An update from McCabe

Hey there, McCabe here :) You may have seen me teleporting around the metaverse (check out the grid list in our Grid Manager!) or answering questions on the forums and in group chat. I wanted to take some time this afternoon to answer some of your questions about Imprudence. Specifically: where we’re at, what we’re working on, and just what this Imprudence thing is all about, anyway. First, some common questions we’ve been asked this week:

Will you be including spellcheck/translate in Imprudence? Yes. Both those features (along with the right click context menu) will be in the next weekly release. You’ve spoken, we’ve listened, it’ll be in there :)

Does Imprudence have X/Y/Z feature? Chances are we do :) Imprudence is surprisingly rich in features. I recommend taking some time to explore around the UI and menus. You’ll probably be surprised by just what’s in there.

Imprudence rezzes slowly. What’s up with that? Unlike the SL viewer, Imprudence uses OpenJPEG to render textures instead of llkdu, which is a proprietary library we cannot legally distribute. There is a workaround if texture rezzing is causing slowness/stuttering for you, though: copy over llkdu from an installation of Second Life 1.23.5. This will make Imprudence rez textures exactly as the SL viewer would. It’s a problem we’re constantly working on.

I found a bug. When will it be fixed? It depends on the bug. Imprudence has two release cycles: the main “stable” release, and a weekly “experimental” release. We just released 1.3 RC2 yesterday and it’s chock-full of major bug fixes. If your bug isn’t fixed there, chances are it will be fixed in a weekly sometime soon.

I don’t like the font. Can I change it? You can, but I’d give the included font a chance, first. Getting used to a new font can be a little jarring, but once you do you’ll wonder how you lived without it. That being said, we know the included font has its own problems. We’re working on font selection for a future version of Imprudence. In the meantime, you can change the default font by copying the font files in the “fonts” folder in your default install, then opening fonts.xml file in skins/default/xui/en-us. Change the file listed under “SansSerif” from LiberationSans-Regular.ttf to the font name you copied and you’re good to go. Someone’s already done that for DejaVu in our forums.

I just don’t like Imprudence. That’s fine. Imprudence won’t ever work for everybody, but we really do try hard provide the best viewer experience we can. If something’s bothering you, or there’s a feature you think we should include/change, please let us know. We can’t do this without user feedback–that includes both the good and the bad. So long as you give us a fair shot, that’s all we can ask.

Can you trust us? I understand that the concept of Third-Party Viewers has taken a hit lately, but if you have any concerns about us I invite you to look over what we do to answer them. We’re fully opensource and transparent. Our source–including the source of the libraries we use–is posted on our website. At any time, you’re able to checkout and compile the latest source from our repository, or review it to see what we’re working on. Our meetings happen every Wednesday at noon PST on Hoagie on 3rd Rock Grid, with transcripts posted to the wiki afterward. We believe very strongly in opensource, which means the more eyeballs looking at what we do, the better. Being open and forthright is a policy we take very seriously.

We’re also quickly gearing into a more community support and feedback approach. Already, you can follow the latest news on Imprudence on twitter @ImpViewer and on plurk at http://plurk.com/imprudence. We’ve received some great feedback from these channels, as well as from our forums.

Finally, as for what we’re all about, improving the user experience has always been the central goal of Imprudence. It’s the reason we started the viewer, and why we continue to volunteer our time in developing it. I know you might have features you miss, but stick around, we’re working on it, trust me. I can’t wait to share all the features/improvements that will be coming out soon (for example, did you know you can mute group chat now? Totally true. Give it a try in RC2). And keep that feedback coming in the meantime! We really can’t do this without you guys :)

16 Responses to “An update from McCabe”


  1. Solo Mornington

    Just wanted to point out that Tateru Nino has been saying a ton of nice things about Imprudence. She talks about the trust issue a lot.

    Also: Built Imprudence the other night with only the one wrongly-placed-jpeg-library-on-the-Mac issue. So far no malware installed that I can find. :-)

  2. Nine Warrhol

    I just wanted to say thanks for the work you are doing with Imprudence. It is an excellent viewer and I appreciate the efforts. Keep up the good work! :)

  3. Duns

    Re: the font thing. I commented on this in the forums, but to me, the font was absolutely a dealbreaker, and the reason I uninstalled Imprudence hours within trying it two weeks or so ago.

    Simply put, it looks awful on my screen. Much fatter than Jacek’s screenshots show– I definitely wasn’t seeing what she was seeing– as well as much wider, and taking up a great deal of my screen. When I tweaked the UI to make it smaller, the whole thing began to warp, pushing some of the letters unnaturally close to each other and spacing others out annoyingly wide. Notecards were crowded and took up more of my screen at 100% UI and at 90% UI looked all funky. To me, that’s not just a matter of “you need to get used to it,” at all– it is simply unusable. I think it had something to do with my resolution, and the fact I have a widescreen, I’m not sure. But I didn’t realize this until I saw Jacek’s screenshot– to me at the time the font was as intended, and I because of this, Imp went into the recycle bin.

    I began using Imp again for the features, especially the private ‘show look at’ but was willing to live without that feature if I had to live with that font. Thankfully, I didn’t, and as soon as I realized I could, I switched font to Dejavu. I hated the Imp font so much I overwrote it without even saving it, so, I can’t take a screenshot to show you what I mean, though.

    I don’t mean to harp on, I just don’t think you should underestimate the font issue, nor chalk it up to a ‘you’ll like it if you try it,’ thing. How many users have thought the same as me and uninstalled Imp because of it? How many have not figured out a font workaround? And how many people is the font bugged for, like myself? These are serious considerations if you want to expand your user base.

    Griping aside, I love Imp with Dejavu, and I love Imp in general. You guys are amazing, and have so much going for you. Had a guy not bugged me about camming and forced me to use a viewer with private look at– I wouldn’t have given Imp another chance though, I’d still be in Coolviewer.

  4. William Gide

    The font issue is not yet a deal-killer for me, but I must agree with Duns that it is a serious problem that “getting used to” will not fix. The font that comes with Imprudence has spotty Unicode support. This matters a lot when I want to use some other languages.

  5. Tateru Nino

    I definitely didn’t like the font that came with Imprudence…. for about two days. Now I don’t like going back to the old font on the rare occasions that it happens.

    Actually the official viewer font *also* has spotty unicode support. Windows systems need a free update (that Microsoft no longer distributes) to get proper unicode support for SL – which, it turns out, works well with both fonts, so go figure.

  6. Dorei Tachikawa

    The font issue does not bother me as much as the fact that it does not support the unicodes. I now have to decipher what a square box is supposed to be representing which letter or symbol. I tried to do use the DejaVu fix but what ever downloaded to my Mac is not what was listed in the instructions, no separate items for the app file, xui, or the ttf.

    Also how about multi-attachment points?? Is it hidden somewhere and if so can you pleas point it out. Viewer 2 finally added it to the recent update and we all know Emerald has had it for a while.

  7. Baloo Uriza

    Is Imprudence on Facebook? I find Twitter just doesn’t work for languages that use an alphabet instead of a syllabary.

  8. Vanish

    There’s actually one more question that’s been on my mind for a while in terms of transparency: Who’s working on Imprudence, and as what? Sorry if this is answered somewhere already, but I searched the wiki for a page listing developers and such, and couldn’t find anything.

  9. McCabe Maxsted

    @Vanish: we keep that list in Help > About Imprudence. Traditionally, the three main devs have been Armin, Jacek, and myself, but we also list what viewers we’ve taken code from and individual people who’ve contributed patches to either Imprudence or other viewers that we’ve used. You can also read who’s done what were in each version’s release notes (a high priority for us is to go through the release notes and make sure we’ve added everyone who’s contributed to 1.3; it’s currently somewhat out of date) as well as the ChangeLog.txt file included in the viewer.

    There’s also a fantastic group of people out there who help us by reporting and tracking down bugs, testing fixes, responding to people on the forums and in chat, etc., such as Thoria and WhiteStar on 3rd Rock Grid, Nebadon, Grey, and Eryn on OSGrid, and Tazy, Shige, and Codie on SL, and Ron just everywhere, to name a few who pop into my head. We’ve also had a ton of new people interested in compiling and working on the viewer lately as well. Maybe we should do a “get to know your Imprudence developer” series here on the blog? We really don’t have any formalized structure, currently.

  10. Escapee Sohl

    I agree that the font as it is, will drive some people completely bonkers. Its like going back 20 year in time using Wordperfect. Maybe a stretch but thats what it reminds me off. On the other hand, i will be sticking with Imprudence wether it gets fixed or not. Hooray to you all from IMP, fr thanks to your viewer my personal fps is off the charts! With SL1 i could get at most 17to 21 FPS and now having made the switch to Imprudence and tweeked all my settings as i need them to be, my personal fps has increased to a whopping 69-70fps doing nothing standing between the laggiest vendors on the SL grid to 40 fps running about, having texture loading all around me.

    So Cheers Imp, Keep up the good work!

  11. sincerity

    i appreciate your hard work you done for imprudence viewer
    i really enjoy this viewer a lot..
    the only issue i have is the search window. is to big and i haven’t figure how to reduce the size. and search {all)and showcase are exactly the same,..
    the rest is perfectly!!!!!!!
    im so happy Ur adding new feature! and check spelling!! that would be so great im bad in my typing!!
    keep up with the excellent job..

  12. Gabby Panacek

    I just want to say how much I appreciate all the work you do. I think you all already know I think the world of you, but just to put it out there…here’s a ton of hugs, kudos and love just for you. (and lots of extra syrup for Jacek)
    <3

  13. Redwood Rhiadra

    One potential issue:

    It has become clear from the LL’s demands to the Emerald team that they consider any loading of llkdu (as well as emkdu) to be a violation of the GPL under which the viewer code is licensed.

    You indicate above that llkdu will be used by Imprudence if available – could this cause Imprudence to also be removed from the TPV and shut down by LL?

  14. Renee Lowenhart

    First off, I’ve been trying various viewers lately and I really enjoy Imprudence. Most of the features that I’ve found helpful in other viewers are in Imprudence. However, looking through the Advanced menu I can’t seem to find a High-Res Snapshot option. Is this a feature on Imprudence and if so where is the tab located.

  15. McCabe Maxsted

    @Renee: high res snapshot is in the snapshot floater for easier access. I recommend checking out the official “Where Did It Go?” thread on the forums if you’re looking for something specific but can’t seem to find where we placed it (disable camera constraints, which is in Preferences > Input & Camera, is another one that takes some getting used to for people).

    @Redwood: we’re still waiting to hear what the final determination is on that by LL. Imprudence, however, complies with the GPL in all the libraries we use and distribute, so I don’t see it impacting us too much either way. If anything, I hope it’ll raise interest in developing openjpeg for more people–our current default renderer.

  16. Dylan Rickenbacker

    For what it’s worth, I talked a friend into trying Imprudence today, and the first thing she said was “Ooooooh I like that font!” :-)

    As for me, if there’s one thing I really miss from my Emerald days it’s previewing animations in-world on my own avatar before uploading. That, even before the radar, was Emerald’s killer app for me, and I’d love to see it in Imprudence.