During the Phoenix Hour, a weekly TV show/Video, Jessica Lyon made several announcements. Here is the summary of the video.
I had some problems finding the video. Try this link. Look for the August 23rd video.
Update: Here is a better link: Phoenix Hour August 23rd
Firestorm Release Date
TM: 0:00 to 8:54 – There is no release date. They hope to have Firestorm out in a couple of weeks, but make no promises.
Firestorm is currently merged to the 2.6 code base. But they are planning to merge in mesh support. So, the release of Firestorm will be a 2.8.3 code base hybrid. They expect to make this a final release but if they can’t meet all their target dates and get all the fixes in then they will make the next release a Release Candidate. Whatever it is called, it will be Firestorm with mesh render capability.
Versioning is getting confusing for FS. While it is accurate to say FS is merged to 2.6 it does not tell the whole story. The FS Team is cherry picking Linden code to add various features and support. The next release will have parts of Linden 2.7, 2.8, and newer code. When FS moves out of release candidate status the team plans to change their versioning for FS because this problem will only get worse and be more misleading. Simply said, Firestorm is a hybrid of new and old code mixed into a new hybrid viewer with the best features available. See TM: 1:04:30 for more on version numbers.
Spell check is being a problem, but it is a priority include for the next release. If I understood correctly, Firestorm will remain in release candidate status until spell check is working.
You have probably seen the Hover Text Bug. This is where hover text from a distant prim shows through nearby prims. The team fixed the problem. There fix is now in the Linden viewers and will be in the next Firestorm release.
Black screen mini freeze – the team has decided this is a problem in the Linden code. Whatever. They are working to get it fixed in Firestorm. While not completely resolved it is better and may be fixed in the next release.
TM: 9:00 – Login Bug – There is a login bug peculiar to Firestorm. The message notice chiclets thatappear in the bottom right can accumulate. Because FS increased the number of of those that the viewer will cue up you can get too many. When you pass some magic number of those you will login and before things render you’ll ding and the viewer will crash. So, I suppose the work-around is to clear those before logging out.
TM: 10:05 – Login Manager – This is a feature in Phoenix that allows you to login with different avatar ID’s. This feature is now in the Firestorm code. Also, the grid manager from Kokua and some OpenSim support code has been contributed to Firestorm. There are new steps toward cooperating between Firestorm and Kokua. That should help both development teams.
TM 11:30 – Firestorm Viewer Modes – Just like the Linden viewer has modes, Basic and Advanced, so too will the next Firestorm. Except in FS this will be for selecting the Phoenix User Interface, the Linden V2 Interface, or the Firestorm Hybrid Interface. One will be able to skip having to customize their interface and can just select it.
TM 12:40 – Particle Beam Customization – In Emerald it was possible to customize your selection beam. LordGregGreg has contributed that code to Firestorm and will be in the next release. We may also see the code contributed to LL and eventually appear in V3.
Tm 13:00 – Auto Correct is in the next FS. This feature allow you to have the viewer replace text with your preferred text. This means; I could type ‘bnn’ and have the viewer via auto correct supply http://blog.nalates.net. This is very handy for support and business people that often have to repeat text going to different people day after day.
Tm 14:30 – Extended Viewer Tag Options – This feature lets you set the color of your tag and the tags of others. Of course you are only changing how you see their tags. Unlike Phoenix’s limited color choices your color choices are unlimited.
TM 15:40 – Volume Controls – You can click FS’ volume control button and the panel opens to allow one to control all the various sound channels the viewer uses. That gives you good control over sound withut having to open the Preferences panels.
TM 16:10 – Font Options – In FS it will be possible to change the viewer font. This is not as great as it sounds. The V2 font is hard coded to the viewer and and changing the font may cause things not to fit. So, you may see some scrambling on the screen as things flow outside the planed space provided. But, if you have a problem with the font, you can change it.
TM 17:25 – Proxy Options – You will have new options for using a proxy in FS.
TM 17:50 – Scripts – In FS you can decide if you want to save scripts edited from inventory as either plan LSL or Mono LSL.
TM 18:15 – Skins – Lots of new skins.
TM 18:40 – Contact Sets – This is a new feature in the coming FS. The idea is one can place their friends in sets… groups. Then the friends list can be sorted by sets. So, one could have business contacts, booty call buddies, friends with benefits, friends without, and more.
Another part of this feature allows you to add people to the sets that are not in your friends list. How handy is that? \o/ Now there are some oddities about listing non-friended people in your sets. If you make a conference call to all those in a set, only those that are actually in your friends list will be contacted. So, this is NOT a new spam tool.
There is also the option in this feature to color the tags of the people in a set. Obviously only you see the color change. Plus the colors will extend to the mini-map and chat.
TM 24:00 – Rename Display Names – This is an interest feature. It allows you to change the display name you see. So, if someone has one of those unreadable display names you can rename them to something meaning full to you.
You are the only one that can see or know about the change. It affects the tag and the name in chat.
TM 28:00 to 43:00 – Ads and region crash followed pointless chatter as they try to recover.
TM 43:50 – Documentation for FS Skinning – See: How to create a custom color scheme in Firestorm! This is for those that would like to make skins for FS. This is about how to color the interface. It is NOT about changing the UI.
TM 47:30 – Improving QA – The team is requiting more QA testers.
TM 49:50 – Extending Support to Russian Language – There is an in-world group for Russian language.
TM 51:00 – Start Q&A
TM 52:30 – What about Linden combat features? Yes, lots are missing. They are working to add them in. Right-mouse, zoom etc.
TM 53:10 – Links problems for wear… I couldn’t make sense of this one.
TM 53:50 – Will FS have selecting people on the mini-map for mass tp? Not working. Will not fix in next release. Mesh is the priority. So, this will be added or fixed in a later FS release.
TM 54:45 – Muted Text Show – on list of things to do.
TM 55:20 – Show active speakers on radar – may be in this release but probably not.
TM 56:00 – Education tab in search? Search is all Linden, so no.
TM 56:21 – Chat tab lag switching between IM tabs (may take 2 min)? Unknown bug. Look for JIRA. If you have this problem with FS let the team know.
TM 58:40 – Will OpenGL problem for nVidia people be in new FS? Probably.
TM 59:10 – Something about web kit and media – check with FS support
TM 59:45 – Keyword Alerts? They are in FS and should be working.
TM 1:00:48 – Force Friending – This is a misunderstanding of adding people to your friend sets. See TM 18:40 Contact Sets.
TM 1:02:10 – Will Phoenix ever have Mesh Support? May be. Cool Viewer and Singularity are working on adding mesh to V1 viewers. If they manage it, may be the Phoenix team will add it to Phoenix.
The next FS will render mesh but will not have mesh upload.
TM 1:06:20 – Why does my screen go black and the viewer show Not responding? This is a Linden bug occurring in LL and other viewers using recent LL code. The problem is reduced in the coming FS, but no one has yet found the problem or fixed it.
Obviously the Firestorm Team is working to catch up to Linden Lab and integrate the features from Phoenix, a difficult and labor intense task. I think this Phoenix Hour shows that the team is moving past just catch up work. I think adding new features and mesh shows they have turned a corner. This next release candidate should be a popular viewer. I suspect that at some point in the remainder of this year Firestorm will consistently be staying current with the Linden viewer and in many respects moving ahead.