I’ve been using the Greenlife Emerald Viewer for Second Life recently and I like it, although I’ve only begun exploring its features.
The first thing you notice is the different login screen. The photos are different – and I think better – than with the standard Second Life viewer, and you’re given several additional choices and more information.
At the upper right, you see "Turn BG Images OFF" and "Turn BG /w People OFF". Clicking the first toggles the picture on and off. Clicking the second apparently toggles showing pictures with people in them, though when testing it for this report, toggling it on didn’t show pictures with people in them. I find that with my computer at least, the images sometimes are very slow to appear.
The upper left shows the grid status, the current Second Life time, total Second Life residents (it shows 16,767,189 as of this writing), and the number logged in during the last sixty days and currently logged in. At the lower left, there’s a log of the most recent half dozen grid problems and their resolution.
One new feature on the login screen that I particularly like is the ability to log in at the location shown in the picture displayed on the login screen..
I do a lot of photography in Second Life and one of my great frustrations with the standard viewer is the indirect access to the Advanced Sky Editor. The Greenlife Emerald Viewer solves this problem by putting the Advanced Sky Editor, the Advanced Water Editor, and the Day Cycle Editor on the Environment Settings dropdown menu. They are still available in their usual places under the Environment Editor, but you no longer have to go through the Environment Editor to get to them. This for me is a huge improvement.
The other major changes from the standard viewer are a wide array of additional choices in a new Emerald tab under Edit/Preferences, and a new Emerald drop down menu from the top menu bar. You’ll find pictures of them in the slide show below this article. I haven’t played with most of them yet, but one feature that stands out is the variety of choices of skins. Another is the additional build options it provides. I haven’t tried them yet, but they could be useful.
There was one thing that irritated me about Greenlife Emerald until I found how to disable it. By default, it displays "(Emerald)" in bright green next to your avatar name, but you don’t see it yourself. Only others see it. I didn’t learn about it until I logged on with three of my avatars and noticed that each of them saw it displayed on the other two. It’s easily disabled. Just go to Edit/Preferences/Emerald/Page 1 and uncheck the box next to Display Client Tags.
The only problem I’ve encountered so far with Greenlife Emerald is probably not specific to this viewer. I tried taking a snapshot while my avatar was hovering at about 150 meters with my Graphics set to all maximums – screen size, quality, draw distance, etc. Every time I snapped a picture, the viewer crashed; it didn’t happen when I shot while standing on the ground, only when I was flying. The same thing happened with the standard and the Meerkat viewers but interestingly, it did not happen with the Imprudence viewer. I haven’t had the opportunity to repeat the test, so I don’t know whether it was a problem in the viewers or an unrelated problem that cleared up before I logged on with Imprudence.
I’ll give a more complete report on Greenlife Emerald in a future article. If you’ve used it, I hope you’ll share your experience in the Comments section.
You can download the Greenlife Emerald Viewer at modularsystems.sl. There’s a listing of available third party Second Life viewers at the Second Life Wiki, and you can read an earlier article about alternate viewers.