Goldilocks and the Third Party Viewers: Part Three Catznip

The short version for those that don’t want to read all my ramblings. (click to enlarge)

Viewer Comparison

As much as I love charts, there are many things that go into viewer choice that aren’t as easily quantifiable so I’ve written about each viewer individually. Warning, it’s long, longer than usual even, so I split it up into seperate posts but they are intended to be part of the same test.

Catznip Viewer http://catznip.com/

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say that Catznip is the viewer I log into about 70% of the time. As a member of SLU other posters sometimes catch my eye and Trinity Dejavu is a poster whose opinions I always enjoy reading and she comes across as very knowledgeable so one day I decided I’d give her viewer a try. Might be a silly reason to try a viewer, but there it is.

Much to my surprise, I found that Catznip has the option to dock the local chat to the IM conversations window. Well how freaking brilliant is that?! We haven’t been able to do this in the official since V1. In a virtual world comprised of text based chat and visuals, why the heck would I want to have my conversations in two different windows and taking up twice the screen real estate?  To me, this is broken in all other viewers.  We used to be able to do it, now we can’t =  broken.  If someone somewhere had the brainwave for a new “feature” that doubled the amount of screen real estate required to communicate with people in Second Life, they must be a recluse.

Again, like the broken inventory searching V3 functionality this makes no sense to me but as so many viewers have not touched this functionality and chosen to focus on new shiny things, I must be in the minority on this one. Luckily for me though, I have Catznip *pets the nice kitty*

Catznip is also brilliantly stable.  I don’t think I have crashed once, read that again, I have not crashed one single time since installing Catznip in March when it made the approved TPV list. All the bells and whistles in the world don’t matter a whole heck of a lot if you can’t stay logged in, not to me anyway.

Another perk that I didn’t notice at first was the lightning fast rez times. You know how when you log in, or TP to a busy sim, you say to your friend “Sec, rezzing”. Well that doesn’t happen to me on Catznip. I’ve said this before about doing hunts or going to events, but when I’m on Catznip everything is just immediately there for me, I will use no other viewer for these types of activities. I’ve become so accustomed to this now that every time I log into another viewer and teleport somewhere and have to wait a to rez I snort in frustration. I’m spoiled, I know.

Catznip

Pros

Combined chat and IM window. As this is the number one feature I look for in a viewer, this makes Catznip a clear leader for me.

Stability. In fact check out Linden Lab’s opinion on that, Catznip is often one of the leaders for stability based on their own stats. http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Third_Party_Viewer_Directory

Lightning Fast rez times. I don’t have measurements on this, and it might differ for you, but truly Catznip has changed the ages old “sec, rezzing” conversations I have had in SL.

The FPS is more than adequate, in the 20s on Ultra and above the sim FPS (80s at times) on any other settings so FPS is a non issue for me on this viewer.

Cons

It doesn’t have the ability for separate search terms in inventory tabs though Trinity did respond to a post I made in SLU saying she’d add this to the change requests so I’m hopeful. In fairness, only Dolphin and Cool VL can do this at present so it might be unreasonable of me to want this, but I do anyway ;p  Catznip also doesn’t have a Worn tab in the inventory. I really wish it did. I know that I can use the wearing tab in outfits but I also like the worn tab in my inventory so I don’t have to open a second window.

Catznip doesn’t allow tool buttons to be placed along the top, not a deal breaker, but would be nice.

No built in AO.

Graphics and ability to customize or tweak certain things aren’t as advanced as some of the other viewers, particularly Nirans, so I tend not to use it for photography but it’s far more than adequate for day to day use.

By Pancake (aka Renoobed Project) Posted in Viewers Tagged

6 comments on “Goldilocks and the Third Party Viewers: Part Three Catznip

  1. Pingback: » Why there’s no worn tab in Catznip (and never will be) Catznip

  2. “We used to be able to do it, now we can’t = broken.”

    I understand what you’re saying, but that thought still makes me cringe.

    I was on a project recently where that was the client’s constant refrain, and generally will be on most projects where you’re not the incumbent developer because they think they can trick you into providing features that weren’t actually there and they weren’t able to politik into the scope of the original project.

    I digress though; problem was the system where they used to be able to do x, also failed to commit reporting data and updates to critical references half the time, was written in a combination of hinglish and vb.net (complete with informative variable naming conventions like txt1,dg2,dg3,dg4,strArr1, etc [Read: Unmanageable]). It also hit the error logs so hard it would literally crash the server some days because the original developer was unaware their logging method didn’t actually have permissions to write to said location, which resulted in cascading errors. Suffice it to say I wanted to (dim hisFace as object).FeedToWoodchipper();

    Oh, and they wanted it all fixed in under 100 hours. To enterprise standards with full error checking, with 10 rounds of user testing, etc, and you do windows too right, because they’re filthy?

    I guess my counterpoint to the sentiment is, ‘just because you were able to do it in the other system doesn’t mean it wasn’t creating more problems than it solved.’ It also doesn’t mean that there aren’t significantly more pressing issues than ‘my date field doesn’t read my mind and I have to click the picker instead.’

    In this case it makes sense, the chats should all be infinitely dockable to each other. Even so, I can’t agree with the statement part and parcel. Generally speaking, end users want and take and demand. They’ll happily keep a terminally broken system because they don’t want to deal with learning anything (at all) and they really like where that one button is, and they *have to have* that button, exactly right where it is. It’s what for years led to issues in companies where they made business decisions based on what the computer would do, not what made financial sense. (see: all the people STILL on windows xp and ie6 because they’re cheap, lazy and in general just deplorable individuals, holding the rest of the world back)

    The customer is always right. They just may or may not have the right budget.

    • Thank you for the comment and I do understand where you are coming from, believe me, I do. Users of any system have a hard time adapting to change even if it improves things, even sometimes if it’s what they wanted or asked for but the end results wasn’t what htey had in their head. I do understand. I was being partially tongue in cheek I guess, and pouting a bit 😛 As you can see I wasn’t very technical in these “reviews” mostly because I’m not a technical person, but this issue of dockable chat is really a giant pain in the ass that I don’t understand why they changed it. Though it’s not non-functional, it is really a significant loss in functionality to not have the option to dock chat to IM in my end user non expert opinion.

  3. OMG Trinity sorry for the delay on approving the comments! They were pending in my spam for some reason.

    Thanks for the for the information on the worn tab, as I mentioned in SLU it’s not a deal breaker, but I do use when I have it. I especially find it handy to see things in folders, and remove a whole folders worth of inventory without removing and outfit: the shoe base, shoe alpha and shoe attachments for example.

    I’m guessing it’s an “old dog new tricks” sort of situation, in that I’m more comfortable and my first instinct is to use worn but it’s true that I can accomplish most of the same things in the outfits folder.

    It’s not a need to have, just a personal nice to have, but not worth giving up performance for.

    Thank you for reading and comments, and please please please never take away my docked IM and chat window 🙂

  4. Thanks SO much for TPV reviews! I just started on a new computer and although I’ve been a Cool Viewer fan, it looks like I might need to change to see the shiny pretties. Thank you!

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