|On Monday January 16th, 2023 (PDT), the Firestorm team released version 6.6.8 of their viewer.
This is another release which might be described as more a maintenance update, intended to keep Firestorm in step with the current official viewer code base, together with focus on bug fixes more than new features.
However, that said, there are some significant updates to be found in this release, both from Linden Lab (as with the incorporation of Legacy Profiles) and also from the Firestorm Team (notably the Mesh Preview Upload by Beq Janus).
So, without further ado, lets get into things and see what’s what. And please note that as per all my articles on viewer updates and releases, this is not a full blow-by-blow breakdown of absolutely everything in the release; rather, it is intended to highlight the more significant updates and fixes people are liable to find useful, and offer some general notes .
|Table of Contents
For a complete breakdown of changes, please see the official release notes for Firestorm 6.6.8.
- 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 6.6.8.
Linden Lab Updates
Firestorm 18.104.22.168380 is fully merged up to the Linden 6.6.7 code-base, plus some cherry-picked items from upstream, per the notes below.
- MFA / ToS Hotfix, viewer version 22.214.171.1246223, November 2022 – ensures the viewer correctly required a double-entry of MFA tokens on launching the viewer and on accepting a Terms of Service update.
- Modal Hot Fix, viewer version 126.96.36.1995022, September 2022 – correcting a crasher within the viewer code.
Maintenance Nomayo Viewer Updates
Viewer version 188.8.131.525749, October 2022.
- New Mini-Map options: Right click Mini-Map → North at top, Camera at top.
- Hovering over the Mini Map now shows ownership information for the given parcel.
- Fixed the right click freeze – BUG-232466, FIRE-31927.
- Fixed Texture position changes while using a HUD only updates after zooming out, BUG-232364.
- Landmarks should now work more like other assets for cut/copy actions.
- Animation uploads have joint name fixes.
- Improved media playback responsiveness.
- Crash fixes.
Viewer version 184.108.40.2065990, October 2022.
- Fix for a transparency “alpha” blending issues in the above viewer release. In cases of many layers of textures that included transparencies, this would cause some of the lower layers to not render at all.
Maintenance Izzara Viewer Updates
Viewer version 220.127.116.114885, September 2022.
Improved reporting of spam and phishing attempts from the Group Chat and IM window with the addition of Report Abuse right-click option
- Improved land sale option: when selling land, Sell land to “specific person” will show your own name in the “Near Me” list in the people picker – BUG-231954.
- Ability to restrict media on a prim to this parcel via World → Parcel Details → Sound → Obscure MOAP – BUG-10416.
- Media on a Prim fixes: media will no longer loop when it should not; audio for media no longer plays when the object is edited.
- Fixed the Search floater opening without appropriate search results after performing a search from the NavBar
- Fixed the “360 snapshot” floater not being refreshed after second clicking on the “World” → “360 snapshot” menu item.
In 2022, Linden Lab made the formal transition back to present avatar profiles through an integrated floater within the viewer with the promotion of viewer version 18.104.22.1684158 was promoted to de facto release status in August of that year (although the web-based version of profiles can still be accessed – with reduced functionality – via my.secondlife.com).
With Firestorm 6.6.8, Firestorm incorporates the Lab’s Legacy Profiles code into their existing Profiles floater, with some changes to the latter as noted below.
- These tabs / options / buttons have been renamed, but the functions remain the same, unless noted below. Note that Interests has been removed.
- The Web tab is renamed Feed and displays the user’s Second Life Feed (under my.secondlife.com).
- 2nd Life and 1st Life tab images:
- The 2nd Life Profile picture has a revised aspect ratio.
- Within your own profile: clicking the image swatch in either will open a texture picker, allowing you to select an image for either.
- Within your own 1st Life tab are three buttons:
- Upload Photo – allows you to upload an image from your computer to the 1st Life Tab to preview it (image must still be uploaded to inventory and applied, if it is to be saved & used).
- Change Photo – opens a texture picker, allowing you to select an image from inventory to add to your 1st Life tab.
- Remove Photo – removes any displayed image from the swatch.
- Display Name / Multi-option button:
- When viewing your own Profile, the tool button to open the Display Name edit fields is opened.
- When viewing the Profile of a Friend, displays a pop-up with the following check-box options:
- See when I’m online.
- Find me on the world map.
- Edit, delete or take my objects.
- Note that active options will appear in white on the displayed profile, and inactive will appear greyed out, for eas of reference.
- When viewing the Profile on a non-Friend, this area is blank.
- Unknown: a new status option (alongside Online and Offline), displayed when the person concerned is not someone you have friended, and who has their viewer set to only show their on-line status to friends.
- In addition, and to reduce drama, if a Friend is hiding their status, they will show as Offline, rather than the status in their Profile being blank.
Firestorm Updates and Improvements
Firestorm 6.6.8 is the first set of releases built through the GitHub Actions infrastructure rather than depending on individual developers. This is a significant shift in emphasis for viewer development – and one mirroring moves being made in the same direction by Linden Lab. Benefits include removal of single-person for feature development and providing a more reliable, repeatable build mechanism.
Building and Scripting – Local Mesh (Beta)
Firestorm 6.6.8 introduces Local Mesh as a beta implementation. Developed by Beq Janus, Local Mesh is intended to allow users able to upload mesh to preview their objects in-world (using a “surrogate” object, which can be as simple as a cube prim), and also see edits made to the .DAE file in real time.
- The primary aim of this capability is to allow creators check their creations without having to go through the unpredictability of access to Aditi (the Beta grid) for such checks / tests, as well as presenting that real-time viewing of edits to the .DAE file.
- The capability works for unrigged mesh, worn rigged mesh and Animesh, and once rendered, the object can have textures and materials applied for testing, as required.
Local Mesh follows the same basic principles as Local Textures, notably:
- Meshes are only visible to you through the viewer instance used to apply them.
- Meshes only remain visible to you during the current log-in session. A relog will both clear the list of Local Mesh Assets and reduce the “surrogate” object for any local mesh you have “rezzed” in-world to a basic shape.
Local Mesh is accessed via the Build menu: Build → Local Mesh, which in turn opens a new floater, comprising 3 tabs.
Local Mesh Assets Tab
Displays the current list of .DAE files obtained from your computer which are available for potential rendering in-world to view. Objects are listed in the middle section of the tab, together with their assigned LODs. When more that one file is listed, the highlighted file name is the one that will be acted upon.
This tab includes the following buttons:
- Add: opens a file picker and allows you to navigate to and select a .DAE file from your computer. When the file is selected and Open in the picker is clicked, the file is added to the list of available .DAE files.
- Remove: will remove the highlighted .DAE file from the Local Mesh Assets list and should clears any corresponding in-world object.
- Reload: Re-loads the selected file in the Local Mesh list and reapplies it to the Mesh object inworld so use this to applies the most recent edits to your .DAE file to your in-world object.
- Clear: Reverts a selected Local Mesh object inworld to it’s normal state (so, if a cube prim was used, the object will revert to a cube).
- Apply: if you have a suitable mesh in-world yo can select it and click this button to apply the properties of the file highlighted in Local Mesh Assets to it.
- Rez Selected: will prompt you to rez a primitive in-world (via the Build floater, and then applies the properties of the file highlighted in Local Mesh Assets to the rezzed prim.
- Logging for Local Mesh
- If the status of your Local Mesh file in the Local Mesh Assets list shows “Error” instead of “Active”, check the log for the cause of the error.
Assume scale is in metres:- Ignore the cm scale units used by tools such as Maya,
Converting a Local Mesh to a Local Animesh
- Right-click → Edit the required local mesh (in-world or worn).
- Add your animations and control scripts to the object.
- Select the Features tab in the Build floater and check the Animated Mesh option.
For a complete overview of Local Mesh functionality, please refer to Announcing Local Mesh, by Beq Janus, principal developer of the capability, and which can be found on her blog – which is a must-read for anyone interested in content creation and the technicalities of Second Life. In addition, the ? button of the Local Mesh floater will display web-based Help pages based on the floater tab in which the ? button is clicked.
Building and Scripting – General Updates
- Build Floater:
- Face selection cycle now starts at face 1 instead of face 0 – FIRE-32282.
- Shift+clicking the link/faces button now includes the next face/link into the selection (Build → Select Elements → “Include next part or face” / “Include previous part or face”) – BUG-232757.
- Physics updates:
- Mesh physics options in mesh upload preview floater
- The bounding box now sets a physics cube around the entire mesh even if it is multi part in the mesh uplaoder.
- eshes with a hull based (non triangle) user physics will not be convexified when scaled to below 0.5m – BUG-232869 and FIRE-32359.
- Animation upload preview on own avatar should no longer fail when the Firestorm AO is enabled – FIRE-32315.
Continue reading “Firestorm 6.6.8: Profiles, Local Mesh and more”