Monday, 27 February 2012

Policy changes Q&A Phoenix Office Hour

Policy changes
As mentioned in the blog post below this one, and as many of you are now aware of, Linden Lab has made some new policy  additions  which govern third party viewers. There are a lot of questions, concerns and uncertainty floating around with very few solid answers. So...

Please join us on Tuesday, Feb 28th at 2pm SLT for a special Phoenix/Firestorm Office Hour where I will discuss and answer questions about these policy changes, how they affect you, third party viewer features, third party viewer and open source development in general.

We will be hosting the Office Hour at the Rockcliffe Universities connected 4 region area. Due to the volume of people we expect to show up, we'll ask you to use the following landmarks based on the first letter of your name.

First name starts with A - I: Rockcliffe I
First name starts with J - R: Rockcliffe Library
First name starts with S - Z: Agile 3D

It would be well advised to show up early. 

For those who cannot make it in world, a limited number of residents will be able to watch and participate from a live stream however I do not have the URL to that stream yet. .


Don't panic! and I hope to see you on Tuesday.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Friday, 24 February 2012

New additions to the Third Party Viewer Policy

Today LL announced some additions to the Third Party Viewer Policy which will have some impact on our users. I'll just explain them briefly here but will discuss them in more detail as well as our reaction to them during our Office Hour on tuesday at 2pm SLT.

2.a.iii : You must not provide any feature that circumvents any privacy protection option made available through a Linden Lab viewer or any Second Life service.

This means viewers will not be allowed to have true online status. We will remove this feature in the next Phoenix update. LL has also indicated they intend to break scripts ability to look up a users online status except for the owner and creator of the script. No time frame has been indicated for when this will happen. 

2.i : You must not display any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of any other Second Life user.
2.j : You must not include any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of the user in any messages sent to other viewers, except when explicitly elected by the user of your viewer.

This means that Viewer identification tags are now a policy violation. LL has indicated that they will be breaking the viewer tagging system for ALL third party viewers between Tuesday and Wednesday with the region updates. This also breaks color tags in our viewers. 

2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

This means that third party viewers will no longer be allowed to innovate features which relate to the shared experience unless LL has the features in their viewers first. However LL has indicated an interest and preference in working with third party viewers to develop such features together.

Again, I will be discussing all of these changes, how they will effect our users and our viewer project on Tuesday during our Office hour at 2pm SLT. I'll provide more information on the location and live stream coordinates within the next few days.

Stay tuned...

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Firestorm pink screen hot fix 24882

Our release of had a bug which caused the viewers screen to be pink for a small number of our users. The issue was present mostly for users with ATI 3000-5000 series video cards on windows operating systems.

We have implemented a hotfix for the pink screen issue and updated our windows download on the site to version 24882. If you were experiencing the pink screen problem we invite you to download and install this new version from the download links. This will resolve the pinkness issue.

If you do not suffer from having an entirely pink screen, then you do not need to do anything.

Finally, as anyone who knows me will know that I have a very distinct affinity to pink things. Pink ears, pink tipped hair, pink tipped tail... etc. I can honestly say in this specific case...

I didn't do it!... Honest! 


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Another Firestorm Release!

Phoenix-Firestorm Release!
This one started out as a maintenance release but due to the huge list of new features we're going to call it a Full On Release! Firestorm not only comes with a very impressive list of features which make it nearly feature complete in comparison to Phoenix, it also comes loaded with very important bug fixes.
But lets talk about some of the feature highlights first!
- Inventory search by creator, UUID,  description and all, plus new filters for links
- The original Particle Editor, create particle effects from within the viewer.
- Tip tracker for DJ's and live performers
- Autorespond options for non friends, busy, muted avatar modes, and it's persistent.
- Profile pictures open large now with a click
- New skins, Vintage and High Contrast
- Chat history button in nearby/groups and IM chats
- Loads of minimap options like track, mark and profile
- Radar enhancements like av tracking, and av counter
- Friends counter on friend list
- Estate tools, new ALT-R to pull up estate tools window, TP to top objects ability..etc
- Announce incoming IM's
and SO much more! Check out the (Change Log with links to wiki pages on how to use them) for a complete list!

Bug Fixes
Based on your feedback, we've focused a lot of time on a number of performance and stability issues from the 3.2.2 release. Most of these problems were remnants of bugs in the mesh and graphics code. We've spent a lot of time working on these bugs, as has Linden Lab in their own viewer. We've incorporated ours and LL's fixes into this release and expect this to be a very stable and fast version of the Firestorm Viewer.
Credit where credit is due.. We'd like to thank Linden Lab for working on these stability issues in their own code, and making these fixes available to third party viewers. This release wouldn't be as good as it is without their efforts. As with any release we highly recommend you do a (Clean Install) with this build to avoid any potential conflicts with previous installations.

Firestorm Future! Flexible Interface!
Wow! this is exciting news! We told you in the past that the V2 interface was just not flexible enough for us to accurately mimic the V1 interface.. this still holds true today. However! we've recently merged in Linden Lab's V3 FUI (Flexible User Interface) work and while that merge has caused a lot of interface breakage we've also discovered that it is as named, VERY flexible! Zi Ree (creator of the Firestorm AO, Our All-Original Particle Editor, and Pie menu for V2) has been at it again! She has so far managed to create a Phoenix like interface option in Firestorm that is far closer to the classic UI as any modern viewer has ever accomplished! This optional skin feature is likely to be hailed the best feature ever developed on a V2 viewer for V1 users! Of course we're also working at improving all our other skins as well to give you as many options as possible. We are SO excited about this work! While this is all very much still work in progress and there's lots left to do we wanted to give you a preview of what's to come!

Enjoy the release folks! and we are very much looking forward to providing you a truly V1 skin for the Firestorm Viewer in the near future!


Jessica Lyon and the Phoenix/Firestorm Team!