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Tuesday, September 04, 2018


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CronoCloud Creeggan

Nerd changes UI, basically tells users they're whiners when they complain about how the newly more nerd-centric UI doesn't work as well for them.

Sorry, but that's what you did. Yes you've got a point in how users complain about UI changes, but you need to to think of your users as customers. And we all know the cliche: "The customer is always right"

Yes, it's open source and they don't pay you and you do it to fill your own itch...but they're still your "customers" whether you like it or not.

And personally I think some of the hyperbole about your viewer's capabilities needs to be walked back a tad. Yeah some of it's from enthusiastic users and people who aren't techy who don't know they can get the EXACT SAME screenshot quality from any viewer...but you need to get control of your own PR before it gets too much more aggrandizing.

This means you Hamlet, this whole "Black Dragon makes SL look like a AAA game" thing you do needs to stop...because it doesn't. Screenshots don't tell the whole tale. SL isn't just screenshots you know.

Clara Seller

The old Nirans's viewer was one of the most magical experiences of my SL and Niran will always be appreciated for that. I use Black Dragon strictly for photography now, but put it away when I want to relax or need to do tasks.

As when Viewer II was introduced, you can clobber people over the head and call them names and accuse them of simply being lazy change-resistant sloths, but it's a dividing line that made Firestorm the most popular viewer in SL.

We learn to walk when we're babies, and if we're lucky, we don't have to do it again. A lot of people don't find physical rehabilitation a fascinating learning experience. Some make it an occupation, but for others, it's a grueling chore that they only do because they have no other choice.

Using Viewer II and Black Dragon was like having to learn to walk with somebody else's legs. I find the photography rewards of Black Dragon worth the pain, but it's still pain.

Be a good trooper and just accept the change that you don't understand, didn't want, shut up, and it doesn't belong to you. It's interesting the concept of SL as this kind of libertarian society, has settled into a sometimes very authoritarian and monopolistic world. Oops, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say or think that.


I have did all the setting accordingly, my black sofa still black as one black color, even in midday it still cannot see any like 3d stuff. By the way, the wind light or environment setting is a complete disaster. And the WASD to walk. There are many popular online use single mouse to walk. What game standard is not SL standard. SL is basically a chat game. Beside, I need to command for driving my boat. Chat command are very useful in sl. It is do damn to use WASD for walking. This dragon viewer seem only useful for taking some photo. I cannot use it for daily living in sl. As to the setting of mouse stuff. I am extremely disappointed


the function "all always facing the walking direction" also not working. There is a funny question. Why it need WASD for walking, if we need mouse to turn avatar direction? Further if no facing walking direction functon, it would impossible to moving around a avatar.



I do have to agree partly here about the PR thing, i've said this in the HF Forum as well where they quoted this specific "AAA" post. The whole "it makes it look like a triple A title" might be going a bit too far but then again i also appreciate Hamlet's attempt at advertising my Viewer for what is was originally created. Doing advertisement, reviewing, blogging or generally rehashing news for users often involves selecting a good title. Hardly anyone reads a post if the title basically spoils the entire news already, what's the point right? Same here, you want people to view a post, you gotta have to find something that sounds interesting to people even if that sometimes means going full throttle against a wall. I mean he wasn't lying when he said that, it's just that the Viewer doesn't make everything always look like a triple A game (and not like the best either), that's something you as reader have to understand though, its a flashy title to get your interest... and it did didn't it?

About the "customer" part. I'm aware how this works but this is my Viewer, ultimately you are under my control, i don't have anything to lose, i don't fear my users nor their reaction. If no one was to use the Viewer then so be it, it would certainly free me from my never ending pain that is my morals telling me to do something for the customer. Which brings us a bit closer to this "customer" and what it means to me:

You are a customer to me in that regard that i'll offer you any support i can give you that does not interfere with my plans for the Viewer if you chose to seek me out for support. This goes as far as sitting down with you and making in-between updates just for you to try and fix your issue ASAP. I've done this several times in the past already.


I will never add a feature you asked for if its something you simply want from another Viewer for instance. "I don't like making other Viewers less of what makes them.... well them." or in other words i don't like taking unique features from other Viewers. If this was my goal i could have just taken Firestorm, added Catznip, Alchemy and Cool VL, then added my stuff into the mix and called it a day, that would be an incredible dick move akin to blowing your locale up and selling your ideas as mine and no amount of "crediting" in this world will make this a better move. You and me we both know how it stands about users reading the credits or even caring about them.


Nirans Viewer was magical only because it was new and vastly more experimental than Black Dragon will ever be. Nirans Viewer was a testing bed, it was a learning experience, an experiment. This experiment concluded in Black Dragon which has turned out a much less explosive mix of things, much less freaky and crazy changes (although i'm slowly and carefully working into that direction again). Nirans Viewer is the very reason i made the comment about my "Preferences" window, it has gone through many iterations in Nirans Viewer alone one crazier than the one before.


Maybe i have to rephrase that a bit for you: Nothing was ever made for neither full-range colors, nor any of Black Dragons settings. Someone who uses the default Viewer with default settings, default color range and default configured monitor made a black texture and thought "Mh. this is still so bright... lets make it darker...and darker... and darker... still too bright.... lets just make it as black as my image editor allows... still not pitch black but its...okay i guess." now you come around the corner and you see this black couch, for you its so dark that you could think you just found a black hole. Why? Well that pitch black that the creator couldn't see... well... YOU CAN.

If you think it's too bright for you, turn off Tone Mapping and Color Correction or change their settings, there are some exquisite sliders available just for all three gamma channels (red / green / blue), lock them and pull them up a bit. There are also quite a few other sliders you can use to lessen the contrast.

I'll also have you know that this "single click to walk" is a feature in Black Dragon (sadly) just like it is in any Viewer, it's a default feature. Maybe you've found it already but in case you didn't it's in Preferences - Controls - Enable Left-click to Walk (MMORPG Style).

I'll also have you know that "Always make Avatar face walking direction" is fully functional and you just don't know what it does but i'll quote the tooltip of said option here:

"This option forces the avatar to turn into the direction you are moving. Disabling this will make your Avatar walk backwards rather than turning around when moving backwards unless an animation overrider changes this behavior."

In case you still don't understand what this stupid gibberish means:
Strafing to the left (as you do in Black Dragon when pressing A) will make your avatar face to the left.
Strafing to the right (as you do in Black Dragon when pressing D) will make your avatar face to the right.
Walking into the opposite direction of where your camera is facing, aka walking backwards will make your avatar face backwards aka looking at you (the camera).
Turning this option off means anything that goes "beyond" the angle from far left to far right (180° radius) will make your avatar not face that direction anymore, e.g when you walk backwards you'll do the moon walk, same goes for moving diagonally backwards.
This option is available in most Third Party Viewers and it does the same everywhere.

This last part here:
"There is a funny question. Why it need WASD for walking, if we need mouse to turn avatar direction? Further if no facing walking direction functon, it would impossible to moving around a avatar."

I'm sorry but i just can't make sense of this gibberish but i assume you're trying to reason with me about the whole "strafing vs rotating" thing and something about that you think it would be impossible to move if... something something, face avatar, camera i don't know again assuming you are referring to the changed default controls which i have to remind you are changeable at any time.

I can also assure you that whatever you think is "impossible" is absolutely and totally possible. I wouldn't have been moving through Second Life with ease, faster and more precise, comfortable and less rage inducing (auto-pilot failing and or walking you against walls or off cliffs) than you could ever move around with "click to walk" if moving was impossible with whatever you think is impossible.

Also here's a little funny something for you to try out. Turn off "Click-to-walk" and click-and-hold your left mouse button on your Avatar on ANY Viewer (doesn't matter which), then while holding left-click press A, D or Arrow Left and Right and tell me exactly what you see is happening, no wait, don't tell me, you're strafing just like you do in Black Dragon. It has been like this as far as i can think back (all the way to 2007).

Marta Sloane

I downloaded Black Dragon on a friend's recommendation. It worked fine for a month. Then when I was out of town for the holidays, nada. I got an error message saying Black Dragon is incompatible with my computer. Truly weird.. Its a pity, to except for no front view on camera control, it was pretty good. Guess I bought a PC that was not right for me..argh..

Hamlet Au

Hey NiranV hope you hit me up on the Twitters sometime, would love to talk more - @slhamlet!

weekend ruiner

Play with the preferences - Black Dragon produces by far the best looking images created from any viewer ( I've tried them all over the 11 years )

If you don't know what something does you can either give up and go back to firestorm, ask someone what something is and does or do what I do and play with every option and slider and setting.

You can't get the same level of raw viewer snapshots that Black Dragon produces in anything else. Volumetric Lighting ? in Firestorm ? Not a chance unless you fanny around with prims / mesh objects and cheat your way to something that's just 'meh'

It might not be everyone's 'go to' viewer for everyday use / shopping / whatever but it's worth a few days of playing with.

Jacques Mesrine

click-to-walk? commonly used by cry babies



I'd love to but i'd prefer anything else over Twitter, i'm using the Twitter account just to write here because it was the easiest to log in with. Preferably directly inworld would be the best.


You might have updated from a non AVX version to an AVX version without your CPU supporting it or from 32bit to 64bit without your OS supporting it.

Did you change computers (from PC to laptop?) when you were on holidays?


I am not a Gamer. For years I have been a resident of SL thanks to an HP with integrated Intel graphics, which I know BD isn't set-up to work with. But having recently purchased the new GTX1050-equipped Lenovo Legion, I decided to give BD a whirl. I was curious to see what all the excitement was about.

I am very impressed. SL with the default graphics settings in BD looks much better than is the case with FS - although both require me to explicitely register the viewers with NVIDIA. Even with tweaking, I couldn't get FS to look as rich and full. BD seems to do a much better job of leveraging my video card - which seems to be the key advantage.

I liked that you can toggle on and off the "full screen" mode in BD without having to log-off, as is the case with FS. I also liked how even in windowed mode, there seems to be more respect for the real-estate. For example, the "favorites" are pushed to the top, and the toolbuttons seemes a bit smaller. (But that might just be an illussion.)

In general, the layout of the menues is very straight-forward and logical. I don't miss the extra options of FS at all. I appreciate the warnings when I modify the graphics settings, and I especially like how the extremely-important camera controls are front and center, and not hidden away in the advanced settings.

The much-discussed movement controls did take a little time to master, but I quickly learned to appreciate the sense of visual openess that they enble. Besides, I spend most of my time in mouse-look anyway.

I missed the integrated AO functionality of FS, but understand the thinking behind not including it. It was trivial to fire-up my old ZHAO HUD.

I am curious about bandwidth. FS warns darkly to not crank it above 1500, but BD seems to default to twice that. I certainly had no issues with this.

As far as I can tell, voice chat is unchanged (which I have been led to believe is to be expected.) I'm glad the white dot remains, because it is an important indicator that everything is working.

In general, I found Black Draogon to be a clean, efficient, and respectful viewer that, barring some unforeseen surprises, will become my default. Anyone who has even an entry-level gaming system should give it a try.

NiranV deserves a lot of thanks for creating this.


Lagomorph7 pretty much brought it on point.

But i'd like to say something about it anyway.

While the Viewer may obviously not the best choice for most people (especially with low hardware specs) i've done a fair share of improvements all over the place, everything i touches has put a lot of thought behind it and often this is not enough, many things will still need feedback which is why some things look and feel rough at first but become better over time as i come up with better solutions. A fast development cycle is a huge boon for this as it allows me react quickly to issues and feedback.

However what most people seem to miss is that the Viewer is simply not made to emulate any other Viewer (for several reasons), if you want to use the Viewer you'll have to get used to different approaches, while these usually are limited to smaller changes, they might still look overwhelming at first because there are simply so many. The biggest problem with the Viewer for most users seem to be that the Viewer is simply not hand-holding you by any means, it throws you into the water cold and lets you figure out the rest while occasionally just giving you hints for what you're doing. For people who are simply not trained get along with this "exploration" styled approach which has been slowly driven away in gaming as well (games often being dumbed down more and more) may have serious issues getting along with having to "explore" on their own without help.

I realize the Viewer is not for everyone but that's probably for the best as a big userbase would not only cut into my free time but also would eventually get LL onto me and will force them to take action on certain things i'm doing that i wouldn't be able to do with a lager userbase, such as Firestorm is basically not able to do certain things because LL is looking very closely at what they do.

This goes as far as Linden Labs loosening some rules for others (such as me) to the point that we have a much more open field when it comes to developing new features. Best example seems to be the very thing that makes BD so special, it's graphics, i was told from Jessica directly that they are literally not allowed to implement any of my graphical changes as it "technically" violates the shared experience rules which they have to follow strictly unlike me, so the moment my Viewer would become the most popular i'd have to commit my changes to LL (and they will never ever take them, they are basically impenetrably resistant to graphical changes because they believe that changing even the slightest thing about SL's look would make users immediately run rampage like they did several times in the past), give up on them or face backlash and potential de-listing of my Viewer from the TPV list which as you can imagine wouldn't look all that good.

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