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Review of alternative views for Second Life PDF Print E-mail
Second Life - Chat
Written by Skidz Tweak   
Tuesday, 21 April 2009 15:16
It has been a while now since Linden Labs has released the source code for their client. This has allowed for anyone to make there own client with ease, customizing them and add new features. I thought it was about time I download some and see what I thought of each. I didn't finish reviewing all of them, but thought I would share what I have so far, and maybe come back in a bit and finish off the list. I didn't review any clients that didn't have installs built, for ease. I am not going to build, or copy over tons of files in order to get it to work.
 
Linden Labs client - 7 out of 10
So we have a good base level, I thought I would review the regular SL client from Linden Labs. We are all familiar how well it works, and it feature set, so I won't go into that.

Hippo Viewer - 8 out of 10
The hippo view I have used for a while on OpenSim. It is as stable as the regular SL client from Linden Labs, but has a couple extra features that are nice. While in open sim, there are no prim size restriction with this client, which has to be my favorite feature. I also really enjoy the "Grid" tab in the preferences. There you can add new grids to connect to and there is a nice list already of popular grids. I would recommend this client to anyone that hops between different grids often.

SLIM- 7 out of 10
SLIM is nothing more than a fancy instant messaging application that works in second life. It has the ability to call, and IM people. One advantage this client has is that you can be logged onto SL, and SLIM at the same time. In Second Life others will see a SLIM icon next to your name in their friends list, you will appear first on the list as well. I would recommend this for light use. I did find some bugs... Some IMs would come through my email instead of the SLIM client, some of my IM would not go through, and If I was logged in to both the SLIM client, and SL, and started a chat in SLIM, the response would come to my SL client.

Reading the list of extra features this client as I waited for it to finish installing with great anticipation. After using it a while, I think I found my new client. Its not exactly what I was hoping for, but I would say its the best I have tried so far. It seemed to run just as well as the normal SL client, and didn't ever crash on me. It had a couple different interfaces buttons, like "Radar" and "Emerald" that allowed you to use some of the extra features. The features I like the most are, making your avatar phantom, list of near by users with several functions, and seeing someone is going to IM before they do. As a sandbox manager, I would say its perfect for my use.

RealXtend - 3 out of 10
This is a heavily modified version of the open source client. First time I started it up, it prompted me, do I want to play media, right as I clicked yes, it crashed. Then trying to log back in I would get that, "Wait idiot we are logging you out now prompt (paraphrasing)" , and the "Connect to" drop down menu would change from "Second Life" to "Authentication Server Home Grid" each time which is annoying. When I finally did get in I found the flying, and wind sound very annoying as well, much louder than what I am use to. I tried every volume feature to turn this down, but only master would work. Web on prim media feature request web pages as a regular browser, where the normal SL client request them as a mobile device. While not a big deal, I would rather have a consistent development platform for such things. At first I thought the client was a touch faster tough, but after about 5 minutes of use the display became jumpy, and sounds would cut in and out.. flickering on and off. When I built a prim it came out invisible, and could only see it while editing with the build window. When I right clicked on that prim it would hit the ground instead of the prim every time, even with the build window open. At this point I gave up and would not recommend this client to anyone at this time.

OMVViewer-light - 6 out of 10
This one was slightly harder to install than the others. You have to install something called GTK# first. Be sure to install it on your c drive as it will break the client if you don't. Also, the client install gave me no options to install on D drive as well, something I do often. This was a great little chat client though. Very light weight, and lot more options than SLIM. I did find it flashing a lot notifying me of IM, even after I was focused on it. Under "View" it has several little tools, including Inventory and Location. I could not use this to sort my inventory, but I could view it and search it. For "Location" I was able to make my avatar walk to a specific spot. But I found the map would not update until I clicked stop. I was able to get my avatar to walk all the way up the Skidz Isle cliffs. I did find the radar stoped working on me after leaving it open a while. Closing the location and reopening the location crashed the client. I would recommend this client for someone that does not like SLIM, or if you want a chat client with a little power.
 
Here is a large list of aditional clients as well. Please leave a comment if you have anything to add on these clients, or want to recommend additional ones to the group.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2009 16:15
 

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