The Firestorm Wiki is an excellent resource for help. Tonya Souther considers it the distilled wisdom of Firestorm Support.
The in-world support group run by the Firestorm team is another good source of help, primarily for the Firestorm Viewer. But, it is always a good source for checking problem status. Asking whether there is currently a general problem with voice or teleporting or whatever is appropriate regardless of the viewer you are using.
Don’t expect specific help with the SL Viewer or other TPV’s. The support people do not know other viewers. They can’t answer questions about viewers they do not use. Ask questions specific to a specific viewer in that viewers support group.
If you do use in-world support see Lette’s article: Keeping Small Talk Small. I know for some nationalities this is a difficult social concept. But, since a large portion of the support team is from the west, direct to the point discussion is much appreciated. The social norms of polite conversation that some nationalities consider basic good manners just doesn’t work for western people.
At about 40 minutes into the video there is discussion on why the group works the way it does. So, if you find annoying behavior in the group, LISTEN to the video. (Reference – Direct Link) Understand what is going on before you complain.
Jessica Lyon is going to be talking about viewer wars. See 00:50:00. Jessica and the development team have made efforts to build cooperation between Linden Lab and other third party developers. Some of that has worked in the case of the Lab. But, the efforts with TPV Dev’s hasn’t worked out as well.
Now Jessica thinks they should focus on getting users to stop their overly patriotic support of viewers. She seems to think that if users stop being being so viewer patriot, developers will be less likely to be competitive and more open to working together.
Remember viewer tags? That tag above the avatar that told which viewer you were using. The Lindens told Jessica that Phoenix users were trolling SL Viewer and TPV users. Jessica did not believe it. She went underground (incognito) and used Viewer 2. She was inundated by patriotic Phoenix users (the predominate viewer at the time) telling her how stupid she was to be using Viewer 2. It seems the Phoenix users were the worst of the SL users in this regard.
Well, Jessica was behind the curve on that one. A significant portion of the Phoenix users were abusive toward anyone using a viewer other than Phoenix. If you wonder why, suffice to say it is an aspect of basic human nature that many fail to grow out of.
I wish her well in her effort to change viewer users. But, she seems to be the ignoring basic human nature.
The point is well made is that if everyone cooperates they can accomplish more. It is true. But, attempting to force people into a uniform behavior or thought is usually considered a fascist philosophy. Jessica hopes to be convincing as best I can tell and she can’t force the behavior or thinking.
Leaving people free to do as they choose is what freedom is about. But, in all of history there is no free society that has completely joined together and moved in a single direction. Human nature is such that if we are free people, we will do things our way, unless you can convince us otherwise. Have you tried to convince SL residents about anything? It is a near impossibility, just as it is in real life in free countries. Main made global warming, bombing Syria, using food for fuel while the world has starving millions… there are so many problems that could be solved if people cooperated.
Good luck Jessica.
See about 1:25:00 in the video for more information.
Vivox is a separate program that provides voice for Second Life. So, if you use a TPV and have a voice problem, try the SL Viewer. If the problem also exists in the SL Viewer then the problem is likely in the Vivox program, in which case the Lab will have to push the Vivox people to fix it.
Third party developers and support will ask if you can reproduce the problem experienced in their viewer in the SL Viewer. That is an important debugging step for all third party developers and the Lab. It tells them if the problem is in their viewer or in the base SL Viewer code.
If the problem is only in the TPV you use, then the problem is a candidate for its developers and support people to figure out and fix. Otherwise it is a Linden problem and for their developers.
Next Firestorm Release
The next release date is unknown. The integration with CHUI (Chat Hub User Interface) is taking way longer than expected. While Firestorm Viewer does not need CHUI, it does need all the other stuff that is packed in with the CHUI package.
Jessica is guessing they are 2 months away. Getting all the CHUI related bugs out is likely to take 6 to 8 months. But, there are pressing updates that need to reach users. So, they may have to release a viewer before its time. it is also likely to have more bugs than the team would like.
The Lab wants the Firestorm version with the Materials System support released. So, there is pressure on the team to get a release out ASAP.
Firestorm has now become the viewer that holds Second Life back. It is the viewer used by 2/3 to ¾ of Second Life users. Mesh was slow to be adopted until Firestorm came out with mesh support. As a merchant you don’t build lots of mesh products when only 25%, or so, of your customers can see it. The same seems to be proving true of Materials. There are early adoptres working with Materials. But for now only 25%+/- of users can see it. There is the problem of how many people are using ALM (Advanced Lighting Model). We have no stats on that yet. But, you have to have a Materials capable viewer to see them and for now that is not Firestorm.
Currently Firestorm is averaging releasing one update every 4 months. The Lab is releasing several releases per month. This is the difference between volunteer staff and paid staff. Jessica is saying the volunteer team simply cannot keep up with the Lab’s release pace. I pointed that problem out moths ago.
The Material System is incomplete, SSA is getting lots of fixes and polishing code, CHUI has fixes coming, Interest List additions are coming out, and more. We have Ribbon Particles on the way. All this code has to be integrated with Firestorm Viewer. It takes time and the Firestorm Dev’s are not working 5 eight hours days per week. They are behind.
Firestorm Viewer is currently 1.3 million lines of code.
Jessica still believes that once the CHUI packages is sorted out, the Firestorm viewer can catch up and stay caught up. At that point Jessica hopes to get an update out every other month. AS it looks now that won’t be until some time early next year.