Firestorm 5.1.7: back up to speed

On Tuesday, July 24th, 2018, the Firestorm team announced the release of Firestorm Coming somewhat later than had been hoped, it incorporates some significant updates from recent Lab viewer releases, together with updates from, and contributed to, the Firestorm team, plus the inevitable bag of bug fixes as well.

In keeping with my usual approach to Firestorm releases, what follows is an overview of the release, highlighting some of the more significant changes  I feel will be of most interest to users.

Table of Contents


Please use the table of contents on the right to jump to any specific topic of interest. Full details of all changes, and contributor credits can be found in the official release notes.

The Usual “Before We Begin” Bit

As per my usual preamble:

  • 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 5.1.7.

Core Updates

  • Firestorm 5.1.7 has parity with all version of Linden Lab’s viewer, up to version 5.1.6, with additional cherry picked fixes from upstream of that release.
  • KDU updated to version 7.10.4 (7.A.4) – Kakadu release notes.
  • Firestorm 5.1.7 has been updated to Restrained Love API: RLV v3.2.1 / RLVa v2.2.0.55786 – see the RLVa 2.2 Release Notes for details.

Major Lab Derived Updates

This is a summary of the main updates derived from Linden lab’s core viewer code.

  • 64-bit Project Alex Ivy: rebuilds the viewer using 64-bit address space, utilising Linden Lab’s Alex Ivy code base. This should improve viewer stability, particularly for those with more than 4 Gb of memory, and possibly also improve performance.
    • As the 64-bit Alex Ivy code uses Linden Lab’s Havoc sub-libraries that are specific to Second Life, this means that the 64-bit versions of Firestorm for Windows and OSX now have both Second Life and OpenSim flavours, the latter allowing for continued support of OpenSim users.
    • The 64-bit Linux build remains with the Firestorm team’s own 64-bit code.
  • Media Updates – Project Dullahan: a series of updates, fixes, improvements and security patches for the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF), that is the basis for the viewer’s built-in web browser.
    • The option to not accept cookies has been removed due to complexities of not doing so in the in-viewer browser. For a more controlled cookie experience, an external full-featured browser may be better.
    • Also includes updates to VLC, that provides support for video media playback.
  • Rendering Improvements – Project love Me Render: this is a large collection of rendering improvement from LL. See the Love Me Render release notes for details.
  • Vivox Update and Voice Fixes: a number of updates / improvements:
    • Adds support for a higher quality voice using SLVoice version 4.9.
    • Fixes the apparent position of the speaker in nearby voice.
    • Improves retry behaviour when there are problems connecting or during temporary connection problems.
    • Logs more detailed information to the Lab for quantifying connection issues.
    • Improves security of the communication between the viewer and SLVoice.
    • Note that with these changes:
      • Local teleports will cause a short (a few seconds) voice interruption because the viewer now detaches from voice a little earlier in the teleport sequence.
      • With some SLVoice changes, the SLVoice executable can be copied into another viewer – that will not work with this update. There are changes to the connection between the viewer and SLVoice that are required. Talking to any viewer version should work.
    • Unrelated to voice, improves the validation of TLS certificates (security improvement).

Additional Lab-Derived Updates

This update also includes:

  • Avatar Physics improvements / safety checks: this fixes the problem with boob movement freezing & boobs getting stuck at odd angles (BUG-202903 / FIRE-22135)
  • Sculpties no longer rendered until fully loaded (or fail to load): this should remove the blobs and spheres see in-world as sculpties load.
  • Viewer frame rate fix (BUG-6943): viewer FPS should no longer drop when facing away from certain objects.
  • Inventory directory (BUG-214575 / FIRE-22281): the inventory directory should no longer be deleted while keeping the Delete key.
  • Report Abuse (BUG-202904 / FIRE-22152): double-clicking the Report Abuse option will no longer crash the viewer.
  • Materials update: normal and specular maps are no longer downloaded if ALM is off.

See the Firestorm Change Log for a full list of Lab and Firestorm fixes.

Firestorm Updates and Additions

User Interface: New Features and Updates

Menu Updates
  • Avatar:
    • A new Favorite Wearables option for accessing the Favorite Wearables panel (see below).
    • A new Show / Hide User Interface option (also ALT-Shift-U). Use the keyboard shortcut to show the UI when hidden, and note that chiclets and script dialogues remain visible with the UI hidden. CTRL+ALT+F1 will still hide / show the UI as well.
  • World:
    • Set Home To Here relocated to be with the other place-related options.
    • Teleport Here has an added separator between it and the menu options below it.
World menu: Set Home to Here has been relocated, and Teleport Home has an additional separator below it to help avoid incorrect clicks when using it.
  • Help: new item: Firestorm Events Calendar – opens the Firestorm Google Calendar of event, including all Firestorm classes.
Preferences Updates
  • Firestorm:
    • Uploads: new button to reset custom uploads folders to their viewer defaults.
    • Build 1: it is now possible to switch the Script Editor font type and adjust the font size. All pre-processed output also obeys the chosen font.
It is now possible to set the font style (drop-down arrowed left) and font style / size (drop-down arrowed right) for the Script Editor
  • Move & View: new options to manage viewer-side region crossings add to the Movement sub-tab. See Experimental Region Crossing Code, below.
  • User Interface:
    • 2D Overlay: new option to make the statistics bar ignore focus requests when closing other floaters with CTRL+W. When enabled, the statistics bar will never receive focus when another window is closed. Actions such as changing graph layout for items are still possible when enabled.
New Toolbar Buttons
  • Beacons: opening the Beacons floater panel.
  • Wearable Favorites: see Favorite Wearables Panel, below.
Panels and Floaters
  • Appearance Panel:
    • Wearing Tab: the Wearing tab now lists the rendering complexity of each worn in-world object. This can be accessed via the Avatar menu > Appearance (or CTRL-O) and then open the Wearing tab.
    • Outfits Tab:
      • Double-click will add/remove.
      • Wearing tab – double-click will remove for “Wearables” and “Temporary attachments”.
  • Inspect Panel:
    • A new “Options” button has been added to the Inspect panel allowing you to select which columns are displayed.
    • New object complexity count added to the information display on the left of the panel.

Favorite Wearables

The Favorite Wearables panel can be used to list frequently used items (e.g. HUDs, attachments) in a floater so they can be quickly attached or removed as needed. This can help with performance, as you can conveniently detach attachments you’re not using and remove their simulator script overhead, or take off HUDs you’re not using, to remove their texture memory use, then quickly re-attach them when needed without having to locate them in Inventory.

The panel has its own toolbar button for quick access., or can be opened via the Avatar menu > Favorite Wearables.

To add items to the panel:

  • Open the panel and your inventory.
  • Drag the items you want to display in the panel from inventory into the panel window. Note this will create a link to the original item in the #Wearable Favorites folder in inventory.
  • To remove an item from the panel, right-click on the item to highlight it and then click the Trash icon at the top of the panel. This will remove the item from the panel’s list, delete the link in the #Wearable Favorites, but will not delete the item from your inventory.

To attach an item listed in the panel, simply right-click on it to display a menu comprising the familiar Add, Wear, Attach to and Attach to HUD (for HUDs) options. This menu also allows you to view the object’s profile, or use Show Original to open your Inventory and highlight the original version.

The Favorite Wearables panel can be accessed via the Avatar menu or a new Toolbar button. It can be used to list HUDs and other frequently used attachments which can be added / removed via a menu.

Right-clicking on an attached item (shown in a different colour in the panel) will display a menu with options to edit the attachment (opens the Build panel), detach it, open its profile or locate the original in inventory.

In addition, the panel includes a search bar that will cause the panel to only display items which fully or partially match the text typed into it, and a drop-down list of sort options.

Continue reading “Firestorm 5.1.7: back up to speed”