Tag Archives: V1-Discontinued

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Phoenix viewer appears set to continue (but not with SL)

PhoenixAs 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-realityVirtual 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.

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Calling all Phoenix users

PhoenixJessica Lyon has announced she and the Phoenix  / Firestorm team will be holding an Office Hour meeting, and all users are invited. Jessica is particularly keen to have users on Phoenix attend the meeting, commenting:

Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend but I especially want to see Phoenix Viewer users in attendance as the primary topic will be about Phoenix and its future. I also would like to see all you angry people who have been flaming and hating on us in our blog comments. I’d like to address your complaints so please at least be on the stream if you can. 

Because the lack of Phoenix Viewer development and in fact the future of the Phoenix Viewer itself needs to be discussed and your questions/concerns need to be addressed.

Firestorm users are also obviously welcome.

Event Details

Those wishing to attend / join the stream are advised to turn up around 30 minutes ahead of the meeting. As there are limited slots for both the in-world event and the stream, it would be advisable if those attending the event don’t also run the stream, as this could prevent others who are unable to get in-world from watching and listening on-line.

The event will be recorded for future playback.

Phoenix gets set for Direct Delivery

Phoenix 1.6.1.1691 has been released today. This has been expected since the recent updates to the TPV Policy required the removal of the on-line truth status from the profile floater.

More importantly, the update prepares Phoenix for the forthcoming roll-out of Direct Delivery, scheduled for this Wednesday, the 21st March. As such, it is very important for Phoenix users to upgrade to this release if they wish to be able to use the SL Marketplace to receive items once Direct Delivery is launched and merchants switch over to it. Additionally, the Viewer includes the V2 inventory fetch system.

Other updates include:

  • RLV updates (Kitty Barnett)
  • Optional support group viewer version identification (Zi Ree, Kadah Koba)
  • GPU table updates (TankMaster Finesmith)
  • Added CHOP, MAINT, EXP, SINV, PATHBUG, and DOC to jira parser (TankMaster Finesmith)
  • Option to show script time in either ms or µSeconds (Kadah Coba)
  • Allow /me’ when using viewer prefix (Inusaito Kanya)
  • Support for CreateInventoryCategory capability (Henri Beauchamp)
  • Backport of V3 inventory loading at login (Henri Beauchamp & Singularity Viewer)
  • Additional fast timers from V3 (Henri Beauchamp)

It is recommended that a clean install is performed for this release.

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Phoenix goes mesh

Yesterday, the much-anticipated release of Phoenix was made. Version 1.6.0 1591 brings with it the ability to render mesh objects.

This means that the majority of users in SL are able to see mesh objects rendered correctly in-world, if not import them. However, the release announcement from Jessica Lyon is liable to make difficult reading for some:

“We stated some time ago our active development commitment is now focused on the Firestorm viewer and that continues today. We still feel strongly that the end of V1 functionality is an inevitability, so it is more important to develop an alternative viewer for our users they will enjoy for when that time comes than to spend our efforts on a dying viewer and then leave our users with no alternative once it’s gone. However, we also promised we would try to keep the phoenix viewer alive for you until it is no longer feasible to do so. As you can see, we are not walking away from that promise, but it is important to understand that Phoenix is no longer our top priority. When necessary we will continue to keep it up to date with advances/fixes from other third-party viewers and provide them the credit they deserve for that work. But ‘we’ are no longer actively developing Phoenix on our own steam.

“Any future releases of Phoenix will be sparse and only if needed. I will not commit to saying this is the last Phoenix Viewer Release, but I will also not commit to saying it isn’t the last either. I will say… this is one of our last. As time passes we will determine if another release is absolutely necessary and/or sensible and make a decision then on whether another update is mandatory in order to keep our promise to you.”

While it may not be a popular move, one can hardly blame Jessica and the team for taking this position: maintaining an aging code base which itself is built on something LL no longer maintain (Snowglobe) is liable to become harder and harder as time goes on, and for a Viewer to remain functional and relevant, it needs to keep pace with the evolution of the grid and as the Phoenix / Firestorm project has made the step of producing a V2/V3 hybrid, it makes sense for them to focus on that work in order to do so, rather than splitting efforts (and doubling the workload) to try and maintain two sets of code.

As well as mesh rendering, this release also brings with it:

  • The Firestorm 3.2 log-in / splash screen options
  • Contact Sets
  • Removal of the Google chat translation API options from Preferences
  • A host of “small” fixes and changes

A signficant element not updated was that of RLVa – it was decided that Kitty’s time and focus is better spent on the numerous projects with which she is already fully engaged: her own Viewer (Catznip, reviewed here), working on bringing the spell checker to Viewer 3.x, her continuing support of RLVa for other V2/V3 TPVs, and so on). In the release blog, Jessica suggest that those wishing to update to the latest RLVa implementations should give either Firestorm or Catznip a try.

In the meantime, and if you haven’t already, you can grab Phoenix 1.6.0 1591 directly, or go to the Phoenix home page and use the Quick Download links.