Talk:Viewer Visual Update

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Thanx for the feedback thus far...

Hello and thanks for the comments! I'm involved with this project, codename "Dazzle", insofar as helping the Rx Team get the word out to our community. I haven't read all of these comments in close detail yet, but I appreciate not just the content, but the presentation too.

LordJason Kiesler — thanks for embedding that graphic to communicate what you think of about the button gradients. If anyone else wants to contribute screenshot mockups, please, you're more than welcome. Since this is a visual update, those type of aids help.

I also had some nice comments on my Flickr photostream, and will be encouraging more... and responding in kind. Appreciatively yours! --Torley Linden 16:28, 1 November 2007 (PDT)

Great, even more Dazzle feedback on my personal blog! --Torley Linden 08:04, 5 November 2007 (PST)

i love the new version :O is fantastic
the near me bug is fixed exellent
now i'm bugfixing my purple version
really a good job benjamin :D --Aliceinwire Bleac 04:56, 12 November 2007 (PST)

Feedback and Ideas

  • As far as I'm concerned, one of the gold standard issues for interface usability in this or any other application is the ability to pull pop up menus off the interface. If one can't do that, it doesn't matter how pretty they look; they block content and make working in the interface overly difficult. Gotta be able to pull stuff off the interface or it's more of the same with new candy colors. [Professor Beliveau/5:18SL 10/30/07]
  • In the Mac instructions, if you start with 'Make a copy of the Second Life application with "Duplicate" and rename it "Second Life Visual Update"...' and move on from there then the "uninstall" step won't be needed, and people can more easily compare the two. -- Argent Stonecutter 06:14, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
  • Great work on the graphics! Definitely shows off the potential for what can be done.

Well how novel: ripping off the Mac OS X metallic buttons and giving them an Aqua feel... Well, don't stop there. Read Apple's Human Interface Guidelines and implement them. Then we'll not only have the feel too, but then the whole thing may work as standard instead of being buggy, bloated, roll your own code. We would have international settings and keyboards that worked, standard window behaviour, one menu bar not two, and text editing handling that worked properly, and properly transposed keyboard shorcuts. Get that stuff sorted first then you can think of moving on to skinning.

I would like to point out, that SecondLife client is Cross-Platform. If they stuck to the Mac guidelines, then it wouldn't fit windows or linux. To be honest, as SecondLife is effectively a game, the interface has to be a roll your own (Read Apples guidelines, it actually says that somewhere) --Nik Woodget 02:37, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
  • Just to introduce the conservative voice *8) while I greatly appreciate thought going into the viewer and all, I wouldn't say that making the colors prettier and the buttons and icons slicker-looking would be where I'd focus efforts if it was me. Give me back a tearoffable friends list, let me tear off and move around llDialog() / GroupNotice style dropdowns, make the viewer notice and tell me something useful when packets-in-per-second drops to zero, and other actual functional enhancements would do me a world more good than shinier-looking buttons... Dale Innis 11:06, 13 November 2007 (PST)
  • Great look, how ever the big problems in the gui layout are net even addressed in this preview. Friends and group was so much more easier to use before the voice release. I really like to get that in the 18.4 viewer nice Linux bug fixes but no working friends list yet in that version. Voice i guess that will come some ware around 2010 at best. I'm not asking for much just two patches from nicholaz. (and probably a hard admittance from someone onside Linden that new look with friends inside the IM window was a bad idea.) --Balp Allen 00:36, 14 November 2007 (PST)
  • I Like to add to what I said in November, When I said great look, I assumed that the bad contrast issues was going to get solved before going close to RC status, that this skinnable should be skinnable long before RC status. I took the look as an example on what it could look like not the main and only way. To bad the look today haven't fixed any of the major issues. Even if we got a friend s list finally long be fore I hoped on it (and outside dazzle). I'm afraid Dazzle will come and force many users to stay at 1.19 until the day 1.2x something becomes mandatory, many others just screaming and being irritated. There is a patch in the Nicholaz version that could be simply tuned to make all the dazzle, oldstyle look files come into two directories skins\dazzle, skins\oldstyle. To make users more happy I would suggest that LL looks at this issue and slows down on the release plan. 1.18.6 was backed away when it didn't work, It's no shame in makeing something ready before releasing and maybe Dazzle is ready by it's project goals, however phase one with only the new look is for most resident's only halfway. But now home to test VWR-4575 fix. --Balp Allen 06:29, 18 April 2008 (PDT)

Feedback on the style itself

  • The problem I'm having is with the fact that most of the text in search results is white on a bright blue/gray background, which makes it hard to read. Also, text in profiles and (non-editable) group descriptions is difficult to read for the same reason. I think that adding more contrast would definitely improve the usability (not to mention the accessibility) of this skin. -- ????

The theme seems to be mostly based on one of a variety of "glossy" 3d themes that have become popular in UNIX/X11 environments. I would much rather see the glossiness eliminated and something less overpowering being used as inspiration.

Specific points:

  • With a light background ALL the text needs to be dark.
  • The window close and minimize buttons look smaller in this style, even if they aren't, and I keep slowing down to hit them more precisely.
  • The translucent menu bar is an improvement. It needs to extend under the menus themselves, of course. The backdrop for the button bars on the bottom should be translucent as well, for symmetry... and with the new style I don't think the little "loops" over the buttons above the chat bar are really useful.
  • The glossiness of the buttons is a problem, and they also look more like tabs than buttons. A flatter more "matte" style would work better.
  • The slight border around the chat and nametags is VERY nice.
  • The 3d look of hover text is not so good, I think because it's light. The light colored pie menu is really a problem.
  • The inventory and appearance editor seem significantly less professional.
At the moment I think the original style is preferrable. I would say that the dark color scheme works better, particularly for translucent windows... if the ghosted windows could turn dark (but with light text) that would work, but that's probably more than XUI can handle. -- Argent Stonecutter 06:25, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
  • I'm not a fan of square buttons.
  • Like Argent I struggle with some of the light backgrounds
  • Would it be possible to have an instruction page? This file does... for all the images. I know its possible to open them all, and I will, but pointers for how to tweak what be nice. I'm going to try a nicer (for my eyes) skin with greens, similar to the theme I've got on my mac menus, and hack some buttons, but it will take a while to get right because I'm flying blind (particularly for .j2c's that don't automatically preview for me). --Eloise Pasteur 06:53, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
  • Good print, J2Cs aren't well supported in bitmap editors yet. -- Argent Stonecutter 09:14, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
  • In the textures folder is a textures.xml file. This is the mapping {purpose}.tga -> UUID.{any extension} --Thraxis Epsilon 11:51, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

I too struggle with the chat history and permission/worn status in inventory, as it's light text on a light background, but I hope you'll correct this by darkening the text. I like dark text on a light background very much... but OTOH I can understand how in a dark environment, you might want the opposite, sort of like the dashboard on your car... can it be made skinnable, so people can have what they prefer? (Changing with time of day or ambient lighting is probably a bit much to ask for, but would be very cool.) --Melissa Yeuxdoux 16:23, 2 November 2007 (PDT)

Similarity to Mac/Aqua

Well how novel: ripping off the Mac OS X metallic buttons and giving them an Aqua feel... Well, don't stop there. Read Apple's Human Interface Guidelines and implement them. Then we'll not only have the feel too, but then the whole thing may work as standard instead of being buggy, bloated, roll your own code. We would have international settings and keyboards that worked, standard window behaviour, one menu bar not two, and text editing handling that worked properly, and properly transposed keyboard shorcuts. Get that stuff sorted first then you can think of moving on to skinning.

I would like to point out, that SecondLife client is Cross-Platform. If they stuck to the Mac guidelines, then it wouldn't fit windows or linux. To be honest, as SecondLife is effectively a game, the interface has to be a roll your own (Read Apples guidelines, it actually says that somewhere) --Nik Woodget 02:37, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
I don't think it looks Mac-like at all. In fact while Apple popularized the glossy look the "shiny metallic" look isn't really their schtick, and they have been moving away from the aggressive glossiness of the early OS X versions to a smoother and more professional look in Panther and Tiger. -- Argent Stonecutter 18:02, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
I personally wouldn’t complain if they implemented as much of Apple’s HIG as possible. I wouldn’t expect them to get rid of the in-window menubar, but it would be nice if things like keyboard layouts worked properly. —Frungi Stastny 06:53, 23 October 2007 (PDT)

Icons

The icons representing prims in the object builder are too small. It is quite difficult to distinguish between similar prims as, for example, the cone and the semicone.--Eadoin Welles 10:22, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

I'm not loving it... Although I do like some of the icons but color wise and color balance theme are killing my eyes. The whole "gloss jem" buttons from Window Vista and OS Mac got really really old so fast. For me, I'd like a dark theme. Something more like this theme. [[1]] --Vincent Nacon 12:32, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

I don't think the icons on the map or in other windows should be changed from the standard client unless absolutely necessary... and again I don't think that encapsulating the icons is really a good idea. -- Argent Stonecutter 18:06, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

I really like the new icons in the inventory, they look much nicer than the old ones, however, the icons on the map, and the new ones in the title bar are really hard to read. Even from 5 inches away I still can't tell what that thing in the classifieds icon is supposed to be. It looks like two bars and a clock or a lip. The title bar land for sale icon is also really hard to read since you can't really see the $ unless you get really close to the screen. And I think the telehub icon might have too much detail in it for being so small. When you zoom all the way out on the map and see them all it gets really messy. --Kevin Susenko 08:42, 8 December 2007 (PST)

I have to say I am underwhelmed by the icon set. Have you considered the Tango Desktop Project? The Tango Project seeks to create a consistent graphical user interface experience across applications and platforms. IMHO, the quality of their icon sets is very high. Have a look at the icon sets and style guidelines on their website. — Yuu Nakamichi 15:21, 2 November 2007 (PDT)

Additional suggestions

This section should be kept for suggestions that are really beyond the scope of a theme change.

Multiple Monitor Support

Would like more than anything to see the UI windows capable of being moved onto a second monitor off the main viewer window. Now that would be very cool and make life a whole lot easier.

This would also mean making that the second life viewer would have to use system controls. Again its a pain for cross-platform software. Though not impossible. --Nik Woodget 02:38, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
Why would this require using system controls ?
SignpostMarv Martin 06:59, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
The UI in Second Life is part of the OpenGL rendering pipeline. In order for the controls to be seperated from the main window they would have to be contained in seperate OS controls. Maybe not system independent controls, perhaps custom controls rendered into borderless windows might work. --Nik Woodget 02:08, 28 November 2007 (PST)
Aren't there free open-source cross platform systems already out there to do stuff like that?--TigroSpottystripes Katsu 05:32, 13 November 2007 (PST)
Possibly, do you have any you can suggest? --Nik Woodget 02:08, 28 November 2007 (PST)
Let me add my support for multiple monitors with one dedicated to menus and controls to keep the main view screen wide open. This would be huge. Ralph Doctorow 07:33, 25 January 2008 (PST)
In addition to people with large or multiple monitors, people with slower computers would be able to comfortably run the main 3D viewer window at 640x480, and keep text-only windows off to the side for greater visibility. Fancy "skin" effects aside, there's no need for most of the windows to be OpenGL-accelerated. Creem Pye 11:26, 31 January 2008 (PST)

Mac Support

For the Mac port, at least, the way that command and control are reversed is really hard to deal with. It would be nice if there was an option to reverse the command and control keys for XUI only. -- Argent Stonecutter 06:07, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

Whilst we're talking about this - can we add a request for a proper implementation of the Mac GUIs, without the irritating internal menus as well please. Swap the menu bar menus the way the GUI guidelines suggest. It's a different code base after all. I may have got used to this structure, but it's one bit of muscle memory I'd be very happy to get rid of! --Eloise Pasteur 15:56, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

Widgets

I like the new interface. It is surely better than the black one but, by the way, the real value would be to have a choice of skins which, in my understanding, is the main goal of this test. I think that another improvement might be to have the possibility to add gadgets. For example, I would like to have, close to the PDT time, also the local time, since most of events that I prepare are located in my country, and I prefer to use local time rather than useless PDT time. Rather than adding this feature, which may be of no interest to USA people and surely not at all to California people, you may give us the possibility to create gadgets, like in Google or Vista. So I could develop a small gadget to see time in various timezones, another one that automatically convert Linden dollars to various currencies, and so forth. By facilitating the development of user gadgets, you would dramatically improve the SL interface without having to develop them yourself. IMHO Greetings from Rome, Italy --Eadoin Welles 10:19, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

Vector Graphics Widgets

Would like to see a flash layer, where flash widgets could communicate to the UI via an API and either replace or partially replace bits and pieces of it. This could be a big market for companies wishing to have customized clients but still take advantage of Linden Labs robust source.

I would actively NOT want to see a layer that can only be programmed with a closed system like flash. -- Argent Stonecutter 06:07, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
SVG + Javascript would work- uBrowser would be the place to start with that.
SignpostMarv Martin 06:59, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
That's one approach. Javascript based controls are used in a number of programs: Firefox (XUL), Mac OS (Dashboard), Yahoo Widgets (for that matter Adobe's Actionscript has converged on Javascript). I'm not sure that SVG is the way to go, but that's not an objection... I just don't know wnough about SVG. Another possibility is to use Tk, since that has bindings for several scripting languages already. All this is somewhat out of the scope of a theme change. -- Argent Stonecutter 08:47, 22 October 2007 (PDT)
SVG would provide an "open" system for vector graphics where flash provides a "closed" system.
SignpostMarv Martin 12:41, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

Skin Support

I'd like to suggest Hue changer for quick custom theme color for users.... However, for graphic artist like myself, I would like to able customize the skin with ease. Just think more like WinAmp 5. --Vincent Nacon 12:32, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

is also good to make a little program in php for the second life site or a executable for create new skin in more simple way

this is my purple skin :)

Purple Skin


--Aliceinwire Bleac 04:56, 7 November 2007 (PST)

  • Purple skin made me smile a lot! Thanx for sharing that with Ben and I, Aliceinwire! /me open-secretly hopes for a green-and-pink skin. :D --Torley Linden 11:26, 7 November 2007 (PST)

Too Little

Just looking at the pic...except for the icons, which are probably needed, I'm underwhelmed. It's the same old interface except for being white and shinier (IMO, too shiny), and the consensus among people I know tends torward the opinion that the UI needs to be reinvented, not just polished, and I'd rather see development time being taken on that. Take as an example the work being done by e-Sheep with their new custom client. I'm not saying they've done things that I necescarily want to see but they've got their goals in the right place. I could list a number of UI suggestions and pet peeves but this isn't the place for it...some day I wil actualy get around to putting them on the JIRA. That said, I agree with the people who mentioned skins and even just being able to set UI color preferences from the preferences menu; that by itself would address a lot of issues. Elle Pollack 15:00, 22 October 2007 (PDT)

Enhancement?

I would love to beable to collect a Landmark while viewing another resident's profile picks. --[[User:Sabina Stenvaag] , 1 nov 2007 (PDT)

Buttons.

The gradient effect on the buttons need to weigh one way or the other. Having the 'line' go right through the text with as much contrast as it has, is distracting, and hard on the eyes. I would suggest more smoothing to it as well. Here is a mock up of what I mean. The lower left button is the only one modified. mock up

what is wrong with light text on dark background?

for me, light text on dark background is way more comfortable for my eyes, I find light backgrounds kinda too aggressive :/

why not continue with the dark backgrounds? imitating rl paper on software is kinda lame on my opinion :\ --TigroSpottystripes Katsu 01:08, 13 November 2007 (PST)