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.