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!


  1. I only have one thing to say... YAYYYYYYYYY!!!!!

  2. w00t!! Thanks much :) long time coming, but worth the wait :)

  3. One word describes this release: AWESOMESAUCE

  4. Shadows no longer works. How'd you guys break that?

  5. i want to congratulate you.

    i waited for this since the first Beta of Viewer 2.

    feels like coming back to Emerald.

  6. Oh thank God, works like a charm, no more crashes!
    They did it!!!!
    Highly recommend you switch from Phoenix now!

  7. FYI: Norton's heuristics trigger on slplugin.exe - it gets quarantined.

  8. yeah ... lovely but serious bugs on lighting and shadows and WL water - I get a funny blue water. But I am sure you will iron out

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  10. I'm feeling really good to see the Firestorm developers have succeeded. This is really impressive. It's one of those significant days in SL because of this release.

  11. Really thnaks, I needed this from so long :D

  12. Thank you for the FLYCAM Indecator for my Space Navigator.

  13. OK, just a couple of questions....
    1) Does the old migration guide from Phoenix to Firestorm still apply?
    2) Do we still follow the "V1-ify" guide?

  14. I'm having an issue downloading either one of the files. Either the download was incomplete or the file was "damaged".....I don't know why this is happening. :(

    Could you help me out here please? My inworld name is Eden Pyrithea.

  15. hi hi just one question for you.... WHERE ARE MY GROUPS & FRIENDS ?

  16. Installed and already using it on Linux and Mac YAY!!!!

  17. If you have trouble with corrupted textures on your avatar and you have an older graphics card, then turn off VBO on prefs->graphics->hardware.


  18. Very nice work, btw, thank you so much. It run well even on my ancient machine.

  19. I'm having problems with the new version of firestorm. I can't rez and I have cleared cache, relogged. rebake and it's still not working. I've done this a dozen of times and i'm still a red cloud. Can anyone help me?

  20. I have been using the latest Firestorm release for a few hours now and no crashes so far. Lots of great features and customizing options.
    I am very impressed!
    Congratulations to the whole team! :)


  21. Okay, an update: i finally got to download and install properly--nice job on the prefs and including the mouselook and things like that!

    I look forward to screwing this viewer over, TROLOLOLOLOL! Again thank youuuu! (Tip: if on wifi, make sure to download while you have AT LEAST 3 bars of your signal up.)

  22. ~Hi everyone, i'm sure this questions been asked to death but i've seemed to miss the answer! is the new phoenix mesh viewer going to have the abilty to add multiple tattoo layers? if not seems a bit pointless seeing as most people now need to be able to add more then one alpha layer for mesh...and shoes! thanks in advance for responses <3

  23. Well done..shadows work for me but any mesh that is semitransparent wears but does not show.
    Hope that one is squashes soon as it didn't happen in the Beta.
    Otherwise everything seems to work faster and smoother than the Beta

  24. Firestorm is still an Epic Fail as it still contains the worst of V2.

    The bottom status / menu bar is still covered by windows, still no text labels, inventory / outfit management is still split over 43487565 different windows with different functionality / look and feel instead of 1,IM notifications are still in the bottom right and get covered up and missed, and the bottom chat entry is still on the same line as the buttons instead of its own line that pops up above the button bar as needed.

    In general, windows still have too much crap in them filling my screen with stuff I don't need to see and reducing my view of the world.

    So, it's better than the old firestorm but still contains the all the crap I didn't like about V2. You have added SOME v1 appearance, but all the badness of V2 is still there all over the place.

  25. UGGGHHH!!! Still no script pre-processor. OK, that makes Firestorm useless for scripting now as I was using that feature extensively, and once you have used it, ALL your scripts now NEED to use it if you want to edit them. Delete from hard disk.

    Maybe, MAYBE one day Firestorm will be useful for people that really use SL, build, and want to see their screen and USE SL without spending all their time fighting the UI and moving things out of the way.

  26. Only got 10 minutes before bed, but loving it so far. Prefs seem more logical, and i'm sure i'm getting better FPS in one particuarly detailed sim that used to kill performance.

    I also like being able to open multiple inventory windows, great for sorting. And having the option of managing outfits separately is nice too.

    I do think you should give Cindy a full refund though.

  27. I just downloaded it and logged in and don't like it. I'm a red cloud and can't get that to change, can't seem to get the 'advanced' tab, can't find anything... don't like everything spread out along the bottom and top, I'm a builder and no textures are rezzing... I'm using a new laptop with Windows 7. a An inworld friend said I could make it be more like Phoenix, which I do like, and there is a video to watch to do that. I'll try that... otherwise, I won't use it :(

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  30. Cindy, I sort of don’t like the judgmental notion in your posts too well (certainly a matter of taste), but I’m much afraid that your observations are correct in the main. For my part I’d say that the Firestorm UI and handling have improved enough that I find it at least usable (other than the predecessors), especially in terms of chat-readability. On the other hand I really don’t want to be a Firestorm dev and be forced to work with the buggy code which comes out of Linden Lab. I’m quite sure that this wouldn’t be my idea of fun. In the light of this, the Firestorm devs have done a neat job. So far.

    But… Can it be that mesh is still summat, ummm, alpha-ish? How these releases could pass QA and get rolled out is over my head. I’ve been playing around with mesh-clothes on both versions and had a lot of issues with clothes not fully rezzing or not rezzing at all. I hear from others who are using the current releases that they only see (or rather don’t) my alphas but not my mesh attachments. I've tweaked several graphics settings, cleared cache, did clean installs -- but overall to no much avail. The issues persist. Given that mesh is one of the key features, or rather _the_ key feature, of V3-based viewers, this is simply absolutely intolerable from a plain player’s point of view. I must confess that I consider this not even beta-stage behaviour. It’s a clear show-stopper in my opinion. I’m well aware that this is very likely an issue which has to be addressed by Linden Lab, but all the same… And no, I didn’t test this against the current Linden viewer. I don’t want to climb up the wall and gnaw my way through the ceiling.

    Edit: Matter is addressed here:

    And here:

    Summary: Still no reason to abandon Phoenix 1185.

  31. On to day 3 of trying to get a working version of this viewer. Kinda hard to get anything done when this pile of code keeps telling me i belong to zero groups. friends list empty of names. This is getting more frustrating than making hair

  32. Very nice update it runs smooth for me and i have no freezings anymore when i log in which i had on the other viewer.
    Only problem that i have:
    Once i take photographs using a Green screen.
    i still see a green line around my cutted out picture, i have that same problem with v2 but i didnt have that with the last Firestorm.
    Does anyone know how this could be fixable?

  33. I did a 100% clean install, reset all my preferences, logged and this viewer is running smoothly without any issues; mesh, lighting and shadows, DOF, and Ambient Occlusion all work perfectly. They seriously drag down my FPS but that's to be expected. Keep up the good work!

  34. gosh, best news i received today. we waited so long - meaning that the lab cleared its probs, so that you've been enabled to come into public with the general release.
    congrats and thank you very very much for your efforts! the team is just fab!

  35. Stacy, you can open multiple inventory windows in Phoenix. Did you not realise? I'm afraid that's not a feature that's new.

  36. I loved the Beta. The Beta crashed sometimes, but it worked pretty well.

    Now the new one is remarkably slower. It still doesn't keep settings, such as window positions. But now it doesnt even keep my graphic settings. I was hoping to get a fixed version, but now it turns out to be worse.

    I didnt check out the mesh upload capabilities. But im not sure if I can trust them yet.

    I'm not using Phoenix anymore, but I won't be using this version of Firestorm either. I'll just wait for a version where the show stoppers are fixed, because they are really annoying.

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  38. i love it.. only thing i have found that isnt working right is the Teleport now feature from Marketplace.
    When Teleport Now or Visit this location was clicked.. you would get a Teleport in world.. now it just brings up another firestorm viwer

  39. @ Kawena RE: Being a Cloud... I found.. if your wearing Ruthfix hairbase it will cause this.. search inventory for Baldbase etc.. and wear.. it will fix the cloud issue

  40. I'm still trying to figure out what the excitement over mesh is all about. I started my 3D life in another place where everything was mesh and you couldn't build or edit anything without some external program or two and then upload it. If there were mistakes or problems with it - dump it and back to the external programs.
    For me one of the big attractions of SL was (and still is) the ability to make things in-world.
    Someone, please tell me, what's the big deal about mesh?

  41. Hi having issue with the latest firestorm viewer...ok so basically i did a complete clean reinstall and it works magically for about 10 mins then i spontaneously crash....i really dont know why i've tried lower my graphics reinstalling...i've tried the lesser graphic version but i'm still having these issue's as i use my partners alienware aurora to run SL i dont feel like its my p.c's fault ...any theories?

  42. Well Raymond, it's like this... I've been pushing to get the issues I've listed addressed since the first pre-release of FS. I must say that I'm very very disappointed that all the issues I created jira entries for are still problems in the "final" release. These are "core" to me and many others. My tone is based on the frustration of seeing some of our most critical concerns being ignored.

    So what does FS give me that I can't get in other viewers? In other words, what is better about FS? Considering Mesh is in several v1 viewers so far it comes down to one, ONE little thing. Mulitiple clothing layers (such as wearing 3 shirts at once.) That's it. Why would I switch?

    I was told by many many people to basically "shut up, it's still a beta, they will fix it!" Well, here we are, it's not not a beta anymore and still has some of the worst usability flaws ever seen in a modern software product.

    I've been told that V1 viewers are a dead end, ancient technology, obsolete. Nobody has proven that however because it's not true. There is NOTHING that is currently in a V2/V3 viewer that can't be ported back. And guess what? Anything useful IS being ported back. If not already done, it's in progress.

    I've been told that it's harder to make V1 viewers with V2 features than V2 viewers with a V1 GUI. Well, I have to point out that FS has been in development for 18 months by a team and is still lacking basic V1 GUI simplicity and usability, and that Mesh was ported to V1 viewers in 6 months by one guy. Ain't the truth a bitch?

    As for Mesh, agreed it's not ready. Not at all, especially for clothing due to the lack of a parametric deformer (the ability for Mesh clothes to be re-sized or automatically sized to actually fit your avatar.) In-world objects though it's pretty cool, but as I can get it in Singularity or some of the other V1 viewers, I have no need to perform self-flagellation and use FS to see it.

    According to the most recently available statistics from LL, more than 50% of the users still use non-mesh viewers so it's a little loony to wear mesh hair / clothing as you look like you are totally naked wearing a box or sphere on you to the majority. Best to wait until Mesh viewer adoption has reached critical mass (>90% of users.)

  43. My problem isn't crashing. My Problem isn't Mesh. My Problem isn't my inventory.
    My problem is the sky....what happened to all the windlight settings and the like?
    What Im seeing right now is like the viewer one sky from 4 years ago. What happened between Firestorm Beta and Firestorm release??

  44. @ Brat, no I didn't know about that, but my point was that having (the option) of multiple windows isn't clutter, some people want it.

    Something that IS new in this version is I can now turn on shadows, ambient occlusion and DOF on my 6970. The mesh beta would crash every time. FPS has improved in crowded areas too. Also the bug that stoped changes to outfits being saved while the bridge was attached is gone, which is nice.

    I've done 3 clean installs on 3 computers, all of them work fine. I realise my experiences don't represent the whole userbase, but neither do the ones with problems.

    @Cindy, I appologise for knocking you when you were clearly frustrated. I guess if you've invested time filing JIRA's then the viewer wasn't free.

  45. I'm terribly dissappointed that still Phoenix with mesh isn't out...Good for firestorm users though...Congratulations..i hope P.V is due..i have tried the firestorm and forced myself to like it.I could not.I can't like anything based on V2. I will go on using V1 based viewers till they all perish away...

  46. Cindy, thanks for your explanation. I’m much afraid I can’t help being with you on many of your points (including some general disappointment) as far as I am able to judge matters (which may or may not be far enough). But I fear that V1-based viewers will be a dead-end simply because Linden Lab will most likely cripple them/block them in the not too far future.

    Some of the V1-based viewers I can’t try out for the lack of (working) Mac-versions. Those I’ve used so far are not as feature-rich as Phoenix, in any case.

    As to the mesh-issues, they seem to rest with Linden Lab, so Phoenix Mesh will most likely come up with the same bugs, flaws and drawbacks.

    Presently I don’t have a clue which TPV (as it quite certainly won’t be a Linden viewer, I don’t expect miracles) I will be using in, say, May or June 2012. If I’ll be still on Second Life then at all, that is. I wouldn’t swear to it. Presently I have the impression that I’m more concerned about things at a technical meta-level, which really isn't my business at all or in my province, for that matter. This won’t do for me in the long run. It really won’t.

    In general I have the most unfavourable impression that Second Life and its viewers are some of the worst nightmares what with crummy Windows-based code a long-term Mac-user like myself could ever have. As a Mac-user I’m not much used to suffering, and I don’t accept it as being inevitable. I expect neat, lean and fast code which simply works without me giving it much thought. Or any thought at all.

  47. Is this development team really against new 3.0 features? Where is the news stream? I am ecstatic about the Mesh rendered and that it doesn't crash on NVIDIA 4xx cards but why did the team go out of their way to take out the news stream? Communication has always been poor in SL and the news stream was their first fix to this problem in years.

  48. Raymond, I've been hearing that opinion that V1 viewers will cease working as LL turns off services being repeated over and over since 2.0 first came out.

    Let's set the record straight. First and foremost, while LL initially indicated that some back end services may be retired, they have since backed down on most of that retirement such as the NON-web profiles.

    But here is the kicker - any viewer that is still maintained will continue to work. Why? Very simple. Any V1-only protocol that is retired will simply be replaced with the V2 version as needed - just as Mesh was ported over. We will still happily use the far superior V1 interface as more V2 features and protocols are pulled in. That's it. That's the whole secret that the Firestorm team and it's cheerleaders don't want you to know.

    The Phoenix/FS team has declared that the next Phoenix will be the last. Don't let them fool you - after all, the Phoenix rises from the ashes, right? Isn't that what the name is all about? It's open source. I'm sure it will be forked and maintained by avid fans. I know several people who are holding off doing any work on it until the final version is stabilized Even if Phoenix doesn't in itself get picked up, other V1 viewer projects regularly are picking up ideas and code to integrate back in to their alternatives.

    In my not-so-humble opinion, Phoenix is still far and above the feature king. It's the most usable and user friendly viewer available, bar none. It is suffering a bit from performance issues however - Singularity has it beat hands down there, but that should get resolved with the Mesh back-end.

  49. When the Phoenix new update is with us will it run smooth and at same speed as now or will it slow down?

  50. did anyone else crash upon initial running of Firestorm.. or simply put, sim crashed? or is it just coincidence that i logged into a sim that crashed as firestorm began to load the world?

  51. @ Raven - I've never heard of a sim crashing because someone logged in with a particular viewer. I'd have to guess it was an annoying coincidence.

    I've been getting errors about something called the LLAppViewer. I've looked at the Jira and apparently there are at least two others with the same issue.

    I'm starting to think that the latest version of FS wasn't quite as ready for prime time as they thought. On the other hand, anything with LL in the name makes me wonder if it's an SL issue and has nothing to do with FS.

    Actually, I do like FS.... when it runs. Sometimes it will run for hours with no problem and other times it crashes every few minutes for no apparent reason. Maybe I was wearing the wrong color socks.

  52. Hahaha, Cindy, stop being sardonic!

    We are moving in the realm of jolly speculation here, and that’s it. For my part I speculate that Firestorm will be the leading TPV, if not _the_ leading viewer, in three or four months. There are still some trifles (my mesh-clothes issues disappeared almost completely all of a sudden) which annoy me after a couple of days of heavy playing/testing (like windows not getting stacked properly), but these things will hopefully be straightened out soon. But, like I said, it’s all »as far as I can see«-stuff. I’m not a prophet, and, I suppose, nor are you.

  53. It is a lot better than previous versions of Firestorm. I simply hate though that you are so careless with space. Take the "People" window for instance:

    - First an almost empty line with only a minimize button on it.
    - Then a HUGE almost empty line with the word "People" on it and another 2 small buttons (geee.. that couldn't be all on 1 small line)?
    - Then another line where I can filter people. I don't need it but.. IF you want to use, at least place the options button next to it so you can ditch another row of pixels
    - then 4 tabs that are hardly interesting. "Nearby" is the only one ever used by me. the "Friends-tab" is already in conversations / contacts. Same with the "Group-tab". "Recent" might or might not be useful. So far I hear nobody who ever uses it... so ditch it?
    - Then you have a seperate button to add friends next to options. rightclicking on a name and then adding a friend is much more intuitive.. so get rid of that button?
    - Then there is a yet another row with "Profile", "IM", "Call" and "Share". Again... those things you can all reach by rightclicking on a username. That is much more intuitive and you can save another unnecessary line.

    This is just one window that has it... but litteleraly all windows have silly almost empty space in them or totally unnecessary options.

    I will not go back to Phoenix because I realise the technology is obsolete. On the other hand.. you have a very very long way to go till Firestorm has the compact and easy to use feel that Phoenix has.

  54. @The Development Team:
    I want to say thankyou very much for producing such a fine piece of work.
    I was a bit nervous at moving to a V2 viewer, even one as V1-ified as Firestorm, but I needn't have worried. A couple of hours getting windows where they "should" be and learning the new names of familiar things..and then the icing on the cake - shadows.
    I'm as blown away with this set-up as a I was nearly 4 years ago with my first Windlight enable viewer!
    No, it isn't perfectly easy, but as the mans says "RTM". Do a clean instal, and Robert is your father's brother. ))

  55. Cindy is absolutely right. Viewer 1 isn't going to break and it isn't going away. The reason you keep hearing otherwise from the Phoenix Development Team is that they made a bad business decision to hitch their wagon to Linden Lab's crappy UI viewers that constantly crash computers and are full of so many bugs it's not even funny. That's what you get when you work from an outsourced viewer that was built by people who have no idea how Second Life actually works.

    And yes, other viewer developers, such as those for Cool VL and Singularity, accomplished in comparatively little time what Phoenix developers have been struggling to perfect for many months: backporting mesh into V1-based viewers. It isn't nearly as difficult as the Phoenix team is claiming. The truth here is that they simply don't want to do it, and it's secondary on their priority list to working on Firestorm. That's their decision to make, and given the massive bugs and undesirable UI features still present in Firestorm, their loss when more people start switching from Firestorm to, say, the aforementioned Singularity and Cool VL. It doesn't help that legitimate criticism and innocent questions are met with hostile responses. No matter how insulting or over the top they think consumers are being, you NEVER respond with hostility or insults or lies. It turns people off BIG time.

  56. I think it is honorable that Phoenix/Firestorm accepted the future & past and were willing to define the two. The past which is Phoenix, and the future: Firestorm. During these transition years of 2010 and 2011, they've left it to us to decide what to use. Having choices is as good as it gets. They brought us the awesome reliable Phoenix and also something to look forward to and keep an eye on. This is no cause for insults or prodding. This is kick ass compared to things like games where you will not ever have a choice of what client you use.

  57. Woohoo, A decent stable mesh viewer at last! Works beautifully for me.

    No we just need Phoenix with mesh to come out so that as well as me being able to wear mesh outfits, the rest of the grid can actually see them! :)

  58. @Archangel and Cindy
    Y'know the V2 interface was crap when it first came out, but it improved (when you are at the bottom, the only way out is up!).
    The basic chadssis of SLV2 is sufficiently better than its V1 predecessor to be like a Boeing 707 vs a Stratocruiser, a new generation. To that, Firestorm is Concorde. Faster, and despite what you say, easy to customise and use, not crashy and frankly a damn good client.
    Now all V2/3 viewers and certain mesh-enabled ones are resource hungry - even CoolVL Mesh!
    So older graphics cards and slower processors may not cope well.
    That's a bummer, but there ain't no way around it. Now I have used most things bar Singualrity, and I say Firestorm Release is great.

  59. Ayesha, I appreciate the civil response. Thank you. After looking over the UI on the "official" Firestorm release, I find it is still far too much like Viewer 2. I prefer to stick with Phoenix or Singularity, not because my computer is old or because I'm stuck in the past, as some are claiming — my computer is less than a year old and was put together specifically to handle graphics-intensive programs like SL. I'm sticking with those viewers because I find them easy to use, I can find everything I need to find without having to spend several hours hunting for it, and those viewers don't crash my computer or leave my avatar an orange cloud that doesn't render. In short, I stick with the V1 viewers because they work. I think you'll find that is the primary reason so many choose to stay with them as opposed to the poor UI and seemingly endless glitches of V2 and V3.

    As for the V2 chassis comparison, it's really not like that. Henri Beauchamp himself, whose code Phoenix is trying to work into their viewer to allow users to see mesh, stated that it's "more like replacing the battery and alternator of the car engine with newer, more powerful ones (ll* libraries), replacing the mechanical injection with an electronic one to make for the increased mechanical power demand from the alternator (v2 classes in the viewer code) then adding air conditioning to the car (mesh renderer). Nothing that would make the poor car into a weird hybrid vehicle."

    Now, some people really and truly do prefer V2-based viewers, including Firestorm. More power to them. I simply am turned off by the elitist, condescending attitudes coming from the Phoenix team and its more vicious defenders. It's not a matter of people on slower, older computers. It's a matter of refusing to give consumers what they want, pushing a badly designed product on them, and literally adding insult to injury. If third party viewers weren't free and people had to pay for them, right now Phoenix would be experiencing a sharp, possibly fatal drop in sales. People know there are alternatives out there and that the makers of those alternatives practice friendlier customer service.

  60. Adding EFI to an older car is a pretty good comparison actually.

    Yes it can and has been done, but it's a fairly major undertaking and not something many folk, including most mechanics, want to do.

    I agree about the V2 UI, and even with Firestorm and the Firestorm->Phoenix guide, had to force myself to get used to it and there is still stuff I can't find from time to time.

    A big improvement you can make is to copy over the following files from Phoenix into the Firestorm directory:

    Phoenix\Fonts\MtB*.ttf -> Firestorm\Fonts
    Phoenix\skins\default\xui\en-us\fonts.xml -> Firestorm\skins\default\xui\en
    Make sure to rename the old fonts.xml.

    This will give you the Phoenix font in firestorm which is a massive improvement.

    You can also set the following under Colors in Preferences:

    My text: 255,255,255
    Others: 255,255,255
    Objects: 179,230,179
    System: 204,255,255
    Errors: 210,70,70
    Chat headers: 153,153,255
    Owner: 252,252,176
    URLs: 153,153,255
    Script Dialog Bg: 70,170,255
    Script Dialog Fg: 0,0,0

    These are in addition to the stuff on the wiki and make a surprising difference. For me it made the difference between Firestorm being tolerable or not.

  61. No offense, Lum, but that's kind of missing the point. The font type isn't the problem, although it is hard to read clearly. The problem is the poorly designed UI and the seemingly endless train of glitches that make Firestorm into something the majority of SL users cannot use even on new gaming computers with awesome graphics cards.

    Contrary to what's been stated by Phoenix developers, V1 isn't going away any time soon and it's easier to back-port V2-V3 features into V1 than is being claimed. The problem here has to do with a bad business decision in going with a bad product, and then compounding that bad decision with poor responses to people who raise legitimate concerns. Telling people to "come into the modern age" or upgrade to new computers when the problem isn't old computers reveals a certain level of detachment from the reality of the situation. Unable, or unwilling, to admit their mistake, the Phoenix leaders chose to place the blame for problems on the users themselves, and not on the pig they've been smearing so much lipstick on.

  62. I did actually address Firestorm's UI in my post.

    Like many others I hated it (and V2) when I first used it. I would say that the experience is as jarring and unpleasant as the first I started up Office 2007 after 12+ years of using what has basically been the same interface since the 16bit days.

    Unfortunately nobody has done a proper SL equivalent of the ubitmenu addon for Office which brings back nearly all of the old UI. However it is possible to Bodge the interface into something reasonably familiar for day to day tasks, like moving around, chatting and using your inventory, and then the more complicated stuff like building and so on can fall into place a little later.

    I can understand why you wouldn't want to, but it is possible. Hell after using FS for some time, I've actually grown to like the sidebar as it saves me from having loads of windows cluttering up my display.

    There's still things I'd change, such as replacing the tiny bottom bar buttons with larger text based ones (there's tons of room once you remove the useless ones).

    Until then I can live with FS, it runs significantly better than Phoenix ever did and with fewer crashes, and I've now learned where most of the stuff has moved to. At least the support group is usually quite quick to answer my "Where has X moved to questions".

    Also, it's hardly a business decision when it's a free product, maybe they're just sick of working on awful badly-written SL 1.5 code and find the awful badly-written SL 2.x code better to work on?

    I still hope Phoenix with mesh comes out soon though, I have a few nice mesh dresses I want to start wearing, but right now wearing them is like The Emperors New Prims!

  63. Well, all I can drop in is that I’ve decided for myself that Firestorm is going to be my bread-and-cheese viewer from now on. That coming from me is really something because I’ve been (and still am) one of the more acrid critics of Linden Lab’s new viewers and their silly UI. There are still things I don’t like in Firestorm but if I balance the pros and cons, the pros win for the first time -- and I am not exactly gritting my teeth.

    What with the fonts and the legibility: This was one of my major concerns and made me stay away from viewers that didn’t use the excellently readable V1-font, including ealier versions of Firestorm. Now Firestorm offers me five fonts to choose from that I find quite decent -- and the ability to adjust line-spacing which is absolutely crucial for me in terms of legibility. With »Droid Sans« at medium font-size and a line-spacing of 4 pixels I’m getting along very well on a 1920 x 1200 screen.

    Time will tell what the »Second Life viewer market« will be like, say, by next summer. There may or may not be options that make me change my mind. I can’t possibly know yet. And, anyway, I can’t help it, but I distrust prophets who prefer to say »we« all of a sudden instead of »I« or vaguely refer to »the users« when they just mean to promote their very own views and perspectives. It doesn’t make them any better (by their own standards, that is) than the people they are making an effort to run down. Being a copywriter IRL, I’m somewhat allergic to rhetorical conjurer’s tricks like that.

  64. Sorry, Archangel, but you're simply incorrect. Yes, Firestorm is more resource-intensive than Phoenix. It also has more capability.

    Even so, you don't need a recent, high-end gaming rig to run it well. I had one guy complain at me about features it didn't have...until I told him how to activate each one. Then he complained that he couldn't get 80 FPS out of it like he does on Phoenix...ignoring that the simulator maximum is 45 FPS. I just told him that there wasn't much I could do to help that and he went away.

    Make no mistake. LL will not provide V1-compatible services forever. They will turn off V1 search, and V1 profiles, and V1 texture fetching via UDP, and V1 UDP inventory fetching, and everything else. Just because you deny that doesn't change it. They have good, sound reasons for doing so, not the least of which is that keeping two sets of services running is a major pain and cost in resources they would just as soon jettison. When that happens, those who work on viewers will be faced with a choice: either pour more effort into them, along with an ongoing increased maintenance effort, to remain compatible, or realize that there is no future for V1-based viewers and move to the V2 codebase - which we've been doing.

    We've spent an enormous amount of volunteer time and effort in making Firestorm fail to suck. Its usage numbers are climbing fast. YOu can complain all you want, but the Phoenix team is looking to the future, not the past.

  65. The font in too many things is simply too small. Putting the font on large and increasing UI size to max (1.4) doesn't adjust it enough for me. Just trying to use makes me dizzy and causes eye strain which is exactly why I haven't used any V2 viewers.

    I can see some things have been adjusted more. It's possible to make chat big enough to read comfortably but clicking on search brings up a box far too small to see well.

    It's really too bad as there are features in Firestorm I'd really like to use but trying to use it actually makes me physically ill. It's an improvement over V2 which when first came out actually did make me sick.

    This isn't an issue but a deal breaker. I, and others that feel the same, simply can not use it. If it matters my computer is new with a GTX560 and works very well.

  66. Lane, are you sure it's that the font is too small, rather than the simple fact that the font is crap!

    Did you have to increase the UI size in Phoenix.

    If Phoenix was fine for you at the default size, try the hack I posted a few posts above yours to put the Phoenix fonts into Firestorm.

    It really is much nicer to use once you do this.

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  69. Lane, I’ve created a JIRA concerning your search-window issue: Please feel free to vote for it and/or add any comments or suggestions.

  70. Observations about the "release" vs. the beta I had been using:

    Release: My avatar randomly starts having seizures. That is to say, her arms and legs twitch and won't stop, even after turning off the built-in AO, all my scripted attachments, and using "Stop animations" from the menu.
    Beta: Never did this.

    Release: My furniture (sculpts) suddenly have holes in them that were never there before. They are set to plane stitching, which is what they are *supposed* to be set on, but now, in the release version of Firestorm, they have big glaring nasty holes. My boyfriend, still using the beta, doesn't see them this way.
    Beta: Doesn't do this. As evidenced by boyfriend not having this problem.

    Release: Won't actually delete day settings, even when you tell it to.
    Beta: Worked fine every time I had to do it, there, which was admittedly only once.

    Generally speaking, aren't actual releases supposed to be improvements over betas? ;)

    I know that this all sounds like I'm complaining, but truthfully I appreciate the work that gets put in to the Firestorm viewer. Even with its issues, it is still my viewer of choice (though I am going to try to "downgrade" lol). Thank you guys, heaps, for all that you do - I just hope you fix the newly introduced bugs soonish! :)

  71. I am utterly amazed at the tone of so many of these comments. The use of the term customers and the criticisms of what the Phoenix/FS Teams decisions to hitch their wagons to etc. The anger of the voices.

    All of these things directed at a free program developed by people who are paid NOTHING. And the complaints insofar as I can see are coming from people who have contributed nothing but their 2 cents.

    These remarks about what is hard and what is not, what is worthy and what is a waste, all coming from people sitting on the outside.

    You speak as though the FS team is part of some cult that is trying to steer you away from your beloved V1 saviour.

    There is a solution. Learn how to do this stuff and do it. No one is stopping you people with axes in need of grinding from spending your free time to put an alternative together.

    If you aren't working on something better and being stifled or restricted by the FS team in your efforts please just send your bug reports and feature requests into the JIRA or simply don't use the viewer you hate.

    You folks who go on about how this is all about FS team taking the viewer where they want to take it, not where you believe it should best be headed are embarrassing yourselves here. You sound like freeloading diners complaining that the bisque should be lobster and rather than crab.

    With the knowledge you purport to have, coming here without directing us to this superior work you seem to purport to be easier to accomplish and better seems either like selfish techno elitism, or someone who doesn't know what they are really talking about. In either case, not an admirable portrait of you.



  72. @Tonya

    "Make no mistake. LL will not provide V1-compatible services forever. They will turn off V1 search, and V1 profiles, and V1 texture fetching via UDP, and V1 UDP inventory fetching, and everything else. "

    Well then thank god for Henri Beauchamp.. I hate V2 looking viewers so much that I might just stop using secondlife if it was my only choice. I've tried to use Firestorm and tried to force myself to like it but I HATE IT.

    I really prefer Phoenix over Cool VL because Henri has changed some options in quirky ways that annoy me like having to hit Shift-ESC to center the camera again (instead of just ESC).

    But if you're going to drop phoneix, and leave it to die even though you know a huge portion of your fan base hates V2. I'll use Cool VL because he's commited to keeping a V1 style viewer alive by bringing the V2 codebase into his V1 style viewer.

  73. Time and again I’m getting the impression in this or any other world that it’s not only a question of who you love to hate. It’s just as well about who you love to be hated by.

  74. Raymond,

    You mention in an earlier post that you can adjust the line spacing in the new Firestorm. How do you do that as the increased line spacing by default in this version is rather annoying!

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  76. okay ...great job ...congrats and good for the SL V2 , Firestorm's V2 addicts but what about those who definitly won't use it cause they don't want to spend 3 days classes to use a viewer...when do you plan to bring up a Phoenix V1'style a bit less " showy " that the job you made, abble to step on "modernity" by using some of your new codes options ....if not thx The opinion ..I'll have a look on Cool VL u mentioned...maybe there , they take care about many of us opinion about V2....

  77. @ Lum: Preferences -> User Interface -> Font

  78. Seems like there are a lot of complaints but Firestorm is working perfect for me! I love how fluid the controls are. It's seems a lot less laggy than PV when I go into my inventory or click buttons in general. It looks beautiful. Thanks!

  79. Refresh Textures is now officially my favorite function. Short of total bake fail on an AV, I can now fix unloaded textures myself. Even more important, if there is something I want to look at and not wait for everything else to catch up, I don't have to. One click and it's loaded and rendered immediately.

  80. So where's the feature that lets you remove all the scripts in an object that phoenix has?

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  83. @ W: This feature hasn’t been implemented yet. See here:

    Feel free to vote and comment.

  84. @ Karl: I’ve filed a JIRA concerning Tex Refresh:

    Feel free to vote and comment.

  85. Sorry, Tonya, but no I'm not incorrect. Being a resource hog that crashes computers — even high end ones — on such a consistent basis isn't something that can be called even remotely capable. And let's face it: when more than half the grid still prefers to use non-mesh, V1 viewers, that should tell you something about where the Phoenix Development team went wrong.

    It's been pointed out that Linden Lab has since backed off of its claims that it will be shutting down many of its back end services for V1. But as was stated, programmers have either already succeeded in back-porting mesh into the V1 UI or soon will. The fact is, the Phoenix development team simply doesn't want to, and is only working on it because so many users who love Phoenix Viewer have kept asking for it — only a small yet vocal minority of users are using V2 clones such as Firestorm, and for good reason: V2 and V3 suck, and no amount of lipstick is going to make those pigs presentable.

    It's also been pointed out that the Phoenix team's decision to go with V2 isn't a business one since the "product" is free. Tell that to the MMORPG developers who are transitioning to free membership and leaving WoW and other pay-to-play games in the dust. A business decision is still just that even if the product in question is free. The developers here are making and promoting a service. They are by no means the only team or person doing this; many programmers are, and in a way, they are all competing to see who can produce the best product for users of SL and other virtual worlds. It's a business when you provide a product, service, or both, and interact with people who use it in such a way as to promote what you're providing and to offer customer support. Now, when Linden Lab decided without any legitimate need to update its viewer with something totally revamped, that was a bad business decision. It was made worse by the decision to cut corners by outsourcing the project to a foreign company that didn't even understand how SL works. To add insult to injury, this development team not only made the bad decision to jump on board the V2 craze even though the viewer was and remains highly unpopular with a majority of the user base, they engaged in overly hostile responses to even the most civil criticisms of the product. That is simply poor customer service relations no matter how one chooses to interpret it.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Tonya, but Firestorm is always going to be inadequate compared to Phoenix because the UI and user unfriendliness, not to mention the endless glitches and overloading of computer resources, and the hostile responses to criticism, all combine to turn people off.

  86. Opinion, you're not even close to being alone in that regard. Many who remain in SL are choosing V1 over V2 and V3 for precisely the reasons critics have been stating. We have alternative viewers by people with more devotion to making their fellow SL users happy that we can turn to, such as Singularity or Cool VL. I think the Phoenix team is going to learn the hard way just how bad a decision they've chosen when they drop Phoenix and most of their user base migrates to the V1-based viewers with back ports.

  87. Georgie, if you're seeing a lot of anger and hostility coming from people, it's because those people have raised legitimate concerns with the UI, glitches, and general attitude only to be talked down to and have those issues either dismissed out of hand or ignore altogether. That's not the way to win friends or influence people to your way of thinking.

    Like it or not, by providing a product and the support services that go with it, this project is in fact a business and the people who use it are customers. As the development team is the group responsible for creating and maintaining the product, and is responsible for maintaining good relations with the clientele, this means that their replies to comments can make or break their product far more than the product alone. The fact is, Firestorm was never going to be popular because it's based on a viewer more SL users prefer not to use because of UI and glitch issues that are quite probably insurmountable. What's more, the hostility in responding to complaints is unwarranted and actually helps drive increasing hostility in return. Don't be condescending, acknowledge the problems, and assure customers or users or whatever you want to call us that you are aware of what's going on and that you're working hard to fix the problems. Don't be so hot to rush out a finished product that's actually inferior to the beta version, and if more people are asking for Phoenix with back ports than are asking for Firestorm, give them Phoenix with back ports instead of stubbornly refusing to play ball. Look at it from a business standpoint. If you want people to use your product, you have to be nice to them and mean it even if they're being complete jerks. Any cashier who is still employed as such will tell you this.

  88. Archangel:

    I don't know where you're seeing that LL is backing off of turning off V1 services...because that's not what they're telling us in our meetings with them. The link you cite is merely an anonymous comment. They have not set a date, true, but it's coming.

    I downplayed your complaints about resource usage on high-end computers because they're just not borne out in my, or the majority of our users', experience. We have thousands of users on not-high-end hardware running Firestorm just fine. I'm not saying you don't have a problem. I'm saying that your problem is uncommon.

    You want to talk about resource hog? Phoenix uses more resources on my system than Firestorm does, in my use. More CPU, more RAM, more network bandwidth. I almost always run two instances of Firestorm at the same time, sometimes three. It just works, much more reliably than Phoenix does.

    Fundamentally, the choice between backporting to V1 as opposed to de-sucking V2 is simple: do we continue to pour more work in a codebase that diverges farther and farther from the code that LL is developing with each new patch, or do we work on a codebase that can take advantage of new features that LL adds to the platform with much less effort, and concentrate our efforts on the things LL isn't?

    The choice, to me, is obvious. Hence Firestorm.

    I admire Henri Beauchamp's determination and, so far, success. I think he and the other folks doing V1-based viewers have bitten off far more than they can chew in the long term, and eventually, they'll get burned out from the effort.

    You also seem to be under the impression that we have something to gain, or something to lose, by our decision to concentrate on Firestorm instead of Phoenix. We make no money off of this. We get no benefits from our work - aside from the not inconsiderable benefit of having a viewer that fails to suck for our own use in SL.

    I'm not interested in the complaining of folks who hate Firestorm just because it's based on Viewer 2/3. We've spent a lot of time and effort on fixing the very things that make the standard Viewer 2 interface suck. In the process, we've made a viewer that people who give it an honest try stick with. We've found that the overwhelming majority of people who use Firestorm for three days don't switch back to Phoenix.

    There's lots of hate and discontent out there, and I believe it's overwhelmingly uninformed. I understand that people don't like change, but ranting withotu even bothering to learn what you're ranting about it just annoying. We've been hearing the same complaints for the past year, and we know them for what they are - because we're SL users too. Every tim I run Phoenix these days, I do what I need to, get the hell out, and log back in on Firestorm.

    I have no doubt that the Phoenix codebase will get forked. That's a fundamental property of open source. Even so, those who pick up that ball will find it getting heavier and heavier as time passes and LL adds more features to the platform.

    They also won't have the benefit of the fantastic support team we've built. It's not well know, but the Phoenix team has far more support people than developers. They're dedicated and knowledgeable, and they're unanimous in their desire to move forward with Firestorm.

    I'm sticking with the future, not the past. That's why I'm working on Firestorm.

  89. Well said, Tonya. And thank you.

  90. I’m somewhat baffled how passionately people are singing the praises of V1.

    I quite clearly recall how I rated the Linden viewer when I came into Second LIfe in early February, 2007. It looked and felt clumsy and old-fashioned, the exception being the pie-menu which I found quite intuitive and less misselecting-prone than a vulgar popup-menu. I gritted my teeth and learned how to use it quite efficiently. Later on Emerald and then Phoenix improved my Second Life experience at large. Brilliant! Salvation!

    But the Emerald and Phoenix devs had started off from a basis that was quite, say, average (to be polite). I see the same thing happening here with V2 and Firestorm. Until the current release I found Firestorm quite unusable compared to Phoenix. This has fundamentally changed. The main hindrances for me have been removed, and I’m not exactly famous for holding lenient views. Recalling how the new Linden viewer was like at the beginning (it’s getting better now, seems Rodvik Humble is doing his job), I understand that the Firestorm devs had to climb a steep and stoney path in a short time. Wouldn’t be my idea of a fulfilling hobby (that’s what it is, if you don’t get paid), to be honest. The more I acknowledge and appreciate their efforts -- and their results.

    In short: I find Tonya’s line of argument much more convincing than that of the V1-style acolytes in terms of plausibility. To me the arguments against Firestorm seem to be in the main arbitrary suppositions and malevolent preconceptions, generously disregarding the current state of affairs and that we are having a work still in progress here, with a lot already achieved and still a lot more to come. I’m quite positive about that and am looking forward to further developments.

  91. my computer crashed last week and I had to reinstall windows... Now when I install firestorm or phoenix and then try to run it I get failed to start because the application configuration is incorrect. reinstalling it does NOT help and I'm not using old icons..... please don't make me go back to the linden viewer....pllleaaaasseee

  92. Unknown, asking on this here blog won’t help you solve your problem, I fear. If you have the option to get inworld, you best ask for assistance in the Phoenix/Firestorm Viewer Support group chat. If not, I suggest you file a Support JIRA which you can easily do through the Phoenix homepage:

  93. Tonya, I based my remark about Linden Lab backing off on its previous claims on the statement to that effect made by Cindy. I don't know where she got her information, but not having any reason to doubt her, that's what I went with in making my case. If you're hearing something different from Linden Lab, is there some way you can identify which employees are telling you these things, and if they're being honest (not fibbing in hopes that users will abandon third party viewers in favor of V2-V3)?

    You say there's no date set for the Lab taking the features in question off line. Since there is no date set, you really can't say for certain what or when. To keep telling people that a thing is going to happen when no one in a position to know is providing dates or timelines is irresponsible.

    What I'm seeing from the Phoenix team is, simply put, a matter of ego-driven stubbornness. You had a viewer people were happy with, but being tech-heads, you decided you knew better than everyone else what they wanted, and you didn't realize (just as Linden Lab doesn't realize) that what makes or breaks a business (or a project) is marketing and above all, great service. You have to be able to identify what people want in the product you're promoting, and you have to be willing to accept that what they want and what you want aren't necessarily going to be the same things, and accommodate the clientele — not your own desires. Trust me when I say that you do not know better than your clientele, and it is a fool's errand to presume the opposite.

    I know you think I'm criticizing you and the Phoenix development team unfairly, but I am telling you these things as someone who uses and prefers Phoenix over other third party viewers, and as someone who has some experience in running a business. You want to succeed in being a premiere third party viewer developer. That entails listening — really listening — to what your clientele is telling you.

    Far from being "more than [other developers] can chew", back-porting V2 and V3 features into the V1 TPVs isn't as difficult as you're making it out to be. We know this because those other developers have been telling us how long it really took them and how much work it actually was. Maybe they're simply more skilled at writing up the code, or perhaps the time and effort you're claiming is required to back-port these features is being exaggerated. I don't know. What I do know is that it is very bad business to insult, be perceived to insult, or be perceived to condone insults, against critics. No group or business succeeds by telling its clientele that they're whiners, or by ordering them to do the equivalent of "suck it up and get used to it". That's the fastest way to crash and burn, and I've a bad feeling the Phoenix team is going to learn this the hard way.

  94. Archangel:

    I'm hearing that LL will turn off V1 services from Oz and other Lindens who come to the Third Party Viewer Developers meetings. I'll take that as the official stance.

    I don't think it's irresponsible to warn people that their favorite viewers will stop working at some point, and recommend they use the alternative we've been developing, so they can be prepared well in advance. I think it's irresponsible not to do so.

    We know that people are happy with Phoenix. If it weren't for the fact that LL will break V1 viewers at some point, we'd keep working on it and improving it. Ultimately, though, ti's not our choice to make. It's LL's. When they do pull the plug, no amount of user complaining will change the fact. They have good sound economic reasons for doing so, and we will not change their minds no matter how hard we try.

    I don't presume to know better than the users what the users want, except insofar as I'm a user too. What I do know is where the Second Life platform is going. There are facts there that will not change no matter how much you dislike them. We will all either have to adapt or get out of SL.

    Think LL can be swayed? Cast your mind back to September 2010. Remember how many people were saying "they'll never ban Emerald, there are too many users!"? Remember what actually happened? LL did it anyway. People adapted.

    LL will always act in what they see as the best interests of the platform. They are very much convinced that getting people onto the Viewer 2 codebase is best for the platform. No amount of complaining will change that basic fact.

    Given that, we chose to de-suck the Viewer 2 codebase. We've sunk an immense amount of work into that because we believe that will pay off in the long run. We thought long and hard about sticking with Phoenix and backporting as LL adds new features, and came to the conclusion that it would become a massive pile of hacks on top of kludges on top of scar tissue, and eventually become unmaintainable. The work required to backport each new feature will grow over time, and there's no guarantee at all that LL won't drop some bomb into the interface that would be impossible to backport - thus rendering all that work moot, and wasted.

    Finally, you're thinking like a businessman with a customer revenue stream to protect. We have no such revenue stream. As I said in my last message, we get nothing out of this, except a viewer we can use ourselves. If people find Firestorm unusable, then there are other choices.

    Finally, I see no reason to accept uninformed criticism from folks who haven't even given the viewer an honest shot. Comments like the usual "OMG! Viewer 2 sucks! I'm not touching it!" are pointless; that decision has been made, and will not be revisited, by either Linden Lab or the Phoenix team. If you want to be seen as more than just an uninformed whiner, then give solid, specific criticisms of the viewer. Those we can fix, or at least try to. Generic hatred we can't, and I, for one refuse to even make the attempt. You should know as a businessman that some customers will never be satisfied, and trying is a waste of time and resources. Those who hate Firestorm and refuse to try it just because it's based on Viewer 2 are in that category. I will not waste effort on them.

  95. Raymond, I appreciate your point of view. I would just like to point out that the Phoenix team has been struggling, by its own admission, for more than a year on Firestorm. Other developers, such as Henri Beauchamp, accomplished what they set out to do in literally a few months, four or five at most. It's not nearly as difficult as it's being made out to be. That the same complaints have been made to the Phoenix team for a year, as Tonya stated, should tell us all something: that something is seriously wrong on the part of the development team. When people keep raising the same issues over usability and stability, and those issues keep remaining despite assurances they're being worked on, and the developers and their "support" team keep responding with the same round of "be patient", "get a new computer", and "get used to it", that is a definite problem with the developers and their "support" team. It's not a problem on the part of users, who've been pretty consistent in making their desires known and in explaining that the problem isn't with their computers. The problem rests with the V2-V3 viewers themselves, and their clones, and in the over-hostile, elitist attitude coming from the developers and the "support" team. With all due respect, it looks from where I'm sitting like the real whiners aren't the users, but the developers and "support" people.

    Just my two cents, for what they're worth.

  96. So... Archangel

    How does Phoenix/Firestorm not qualify as the premier 3rd party viewer vendor?
    Is there a viewer that is being used by more people than their products?

    I hate McDonald's food thoroughly but I would never make a fool of myself by telling McDonald's that they have a lot to learn about marketing fast food.

    Relax, enjoy the bounty of goodnesses the Phoenix team and people like Henri and Kirsten etc provide you. Submit helpful comments and file JIRAs like a good mensch.

    If you are really concerned about keeping Phoenix rolling maybe you should consider funding this. There seem to be several like minds with equally avid interest and Im sure you could find some devs who would be happy to spend their time and skills on a lucrative, even if destined to be defunct project.


  97. As to the ban of Emerald: I think they have actually been very happy at Linden Lab at the time that Emerald had an immediate worthy successor in Phoenix. The Emerald-users understood that very fast and switched as quickly to Phoenix. Linden Lab could ditch Emerald all easy then (they wouldn’t have had a choice, anyway). I expect something similarly correlating in terms of the cancellation of V1-support and the raising Firestorm-user numbers. As soon as more residents are using Firestorm than V1-TPVs, Linden Lab can safely abandon said V1-TPVs. My rough guess would be that something of the like will happen in about three to four months. At the latest.

  98. Friend Archangel, pray forgive me, but your whole act is kind of schizophrenic -- you are desperately denouncing the good people who gave you the Phoenix viewer which you are so frantically in favour of. I take it that the reason for your ruthless ranting and for not silently moving on to greener pastures is the sound and unwelcome knowledge that none of the existing other V1-based TPVs will provide you speedily with the set of features you find in Phoenix. Expect them to be in Firestorm. A good deal already is. You remind me of a five-year-old having a rage-attack at the supermarket because mommy won’t buy the candy wanted. Mommy can be such a cold-hearted bitch.

  99. Georgie, even McDonald's has to contend with the consequences of bad business decisions. They may be at the nominal top of the fast food chain (no pun intended), but to stay there they have to be willing and able to accept mistakes for what they are and correct them. Otherwise, people can and do migrate to Burger King, Wendy's, and other fast food companies. You don't want to tell a customer complaining about the food being cold to stop whining and pop it in the microwave; why would you tell people to stop bitching and just accept all the flaws and instability of V2- and V3-based viewers?

    If I had the money to fund a third party viewer, I'd do it for my own — and I'd make the viewer SL users want, not the one I think they should have, and I'd be a heck of a lot more civil to complaints. I'd acknowledge those complaints, note the issues raised, do what I can to address them, and not insult them.

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  101. Archangel:

    What flaws? Be specific.

    And if thousands of people are able to use Firestorm on their systems, that you are not is much more likely to be something with your system than it is something with the code.

  102. Raymond, our communication has been civil and respectful up until now. Don't ruin it by lowering yourself like this. As for Emerald Viewer, again, we're not talking about being made to migrate from one V1 viewer to another following a major ToU violation by the head of the former viewer's development team.

    Okay, I'm at work between busy periods and it's about to get insane here my last half hour of the shift, so I'm off. Later, and stay warm all!

  103. @ Archangel:

    Uh-uh. You haven’t been civil and respectful from the very first. You've made your bed, now lie in it.

  104. Tonya, all you have to do is scroll up to find just some of the flaws that have been pointed out in the 'official' release. I don't know why you're asking me a question that has already been answered up-thread.

    People have had rezzing problems that clearing caches and clean installations haven't resolved. People are noticing things like shadows and windlight settings no longer operating correctly. Problems with the unusable UI where people still have to hunt for menus and other functions, whereas on Phoenix they remain easy to locate. One user has complained that the tiny type font makes him physically ill trying to read it, and so on. These things cannot be blamed on "older computers". These are built-in failures of the V2-V3 interface that cannot be corrected by keeping it. Nor does making users go through the extra work of de-anchoring menus and other unnecessary actions win hearts and minds. Simply put, V2 and V3 are inherently bad viewers, which is why V1 is going to be around for a while -- probably long after Linden Lab initially said it wouldn't be, which fits into the usual pattern.

    And Raymond, could you please point out where I have been disrespectful?

  105. Archangel, I could, but I won’t waste my time on it. If you are really not able to see where you are trolling and flaming the Firestorm devs and support team members, I must state that you obviously don’t know what you are doing.

  106. Raymond, why won't you point out where I'm supposed to have been disrespectful? If I have been, surely it must be no trouble at all to point to what specific remarks I've made and explain why you think they're disrespectful. I have no quarrel with you, so I'm a little puzzled why you seem to be picking one with me. I'm just offering my opinion on where I think the development and support teams went wrong and what they can do to correct the problem. If you disagree with that, that's fine. But I do think it's telling that some of the most hostile people in this thread choose to project their own behavior onto others and then complain of hostility being directed toward them.

  107. Each and every user experience is unique. I have installled and used LL's V2 and V3 from their first releases and they've always worked flawlessly as basic no frills viewers. I have also installed and used Firestorm, both the Mesh Beta and the current Official release, both have worked flawlessly.

    Everyone will have varying experiences with any viewer based on their equipment, their expertise with setting up their viewer, and their connection to the internet none of which is the same across all users.

    To call ANY viewer "inherently bad" is an exaggeration and not true. The devs who build ANY viewer do the best job they can just like anyone does in their work.

    As for Phoenix and other V1 viewers, their days are numbered and everyone knows it regardless the drama, threats or reassuring words from anyone.

    If I had just 1L for everyone who told me they were going to quit SL forever if they didn't get their way and ended up staying, I'd be RL rich.

    Have a nice SL and please spend some time inworld and support your SL user community in any way you can.

  108. This comment has been removed by the author.

  109. Archangel:

    Have the folks with rezzing issues (what kind of rezzing issues, anyway?) asked for help where they can actually get it, like in the Phoenix/Firestorm Viewer Support group or by sending an email to ?

    Have the folks with shadow and windlight settings issues done the same?

    The UI is different, yes. Different does not mean unusable, unless you're just a flamer determined to hate.

    The type font can be dealt with. That's one reason there are no less than five fonts included with Firestorm. I personally use Mobi Sans because I find it much more usable. If that's not enough for you, the font scale and spacing are adjustable, as well.

    None of this is inherent to the codebase. They can all be fixed, just as the notices in the bottom right corner were fixed.

    And really, undocking windows takes a mouse click. Do it once, forget about it. Is that really that big a deal?

    If you're so determined to hate V2, then there's not much I can do to change your mind with facts. You're going to be confronted wiht a choice, at some point in the not too distant future: use a Viewer 2 derivative, or get off of SL. The choice is yours. Me, I won't have to make that choice, because I know tha Firestorm fails to suck.

  110. Inworld, Archangel Mortenwold is the founder of the »Firestorm Haters Club« group (11 members) and a member of the »SL-Viewer 2 Haters Club« group (15 members).

  111. Well, Tonya, if it's only happening on V2, V3, or Firestorm and not on Phoenix or any of the V1 viewers, that really should tell you something. Look, I'm not trying to be a jerk here. I'm really not. I'm just trying to point out where things are going wrong and what can be done to correct some of the problems so there's less hostility on both ends. I understand you folk are under a lot of pressure and that maybe your egos are hurting a little. You see Firestorm as your baby, hate V1 for whatever reason you hate it, and that's natural. But that shouldn't let your judgment be clouded to the point you refuse to listen and instead choose to blamne users for the failings of V2-V3.

    And yes, it is inherent to the LL codebase. The problems lie in a crappily-designed viewer. If something is crap to begin with, no amount of gussying up is going to make it any better. It's always going to have the same problems.

    Somehow I don't think I'll have to choose between V2-V3 and SL. Like I said, it's not inevitable that V1-based viewers are going away — they'll simply be overhauled to support the V2-V3 features without the abysmal UI of V2-V3, and have a lot more stability to boot. I'm just saying, if you want to see improvement in how people respond to your postings, try changing the way you respond. It's your call, and I wish you well at any rate.

  112. Ok, I know those of us who would rather use Phoenix are old-school die-hards who refuse to see the future but I have actual reasons for not liking Firestorm, and I've been using it ever since the last release, switching between the two, so I am not one of those people who refuse to even try it.

    When I log on with FS, I have to stand there a moment while my clothes show up and I don't look like a noob – at least on my screen. Some things, particularly sculpts, just never do rez properly and some animated textures, like flames, look like some kind of grid pattern until I am right on top of them and then go back to being a grid pattern when I back off. The assorted windows don't remember where they are supposed to be or what size. And don't get me started on what “Appearance” leads to.

    Granted, some features are nice. I do get a sharper image in FS, and outfits are easier to modify without having to create a whole new outfit. But I still haven't figured out why Phoenix tells me I have 35,183 items in inventory and Firestorm tells me I have 35,194. Does FS know something that Phoenix doesn't?

  113. I don't get all the comments about making v2 not suck. I think LL viewer 3.2 is more V1-like than firestorm ever was. But firestorm is still stuck in the old v2 ui. I don't get it

  114. Good job, works very well and stable so far.
    The only two things that prevent me from using it permanently:
    1: Missing auto response to non friends in IM.
    2: Missing ability to colour chat text for friends.
    As soon as these features are implemented I will surely switch from Phoenix to Firestorm :)

  115. I spent all night trying to make FS work on my computer. I logged in and my avatar did not load at all, I was a red cloud no matter what I did, clearing cache, relogging, rebaking and doing a clean install did not resolve the problem. The type font was too small to read, I could not find anything, like my inventory, fly or map buttons. The viewer kept freezing up on me or crashing, and twice my entire computer crashed. I never had these problems with Phoenix. I am on a brand new computer that is less than 6 months out of the store.

    I will just have to stick with Phoenix until a stable FS is brought out, but I do not think one will be.

  116. @Tapple Gao
    It's not stuck, it's just that LL made a major change in the UI (Might as well call 3.2 Viewer 4 at this point.) with no real advance warning to the TPV devs. I fully expect that Firestorm will incorporate the new LL viewer UI in a future release. If they tried to keep absolutely up to date with ever new LL release, we'd never see a release of Firestorm.

    I happen to actually like the new LL UI. I look forward to that combined with Firestorm's extra functions.

  117. This comment has been removed by the author.

  118. Karl said: »I happen to actually like the new LL UI. I look forward to that combined with Firestorm's extra functions.«

    I only took a briefer glance at it, but that looks quite good to me, too, or very much better than the predecessors, for that matter. The Lindens seem to have somewhat gotten out of their rut and to be moving in the right direction. Slowly, but hey!

  119. Hi everyone,

    I've tried the release version (actually both) and experienced the same performance problems that many are having, the very same problems that were present in the Beta mesh 3.0.1.
    I've already posted some observations in hoping that they would be helpful.

    A friend of mine was posing for me while I was switching viewers and taking snapshots of the framerate of each viewer. All viewers were set on High profile in the Graphics section, with Water changed to All Avatars and Objects, and RenderVolumeLODFactor set to 3 which many suggest.

    Firestorm Official 3.2.1 - - 25fps
    Firestorm Beta 2.5.2 - - 39fps
    Phoenix 1.5.2 - - 41fps
    Cool VL Viewer 1.26.2 (Mesh) - - 34fps

    It took ages to fit the camera, take screenshot, compare it with the other as position, wait for the AO pose...

    But anyway, here's my dilemma - I like the old Phoenix viewer and as many I find it very intuitive and good looking. Also, I like the fresh Silver theme that brings this bright feeling, unlike the depressing gray/black colors of V2, or worse - the eye-killing colors of the other V1 & V2 themes. English isn't my native language and so the spell check is nice extension for me that help me improve. Additionally, I like all the little tweaks Phoenix has to offer to improve my SL experience - from the chat options, to the building helpers and so on.
    Unfortunately, you announced that Phoenix is coming to an end and certain functions are impossible to be added to the viewer as it's outdated...

    And so I had decided to try Firestorm Beta, both non-mesh and mesh, which took time to "master" really, as many of the interface options, shortcuts and menus are different than V1 viewers. I was unpleasantly surprised by the awkwardly looking Silver theme, the awful colors of the default theme and the lack of my favorite options, and more specifically - the lack of spell checker. Also the mesh beta seem to be rather slow compared to non-mesh beta, so I decided to stay with the non-mesh until you release a viewer that is comparable to 2.5.2, but has more of the old-fashioned Phoenix options. And then I stumbled upon the freezing problems of 2.5.2, that seem to occur quite often and which seem to be fix by changing the affinity of the viewer with the task manager every time you start it. I was okay with that as long as it works faster than mesh viewer (which don't have the freeze problem), expecting that the devs of my favorite viewer, since Emerald was banned, will come up with better viewer, that doesn't have the slowdowns of beta mesh and will have the precious features of Phoenix...

  120. And here you released not one, but two official viewers, with almost all the options of Phoenix that I dreamed of, but so slow that the both releases are even slower than the mesh beta! But that was not all - I love to build inwrold when I'm not holding a leash or two and to my surprise building is close to impossible with the both official releases. Once I start editing an object the framerate drops from double to five times compared to when not editing (not trying to speculate, but it is not more than 30% on Firestorm beta non-mesh and Phoenix). It turned to be such a nightmare to do a simple delinking of an element within object with 80-120 prims and would take few seconds to refresh and redraw as unlinked, an operation that take split second on the old viewers! Amazed with the performance problems that the official releases cause on my pc I decided to try to be helpful and experiment until I find the source of the problem. I was so obsessed with finding it that even involved my husband as he has way more experience than me in graphics, games and computers in general. And after we both played with the options it turned that on 3.2.1 if one clicks the Reset button the framerate increases significantly, though this doesn't work on 3.2.2. But even then the framerate is definitely lower than the other viewers as you can see on the pictures above...

    And after posting the Reset trick described above in Firestorm JIRA, I decided to try Cool VL viewer and compare it with the others. Instead of doing inconsistent testing, I picked a place which has lights, alpha textures, animations and so on. My kind and patient friend on the snapshots isn't wearing objects with many scripts, neither uses a sophisticated AO. Once I saw how Cool VL is working, well honestly I felt let down and betrayed - betrayed by YOU, my favorite Phoenix/Firestorm team.

    You have announced that Phoenix will soon come to an end and that many features cannot be added to it. As it turned, just one man put all your team in his pocket, by adding features and improving the experience, using the base of the so popular V1 viewer. He even added option for incremental distance change, so when one teleports or logs in the viewer will load first the closest objects and then the more far, reaching the original distance for certain amount of time - and that little tweak makes quite a difference...

    But there's more - I felt let down also, because the price one has to "pay" for having mesh rendering in their V1 viewer, as you praised, turned out to be not that high at all (see the comparison) and it is in fact less than your "official" slugish release. And all the bus-engine-to-car BS just shows that even if your team is as smart as thousand men, if the goals are set badly you are getting (us) nowhere. And no matter how you'd smear over and over, saying how Firestorm is open-source and we don't pay for it, how you put your personal time and dedicate efforts in it, how it's the (not so) bright "future", you can't hide the fact that you simply failed to realize your users' needs. The majority are STILL using V1 based viewers and the majority will leave you if you don't change your course, and it would be such a shame for the legacy set by Emerald viewer. If you are bright minded and swallow that pride of yours to be the most popular third party viewer, you might as well invite Henri to be project leader of your team, as obviously your goals are set WRONG...

  121. And as someone noted earlier - if your viewer was paid, you would have noticed a huge withdraw of your customers as they would simply not going buy your new product, because it fails to meet their interests and needs - just like it happened with Windows Vista, a technical failure that added "flavor" to the user experience, something which is still used as joke and bad example in the IT branch (oh yeah, I'm into sales). But because your viewer is free and open-source, you get the fools pride as people are clapping and saying "hey, that's an improvement", "hey, that's better", but you're failing to see in the meantime that most of the users think that the new viewer is just horrible as base to build over and the only reason they don't tell it straight in your face is because your efforts can be "rewarded" with a pat on your shoulder only as we don't pay you. Well, guess what - expect to see a drastic withdraw of your community once someone ambitious enough does better viewer than you - "better" not as how you measure it, but as how we, your users, measure it.

    Now, instead of wasting more efforts of trying to be helpful for the Firestorm "cause", I'd return to Phoenix and hope that you either get to your senses on what's important for your users, or that Henri is going to adopt your Phoenix tweaks and options in his viewer and start using Cool VL viewer instead.

    Thanks for reading this huge post as it turned.


  122. Now, instead of wasting more efforts of trying to be helpful for the Firestorm "cause", I'd return to Phoenix and hope that you either get to your senses on what's important for your users, or that Henri is going to adopt your Phoenix tweaks and options in his viewer and start using Cool VL viewer instead.

    Thats really what this all is about. All the v1 people are BAWWWING about the reality that v1 is dying. Linden Lab is the one you should be yelling at, not the phoenix team. Saying "go back to phoenix and drop firestorm" is selfish and shortsighted. What about those of us that *like* firestorm? We should all go back to v1 because the majority prefer it? v2/v3 hasn't even been out that long, give it time and it will be better than v1. Clinging to the past will not help anyone

  123. @Serith
    Thats really what this all is about. [snip] Clinging to the past will not help anyone

    I'm afraid the shortsighted is you and if you read my entire post you might notice -> God, I really tried!! I even put efforts and involved others while trying to compare them all and be helpful. How does that qualify as selfish?! Or may be you're just missing the point - the ones commenting on here are the ones really interested and caring about the Phoenix AND Firestorm future. A regular user has no interest in commenting here for the good and bad as they are just consumers. Does it look like I don't care?

    And how does the current release get any better? With significant slowdown and bad user experience, which should be justified by the Firestorm extensions, which are transitioned from Phoenix? You also might notice that I said I got already used to beta as it's fast enough, the release just doesn't do for me, neither the beta mesh did.

    Now how about that saying with the bus engine put in a car (the V1 viewer wish mesh). Well the official release look like a car engine put in a bus - it is exactly that and blaming LL for the bad code base won't change that fact as the majority signed of the Phoenix users signed for what Emerald and Phoenix was about.

    After my previous post I sat on my hubby's Alienware r3, a real gaming beast, and installed beta non-mesh, official release and Cool CL viewer and guess what - the official release again proved to be the worst of all and the only reason it's not so noticeable as it is on mine, is because his laptop is the latest on the market.

    Now don't come up with "get the topnotch pcs out there" as that would be the biggest BS ever.


  124. Just a few questions.

    I keep hearing about how hard it is to build in FS, or that it lacks the feature of this viewer or that. I have several viewers. I mainly use FS now but I switch to phoenix to build, Kirsten's to do photography and so forth. What is the big deal about using a few different viewers for different tasks?

    I'm running a pretty simple computer here, An AMD Phenom II dual core running at it's default 3.68 GHz, 4 Gig of DDR2 memory and a 99 dollar Zotac GTS 250 @ 1920x1280. I built this box for $600 I run FS at High, My DD set to 128 LOD at 4.0 and have little or no trouble with its operation I operate in heavily populated clubs streaming with SAM broadcaster and really have no complaints.

    I understand that my configuration may have stumbled into some sweet spot. I also understand that other configurations and hardware may fall into a bad zone. I will say that I'm happy that people like Henri etc. are working on other things. I see a place for several viewers. I actually prefer having choices and differences to choose from rather than some monolithic thing I have to depend upon entirely.

    If things are as bad as some state them to be I'm confident that either the current team will move in another direction, or in the worst cse scenario someone else will develop along the most pleasing line.

    These things tend to sort themselves out when there are choices and competing ideas.

    In any case I thank you all for the fine work and all of the time you have put in to the viewers and in supporting them as well.


    Georgie T.

  125. I'd like to take exception to the manner in which my comments were described. Firstly as I mentioned I'd be happy to use V2/FS and know there are some features I'd very much enjoy.

    The fact is the first time I tried V2 I, and many others commenting on the same issue at the time, found it very difficult to read certain things. Moreover, this caused eye strain, dizziness, headaches, and for some an overall ill feeling.

    Note: This is after increasing the font size to large, changing font style, and increasing the size of the UI to max (1.4).

    FS has improved some of this, for example chat is readable, but enough smaller font remains in various places that some viewers do not find FS useable. That's not trolling, flaming, name calling, or however one might wish to categorize this but simply a fact.

    I'd love to use FS and some of the new features but I simply can not because using it for than even a few minutes does actually make me physically ill.

    Now certainly this effect might affects a minority of users and if one wants to ignore these people in favor of everyone else that seemingly have none of these problems that's perfectly reasonable. However, dismissing the comments out of hand as less than serious is just insulting.

    Lastly, I'd like to repeat again that I'd like to use FS and that my computer is new with a good graphics card and that I'm not married to using Phoenix or any other viewer.

  126. What Georgie said....

    I have never used anything but Phoenix or other V1 viewers. V2 viewers lasted about 10 minutes. Now I finally feel comfortable straying from V1 and so far I am impressed with the new Firestorm release. When I am not sure, I jump back to Phoenix. It is only a matter of time until we HAVE to use these newer versions, and finally I think I have a chance.

  127. Help isn't working and neither is the search box.
    If you do something, at least do it right.

  128. Congratulations! I beg your team.. please address those lighting and shadows bugs (wl and glow in specific), note: seems like to get the same cristal clear edges from old Phoenix you need to increase the AA (antialiasing) a bit on your own..
    Now to uninstall Firestorm!

  129. please do not extinguish Phoenix. It is a perfectly simple, intuitive and brilliant viewer. Thank you Henri Beauchamp for the recent update.

  130. I was very excited with the "Official" Firestorm release since it finally incorporated all the features I wanted. As a club owner I need to have traffic numbers in search and indeed that was done.

    I had used the mesh beta and was impressed by the features, not to mention the detail that could be done with mesh products. I found the performance to be reasonably good and eagerly anticipated the "real" release.

    I have to say I am disappointed. The fps is far below the other viewers to the extent that I am barely functional. Cool VL Viewer and the V1 Phoenix and even the Firestorm Mesh Beta have better performance that the Official release. My PC is a 3 year old HP Laptop..Core 2 Duo centrino 2.0, 4 GB RAM and 512MB dedicated video memory. My partner has a quad core and of course generally out performs me but I always felt that my equipment was adequate.

    Yes I have done all the normal stuff....reducing draw distance etc in an effort to boost performance. When I am in my club with 35+ AV's my fps goes to less than 2.

    Fix that issue and I will be a happy camper but I just can't live with being so lagged out.

  131. Hi,
    I'm afraid the shortsighted is you

    Anyone clinging to V1 and acting like it should always be around are shortsighted. i know firestorm is the future. Instead of complaining that phoenix is ending and clinging to it, I am adapting to firestorm and have become good at using it.

    And how does the current release get any better? With significant slowdown and bad user experience, which should be justified by the Firestorm extensions, which are transitioned from Phoenix? You also might notice that I said I got already used to beta as it's fast enough, the release just doesn't do for me, neither the beta mesh did.

    How is the user experience bad? it isnt too much slower than the beta mesh, 25 FPS is acceptable, its not like thats sitting still. the fastest you can get is 45 FPS from the sim

    Now don't come up with "get the topnotch pcs out there" as that would be the biggest BS ever.

    My PC isnt topnotch, and runs firestorm fine, so do most of the people that run firestorm.

  132. "enhancements including visible beacons"

    Enabled in the Look-At Preferences and the Develop>Avatar pull-down menu. Still can't see them.

  133. So i finally made the switch from my old but perfectly steady phoenix to firestorm. i absolutely love mesh and the double layer option. i could really get used to this viewer.. what im not going to get used to however is the constant crashing.. i have already put my graphics on low but after about 15 minutes it gives me a error message and firestorm just trows me out. this could be a bug or something, im going to look in to that. also the search... its really terrible. i saw that v3 has the same search, what i hate about it is when you search at places, you dont see the pictures of the place anymore. a picture can say a thousand words. now i first have to click a link to see the picture. that will make search very very slow. also i cant get the setting to stay that it should show based on traffic and not on relevance. what i also cant get over is the im's. i liked the way it was on v1, it was practical. the way it is now i hardly ever notice the small icons that pop up on the right side of my screen. plus you only get a sound notice once, instead of with every post. i find this really annoying because its making me miss a ton of ims.

    1. I agree. I had to log in with my alt and tp myself places I wanted to go because the search would not open at all.

  134. I really love the features on Firestorm, Especially the integrated ao.Is there any chance of getting a button to work with a different type of hud

  135. How do you fix the fonts in firestorm. I added to the folder but still they dont work proper in firestorm

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