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Archive for April, 2013

Top 3 complaints & resolutions for 4.4.0 release

Top 3 complaints

  • My screen is black
  • Where has avatar height offset gone?
  • Hidden buttons or media controls

Please see the following page for information on those issues. Frequently Asked Support Questions April 2013

Firestorm Major update 4.4.0.33720

Firestorm Viewer 4.4.0.33720 with Server Side Baking Support

Not only is this a major update with loads of new features, as well as performance and stability improvements, but it is also a necessary upgrade for you if you want to be able to render avatars correctly when Linden Lab throws the switch for Server Side Baking (appearance). Because all Firestorm users will need to upgrade to this release, we have put it through unprecedented development and testing with no fewer than three levels of Quality Assurance: internal testing, Beta testing and our new Preview Group testing. We truly hope and expect this to be the best release we have ever issued. Grab the downloads from our Downloads page and enjoy!

Some of the new key features we think you will enjoy are listed below. But this is only a tiny fraction of what’s new. For a complete list of changes and known issues please see our change log

OpenSim

We have spent considerable time on this release adapting Firestorm for better compatibility in your grids and hope you will put it to great use! Some of the key changes are listed below.

  • OSSL/AA syntax highlighting for scripters
  • OpenSim Lightshare support
  • Better hypergrid jumping support
  • Greatly improved grid manager
  • Saved usernames from any grid always show
  • Near complete support for AuroraSim
  • Brought back things like client phantom, restore to world, etc., for use on grids that support them
  • SL-specific things like Merchant Outbox, pathfinding, etc., hidden while on OpenSim grids
  • OpenRegion settings support
  • Fixed build tools
  • Settings/logs stored separately for avatars with same name on different grids
  • Lots more…

Phoenix Users

We have done everything in our power to develop skin/setting combinations to make Firestorm look and act as close to the V1 interface as possible. We’ve also created a new Tutorial Video here to help you transition to Firestorm, and we have changed even more in this Firestorm release specifically for you. Once LL enables Server Side Baking on the server you will have to upgrade to a server side baking capable viewer. I hope that you will choose Firestorm, but if not, please know that there are other third party viewer options available to you on the Third Party Viewer Directory. We have honestly done everything we can to accommodate your needs as best we can, and should you decide to move to another viewer we do truly wish you the best.

Sincerely,

Jessica Lyon and the Phoenix Firestorm Project Team

Progress Report!

Plenty of folks have been eager to see another release from us, and I can honestly say that the release is quickly approaching. However, the timing of this release depends on several factors, not the least of which is… the status of Server Side Baking.

Server Side Baking

Let’s very briefly refresh about “Server Side Baking”. In layman’s terms:

  • This is the major code rewrite by Linden Lab that changes the process of how avatars are displayed in Second Life and by design ‘should’ reduce bake fail significantly, if not totally.
  • There are two stages toward this effort. First stage consists of the viewer code changes and viewer release. Second consists of the server side code update and deployment.
  • Once the server code has been deployed, anyone on a viewer that does not support Server Side Baking will not see avatars properly.
  • Everyone will need to update to a viewer that supports Server Side Baking, preferably BEFORE Linden Lab deploys the server side stage.
  • Expect the second stage to go live within a month or less.

The main thing you need to know is that if you have not updated to a Server Side Baking-capable viewer by the time LL updates the server with this code, you will not see avatars correctly. This coming Firestorm release DOES support Server Side Baking.

Firestorm Release Timeline

Firestorm is currently in very good shape for a release. We have overcome many challenges, we have the latest Server Side Baking code from LL integrated and ready, we are passing our Quality Assurance tests and we could potentially even release right now if we had to. In fact, it’s looking like this will be a very good update with a lot of great new features and bug fixes to boot! So why don’t we release now?

Because Linden Lab has not released their viewer with Server Side Baking yet. And if we release Firestorm now, and then LL realizes there needs to be more code changes for Server Side Baking that will affect both their viewer and ours, then we will have to do yet another release immediately after. We wish to avoid this. So our current plan is to let LL release their viewer with Server Side Baking, give them a few days to determine if more code is needed and, if they don’t, then release Firestorm. LL’s Server Side Baking-capable viewer will be released with enough time before the server support is rolled out for us to have this safety bumper. Firestorm’s Server Side Baking-capable release will be available in plenty of time for the server rollout.

The specific release date depends on the readiness of Server Side Baking, but we expect it roughly within the next couple of weeks.

Phoenix Users

It is very important that you understand Phoenix Viewer is not Server Side Baking-capable. It will not be possible to view avatars properly on Phoenix once Linden Lab flips that switch and rolls it out at the server end.

More About Server Side Baking

For more information on Server Side Baking, you can watch our most recent Question and Answer meeting here, where we went to great lengths to explain and inform, or read specifically about it what server side baking is HERE. Or do a Google search, many results to choose from.

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc

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