Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Holidays from the team!

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

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

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


The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Q&A Results and recording

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

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

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

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

You can watch the full video recording here

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

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

Thursday, 15 December 2011

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

Lets Talk...

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

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

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

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

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


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Phoenix Mesh Viewer - Important Hotfix update

Please update from Phoenix to Phoenix Viewer by downloading again. 

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

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

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

We are removing the release from availability.

Apologies for the inconvenience

Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Optional Phoenix Viewer Mesh Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Help us help you! Firestorm Classes survey..

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