I am trying out the newly released Phoenix viewer for Second Life. This viewer project was hastily formed when the Emerald project self destructed, hopefully leaving behind the individuals whose actions resulted in the project's demise. Read about that all over elsewhere.
Emerald users will be quite pleased with either Imprudence or Phoenix. Both are based on Emerald source code. The Phoenix viewer, however, is nearly identical to the final releases of Emerald and contains all of the features Emerald users are accustomed to. On the other hand, some users may prefer to grant their trust to the Imprudence team which has not been involved in any way in any of the questionable activities that resulted in Linden Lab banning the Emerald viewer. Imprudence is also very "Emeraldy".
Support for ogg vorbis audio streams in Phoenix is the principle reason I am using Phoenix as my primary viewer. Imprudence 1.4.x may provide ogg vorbis support in the final release at which time the choice between 3rd party viewers sanctioned by Linden Labs becomes more of a toss-up.
[UPDATE] Phoenix 18.104.22.168 was released containing fixes, performance improvements, and the ability to display friends' chat in a different color. However, the team also lost a couple of developers including lead developer Dimentox Travanti over "a difference in opinion on how the project and team should be run". It would appear the Phoenix team continues to suffer from a fractured and possibly unstable team dynamic. Perhaps we will learn more in the next few days but for now the promised "transparency" looks like nothing more than corporate double-speak to me.[/UPDATE]
I configure the Phoenix viewer with the following preferences:
Main Menu at top left of Phoenix window
Edit -> Preferences
check "Show Start Location on Login Screen"
Rating "PG, Mature and Adult"
Maximum Bandwidth to 1050 kbps
Disk Cache Size to 1000 MB
check "Use external web browser"
Quality and Performance to Ultra
(this setting depends on your system's graphics capabilities)
Audio & Video ->
Enable Streaming Music When Available
Enable Streaming Media When Available
Text Chat ->
Chat Font Size to Large
Chat Color -> You -> cyan, Chat Color -> IM -> green
check "Color text in chat from my friends in a different color"
uncheck "Play typing animation when chatting"
check "Use machine translation while chatting"
uncheck "Automatically view after accepting"
select "Silver" from the drop down menu of skins
(I tried "Dark" but Silver is a lot more readable)
TP Login ->
check "Double-click Teleport"
check "Make name Tags of the same client be the same color"
check "Disable Teleport Screens"
leave "Enable Autoresponse" unchecked
check "Autorespond to non-friends"
compose an autoresponce message
check "Send an item along with the response"
drag an inventory item you wish to send to the bar
check "Vertical IM tabs"
uncheck "Hear typing sound when people type"
check "When 'Receive group notices' is disabled ..."
check "Always rez objects under the land group if possible"
check "Disables minimum camera zoom distance"
check "Show a message when someone takes a snapshot"
check "Embed an item into the newly created object"
drag and drop a information notecard to the bar
Page 2 ->
check "Enable enhanced physics on avatar breasts"
Breast mass: 84
Breast rebound: 11
Breast max vel: 85
Breast friction: 11
Breast min vel: 15
check "Show misspelled words in red"
Apply -> OK
File -> Quit
Run Phoenix again, login and check your preferences
Main Menu at top left of Phoenix window
View -> uncheck "Movement Controls" (who uses them?)
Phoenix -> check Show Advanced
check DoubleClick Teleports
check Enable Autoresponse
check High-res Snapshot
check Quiet Snapshots to Disk
uncheck Limit Select Distance
check Disable Camera Constraints
Character Tests ->
make sure "Go Away/AFK When Idle" is unchecked
Toolbar at lower right of Phoenix window
Inventory -> Sort -> uncheck "System Folders To Top"
Finally, I would like to thank all the talented, dedicated, and hard working volunteers that create, distribute, and support these 3rd party viewers. Emerald, Imprudence, and now Phoenix have enriched my Second Life experience. My only question to these teams would be why the ex-Emerald development teams do not collaborate on a single Emerald based viewer. Why does there need to be Emergence, Imprudence, and Phoenix ? Seems like an inefficient and triplicated waste of effort. Anyway, Enjoy!