Singularity is founded and maintained by Siana Gearz who is by admission a Second Life resident, which is where the inspiration came from. It is not a product by Linden Lab, although its intended use is access of Second Life. It can also be used to access a number of OpenSim platforms. Singularity is based on source code from Ascent Viewer by Balseraph Sotware Group, which is based on source code released by Linden Lab with modifications.
What I have gathered from forums in Second Life about the Singularity viewer is that it is a “lighter viewer”. Good for traveling and for underpowered systems. However, it is not recommended for serious creative work. Singularity combines the tried and proven, efficient user interface of the version 1 viewer series with the advanced rendering features of the version 3 of viewers.
Singularity does not have as much of an online presence as Firestorm but they (or should I say, she) do offer options for contact.
Second Life Group: http://world.secondlife.com/group/4fa278be-b621-9447-0958-85af4b01cdab
Siana Gearz the founder and maintainer is a resident in Second Life and welcomes contact via Second Life when she is visibly online. Her name is her own in Second Life.
Singularity like all other viewers have features and goals they work on to make their viewer the best of them all, it is a constant race between them all. Singularity puts a great deal of effort into improving stability and performance beyond any other Second Life viewer (recently – base code upgraded from Snowglobe 1.4 to 1.5, texture fetch and decode modified based on Imprudence viewer).
- Dual core CPU with SSE2 support
- NVidia or ATI/AMD graphics chip
- 2GB RAM
- Windows XP or higher
- Ubuntu Linux 10.04 or higher
- Mac OS X 10.6 or higher
There is no dedicated support team in place, which means user support can not be guaranteed. Users are expected to offer mutual help with issues and seek help from other users first.
The user interface in Singularity personally I think is a bit of a combination of Firestorm and Imprudence. I like it, it’s sort of the middle ground between the two, never noticed that before. Although some of the functions are a bit confusing to use, like Imprudence, it isn’t as bad. Easier to maneuver around. Singularity loaded very fast, no lagging. I’m not a fan of the chat box in this one either. One thing I did like about the chat box though, was the fact that I didn’t have to click out of it to move my avatar. The voice tool is quite tricky to use as well, I find I have to hold down the talk button, kind of like a walkie talkie.
I really like the appearance window in Singularity! It is very detailed, you can pretty much edit everything and anything to do with your avatars appearance all in the one window. I think this was my favorite part of the viewer :-D. Nice to see it even had an appearance window, after discovering Imprudence doesn’t even have one. This one is also better than the Firestorm one! Points for Singularity!
The search window, reminds me of the Imprudence search window just not as easy and efficient to use. Still better than both Firestorm and Second Life Viewer search windows.
The most recent release of Singularity, 1.8.5 release has seen quite a few things updated and new features added. There are too many to list, so I have put the link below.
Plans for the future
- One-handed camera control
- Stereoscopic rendering, mirror effects, better deferred mode
- More early culling
- Redesigned multigrid content import system
- Optional favorites bar
My impressions of Singularity this time around differ from those I had when I first used it. I am a creature of habit so switching from using the Second Life Viewer to Singularity was not a change I made with happiness. I suppose it had no hope. The interface is completely different and bit more trickier. This time around (more likely after using Imprudence) I find Singularity quite pleasant to use. Everything rezzed incredibly fast, nothing has lagged yet. A completely different experience compared to that of Imprudence. Although some of its features are similar to Imprudence, there are also some similar to Firestorm and I think by now we all know how much I love Firestorm. Even though Singularity doesn’t have the backing and maintenance that viewers like Firestorm has, they do an excellent job at releasing updates, that either bring in new features or fix any bugs they had. They also provide the opportunity for developers to add to it. So, moral of the story DO NOT judge a book by its cover! Singularity has turned out to be a viewer that I do actually enjoy using. Not only has having more experience with other viewers changed my opinion but also researching into the Singularity viewer and seeing all the progress it has made and all the work that goes into the new releases, is some pretty amazing stuff! I can happily recommend Singularity to any newbies like me 😀