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