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Tuesday, July 07, 2009


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Madame Maracas

Main thing AGAINST the LL produced viewer is that it crashes me nearly instantly.
Snowglobe looks and feels much like a regular LL viewer, and yet, funny thing, it works.

I've got a (much) older machine, barely up to LL specs, so granted, my experience is fairly slanted, but for those of us with 2003 Dimension 8300 machines, w/2.8 ghz and an nVidia 6600 card, SnowGlobe is the winner. It performs much as the previous generation LL viewer did for me.

I tested both the Emerald and Gemini, and while I prefer the Gemini's bells and whistles, it locks up as well but not as quickly as the LL produced-viewer. Emerald may or may not have freaked out my machine, so I'm not tempting fate to try again, however it did not load as quickly as the SnowGlobe, but not as slowly as the Gemini.

Alicia Chenaux

I have tried the Snowglobe viewer, but it loads much slower for me than the main viewer. I'm not sure why. Textures took longer to rez, all my chickens were black except for their heads. It was just bad news for me. I think I might test the Emerald viewer, but I thought I heard that voice doesn't work with that one? That's not going to work for me.


@ Madame Marcas
"I tested both the Emerald and Gemini, and while I prefer the Gemini's bells and whistles, it locks up as well but not as quickly as the LL produced-viewer."

I'd have to say that's all got something to do with your hardware compatibility. I'm sure we have very different computers - seeing as how it's probably the only viewer I would say ever NOT locked up or experienced somewhat frequent crashes/errors.

I'd suggest anyone looking for a new viewer to give all 4 of these mentioned a try, instead of just assuming that Snowglobe is the best as well. I've heard it's great for many people, but for some reason it seems much more choppy to me than Gemini or Emerald.

Give them all a try!

Ann Otoole

Latest snowglobe test release crashes in sims with a lot going on in a very reliable manner. Makes it so unusable I had to uninstall and revert to the previous release. The previous release works pretty good. The first release was near impossible to crash. Hmmm. And supposedly it is not even using http for texture loading. Makes me wonder how they boosted the texture load speed.

Madame Maracas

I'm not assuming, that's just as far as I've gotten in my new viewer trials. I've never (other than LL RC and Beta viewers) tried alt viewers so my experience is limited. SnowGlobe just caused the least issues. If the leak/lock up issue were removed I'd greatly prefer the bells and whistles of Gemini, Emerald as a 2nd option, Snowglobe as the least preferable of them, well other than the plain Jane LL viewer.

Osiris Goff

Kirsten's viewer has always been one of the fastest out there. Significant work goes into optimization. I wonder why it wasn't included in the test?

Ari Blackthorne

@ Osiris Goff

I actually did a test between seven viewers and Kirsten's was one of them (s17 series) - those results are posted at Common Sensible (look at previous week's posts) - and I concur, Kirsten's (up until this test) was by far the best in performance.

@ All
I have just completed that test between the seven when Linden Lab announced Snowglobe. I was tired of testing, so I didn't bother with it.

Then Gwenyth Llewlyn (original credit to her, everyone for the idea of testing at all) conducted an 'unscientific' test comparison between the "official" LL Viewer and Snowglobe as for texture rezzing.

This is what convinced me to try it. Then I repeated her test, but with as scientific control as I was able (No movement of the camera or avatar during the rezzing process and a limit of 60-seconds for each viewer).

The reason I didn't compare Kirstens with Snowlobe (yet) is that Kirstens still has a bug that LL fixed in the current release and Snowglobe: that textures are "ejected" from memory prematurely.

Specifically: stand in a scene. Allow everything to rez. Turn around, allow everything to rez. Turn around to face the original direction: all the prims are there - but grey. The textures all have to rerez. This is frustrating to me and it's not Kirsten's fault - it's a simple bug patch she hasn't had the chance to patch yet.

Once she has patched that particular bug, I will do the same 60-second test between Kirsten's and Snowglobe.

I agree (for me personally) the bells and whistle features of Emerald and Gemini are 'knock-your-socks-off' - but for now, I really want rezzing performance over features.

Of course, if you spend the majority of your time on one or two sims, Gemini/Emerald features are a definite go and van't-live-without. But if you grid-hop and need to rez sim after sim (i. e. shopping around) - Snowglobe (as of this test) is the way to go for texture and even prim rezzing performance.

Unfortunately, everyone's computer configs are different so there will be some who do not get the same results.

However, I believe the results that I (and Gwyneth) have experienced will be the kind of result the majority will experience as well.

Of note: her test in on a Macintosh, so I performed my test on Windows XP.

Gwyneth's original article is here:

And her video is also linked-to from her page.

Gattz Gilman

Its not really an even match considering Snowglobe introduces the HTTP download method for downloading textures, which all the other viewers do not use.

Now if the Gemini uses the Snowglobe texture downloading method, then that would be an awesome viewer.


Pure speed is not everything for me. I need a viewer to be firstly stable, then have certain features I cannot live without (like a "worn' tab and double-clicking to wear prims), and finally it just has to be acceptably fast. In that order.

I love the Gemini viewer for its stability and features.

GoSpeed Racer

For me the Snowglobe viewer is amazing! Even with the HTTP option unchecked it is blazingly fast compared to any viewer I have tried. It's also been rock solid stable for me too. I've even used it on a 6 year old laptop with a cruddy Intel video chip and it makes such a big difference. You lose nothing by trying it.

Arcadia Codesmith

I have a brand-new gaming box sitting in the corner gathering dust because Second Life locks it up solid every session on both the LL viewer and Kirsten's viewer (with nVidia OR ADI card). My slow and ugly 5-year-old desktop runs both viewers (at the same time, if need be) without a hiccup.

If Snowglobe addresses the stability issues that apparently have Linden's engineers stumped, I'm willing to give it a shake. Speed is nice, but stability is everything.

Peter Stindberg

Rika Watanabe analyzed the sourcecode. HTTP download is right now ONLY used for the map, and Rika confirmed this with a network analyzer. The only difference in Snwoglobe seems to be some UDP optimization, in terms of larger UDP packet sizes for textures. The HTTP component is missing on the server side yet. Once the servers manage to deliver textures via HTTP, then it will be rock'n'roll - for every viewer that will use it.

Btw: I think *THE* most used alternative viewer will probably be Boy Lanes Cool Viewer.

Dirk Talamasca

This bit is still quite broken in Showglobe. Please vote to have it fixed.


Dawny Daviau

Kirstens S18 is a hybrid between S17 and Snowglobe and has the features of the Snowglobe......

Net Antwerp

3rd party/Custom Open Source SL viewers still don't offer a fully scalable, optimized 3D renderer with the latest enhancements (lag-free shadows, full HDR lighting/reflections, Subsurface Scattering and GPU-accelerated tessellations), which is quite disappointing to say the least.

Some of the effects (Subsurface Scattering and full HDR lighting) have been around since 2003.

Snowglobe (fast texture loading) is my first 3rd party viewer choice, followed by Cool Viewer/Boy Lane's Rainbow Viewer and KirstenLee's viewer.

I would recommend Nicholaz Beresford's patched stock viewer for people still on computers that can't handle Windlight very well, though there are a few quirks, like the lack of Mono-scripted HUD support.

Veeyawn Spoonhammer

I have found Snowglobe to be great (stable and fast) on Ubuntu.

This also seems like a good time to throw this out to everyone. I've started a spreadsheet of alternate viewers and I know I'll never be able to keep it up to date or make it complete so I ask you, the community, to help me! Won't you?


Please edit as you see fit. If something like this already exists, I haven't found it so a link would be appreciated as there's no reason to duplicate efforts.



Peter Stindberg

The most conclusive list of alternative viewers can be found here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Alternate_viewers

Ari Blackthorne

@ Peter and others

That SL wiki that addresses alternate viewers is not really up to date. A few of the viewers listed are defunct and it does not list other viewers (for instance Gemini).

I concur that "SL Cool Viewer" was (until recently) the most popular after market viewer. And I still won't proclaim it's not.

However, Boy lane and the other developer have a falling-out so Boy Lane's viewer is now the "Rainbow" viewer (I could be wrong, apologies if I am) and the original developr is pushing-on with "SL Cool Viewer" ( or "Cool SL Viewer" I forget which).

The big buzz of late have been the GreenLife Emerald viewer because of the "Gee, I never thought of that!" type useful every day features. Gemini is based of Emerald, but optimized (configured better for) role players.

I agree with the statement above that says 'when Gemini viewer implements the speed improvements of Snowglobe - I'm all over it" (paraphrased, obviously).



Too bad Snowglobe is still too unstable in the long run. It's crashing regularly in texture-rich high end scenes, so that's not what you would want in an everyday client, I merged in some of its goodies though and it seems alot faster now.

Peter Stindberg

Ari, did yo actually LOOK at the Wiki page?

Not only does it mention if a viewer is defunct or not, there is also not a single viewer I know of who is NOT on this list.

You claim that Gemini is missing from the page, but in fact Gemini has one of the longest entries on that wiki page. If you look at the edit history, you will see that the developer of Geminim himself has added a lot of text to the article.

I stick to my statement that https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Downloads is *THE* ressource where you can find information on alternative viewers easiest.

Ari Blackthorne

@ Peter: It's okay friend, take a breath.

I looked at the page about a week ago when I did my 7-way comparison (for my own personal purposes.) Good if it's updated again. Though when I was going down the list at the time, it appeared to be rather (heavily and ) quite out of date.

Skills - I look forward to playing with Gemini again. Subscribed to your blog on it (@ insilico blog) - haven't seen any posts as of yet. Is there an address I and others can regularly check to look for updates?

Right now I am on your RSS feed to the gemini post (as I suspect you'll up date that one with , well... updates.)


Peter Stindberg


11:54, June 23, 2009 Peter Stindberg (Talk | contribs) (31,883 bytes) (Restored proper alphabetical order)

03:01, June 21, 2009 Elsie Broek (Talk | contribs) (31,822 bytes) (Added Gemini Viewer (needs more information added))

Ari Blackthorne

Yes. Of course.

It's a 'competition' on who knows what, when. Right?

Heh. I was wondering what to scribble about next on my own blog. Thanks for the idea: "Insistence on one-upsmanship".

So I'll go fluch my browser cache and catch ya later.

Turns with a genuine smile and a wink.


Ari, here is the link to the Gemini Viewer updates. From the comments Skills is currently implementing 1.23 "stuffs".


Ari Blackthorne

@ Faerie

Thank you very much!
(And cool, that's how I prefer to spell "Faerie" too. LOL ;)


Through various turns in circumstances and adventures, I've been dealing with slow pc's, old pc's, and multiple versions of slow unstable Internet connections.

Snowglobe has absolutely saved me hours of frustration already! It crashes less and rezzes faster in all of my situations.

All the same, I'm still looking forward to being reunited with my much more powerful desktop in order to try out the other alternative viewers.

I can easily see how beneficial it is to have multiple viewers to chose from. In a quick reading of the features ... I'm planning to try out the Emerald for some super aggressive work days on/for my sim (Adelebsen Isle) and try out Kirsten's viewer for some fun fun photography.


Hi, personally, i use windows 7 and nearly every viewer i have ever used locks up on me, even the openlife viewer does this so i dunno the problem, but i prefer using Imprudence viewer, it's fast, and doesn't lock up near as often as any other viewer, though it does still lock up occasionally.


I always thought it was a problem with my video card that kept everything from rezzing quickly. That was, until I got the best AGP money can buy for my rig and everything STILL rezzes slowly. From what I am learning here, we are now working on getting 5 year old elements like lighting and scripts to work right, so in 2020 we will be using the graphics and stuff from roughly 2015? Im not making fun, I just cant see how this can't be figured out faster to make the best viewer for everyone. The world is already there. We just need a kickin viewer to play in it.


Honestly all these viewers are too slow and hardly have the features you can get in this website I found called inflife.net

Check them out, I'm sure you won't regret it, Cheers


I really didn't care for these viewers. Fortunately though, I did find a host of much better viewers at Second Life Infinte, which can be found here: inflife.net

You'll want to look at their client "plug-in," called "ZeroProxy." It isn't a viewer in itself, rather, it is to be used with an existing viewer, keeping all functionality. It has so many awesome features, and fills in for a lot of the ones lacking in these. You can read more here: inflife.net/?p=401

And if you just want to try a completely new viewer, you need to look at Inf's "Second Life Popular" viewer. Unlike "ZeroProxy," it can function by itself, with equal, if not better features. Find out more here: inflife.net/?p=454

All of the viewers they release have free upgrades and support on their website, which I absolutely love. Go today!

Rocket D

I don't think snow globe never have any errors on it caused it gaves me a headache caused when i started downloaded this, it gave me an errors of using slurls when i tried regular sl viewer imprudence or emerald viewer with slurl the snow globe seems to appeared the icon on the taskbar then disappeared and the icon is identical to frostwire instead of appearing and activate the slurl on my viewer to appear the map of destination of address of were i'm going this snow globe always interrupting and when i uninstall this viewer it still interrupting i already even deleted some other files that is connected to snow globe slurl never work, now i don't know how to work the slurl normal on any viewer.
opera explorer can even detect that snow globe causing the errors.


Hi :D

i was using snowglobe, but than >...>>>..>>..

the viewer 2 got invented ....

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