Firestorm has released a new viewer. That happened Sunday sometime. The announcement is here: Firestorm Viewer Release 4.6.7-42398.
There are some great fixes in this version. One for Mac users is the Alt-cam clicking that sent the camera flying away. There is still work being done on selecting things in Mac versions, so there is more to come along this line. And there is a 64-bit Beta Mac version. They also have a partial fix for the s l o w typing bug on Mac. I’ll refer you to Inara’s article for the details on that.
Inara Pey has a review of the viewer up here: Firestorm 4.6.7: rolling forward. I’ll cover things she didn’t and some she did.
She points out that Mac users on 4.4.2 will be able to continue using it. It will not be subjected to Firestorm’s 3-version rule UNTIL all the Cocoa bugs are fixed. This is a big concession from the FS Team. It would be easier for them to not have to support more than 3 versions.
If you are running 4.5.1 Beta, it is going to be blocked soon. So, upgrade before you find yourself locked out of SL on that viewer.
The code base for this release is sort of Linden 3.7.8. From this point forward it seems like it is going to be hard to give any clear meaning to where in the code base Firestorm Viewers are as they are picking what to include and exclude from the Linden code. So, we may see parts of the 3.7.13 code in a TPV that is saying they are only 3.7.something. They are adding the stuff that works and leaving out stuff that causes problems.
Jessica has said the FS Team is now deliberately staying behind the Linden development team as there are some significant problems the Lindens will need to fix before they want to move the Firestorm Viewer ahead in those areas. Read that to mean, if the code works, they include it.
An example of code omitted in this round of updates is AISv3 stuff (inventory fixes for bake fail). The AIS code is causing too many problems. But, the Interesting Viewer code is added in and it is producing faster scene rendering. So, while these viewers may SEEM to be out of date or lagging, they are a better viewer in the sense of reliability.
Nothing special here. The download is quick and about 67mb for the 64-bit version. I use the OpenSim version, which omits the Havok Pathfinding Navmesh editing option… and if you don’t know what that is… you don’t need it.
I suggest you read all of this before starting your update of Firestorm.
As is usual with the FS installs a clean install is recommended. This means you uninstall the currently installed version via your systems install/uninstall standard procedures. In Windows that means going to the Control Panel, Programs, and uninstalling Firestorm then installing the new version.
As people hate to have to redo all their settings, the FS Team has a backup feature in Preferences-> Backup. Backup your settings before you uninstall the viewer.
All your chat logs, settings files, and cache files are left untouched by the FS Uninstall. This brings up some things to consider. Settings can be scrambled or damaged when the viewer crashes. So, you may want to delete settings files, if you have been having problems. The FS recommends it. Me… not so much.
The program install folder is removed during the uninstall, so it is not an issue. The cache can become corrupted too, but do NOT delete it unless you know you have a cache problem. The FS Wiki suggests deleting it. But, deleting the cache aggravates many of the problems we encounter in SL these days. So, I say unless you have had problems, leave it.
The uninstall removes all your default Windlight files. So, if you have been adding custom Windlight settings to the viewer (copying files to the install folder), get those backed up before doing the uninstall. The files are in:
Win7-8: C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Releasex64\app_settings\windlight\
If you have made custom Windlight settings with Firestorm they are in a different folder:
These custom files are NOT deleted by the uninstall program and should be OK. This is also the place where you should add custom Windlight settings rather than installing them in C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Releasex64\. But, unless someone tells you, you probably found the Windlight folder in the install folder and started using it, I did. Any update is a good time to clean things up and do it right, but, depending on how you do your Windlight files, it may be easier to just copy them into the install folder, I still do to avoid massive duplication of files or having to sort out my source files.
If you are reading the Clean Install instructions in the FS Wiki, it is not completely clear on which folders or files to delete. They list the top folder for Firestorm in the Roaming folder. That folder also has your chat logs in it. You need to drill down to the Firestorm_x64\user_settings folder to find the settings.xml file. I usually do not delete it unless I have been having problems.
When it comes to deleting files, I think they go overboard. As I read the wiki the clean install is a complete removal of the viewer and all its files. If you are re-installing the viewer deleting all those files is a waste of time and throws extra load on the servers. Unless you have problems, I can’t see it is worth the effort.
Uninstall also removes your pinned Task Bar icon and, I think, Start menu pinned items. Any icon you have made on your desktop is left, but it may not work as between some FS updates the name of the install folder changes. You can go into the Win7-8: C:\Program Files\Firestorm-Releasex64 folder and right-click Firestorm-bin.exe and pin it to your task bar to make a new startup icon. Also, the install program makes a new Desktop icon you can right-click and select your pin options.
I have not gotten to use the new viewer much. What little time I have had with it, it worked well. No crashes. All my settings restored, so I’m happy.