Sunday, September 21, 2014

OpenSim & SecondLife Viewers Do Not Mix & Match : Neither Do 32 and 64bit on the same Windows Based Computer

By Avatar JayR Cela

    If you were thinking about using one of the 32/64 Viewers intended for use in both OpenSim and SecondLife, I have some disheartening news for you, "DON'T !" That is unless you want to cause yourself a lot of unnecessary grief. I have been conducting quite a few of my own experiments lately trying to do just that, and it is just not worth the headaches, for that matter trying to use both a 64bit and 32bit viewer of the same design, The FireStorm, Kokua, and Singularity viewers for instance are available in both 32/64, and my findings so far in a MS Windows environment, ( at least in my case ) have caused nothing but headaches.

    Since FireStorm seems to be the most popular Virtual-World-Viewer of choice I will use it as an example. I had originally thought I could use FS32 in SL and FS64 strictly for OpenSim, that did not work out very well, especially when it came to using SLUR's within SL, clicking on a SLUR via a web page normally just opens your viewer, however what happens when you have multiple VWV's installed for both SL and OS, I'll tell ya what happens, the Windows OS seems to get confused and does not know what viewer to use, if any !

: Example : Firestorm32 for SL ~ FS64 for Kitely and any other Hypergrid enabled OpenSim based world. In my case clicking on a SLUR from a web page is supposed to open your viewer in order that you can log in and visit the location, more than likely the 64bit version will be opened instead of the 32bit one you have set up for SecondLife, uninstall the 64bit version and guess what ? Clicking on a SLUR now will no longer function at all. Next lets really have some fun and install Kokua and Singularity with the same conditions 32bit versions for SecondLife 64bit for OS. Whooo-hoooo, the monstrosity better known as the "Windows Registry" by this point is so screwed up, anything can happen. It will take some legwork on your part in order to re-set the SLUR association bit flag back to the 32bit version, and hopefully you will have installed it in the default C:\Program Files (x86) directory, if not then you will have another set of issues to deal with.

    I am not saying these issue's are unsolvable, however a large part of the problem is not the program's ( Virtual World Viewer's ) themselves or the people designing them, the problem is MicroSoft and their lack of forethought as to what a gigantic nightmare the Windows Registry would eventually amount too way back in 1998 when it was first introduced.

    This problem does not exist on a Linux Box, there are other things to deal with there. The Linux world is completely abandoning 32bit and has been gradually removing support for 32bit libs on 64bit systems, to the point right now at least with any recent Ubuntu ( post version 12.10 ) based distribution will simply refuse ( in most cases ) to run 32bit programs any longer. Macintosh has been pure 64bit for some time now so no problem there.

    There are a number of other issues, unfortunately, still to be dealt with, such as what about your inventory and chat logs, from various grids. Patience is the key here, eventually all this stuff will be worked out. For now you may as well be happy and feeling a bit smug that you are on the cusp of a new High Technology Frontier.

By Avatar JayR Cela :_)

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