Firestorm 4.7.7: get ready to update!

firestorm-logoThursday, March 17th saw Firestorm release version of their viewer. Coming four months after the last release, this update is slightly later than planned, but includes a number of important updates from the Lab as well as a good mix of updates, improvements and fixes directly from 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, and which I feel will be of most interest to users.

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:

This update means that Firestorm 4.6.9 will be blocked in approximately 3 weeks time.

Lab Derived Updates

Firestorm 4.7.7 brings the viewer up to parity with the Lab’s 4.0.1 code base, and so includes the TLS 1.2 and CEF changes. These and other Lab derived changes are outlined below.

TLS 1.2 and Viewers

The reason this release might be regarded as becoming a mandatory update for Second Life users is the integration of TLS1.2 into the viewer – and by “viewer”, I mean all current or upcoming viewer releases, LL or TPV.

TLS, the successor to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), is a cryptographic protocol for communications security intended to provide privacy and data integrity between two communicating computer application (such as the viewer and the Lab’s servers).

TLS 1.2 is currently being implemented by Linden Lab under the umbrella of their work of fiscal compliance, This involved changes to both the viewer and LL’s servers, the upshot of which means that, once TLS 1.2 has been fully implemented, any viewer that does not support TLS 1.2, will not be able to do any interactions with cashier or anything that involves L$. While there is no precise time frame for this work to be completed, indications from the Lab are that it will be sooner rather than later.

Again, this is not an arbitrary decision on the part of either the Firestorm team or Linden Lab; the work is being carried out as a compliance requirement.

Chromium Embedded Framework

Firestorm 4.7.7 includes the Lab’s implementation of Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF) for media management (and more). CEF completely replaces the old llQTwebkit for media management within the viewer, replacing it with current web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 support and WebGL, which can allow direct manipulation of objects on a browser page displayed in-world with ease.

CEF should also enable things like viewing PDF files in-world, editing PDF documents via Google Docs, etc. See the CEF forum thread for more.

CEF integration into the viewer means that Flash and QuickTime content require third-party support (see this Knowledge Base article on enabling Flash support for CEF viewers, for example). However, because they do rely on plug-in support, there is no guarantee given by Firestorm or Linden Lab that either will work, and are regarded as unsupported.

Other Updates from the Lab

Materials (texture / diffuse, bumpiness / normal and shininess / specular) in the Build floater Texture tab can now be selected via radio buttons, rather than picking from a drop-down list, to make locating and selection them easier (see BUG-10149).

Firestorm replaces the materials drop-down selection menu (seen in version4.7.5, left) with the radio buttons for materials types (right), as also seen in the official viewer
Firestorm replaces the materials drop-down selection menu (seen in version4.7.5, left) with the radio buttons for materials types (right), as also seen in the official viewer
  • A fix for ALM enabled + full bright + shiny objects failing to display texture on Mac (see FIRE-12681)
  • A fix for activating Show Avatar Complexity disabling all llSetText (hovertext) viewer is restarted (see BUG-10488)
  • A fix for show land owner colour overlay is only visible where there is water in deferred rendering (see FIRE-11654)
  • A fix for a black screen if ALM is enabled while in wireframe mode and then wireframe is disabled (see BUG-4543)
  • A fix for rotating an object that is used as grid reference going crazy (see FIRE-2593 and BUG-9419)
  • A fix for “Ban Member” in the group chatters list context menu being greyed out (see FIRE-16160 and BUG-10500)
  • A fix for animated agents at high altitudes randomly showing up at 0,0,0 (see bug FIRE-14439 and BUG-6648)
  • A fix for having to open ‘About Land’ twice to get parcel ban timings to load in the parcel ban list when banned names are not cached (see bug FIRE-17408 and BUG-10831)
  • A fix for a stuck freeze frame state if snapshot floater is closed with freeze frame left enabled and the viewer window is subsequently resized (see FIRE-16739 and BUG-9952)
  • A fix for opening a note card with the same name as one already open failing to work (see  VWR-2981)
  • A fix for replacing current outfit with contents of a non-outfit folder creates a folder link in the Current Outfit Folder (see BUG-11274)
  • A fix for opening an experience compiled script in an object in an adjacent region failing to show the script is compiled with an experience in the script editor (see BUG-8980).

Continue reading “Firestorm 4.7.7: get ready to update!”

MadPea readies for The Interview in Second Life

madpea-logoMadPea Games are gradually ramping-up for their next game, offering people the chance to win a Gold Pass VIP access to the game, which includes a personal welcome from Queen Pea, Kiana Writer, plus MadPea himself and many of the MadPea crew who will be on-hand to provide assistance to lucky winners as they take their Gold HUD, outfit and accessories, and enjoy 24 hours access to the game before it opens to the public.

The Interview, a grid-wide mystery puzzle game, will launch on April 3rd. Details on what it is all about have yet to be revealed – but there is a clue in the title, and it involves an organisation called the Goliathus Society.

The curious can check out the vendors who are supplying elements of the successful applicants benefits package (aka prizes), while those wishing to try their hands at gaining early access to the game can have a go at The Interview Photo Contest and / or the Interview Writing Contest.

Interview Photo Contest

For the photo contest, which is open now through until Saturday March 26th, entrants are invited to show the MadPea team exactly what they would wear for THEIR interview with the Goliathus Society. Would it be formal, business, casual or, knowing MadPea, something more in keeping with planning for the unexpected? Show MadPea your best Interview themed outfit for a chance to win prizes!

Interview  Writing Contest

For the interview writing contest, which runs until Monday, March 28th, You need to write your best cover letter detailing why you  are the best candidate for a job with the Goliathus Society. You’ll need to use your imagination to decide what the society is hiring for, and what kind of skills, assets, and work experience might make you the ideal candidate. Then, in a covering letter, describe to the MadPea team why you are the best possible candidate and why Goliathus Society simply have to hire you!


General requirements for Entry

  • Both contests are note card only competitions. Entries must be submitted to the BRIGHT PINK mailbox at the MadPea Info Hub
  • Only one entry per avatar for either contest
  • Note cards should be titled:
    • Writing contest: The Interview Cover Letter [your name]
    • Photo contest: The Interview Photo Contest [your name]
    • Please only use yours avatar name – not your display name
  • Cover Letter contest entries must not exceed 250 words
  • Photo contest entries must include;
    • A full permission copy of your image ( your image will not be sold, or shared outside of MadPea, But may be used/displayed for promotion on the MadPea blog, website, or notices)
    • A few sentences explaining why you choose your outfit.
    • Photos may be edited externally to Second Life, but this is not required
  • Winners for both contests will be announced by MadPea on Tuesday, March 29th.

For full entry criteria and rules please visit either the MadPea Interview Photo Contest page, or the MadPea Interview Writing Contest page.


The following prizes will be awarded in each contest to the top three entries, as judged by the MadPea team:

  • 1st place – Interview VIP Pass. Which will give you 24 hours early access to the game
  • 2nd place – L$1000 Madpea gift card
  • 3rd place – L$500 gift card.

See the MadPea blog for more on The Interview and their other in-world games.