Tuesday, November 17th saw the release of Firestorm 188.8.131.52975. While not as major in terms of LL features and updates as the August 4.7.3 release, the new version of Firestorm nevertheless brings with it plenty of general fixes and improvements, both via the Lab and the Firestorm team and contributors.
As per my usual MO, what follows is an overview of the release, highlighting some of the more significant / interesting changes, updates and fixes to be found in the release. For full details of all changes, and all due credits to contributors, etc., please refer to the official release notes.
The Usual Before We Begin Notes
For best results when installing this release:
Details of any versions of Firestorm to be blocked as a result of this release will be announced in due course.
Lab Derived Updates
Firestorm 4.7.5 brings the viewer to parity with the Lab’s 3.8.6 code base, and so includes the new Notifications updates and changes to the mesh uploader. These and other key updates from the Lab are listed below.
The notifications update presents a new floater for managing all your incoming notifications and notices, the result of a feature request to the Lab from Aki Shichiroji. Within this floater, incoming notifications are split between four tabs: System, Transactions, Invitations and Group, with each tab displaying the total number of notices stored within it.
Notices are initially displayed in summary format presenting the title, date of receipt and other immediately relevant data, and can be opened in one of two ways:
- Clicking on a notice directly will open in a new floater (shown below left) – this is a Firestorm-specific feature for the floater
- Clicking on the small downwards arrow to the right of the notice will expand it within the existing floater (show below right).
The floater also includes two buttons: Collapse All and Delete All. Both do as they suggest: collapse all notices open within a tab in the floater and delete all notices with a tab. Two further Firestorm-specific aspects of the notifications floater are:
- An improved display of condensed group notices and show group name instead of sender name
- The floater remembers the last selected tab after a relog.
Mesh Uploader Updates
Firestorm 4.7.5 includes the updated mesh uploader from Linden Lab, as seen in the SL viewer 184.108.40.2065119 release.
This feature modifies the mesh importer to (optionally) improve debug output, perform name-based LOD association, and handle models with many materials, and allows models with more than 8 unique faces to be imported. When using it, note that:
- The same limitations on LODs and materials remain in place (e.g. your low LOD mesh materials must be a subset of the full LOD materials).
LODs and Physics reps can now be explicitly associated with a given mesh in the full LOD model using name-based matching.
By properly naming the meshes in your lower LOD meshes and physics reps, you can avoid issues with ordering of the meshes within your DCC tool and other material mismatching errors.
An ImporterDebug option has been added to the settings.xml file which, if enabled, causes more information to be output during import than you can shake a stick at.
The extra output can be very helpful for diagnosing authoring errors (e.g. violating the material subset constraints mentioned above) and pinpoint what needs to be fixed in the source model for successful import.
Further information can be found in the Lab’s Knowledge Base article.
Other Updates from the Lab
Other notable updates from the Lab include, but are not limited to:
- A fix for unable to wear a copy of a wearable until relog or swapping to a wearable with a different UUID (see: BUG-8388 and FIRE-16097)
- A fix for viewer crashing at logout if wearing clothing textured with a local texture (BUG-8872 and FIRE-15787)
- A fix for viewer crashing if you open Help > About while a group member list is loading (see BUG-9396)
- A fix for deleting objects too quickly from contents of another object results in viewer crash (see BUG-9492 and FIRE-16352)
- A fix for alpha masking not working when ALM is enabled if the object has a legacy bump set (see BUG-7263)
- Fixes for mesh models sometimes failing to load completely (see: BUG-6803, BUG-7239, BUG-8806, and FIRE-15690)
- A fix for the inventory count sometimes not displaying (see BUG-7263)
- A fix for group members of large groups in a role which has “Invite people to this group” ability not being able to send group invites (see BUG-9404)
- A for fox errors when texturing a linkset “Unable to add texture. Please wait a few seconds and try again.” (see BUG-9957 and FIRE-16755)
- A fix for the massive slowdown when opening “Place Profile” or “About Land” dialogue when the Covenant text is long
- A fix for broken texture animation on rigged mesh
- A fix for building block type changing to Torus after cancelling changing of texture for sculpted object
- The time remaining is now displayed before the avatar name in the parcel ban list for timed bans
- A huge number of maintenance fixes from various LL Maintenance viewer updates – for the full list, please refer to the Firestorm notes.
Firestorm UI Updates
The 4.7.5 release brings with it a number of UI updates and changes, including, but not limited to the following.
Upload Option Removed from the Avatar Menu
Firstorm 4.7.5 removes the Upload option for mesh models, textures, animations Sounds, etc., from the Avatar menu. Please use the Upload sub-menu from the Build menu to access any of these options.
The following updates have been made to the Preferences floater:
- A new options has been added to prevent the Toolbar buttons reverting to the default layout after changing login modes: Preferences > Skins > Reset Toolbars to the Login Mode’s Preferred Layout When Changing Login Modes
- A new option has been added so that the Conversations and Radar floaters are not hidden when going into Mouselook: Preferences > Move & View > Mouselook > Don’t Close Conversations and Radar Windows When Changing into Mouselook
- A new option has been to draw lines from avatars to their lookAt beacons per request FIRE-16912: Preferences > Privacy > LookAt > Render Lines to LookAt target
- A new option to add an auto-response status to avatar nametag: Preferences > General > Show Autorespond Mode in Nametag
- Addition of two new sounds:
- Tracker Beacon “parking sensor” sound feature – when the Tracker Beacon sound is enabled, when the map tracker beacon is active, the viewer will emit a beep which gradually becomes more panicked the closer you get: Preferences > Sound & Media > UI Sounds 3 > Tracker Beacon – see the video for a demonstration
- A new sound alert option when a new Experience notification is received: Preferences > Sound & Media > UI Sounds 3 > New Experience
- The duplicate “Default Creation Permissions” button from Preferences > Advanced, has been removed – use Preferences > Firestorm > Build 1Preferences clean up
- Backup and restore improvements:
- The Backup/Restore Settings should now save /restore proxy settings
- Region Tracker data file now included in settings backup.
The snapshot floater sees the Cancel button renamed to Selection, to better reflect the fact it allows you to toggle back to the image save options. The floater also includes a fix for the aspect ratio check box enabled state sometimes being wrong when sending a snapshot via email (see FIRE-16885).
Communications and Group Updates
- The Conversations floater can now be minimised rather than just closed
- It is now possible to re-add an avatar to a conference chat if they crash or restart the viewer without leaving the conference (see: FIRE-16835)
- It is now possible to use the avatar picker for adding people to the chat session when the IM window was docked to the chiclet while using standalone IM windows
- Names are now updated every 5 minutes on the legacy friend list, in case somebody’s display name changed
- A new optional unread IM counter has been added to the window title. This can be enabled via Preferences > Chat > Notices > Show Number of Unread IMs in Firestorm’s Window Title
A nice touch with Firestorm 4.7.5 is that it is now possible to drag & drop inventory to the Friends list without having to open their Profile.
The Comms menu sees some new additions / changes as well:
- A new option has been added to automatically Reject All Friendship Requests. You can also set a personalised message which will be returned to all those sending you a friendship request when this option is active. This can be found under Preferences > Privacy > Autoresponse 2
- An option has also been added to not reject teleport offers and requests from friends even if Reject Teleport Offers and Requests mode is active. In addition, an override check box has been added to Preferences > Privacy > Autoresponse 2 which will prevent your teleport rejection message from being sent to friends sending you teleport requests
If you enable Comm > Online Status > Reject all group invites, a new pop-up warning will be displayed to remind you: “Reject all incoming group invites mode is on. Incoming group invites from anyone will now be rejected automatically. You will not be notified because of that fact.”
A new toolbar button – Group Titles – has been added. When used, it will display a floater listing your groups and titles, allowing you to quickly swap between your active group by either double-clicking on the group title / name or by highlighting the group title / name and clicking the Activate button. You can also open the group’s Profile highlighting the group title / name and clicking the Info button.
Building and Scripting
Build updates / improvements include:
- The option to upload mesh weighted to all attachment points has been re-enabled, to address FIRE-17144 and BUG-10543
- The SHIFT+click and CTRL+click nudging in build tools failing to work correctly under certain conditions (see FIRE-5630) should be fixed with this release
- The LSL pre-processor has also been updated to prevent it failing to optimize switch statements, and it also now has support to recompile all scripts functions.
The script error / debug window< has also been improved:
Added timestamp and object name to errors.
Added option for FSllOwnerSayToScriptDebugWindow to pick what tabs llOwnerSays are routed to, default both, FSllOwnerSayToScriptDebugWindow.
Lessened the out of control memory and time sink caused by LLTextEditor with lots of text.
Added option to clear [ALL SCRIPTS] tab on close, FSScriptDebugWindowClearOnClose.
Dropped the max lines to 1M instead of 16M, either numbers are stupid high.
Only print the object slurl’d name once in the object’s tab.
Never slurl-ize names on [ALL SCRIPTS].
Other Updates of Note
Additional updates with the 4.7.5 release include, but are not limited to:
- KDU updated to v7.7.0 – see the KDU release notes
- jsoncpp updated to 0.5.0.201508041908-r34 for Linux x64
- German, Polish and Japanese translation updates and improvements
- Radar fixes:
- Radar column sort order will now persist across sessions
- “Show muted and blacklisted Avatars” option in Radar now working correctly
- Legacy Marketplace Listings inventory folder icons added for the AnsaStorm, Firestorm, Latency and Vintage skins
- The Quickprefs floater should no longer reposition when opened in an undocked state
- Sorting in the money tracker should now be correct when the date flips over
- Objects can now be set for sale for L$0 from Object Profile
- An application NVIDIA driver profile has been created for Firestorm (see: FIRE-14626, FIRE-16667 and BUG-990)
- Many bug fixes, stability improvements and performance improvements
- Linux love:
- A fix for the Linux start-up script failing to find the GL driver
- A fix for resizing the viewer window causing the visible area being stuck after resize on Linux.
There is no RLV/a update with this release. Firestorm 4.7.5 is still using RLVa-1.4.10a, API version number 2.8.0.
- Uploads from OpenSim to Flickr no longer ignore snapshot settings
- Fixes for:
- The stranded Outfit Folders in the Current Outfit folder in OpenSim
- Mini Map Texture being incorrect for variable size OpenSim regions.
I’ve been running Firestorm 4.7.5 (and before it, 4.7.4) for the last several weeks / months. I’ve found performance to be generally smooth, and in most situations a slightly improved FPS rate compared to 4.7.3 when using the same settings and visiting the same popular sims (hardly laboratory testing, given the variables concerned, but still).
Mesh rendering has been marginally better for me with the 4.7.5 release, and I’ve having to do a lot less right-clicking around the home island yo get things to show up, although the frequency does appear to increase over time when compared to a clean install with uncluttered cache. Whether this is indicative of the viewer having issues with cached mesh, I’ve not really attempted to dig into – although I find the issue far more noticeable on Firestorm than the official viewer.
The new shiny in this release is noticeably less than 4.7.3, but there is enough here – particularly given the fixes, etc., – to make this a likely worthwhile update for 4.7.3 users, and it sets the foundations for even more shiny as the next release pulls-in even more from the Lab.