Ee’s SLideshow Viewer and Second Life 2.0

So, Linden Labs caught everyone by surprise and made the Beta 2.0 viewer the main release for new residents, despite there being numerous bugs that still need to be fixed. Pertinent to Ee’s SLideshow viewer are the new shared media facilities, or more precisely changes to parcel media.

Upgrades to SLideshow Viewer will soon incorporate prim media, allowing interaction with websites loaded in the viewer, but a concern is that until you can be certain that all residents are using viewers that support it you have to ask yourself whether presentations you are setting up are accessible by those who want to continue using the 1.23 viewer. I suspect that before long, and without much warning, Linden Lab will make upgrade to 2.0 mandatory, so getting rid of this worry. In the meantime however there are some annoyances that everyone needs to be aware of using parcel media which is the SLideshow Viewers current mechanism for displaying html and streaming media, I don’t intend to release any upgrades to deal with these yet since most will hopefully be fixed quite quickly (see JIRA links later):

  • Viewer 2.0 does not recognise files with a .mp4 extension. Silly I know, but for some reason a movie with .mp4 extension will not be recognised by 2.0 as a movie… even if you force the parcel settings to treat it as such. WORKAROUND: change the filename on the remote server so it has a .mpeg extension instead and everything will now work correctly in both 2.0 and 1.23.
  • Displaying only images from the web through parcel media (i.e. not images embedded in html but directly linking to an image file) will not scale to fit (even when texture settings are set to do so). I.e. LL have broken scaling of images, and not fixed it yet. Note, viewer 1.23 works fine, this is only 2.0. WORKAROUND: both these require you to have access to the server where the images are stored. First is to embed each image in its own html:
<html>
<body scroll=no>
<img src=”picture.jpg” width=100% height=98%>
</body>
</html>

Here the “scroll=no” part is to try and stop a scroll bar appearing when viewer in 2.0 (another annoyance). For better results you can also change the texture of the screen so repeat is set to 0.98 and then adjust the horizontal scroll to -0.05 (play around for best result). The second method requires a server running php, but means you can leave all your images as they are. Save the following code as “a.php” (shorter name the better, it leaves more room for the rest of the url when changing texture names in contents of SLideshow viewer) and place in same directory as images… then use e.g.

“http://domain.com/a.php?image=image.jpg” rather than “http://domain.com/image.jpg”.

<html>
<body scroll=no>
<?php
$imageurl=$_GET[‘image’];
$show = ‘<img width=100% height=98% src=”‘.$image.'”>’;
echo ($show);
?>
</body>
</html>

Of course, this also works if instead of image.jpg you put a url, so

“http://domain.com/a.php?image=http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/images/logo.gif”

will also work. I have a running php to do precisely this on this server, if anyone would like to use it rather than have their own version please send me an IM in world (Ee Maculate) and I’d be happy to pass on the url.

  • Media in 2.0 loads a lot slower than in 1.23. This means that if you have slides changing from one url to another there will be a delay in the image being displayed. Shared media seems better designed for a prim to have one url associated to it that you use as a web browser rather than swapping between html, images, movies and textures. Hopefully this will improve with future updates. WORKAROUND: just be aware if giving a presentation from 1.23 that other avatars using 2.0 will not be updating images as quickly as you.

Related JIRA (please log in and vote for these!):

VWR-17451 media parcel doesn’t work with new viewer 2.0

VWR-17290 Streaming Media Errors in Viewer 2.0

An upgrade to SLideshow Viewer will be coming out soon, but the rush out of 2.0 has meant that I need to finish off partially completed upgrades first and then add 2.0 shared media additions, so please be patient! Remember, copy versions are upgraded for free through Hippo update! I intend to give owners of non-copy versions the opportunity to replace older versions (if I can get a reliable system in place to do this) or to buy updated versions at a reduced rate. Watch this space!

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Dave

Mathematician at the University of Warwick in the UK with research interests in equivariant bifurcation theory and applications, especially in modelling of insect locomotion. Teaching interests include online learning and innovative teaching methods. Also occasionally creates material for the University's "International Gateway for Gifted Youth". He has been active on the Internet since 1995, initially though his UFO and Michael Schenker website, but now through a multitude of projects.

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