When is the next Firestorm release? According to Ed Merryman: when it is ready.
The next Firestorm release is waiting on Linden code for the new Inventory API’s. These are changes that improve inventory loading speed and reliability. They are changes that are targeted at fixing the last of the avatar bake fail problems.
If you use Firestorm, or any Second Life capable viewer not yet updated for Fitted Mesh (meaning most viewers), and come across someone wearing Fitted Mesh, depending on how it was made, you may see parts of the item stretching off toward the southwest corner of the region.
It is thought there is a fix for the problem prior to the roll out of Fitted Mesh. The problem is caused because the avatar used by Fitted Mesh viewers is different than for non-Fitted Mesh viewers. There are additional bones in the skeleton. If your viewer doesn’t know about those bones, it does not know what to do with clothes that use the new bones. The result is vertices in the clothes are moved toward the 0,0,0 coordinate of the region (the southwest corner).
The way the viewer knows about the new bones is by having two new files placed in the viewer’s install folder. The Firestorm and Linden people are looking to see if it is possible to just do an update of those files and fix legacy viewers. I suspect this is something they will be able to do. I think the real problem is getting the files to all users.
Ed thinks release of Fitted Mesh is a ways off. That contrasts with Oz Lindens, real soon now™. That may only show the difference in how users and Lindens perceive time.
If this becomes a problem for a significant number of people, we’ll hear more about updating viewers with new avatar files.