Please welcome a new addition to our blog. Aly will now be providing a regular contribution about SL’s technical issues and solutions for us less computer literate. We hope to continue to build the blog with more items of interest. One more example of the Riverside being a community not just a club. Welcome Aly!
Hi True Bluesers!
For those who don’t know me, I am Alysson Sophie and I am a hostess at The Riverside. A short while ago (as I write this) Ray asked me to write a recurring piece for the blog and, being the computer geek that I am in RL, I accepted after very little coaxing.
This series will be, for the most part, related to tech and how it affects SL. For my maiden voyage into blogworld, I have decided to write a small piece on a viewer that is currently being the talk of town: Firestorm.
Firestorm (FS for short) is a Viewer-2 (V2) style viewer made by the same team that brought us one of the (if not THE) most popular third party viewer in SL: Phoenix. FS is meant to implement a Phoenix-like interface on top of a V2 base code to allow all those nice features Linden Labs will release in the upcoming months, such as Mesh support and the already-released “body physics”, tattoo layers and multiple attachments that show correctly on most viewers as opposed to show up floating near you.
There has been a lot of rumors going around about whether LL will “ban” non-V2 based viewers by the end of the year; this is not quite accurate, rather, LL will stop supporting non-V2 based viewers for next-generation features. In other words, LL will not guarantee that the new features they implement will not break older viewers. I believe that Mesh will be the “big one” that will convince most users to move to a v2-based viewer.
Mesh will not “break” older viewers in the sense of making them crash or act up, but it will not display correctly in them. Far from being just a minor visual glitch, it will render the mesh completely shapeless, as the pictures in this link will show:
While FS will have some some features Phoenix lovers have come to expect, like pie menus and no sidebar (both optional, for those who still prefer the default v2 style) some others are missing in the current version and might not be in the final release, such as full screen mode (removed from V2 completely by LL, not the FS team) and the skins will likely not look like Phoenix at all, but rather like a heavily modded V2. Other Phoenix viewer goodies are already in FS Beta 2, such as area search, improved radar, client-AO (improved over the Phoenix one, but I have not played with the new features yet), viewer tags, extended build tools, translator and yes, RLVa is also implemented. While the spell checker isn’t implemented yet (darn you, my typonese!) I am still hoping it will make the final feature cut.
Finally, for those who are still unsure about running multiple viewers on their computers, fear not, FS will install to a different folder than your current viewer and its cache will also be installed to a separate location, therefore, it will not interfere with your current setup and you will be able to switch back and forth between them until you have decided whether FS is for you. In order to help those migrating from Phoenix to FS, the Phoenix-FS team has released video guides and a text guide to help you make FS behave as closely to phoenix as possible. Though this guide is written with Phoenix users in mind, I believe it would help other v1-style viewer users, like Imprudence, Hippo or Ascent as well and they even have a support group in world that has merged with the Phoenix support team.
Migration videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/phoenixviewersl
Support groups in-world: http://www.phoenixviewer.com/support.php
Comments and questions welcome. Just click the link below.
Thank you and happy exploring!