Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A New Years Message from Jessica Lyon

As we approach the end of the year I tend to reflect back things, and 2010 certainly has a lot to reflect on in regards to Second Life. In fact 2010 has been a pretty crazy year, with the official release of Linden Lab's Viewer 2, the massive layoffs at LL and office closures around the world, the departure of M Linden from CEO, the return and departure of Philip, the announcement of merging the teen grid, removing educational discounts, excitement over the upcoming 40 groups and death of chat lag, and much more, 2010 has been a year full of ups and downs for all of us.

But more than the on-goings at LL, we also saw the unexpected demise of the ever popular Emerald Viewer. It was a time of sadness and confusion for hundreds of thousands of users in SL.

However not all was lost, the demise of the Emerald Viewer lead way to the Rise of the Phoenix!

In just 4 months the people here at The Phoenix Viewer Project have brought the Phoenix Viewer from unheard of to the most popular Third Party Viewer in Second Life, more popular than all others combined... more popular than Emerald ever was. Having started with the Emerald code base which was stuck in beta for over a year because it was so unstable; In 4 months we made it the most stable Third Party Viewer in Second Life with the lowest crash rate in version

Phoenix Viewer sessions ending in crash % = 11.81% = 12.44% = 12.44% = 13.10% = 17.48% = 17.95%
Note: versions 168 and 156 will be blocked near the end of January.

Now I don't mean to brag but suffice to say, I am DAMN proud of everyone on the Phoenix Team and the accomplishments we've made in such a short time should be mentioned in an end of year message like this. Our Developers, Support team and QA team deserve a huge pat on the back! I am beyond proud of them all. You guys are amazing... simply amazing.

But beyond all this, one of our founding goals was to rebuild the trust from the residents in SL and from Linden Lab towards Third Party Viewers in general. I believe we have come a long way in that regard as well.

New Years brings us the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. 2011 is looking very promising here at the Phoenix Project as we work on the much anticipated Firestorm Viewer based on V2 code base, but made a lot more friendly to those who are used to the 1.23 UI. Phoenix Viewer has pretty well reached it's pinnacle and it's time to start over and do it again. We have some very big plans for the Firestorm Viewer and while at first it may not be much, by this time next year I hope to see it become the next favorite viewer of the wonderful residents in Second Life. Some other plans for 2011 will be support run classes for sl residents on the Phoenix Viewer, more video tutorials especially for Firestorm and an announcement about a partnership Phoenix is forming with another grid. Stay tuned for that one!

I would like to also thank all the residents in Second Life for your enduring trust, faith and commitment to us. I must admit there was a time in the beginning where I had second thoughts about starting a new viewer project... The Phoenix Project. I questioned myself, if I would be able to dedicate my time as much as would be required to run such a project. After-all, I was left very tired, depressed and down after the demise of Emerald. I questioned if I even had the strength and leadership skills to lead such a project, I am after all, just a lowly photographer in the real world. Could I really manage a team of 14+ developers, a team of 20+ support people, a QA team of almost 200 people? Would I really be able to stick with it? without burning out? What was I thinking... to start a new viewer project.. I asked myself... Am I crazy?

It was YOU, with your enthusiasm and appreciation that swayed me into making that commitment and taking that chance. It was the thousands of IM's from thousands of residents that inundated me with hope. It is YOU who made it possible for the Phoenix Viewer to exist. It was YOU! And It is now that I turn to you and thank you from the bottom of my heart for pushing me over that edge. For pushing ALL of us into working so hard to bring you this viewer... this... improved user experience.

From the bottom of my heart and from all of us here at The Phoenix Viewer Project.

Happy New Year Everyone! and may 2011 be a safe, prosperous and happy year for you all!

Jessica Lyon
Phoenix Viewer Project Manager

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

On behalf of everyone here at Phoenix, we would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and happy, safe holidays!

A few notes:
Support has the day off Christmas Day, although some have stated they would like to continue to help when they can.

If you can't reach support, you can always submit a support ticket to our Jira here:

And don't forget we still have our "Unofficial" official Phoenix Forum where you can post questions and concerns. The forum now has a cool Christmas Theme set up which you can find on the drop down menu near the bottom of the forum. You can find the forum here:

Have a Wonderful Christmas Everyone!!!

The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010 Final Major Release!

It's finally here! As promised.. a Christmas Release! Our final major release version 818. \o/

A few things to note...

We are no longer providing SSE and SSE2 in one installer for windows. We've gone back to providing two separate downloads for each because too many people were getting confused.

We will be using the SSE Standard binary in our quick download links because it works for everyone. For the SSE2, please go to our downloads page. When in doubt of which one to use... use SSE! It works for everyone, and while many systems can run SSE2, they don't necessarily run it well. If you have a performance decrease on this version while on SSE2, use the SSE instead.

While this is our final 'major' release.. we will continue to have releases for Phoenix but they will mostly just be bug fixes and improvements.

Among many other changes we have added Display Name support in group, IM and local chats, radar, friendlists, partners etc, fixed a lot of RLV issues from 725, fixed voice issues on Linux and Windows, fixed the viewer lockups from 725, Parcel WindLight water settings, fixed the crash on "Initializing Multimedia" and "Failed to initialize application" errors some people were getting... etc etc etc, 

Full change log here:

Windows SSE:
Fixed ^

Windows SSE2:

Windows Failed to Initialize fix:



Special thanks to Jed Gregg, Crystal Glasswing and several other users for enduring dozens of trial and error builds in order to help us fix the long standing "Initializing Multimedia" and "Failed to initialize application" errors. We couldn't have fixed those bugs without your help!

The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Friday, 17 December 2010

An Informational Update

Our 725 Release Candidate has been a huge success however it didn't go out without a few bugs. Thanks to the input from our users we have been able to pinpoint, isolate and fix them. Our final big release is scheduled to be out before Christmas, with most if not all of those major issues and many minor issues resolved, including those annoying viewer freezes. We will also have full Display Name support.

During our Office Hour on Tuesday we discussed all of these issues and announced what we've added for the final release. As well, announced the winners of their "Photoshop Jessica Lyon Contest". Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for your participation. You can see all entries here and you can watch the Office Hour recording and all others here, .

We are very much looking forward to getting this final "BIG" release out to you for Christmas. There will be more releases in the future too, but they will contain mostly bug fixes. We call this our "Final" because it's the last release we'll have with major changes and new features.

NOTE: Please note that we cannot provide support reliably through the comments section of this blog. If you are having problems or have questions please contact our support team. Support team members and our support groups are listed under the "Support" link on our website.

Friday, 3 December 2010 Release!

What you should know before logging in.
Secondary Attachments Migration, what to expect:

Multi Attachment system FAQ:

The day has finally come!
 The Phoenix Viewer is a Release Candidate because we want to be absolutely certain everything is how it should be. We are also aware that there are still a few bugs which need to be worked out and a few more things we want to add to it before we make it a final release. Although we are calling this a release candidate we WILL be providing full support for it and it can be treated as an Official Release.

We have loads of documentation and feel it is very important that our users read it because there has been a lot of changes made that might confuse you if you're not aware of them when you first log in. For this reason, we also ask that you link your friends to this blog page rather than the direct download link. You would be doing them injustice otherwise. Download links are at the bottom of this post, we will be adding the download links to our main downloads page in a few days.

Among many other things in this release, we have Parcel Based Windlight settings, Altitude based Windlight settings (sky boxes), Display name support, Multi attachment system, Inventory links... and much much more... so much more.


What you should know before logging in.
Secondary Attachments Migration, what to expect:

Multi Attachment system FAQ:

Whats New:

Parcel and Altitude based Windlight:

Parcel and Altitude Windlight Video:

Inventory links:

Inventory Links Video:

Display Names Video:

Download Links:




Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Nov 30th Office Hour & Contest info

The Office Hour!

Yesterday's office hour was a lot of fun! We talked all about some of the great new features coming out in Friday's release, explained how to use them, what to expect with the new Multi attachment system and inventory links. Introduced our new youtube channel for Phoenix Viewer Tutorials here.. and much much more! If you missed the office hour you can watch the recording here... .


During the office hour I was holding up some signs to help our viewers understand certain things. While doing so, the great folks at decided to make a fun contest called "Photoshop Jessica Lyon". They are giving away $5000L for First Prize! $2500L for Second Prize and $1000L for Third Prize. Everyone is welcome to join the contest! For more information on the contest visit...

The Phoenix Viewer Team