|On Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, Firestorm released version 18.104.22.168205 of their viewer.
This release brings Firestorm up-to-date with all official viewer releases prior to the EEP update, and includes assorted updates and fixes from upstream of that release from the Lab, plus fixes and improvements from the Firestorm team, including a lot of OpenSim updates.
However, it should be noted that this release does not include EEP (Environmental Enhancement Project). As such, this is perhaps best seen as a maintenance release to prepare the way for a later EEP release.
As always, the focus is on those updates that may be of particular general interest, rather than trying to cover absolutely everything. Readers are referred to the release notes for a full list of updates / fixes and all associated credits.
|Table of Contents
The Usual Before We Begin
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 6.3.9.
- Again, please refer to the Firestorm 6.3.9 release notes for details of specific Lab-derived fixes for this release.
Note that with this release:
- Firestorm versions 6.0.2 for Second Life and 6.0.2 for OpenSim will both be blocked from logging into the Second Life grid in three weeks time.
- 6.0.2 for OpenSim will not be blocked from accessing OpenSim Grids.
Lab Derived Updates
The version of Firestorm brings the viewer to parity with the Linden Lab 6.3.8 code base. This means Firestorm now includes all viewer releases up to and including the Ordered Shutdown updates, which should reduce the frequency of the viewer crashing on shut-down, and the Premium enhancements viewer (version 22.214.171.1248264), which includes updates specifically for Premium Plus relating to fees, etc, and which may appear in places in the viewer. However, with regards to the latter, it is important to note that:
- The precise benefits for Premium Plus have yet to be confirmed.
- The deployment of Premium Plus has been delayed, mostly likely until early 2021. See Second Life Premium Plus roll-out postponed for more on this.
Client AO Updates
Firestorm 126.96.36.1990205 includes a number of updates / fixes for the client-side AO system, including:
- AO floater should no longer appear empty if open on logging-in to the viewer (see FIRE-29192).
- The AO should now be more robust when in or leaving Linden Water:
- Transitions between animations should now be far smoother, as double start / stops should no longer occur.
- Animations should not longer stick on cycling (particularly sits / ground sits) See: FIRE-14925.
- Additional fixes for sitting, smart sit and region crossings:
- Tabbing out of the AO name field should set the AO name if newly edited – no need to press ENTER to apply the new name (see FIRE-29078).
- The Default check box should no longer become active when the currently-open AO set is already the default for an avatar (see FIRE-29101).
Menu and Preferences Updates
Avatar menu → Avatar Health → Scripts:
- Clicking on the help icon (“?”) in the top-right of the scripts floater now correctly opens the Firestorm wiki page about the floater, rather than the Script Information help page dealing with in-world object script information.
Build → Upload:
- Misleading “lossless” check box removed from image upload floater (see: BUG-228331).
Preferences → Colours:
- Pick Radius has been updated to read Pick Radius Colour, to make the option’s function clearer.
- Both the Pick Radius Colour swatch and distance / opacity slider now have tool tips to explain their functions.
Preferences → User Interface → 2D Overlay:
- The Group Notices and Chiclets in Top Right check box has been replaced by radio buttons offering a choice of top or bottom right to display group notices and chiclets (changing location still requires a viewer restart to take effect).
Jellydolls: if an avatar is Jellydolled even though the avatar is below your Maximum Complexity setting, it is because the avatar’s texture area is above the maximum texture area limit (set via the RenderAutoMuteSurfaceAreaLimit Debug setting). Firestorm will therefore display their “Texture Area” number in red in their name tag (see FIRE-23495).
- Inspect Own Attachments: a new option to inspect your own attachments has been added to the avatar right-click context menu / pie menu. Presents the same information as inspect attachments on other avatars. (see FIRE-23987).
- It should now be possible to detach temporary attachments from Appearance → Wearing tab.
- It should now be no longer possible to wear more than one physics layer.
- Protected Folders: a new option to prevent accidental drag / drop or deletion of inventory folders.
- Right-click on an inventory folder and select Protect from the context menu.
- Folder is now protected, and will display “(protected) alongside it.
- Select the folder, right-click and select Unprotect to remove protection.
- All protected folders in inventory can be summarised in the Protected Folders floater (Avatar → Protected Folders).
- Double clicking on a folder name in the Protected Folders floater will automatically highlight it in Inventory, allowing you to quickly locate any protected folder.
- Note: sub-folders and objects in a Protected folder can still be deleted or drag / dropped.
- Uploading an image or saving a snapshot should no longer cause Inventory to jump from the recent tab jumps to the main tab (see: FIRE-22943 and BUG-225229).
- It should now be possible to copy / paste into outfits folders in inventory.
- Possible fix for attachments randomly ending up in inventory Lost & Found folder. This hopefully fixes FIRE-23364 and BUG-228813.
- The outmoded Merchant Outbox system folder should now be deletable with this release.
Area Search and Sound Explorer
- Area Search: the right-click context menu in the List tab has three new options:
- Filter My Objects: if you’ve carried out a search that brings up objects not owned by you, you can use this option so that only those you own are listed.
- Select All: select all the objects in a list.
- Clear Selection: clear all selected items, whether highlighted by SHIFT-select, CTRL-select or Select All.
- Sound Explorer: new Stop Locally button added to halt the local (your viewer only) playing of a sound.
Snapshots To Twitter and Flickr
Linden Lab ceased support (viewer and server) for uploads to Flickr and Twitter. So:
- The option to upload to Twitter has been removed from the snapshot floater.
- For uploads to Flickr, Firestorm 6.3.9 reverts to using the Exoflickr code to allow snapshots to be uploaded to Flickr.
- This does not see any significant changes to the Flickr upload floater.
- If you have not used the direct-to-Flickr snapshot capability, you will have to connect your viewer to your Flickr account. This is generally a one-time requirement (unless you opt to disable uploads via Flickr), and the floater will guide you through the process.
General Updates of Note
- FMOD Studio updated to version 2.00.08 (FMOD release notes).
- It is now possible to delete invalid parcel music URLs from About Land→Sound tab Music URL field.
- Menu bar options updated to show the simulator version number rather than the outdated RC channel name.
- Chat related:
- Text in the chat console display should no longer be cut off on the left edge of the console (see: FIRE-8257).
- Chat keywords should now work correctly if the keyword list contains white spaces for readability (see: FIRE-29244).
- UTF-8-BOM encoded chat transcript files should now open correctly (see: FIRE-28990, BUG-228430).
- New Search option adding to Chat / OM /Conversation panels.
- Keyboard MENU key: if you have a MENU key (generally to the bottom right of your keyboard, next to the CTRL key), it should now also open context menu in inventory & other folder views (see: FIRE-19933).
Two core aspects of the Firestorm 188.8.131.52205 release that may not come to the attention of the majority of users, and so might be considered “under-the-hood” updates are:
- Migration of all Firestorm viewer repositories from Mercurial to Git, in line with Bitbucket’s announcement that they plan to remove support for Mercurial.
- Introduction of Bugsplat as the Windows crash reporting tool for Firestorm, replacing the dedicated Firestorm crash reporting system (although this will continue to be used for the OS X and Linux build of the viewer for the immediate future. This change is also in line with Linden Lab’s switch to using Bugsplat.
This release brings OpenSim back in line with the Second Life Firestorm release.
Bakes On Mesh
Firestorm 184.108.40.206205 brings Bakes on Mesh (BoM) support to OpenSim, with special attention to back-compatibility with older OpenSim versions, with testing primarily against the 0.9x core OpenSim release.
As only relatively new OpenSim instances have BoM support, and older versions have a limited fixed array of baked mesh UUIDs, using a BoM viewer on those older versions has the potential to overrun their buffers and lead to undefined behaviour. Therefore, this release of Firestorm detects BoM support using the existing Cap and limits the number of bakes requested accordingly.
Additional OpenSim Support
Nine new OpenSim grids added to the grid manager.
- Improved Map search allows the viewer to show the names of any found region whose name contains the supplied search string.
- Discord to show the grid being used instead of Second life constantly (see FIRE-29526).
- All group notices should send correctly on OpenSim.
For details, again, please refer to the release notes.
Firestorm 220.127.116.11205 is very much a housekeeping update rather than a major release for the viewer. This might frustrate some (“Wot, not EEP?!”), but much of it is – notably the official viewer code base merges and the migration of the viewer repositories – vital to Firestorm merging with EEP and for the viewer’s future.
As to when an EEP-capable version of the viewer might appear, there is a simple one-word answer: “Soon™!” EEP is not the easiest code-base to merge up to, so time is required for this work to be completed and tested.
In terms of my personal view of Firestorm 6.3.9, I welcome it as a step towards EEP and gaining further parity with the Lab’s viewer code, and have found it through preview and beta testing to be stable and to offer the same broad performance on my system as the last major release (version 18.104.22.168052 with Bakes On Mesh). Otherwise, not a lot to say, so I’ll leave you with the usual links.