Friday, 14 December 2012

Phoenix Firestorm Office Hour - Dec 15.

It's been a while since we held an Office Hour with our users and it's become apparent that one is certainly needed and overdue. For those of you unfamiliar with our office hours they take part both inworld and via a live video stream/chat where I address your questions and concerns on a live broadcast. The broadcast is also recorded for future viewing.

Dec 15th, 2012 at 1:30pm until 2:30pm Second Life Time.  You will absolutely want to be there, or on the stream at least half an hour early to ensure you make it.

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend but I especially want to see Phoenix Viewer users in attendance as the primary topic will be about Phoenix and its future. I also would like to see all you angry people who have been flaming and hating on us in our blog comments. I'd like to address your complaints so please at least be on the stream if you can.

Because the lack of Phoenix Viewer development and in fact the future of the Phoenix Viewer itself needs to be discussed and your questions/concerns need to be addressed.

Inworld at our Support Island. Here is the SLurl.
The region will fill up very fast so the alternative is the live stream here

This is an especially important meeting for you to attend if you are a diehard Phoenix Viewer user.

Hope to see you there.

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc


  1. Don't think i'll be able to make the office hour so just wanted to add my voice here...I use phoenix because despite a 50/5 internet, I cannot use firestorm (I think it may be because I am on a mac) please keep supporting phoenix (and hopefully improve it so we can wear layers)!

    1. Console yourself, Odelia. No one can use this current Firestorm seriously. It is a multiple system of accumulated errors.
      I would be happy if my numbers are displayed correctly in a linkset! (omg) But not even that, can afford this viewer at the moment correctly. Not to mention the correct display of sculptis at distances greater than 150 meters (in Phoenix not a problem), or closed doors (LOL).

      It's a joke, but after more than a year of successful use of the FS I have now to reuse my old Phoenix for my work. >.<

      Greetings ... and do not forget: Everything has an end, only the sausage has two.

  2. @ Odelia Emmons
    What is happening when you try to use Firestorm? Ill take a wild guess that you're experiencing the "DNS bug" which is fairly common on Mac on V3 based viewers - see . If this sounds like what is happening to you, then there is an easy workaround - see

    @ 12345
    Linkset numbers displaying correctly after linking has never worked properly on any viewer including Phoenix, and likely never will work properly. Its a server issue.
    See (Link number display in build floater displays wrong value after linking prims)
    There should not be any problem viewing sculpts at a distance on Firestorm, unless you have some settings set badly or the sculpt is badly made - in which case it would also collapse at a distance on Phoenix too. Set your LOD to 4 and see if that improves matters.

    1. Whirly, thanks for your advice.
      For me, in the last versions of the FS Linksetnumbers had always worked correctly. But it is of course possible that the server generates this error, then it would be beneficial to communicate this with LL, I think.

      My grafic settings are correctly, of course ... :) You do not seriously think that a person who cares about linkset numbering, not her graphic settings dominated ;-) But it is unfortunate so, that comparable graphics settings produce different results in FS and PH, and unfortunately there are poorer results in FS for me.

  3. Thank you Whirly...that does seem like the issue...not totally connected to the grid...however, the fix you pointed out did not work. Following is the message I get...if i restart entire computer, firestorm may work briefly, then i get this message again at next login.
    We are sorry, Linden Lab has discovered degraded performance on your connection to the region you are on. You will need to restart Second Life and log into a new region for the next 30 minutes to an hour. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  4. I love the new features of the new firestorm but unfortuinely i can not run it on Sims where there are more then 5 avatars ,every time i do that it says that i lost Internet connection or the region might be having problems,its really sad because im very much in to photography but cant use those great features that u added as often as i would like.So i will continue to use phoenix with its limited layers ,oh god!!! please please please add more layers ,it would be perfection!!

  5. I really do not understand what the big issue is with Firestorm. I have been using it on a 4 year old laptop since Firestorm was in its Beta stages. Most of the problems you are having with Firestorm is NOT the viewer but PC related problems. Hundreds of thousands of people use Firestorm with no issues or complaints. So its not always just them but crappy PCs are also a factor.
    As to if they decide to stop supporting Phoenix? I am all for it if they do decide. Why? Because why should they keep supporting it for the select few that refuse to upgrade or cant because they cant upgrade their machines? I say get rid of it so their main focus can be on the product that most people are actually using.

  6. I dunno.. everything works fine for me. Most of the errors/complaints I usually see are hardware related in some way shape or form.

    For instance, my setup here. Triple screen off a pair of GTX550's. I have an issue where I lose my avatar body on clothing change. Basically everything gets alpha'd out. Easy cause and fix, move firestorm window the the number 1 monitor in my setup and rebake. (yes.. something with nvidia multiscreen is causing that one).

    Pink? Only when the shaders are destroyed on shutdown. Skydrive? Installed without any reghacks.. no crashes (mind you, I have the win8 skydrive.. not the essentials one).

    Short and long of it is, I moved from Kirstens to Firestorm when that particular viewer was shutdown.. and rarely strike problems that aren't either my error or hardware related.

    My only wish? 64bit FS builds.. since debian is playing with the whole multiarch regime.. and gstreamer:i386 conflicts with gstreamer:amd64 (here's a hint.. ia32-libs doesn't fix the issue.. as ia32-libs is dying away with the commision of multiarch). Have had a go at compiling myself.. but.. what fun that is.. haha.


  8. @ Odelia Emmons
    Ahh this is a different issue.
    See (New error message mentions "need to restart Second Life and log into a new region for the next 30 minutes to an hour") and ("We are sorry, Linden Lab has discovered degraded performance on your connection to the region you are on..." ) for this problem. There are some workarounds on those issues that may help you. Its a strange one and tbh, no one has really worked out what causes certain people to get that message constantly. Some get it only on one viewer and some have it on all viewers.

    Try disabling HTTP Textures.
    Go to Avatar -> Preferences -> Graphics -> Rendering -> Untick use HTTP Textures and relog.

  9. Frankly I think the Firestorm team is wonderful. They bust their asses to put out a FABULOUS viewer which is a thankless job. Remember, these people don't get PAID to do this, and they give us a far superior viewer to anything LL ever put out. I'd love to see some of the people bitching and complaining put out a viewer. You ever hear "if you want something done right, do it yourself.." well for all the complainers, don't use it, and make your OWN viewer. I can't figure out why people even flame and bitch about this quality viewer. If you don't like it.. OK... use something else. What in the world is the gain in slagging it on the forum?

  10. i dont know what is every ones problem.. i can run the new firestorm with out a problem or crash at all, you just need to update your system or get a better PC

  11. I dont know what is every ones problem with not being able to run the new firestorm.. its time to update your system or buy a new PC.. stop bashing on a viewer you cant run cus your computer/laptop is just to old and cant keep up

  12. @Whirly...I read the entire of
    and was thrilled to see i'm not the only one with these issues...tested it with a little-used alt, logging in to the exact same place with fs, and all is fine...will continue to test some of the work-arounds suggested. The question is, why does this happen?
    I greatly appreciate your guidance; but until the issue is solved, am hoping phoenix will still be around for my main account to use!

  13. Short and sweet
    Phoenix is ''the best'', it helps in all areas as well as admin tools. Firestorm - make it like phoenix and you got something. We looked all over.. there is ''nothing'' like ''Phoenix'' and it's ease of use, as well as all round usefulness to the users...that be us ; )

    thnx for your time

  14. I resist changing from Phoenix purely on an irrational and perhaps somewhat immature stand point. I have always hated being forced-fed by Linden Labs, like Big Brother government trying to tell me what's best for me. My PC cannot handle the graphics of SL's Viewer or Firestorm (please don't try to advise 'How Too's' to me .. been there, done that). Phoenix works just fine on 256 draw distance thank you. Nether my partner, our alts or close friends have anything Mesh in our inventories and we will never purchase mesh. We also advise friends with full sims on disabling and limiting LL's impact on their lands. I KNOW what you may be thinking.. 'Poor little guy who doesn't want to grow up and join with the adults'. I've been in SL since 2006 and it was once a wonderful place to be apart of. Won't it be just wonderful when all the immature little boys from the Steam universe join and seek shooting & blowing up everything. My, my - won't the grieving communities just grow. I feel compelled to write this and VOICE this because there are STILL a lot of sl users that STILL feel this same way. Remember: what comes around goes around. And it still does. It just is.

  15. The "Project Sunshine-Server Side Appearance" project is on an 8+ week count down to launch... the news from Jessica today should be very interesting as this could dramatically affect viewers.

  16. Well the teleport link doesn't work for me, and the sim has scripts disabled, so I can't get my avatar to the meeting *shrugs*. I want to see Phoenix held up and improved like Singularity has continued to do so - The Phoenix/FS team makes a huge deal and bitches about updating Phoenix, making claims that it's impossible/improbably/impractical to do, buuut...Keep seeing Singularity stay strong and steady with little visible complaints.

  17. @sickjessicka Then please do yourself a favor and go use Singularity. There will no longer be ANY support for the Phoenix viewer as of the 1st of the year. By the beginning of March, Phoenix will be broken and not because the Phoenix/FS teams will be breaking but because LLabs will be introducing code that will break ALL viewers that does not put this code in... and Phoenix is out. They will not be putting this code in. And in all honesty, it's about time. It is time for Phoenix to die. To the FS team members, I love what you guys are doing. You have my support. Keep up the awesome work.

  18. If you would like something that needs to be fixed... Fix the issue with some mesh items that you have to turn off your shaders for it to load properly. I do SL photography and I need my shaders, and love them. But, I also want to be able to wear what I wish. So, if you'd like something to figure out, figure that out.

  19. I'm fortunate that my computer is only about 4 years old and my graphics card is one year old. So the current version of Firestorm runs perfectly here.

    I'm sorry for those who can't run it on their hardware as it really is good to use, so much thought and hard work goes into each version - like the latest one having the new Phototools.

    I must admit I have less sympathy for those who could run it on their hardware but won't adjust to the few differences of interface. The devs have done a lot to make the transition as easy as they can. This latest version even has a choice of v1 or v2 Search.

    I feel grateful to y'all every time I login to SL :)

  20. And kisses to those who work on the inworld support group.
    I let it open automatically on login, because it feels like a warm welcome to SL each time. I often "lurk" and read their answers for a few minutes - such good patient people. Then I close the group chat after a while as it becomes a distraction.

    Just wanted to say how much I appreciate that part of the team too, and those who write the wiki etc. Amazingly professional for a team of unpaid volunteers.

  21. I don’t understand why Phoenix users complain so much about the discontinuation of Phoenix. There are at least two Third Party Viewers with a sound reputation and whose developers are dedicated to V1: Cool VL and Singularity. As the complaining Phoenix users don’t seem to want to use these, I shrewdly suspect that these viewers don’t offer the feature set Phoenix has. So it seems a good idea to me that those complaining Phoenix users should turn to Henri Beaucamp (Cool VL) and Siana Gearz (Singularity) and tell them what they would like to see in Cool VL or Singularity. Would be a productive way to deal with the problem. Complaining and blaming and flaming here is just a waste of time and energy.

  22. I have, as a retired software developer, been watching with interest the ongoing discussion by many users as to why they have to have the Phoenix viewer. All software and hardware becomes obsolete at a rapid pace in the computer field. I think the Phoenix group has shown extraordinary patience over the last year since Jessica announced that the Phoenix viewer was obsolete and would not be maintainable in the future. I don't like having to learn new software but it is necessary to continue to use computers. I'm amazed at what the Phoenix volunteers have accomplished with Firestorm. Firestorm has worked well for me for over a year. I think Jessica made it very clear yesterday that the Phoenix viewer will cease to work for Second Life soon, when LL moves bake from viewer side code to server side code.

  23. Well it is the slower fps that Firestorm gives that I stick with Phoenix and those terrible little Notifications and IMs of Firestorm how do you put up with those.
    If Phoenix goes so will SL for me.

  24. Make Firestorm as good as Phoenix and convince the rest of us. Even I must admit that you did an excellent job regarding the UI with the Phoenix default settings in Firestorm Bring me the performance of Phoenix back in Firestorm and I'll be more than happy.

    The challenge is that those running on low resources get hit twice with resource consuming viewers. Imagine a PC getting 8-13 fps under good conditions (a max of 19 fps under minimal settings in the empty sky) with Phoenix but only about half of it with Firestorm. That makes 4-7 fps at max under normal conditions. This is not very exciting. Under laggy conditions or during the first minutes after login this often drops down to 1-2 fps.

    I could mention more, like a cpu consuming slplugin.exe resulting in a crash. In summary it's all a matter of resources.

    I'm sorry to say that these circumstances make Firestorm unusable for me most of the time and after I experienced more and more problems with Phoenix I have no other option than using Singularity.

    To me it seems that for the developers it's more exciting to put more features in than care for those with computers with less resources. As we are not part of the masses, we don’t appear in any statistics.

    But we are here and bother you and we don’t do it because we don’t like you, we do it because we believe in you as you already demonstrated that you can do what nobody else can do. So don’t disappoint those who once were your biggest fans (and probably still are). Don’t forget those with 4 years old notebooks having Firestorm running smoothly for now might be the next ones who can’t keep up.

    In my opinion Singularity or Cool Viewer are not an option. SL needs a kind of not so feature rich low resource viewer based on V3 technology but with a simple V1 like interface. That said, despite of any critics from my side, I'm still behind you and I hope I will soon become as much a fan of Firestorm as I was of Phoenix!

  25. @walterbalazic: As a Phoenix lover I don’t deny the fantastic work they do, I really appreciate it! Please, don’t look at any critics negative. We are here because we would like to see a better Firestorm that not only fits for the masses, but also those running on low resources. It sounds stupid to say "don’t bitch around". Even if I could make my own viewer, it would NOT make sense. I strongly believe that currently the only team that is able to be successful is the Phoenix (Firestorm) team. And that's why I'm bitching around here and address the issues here and not somewhere else!

  26. Well, the writing is on the wall. Phoenix will stop getting support at the end of the year and server side baking will put it in it's grave (along with several others I expect)

    That probably means a sudden influx of new Firestorm users who really didn't want to switch. Those of us who have been using Firestorm long term can help. Spend some time taking the classes if you haven't. Then when you see somebody having a hard time with Firestorm, help them out.

    The support staff does a great job, but there's no reason the rest of us can't jump in if we know where a setting is or how to tease a few more FPS out of the viewer. There have been several times where I've been able to tell somebody where a setting is in preferences that fixes something that was driving them insane. That's one less issue for the support crew to deal with. Maybe one less 'Firestorm Sucks!' rant that gets posted here and who knows, you might just make a friend.

  27. Kudos to the Firestorm team. 4.3.1 rocks.

    It should come as no surprise that Phoenix is on the way out. It's been a long time coming.

    If you want to keep using Phoenix, fork the source into your project and try to keep up with the changes. It's as simple as that.

    The Firestorm team does a great job giving us the best viewer for Free. It should be a source of Shame to Oz Linden and the developers at LL that they are getting *paid* to produce anything less than the #1 viewer. They can't keep up with a band of volunteers, eh? Can't give the public what they want? tsk tsk.

    As for hardware requirements, I'll lay out this way: you can bite the bullet and upgrade hardware so that you can run FS the way you want - OR - you can toss that same money at some group of developers who are hell bent on keeping Phoenix going (and you will still have to upgrade your hardware at some point down the road, anyway).

    I applaud Jessica and the Team for making the decision to Focus. It's the best move.

    1. FYI Firestorm "Adds" features to the LL viewer that LL isn't interested in adding. Firestorm builds on Oz's teams excellent work, it doesn't build a viewer from scratch. Before insulting the LL devs everyone should make sure they understand what role each group plays in the process. I applaud the Firestorm dev's for their work and I thank Oz's team for the code which makes Firestorm and the other TPV's possible.

  28. @Karl: Great you continuousely ignore the issues some have. I'm really tired of getting accused of being resistent and just too lazy to learn something new. But as I said, we are only a few... doesn't matter! Merry Xmas!

  29. Shy, the problem is that Phoenix 1185 uses an older, less resource-intensive renderer. There's no way to squeeze that kind of performance out of a mesh-capable renderer, period. If it were, then Phoenix 1691 would be faster than it is. There were very few UI differences between 1185 and 1691, so the performance difference between the two is because of mesh.

    Ben, you're in a tiny and shrinking minority. Over 95% of users are now running mesh-capable viewers, and there's no reason any longer to not use mesh when building. You're going to be left out in the cold soon enough. I'm not aware of any non-mesh viewers that will be updated for server-side baking, so that fraction will soon be close enough to 100% to not worry about.

  30. Daniel, LL has a different emphasis than we do. They have to make a viewer that newbies can get up to speed on quickly. We are aimed at the power user, the person experienced in SL who needs more function than the standard viewer has.

    LL also does the heavy lifting in the viewer code, adding major new features to evolve the platform. We just piggyback on that work.

    So no, Oz and the LL developers have nothing to be ashamed of. They're doing the best they can to meet their requirements - which are different from ours.

  31. @Shy I'm not ignoring that you have a problem, but your problem's solution is likely a computer upgrade and that's beyond what the Phoenix crew can help with. I switch to Singularity when I'm flying aircraft for the performance boost, but it's got enough other issues that I prefer Firestorm for my all around viewer.

  32. i would like to send a speacial thanks to Whirly Fizzle ,i uncheck http texture and my firestorm runs so smooth now ,even in the most crowded places in sl

  33. You guys are awesome. I'm fairly new to SL, and my more experienced mentors said "use Firestorm, it's the best out there", so I did. And it's been all good. Don't be bitter about the idiots - I'm actually really impressed by your tenacity.

    Have fun, and remember that some people really do appreciate the tough work you're putting in!