We haven’t heard much out of the Firestorm development team since early April and that was about avoiding phishing attacks. But, I am seeing some leaks of the coming 4.1.1 (?). About 7 weeks ago Firestorm 4.0.1 (27000) was released, March 20, 2012.
The release notes are being marked up. And they reveal what MAY be in the next release. Also, that they are being worked on probably says something about the ETA of a new release. Exactly what it says is pure speculation.
Many of the updates in the coming release can be assumed. An update to newer Linden code is always a part of any new Firestorm release. As are bug fixes and new improvements to existing features. It is also pretty predictable that some new features will be added. This release has some performance improvements. I’m not sure they will affect FPS, but other features are likely to be quicker and easier.
I think one of the more interesting features for builders is a coming change to improve object scaling controls. Until we can see it, it is hard to know how handy it will be. Based on the teams past performance it should be a nice improvement.
It looks like scripters will get the ability to use spaces or tab characters for formatting. The LSLEditor I use is very annoying as it doesn’t fit well with my formatting style. So, some will find this Firestorm feature a nice one.
Syntax highlighting for the scripting language is getting upgrades on the Linden side as they move toward automating updates to the language. It looks like that automated feature is not far enough long to be used in viewers yet. So, the team manually adding updates to Firestorm keeps it up to date with the latest additions.
Of course testing may show problems with any feature and either delay viewer release or cause a feature to be dropped from a current release. Also there are 20 or so known issues. It is unknown which the team considers must be fixed for the next release and which they can live with. I think the team has been making conservative decisions to assure good viewer stability. So, the release will likely only happen when they feel it meets their standards.
Other viewers are making more frequent releases. I don’t see that as good or bad just more frequent. Somewhere in the scheme of things the benefits of upgrading a viewer to a new version verses the pain of doing the update and learning about new features and finding gotcha’s goes negative. I feel every Firestorm update is worth the effort and look forward to the new releases.