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Archive for December, 2011

Stop the madness!

Since it was made public that Viewer 1 was nearing the end of it’s days I’ve seen nothing but divide, confusion and conflict among the users of Second Life. Since the rise of the Firestorm viewer I have seen way too much fighting between Phoenix and Firestorm users. The blog post accompanying the Phoenix Mesh release has just made things worse and almost to the point it’s out of control. I think it’s time I try to settle things down.

Firstly, to be absolutely clear… it is not the will of myself or of this project to kill V1, nor was it our decision.

All third party viewers who are listed on the directory are invited to bi weekly meetings held by Linden Lab. Not many of these viewer projects show up on a regular basis but we do. We were told by LL on an unofficial level some time ago that services and functionality which the v1 viewer relies on will be turned off at some point in the near future. Furthermore we were told that new features and functionality will be added in the future which will be difficult and in some cases impossible to add to v1’s. Mesh was expected to be very difficult however Henri and Siana of Cool VL and Singularity managed to pull that feat off. The reality to us however is that one way or another, sooner or later, maintaining a v1 viewer will  become impractical and since it’s demise is inevitable it would be better to focus on a v2 viewer which can be maintained easier. Let me explain.

Ask yourself this question. If V1 is killed off tomorrow, and no more V1 viewers work, what will you do? Will you leave SL? Or will you look for an alternative viewer you can live with? Would you rather have an alternative viewer you like than quit SL all together? I expect most people don’t want to leave SL, they are just unhappy with existing v2 alternatives. But what if, when V1 dies.. Firestorm Viewer was in a state that you actually would enjoy using it?
Let me explain my logic.. We already know V1 will be dead at some point soonish, make no doubt of that and we have no control over that inevitability. Now, the more time we spent on fixing Phoenix the less time we spend fixing Firestorm. Is Firestorm ready for you right now? For some it is, for some it isn’t. If V1 dies tomorrow, many of you will not have an alternative you can enjoy and you will want to leave SL. That is a failure on our part to improve your experience. So we can continue working on Phoenix and stay away from Firestorm.. then when V1 and Phoenix are dead.. you have nothing. OR, we can focus on Firestorm and work as hard as we can so that when the dreadful day comes, Firestorm WILL be ready for your enjoyment. But we cannot get Firestorm to that point if we keep trying to fix Phoenix. Does that make sense?

Phoenix Mesh Viewer – Important Hotfix update

Please update from Phoenix to Phoenix Viewer by downloading again. 

Our users discovered and reported a few serious bugs with the 1591 update that got missed by QA.
These issues are…
– Opening of scripts while LSL Preprocessor enabled causes crash to desktop. PHOE-3593
– Scripted dialogs from deeded objects fail. PHOE-3600
– Right click > wear from inventory is broken. PHOE-3583

We consider these three issues to be of critical importance as one prevents content creation of scripts, another breaks existing content in SL and the third breaks inventory functionality. Because of this we are issuing a minor but important update to Phoenix Mesh Viewer version 1591.

If you are on the 1591 version, please upgrade to this new version available on the quick links to the right or from our downloads page.

We are removing the release from availability.

Apologies for the inconvenience

Phoenix Viewer Project, Inc

Optional Phoenix Viewer Mesh Update

Thank you Henri
Firstly I want to make it clear that the only reason the phoenix viewer has mesh now is because of the tireless and determined efforts of Henri Beauchamp of the Cool VL Viewer. I would encourage those of you who appreciate these efforts to thank him personally. Credits and Kudos! Thank you Henri!

Our Focus & Our Promise
We stated some time ago our active development commitment is now focused on the Firestorm viewer and that continues today. We still feel strongly that the end of V1 functionality is an inevitability, so it is more important to develop an alternative viewer for our users they will enjoy for when that time comes than to spend our efforts on a dying viewer and then leave our users with no alternative once it’s gone. However, we also promised we would try to keep the phoenix viewer alive for you until it is no longer feasible to do so. As you can see, we are not walking away from that promise, but it is important to understand that Phoenix is no longer our top priority. When necessary we will continue to keep it up to date with advances/fixes from other third party viewers and provide them the credit they deserve for that work. But ‘we’ are no longer actively developing Phoenix on our own steam.

Future of Phoenix Viewer
Any future releases of Phoenix will be sparse and only if needed. I will not commit to saying this is the last Phoenix Viewer Release, but I will also not commit to saying it isn’t the last either. I will say… this is one of our last. As time passes we will determine if another release is absolutely necessary and/or sensible and make a decision then on whether another update is mandatory in order to keep our promise to you.

Stability & Usability
Phoenix 1185 was, is and will always be our most stable release ever. Please do not expect this phoenix viewer with mesh to be as stable, it simply is not. If it has stability issues it’s because it is now a hybrid of two different code bases. The bottom line is that a V1 viewer with a lot of V2 code hacked into the render engine is not going to give you stability as you’ve come to expect it from this project. Mesh was NOT designed to work with V1 code. We deliver you this viewer on an AS-IS basis.

No RLVa Update
RLVa has not been updated in this Phoenix viewer release. This was my decision, not that of Kitty Barnett. Although I said some time back we would update RLVa in Phoenix it became obvious that the work/time commitment involved in doing so was simply not reasonable or responsible. Kitty is a very valuable asset to this team and I refuse to take her away from the ground breaking work she does in Firestorm and v2/v3 to put a large time commitment into a dying viewer code base. She is worth far more than that. If you want updated RLVa I would suggest using the Firestorm Viewer or Kitty’s own Viewer Catznip. I offer you my sincerest apologies for going back on my word in regards to RLVa update in Phoenix, however I believe it was the right decision.

Please don’t complain if this release doesn’t work perfectly. If you find the viewer to be unusable you can return to our 1185 version without mesh or switch to the Firestorm Viewer. Complaints about the stability and usability of this release will largely go unheard, we did not modify the mesh code to work in V1 and will only spend limited time trying to fix issues resulting from it. Complaints about this project removing focus on Phoenix Viewer should go to me at .

Reduced Support
Phoenix Viewer is becoming harder for us to provide support for at an ever increasing rate. Almost all our support team members are using Firestorm (by choice) as their full time viewer, and being that Firestorm is now our default viewer this should be expected. Support for this release and the phoenix viewer in general will be far more limited this point on. Support will continue to try to help you but in many situations may be unable to do so. Please do not get angry at them if they are unable to provide help for you. Also, please remember… Our support team is not required to help you, they do so on their own accord because they want to.

For those of you who made it this far into the blog post I would like to say a special thank you for taking the time to do so! Here is the change log!

On behalf of myself and all of us at the Phoenix Viewer Project, we hope you all enjoy our latest releases of Firestorm and now Phoenix viewers.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Viewer Project Inc.