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.
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc