Sunday, 29 July 2012

Technical problems (Resolved)

The problems with the website download links and erroneous update notifications on Phoenix and Firestorm Viewer login screens have been resolved.

Again, our sincerest apologies for any confusion and/or inconvenience this may have caused.

The Phoenix Firestorm Team

Technical problems

We've been experiencing some technical problems today with our website resulting in false 'new release notifications' as well as broken download links on the website. We are currently working to resolve these issues and will update this blog once we are back to normal.

To be clear, there was not a Firestorm or Phoenix viewer Release today, the latest firestorm version is and the latest Phoenix version is The login screen notifications were in error.

You can still find download links on our wiki page in the meantime.

We apologize for the confusion and inconvenience.

The Phoenix Firestorm Project, inc.

Friday, 20 July 2012

What's Next? Pathfinding!

A great success!
Firestorm has turned out to be a great success -- one of our best, in fact! We went from near the bottom of the Third Party Viewer Directory (meaning we had a comparatively higher crash rate) to the top of the list with the lowest crash rate according to Linden Lab stats! This could change as more people adopt 28744 and as other TPVs improve their crash rates as well, but we are quite pleased nonetheless. And special thanks to all of you who are allowing your crash reports to be sent, as we've managed to fix a whole bunch of other crashes we weren't even aware of, meaning the next release will be even more stable!

What's next...Pathfinding!
We've decided to release LL's Pathfinding work in Firestorm in two stages.

Stage 1 (next release).
Pathfinding Tools. Not to be confused with the Havok library, which is used to display Navigation Mesh (NavMesh), the Pathfinding Tools are what you will need to optimize your regions once Pathfinding goes live.

Unless LL changes the current plan, when Pathfinding goes live, all regions will have pathfinding enabled by default, and all objects that contain scripts will be treated as "Movable Obstacles." Movable Obstacles will have an impact on region performance, so region owners will need to optimize their regions by setting scripted objects that don't move to "Static Obstacles." To do this, you will need Pathfinding Tools!

So our plan with our next release is to get Pathfinding tools out as soon as we can. This will be based on our 28744 release + post 28744 crash fixes + LL Pathfinding code. There have not been many new additions beyond that since the release, and this is for the best: we expect this code will destabilize the viewer to a degree, since it will be a large merge, and we’d rather base this version on a solid release than on a wild card.

Stage 2 (follow up release).
Release with the Havok Library for NavMesh. Havok will be used to enable viewing of NavMesh, display of object types and AI Preview of object paths. So the second Firestorm release from now will have Havok + stability fixes to the previous release + more of our own goodies.

How soon?
Great question, and a very tough one to answer since there are many factors involved that we have little control over. Like...
- LL's timeline to release Pathfinding;
- How much Linden code we have to merge into Firestorm;
- How many regressions and new bugs we pick up from that merge;
- How long it'll take us to fix them, etc.
But we want to get these out as soon as we possibly can once it's live on the grid.

Confusing Pathfinding is confusing!
If all this Pathfinding stuff sounds complicated and confusing to you, you're not alone. Unfortunately, though, region owners in particular are going to have to understand this stuff at least on a basic level. Fortunately! LL has some documentation on it, which I've linked throughout parts of this post (indicated by colored text). But I will also post links at the end of this post to LL's documentation and an early video. For more information I would encourage you to google "Second Life Pathfinding."

What about Phoenix?
Currently there is no time for us to squish pathfinding tools into Phoenix, as Firestorm is keeping us very busy already. Region owners using Phoenix will still be able to disable/enable pathfinding on their regions using the console, but for all else they will need to switch to Firestorm, to LL’s viewer or to another viewer supporting Pathfinding tools.

Pathfinding Links and Documentation
NOTE: Some of this documentation may change or be out of date as Pathfinding is still under development.
What is Pathfinding (early LL video):
Pathfinding quickstart guide:
Pathfinding tools:
Pathfinding NavMesh:
A Visual Guide to NavMesh:

Jessica Lyon
Project Manager

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Major Firestorm Viewer Update!

Get it from the  Downloads Page and please do a  clean install  to avoid performance and stability problems.
Instructions here.

In our last blog post we said we would have two separate builds for this release -- one for OpenSim and the other for Second Life -- to comply with requirements for using Havok. This is still the plan for the future, but it's postponed because Pathfinding isn't ready and Havok isn't available yet. And so for this release only, you get OpenSim goodness included!

FULL of Awesome Update!
This Firestorm update is HUGE with regard to features, fixes and improvements, and it brings us to 99% feature completeness compared to Phoenix. Almost four months in the making it is easily one of our biggest updates to date. Not only that, but it's thoroughly quality tested by our revitalized Quality Assurance team using new structured test procedures by more than 100 dedicated beta testers! They've been REALLY busy!

This update puts a lot of focus on the needs of builders, scripters, estate managers, average to advanced users and of course V1/Phoenix diehards by providing...
- New Features and Tools for builders, scripters and estate managers.
- More options for legacy V1 features/behavior
- Greater flexibility, functionality, performance and Stability for everyone!

But rather than bore you with chit chat, let me just point out a very small sample of what you get with this update! You can see the full  Release notes here.

- Up to date with Linden 3.3.3 code base.
- RLV 1.4.6
- New Permanent Derender / Asset Blacklist   
Sound Explorer
Right click > Script Options!  Epic!
- OpenSim Prefs Panel  and expanded grid manager.
Loads of new tools and improvements for Builders!  Click to check that out!
- LSL PreProcessor  It's back!
Enhancements to client AO so it can be enabled/disabled via scripts.  Long requested! We aim to please!
- Increased text buffer size to allow for larger copy/pastes and longer messages in IMs and Local chat.
- Temp uploads for snapshots returned
- Ctrl or Shift + Mouse scroll wheel to change default camera position! So awesome!
- Profile, script info button and estate kick functions added to Top Scripts and Top Colliders floaters
- Support for 1024×1024 terrain textures
- Keyboard shortcut hovertips over Toolbar buttons
- Texture size display for all objects and attachments!  (Develop Menu>Render Metadata>Texture Size)
Crash Logging!  And yes we WILL be fixing crashes with these so please send them!
- Option to use different search terms between inventory / Recent / Worn. (Prefs>Firestorm>General>Allow separate search terms..) HUGE!
- Option to display Received Items folder as regular folder in inventory or standard V3 display (Prefs> Firestorm>General>"Show received items folder...")
- Option to use V1-style inventory Accept/Decline messages (Prefs>Privacy>"Use legacy inventory offer...").
Growl for Mac, Windows and Linux!
- New windlight settings
- Fixes for Linux-specific problems
- LOADS of crash, stabilization and performance fixes/improvements

Please be patient with our support staff as they will be very busy, as they always are during a release and can only do so much.

4.1.1 Classes!
We've got newly updated classes as well now to teach you how to use all these new features, preferences, options and goodies. We highly encourage you to come check them out -- lots of new stuff to learn! Check them out here

Don't forget to clean install!!

Wow what a release! Have at it, folks! Enjoy and we'll see you in world!

The Phoenix Firestorm Team!