Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays from the team!

Wow time flies! It seems like just a year ago we were wishing all of our friends and users out there a Merry Christmas!... err...come to think about it....It was a year ago!  Ha! ;)

On behalf of everyone here at The Phoenix Viewer Project we would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or happy whatever it is you celebrate at this joyous time of year.

We would also like to wish you wonderful, safe holidays and a fantastic New Year!


The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Q&A Results and recording

On Saturday, Dec 17th we held a Q&A for our users. Of course not everyone was able to attend but it was recorded and the link to that recording is posted below. But I would like to just summarize the important bits for those of you who don't wish to watch the recording.

In summary...
Q. Why are you killing Phoenix viewer?
A. We are not killing Phoenix or V1 viewers, LL informed us on an unofficial basis that they intend to turn off server side functionality which V1 viewers rely on. Originally the time line was by the end of this year, that has obviously changed however the reality is still the same.

Q. Why have you given up on Phoenix even knowing how many people still use it?
A. We have not given up on Phoenix. We made a promise some time ago that we would continue to keep Phoenix Viewer alive as long as it is feasibly possible and sensible. However our focus is now on developing a viewer you will 'want' to use when the time comes that V1 and Phoenix alternatives are gone. Is Firestorm ready for all of you? not yet... but we're still working on it. But if we spend large time commitments on Phoenix it puts us behind in our efforts to make Firestorm your acceptable alternative. We will not go back on our word, we will continue to maintain Phoenix but at a slower rate than we have in the past. We will keep it alive until it is no longer feasible.

Q. What makes you so sure LL will actually kill V1, with so many people on it they can't afford to kill it.
A. LL is in an awkward position in regards to V1 viewers, at the moment they can't afford to kill it and they can't afford not too. But ultimately  we know LL will deprecate V1 viewers because it is not economically viable to remain profitable while V1's are still around. Financially LL can't afford to continue to maintain server side support and protocols for a viewer which is unable to adopt new and innovative features in a timely fashion. LL needs to see returns on investments like new features far sooner than V1's can adopt those features. And if LL cannot continue to innovate and improve their services and platform in a timely fashion, Second Life will stagnate. If LL cannot make a profit we will all lose far more than just V1. This is why we know V1 viewers have a short shelf life. V1 hinders their revenue stream.

You can watch the full video recording here

Thanks to Rockcliffe University for allowing us to use their 4 region auditorium for this venue.

Special thanks to Chantal Harvey who pulled herself away from her busy schedule on half an hours notice to record this for us. Those of you who don't know Chantal, she is an authority in the Machinima community in SL and abroad. As a token of our appreciation for taking the time to help us I've included her logo and ask you to pay her website a visit.
Click here to visit her website or click here to see her blog.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Lets have a conversation. Your Q's, Our answers.

Lets Talk...

There has been a great amount of anger, frustration, confusion, misunderstanding, fighting and tension among our users with regards to the status and future of the Phoenix and Firestorm Viewers. I think it's time we give you a venue to constructively vent, have your questions/concerns answered and allow me to explain our position.

I have organized a Q&A event that will be held in the Rockcliffe Universities 4 region auditorium. It will be hosted by Nigma Sterling of Rockcliffe Uni. The format will be similar to our Office Hours with a host taking questions and me answering them. The event will be video recorded and made available for those who cannot attend. We will take questions both from the audience and from the comments section of THIS blog post. So if you will not be able to attend but have questions, concerns or criticism you want answered please write them down as a comment on this blog post. But do note, I will not answer things like "You suck!", "Your viewer sucks!", "I don't like it". Questions, concerns and Constructive criticism only. That means you need to provide actual reasons for your complaints so that I can address those reasons.

This is your chance to be heard, please try to be there if you can.

The Q&A will be held this Saturday 1PM Second Life time at the Rockliffe university regions with the following landmarks. 
Note: Due to the amount of people we expect to arrive, please arrive early and use the following landmarks based on the first letter of your first name.

A - I:
J - R:
S - Z:


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Phoenix Mesh Viewer - Important Hotfix update

Please update from Phoenix to Phoenix Viewer by downloading again. 

Our users discovered and reported a few serious bugs with the 1591 update that got missed by QA.
These issues are...
- Opening of scripts while LSL Preprocessor enabled causes crash to desktop. PHOE-3593
- Scripted dialogs from deeded objects fail. PHOE-3600
- Right click > wear from inventory is broken. PHOE-3583

We consider these three issues to be of critical importance as one prevents content creation of scripts, another breaks existing content in SL and the third breaks inventory functionality. Because of this we are issuing a minor but important update to Phoenix Mesh Viewer version 1591.

If you are on the 1591 version, please upgrade to this new version available on the quick links to the right or from our downloads page.

We are removing the release from availability.

Apologies for the inconvenience

Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Optional Phoenix Viewer Mesh Update

Thank you Henri
Firstly I want to make it clear that the only reason the phoenix viewer has mesh now is because of the tireless and determined efforts of Henri Beauchamp of the Cool VL Viewer. I would encourage those of you who appreciate these efforts to thank him personally. Credits and Kudos! Thank you Henri!

Our Focus & Our Promise
We stated some time ago our active development commitment is now focused on the Firestorm viewer and that continues today. We still feel strongly that the end of V1 functionality is an inevitability, so it is more important to develop an alternative viewer for our users they will enjoy for when that time comes than to spend our efforts on a dying viewer and then leave our users with no alternative once it's gone. However, we also promised we would try to keep the phoenix viewer alive for you until it is no longer feasible to do so. As you can see, we are not walking away from that promise, but it is important to understand that Phoenix is no longer our top priority. When necessary we will continue to keep it up to date with advances/fixes from other third party viewers and provide them the credit they deserve for that work. But 'we' are no longer actively developing Phoenix on our own steam.

Future of Phoenix Viewer
Any future releases of Phoenix will be sparse and only if needed. I will not commit to saying this is the last Phoenix Viewer Release, but I will also not commit to saying it isn't the last either. I will say... this is one of our last. As time passes we will determine if another release is absolutely necessary and/or sensible and make a decision then on whether another update is mandatory in order to keep our promise to you.

Stability & Usability
Phoenix 1185 was, is and will always be our most stable release ever. Please do not expect this phoenix viewer with mesh to be as stable, it simply is not. If it has stability issues it's because it is now a hybrid of two different code bases. The bottom line is that a V1 viewer with a lot of V2 code hacked into the render engine is not going to give you stability as you've come to expect it from this project. Mesh was NOT designed to work with V1 code. We deliver you this viewer on an AS-IS basis.

No RLVa Update
RLVa has not been updated in this Phoenix viewer release. This was my decision, not that of Kitty Barnett. Although I said some time back we would update RLVa in Phoenix it became obvious that the work/time commitment involved in doing so was simply not reasonable or responsible. Kitty is a very valuable asset to this team and I refuse to take her away from the ground breaking work she does in Firestorm and v2/v3 to put a large time commitment into a dying viewer code base. She is worth far more than that. If you want updated RLVa I would suggest using the Firestorm Viewer or Kitty's own Viewer Catznip. I offer you my sincerest apologies for going back on my word in regards to RLVa update in Phoenix, however I believe it was the right decision.

Please don't complain if this release doesn't work perfectly. If you find the viewer to be unusable you can return to our 1185 version without mesh or switch to the Firestorm Viewer. Complaints about the stability and usability of this release will largely go unheard, we did not modify the mesh code to work in V1 and will only spend limited time trying to fix issues resulting from it. Complaints about this project removing focus on Phoenix Viewer should go to me at .

Reduced Support
Phoenix Viewer is becoming harder for us to provide support for at an ever increasing rate. Almost all our support team members are using Firestorm (by choice) as their full time viewer, and being that Firestorm is now our default viewer this should be expected. Support for this release and the phoenix viewer in general will be far more limited this point on. Support will continue to try to help you but in many situations may be unable to do so. Please do not get angry at them if they are unable to provide help for you. Also, please remember... Our support team is not required to help you, they do so on their own accord because they want to.

For those of you who made it this far into the blog post I would like to say a special thank you for taking the time to do so! Here is the change log!

On behalf of myself and all of us at the Phoenix Viewer Project, we hope you all enjoy our latest releases of Firestorm and now Phoenix viewers.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Help us help you! Firestorm Classes survey..

As many of you know, we have been hosting regular classes for our users on the Firestorm viewer for many months. This is a support intiative designed to help you with your transition to the viewer, teach you about our unique features and aid you in trouble shooting common issues. We believe these classes help us greatly in our mandate to improve your user experience, but now we want to know how we can improve them to further benefit you.
Please take a moment to fill out the following survey. We will leave the survey available for a week to give everyone a chance to fill it out and we'll publish the results of this survey once it is closed.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to help us help you better.
If you didn't know about our classes, we highly encourage you to attend a few, they are free and open to everyone. Class Schedule
The Phoenix Viewer Project Team.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Phoenix Firestorm Viewer Official Release!

Official Launch!

We realize this release has been long overdue and we appreciate your patience while we have been very very busy over here in Phoenix Project land working hard to be able to offer you an official release of the Firestorm viewer. It was very important to us to ensure that Firestorm was as bug free and feature complete as possible before calling it an 'official release'. We did not want to disappoint or insult you by giving you something that isn't ready and still calling it an official. Although this release isn't entirely bug free (no viewer ever is of course) or 100% feature complete it sure is damn close! So with that said, we are very proud and excited to offer you the Official Phoenix Firestorm Viewer Release! 

Please also take a moment to read a specially written letter from our Firestorm Lead Dev Arrehn Oberlander to you, our users.  A word from our Firestorm Lead 

Feature completion & What's New!

We're calling this our official release because it is very close to feature complete in comparison to our Phoenix Viewer with the majority of Phoenix's most popular features now included. Just to name a few... invite to group from profiles, spell check, optional notices in top right, text search in notecards, full screen mode, local bitmap browser, spam blocker, independent text entries in conversations/nearby chat bars, accurate radar, mouselook enhancements including visible beacons, inventory and chat as well as mouselook zoom and much much more!

Plus we've added lots of new and innovative features like Texture Refresh in the pie/context menu for those textures and avatars that refuse to load, Mesh uploader, Inventory search that lets you search multiple words at once, ability to fix folders that land outside your main inventory folder, 'is typing' indicators on tags and the list goes on and on. For a complete list of new features in this Firestorm release please see our change log here...

Bugs and Things You Need To Know

Preferences reworked!
Much has changed in our preferences which may cause some confusion for our existing Firestorm users. As time passed and new features/options were added, preferences became cluttered, confusing and illogical. We realized this needed to be fixed prior to our official release so we have re designed preferences from the ground up. Options have now been relocated where folks would logically expect them to be found. We've also spent some time creating a preferences migration wiki page to help you relearn where things are.

Bugs, performance and usability issues...
We've addressed the vast majority of our own major issues AND included the latest Graphics fixes from LL which addressed most of the bugs introduced with the release of mesh. However we have found that while LL's graphic fixes work best for most people, they have introduced new issues for some others. So we have decided to offer you two optional downloads.
Our primary download is versioned and we've found it works best for most people. This version is downloaded from the quick downloads links on the right of this page. However if you find it just isn't working well enough for you we suggest you try our alternative offer of Both have the exact same feature set but the later has fewer of the graphics fixes from LL. The version can be found here..
You can also see a list of common known issues with this release here..

Instructions & Support
As with all releases we highly recommend you perform a clean install. This is especially important with this release! Instructions on how to perform a clean install can be found here...

As always, our dedicated support team will be standing by to help you in our in world support groups or through support tickets on our JIRA. You can also file a support ticket by emailing In the subject line, put a short description of your problem in 8 words or less, and explain the problem in detail in the body of the email. This will automatically create a support JIRA which our team will be able to respond to. More information on how to reach support can be found here...

Don't forget we also host free classes for new and old Firestorm users alike. Our classes range from very basic to very advanced and the schedule can be found here.

We also have a VERY in depth Wiki with answers to all the most common and many uncommon questions; it has a trouble shooting guide too!

Note: Please don't post help questions in the comments of our blog posts, we simply cannot provide support through blog comments.

What about Phoenix Viewer with mesh?
Stay tuned! It's right around the corner!

Jessica Lyon and the entire Phoenix Project Team!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Why so quiet?

We haven't posted any updates on our blog in quite a while aside from the Jira outage earlier today :( So I felt I should just give you all an update on why we have been so quiet.

We've been so quiet because we've been extremely busy getting Firestorm to an 'Official Release' state! That's right! It's coming soon and we're very excited about it, I know I certainly am! Of course, we are still quite concerned about the GL(Graphics) issues that surfaced with mesh from LL. We're watching LL's progress on those very closely, testing and pulling in as many functioning fixes as we can. As of yesterday Firestorm development shifted into release mode. This means we are now focused on fixing the significant remaining bugs, polishing up any unfinished features that have been in progress and we've started an intense QA program. If all goes well, the next release of Firestorm will be the big one! So everyone is now going to want to know when will it be released. Unfortunately it seems every time we announce a date.. something goes wrong to jinx it, so I won't go down that path, but I will say.. VERY SOON!

Firestorm will be going out with some fantastic new features as well as some really significant bug fixes. Features like Mesh upload!, Right click> texture refresh for those stubborn textures that refuse to load, or avatars who remain grey or blurry! Spell check, Chat bar auto hide (v1 behavior), Automatic spam protection, WindLight day/night slider in quick preferences, invite to group from profile and SO MUCH MORE! And bugs?! Wow! we've stomped out loads of bugs! Inventory jumping issues will be mostly a thing of the past, a fix for folders that land outside your main inventory folder, Windlight settings that save between sessions and the list goes on and on!

Of course, I suspect the next big question will be "But what about Phoenix with mesh?". Well, that's right around the corner too! We hope to be able to release it a couple weeks after this next Firestorm Release. This means that within a few weeks, the vast majority of SL users will be on mesh capable viewers! So all you mesh creators can get busy working on your magical mesh creations with the knowledge and confidence that it WILL be adopted!

We've been quiet... But not because we haven't been working! We are all really looking forward to bringing you the best Firestorm Release to date AND Phoenix with Mesh support very soon after!

Stay tuned!

Jessica Lyon
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Jira has returned!

We've successfully restored our Jira and brought it back online again. Looks like our host did a server reboot overnight and Jira failed to restart automatically.

All is well! You may return to filing your bug reports and support tickets at

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

JIRA - Bug and support ticket system temporarily offline.

We are currently experiencing an outage of our Jira system used for bug reports and support tickets. We are working hard to get this resolved as soon as possible and will post an update here when it's back online.

We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

What's this rumor about Phoenix Viewer getting mesh?

Some time ago I told you that future phoenix releases would be maintenance only, no new major features. In that same sentence we also promised you we would try to keep it alive and maintain it until it's dying day.  I told you all that Mesh would be the end all for Phoenix because v1 viewers simply cannot support mesh and that as mesh becomes popular, v1 viewers will slowly become visually broken. During that time it seemed extremely unlikely that a v1 viewer could accomplish back porting mesh and making it work because this would require pulling the entire render engine from v2 code base into v1, Quite literally hundreds of thousands of lines of code.

It's comparable to taking a diesel engine from a school bus and fitting it into a ford pinto.. and then making it work properly. No small task.. in fact it's a monumental task and was not one I was willing to dedicate our time too, especially when we have Firestorm. It would take months and months of 100% dedication to make it happen and there was always the question of if it could even be done.

Many of you have probably heard of a resident in SL here named Henri Beauchamp, he is the developer of the Cool VL Viewer. Henri is a very smart guy.. he's also very dedicated to Viewer 1. He has ALSO spent months and months of time backporting the v2 render engine into his viewer AND providing patches for this work to the public. He has successfully backported mesh into his Cool VL viewer and released it.

Ansariel Hiller from our dev team has been not only keeping a close eye on Henri's work, but she's been pulling Henri's patches into her local Phoenix repository. This morning, we merged her repository to ours, and to answer the rumor... phoenix WILL have mesh support.

I want to make a few things clear, not the least of which.. Henri is the only reason this has been made possible. Essentially phoenix Mesh release will be little more than a piggy back on his work, leeching from him... and he deserves huge amounts of credit for making this possible. If you see him in world and appreciate the work he has done, please thank him.

Another thing I want to make clear, which will not make me popular here... I was not in favor of adding mesh into phoenix, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I don't want you all thinking we've changed our focus back on phoenix, truth is we haven't. Ansariel handled all the work of pulling henri's work into phoenix, LGG has helped. Aside from Tonya and Tech fixing some of the bugs.. Thats it.. essentially we've only had two developers working on this, and there are no plans to increase development on phoenix beyond that. However, mesh in phoenix will accomplish two things. It will complete adoption of mesh in SL, which is pretty cool actually. But equally important, it will also fulfill our promise to keep phoenix going until it's dying day.

Secondly, Make no mistake.. V1 is still on it's deathbed. Consider this.. it took over 9 months to get mesh to work in a v1 viewer.. it took us just over 2  weeks to merge mesh into Firestorm once we started the merge. This will be the pattern with all new things LL releases, making it work in Firestorm or a v2 based viewer will be far easier to adopt faster than making it work on a v1. Maintaining v1 long term is just not being realistic. But for now.. you will get phoenix with mesh as soon as it's passed QA and is ready. No date on this yet.

Speaking of QA, don't expect phoenix to be just like the last release only now it has mesh support. This work effectively makes Phoenix a Ford Pinto with a deisel engine from a school bus duct taped into it. Not only will it have all the existing mesh related bugs, but it will have plenty of it's own bugs specific to having a diesel engine in a Ford Pinto. It will have a negative effect on crash rates no doubt, will be a performance drop for some, an increase for others. It will not be perfect, as it is not designed to support mesh.

It will also require an SSE2 capable computer to run it just like Firestorm and LL v2/v3 does. Because of the SSE2 issue, those of you who's computers are so old that they don't support SSE2, seriously.. you need to upgrade your computer. Really...

But for you, we will also release a non mesh phoenix update with the latest features and fixes. This will be your last phoenix release you can use until you upgrade your computer. We will release phoe mesh and phoe without mesh at the same time.

Also, RLVa will be updated in this next phoenix release.. on the insistance of Kitty Barnett. You will have only her to thank for that, as RLVa update was another thing I was not in favor of. My job is to ensure we stay focused on the future. Phoenix isn't it, Firestorm is. I wasn't in favor of spending Kitty's valuable time on a dying viewer when her time can be much better served on the future of viewers.

Mesh upload capability is also under development and making some promising advancements thanks to Nicky Dasmijn.

So this will extend that shelf life for the Phoenix Viewer a little bit longer, but not forever. Enjoy it while you have it, and be sure to thank Henri.

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Firestorm Mesh Beta - optional update

A new bug was brought to our attention recently that effects region restarts while using our Metaharper skin in our Firestorm Mesh Beta. Basically, the region will fail to restart and be left in a state that only LL Support can fix. We traced the origin of the bug, fixed it and have updated our download files.

If you are an Estate Manager who performs region restarts AND you use the Metaharper skin it is strongly advised that you download our updated version from our download links on this page. No other skin is effected by this bug. Alternatively, you can fix the issue yourself without installing this optional update by following the instructions listed on this page.

We have also patched a performance issue some people may be effected by which essentially drops performance when you have many IM windows open at once. If you have performance drops while having multiple IM windows open you may find an improvement with this optional update.

If you do not fall into the above criteria there is no need for you to update or worry, aside from what's listed above, nothing else has changed since our Mesh Beta.


Jessica Lyon
Phoenix Viewer Project

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Firestorm Beta 3 with Mesh Support!

Due to popular demand we’ve decided we can't hold back the Firestorm with Mesh support release, however this hasn’t been an easy decision. Unfortunately LL Mesh code comes with a lot of new bugs and undesirable behaviors which we honestly aren’t comfortable releasing with. Many of these issues we would consider blockers for a release. The issues which we wouldn’t consider blockers simply do not reach our expectations for a quality release. However, you asked for it! And you’re getting it in its current state!

For a list of LL Bugs effecting this Firestorm release, please see:

When you first log into this Firestorm release you will note a few things. First, your settings ‘should’ get reset automatically and your cache will be cleared. This is a must for this release because so much has changed that if you didn’t get settings and cache cleared you WILL have loads of problems. You must also ensure you install this to an empty directory on your computer and not over an existing installation. 

Also, please be patient during your first login on this version as performance will be significantly degraded while your inventory and texture cache gets populated. We suggest just standing around for a few minutes while this occurs. The best way to know when it's complete is to open your inventory and watch the numbers at the bottom. These represent how many inventory items you have loaded. When they stop, your inventory has completed the fetch and your ready to enjoy Firestorm with Mesh support.

We had hoped that this would be our official release and we would by now have reached our feature goals for the “Official release”. However, fate has stepped in the way. Since the release of our Beta 2 we have had a large number of our developer team going on vacations IRL, and thus slowing down the development process, (Though I think they all earned it). Also, many features have had to take a back seat to mesh for obvious reasons; things like Spell Check simply couldn’t be completed in time. The good news though is that this is not our official release and we still have plans to reach our official release feature goals soon!

The better news is that we have achieved many of our release features already. Here’s a summary of some of the new features in this Firestorm release besides the Mesh, improved shadows, Depth of Field and other things we adopted from LL.

Default interface choices from login page. Phoenix/V2/Hybrid
Custom Colored name tags and more
Contact sets - see following link:
Phoenix style contacts/Friend list
LGG Selection beam particle effects
Build in Flight assist with Bridge!
Script count!
Auto Correct
Font options!
New starlight skins
V1 similar volume controls so you don’t have to go into prefs
Volume sliders in the local speakers panel
Ability to fully disable your camera target hints
Improved Camera floater
Greater OpenSim Support
Calc and CAO from command line
Z-Offset is fixed, for changing the height offset of your avatar.
Updated RLVa
Ability to automatically undock side bar tabs
Group IM’s in nearby chat & Console
Italicized Emotes
and more!

Remember to take advantage of our wiki where we host loads of information about Firestorm and Phoenix Viewers.

Jessica Lyon
Phoenix Viewer Project

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Phoenix Project Birthday Speeches

For those of you who couldn't make it to our Birthday Bash you can watch/listen to the two speeches by Jessica Lyon and Arrehn Oberlander here.

Happy Birthday Firebirds!

Happy Birthday Phoenix Project!

Yes..Today is our birthday! 

Exactly one year ago today this blog post  
spread around the grid like wildfire. It was the birth of the Phoenix Viewer Project. 

Today, at noon SLT we will be celebrating with a very big party. Our developers and support staff will be on hand to talk to, mingle with and ask questions. We’ll also have a live DJ and a speech or two. Unfortunately it’s only one region and if I post the location on this blog.. we’ll be overwhelmed and likely crash the sim a time or ten. So at approximately 11:45 am SLT today I will be sending a group notice out to our main Support group. If you would like to attend, be in that group :) . For those who cannot attend, I will post my speech on this blog after the party and any other speeches made from other team members. 

Hope to see you there!
Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Phoenix Maintenance Update

Keeping to our promise of maintaining and continuing to release Phoenix updates we offer you Phoenix Viewer While this is not a major release it does offer some fixes against malicious crashers being used on the grid, lots of other fixes and comes with a cool new feature or two. All new features in this Phoenix release will of course also be present in our next Firestorm Release coming soon!. The change log for this Phoenix update can be found here. We remind you that it is always important to do a clean install, instructions here. 

On another note I wanted to take this opportunity to crush a few misconceptions and rumors that have been going around. While it is true that V1 based viewers are nearing the end of their shelf life, this is not because LL will be 'blocking' them. LL will NOT be blocking Phoenix or other V1 viewers. V1 viewers like Phoenix will not be blocked, rather they will begin to break as LL rolls out new features that these viewers cannot accommodate.

Mesh objects is the beginning of both a bright new future in realism in Second Life, and the end for these viewers. I took some time the other day to navigate around some of the Mesh Sandboxes while on both the LL mesh viewer and Phoenix Viewer, took some snapshot comparisons to demonstrate to you what I mean by "breaking v1 viewers". In the following link you will see on the left hand side what mesh objects look like on a non mesh viewer vs the pictures on the right of the mesh objects as they should display. See the difference here.

As mesh becomes more and more popular, and I'm sure it will.. more and more people will be selling, buying, making and using mesh in their daily sl lives. As the usage increases, the world will look more and more broken for Phoenix and other V1 users. All is not lost! in fact I was very impressed at the realism of mesh and the quality of mesh objects, it's very cool! But with improvement comes change and with change comes growing pains. In the long term though this is a great new era in both viewer development and realism in Second Life. While many don't like the interface in viewer 2, the code itself is far more flexible and robust than V1 offering so many other possibilities.

Firestorm Viewer will support mesh objects very soon as we work to merge up to LL's latest code. There are also one or two Third Party Viewers who are trying to backport mesh capability into the V1 code base and if they succeed that's great! But it's important to remember that mesh is really just the beginning of things to come, great new features, immersion, functionality, etc.. but which won't work on a V1 based viewer. Enjoy Phoenix while you can but we certainly encourage you to try and get used to Firestorm in your spare time. We released a video a few weeks ago showing just how easy it is to make Firestorm more like Phoenix. Have a watch!

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Friend Permissions Bug

There have been more than enough reports from SL users to justify a blog post informing everyone of this new server bug and how to work around it. It was discovered by one of our support people on an RC region and reported to LL on the 9th of July, it was acknowledged by LL on July 12th but by then it was too late to stop the roll out onto the main grid.

The Bug
You can no longer change permissions for your friends while on a viewer which doesn't utilize Web Profiles and whether you are, or are not on a viewer that uses web profiles the friend you are changing permissions for needs to relog after you have set the permissions through their web profile. I am assured by LL that they intend to resolve this issue as soon as possible but at this time they cannot provide a date when the fix will be rolled out. You can read the Jira report about the bug here

The Work Around
In the meantime, there is a work around. First, you must open the "Web" profile of the person you wish to change permissions for. This includes Map rights, Modify my objects permissions and Online status permissions.
1. Open the web profile of the person you wish to change permissions for using the following URL in your web browser. Replace the first name and last name with the persons first and last name. If they do not have a visible last name do instead.
2. Once you have their profile open, click on the "ACTIONS" button near the top and to the right, then choose "Permissions" from the sub menu.
3. Give or remove the permissions you wish to change and click "Save".
4. Now the person you've changed the permission for will need to relog in order for them to actually get the permission change.


If you just want to remove all permissions for a friend to default, you can just remove them from your friend list and re add them.

I hope this helps folks at least understand the bug and how to work around it. Lets hope LL can get the fix out soon!

Jessica Lyon
The Phoenix Viewer Project

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Update: Current State of Affairs

Yesterday we received word from LL that Firestorm has surpassed LL V1.23 viewer usage both in time spent as well as distinct users. This moves Firestorm Viewer into 3rd place on the Second Life grid by way of usage. In just a few short weeks since our first beta, Firestorm has become a huge success almost over night. Yet we have only just begun to scratch the surface of what we have planned for Firestorm. We are looking forward to the enormous amount of work ahead of us and the challenges they pose. Lots more interface improvements, feature ports from Phoenix and many more brand new features! Of course we will always be improving stability and stomping out bugs as we progress too. All in all, Firestorm has gone from nothing to something big in a very short period of time. Of this we are very proud and thank our users for being patient as we push through to greater things with each release.

However, while Firestorm can be made to resemble the Phoenix viewer relatively easily... Phoenix it is not, nor is it V1. Firestorm is a new viewer based on the LL v2 code base, and is still in it's infancy in relation to what we have planned. Sadly, I've been hearing a lot of complaints both from our users and our staff of instances where users are being abusive towards our support staff because they do not like one of our viewers or the directions we are going. 

Currently, we have 54 members on our team, broken down that's 16 developers and 38 support members providing you with support in 8 different languages. It may be unknown to some of you that each and every one of us on this team do what we do on a purely volunteer basis. None of us get paid a cent for the work we do, so I would ask that you, who are provided with not just one but two fully functional viewers at no cost to yourselves to please try to respect our staff. I'm happy to say though that the unhappy folks are only a small minority, however they can be very vocal, loud and discouraging.

We are happy to accept and even encourage constructive criticism about the work that we do. But there are better channels to direct your constructive criticism through than our support groups. Our support personnel do not develop the viewers you are using, they are there to help you solve your problems. If you have constructive criticism please direct it at our Developers either through private IM's or via Email. This way our support group channels are left to fulfill their intended purposes, providing support.

You can contact any one of our developers either through IM's in world or Email. Our in world names are listed on our About Us Page, and our emails are Or you can send email to to be read by our Lead Developers. Or, if you have a feature request, feature improvement or a bug to report please feel free to file it on our Jira. All reports are seen by our developers and none are ignored. If you're not sure how to file a Jira, no problem! We have a wiki page for that! If we are ultimately unable to help you resolve your complaints there are always other alternative viewers available for you to use. You can find a list of the approved viewers here.

We are very excited by the way things are going with Firestorm and this excitement is what will continue to drive us into providing you with a better SL experience.

But do be patient! We've only just begun!


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Firestorm Beta 2 with build tools!

As many of you have heard, V1 viewers including Phoenix will soon become broken and mostly unusable on the SL grid as LL begins to turn off server side functionality these viewers require. Fortunately there is Firestorm, our V2 based Viewer designed to be more user friendly for V1 users. Even more fortunate is that you currently have two choices, you can still use Phoenix for important things but we highly encourage you to try to get used to Firestorm in your spare time. This way when V1 and Phoenix becomes broken you'll already have the knowledge and experience to switch to Firestorm full time without growing pains or interruptions in your daily SL activities. While Firestorm has been specifically designed to not interfere with any other viewers on your computer, older Firestorm installations may interfere with new Firestorm releases. If you have already installed a previous Firestorm version we highly urge you to do a clean install for each Firestorm Release Instructions here.

A few weeks ago we released our first public beta of the Firestorm viewer, it was widely received with great delight by a huge number of users. Those who did have problems adopting it however, quickly discovered that following our Migration guide on the wiki and our Tutorial Videos helped resolve most all of their interface orientation issues. However there was one major feature missing from Firestorm Public Beta that was a blocker for a great many users, that feature was the beloved in-world content creation tools for builders, most commonly known as "Build Tools".

Announcing Firestorm Beta 2, WITH  Phoenix Build tools! You now have build options like object face numbers, link numbers, additional decimals for accurate positioning,  copy/paste options for object parameters, additional object types, even the ability to resize the build floater and much more! We've also added many other highly requested features like Quick Prefs option in the bottom bar, V1 style Group Profiles, Starlight Skin Updates/improvements, Griefer protection from animation permission grabbers, seller protection from within the build floater, UI improvements in world map, seconds in chat history just to name a few. But not just features! we've also fixed a huge number of bugs and made improvements to things like Bridge creation, Pie menu, user interface, crash fixes etc. Change Log can be found here.

Please feel free to attend our Firestorm classes which began last week and will continue on a regular basis. You can see our class schedule here . Also remember we offer 24/7 support for both Phoenix and Firestorm viewers in our support groups listed on our Support page. Beyond that you'll find answers to virtually all your questions about "Where is..", "How do I.." on our Firestorm Wiki. Or if you're in the Firestorm viewer, you can quickly get to our wiki by pressing F1 or from the help menu.

We are very excited about the release of this Public Beta 2 and hope you will enjoy it to it's fullest.


The Phoenix Viewer Project Team

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Survey Results

The results from the survey are in and links to the raw data are provided below. The results are anonymous, unedited, unchanged and come directly from who hosted the poll.  It is important to remember that the survey results do not necessarily form our decision to add or remove these features. As was mentioned in the previous blog these results are there to help us with our decision process, and they are doing just that.

One of the most important reasons we did this survey was to raise awareness of the pro's and cons of each feature listed. You may have noticed that each of the 5 items were worded very carefully so as to demonstrate to you that giving you this ability, takes away from you or someone else an ability. Giving you a freedom, takes away from you or someone else a freedom. While these items are in fact already in the Phoenix viewer, they are legacy features that were created before our team took over from emerald. Back in the day there was much debate over many of these which went mostly ignored by the Emerald team. We are bringing these items back up so we can do a proper public discussion, better explain the positives and negatives of each and perhaps close the door on some of them. This survey gave each of you a public venue in which to express your feelings about each item. This isn’t meant to create drama, but rather create a positive and productive open discussion.

Today we discussed the results of the survey, and had a discussion about the features in question at our Office Hour. For those of you who missed it, we highly encourage you to watch the Office Hour recording here. (We had some sound problems, please index in to 6 minutes and 45 seconds). We are still in discussion internally as well, taking the poll results into account we will soon make solid decisions on each of these items. However we're pretty sure how we are going to go on some of them. This is also discussed in the office hour.

We're providing the poll results in several formats. Here they are.
Web page (recommended)
PDF (doesn't include custom comment results)
Spreadsheet download (a bit hard to read).

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Firestorm Feature Survey

Firestorm Public Beta has been a huge success overall. There has been less confusion than we expected and the general consensus from our users coming from V1, and folks from V2 have been very positive. This is great news as it means we are off to a great start! Our download count is already around 24,000 as I write this, and our initial crash statistics are showing the Firestorm Public beta to be very stable as well, in fact Firestorm currently sits in 4th place on the Third Party Viewer Directory based on crash rate. This may change in time as more people adopt Firestorm but we are very proud of this achievement. Thank you all for giving it a try!

As development of the Firestorm Viewer progresses we are continually adding more and more features, functionality improvements, bug fixes and interface customizations options. The Firestorm viewer is a result of the overall volume of requests, suggestions and opinions we've received from you since the beginning. What we do is a result of what you want and how many of you want it. But we've reached a stage once again where we want your input.

There are a few features in the Phoenix Viewer which have been considered controversial by some in the past.  So we have created a poll ask that you all fill it out as honestly as you can. Please only vote once so we can have an accurate result. The results of this poll will help us in our decision making process as to if and how we implement these features in the future.

The poll will run for exactly one week, ending at at 12pm SLT next Tuesday. At that time we will make the results of the poll public. The Poll can be found here. We do not collect or have access to any personal information about you, not even your IP address. The Poll is entirely anonymous.

Thank you all very much for your participation in helping make Firestorm the best it can be.

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Firestorm Public Beta has arrived!

That's right! It's finally here, and while we’re calling it a beta it could easily pass as an official release! We certainly feel it's ready for broad public usage. This public beta has demonstrated itself to be very stable in testing and comes with heaps more features than our Preview 2 did. We've also designed it specifically to not interfere with other viewer installations on your system so you can feel confident in giving it a try without any worries.

First, what is the Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer all about? Firestorm is the next generation viewer produced by us; it is based off of Linden Lab’s V2 code base but with a focus on making it V1 familiar. It’s focus is to provide you with a smaller learning curve and an easier transition from V1 to V2. However, while that has been our focus it is important to mention that it still does have a learning curve, it is not exactly the same as V1 or the Phoenix Viewer. Because of this we have gone to great lengths to provide you with tutorial videos and extensive documentation which we HIGHLY encourage you to have a look at. It will take some getting used to, but if you give it a chance you’ll find it will quickly feel very comfortable for full time use.
You can see our tutorial video’s here
You can find our support and usage documentation here 
We'll be hosting Firestorm Classes starting in the next week or two, keep an eye on our classes wiki for schedule

Firestorm Public Beta comes with a huge list of features far beyond what the standard V2 viewer provides. Some of the most prominent features you will notice is that we made you a new PIE’ menu! We’ve provided you with nearly fully functional Radar, a newly written, secure bridge which extends the abilities of the viewer into in world interactivity, like the ability to double click teleport in regions that have landing points, improved radar accuracy and much more to come. We have big plans for bridge in the future. There is a brand new written from scratch built in AO which just works every time and couldn’t be easier to use. Plus many more features you’re used to from the Phoenix viewer. There are however a few features we are hesitant to add because of their controversial nature like True online status in profiles, friendship dissolved messages, who's removed you from seeing their online status etc. In the coming days we will be making another blog post here with a link to a poll. We want to know what you think we should do with these features. But for now, a complete list of features can be found here.

But perhaps most important of all is the UI changes and customization options we’ve provided you. Close to V1, almost everything can now be customized to your liking. Undocking/docking windows, closing them/reopening them, moving them, resizing them or just eliminating them from your view forever are all things you can do with this new viewer.  We’ve provided you with various skins as well, from V1 looking skins to skins that look just like the original V2. Options! It’s all up to you.

Thousands of man hours have gone into this viewer so far, and there is yet still so much more on our planning board to do. So many more features and options we want to bring over from Phoenix and many of our own unique features we plan to create. As with any viewer, this is a continual work in progress viewer, it is in perpetual motion. With each release we promise to have more and more features, options and bug fixes in place. We only wish we could do everything at once, faster! Speaking of doing it faster!...

Firestorm is a community project, what that means is that we very much welcome people from outside our team to help us make it better. Our primary goal is to improve the user experience, there are no egos involved here. We’ve already accepted a lot of code from people who are not on our team and highly encourage anyone to become a contributor to this very promising viewer project. If you contribute enough we’ll be happy to make you a member of the team! In fact several of our best developers started out as contributors themselves. Contributing is easy if you can code!
You can grab our source code from . Have a peek through our JIRA to find things that interest you. Contribute by providing us patches but please remember all code must be LGPL. You will be properly credited for any and all contributions. Our support members are not developers and may not be able to help you with compile issues, if you need help with compiling or coding feel free to contact one of our developers. Their names can be found here or Email us at dev at phoenixviewer dot  com

It is important to note that while we are providing support for this release, our support people aren’t much more experienced with Firestorm than you are and may have trouble finding you solutions to difficult problems for the first little while. This is a transition for all of us. Also that half of our support team will still be running the Phoenix viewer so they can continue to support Phoenix and may not be able to help with Firestorm issues in this case. Please understand that our support team, just like all of us, work on a volunteer basis. While they are not required to help you, they try their best all of the time and do a fantastic job. Please don’t be abusive towards them. Before contacting support please have a look at our Firestorm wiki first, chances are you will find your answers there faster. If you don't find your answers you can reach support either by IM directly, or through one of our official support groups. Members and groups can be found from our Support page on this website.

With this Phoenix-Firestorm Public Beta comes a new future and direction for The Phoenix Viewer Project which we are very excited about! At some point in the near future the Phoenix Viewer along with all other V1 viewers will begin to stop working as LL starts turning off server side support for them. While Firestorm is optional right now, we must all accept that we will need to transition over to a V2 based viewer at some point soon. Beyond Firestorm there are other options as well, many other Third Party Viewer Projects have started their own V2 based viewers, some have been established for some time already. We encourage you to give them a try as well. 

You can download firestorm from our downloads page.

Note: If you've previously installed any of the Firestorm Preview Builds that you perform a full clean installation for this public beta. Much has changed since preview 2 and you will likely get settings corruption if you don't. Instructions can be found here

We are looking forward to providing you with progressively better versions with each release, and are really looking forward to seeing you on the new Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer! See you in world!

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Phoenix Viewer Release

V2 Avatar Physics in Phoenix!?!? o.0

Those of you who attended the May 3rd Phoenix Office Hour might remember me saying "Phoenix will never have V2 Avatar Physics"...well... excuse me while I remove my foot from my mouth...
That was before LL released Avatar Physics which created an incompatibility between V1 viewers and viewers with v2 Av Physics. See below link for reference.

The problem is that V1 viewers don't recognize the appearance data sent by viewers with avatar physics. Initially LL offered us a simple fix which we were going to use, until we saw that Shyotl Kuhr had submitted a backport patch of V2 Av Physics into the Singularity Viewer. With permission from and thanks too Siana Gearz of Singularity and some modifications of our own we have ported that patch into this release.

The reason we chose to include av physics is to increase adoption of this release as it fixes a pretty critical issue which affects content; without this release you will not see people on Viewer 2, Singularity, Firestorms next release..this phoenix release or any other viewer with av physics correctly. Because of this I highly encourage you all to update to this release.

Because av physics isn't the easiest thing to set up correctly we have created some documentation pages on how to use and set up av physics in phoenix here:

We have also created a MarketPlace account where we are giving away a free box of preset av physics layers used by members of the Phoenix Team. In it you will find physics settings used by Jessica Lyon, Miro Collas, Mobius Ryba, Pudenta Magic, Sunset Faulkes, Thea Brianna,Whirly Fizzle's and many others male and female.
We will also be putting up other useful freebies on this marketplace account related to the Phoenix and Firestorm viewers for our users as well so stay tuned! The store is being run by our PhoenixViewerMascot account but is controlled by Jessica Lyon and Mobius Ryba.

For those of you who do not want Avatar Physics we still encourage you to update so you see others correctly. You can disable seeing avatar physics in (Prefs> Graphics> Av Physics) while still seeing other avatars normally. You can also disable sending your Av Physics data to the server in (Prefs>Phoenix>Avatar> Don't send avatar physics to server).

Avatar Physics isn't the only thing we've done!, we've also fixed an important security issue, some Mac and Linux bugs, Sculpt fixes and much more. See change log here

IMPORTANT: If you have problems with this release...
We highly encourage you to uninstall your previous version of Phoenix before installing this one. If you find your still having issues, chances are very high that a "clean reinstall" will fix it 99% of the time. This often happens because of either conflicts or corruption of the settings files.
Instructions on how to do this here:

Enjoy the release!

Jessica Lyon and The Phoenix Viewer Project Team.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Phoenix goes to Official Release!

Phoenix Viewer is Official!

Yes! Today is a great day! After receiving lots of feedback from our users combined with the crash statistics provided by LL, we are taking out of Release Candidate and making it an official release! There is nothing new to download, just the title has changed.

According to this week's crash statistics covering last week we've actually made new record for stability in a Third Party Viewer with a 9.88% crash rate!! While we do expect the crash rate will rise slightly as more and more people move to it, we don't expect it to rise very much, lets hope it stays right where it is! As previously mentioned the focus leading up to this release was stability and crash fixes. We investigated, found and fixed a huge amount of crash bugs for this release. But it wasn't all us! Credits and thank you to Imprudence, Singularity, Henri Beauchamp, Linden Lab, Code Contributors from the SL Community and many others for sharing their own crash fixes with us under the spirit of Open Source. Troubles?

We haven't based this decision solely on the crash statistics. We also based it on feedback from our users and our Support Team. While most people found 1050 to be fantastic, some did have problems. Fortunately these problems have proven to be solvable with little trouble.

Some of the most common issues were poor performance. If you are having poor performance on, please read the "A Note on Performance" section of the following wiki page:

Most people who did have crash or stability issues with 1050 were resolved by performing a clean install. Instructions on how to do a clean install on the following wiki page.

Japan Donation!

We made the donation today to go to Japan Relief! With just a few dollars lost due to transfer fees from LL the final donation was $2277.54!! Way to go people! The reciept can be seen here:


The Phoenix Viewer Project Team.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Phoenix Viewer Release Candidate

Phoenix Viewer Release Candidate is now live. Release candidate means that while the release has been thoroughly tested by our Quality Assurance Team and passed, we want to make sure that it is as good as it possibly can be. Your feedback over the next few days on this version will help us determine whether we get to change it to an official release. Although this is a release candidate, it is official and we will be providing support for it.

Where to download?
From our website links on the right -->
or from here:
Change log here:

Why should you update?
- This build is expected to be our most stable ever, we have fixed dozens and dozens of crash bugs and spent a great many hours on stabilization.
- We have resolved many more sculpt rezzing issues.
- Most importantly... The Client Bridge prim has been updated.

About the Bridge update and why it is so important to update your phoenix viewer to this release.

The client bridge is an object the viewer creates and attaches to your avatar. This prim expands the functionality of the viewer for things like double click Teleports and greater accuracy for positional data of avatars on the built in radar.
The bridge was invented long before Phoenix and was created using a bug which allowed the prim to be 100% invisible. This is not the same as being transparent or made transparent with a texture, it is truly invisible. However if you could see it, you would see a default sized spherical prim attached to your waist.

Linden Lab is fixing the bug which was used to create this invisible prim and this fix will quite possibly cause the prim to render with a plywood texture. Effectively if you don't update, you will be seen wearing a plywood sphere around your waist when this fix is implemented by the Lab.
More info on this fix here:

We have created a new bridge prim in this release using a very small micro prim, made fully transparent. When you first log into this release, please log into a region where you can build so the viewer can create the new bridge object. Once created the object should go to your Objects folder first, then be automatically moved to the #Phoenix folder in your inventory.

Remember that if you have problems with this release our Support Staff will be standing by to help, but please be patient and understand that they will be very busy over the next while.

Note: RLVa has not been updated due to time constraints.

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Friday, 1 April 2011

Gotcha! Happy April fools Day!

Our Phoenix Viewer users have all noticed on logging in today that there is a Neko avatar staring back at them on the login page. This is my avatar, Jessica Lyon,  Project Manager of the Phoenix Project. There has been some concern that the viewer has been hacked, this of course is incorrect. Unfortunately our Legal department email address has been inundated with concerned residents. As some may not realize the login screen is loaded dynamically from the web and can be changed at any time, just as the LL login screen changes almost every time it's loaded. While most of our users got the joke, some were offended by it. I'd just like to point out at this time that there are websites all over the internet participating in jokes on this day including Wikipedia, Google, Microsoft, WoW and many many others.
There's a big list here

I apologize if you were offended by the prank, it's all in good fun and tradition!
You can download the 12 different login page images here:

On another note.. and this is NOT a joke.. our fund raiser for Japan relief has generated over $1700 US so far thanks to you! Thank you all SO much! It's important to remember that while we may not have much.. we have more than they do right now. Keep those donations coming!

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

As the entire world knows by now Japan has been devastated with a massive Earthquake, Tsunami and now serious nuclear issues. Many coastal towns have been completely wiped off the face of the earth. It's time to step up and recognize how fortunate we are in comparison and share some of that fortune.

We have decided to hold a fund raiser, 100% of proceeds will go to whom will divide the proceeds to various rescue and relief organizations specifically for Japan relief.

We are making a call to action here, please donate Generously! This ChipIn will remain available for 1 month at which time we will make the big donation. You can donate in world to our donation bot named "PhoenixViewerDonations Memo" in world, or from our chipin below.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Phoenix Viewer Public Beta

(Download links at the bottom of this blog post)

There are two reasons we are pushing a public beta out so soon after our 908 release.

1/ We've been spending a lot of effort and  time trying to determine the instability issues which were/are present in our 908 viewer update for some residents. We think we have narrowed down the causes but need to test it on a larger scale than our QA team can provide. With more users on this beta, we'll have a better idea in a week or two if we have identified the stability issues. If you have stability or performance issues on 908, we would highly encourage you to try running this beta for a few weeks or longer.

2/ We wanted to get the Media Filter feature out to the public sooner rather than later. This Public beta has the Media filter and you can read the documentation here While the filter is still not yet 100% complete, it is fully functional for it's purpose which is to give you the ability to control the connections the viewer makes to the Internet. This feature is ON by default.

NOTE: This build will clear your cache before logging in for the first time. This is to ensure you don't have texture cache corruption issues.

Aside from the above, below is a short list of some of the other changes we've made since 908.

Change Log
Interface translation fixes
Media filter
Updated GPU table for video cards
Adjusted login screen for low resolution screens PHOE-717
ParcelWL, Apply new settings without delay on TP
Texture memory fixes
Improved Jira link parser for jira links in chat.
Show/hide tp offers in Prefs> Popups> "Show teleport offer popups"
Small Improvement to failed logins
Fixed right click > export inventory only displays for scripts and notecards.
Fix for ATI related stars in the sky
Fixed "Let scripts to control my play button" in Prefs> Audio & Video
Fixed PHOE-2581, Copy prim torture settings from sculpt map to regular boxed prim bugged

*If unsure if you can use SSE2, please use the SSE. 
Windows SSE:
Windows SSE2:

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Media filter

Media Filter

Many of you who watch our bi-weekly office hours are aware that we have had planned for some time to implement a feature into the viewer which would improve security in regards to connections the viewer makes to the internet. We have recently commited a "Media Filter" feature in Phoenix and in Firestorm viewers respectively, although neither viewers have been released yet with this feature.

There have been many accusations that the media filter has been implemented to specifically target Redzone. While this is untrue, it WILL have an effect on Redzone, however we've intended to make a feature like this long before Redzone was on the grid.

For those who are unaware of what Redzone is.. It is a product used by land owners to aid in detecting, banning and preventing greifers from accessing their land using several means including alt account detection. Alt accounts are detected by recording and referencing your IP address and account names via your media stream into a database which can then be cross referenced by Redzone Owners.

There has been copious amounts of controversy and drama surrounding Redzone, but to break it down there are two main argumental points in regards to this product. On one side of the argument is (that land owners should have the ability to protect their land and the current "Report abuse" tool is ineffective). On the other side of the argument (Users have the right to protect the identity of their alternate accounts and their privacy).

Both arguments are true and accurate. And while we do have team members who represent both sides of the arguments the official stance of the Phoenix Viewer Project in regards to Redzone is Neutral. We do not wish to get involved, period. The decision to implement media filter was based on the fact that users SHOULD have the ability to control the connections their viewer makes to the internet. This is no different in principle than any firewall built into your operating system or otherwise.

I would kindly ask you to not discuss the Redzone debate in our in world support groups or contact our support people in its regard as it cripples our ability to provide support to our users who need it and has nothing to do with our project. Instead, discussions about Redzone should be taken to the Redzone Forums here: .

Now, more about the Media Filter..
When enabled, the feature works by informing you of a connection attempting to be made by providing you the URL it is connecting too and gives you four options (Allow | Deny | Blacklist | Whitelist). There has been a significant amount of drama in regards to the URL being displayed so we made a compromise that it would only display the domain and obfuscate (mask) the rest. It would look like this " " and this is how it sits currently in our repository right now. HOWEVER, recently LL has made a decision to remove the ability to hide media URL's from within the viewer... in that.. media URL's will be visible to everyone under about land.  You can see the JIRA for this here While we have not made a final decision on whether media filter will display the full URL there will be no point in us obfuscating (masking) it should that change be made final by LL. We WILL follow LL's Lead on this matter.

I would kindly ask that discussion about Media URL's be kept out of our in world support groups and support personnel as it cripples the ability for support to do their job. Any complaints please take up with Linden Lab on the above Jira link. This is their decision far more than it is ours.

When will Media Filter be available?...
We will very likely have a Firestorm Preview 2 release before we have another Phoenix Viewer update. We are aiming for a Firestorm Preview 2 release around  middle too late March. If you would like to get a copy of it, please join our in world group "Phoenix-Firestorm Preview Group" and watch for the group notice.

We hope to have a Phoenix Viewer update as soon as possible however that release is being held up while we investigate and try to resolve the stability issues present in version 908. We also hope to have RLVa updated as well.

If you have issues with, or complaints specifically about our policy in regards to following LL's lead, feel free to contact me directly via email at Please direct all other issues to the corresponding locations listed above. IE. The Redzone blog, or the LL Jira.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.
March 8th Phoenix Office Hour Recording where I discussed and answered questions regarding Media Filter, Redzone, Greenzone and more..

For more information and an unbiased objective look into the topics discussed above please feel free to refer to the following articles.
Article by Doc Grun - Part 1
Article by Doc Grun - Part 2

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Phoenix Viewer Release!

Phoenix Viewer Release is out! There have been a lot of bug fixes and improvements on this version... It is definitely the version you want to be on!

Just a few of the many things we've fixed.
- Improved overall performance and stability!
- No more RLVa Assertion Failure errors!
- 42 group auto detection, no more tinkering with settings,  it just works!
- Showcase TP links have been fixed to work properly now for Windows & Mac, Linux in our next release.
- Updated Webkit helping webpages load faster in the web browser, improved memory handling etc. 
- The momentary viewer lockups experienced on 373, 725 and 818 should be a thing of the past.
- Texture jumping issues where textures load, then unload, load, then unload.. resolved!
- Updated Viewer tags are in this release. You'll be able to see all the viewers out there more accurately
- Built in IRC client has been fixed! No more ??? ???  names in IRC rooms.
- Huge improvement to 'De-render', which now permanently de-renders items until they are removed from the Asset Blacklist.
- Skin downloader fixes
- Improved installer, no more downloading additional files during the install process.
- So much more!

This is ONE of the last Phoenix viewer releases we'll be putting out, grab it while you can!

If you have any problems updating, please remember to contact our 24/7 Support Team for help!

Windows SSE:

Windows SSE2:



The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Upcoming Viewer Releases

Yesterday during our office hour we discussed an upcoming Phoenix Viewer release scheduled for this weekend, reviewed the Firestorm Preview #1 release, and talked about what to expect from the Firestorm Preview #2.
You can watch the office hour here:

However I'll review some of the details here.

Phoenix Viewer Release update scheduled for this coming weekend. Some of the things you can expect to see in this update..
  • - 42 group auto detection from the server
  • - Showcase links now work for Windows & Mac
  • - Momentary viewer lockups have been improved
  • - Texture jumping (where textures load and then unload) has been improved
  • - Updated client tags, in the last few phoenix releases the client tag list has been failing to update, this will contain all the latest viewer tags
  • - Build in IRC functionality has been fixed so that names show up properly again. 
  • - Many other bug fixes and performance improvements

Firestorm Preview #1 was a huge success especially considering it was a pre alpha build. There are many people already using it full time! We're also very proud to say that it has an even lower crash rate than Phoenix 818!

Firestorm Preview #2 Is on track for the end of February and will be classified as an Alpha.
Some of the things we're working on for Preview #2 are...
  • - Radar to some degree
  • - Bridge and llMoveToTarget teleporting
  • - Completed Parcel WL settings/options
  • - Login manager
  • - Spell check (if we get time)
  • - Cmdline prefs page
  • - Preferences re factoring
  • - Right click > wear on inventory folders
  • - Temp Uploads
  • - Broad cast viewer effects options
  • - V1 style communications floater fix ups
  • - Re designed profile panels
  • - Accordions in many of the panels replaced with Tabs v1 style
  • - Buttons in prefs> network; to open chat log, settings, crash log location folders
  • - Proper Clear Cache button
  • - Metaharper skin has a sidebar option like grey skin does
  • - KDU for greatly improved performance, stability and texture rendering.
  • - A variety of bug fixes found in preview 1

We're very much looking forward to getting these viewers out to you and look forward to hearing your feedback.

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Important Announcements!

During yesterday's Phoenix Office Hour we announced that we have formed a partnership with the SpotOn3D grid. 
I highly encourage you to watch the recording of that Office Hour here for more information:

What this means is that we will be providing SpotOn3D with customized Phoenix Viewer builds for use specifically on their grid. These Custom viewer builds will contain all the same features the Phoenix viewer for second life has plus many SpotOn3D specific features. Because the additional features aren't 100% compatible with the Second Life grid there will be an additional download for the Phoenix-SpotOn viewer available on the SpotOn3D Website. We expect to have a Windows and Mac version for them by the end of the week, and a Linux will follow during the weekend. We look forward to working with the folks at SpotOn3D in our continuing effort to improve the user experience where ever our viewer is used.
You can visit there website here:

Many people are probably wondering what does this mean to them in regards to Second Life... Our primary focus is still on the Second Life Grid and will continue to be, however a few of our developers will work part time on the Phoenix-SpotOn3D Viewer. Nothing will change for our Second Life users. Development will continue on the Phoenix Viewer, Firestorm Viewer and now the Phoenix-SpotOn3D viewer.

Speaking of Firestorm! As most of you already know, we have been very busy working on the Firestorm Viewer. Most of you seem to also know that we plan to put out a "Preview" build of firestorm at the end of this month.. and most of you seem to be very eager to try it out. A lot of work has gone into Firestorm already but is mostly interface improvements and changes. It is critical that you understand the Firestorm Preview is just that... a preview, it is not yet ready for full time use. But this will give you an idea of what's in store in the future. If you would like to try out the preview of firestorm at the end of the month, please join our in world group named Phoenix-Firestorm Preview Group. The build will be announced in that group and you can find help there as well.
Group link here.

Do understand! The Firestorm Preview build should be considered Pre Alpha! Not beta,, not Release Candidate.. it is pre alpha and as such it has a lot of bugs that still need to be worked out.

Equally important! we have a new Tutorial video online that shows you how to customize the Firestorm User Interface as well as other functionality. Please watch this video before you log into Firestorm for the first time!
The video will be available from the following link within a few hours of the time of this posting.