will fail. Likewise, before using the uninstaller remove the textures folder or it will fail.
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=== Does Dazzle have any major functionality changes? ===
 +
Beyond user interface aesthetics, not really. Second Life looks and feels better, but doesn't behave radically different. We hope it'll be pleasantly seamless for you.
  
'''These Files have been scanned using nod32 for windows xp and are virus free.''' If there is a bug in the installers please message me in-world at yukiko Omegamu. -- Yukiko Omegamu
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But since Dazzle affects the appearance of ''the whole UI'', these changes support and complement usability projects in related areas, which we're also working on. (Stay tuned for more news on that.)
  
=== Feedback and Ideas ===
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=== What can I do to help? ===
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Glad you asked! '''Please report Dazzle-specific bugs on our Issue Tracker so we can fix 'em.'''
  
Please leave your comments and suggestions on the [[Talk:Viewer_Visual_Update|discussion page]]. Once an official First Look Viewer is released you'll also be able to file issues in the [[Issue Tracker]].
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* Go to [http://jira.secondlife.com jira.secondlife.com] and [https://jira.secondlife.com/cas/login?service=http%3A%2F%2Fjira.secondlife.com%2Fsecure%2FDashboard.jspa login].
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* [http://jira.secondlife.com/secure/CreateIssue!default.jspa Create a new issue] in "Project: Viewer" and "Issue Type: Bug".
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* ''Make sure'' to set it to "Affects Version/s = First Look: Dazzle" or else we won't see it!
  
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[[Image:Dazzlebug.png|240px]]
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Thanks in advance. :)
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Need more help? We're here for you. Watch the "[http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/01/17/tip-of-the-week-18-how-to-report-a-bug/ How to report a bug" video tutorial].
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=== What's next? Where can I learn more? ===
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Team Dazzle will be following up on Dazzle issues and releasing revised First Look versions, so look for updates both on [http://blog.secondlife.com our official blog] and this page!
  
 
[[Category:Features]]
 
[[Category:Features]]

Revision as of 16:12, 19 February 2008

First Look: Dazzle vs. main viewer

First Look: Dazzle info

<font size="5"» DOWNLOAD DAZZLE!</font>

"Dazzle" is meant to modernize the visual appearance of the viewer User Interface. We will use the viewer's existing skinning hooks wherever possible, documenting and addressing technical blockers as required.

Goals

  • Improve visual appearance with modern UI graphics and icons
  • Improve discoverability through expanded use of iconography
  • Improve approachability with a lighter, friendlier color scheme
  • Improve legibility by using dark text on light backgrounds
  • Document technical limitations of current skinning capabilities

Frequently Asked Questions

What's Dazzle?

Linden Lab continues to work on key areas of importance for our Residents, and alongside performance and stability is usability. We're pleased to announce First Look: Dazzle, a "refresh" for the Second Life viewer's appearance which makes the UI (User Interface) more accessible and pleasing.

Is Dazzle just a color change?

No. Dazzle includes a new color scheme, and also has revised icon art (e.g., the build tools and Inventory window) and under-the-hood changes/cleanup which will make future customization easier.

How is making stuff look better going to improve my experience?

Aesthetics matter. Seemingly small changes make a big difference. A simple psychological exercise: think about eating a steak in a prison cell with harsh fluorescent lights. Then, think about eating that very same steak in a posh restaurant by candlelight. Which experience would you prefer? And which would you regard as the higher quality?

In a similar way, even if actual inworld content looks the same (like the steak), if the environment you use to experience it — the user interface — looks awful, you're likely going to feel uncomfortable and annoyed, even if you can't describe exactly why.

We've already had numerous instances of small changes clearly making big differences: some of you may remember when no-modify notecards were difficult to read because they had dark gray text on a somewhat lighter gray background. Changing the colors, a straightforward tweak, helped a lot. And in Dazzle, it's even better.

What's this mean for me?

Dazzle is especially beneficial if you're new to Second Life, but its increased legibility will also help veteran Residents enjoy extended inworld sessions with more fun, and less fatigue.

Some history behind this: over the years, we've heard a lot about how difficult SL can be to use, notably how scary the "old-style" UI looks. Cryptic icons, low contrast, and "things you click on that don't do what you expect them to do" are all frustrating to newcomers, and at last — Dazzle's here, because we want to make it easier for you.

What's a First Look?

A "First Look" is an optional download which tends to be a technology preview of a "themed feature": in this case, it's a better user interface. Over the next stretch of weeks, we're giving you time to try Dazzle out and share your feedback with us, so we can improve it before it's included in the main viewer.

For examples of earlier First Looks, see WindLight and Voice.

What if I don't like Dazzle?

This is understandable, particularly because Second Life's UI has basically been the same for several years. Change can be hard if you're accustomed to the way things currently look and have been with us for awhile. (We appreciate it!)

We recommend trying Dazzle out and giving it at least a week to get used to — don't just glance at screenshots, use it in your everyday Second Life — and let us know your feedback. As part of the "First Look" cycle, we'll pay attention to your constructive criticism and use it to refine Dazzle further.

(And to be fair, there are a few Residents who prefer the viewer UI when it was green years ago!)

Will I be able to revert to the older UI?

For now, First Look: Dazzle is not the main viewer, so you can run them side-by-side.

When Dazzle is in the main viewer, then no, you won't be able to revert easily. If you're so inclined, you can manually change the .XML files, but this isn't user-friendly for the uninitiated. Context: before this easy-to-install First Look, Dazzle was available as a patch-it-yourself demo, and we got great help from some enthusiastic and technically-minded Residents. Now, we're opening Dazzle up for our whole community.

Does Dazzle mean I can easily add my own skins?

Not yet. But as a first step in that potential process, Dazzle paves the way for improvements to come. For further technical details, see our User Interface Roadmap.

Does Dazzle have any major functionality changes?

Beyond user interface aesthetics, not really. Second Life looks and feels better, but doesn't behave radically different. We hope it'll be pleasantly seamless for you.

But since Dazzle affects the appearance of the whole UI, these changes support and complement usability projects in related areas, which we're also working on. (Stay tuned for more news on that.)

What can I do to help?

Glad you asked! Please report Dazzle-specific bugs on our Issue Tracker so we can fix 'em.

Dazzlebug.png

Thanks in advance. :)

Need more help? We're here for you. Watch the "How to report a bug" video tutorial.

What's next? Where can I learn more?

Team Dazzle will be following up on Dazzle issues and releasing revised First Look versions, so look for updates both on our official blog and this page!