Firestorm 6.3.9: housekeeping matters

On Wednesday, May 27th, 2020, Firestorm released version 6.3.9.58205 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.

Viewer Blocks

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 6.3.8.538264), 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:

Firestorm Updates

Client AO Updates

Firestorm 6.3.9.580205 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:
    • A swim animation should no longer play when leaving Linden Water; avatar should transition to flying animation (see: FIRE-6605 / FIRE-8099).
    • The flying hover animation (for included in an AO) should no longer play when pausing swimming when underwater (see FIRE-15350).
  • 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:
    • After sitting, disabling the client AO should not longer place your avatar in a default standing pose whilst still seated (see FIRE-15059).
    • Turning on the AO sits should no longer fail to turn off the sit animation when standing once more (see FIRE-16230 / FIRE-22471).
  • 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.
Mini-map updates: Renamed Pick Radius option (1) and new tool tips for colour picker and the distance / opacity slider (2 – with the colour swatch tool tip shown)

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).
New radio buttons to define the location for displaying group notices and chiclets

Appearance Updates

  • 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).
You can now inspect attachments on your own avatar as well as on other avatars / inspect in-world objects
  • 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.

Inventory Updates

  • 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.
The Protect (/Unprotect) folder option in the inventory context menu (l), and the Protect Folders floater (r)
  • 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.
Area Search (List tab context menu) and Sound Explorer updates

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.
Firestorm 6.3.9 has been updated to (optionally) show the current simulator release 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.
New search text options for chat and IMs.
  • 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).

Under-the-Hood Updates

Two core aspects of the Firestorm 6.3.9.58205 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.

OpenSim Updates

This release brings OpenSim back in line with the Second Life Firestorm release.

Bakes On Mesh

Firestorm 6.3.9.58205 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.

Observations

Firestorm 6.3.9.58205 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 6.3.2.58052 with Bakes On Mesh). Otherwise, not a lot to say, so I’ll leave you with the usual links.

Related Links

15 thoughts on “Firestorm 6.3.9: housekeeping matters

  1. Why do I still see Adobe Flash Player listed as something I should install as part of the Firestorm install process? It’s been deprecated since 2017, and browsers already need special steps to be taken before they show it. The beautifol plumage is moth-eaten and it’;s not sleeping, shagged out after a long squawk, it’s already nailed to the perch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a question for the Firestorm team (with OS details, etc.). I can only say from my perspective as a former Windows 7 user (now Win 10), I cannot ever remember seeing a request to install Flash (which has been absent my PC since around 2016, following a complete rebuild / re-installation of both machine and OS / apps).

      Like

  2. I expect they will take a few weeks to make sure there aren’t any horrendous bugs with the current version and then they almost have to start getting EEP implemented. LL was pretty lenient even allowing parcel Windlight given their policy that normally requires TPV’s to give the same experience as the official viewer. Ever since the debacle where nobody would create mesh items until Firestorm added it like 6 months later, I’ve gotten the feeling that LL cracks the whip a little when something major like EEP is introduced on the official viewer, at least as far as Firestorm is concerned. They’ll get a bit of time to get it added, but only so much.

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    1. There is pressure for EEP to be incorporated, hence this interim step, and hence me “SoonTM!” comment. EEP does present a number of challenges (as LL have themselves found out, delaying as it has progress on the Love Me Render updates).

      As to the “shared experience” policy / rule, that’s debatable in terms of Windlight, because it has always been viewer-side only, and we’ve always had the ability to change how we see the local environment in our own world view, either directly through the viewer’s controls or through the use of a plethora of Windlight .XML files that can be added to any viewer. Thus, Windlight settings have tended to fall outside the “shared experience” ideal.

      True, Firestorm’s parcel Windlight does push this to the edge by making the application of such custom .XML files “automated”. But even so, this arguably doesn’t mean it is “breaking” any “shared experience” policy / rule. Indeed, EEP now also allows for the same, by enabling users to attach environment settings to their avatar, with the attached settings automatically overriding the environment settings for any parcel / region they visit.

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  3. It is a BIG release for OpenSim users 🙂 And bringing the code base for the Second Life and OpenSim versions back in step is for some of us a “good thing”™

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  4. Just a warning for Mac users. Despite the note on the download page that it is it for 10.9 and later, it is not. It requires 10.11 or later.

    Like

  5. I know Firestorm has a search and replace function that’s great when you want to make a global change to outfits, for example replacing a shape with a new one or replacing one piece of jewelry for another. I would love to see an ADD function, for example if I get a new piece of jewelry that I want to add to all outfits. I’m not replacing anything, just adding, but I can’t figure out how to do this globally.

    Like

    1. Hi fijiLove
      There isn’t a viewer option as such, but there is an easy way to do it.
      Right click the item you want to add to an Outfit, select Copy.
      Go to your Inventory Outfits folder. Select a number of Outfits using Shift+Select or Ctrl+Select
      Press Ctrl+V to paste. (do not right click to paste; this will not work)
      See Gyazo gif https://gyazo.com/8864167d476b18894b17b1f9ebd5d0b0

      Like

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