Viewer Stability 2013-23

The Third Party Viewers List is ordered by crash rates with the highest crash rate last. It is interesting to look at this list and see which viewers are better or worse from previous weeks.

Yesterday the list was updated. Surprisingly Firestorm lost its first place position. That needs some explaining, because I think Firestorm is the most stable viewer going.

First off Radegast holds first place in the list. BUT it is a non-graphical viewer. It is a text only viewer. So, it lacks most of the code that has problems, the 3D rendering pipeline. So, I don’t count it.

Yesterday the SL Beta Viewer 3.6.0 moved ahead of Firestorm 4.4.0. Well yay! Linden Lab. Congratulations.

I’ll point out I don’t have the data to answer some questions I’ll ask here as I explain. But…

How do we know if the Lab improved their crash rates or did the FS 4.4.0 rate go up?  We don’t.

We do know that the Firestorm team was rushing to get version 4.4.0 out. The pressure was to get a Server Side Appearance compatible viewer out. Jessica spoke about the changes they made to their testing process to try and maintain their viewer’s stability. As hard as the Firestorm Team tried, version 4.4.0 probably is less stable than the previous version. But, that is not from lack of trying.

We also don’t know which group has the most users on newer hardware. Nor do we know which set of users is better at keeping their systems updated with the latest drivers and system patches. That makes a big difference.

So, while the Lab has a viewer that has moved ahead, and that is a good thing, it is not a major thing. Give it until after the next Firestorm release before you get too excited… or depressed, depending on your situation.

I’m just happy that we have a selection of viewers to use. Both the Lab and third party developers deserve thanks. They are working together… to some degree.

11 thoughts on “Viewer Stability 2013-23

  1. Part of the explanation might be, I suspect, that a lot of people have recently moved to Firestorm from Phoenix and have been trying to find the most appropriate settings for their machines. These will doubtless include many people who had tried Firestorm in the past and found it didn’t play nicely with their (older? lower-spec?) computers.

    Personally, I don’t pay much attention to the crash rate figures. I’m primarily interested in how well something runs on my computer, not on anyone else’s. I can see why the table is of interest to devs and LL but not to users so much.

    • I agree, one cannot put too much weight and trust in the crash rates in the list. Each computer is different.

  2. I’ve been using Firestorm since release, but 4.4.0 has been very unstable for me and i’m now using the official viewer from Linden Labs. It’s like magic. It lacks all the features and options of firestorm, but the framerates are great, With the official viewer I can open 2 accounts at the same time with graphics set at ultra, and my framerates on both are at 60. With Firestirm 4.4.0 with only one account open, i get 20 or so fps with graphics at high. only medium get decent framerates.

  3. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t display the fact that Radegast also holds the last place in terms of crash rate. And wait until those people with crappy old hardware will be running 3.6.0.

      • Developers of the viewers listed in the TPV Dir that send crash stats to the SL Grid get weekly report on crash rates. That report is broken down by viewer and version. Radegast had an error sneak in in the code that reports crashes which resulted in the two versions affected reported widely inaccurate numbers, so they are listed last.

        TPV dir page displays the result sorted by the most recent release version, even though the developers can see the stats of previous versions.

    • Ansariel, you know full well that there was a couple of releases of Radegast that went out with a bug in crash stats reporting. It would report crash almost every other login, where there was none in reality.

      • I didn’t know Ansariel followed Radegast development closely?

        I didn’t even hear about this. So clearly this is not something known in general to TPV developers.

  4. for me this looks normal if a team need to do sooo many changes in such short time, that the overall stability in the first versions wouldn’t be that high as it were before.
    That other factors, you named, indeed will find also there numbers in this ‘race2top’.
    Anyhow would think the positions might be mixed new, but to say, or even to speculate on this its to early atm.
    Radegast toke over the lead on 2nd.april,
    LLs beta 3.5.2 toke on 7th may the 2nd place.

  5. From what my friends who use FS in SL has been saying since the first of April or so, FS is crashing “like SL viewers” now. I realize this is because of the big changes that are being rolled out over a series of SL updates, SSB chief among them, and bugs that were introduced in viewer upgrades. As FS is preparing for these changes too, they also have the bugs. I also expect these bugs will go away (they are being addressed) as the multi-stage rollout continues. So maybe SL Beta really is “better” than FS right now. But I suspect that is unlikely to last. 🙂

  6. Thats weird. Been using Firestorm aswell as all my friends and I never crashed yet with this version. Yes, there are some bugs that makes the performance slow as hell. But thos bugs comes from the official SL viewer and isnt on Firestorm side. I am betatester of Firestorm from some time already and I must say that I never tested an early version that makes me crash suddenly for no reasson. Also Firestorm takes their time to update so probably the next release will be, I hope, a way faster than it is now. But still, we need to wait for LL to fix those ugly bugs.

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