On the 14th the Firestorm-Phoenix Team posted on their blog about the release of a beta version viewer. The Large Group Editing changes for the server side have been rolled out on the grid. This roll out creates a bit of a problem, but not really.
Once upon a time using the UDP protocol for Second Life was a good idea. Now that the devices that make up the Internet’s infrastructure are smarter and more HTTP aware the use of UDP for downloading large group member lists is not such a good idea. Also, the way users have decided to use groups has changed from what the Lab initially designed for. So, users are sending much larger data sets across the old UDP protocol used for the Group Member List download.
UDP packets can be lost and there is very little that can be done to recover them. For SL-users that means the user list of large groups often (usually) fails to load.
The new code now limits the list size to 10k or less for all UDP requests. For those using the SL Viewers and several Third Party Viewers (TPV) the limit makes almost no difference as they already had problems trying to edit lists over 10k.
But, there are third party programs that were built to solve the problem and allow large group editing. The latest server roll out effectively limits them to working with 10k and smaller groups.
Without a new viewer that uses the HTTP protocol to request a large group’s member list you are just out of luck. The servers won’t give it to you.
The Firestorm Team decided to get a release out that has the new viewer code needed to edit large groups. This is a beta release and the Team is saying they will not support it. This means that unless you want to help with testing or need to edit a large group then this viewer is not for you.
The Team expects to have an official release out around the beginning of December.
Phoenix the End?
It is becoming more and more of a problem for the Firestorm-Phoenix Team to support the Phoenix Viewer. The Large Group Editing code is not going to be added to Phoenix. May be some day… but, don’t count on it.
Since the Firestorm Viewer has a Phoenix emulation mode there is no reason, I know of, not to make the change over. Phoenix will continue to run and be usable on the SL grid. But, it will not be able to edit large groups or handle the newest error messages sent by the SL servers.
In the image I show the mode selectors. I use Firestorm, so it is highlighted. But, one can select Phoenix to get a mostly Phoenix interface. V3 will give you the SL Viewer Interface. And Hybrid… which is a mix of interfaces.
Try it. You’ll like it…
If you are having hardware issues and have been putting off a computer upgrade consider eBay and the numerous electronics recycling services. Also, there are companies like Geeks.com that sell off computers that failed during warranty period and have been factory refurbished. I’ve seen some pretty high end refurbished laptops for US$350.