|On Monday, July 25th, 2022, the Firestorm team released version 6.5.6 of their viewer.
This is very much a maintenance update for Firestorm rather than a major release; the focus is very much on bug fixes rather than new features.
That said, it does bring Firestorm closer to the official release viewer, incorporating as t does the April and May official viewer releases code – so with this release, Firestorm embraces multi-factor authentication.
|Table of Contents|
As per usual, this article is a not a full blow-by-blow breakdown of absolutely everything in this release, but it does include notes on some of the more significant updates and fixes people are liable to find useful, and some general notes.
For a complete breakdown of changes, please see the official release notes for Firestorm 6.5.6.
- 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 6.5.6.
Linden Lab Updates
This release brings Firestorm up to parity with the following Linden Lab viewer releases:
- Lao-Lao Maintenance Release viewer (version 18.104.22.1680575, dated April 18th, 2022) containing numerous bug fixes).
- One notable fix in this viewer is for photographers, correcting as it does – BUG-231868 “[MAINT J+K] 360 Snapshot tool fails to save file to computer (Mac and Windows)”
- The MFA Release viewer (version 22.214.171.1241282, dated May 4th), which rolled multi-factor authentication to the viewer – see below for more.
In addition, Firestorm 6.5.6 includes support for the release of Premium Plus (increased Group allowance, etc).
Firestorm 6.5.6 incorporates Linden Lab’s viewer-side Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) code. This provides additional security to your Second Life account both through the web (e.g. trying to view your billing info or transaction history, trying to cash out (“process credit”) money out of your account, trying to change the e-mail address associated with your account, etc.), and in accessing your account using the viewer. It is entirely optional, and you do not need to use it if you don’t want to – although usage is recommended.
You can find out more on MFA in general by following the links below:
- Introducing Multi-Factor Authentication for your Second Life Account! – Linden Lab.
- Multi-Factor Authentication in the SL Knowledge Base – Linden Lab.
- Second Life Multi-Factor Authentication: the what and how – this blog.
Inclusion of MFA in a viewer means that anyone who has opted to use MFA
- Will, the first time they use Firestorm 6.5.6, have to use their preferred authentication method (e.g. Google Authenticator) to generate a new token (6-digit code) and enter it into the viewer when prompted (after entering their user name and password).
- Note that some authenticators generate their token as 2 groups of 3 digits (e.g. XXX YYY). Where this is the case, you can enter the code with or without the space.
- This token will remain valid for 30 days, as noted above, so you do not have to provide a token every time you log-in to the viewer.
- However, after 30 days, the prompt will once again be displayed at log-in, and a new token code will have to be generated in the chosen authentication method, and entered into the viewer in response to the prompt.
If you have not opted to use MFA, or if you later opt to disable MFA on your account, you will not be prompted to provide any authentication code.
Firestorm Updates and Improvements
A minor, but nevertheless issue with Phototools since the introduction of the Environmental Enhancement Project (EEP) capabilities into Firestorm has been the fact that the Shared Environment button (Phototools → Env) has never been properly hooked-up to the EEP controls.
It’s a niggle I pointed to at the time that Firestorm released with EEP incorporated but – and shame on me for not doing so – I never got around to raising a bug report on it.
Fortunately, Spartaco Zemenis did Jira it (see FIRE-31688), with the result that the button has now been properly hooked-in to EEP and clicking it (as with clicking the X button alongside of Personal Lighting) will now revert your viewer’s environment settings to those set for the region / parcel you are current in.
And the difference between the two? X will perform a transition between whatever your current environment settings are and those used within the region / parcel; the Shared Environment button will simple switch the viewer to using the local environment settings without any transition effects.
- The Legacy Skin has been removed as a result of being unmaintained for so long.
- The Starlight and Starlight CUI have been updated, and now includes a fix for FIRE-30839 “Camera window not fully opaque at 1.00 and doesn’t have StarLight & Silver Blue support”.
Other Updates and Fixes
- The “Avatars Nearby” list in the performance floater now respects display name/username choice (set via Preferences → General).
- New physics warning to the mesh uploader when model dimensions are too thin. Mesh-based physics reverts to convex hull when any single dimension goes below 0.5m, so new warning added should this occur:
- One or more dimensions is less than 0.5m, only hull-based (analysed) physics shapes will work correctly.
- Debug Setting update: BrowserWebSecurityDisabled – disables web security features in the built-in Web browser.
- Firestorm Bridge now uses HTTPS by default.
- BUG-231970 “LOD generation does not trigger a refresh” (also fixed in the lab’s Performance Improvement viewer).
- FIRE-31074 “Double Click Teleport Stuck On, And Ignoring Modifiers”.
- FIRE-31552 “Glowing, 100% transparent prims no longer glow”.
- FIRE-31687 “Overlapped windows when you create a pick on the Places floater”.
- FIRE-31689 “Wrong folder is shown when creating a LM”.
- FIRE-31322 “[Linux] Growl notifications do not show in Gnome 41 or Gnome 42 (Desktop Environment)”.
- FIRE-31758 “RLVa: Area Search shows nametags when restrictions in place”.
- FIRE-21700 “Full bright not adhering when gamma changed”.
- FIRE-31719 “Store camera view fails in Flycam mode”.
- FIRE-31406 “FS 126.96.36.199541 Guidebook pane while loading clips content too much”.
- FIRE-31472 “When using the Improve Graphic Performance floater some aspects will not work when Framerate Limiter is active”.
- Nearby blocked avatars should no longer cause the viewer to randomly hang.
- Adds a warning toast as a reminder when there is a scripted followcam active that might stop a camera reset when trying to use SHIFT+ESC to reset camera view.
- FIRE-31474 “Importing linkset crashes while uploading textures” .
- FIRE-31653 “Pressing CTRL + F with “banned” list open in any group profile crashes the viewer to desktop”.
- FIRE-31482 “Crashing To Desktop While Using [Legacy events] Search”.
- FIRE-31718 “Preprocessor crashes viewer on recursive #include”.
Third-Party Library Updates
- FMOD Studio updated to 2.02.06 (Windows, Linux, Mac).
- KDU: updated to v8.2 for Linux.
- Glib for Linux updated to 188.8.131.52911433-linux64_bionic-220911433.
- Fixed: FIRE-31567 “[OpenSim] Wrong delayed rebakes on all teleports/login”.
- Fixed: FIRE-31581 “[OPENSIM] TP between grids on different voice services causes infinite loop”
- Inventory handling improvements, including:
- Fix for FIRE-31634 “[Opensim] Inventory doesn’t load on some grids”.
- Fix for FIRE-31674 “[OpenSim] Inventory validation warning for Suitcase folder”.
- Allow inventory validation to work in OpenSim with old and grandfathered inventories, without being fatal.
- Better inventory validation reporting.
- Make the inventory reporting more user friendly.
- Make the options for fixing clearer.
- Make the nagging notification optional.
- Make sure the correct UUID is used for the inventory library in OpenSim
- Fixed: FIRE-31628 “[Opensim] Collisions sounds cannot be disabled”.
- OpenSim vari-regions:
Try to defend against grid owners who insist on misconfiguring to have more the one neighbour per region edge.
- Fixed Firestorm crash due to abuse of vari-regions.
- Added Grid Status support for OpenSim “GridStatus” and “GridStatusRSS” – Top menu bar → Help → Check Grid Status.
- Reverted some of the changes made to prevent calling card duplication, as the method has changed and the viewer is now responsible for creating calling cards after friendship has formed.
In the past, the Firestorm team has tried to maintain a two-month QA cycle: starting a month after a release, QA on the nest would start with beta testing. This would be followed in the 6th week of the beta cycle by the issuing of a “Release Candidate” for additional testing the the Firestorm Preview Group. Due to the numbers involved in the Preview Group, issues would be found very late in the QA cycle, leading to delays in the release being made.
To try to prevent this in the future, Firestorm is moving to a process of pre-release building being issued to the Preview Group on a weekly basis, monitored by the QA team, working with the Preview Group users in determining what is a bug that should be reported vs what may be an artefact of something unrelated, like a user setting, that can be corrected without the need for exhaustive bug reporting and testing. This will hopefully result in a more frequent release process.