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Archive for June, 2011

Survey Results

The results from the survey are in and links to the raw data are provided below. The results are anonymous, unedited, unchanged and come directly from who hosted the poll.  It is important to remember that the survey results do not necessarily form our decision to add or remove these features. As was mentioned in the previous blog these results are there to help us with our decision process, and they are doing just that.

One of the most important reasons we did this survey was to raise awareness of the pro’s and cons of each feature listed. You may have noticed that each of the 5 items were worded very carefully so as to demonstrate to you that giving you this ability, takes away from you or someone else an ability. Giving you a freedom, takes away from you or someone else a freedom. While these items are in fact already in the Phoenix viewer, they are legacy features that were created before our team took over from emerald. Back in the day there was much debate over many of these which went mostly ignored by the Emerald team. We are bringing these items back up so we can do a proper public discussion, better explain the positives and negatives of each and perhaps close the door on some of them. This survey gave each of you a public venue in which to express your feelings about each item. This isn’t meant to create drama, but rather create a positive and productive open discussion.

Today we discussed the results of the survey, and had a discussion about the features in question at our Office Hour. For those of you who missed it, we highly encourage you to watch the Office Hour recording here. (We had some sound problems, please index in to 6 minutes and 45 seconds). We are still in discussion internally as well, taking the poll results into account we will soon make solid decisions on each of these items. However we’re pretty sure how we are going to go on some of them. This is also discussed in the office hour.

We’re providing the poll results in several formats. Here they are.
Web page (recommended)
PDF (doesn’t include custom comment results)
Spreadsheet download (a bit hard to read).

Firestorm Feature Survey

Firestorm Public Beta has been a huge success overall. There has been less confusion than we expected and the general consensus from our users coming from V1, and folks from V2 have been very positive. This is great news as it means we are off to a great start! Our download count is already around 24,000 as I write this, and our initial crash statistics are showing the Firestorm Public beta to be very stable as well, in fact Firestorm currently sits in 4th place on the Third Party Viewer Directory based on crash rate. This may change in time as more people adopt Firestorm but we are very proud of this achievement. Thank you all for giving it a try!

As development of the Firestorm Viewer progresses we are continually adding more and more features, functionality improvements, bug fixes and interface customizations options. The Firestorm viewer is a result of the overall volume of requests, suggestions and opinions we’ve received from you since the beginning. What we do is a result of what you want and how many of you want it. But we’ve reached a stage once again where we want your input.

There are a few features in the Phoenix Viewer which have been considered controversial by some in the past.  So we have created a poll ask that you all fill it out as honestly as you can. Please only vote once so we can have an accurate result. The results of this poll will help us in our decision making process as to if and how we implement these features in the future.

The poll will run for exactly one week, ending at at 12pm SLT next Tuesday. At that time we will make the results of the poll public. The Poll can be found here. We do not collect or have access to any personal information about you, not even your IP address. The Poll is entirely anonymous.

Thank you all very much for your participation in helping make Firestorm the best it can be.

The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Firestorm Public Beta has arrived!

That’s right! It’s finally here, and while we’re calling it a beta it could easily pass as an official release! We certainly feel it’s ready for broad public usage. This public beta has demonstrated itself to be very stable in testing and comes with heaps more features than our Preview 2 did. We’ve also designed it specifically to not interfere with other viewer installations on your system so you can feel confident in giving it a try without any worries.
First, what is the Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer all about? Firestorm is the next generation viewer produced by us; it is based off of Linden Lab’s V2 code base but with a focus on making it V1 familiar. It’s focus is to provide you with a smaller learning curve and an easier transition from V1 to V2. However, while that has been our focus it is important to mention that it still does have a learning curve, it is not exactly the same as V1 or the Phoenix Viewer. Because of this we have gone to great lengths to provide you with tutorial videos and extensive documentation which we HIGHLY encourage you to have a look at. It will take some getting used to, but if you give it a chance you’ll find it will quickly feel very comfortable for full time use.
You can see our tutorial video’s here
You can find our support and usage documentation here 
We’ll be hosting Firestorm Classes starting in the next week or two, keep an eye on our classes wiki for schedule
Firestorm Public Beta comes with a huge list of features far beyond what the standard V2 viewer provides. Some of the most prominent features you will notice is that we made you a new PIE’ menu! We’ve provided you with nearly fully functional Radar, a newly written, secure bridge which extends the abilities of the viewer into in world interactivity, like the ability to double click teleport in regions that have landing points, improved radar accuracy and much more to come. We have big plans for bridge in the future. There is a brand new written from scratch built in AO which just works every time and couldn’t be easier to use. Plus many more features you’re used to from the Phoenix viewer. There are however a few features we are hesitant to add because of their controversial nature like True online status in profiles, friendship dissolved messages, who’s removed you from seeing their online status etc. In the coming days we will be making another blog post here with a link to a poll. We want to know what you think we should do with these features. But for now, a complete list of features can be found here.
But perhaps most important of all is the UI changes and customization options we’ve provided you. Close to V1, almost everything can now be customized to your liking. Undocking/docking windows, closing them/reopening them, moving them, resizing them or just eliminating them from your view forever are all things you can do with this new viewer.  We’ve provided you with various skins as well, from V1 looking skins to skins that look just like the original V2. Options! It’s all up to you.
Thousands of man hours have gone into this viewer so far, and there is yet still so much more on our planning board to do. So many more features and options we want to bring over from Phoenix and many of our own unique features we plan to create. As with any viewer, this is a continual work in progress viewer, it is in perpetual motion. With each release we promise to have more and more features, options and bug fixes in place. We only wish we could do everything at once, faster! Speaking of doing it faster!…
Firestorm is a community project, what that means is that we very much welcome people from outside our team to help us make it better. Our primary goal is to improve the user experience, there are no egos involved here. We’ve already accepted a lot of code from people who are not on our team and highly encourage anyone to become a contributor to this very promising viewer project. If you contribute enough we’ll be happy to make you a member of the team! In fact several of our best developers started out as contributors themselves. Contributing is easy if you can code!
You can grab our source code from Have a peek through our JIRA to find things that interest you. Contribute by providing us patches but please remember all code must be LGPL. You will be properly credited for any and all contributions. Our support members are not developers and may not be able to help you with compile issues, if you need help with compiling or coding feel free to contact one of our developers. Their names can be found here or Email us at dev at phoenixviewer dot  com
It is important to note that while we are providing support for this release, our support people aren’t much more experienced with Firestorm than you are and may have trouble finding you solutions to difficult problems for the first little while. This is a transition for all of us. Also that half of our support team will still be running the Phoenix viewer so they can continue to support Phoenix and may not be able to help with Firestorm issues in this case. Please understand that our support team, just like all of us, work on a volunteer basis. While they are not required to help you, they try their best all of the time and do a fantastic job. Please don’t be abusive towards them. Before contacting support please have a look at our Firestorm wiki first, chances are you will find your answers there faster. If you don’t find your answers you can reach support either by IM directly, or through one of our official support groups. Members and groups can be found from our Support page on this website.
With this Phoenix-Firestorm Public Beta comes a new future and direction for The Phoenix Viewer Project which we are very excited about! At some point in the near future the Phoenix Viewer along with all other V1 viewers will begin to stop working as LL starts turning off server side support for them. While Firestorm is optional right now, we must all accept that we will need to transition over to a V2 based viewer at some point soon. Beyond Firestorm there are other options as well, many other Third Party Viewer Projects have started their own V2 based viewers, some have been established for some time already. We encourage you to give them a try as well. 
You can download firestorm from our downloads page.
Note: If you’ve previously installed any of the Firestorm Preview Builds that you perform a full clean installation for this public beta. Much has changed since preview 2 and you will likely get settings corruption if you don’t. Instructions can be found here

We are looking forward to providing you with progressively better versions with each release, and are really looking forward to seeing you on the new Phoenix-Firestorm Viewer! See you in world!
The Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc.