On April 1st, the Firestorm team released and April Fools video in the spirit of their 2013 “Firestorm Mobile” hoax.
As fun it was, there was a secret within the joke which many – including me – missed at the first watching of the video, largely because we didn’t follow the suggestion and manually type the URL at the end of the video into a web browser.
For those who may have missed things, and to provide a frame of reference, I’m including the video in this post as well.
Jessica Lyon contacted me just after I’d published a post on the Firestorm and Catznip April Fools and gave me a proper “Gotcha!” So, having taken the time to stay quiet on the matter, as Jessica requested (and in order to go wipe the egg from my face!), I’m here to say, as many Firestorm users have been poking me about over the last 24-hours, that the Firestorm Dynamic User Interface isn’t a joke. It’s here. I’m using it. What’s more the Firestorm team have now blogged to confirm it.
The viewer,Firestorm 184.108.40.206484 is available for download for Windows only, and will run on both Second Life and OpenSim.
Now, the viewer – as Jessica and the team wish to express loud and clear – isn’t the finished article. It’s currently experimental, and as such, subject to unpredictable behaviour. It is not recommended for use as a primary viewer.
There are also some other points to note:
- Not all of the floaters in the viewer may be capable of being pulled out of the viewer window. Those that can appear to float “above” the viewer window, rather than “in” it
- Not all of thefloaters work smoothly at this time, and may be subject to jumping and / or, flickering, and options on menus associated with them may not be accessible as a result. There may be other issues, such as:
- You cannot drag / drop items from the Inventory floater in-world
- Conversations in the communications floater tabs may not scroll soothly
- Floaters outside of the viewer window cannot be resizedYou cannot resize those floaters which can be moved outside of the viewer window
- Torn-off menus cannot as yet be floated
Discussing the viewer with me after pointing out I’d been had with the April Fools video, Jessica said:
The intention is that we want to release this code in the hopes that ALL open-source developers out there, TPVs included, will pick it up. fix it, improve it, expand its capability and most importantly SHARE it with one another. It is my hope that this may become a catalyst to renew interest in viewer development among inactive developers and that ultimately this will open a whole new realm of possibilities for SL viewer technology moving forward.
We will not be assigning the gentleman’s agreement on this… it’s too important to make this about credit. I don’t care who releases it first as long as the code is shared equally. We will also work on improving it, but I think this should be a community effort.
Having detachable floaters like this has been one of the Holy Grails for the SL viewer, and has long, and oft been requested. However, the Lab has generally taken the view that to get something like this working would take a considerable amount of effort. The Firestorm’s team work is therefore very much pre-proof-of-concept, as their blog post on the matter indicates:
Firestorm DUI is little more than a very early proof of concept that a dynamic user interface is in fact possible with Virtual World viewers … our very own Nicky Dasmijn managed to come up with this in a relatively short amount of time, and we hope that it will translate to this functionality being available in a reasonable amount of time …
So, if you haven’t already taken it for a test-drive, and remembering the Firestorm DUI isn’t a release, and there may be issues with using it, and that it is not supported by Firestorm at this point in time. So again, when using it, please do not use it as your primary viewer.
Please don’t report any issues with the viewer here; I’m not a part of the Firestorm team, and cannot help you. As mentioned above, the DUI viewer is currently unsupported!