Firestorm 4.7.7: get ready to update!

firestorm-logoThursday, March 17th saw Firestorm release version 4.7.7.408706 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).

General Preferences Updates

The following general updates have been made to the Preferences floater. additional updates related to specific functionality (building, chat, etc., can be found in the sections that follow this one.

  • Preferences > User Interface > General is now replaced by two new sub-tabs: 3D World and 2D Overlay
  • In addition, the 3D world gets two new sliders:
    • Floating text fade distance (in m[etres]): sets the distance where floating text starts to fade
    • Floating text fade range (in m[etres]): sets the range it takes for floating text to fade from fully visible to invisible
The new 3D World and 2D Overlay sub-tabs in Preferences > User Interface (replacing the old General sub-tab), and the new hover text fade sliders

The new 3D World and 2D Overlay sub-tabs in Preferences > User Interface (replacing the old General sub-tab), and the new hover text fade sliders

  • Support for Legacy Notifications: those who prefer not to use the new Notifications floater from Linden Lab, and introduced with Firestorm 4.7.5 can now revert to the legacy notifications display via Preferences > User Interface > 2D Overlay > Use legacy list layout for Notifications window.
    • This option is automatically enabled when running the viewer in Phoenix login mode or requires a viewer restart to take effect when toggling on / off in other modes
Those who prefer it can now use the legacy Notifications floater in Firestorm (enabled by default in the Phoenix log-in mode, requires a viewer restart if toggled on / off in other modes)

Those who prefer it can now use the legacy Notifications floater in Firestorm (enabled by default in the Phoenix log-in mode, requires a viewer restart if toggled on / off in other modes)

  • An option has been added to prevent the world map closing on teleport (Preferences > Move & View > Teleports > Do Not Close the Map When Teleporting)
  • Preferences floater layout adjusted to stop the content panels overlapping the tab buttons
  • Enable Crouch Toggle Mode (Preferences > Move & View > Movement) from a global to a per-account setting
  • Button added to clear the voice toggle button (Preferences > Sound & Media > Voice > Toggle speak on/off when I press… > X button)
  • Disabled playing the button click sound for sound preview button in preferences (Preferences > Sound & Media > UI Sounds 1/2/3)

Building and Scripting

Building and scripting updates include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Animation uploads

The Animation Upload floater now displays the number of frames, total duration, and FPS of the .BVH file selected for upload. The upload floater also includes two new Frame In and Frame Out spinners for grater accuracy when defining the loop in / out parameters for the animation.  These work in sync with the existing % In and Out spinners. 

The new animation upload floater (right) with the number of frames, total duration, and FPS data and the new In (frm) and Out (frm) spinners highlighted, compared to the old animation uploader (left)

The new Animation Upload floater (right) with the number of frames, total duration, and FPS data; and the new In (frm) and Out (frm) spinners highlighted, and indicating the change to the default hand pose, compared to the old animation uploader (left)

In addition, the Animation upload floater now:

  • Sets the default hand position to Relaxed instead of Spread, as indicated in the image above
  • Allows users to set default values for animation uploads – see FIRE-17251 for details on how to use this new feature
  • Fixes facial expressions not working for most languages (see FIRE-17261).

Other Building and Scripting Updates

  • Animation priority information has been added to the animation explorer (World > Animation)
  • An option has been added to Build > Options to Select Only Locked Objects
  • Object parameters copy / paste function now includes physics shape type
  • New Preferences > Firestorm >Build 2 options:
    • New check box to allow the Enable Highlighting of Selected Prims option to persist between log-ins
    • New option to set a threshold above which the Unlink confirmation dialogue will be displayed when unlinking items (e.g. 0 = always show the dialogue; 5 = only show if unlinking 5 or more items in a linkset, etc)
The new build options in Preferences

The new build options in Preferences for allowing the Enable Highlighting of Selected Prims option to persist between log-ins and setting a threshold above which the Unlink confirmation dialogue box is displayed for a linkset

  •  Mesh loader Vertex Limit corrected to show 65535, not 65534
  • New Preferences option to make the number of rows displayed in a script dialogue customisable (default = 20) – Preferences > User Interface > 2D Overlay >Visible rows per Script Dialog
  • Script dialogues will no longer resize out of the viewer window when displaying long texts
  • colour syntax highlighting changes will now immediately appear in the script window (see FIRE-16740)
  • PreProcessor updates:

    • Timestamps to the compile info
    • Exposed Boost exceptions to the PreProcessor output.

Communications and Groups Improvements

The communications and group updates include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Chat Options

The Nearby Chat window Chat Options button and drop-down

The Nearby Chat window Chat Options button and drop-down

All chat and IM floaters now include a Chat Options button which provides quick access to a number of chat options and settings via drop-down lists. These are a mix of global options (displayed for both local chat and IMs), and context-sensitive options, depending on whether you are using the local chat window or and IM window or a group IM window.

The IM window Chat Options button and drop-down, and the optional Send button for IM chat (see below)

The IM window Chat Options button and drop-down, and the optional Send button for IM chat (see below)

Preferences Updates for Communications

  • An optional Send button can be added to IM session windows via Preferences > Chat > Typing > Show Send Chat Button in Chat Bar for IM Sessions (see images above)
  • You can set your avatar to play the typing animation whilst typing emotes (Preferences > Chat > Typing > Play Typing Animation Also When Emoting)
  • A new option to display a “typing” indicator within other avatar’s name tags when they are typing Preferences > Chat > Visuals> Show Typing Indicator in Nametag Above Avatars
The new optional typing indicator

The new optional typing indicator (click for full size, if required)

Other Communications Updates

  • Auto response text is now echoed into your copy of the IM message
  • The chat console will now always show the chat for sessions that are currently not shown by a visible floater
  • Fix for the main chat bar sending on the channel selected in the nearby chat floater
  • Fix for messages with a URL containing a custom label ([URL description]) showing the description twice in the console
  • Growl updates:
    • gntp_growl for Windows updated
    • Growl notifications now handle display names
    • Growl will no longer notify if Do Not Disturb is set in the viewer.

Groups Updates

  • When leaving a group which has a joining fee, a new dialogue is displayed: “You are currently a member of the group [GROUP]. Joining again will cost L$[AMOUNT]. Leave Group?”
  • Group notice times are now displayed in SL time, not UTC
  • Group IM chatters list can now be correctly sorted (right-click a chatter in the group chatters list > Sort by Name or Sort by Recent Speakers)
  • Group ban list changed to sort by name ascending by default Group profile > Members & Roles > Banned Residents
  • Group moderator options will now have an effect when v2 chat headers are being used. however, to make full use of the moderator chat options in group chat, both the display and user name in group chats will be shown in normal font to allow for the option to highlight moderators is also enabled (see FIRE-6842)
  • The No Group title will always appear at the top of the list in the group titles floater (Comm > Groups > Group Titles)
  • Group invitations now exempted from the newline flood check because some group invites were being blocked when spam protection was enabled (see FIRE-17478).

Inventory Updates

Inventory updates include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following.

Calling Cards

With this release, Firestorm handles Calling Cards the same way as V1-style viewers: if you delete them they will not regenerate from your Friends list when you next log-in. However, if you log-in to Second Life using a different v3/v4-based viewer, your list of Calling Cards will be recreated.

In addition, a number of fixes have been made to try to eliminate the unnecessary duplication of Calling Cards in your inventory, and a fix has been added to prevent inventory sometimes popping up and selecting a calling card after logging-in, should Calling cards get synchronised for whatever reason.

Other Inventory Updates

  • New attachment count in Avatar > Appearance > Wearing tab

    New attachment count in Avatar > Appearance > Wearing tab

    Folder links can be moved via drag and drop (see FIRE-13863). To revert to the old behaviour, set FSEnableMovingFolderLinks to FALSE in the debug settings (Advanced > Debug Settings)

  • The Received Items inventory button will no longer occasionally vanish
  • Add to Current Outfit no longer sometimes missing for an inventory outfit folder (right-click an outfit folder > Add to Current Outfit)
  • Attachment count added to Wearing tab in the Appearance panel (Avatar > Appearance > Wearing tab).

Other Updates of Note

Other updates in the Firestorm 4.7.7 release include, but are not limited to the following.

  • KDU updated to v7.7.1 (release notes)
  • FModEx to 44461 (release notes)
  • Legacy friends list updates:
    • On-line status visibility for current friends can be globally toggled. Note that due to server load, mass toggling of on-line status visibility for a large friends list can take a while to become effective (Comm > Friends > Right click any friend name > On-line status for friends visible)
    • Optional search filter added for the legacy friend list. This can be disabled via right-click context menu or preferences (Comm > Friends > Right click any name > Options > Show Search Filter / Preferences > User Interface > Interface Windows > Contact list options > Show Search Filter)
  • Area Search can filter by owner permission and current agent parcel (World > Area Search)
  • Region Tracker updates:
    • Now periodically updates without needing to refresh the list
    • The map button is now enabled on the region tracker if no region is selected
  • Teleport updates:
    • Real teleport location now always shown in a teleport offer (see FIRE-6786)
    • Dates no longer disappear when entering a search term in teleport history
  • Radar updates:
    • Radar more exact and will not give false region crossing notifications if avatars bounce off region borders
    • Radar notification that an avatar has left the region is no longer erroneously issued if the avatar is stuck at 0/0/0
    • A fix for the order of entries in the radar changing when moving camera while sorting by time seen
  • The per-account settings backup list is now properly disabled in preferences at the login screen
  • Removal of “Block” button from script dialogues from your own objects
  • Currency balance no longer becomes visible when disabled after exiting mouselook
  • Money Tracker updates:
    • Total amount paid/received added to the Money Tracker
    • Fixed incorrect sorting in money tracker if the date flipped over
  • Try to detect if buggy antivirus software messes up HTTP Pipelining – if the viewer detects the pipeline is out of sync, HTTP Pipelining will be disabled (see BUG-8631)
    This is to help workaround the problems seen in
  • Many performance and stability improvements.

Again, for a complete list of updates, please refer to the release notes.

OpenSim: Improvements and Fixes

  • Implemented SimulatorFPS[…] sim-feature handler for OpenSim to fix the lag meter (see FIRE-16857)
  • The Destination Guide and / or the Avatar Picker buttons are disabled if these features are not supported on an OpenSim grid
  • Destination guide and Avatar Picker now update correctly when logging-in to OpenSim grids which support them (see FIRE-16833)
  • A fix for old outfit folder links not being removed from the Current Outfit Folder when using legacy inventory operations (see FIRE-17217)
  • A fix for incorrect local teleport locations on large OpenSim regions (see FIRE-17262)
  • A fix for radar not obeying chat and shout range correctly if it differs from the 20/100m defaults
  • Access, Allow and Block Experience lists now disabled on OpenSim grids (see FIRE-17280)
  • A fix for Object Z-position spinner in tools floater not allowing negative values for OpenSim (see FIRE-13582).

General Feedback

A large update, and one which packs a couple of significant updates into it from the Lab in the form of CEF and the TLS 1.2 code. I’ve been running Firestorm 4.7.7. 48706 for the past few weeks and have personally have few problems with it. Rendering seems to be slightly bumpy at times, but frame rates show a slight improvement over 4.7.5 in very rough-and-ready tests. Again, given I’m fortunate to have a relatively good-to-high-end system, my findings may not reflect those of others.

I’m also out of time. The release is live – as should be this blog post!

Related Links

15 thoughts on “Firestorm 4.7.7: get ready to update!

  1. Pingback: Firestorm 4.7.7: get ready to update! | Inara Pey: Living in a Modem World – Virtual World News

  2. Dominic paragorn

    like the last firestorm, the firestorm exe fix to allow it to work on windows. where is it fore the new viewer?

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  3. Pingback: Chromium-plated viewer? | Ayesha's Ramblings

  4. ral61

    The 4.7.7 is the best Firestorm viewer to date. Its more stable than the 4.7.5 , which needed the APPFIX for texture graphics stability. The good part about the 4.7.7 is the “extra” MB’s at download & without using the APPFIX.

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  5. Luna Azulejo

    I’m late to the party, having downloaded 4.7.7 just before the June 15 deadline amidst dire warnings about money transactions. Little things: At login, no longer are we told how many users are inworld, and the IM window has been narrowed so that unless one stretches the window absurdly wide, one can only see a very few words as one types. I see no reason for these irritating changes … maybe someone here knows?

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    1. Whirly Fizzle (@WhirlyFizzle)

      1) The login screen ticker was broken with the CEF changes.
      There’s a bug report filed for that here: http://jira.phoenixviewer.com/browse/FIRE-17514
      This will be fixed for next release.

      2) I’m not really sure what you mean here & nothing has changed with the layout of the text entry box for local/IM/Group chat for many releases.
      The width of the chat entry box is governed by how wide your conversation window is. There is a resize handle at the bottom right of the conversation window.
      There is nothing else that governs the width of the text entry box.

      If you mean the *height* of the text entry box, possibly you have the viewer set to have the multi-line chat entry disabled, so the chat bar will not expand in height as you type.

      Activate the Advanced menu in the top menu bar with CTRL+ALT+D.
      Advanced -> Show debug settings -> FSUseSingleLineChatEntry -> Make sure this is set to FALSE.

      If that doesn’t fix the problem, can you post a screenshot showing the problem please.
      Which viewer version did you update from?

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      1. Whirly Fizzle (@WhirlyFizzle)

        Actually, thought of something else that may be the problem if you updated from the very very old Firestorm 4.4.2 & you like your conversation window super narrow.
        Since that old release the send button was added to the right of the chat entry box, plus the channel selector for nearby chat.
        You can disable both of these.

        Preferences -> Chat -> Typing -> Show Send button in chat bar for IM sessions.
        Preferences -> Chat -> Typing -> Show chat type / send chat button in chat bar (this is for nearby chat).
        Preferences -> Chat -> Typing -> Show channel selection in chat bar.

        Disable those 3 options & you’ll get some extra width in the text entry box.

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