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Archive for November, 2012

Phoenix-Firestorm Public Beta


Yesterday, November 13th, Linden Lab rolled out a server update to the Second Life grid that contained some improved group handling code for large groups. Unfortunately, however, at the time of this writing, and to the best of our knowledge, only the current LL Beta Viewer has the necessary code released for compatibility with this update. As a result, moderators of large groups with more than 10,000 users are unable to load the group member list. This leaves users unable to manage group memberships on anything other than the Linden Beta. LL has also released some new notifications to the server that some old versions of Firestorm and all versions of Phoenix will not recognize. This leads to error messages that say, “Your version of viewer name does not know how to display the alert message it just received.”

In order to accommodate the users who need to manage their large groups, we have decided to rush what we have done so far, along with the group loading code, into a public Beta for you. This also gives those of you who like cutting edge code a chance to toy with our latest and report problems to us on our JIRA

– This is NOT an official release, but we will provide support for it.
– This has NOT been thoroughly tested by our Quality Assurance team.
– We can NOT make any promises regarding how stable or bug-free it is.
– This DOES have some really cool new stuff in it!

– You need to manage large groups inworld.
– You’re tired of seeing unknown alert messages in Phoenix.
– You’re feeling brave, you live on the cutting edge and you want to get an early look at what’s coming in December’s Official Release.

You can download the beta from

If you can wait, we have a scheduled Official Release around the beginning of December that we expect will be fantastic.

Phoenix users:

Our developers and support staff have been extremely busy trying to balance their real working and personal lives while continuing their volunteer efforts to develop SL’s most popular viewer for you. Unfortunately, most of us cannot easily compile Phoenix anymore because of missing/expired libraries like Fmod, compiler changes we’ve had to make for Firestorm, OS upgrades (Win8), etc. To update Phoenix to current LL code now would be a very, very big task and, because we are already at our limit of what we can do, there are no plans to update Phoenix Viewer to support this new group code or handle the new notification system at this time. We are, after all, only human.

We highly recommend Phoenix users give Firestorm a chance — or a second one, as the case may be. Either that or consider looking for an alternative V1-based viewer. Firestorm has a very good Phoenix-like interface mode now, and most Phoenix users who have given Firestorm a dedicated 3-5 day chance now proudly prefer it over Phoenix. Firestorm also has a significant lead over Phoenix in both minutes and unique users. It is clear that Firestorm is the viewer that will stand the test of time, where Phoenix will not.

In the meantime, Phoenix is still usable in SL, provided you don’t need to manage large groups and don’t mind putting up with error messages.

I hope you understand our current dilemma regarding Phoenix, and though we have not made a solid decision yet as to whether or not we will update it again in the future, it is not looking likely at the moment. Please understand that sooner or later… one way or another, Phoenix will expire.


Jessica Lyon
Project Manager
The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc.