“My Viewer’s Torus Is Bigger Than Yours”

The title of this week’s post refers to an oddity we noticed when we looked at the same things with different viewers in our grid. Items that appeared normal to us when we were using the Imprudence viewer, looked bigger or distorted with the SL Viewer 3 or a Third Party Viewer (TPV) like the Dolphin Viewer 3.

Torus as seen in Imprudence 1.4
Note the rope hanging in the foreground
Torus as seen in Dolphin Viewer 3
The same rope – see the difference?

0.05

As you may know, in addition to the official Second Life Viewer in its current iteration (which is version 3.2.1.244864 as we write this), a number of TPVs based on the SL codebase are also available with various features that appeal to different groups of users. We thought a few interesting quirks of the newer viewers were worth a mention. We double-checked using Imprudence, a 1.23-style viewer, and the Viewer 2-based Dolphin Viewer.

In one case, we noticed some weirdness with a torus to which we’d applied a rope texture; the torus was over 10 meters in length and hole size was 0.03 (in Imprudence) but in slV2/V3 the hole size defaulted to 0.05 which caused the rope to appear thicker and distorted. The same texture on other large prims didn’t exhibit this quirk.

So there are some new limitations with the SL V2/V3 Viewer and related TPVs – editing tori larger than 10 meters will give strange results. Keep this in mind also, if you plan to give a torus a hole size less than 0.05.

LinkSet

There is another thing to keep in mind when building with one of the newer viewers: you cannot link more than 256 prims together. With Imprudence, we were linking more than 300 prims with ease. We were going to test further, but – oops – we’d unlinked a primmy object with one of the V2 viewers and found we couldn’t link it up again, at all, unless we switched back to Imprudence. Hmmm.

While pondering our 300-prim linkset problem, our thoughts went off on a tangent. We didn’t want to think it, but a nagging concern kept pushing its way to the surface in our minds. Could these new restrictions in the newer viewers be part of a trend of removing advantages of building in OpenSim? These new limits – maximum linkable prims at 256, torus holes no smaller than 0.05, and others – are almost like nudges. Linden Lab may say their viewer code is designed to reduce lag and improve efficiency in world, but this seems to reduce our OpenSim capabilities.

We shall see.