Thursday, 14 June 2012

Progress Report

Let me start by saying it's been a crazy amount of work for everyone getting Firestorm to where it is. After the release of 27000 myself and many of the developers were suffering from what is clinically known as  'Burn out'. We needed some time off... I needed some time off. For me it was about 6 weeks away before I started feeling ready to return to  cat herding, while some others took less, and some are simply enjoying the fresh air of this most wonderful time of year.
But fear not because we are back in gear now and shifting into overdrive!

New developers!
I'll start off the good news with the announcement and welcome to two new developers to our team.
Holy Gavenkrantz  has been a regular code contributor to Phoenix then Firestorm since very early on and I felt it only made sense to draw him in as an official developer. You see... after so many patches from a contributor it begins to only make sense that we ask if that contributor would like to join us. (hint hint)
Then there's  Armin Weatherwax (Arminweatherhax Resident in SL), formerly from Imprudence/Kokua. Armin was the main developer on the Kokua viewer for a long time and when I heard he was a free agent I approached him immediately. Armin really knows his stuff and we're very excited to have him on board with us!
Welcome to the team guys!

We've recently discovered that Firestorm has become the favorite viewer for other grids. I personally have had a LOT of grid owners approach me asking for improvements to Firestorm in OpenSim. Well, it just so happens that 'other grids' are where Armin excels, in fact I've put Armin in charge of that area from this point forward. In other words, Firestorm is going to extend its focus and improve support for other grids, however I must point out.. we cannot 'offer support' for other grids since there is just no way to stretch our support team out that thin into other grids. But what about the  Havok sub-license terms  stating the viewer cannot connect to other grids while having Havok?  Well we've thought about that and decided we're going to offer TWO versions of Firestorm. One for Second Life with Pathfinding Havok goodness, and one for other grids without Havok. We'll have more news about that soon.

New Release coming
More skins and skin customization improvements, new Windlight effects, Growl, Build floater improvements and options, ctrl/shift mouse wheel for setting custom default cam positions, brought back "remove scripts from selection", LSL PreProcessor!, improved functionality to estate tools, improved mouselook functionality, sound explorer, permanent derender, asset blacklist... loads of bug fixes, improvements and new features! The list goes on and on and on with too many to list! It's all coming folks!
But when.. you ask?  Well, we're getting close to the end of our 4.1.1 release targets which means we're getting very close! However, we're also kind of waiting for LL's pathfinding goodness so we can release with that stuff as well. As usual I cannot give you a release date, but I'll risk saying.. shortly after LL releases their pathfinding stuff, we'll release the next epic Firestorm update!

Things are moving along, it's all happening! Stay tuned!

Jessica Lyon and the team.

P.S. We hope to see you at our  SL9B  Exhibit!



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  2. Thanks Jessica it's good to know you got some time to reboot as well as the others. You all deserve the rest. But please remember, we sit by the window as the night grows darker worrying about our wonderful developers. Your mother was a bundle of nerves. :o)

  3. Any News for Phoenix that it will continue to be allowed by Lindens?

  4. I had a thought last night that if firestorm was to make dual SLI graphics cards function properly it wont infringe on the shared experience but it greatly improve the way second life works, this could be a significant step up for the firestorm viewer and would make it viable for many users to buy 2 cards and potentially see lag disapear

  5. Glad to hear you have 'recharged' after the last release. You deserved the break.

    Sooo excited about the news regarding OpenSim support. Really good to hear.

    Looking forward to the new Firestorm. Hoping some of the alpha slowdown issues get ironed out so our fps go up :)

    Thanks again for the update and welcome to the new developers.

  6. WOOT Congrats to getting armin, I am soo happy he joined your team!!!

  7. Nice, I hope for the sound bug to be fixed.
    Also, you should know that pathfinding is already in the main grid in some sims.

  8. Now if you'd only include the ability to disable auto join chat on a per group basis then it'd be perfect.

  9. great news....

    but not forget us phoenix users.

    I not ask for any new features. Just make it more stable at is was before.

    Please, please fix the serious bugs in the mac version
    (PHOE-3690 Accessing/using avatar profile page can cause crash
    Mac only)

    thank you for your work :D

  10. Hope the lines that appear in the save file when snapshot is larger then screen resolution is sorted.

  11. Yay - so happy to see other grids being considered in releases now. Phoenix team; you rock!

  12. "But what about the Havok sub-license terms stating the viewer cannot connect to other grids while having Havok?" Well, I must tell something. That is just plain B.S. Being such restrictive terms that might kill development of TPV's especially those based on V1 (including Phoenix itself). But anyway...I think you are doing such a good work with this viewer guys. I've been surprised since the first release, because the viewer has taken the best out of the worst, being that it is based on the not so intuitive V2 and V3-based viewers.

  13. If you can connect to other Grids now with the viewer... Isnt that just the same as connecting to other grids? lol...

    Shrugs... Good to hear from Phoenix after 3 months or so! Glad to see it still going

  14. Hope you will be including the test code for the mesh deformer in the next release too.

  15. is it only me that don't know what LL Pathfinding Havok goodness are? I would like to know more about this from someone smarter than me

  16. Really looking forward to the new release.

    Any thoughts yet on building a native 64-bit Linux version? Looks like Imprudence will have it in their next build (they already have it if you don't care about mesh). Would be a shame not to compile Firestorm to run on a full 64-bit operating system rather than limit it to 32-bit like LL.

    Keep up the good work, though - still the best viewer out there by far :)

  17. Brilliant you will be continuing Firestorm as an Opensim viewer as well..Thanks so much

  18. I hope you don't wait until pathfinding comes out to release'd be nice if that sound bug was fixed before then, who knows when LL is gonna release path finding...

  19. Hooray, the phoenix rises!!

  20. hi Jessica,

    Ive been recently attacked by a griever Maybe (not sure). What happened is that suddenly my avatar started moving not straight anymore when pressing the keys to move forward left or right.
    As if it moved on its own for a bit.
    I re logged and all was fine but that attack if it was a attack gave me a idea. Ive noticed that avatars cant stand on a rotating round object they fall off instead of rotating wit the object. So i thought what if a script would be there in the object that enables something in the viewer so the viewer actually pushes the avatar in sync with the rotating object that way you would not need a pose-ball but the avatar would look as if rotating with the round object. Many say to me its not possible but with this idea maybe it is.

  21. As regards Phoenix support, the Project's stand hasn't changed. We will continue to support Phoenix until such a time as Linden Lab actively block all V1 viewers, and we will continue to work on bug fixes. We will not look at any new features, but if someone makes a feature (programs it and hopefully tests it), like Henri did with mesh rendering, and submits it to us then we will consider adding it to Phoenix.

  22. Well....Since you guys are pulling people from the Imprudence team anyway....How about pushing out a Linux 64 Bit Version??

    For us Linux users this is a bit more interesting then a Firestorm that works on other grids....

  23. Thanks for providing the community with a top notch viewer that is also free.

    On the wishlist side I have to agree with Razor's comment: please give higher priority to a 64 bit version for linux 64 bit:

    Currently it is not possible to play media. Also better integration with the sound system is desirable. There are crashes when the 32 bit process address space fills up (say, above 3GB).

    Please observe that 64 bit is standard these days. 32 bit is getting more and more exotic.

  24. Waiting on this release before I'm able to use firestorm at all. :(
    Too bad you can't release this one then update to pathfinding later.

  25. Firestorm Growl! Awesome! I've missed that feature a tonne.

  26. yeah i am going to have to check for other viewers, even tried building it from the source code but it failed. so off i go to use Exodus or something until there is a new release... Pathfinder will take a lot longer to be released it seems

  27. I have been using SL for one year and started with Firestorm because the SL viewer loaded in Chinese regardless of what I did. I am a 100% USER of SL, like a social network, and have zero interest in building anything.
    Due to the fact that LL does not, and probably can not, speak to a user like me who has distain for all LL computer jargon and abbvs. (and happy chat on its blog), I had a painful and extending learning to just use the site and am not done yet. I have found very clear questions on your blogs, but totally confusing answers. Your videos are ego trips for the on camera people that have few skills on how to teach basic info.
    Today, I want to download the new Firestorm viewer and first cat out of the box, I am told to erase my existing viewer (all of them, I think) and do something like reassemble my inventory. That scares all the pants I have on file right off of me. I would love to upgrade, but do not know how and there is no help on line that speaks English. So I will stumble along with what I have.
    Teach with Step 1, click on your viewer icon on your desktop screen and do..... I know not what.
    Then go on to the other step by step instructions.
    I marvel that SL still exists, considering the huge number of stuff/buildings in it that are ALWAYS empty of people av. The reason is that SL IS MURDER TO LEARN TO USE and there are no instruction sites for people who basically hate computers and just WANT TO USE THEM, not program them, make them dance on the desk or otherwise.
    Please listen to my very real plea and, surprise, you will be re-flooded with USERS, not programmers. Please!

  28. As a SL user of some years standing, I can only thank the denzions of firestorm for their untiring work on our behalf.
    If some of the commentators on this blog had been aboard since the days of viewer 1.2 then they may have spoken differently.
    I, for one, have to give unending thanks to the cast of Firestorm and Phoenix for their tireless efforts.
    The latest improvements even outmatch the first release of Emerald, and that says a lot.
    I await with baited breath the 64 bit version and the mesh deformer, this will save me endless hours of work in 3ds.

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