Firestorm Q&A 2014-15

There was a Firestorm Q&A on Saturday afternoon. Inara Pey has a synopsis and index for the video (2hr 37min) and link to the video on her site: April 12th Firestorm meeting: video, transcript and notes. The points that interest me follow.

The 64-bit Firestorm download was offline for a short time while the FS Team got a certificate problem resolved.

The Dynamic User Interface (DUI) that was the center of the April Fool’s Joke is put into some more perspective. It is real. It is possible to build a viewer that allows the panels to be moved outside the viewer window. The current version of the DUI viewer is broken. It is only a proof of concept viewer. So, while the moving the panels works it is not for everyday use… or any use, other than to see the panels move. 

Most of the time on the video that is about the Joke, Jessica is busy apologizing for offending some people and explaining the point of the joke.

She does hope that the DUI concept will inspire developers. There are far fewer viewer developers than there once were. Jessica doesn’t see why that is so it just is.

I think there are fewer developers now because there is less need for them because the Lab is doing a better job of improving the viewer. At the time viewer developers were blooming like spring daisies the viewer environment was rich with dissatisfaction. The Lab was not doing a good job of developing the viewer. That changed.

If you listen to Jessica at 2hr 2min into the video she is patting Linden Lab on the back and commenting on their recent work and what a good job they are doing. That doesn’t mean we don’t have complaints about the Lab. But, things are pretty good in viewer-land, which means there is little inspiration for developers. If the SL Viewer sucked and wasn’t getting better, dev’s would know they could do better and would be inspired to do so, so they could have a viewer they like.

Firestorm Blocking

When Firestorm viewers 4.4.2, 4.5.1, and 4.6.1 each move to being the 4th active version they will be blocked from OpenSim and Second Life grids. This is apparently because of a programming oddity. They viewers did not get the code that allows a viewer to be blocked from the SL Grid and NOT the OpenSim grid. Jessica is distressed the code did not make it into these viewers. For whatever reason, they failed to get it in the viewer versions listed.

Jessica assures us it will be in the next release and that the FS Team is intending to support OpenSim.

Some in the OpenSim world are calling Firestorm anti-OpenSim. The Firestorm Team has put a lot of effort into remaining OpenSim compatible. So, pay attention to who those are who those think FS is anti-OpenSim and remember who they are. You can notch their credibility down.

If you are interested in how the FS blocking works read: Firestorm Viewer Communications to the Firestorm Server. If you hear people saying they use a Trojan, virus, or ripoff your personal info, remember who they are and label them Chicken Little types with little if any credibility.

On an aside, people wonder when FS will stop supporting Windows XP. Jessica says FS will stop when Linden Lab stops.

The Facebook Problem

When the Lab made the SL Share 1 they machine generated the SLURL. The FB TOS requires that the image caption be hand typed. FB did not notice the problem until Firestorm released their viewer with the feature.

FB said they saw a huge spike in postings from SL, which was when the last FS viewer released. Well, that was due to FS Viewer being the preferred viewer of two-thirds of SL users. The result is FB blocked SL. The follow on result is FB looked at a bunch of the accounts doing the postings. As they were not ‘real people’ they canceled the accounts. Ouch.

So, without doing anything wrong the FS Viewer created a problem. It was sort of a Perfect Storm.

SL Share 2

Is SL Share 2 going to be in the next FS release? No. There is a reason. The Lab has mixed SL Share 2 and Google Breakpad together. The FS Team does not want Breakpad and considers it an epic fail. So, the team will have to separate the two to get to the SL Share 2. So, they won’t be able to get that done before the next release, which is now planned for early May.

Since work they are hopping the Lab fixes Breakpad it seems they don’t want to do that ‘separation’ work. When the Lab gets Breakpad fixed the FS Team will probably adopt SL Share 2 in the release after the anticipated May release. Or… may be another TPV Dev will pull it apart and release it.

They will also likely add the image filters from SL Share 2 to the Snapshot panel or Photo Tools. It will be interesting to see how the TPV Dev’s handle that filters feature for snapshots.

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