Friday 4 January 2013

New website! Last post on this blog

We have a new website folks! but even if you go to the old you'll be redirected.

However we will no longer be using this blogger blog and have switched to wordpress. So if you have RSS on this blog, are subscribed or are following it please update to our new blog at our new address. There is an RSS link you can use there.

Farewell Blogger! It's been fun!

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc

Saturday 22 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Joyous New Year!

Well it looks like we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. Which unfortunately means we all have to go back to work after the holidays... and we still have to pay our bills :-( . Oh c'mon, admit it! You know you thought about how nice it would be to not have to pay bills anymore! :-D

On behalf of the entire team here at the Phoenix Firestorm Project, we would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever celebrations you partake in this time of year. Happy holidays and we wish you all a fantastic New Year! 

We survived 2012! See ya next year! \o/

Jessica Lyon and the Team.

Monday 17 December 2012

Ending support for the Phoenix Viewer

On Saturday, Dec 15th, we held an important office hour at which the subject was the removal of official support for our V1-based Phoenix Viewer at the end of this year. We are also no longer developing this viewer. (Not to be confused with the Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer, which will continue to be fully developed and supported.)

To be clear
- We are ending support for the Phoenix Viewer on Dec 31st, 2012. 
- If you are a Phoenix user we recommend you migrate to a peer-to-peer help group created for Phoenix users: “Phoenix Viewer Self Help.

- We are NOT forcing you to use Firestorm! If you don't want to use Firestorm, there are a few V1 alternatives out there. Check out the LL Third Party Viewer Directory. 
- We are NOT telling you not to use Phoenix Viewer.
- We are NOT blocking Phoenix Viewer from logging in.
- We are NOT breaking Phoenix!
- You MAY continue to use Phoenix as long as you want, but be aware.. it will become more and more deprecated over time.
- LL is not intentionally killing Phoenix but be aware, there are changes coming in the new year that will break some key aspects of its usability. 

We will remove the download links on our main website to Phoenix in the new year, but it will remain available from our "Other Downloads" section of our wiki. We will not remove any documentation or JIRA issues reported against Phoenix.

Please watch the video recording of that office hour here and that should answer all your questions as to why we have made this decision.
You can also read the speech here, which I had prepared and read during the Office Hour that explains our reasons for making this decision.

I realize this decision will not be popular among our Phoenix users, and I apologize for that, but I ask you to please watch the video or read the speech BEFORE complaining or asking why in the blog post comments. Our reasons are sensible, responsible and logical. If, after you've watched the video, you still do not agree with our decision, THEN please feel free to complain and vent.

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc

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

Monday 3 December 2012

Reports of Pink with 31155

We've had some reports of pink screen in the release of from people on ATI cards. This is a driver issue with ATI and there are ways to fix it. Please see the following link if you have pink screen issues.

Sunday 2 December 2012

Firestorm Major Release

The time has come once again to deliver to our users another "major" update of the Firestorm Viewer. We may not have the shortest release cycles compared to other TPVs, but our updates do carry a LOT of value. This release is certainly no different, with a HUGE list of new features, bug fixes and improvements.

Major Release Feature Highlights...

* Fully integrated Phototools & Cameratools for photographers and machinima makers by Paperwork (our newest member):
    - Phototools is a phenomenally powerful interface for creating visually stunning and breathtaking environments best suited for Photographers and Videographers.
    - Cameratools gives you far more control over your camera, including the ability to save camera position presets.
    - Click to see examples of what can be done.
    - Click for documentation on Phototools.
    - Click for documentation on Cameratools.
    - Or best of all... click for the amazing video tutorials!

* V1 Search functionality revival by our newest developer, Cinder Roxley:
    - Cinder wasted no time making her mark on the project by bringing to Firestorm one of the single most requested options since V2 came out.
    - V1 Search is available under the Content menu as "Legacy Search" and as a Toolbar button.
    - Ability to search People, Groups, Places and Classifieds. 
    - This optional search method is a work in progress, more to come!

Script recovery by Kitty Barnett of Catznip Viewer:
    - Open scripts are auto-saved locally every 60 seconds. 
    - In the event of a viewer crash, backed up copies of the scripts are presented to the user and returned to the Lost & Found folder if the user chooses. (More info)

New Area Search, completely rewritten and vastly improved by Techwolf Lupindo:
    - Lightning fast results
    - Improved interface.
    - Loads of filters and options.

Fully customizable Viewer Sounds by another new developer of ours, Panterapolnocy:
    - Find them in Preferences > Sound & Media > "UI Sounds 1" and "UI Sounds 2."
    - Allows you to change the default viewer sounds to anything you have in your inventory via Copy > UUID. 
    - Gives you options to play or not play particular sounds as well. 
    - Report collision messages to scripts;
    - Texture refresh on sculpties;

* Flickr snapshot upload improvements and fixes by Katharine Berry of Exodus (ty!);
* New Toolbar buttons;
* and on and on and on... 

IMPORTANT: Because of the many skin and settings changes/improvements/adjustments we've made it is especially important that you perform a clean install of this build.

OpenSim has a build, too, with lots of improvements and fixes as well! 


The Phoenix Firestorm Team

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Phoenix-Firestorm Public Beta


Yesterday, November 13th, Linden Lab rolled out a server update to the Second Life grid that contained some improved group handling code for large groups. Unfortunately, however, at the time of this writing, and to the best of our knowledge, only the current LL Beta Viewer has the necessary code released for compatibility with this update. As a result, moderators of large groups with more than 10,000 users are unable to load the group member list. This leaves users unable to manage group memberships on anything other than the Linden Beta. LL has also released some new notifications to the server that some old versions of Firestorm and all versions of Phoenix will not recognize. This leads to error messages that say, "Your version of viewer name does not know how to display the alert message it just received."

In order to accommodate the users who need to manage their large groups, we have decided to rush what we have done so far, along with the group loading code, into a public Beta for you. This also gives those of you who like cutting edge code a chance to toy with our latest and report problems to us on our JIRA

- This is NOT an official release, but we will provide support for it.
- This has NOT been thoroughly tested by our Quality Assurance team.
- We can NOT make any promises regarding how stable or bug-free it is.
- This DOES have some really cool new stuff in it!

- You need to manage large groups inworld.
- You're tired of seeing unknown alert messages in Phoenix.
- You're feeling brave, you live on the cutting edge and you want to get an early look at what's coming in December's Official Release.

You can download the beta from

If you can wait, we have a scheduled Official Release around the beginning of December that we expect will be fantastic.

Phoenix users:

Our developers and support staff have been extremely busy trying to balance their real working and personal lives while continuing their volunteer efforts to develop SL's most popular viewer for you. Unfortunately, most of us cannot easily compile Phoenix anymore because of missing/expired libraries like Fmod, compiler changes we've had to make for Firestorm, OS upgrades (Win8), etc. To update Phoenix to current LL code now would be a very, very big task and, because we are already at our limit of what we can do, there are no plans to update Phoenix Viewer to support this new group code or handle the new notification system at this time. We are, after all, only human.

We highly recommend Phoenix users give Firestorm a chance -- or a second one, as the case may be. Either that or consider looking for an alternative V1-based viewer. Firestorm has a very good Phoenix-like interface mode now, and most Phoenix users who have given Firestorm a dedicated 3-5 day chance now proudly prefer it over Phoenix. Firestorm also has a significant lead over Phoenix in both minutes and unique users. It is clear that Firestorm is the viewer that will stand the test of time, where Phoenix will not.

In the meantime, Phoenix is still usable in SL, provided you don't need to manage large groups and don't mind putting up with error messages.

I hope you understand our current dilemma regarding Phoenix, and though we have not made a solid decision yet as to whether or not we will update it again in the future, it is not looking likely at the moment. Please understand that sooner or later... one way or another, Phoenix will expire.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc.