Viewer Visual Update

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Revision as of 00:32, 16 November 2007 by Benjamin Linden (Talk | contribs)

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Preview screenshot

Project Description

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.

Project 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

Technical Blockers

Following is a list of technical limitations and bugs preventing implementation of the updated visual appearance. There is a longer list of skinning feature requests (such as human-readable texture filenames and the ability to apply gradients to windows) but such features will be incorporated at a later date as part of the Skinning project (see User Interface Roadmap). The modernized look and feel described above could be implemented immediately if the following issues were resolved:

  • VWR-2445 Default IM/chat text color not settable in colors_base.xml
  • VWR-2446 Viewer can't display UI textures that aren't in dimensions of powers-of-two
  • VWR-2447 Text drop-shadow settings aren't configurable in XML, resulting in legibility issues under various color schemes

Preview Files

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:

> DOWNLOAD PREVIEW FILES < Rev. 2a (2007-11-15) [13.3 MB]

Rev. 2a fixes incompatibilities with the Windlight First Look Viewer. We're still working on addressing text legibility issues but those fixes require code changes outside the scope of these preview files so please bear with us!

The Dazzle preview has been tested with Second Life 1.18.4.3, 1.18.5.0 RC, and Windlight First Look 1.18.5 (73655). The installation is completely reversible by simply re-installing the full version of the Second Life Viewer from the Second Life website. This action will not affect any of your saved settings or user preferences. Note that Linden Lab uses Amazon AWS to store and distribute large files.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Preview Installers

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.

Dazzle Installer (Windows only)

Dazzle Uninstaller (Windows only)

Installation Notes

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.

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

Feedback and Ideas

Please leave your comments and suggestions on the discussion page. Once an official First Look Viewer is released you'll also be able to file issues in the Issue Tracker.

Video Tour

If you're curious to see more before you try it, Resident Amras Alder graciously created a video tour of Dazzle. It's a relaxing 5-minute voyage, complete with his calm narration and flamenco music!