Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Decrippling the UI

Ok, so I changed the Second Life XML User Interface files to change some text labels and names in the Toolbox (Edit window). This was just a simple matter of reading through the floater_tools.xml file and changing a few words here and there. No biggie. (No, I did not add a new prim type!—I just renamed "Sphere" to "Watermelon". It's much nicer, don't you think?)

But aside from the obvious comedic value, what can changing the UI do for us?

Here's a good one, the true poster child of useful UI changes: we can decripple the Texture panel's "Transparency" input form. Have you noticed that you can only make an object 90% transparent using the UI, but you can make it 100% transparent with a single function call in a script? Linden Lab crippled the UI, perhaps to prevent new Residents from making hundreds of totally invisible prims and forgetting where they put them.

Well, if you are capable enough to edit SL's UI definitions, you are experienced enough to toss aside that crutch! Please note that the same disclaimer as my earlier post also applies here—you are doing this at your own risk! Here's how: in floater_tools.xml, search for the string ColorTrans. That should take you to a <spinner> tag defining the spinner (a numeric entry form with up/down arrows on the side) that controls transparency. That tag has an attribute, max_val, which defines the highest number you are allowed to put in it. Change that number from 90 to 100. While you are at it, change the increment attribute to something more useful, like 5 or 10; now it will increase by that amount whenever you click the up/down arrows on the spinner (or use your mousewheel ← bonus pro tip for you!). The default value of 2 gives you a good degree of precision, at the expense of convenience. Don't forget that you can always just click on it and type in whatever number you want, when you need precision!

Now start (or restart) SL, and enjoy your newfound freedom!

2 comments:

mbardram said...

ok, too bad this doesn't work for Scale X Y or Z....any suggestions?

Aenea said...

Do you know where these files are for the Mac OS X client? can't find them anywhere!