Firestorm 5.0.7: tight and tidy

On Tuesday, June 20th, the Firestorm team released Firestorm 5.0.7.52912.

This is something of a maintenance update than a major feature release, covering as it does the more recent updates from Linden Lab – the improved region and parcel access controls, updated Trash behaviour to try to help control risks of inventory loss, custom folders for uploads, the avatar complexity updates, and a host of smaller fixes and tweaks.

Most of these have been adopted directly from the Lab’s code, others  – such as the avatar complexity updates – have been folded-in to existing capabilities in Firestorm. There are also numerous updates and improvements from the Firestorm team as well.

In keeping with my usual approach to Firestorm releases, what follows is  not an in-depth review of everything new  / updated in version 5.0.7.52912, but rather an overview, highlighting some of the more significant / interesting changes, updates and  fixes, which I feel will be of most interest to users.

For details of all changes, and all due credits to contributors, etc., please refer to the official release notes.

The Before We Begin

  • There is no need to perform a clean install with this release if you do not wish to.
  • Do, however, make sure you back-up all your settings safely so you can restore them after installing 5.0.7.

Major Lab Derived Updates

Firestorm 5.0.7 brings the viewer up to parity with the Lab’s 5.0.5 code base. So, as noted, this release supports the updated region and parcel access controls, the latest avatar rendering updates, custom upload folders, etc..

Updated Region / Parcel Access Controls

The updated region / parcel access controls, introduced by Linden Lab in May 2017  mean that when a region holder / manager explicitly sets a region for open access to visitors (via the Region / Estate floater), parcel holders on the region can no longer override the setting at the parcel level and create ban lines around their parcel (although they can still use the parcel ban list and scripted security systems if they wish and subject to any covenant).

These updates mean that both the Estate tab in the Region / Estate floater has been updated, and the behaviour of the Access tab in the About Land floater has changed.

In the case of the Estate tab in the Region / Estate floater, the check box Allow Public Access has been removed, and a new option, Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive, has been added (see below).

The new Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive option on the Region / Estate > Estate tab and its Apply button. Used to determine whether or not parcel owners can set parcel access restrictions through the About Land floater

By default, Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive is checked, which means that parcel owners should see no difference in behaviour for their parcels unless an estate holder / manager opts to make changes at the estate level.

Should the option be unchecked, the estate holder / manager making the change will receive a warning that they are about to make a change that could affect parcel settings in the estate:

The new warning estate holder / managers will see when changing the new access settings

To set the change, the region holder / manager must then clear the warning (OK) and click the Apply button on the Region / Estate floater – failure to do so will leave the option unchanged.

UNCHECKING the option will result in two things happening at the parcel level:

  • Parcel owners will receive a new system notification for every parcel in the region they hold which has been affected by the change:
The new system notification displayed to parcel holders for every parcel in the region they hold which has been affected by a change to the region’s access settings at Estate level
  • Any previously active banlines around affected parcel will be removed, and parcel owners will no longer be able to set parcel access restrictions via About Land > Access, as the options to do so will be greyed out:
When the Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive option is checked, the parcel-level access options in the About Land floater will be greyed out for parcel holders, preventing them from overriding the region-level access

If a region which previously allowed parcel holders to set their own access restrictions is set to public access (by unchecking Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive and clicking APPLY), and then is reverted again (by checking Parcel Owners Can Be More Restrictive and clicking APPLY), all parcels on the region will revert to the access settings applied to them before any changes to region access were made at the estate level.

Trash Behaviour Changes

To try to help with inventory losses through accidental deletion of objects which have mistakenly been moved to Trash, the Maintenance RC viewer has the following Trash related behaviour changes:

  • The prompt displayed when you have over 5K items in Trash is amended to show the trash folder when you’re ready to purge it, and before you can purge it.
  • Backspace will now only delete on Mac systems (as it’s the only option available), it will no longer delete on windows.
  • The purging Trash notification now gives a count of items in Trash.
The Trash purging warning now gives a count of the items about to be permanently deleted from the Trash folder – one of the new behaviours in the Maintenance RC viewer designed to help combat accidental inventory loss through Trash deletions
  • The “Are you sure you want to delete this thing” warning will be seen at least once per session.

Note: Firestorm have included a debug setting to disable the trash purging warning – FSDontNagWhenPurging. This is set to FALSE by default (the warning will be displayed). It is recommended you do not change this setting unless you have complete confidence that you are unlikely to accidentally purge wanted items from trash / you viewer is unlikely to incorrectly move folders to your Trash.

Custom Folders for Uploads

You can select your own preferred folders for image, animation, sound and mesh uploads, rather than using the normal default folders

With Firestorm 5.0.7 users can now select their own preferred inventory folders into which uploads – images, sounds, animations and mesh models – are saved by default, rather than them going to the usual system folders.

To set a custom folder for an upload type:

  • Go to Inventory and right-click on the desired folder (or create the folder).
  • Select Use As Default For. This opens a sub-menu of upload types (shown below).
  • Click on the type of upload you wish to always save to that folder.

Note that this only applies to uploads; any image or animation or mesh model, etc., you receive via transfer (including from vendors) will still go to the their “default” system folder.

So, for example, an animation passed to you in-world by someone else will still go to your Animations folder, regardless of any custom destination you have set for animation uploads.

You can also review which custom folders you have set at any time via Preferences > Firestorm > Uploads, a new tab in the preferences floater. This lists the currently defined upload folders, and updates dynamically as you select / change custom locations for your uploads.

The new Uploads tab in Preferences > Firestorm, which will list any custom upload locations you set for mesh, animations, textures, and / or sounds.

 

Firestorm Features and Improvements

Avatar Complexity Rendering Updates

Firestorm 5.0.7 updates the Avatar Rendering Settings introduced in Firestorm 5.0.1, and adds functionality introduced by the Lab in March 2017. These updates comprise a new menu option – Always Show Friends Normally -, a new Show Friends Only Toolbar button, and revisions to the Avatar Render Settings floater to more closely align with the Lab’s viewer.

The new Always Show Friends Normally avatar rendering option, show with the pre-existing Avatar Rendering Settings and Show Friends Only options at the end the World menu

Always Render Friends Normally is located on a new sub-section at the end of the World menu along with the Avatar Render Settings and Show Friends Only. As a quick recap, these three options work as follows:

  • Avatar Render Settings – display the new floater (see below)
  • Always Render Friends Normally – when checked, will always render those on your Friends list normally, regardless of any other avatar rendering settings
  • Show Friends Only will only render avatars on your Friends list, either normally or as “Jelly Dolls”, depending on your other Avatar Rendering settings. All other avatars will not be rendered.

The new Show Friends Only toolbar button performs the same function as World > Show Friends Only.

Note: By default, Show Friends Only (whether set via the menu or the toolbar button, will be disabled after teleport in Firestorm 5.0.7. If you wish it to persist between teleports, do one of the following:

  • Check the small box in the upper right corner of the Show Friends Only toolbar button
  • Go to Preferences > Move & View > Teleports and check Keep ‘Show Friends Only’ Enabled After Teleporting.

The Avatar Rendering Settings floater adds a new + (“Add new person to the list”) button in the top right corner, as per the Linden Lab viewer, allowing you to add further avatars directly to the list as either Always or Never rendered.

The new Add new person to the list button on the Avatar Render Settings floater allows you to add avatars to the list as either fully or never rendered.

To add an avatar to the list:

  • Click the + button.
  • Select either Always Render A Resident or Never Render A Resident from the pop-up dialogue.
  • A Choose Resident floater will open.  You can then use the Search, or Friends or Near Me tabs to select an avatar or avatars, adding them to the list on the floater. Clicking OK will add them to the Avatar Render Settings panel. The avatars will also be rendered in accordance with whichever option you used to launch the selection process (Always Render or Never Render).

Teleport History Improvements

The Teleport History floater now has options to show the position (region coordinates) and / or the date & time the landmark was obtained, and select your preferred time zone in which the teleport took place (one of UTC / GMT, SLT, or your local time zone).

The new Teleport History options for displaying date / position and selecting your time zone for time stamping teleports in the list

Preferences Updates

  • New option to show Nearby Chat in console/toasts while bubble chat is enabled (FIRE-20876): Preferences > Chat > Visuals > Show chat in bubbles above avatars > Don’t show chat in Nearby Chat console and toasts.
  • Allow Avatar to Walk Backwards setting (Preferences > Move & View > Movement) clarified to indicate this will only be in the user’s view (LL viewer default behaviour). Also note that walking AOs may still override.
  • The incorrect tooltip for video memory in Preferences > Graphics > Hardware is now fixed.
  • New Preferences option (Preferences > User Interface > Interface Windows > Use Legacy Object Properties) to switch between right-clicking on an object in inventory, selecting Properties and having the information displayed in a separate floater (legacy display) or within the Inventory floater under the Profile heading (V5 behaviour) – for use with V5 mode with Firestorm.
The new Preference option for selecting whether the properties for an item in inventory are displayed in the legacy floater or the V5 Profile floater (Inventory) when the Firestorm V5 log-in mode

Security Improvement – RLV

Firestorm now blocks auto-login when RLV is enabled. This change was made to stop the third-party XtremRLV wrapper from working with Firestorm due to too many users losing access to their accounts.
Linden Lab recently blogged about the risks involved in using such wrappers. See: Account Security Tips: Password Edition

Other Notable Updates Via the Lab

Again, for a full list of updates and fixes from Linden Lab included in Firestorm 5.0.7, please refer to the release notes.

New Toolbar Buttons

This release features two new toolbar buttons (Avatar > Toolbar buttons  / right-click on a toolbar and select Toolbar Buttons … ):

  • Grid Status – will open the Grid Status page in the viewer’s built-in browser.
  • Report Abuse – opens the Abuse Report floater.

Build Option to Cycle Through Texture Faces

You can now edit an object, select Edit Linked Parts or “Select Face”, then:
  • Select Next Part or Face (CTRL + .).
  • Select Previous Part or Face (CTRL + ,).
  • Include Next Part or Face (CTRL + SHIFT + .).
  • Include Previous Part or Face (CTRL + SHIFT + ,).

Short List of Updates

  • New Second Life events menu option World > Events.
  • New “Ignore Landing Point” group ability: on group owned land, when “Ignore Landing Point” is enabled on a group role, it will allow members of that role to override the teleport routing if a landing point is set, as long as Direct Teleport is enabled on the region.
  • Added “Copy outfit list to clipboard” for Current Outfit folder (see STORM-2092): Inventory > Right click “Current Outfit” folder > Copy outfit list to clipboard.
  • New debug setting to account for CTRL+ 0 zoom when mesh LOD is calculated (BUG-40757): Advanced > Show Debug Settings > IgnoreFOVZoomForLODs – when set to TRUE,  unrigged mesh will load the higher LODs when zooming in using CTRL + 0.
  • Building improvements:
    • A warning is now displayed when attempting to link objects in different regions.
    • “Duplicate” option into Build > Object sub-menu.
  • Allow the use of the last image from the Abuse report floater after relog (BUG-40499): lets the Abuse Report floater stay open after a relog from a crash/logout and maintains the last image it had.
  • Added a new URI namespace – /legacyname (BUG-41103): will always return an agents legacy name regardless of the “View Display Names” viewer setting (secondlife:///app/agent//legacyname).
  • Fix for broken scaling & bounding boxes when uploading mesh in multiple parts (BUG-41067).
  • Added the ability to see and modify mute types within the block list: Comm > Block List > Right click an avatar name > Choose to block voice, text, particles &/or object sounds.
  • Fix for user never de-clouds with a large inventory after inventory fetch (BUG-6192).
  • Inventory floater fixes for:
    • Opening new inventory via Control-Shift-I short-cut uses legacy and potentially dangerous code path.
    • Closing new inventory windows don’t release memory.
    • During shut-down legacy and inoperable code for inventory window clean-up is called.
    • Removed old and unused inventory legacy code (STORM-2141).
  • Viewer crash fixes for:
    • Opening many scripts.
    • Uploading a mesh if Include Skin Weights checkbox is clicked before preview appears.
    • Attempting to block an experience from the permissions request dialogue.
    • Hovering in fast timers floater.
    • Saving sky preset and clicking “Save” button twice.

Other Notable Updates from Firestorm

Texture Compression Enabled by Default If Less Than 512 MB Texture Memory

If your system has less than 512 MB of texture memory, texture compression will automatically be enabled by Firestorm. This change should help low-end cards cope with all the meshes with high-resolution textures that are common these days. Can be disabled by Preferences > Graphics > Hardware Settings and unticking Enable Lossy Texture Compression.

64-bit Version Hangs on Win 10 Systems With Older Intel GPU Chipsets

The 64-bit Windows viewer will hang during benchmarking/ Initializing VFS on Windows 10 systems with older Intel GPU cards / chipsets (e.g Intel HD, Intel HD 2500 & Intel HD 4000) as a result of Microsoft update KB4015217 (FIRE-21109). If you suffer from this problem:
  • Right click the desktop shortcut for 5.0.7 64bit Firestorm → Properties → Shortcut tab.
  • In the “Target” text box, go to the end of the text, add a space and then add this text –noprobe.
  • So for example, if your target text is originally “C:\Program Files\FirestormOS-Releasex64\FirestormOS-Releasex64.exe” –set InstallLanguage en
  • You would change this to “C:\Program Files\FirestormOS-Releasex64\FirestormOS-Releasex64.exe” –set InstallLanguage en –noprobe
  • Then Apply & OK to save changes.
  • Launch the viewer from this edited shortcut.

Short List of Updates

  • Photography:
    • New Windlight sky – StrawberrySingh.com – Headshots (FIRE-20756).
    • Tidy-up of Snapshots Floater.
  • Building / Scripting:
    • Fix for align tool manipulator not scaling with the UI scaling setting (FIRE-20449).
    • Fix for disabling mouse wheel zoom also disabling scaling HUDs in build mode (FIRE-20833).
    • Fix for RGB spinner on LSL tab and Hex entry in colour picker not updating colour and implemented proper check for valid Hex string.
    • Improved log output to script queue logging.
  • Communications:
    • New CTRL-F shortcut for conversation history to open the search window: Open a chat transcript via Comm > Conversation log, CTRL-F will open the Search/Replace window.
    • Fixed local chat toasts sometimes appearing on top of the chat floater (FIRE-17834 and BUG-11858).
    • Fixed importing of custom spell-check dictionary not working (FIRE-20725).
  • Attachments updates:
    • Attachments on extended Bento skeleton can now be detached via pie menu (FIRE-20504).
    • Attachment points in “Attach to” lists are now presented in alphabetical order (FIRE-21200).
  • Log-in mode change confirmation notification revised so it actually looks like a confirmation (FIRE-20624).
  • Sorting by date in legacy events search fixed (FIRE-20887): Content > Search > Events.
  • Fixed the Money Tracker incorrectly showing unsuccessful payments (FIRE-20502) – see the money tracker documentation.
  • Fix for the classified click statistics not showing in legacy profile (FIRE-20507).
  • Fix for blacklisting from area search window not working (FIRE-20545).
  • Fix for the grid check status page ignoring opening SL links in internal browser setting (FIRE-20796): Help > Check Grid Status.
  • Installer / Uninstaller updates:
    • Fix for Windows uninstaller not removing all registry keys.
    • For for the Windows installer showing the incorrect size.
  • Fix for “Report Leaving Draw Range” does not persist after logout when checked in Vintage skin people panel (FIRE-21121).
  • Fix for the Stand/Fly button being too transparent on Starlight CUI skin (FIRE-20494).
  • KDU updated to version 7.9.1.
  • RLVa Updates:
    • Fix for RLVa Toolbar buttons not showing the disabled state any more (FIRE-20539).
    • Fix for @camdist[min|max] and @camunlock not being enforced when using a scripted camera

Again, please refer to the 5.0.7 release notes for a full list of updates and fixes.

General Observations

Overall, the 5.02 through 5.0.7 pre-releases and release of Firestorm I’ve been using over the past couple of months have all be pretty stable, and I’ve encountered no significant issues with any, other than recently hitting FIRE-17824 whilst testing the viewer around the SL14B regions after they had opened to the public. This is a new issue for me, be appears to be an intermittent problem for the view going back a few releases.

Related Links

 

 

 

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