As of January 1st, 2013, the Phoenix Firestorm team ceased support of the Phoenix viewer, bring a close to all further work on that viewer on their part.
While this signals the end-of-line for Phoenix where Second Life is concerned, it appears that efforts are underway to attempt to continue Phoenix development for the OpenSim / Aurora environment, under new leadership and a new brand name.
In a blog post dated 29th December, 2012, Virtual Reaility, the new developers for Phoenix state:
Over the past week the Jessica Lyon, Project Manager of the The Phoenix Firestorm Project, Inc. made an announcement that on Saturday, December 15, the Phoenix development team would no longer support the V1-based Phoenix virtual worlds viewer that has had a significant following of users in virtual worlds such as Second Life and OS Grid. Ms. Lyon stated that support for the viewer will be dropped to provide development and support focus on their Phoenix-Firestorm viewer.
Though this may seem like a dark day for people who use and enjoy the Phoenix viewer, this cloud has a silver lining. Virtual Reality is pleased to announce that it will continue development, maintenance, and improvement of the Phoenix V1 viewer, which will be re-branded as the Virtual Reality Viewer. “I am excited to have the opportunity to fork this highly popular viewer for virtual worlds users who use it and desire to continue to use it.”, said, Virtual Reality owner and CEO, Sonic Boom Drillion. “The Virtual Reality viewer will continue to work within OpenSim and Aurora based grids, however we hope to update the viewer to address a number of technical advancements that are presently happening in virtual worlds. We are eager to embrace this code base and develop it to support these changes.”
The post goes on to state that as of the 29th December, work was underway to move the Phoenix code to Virtual Reality’s own systems, however the work will not include porting outstanding / open JIRA relating to Phoenix, as these are related to Second Life, which will not be the target environment for the rebranded viewer.
Virtual Reality is an OpenSim hosting company focused on Aurora Sim side of OpenSim, and provides customers with grid space through its own Virtual Reality grid, as well supplying private grids to customers.
Within the blog post / announcement is a request that any developer wishing to work on the rebranded viewer should contact Virtual Reality at virtualrealitygrid-at-gmail.com.
While this does not help those who have used Phoenix specifically with OpenSim, it does mean that potentially, the Phoenix legacy will live on, albeit under new management and a new name, on OpenSim.