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RLVa on Firestorm

One of the biggest complaints we’ve had with the 4.7.7 release is that we still have not updated RLVa, so I thought I would take some time to explain.

But first, some history. The RLV code was written by Marine Kelley for her own viewer to accommodate the sale of her own products. But because Marine was both protective of her code and reluctant to accept bug fixes from the community, a derivative of this original code was made in order for other viewers to have this functionality. So… many, many years ago Kitty Barnett started writing that derivative, called it RLVa and contributed it openly to other third party viewers so that the larger user base could have it beyond Marine’s viewer. It is only because of Kitty that we have the RLVa functionality in our viewers.

These days Kitty runs her own viewer project, called Catznip Viewer, which of course also has her RLVa code plus many amazing features unique to her viewer. She also tries to keep all the other RLVa-equipped third party viewers such as Firestorm updated and has to find time for her real life job. These days she is a very busy kitty, but to further complicate her situation, a little more than a year ago Kitty ran into some health problems. These problems have had her in and out of the hospital quite a bit, and currently she suffers ongoing chronic back pain that limits the time she’s able to sit in one spot.

A while back Marine Kelley issued an update to her RLV code, and this seems to be the update RLVa users are all asking to see in Firestorm Viewer. Unfortunately, due to Kitty’s health and lack of available free time Firestorm has not received an update derived from Marine’s RLV update. It should be understood that RLVa is only a derivative of the original RLV code, and just because RLV has an update does not automatically mean RLVa will get the same.

Finally, we anticipate that folks will ask, “Why not let someone else do the RLVa work if Kitty can’t?” The answer is that first, the RLVa code is very complex and really is a specialty area that few to none are willing to venture into. What Kitty has done with it is impressive, and it’s unlikely that another developer would be able to do the same thing in the time span of a viewer release cycle, and it’s not something that can easily be learned even through training. Second, the volunteer nature of the Firestorm team gives developers the freedom to work on what interests them and what their real lives will accommodate, when it accommodates it. This means that we cannot require one of our other developers—all of whom have existing responsibilities to the team as it is—to take on a mammoth new role.

I’m really hoping we’ll have it for the next release—Kitty already has plans to take off time from work to start working on the update—but no promises can be made at this time.

Sincerely,

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc

Firestorm Update 4.7.7.48706

It is once again time for a new update!

Firestorm 4.7.7 comes with a few really nice new features, but more importantly it is overflowing with bug fixes and improvements from both us and Linden Lab! This release brings us to parity with LL version 4.0.1 (LL’s latest up to their release today).

Although this is a minor release it should be considered a major update that everyone should make an effort to upgrade to. It’s worth your while!

As usual there are just far too many changes to list specifics here so for a much more elaborate run through have a look at Inara Pey’s blog post on this release here , but the gist of it is all the LL awesomeness plus FS-specific…

  • Skinning and translations;
  • New features and fixes for builders and scripters;
  • Improvements to audio and voice;
  • KDU updated to 7.7.1 (thanks to all of you for your donations!);
  • New features and improvements for OpenSim;
  • Loads of new features and fixes in communications, navigation, groups, inventory, appearance, avatar, user interface, performance, stability . . . SOOooo much more!

For a complete change log please see http://wiki.phoenixviewer.com/firestorm_change_log_4.7.7.48706

We will be blocking version 4.6.9 in three weeks’ time so if you are on this version please find a way to upgrade now and don’t wait until the last minute. We simply can no longer continue to support Windows XP or Mac Snow Leopard.

 

Sincerely,

Jessica Lyon and the Firestorm Team!

Flabbergasted! Thank you SO much!

I laughed… I cried (repeatedly… like a lot)… I gasped in disbelief…

I speak for myself and everyone on the team when I say that we are all absolutely flabbergasted, floored, shocked, astonished, gobsmacked and most of all humbled beyond all meanings of the words. There are just not enough words to describe our appreciation; you have all been so incredibly generous.

At the time of writing this, 12:46PM SLT, the balance is L$2,087,455. Our target goal—which I didn’t think we had much hope of hitting—was L$1.6 million. This would give us enough for our Kakadu license, some money for marketing and some money for an accountant, a lawyer and the taxes which we’ll certainly have to pay because of this fund drive. We are over 2 million linden dollars right now, and actually it is too much! Really it is!

The unfortunate reality in what we do is that most of the time we only hear from the disgruntled, upset, screaming, frustrated, angry users while only occasionally hearing from the folks who genuinely appreciate what we do and offer us a thank you. That thank you, while not much to most, is usually all we ever need. It is what fuels our fire and drives us to push forward. To merge the next code drop, to help the next user requesting help, to write reproductions of bugs, to respond to JIRAs and to carry on in all the facets of what we all do.

It is so easy to forget just how much impact we make here and just how many people we help. But this weekend you have all, so many thousands of you, thanked us in the loudest voices ever possible through demonstration, example, action and sacrifice. Your contributions this weekend have been so much more than financial, and as a result morale on the team right now has never been so high. You have renewed our spirits, dedication and commitment and our resolve to keep doing what we do. You have validated to us that it is all worth it, all the hours… Your thanks has been heard so incredibly loudly.

You have my solemn word that every single cent donated to this project will go back towards our operating costs. Every dollar will in some way or another go back into the community that has so generously contributed. And as always, we will all remain purely volunteers in what we do, with our reward being your thanks. None of us have ever, nor will ever, gain monetarily from our efforts.

Because we have well surpassed our goal I am tempted to remove the jackets from Marketplace now, but I also understand that doing so may upset folks who still want to contribute but haven’t yet had a chance to. So I will leave them available but with the mention that we really don’t need any more financial support at this point.

You have been so incredibly amazing, thank you all so very very much!

Love always,
Jessica Lyon and the entire Firestorm Team.