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.  Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-15 #3

Viewers

The current main viewer is version 3.7.5-288464. This is the Google Breakpad RC Viewer promoted to the main release viewer. If you dig around in the log files section you’ll find more ‘marker files’ and more logged information. The Lindens have moved the start of logging, no easy task, further toward the beginning of viewer start  up and the end of shutdown.

Marker files are uniquely named and often have no data inside or very little. The purpose of the files is to basically leave breadcrumb trail for the error reporting process to follow. They are written because if the viewer crashes it often won’t be able to log an error. So, at certain points a ‘marker file’ is written so the next time the crash reporter runs, which is before viewer actually starts, it can check to see what the viewer did in its last run and report when it crashed. The marker file gives some idea of how far the viewer got in its process before crashing. Continue reading

Second Life and the Mac WebKit Problem

Me... a Protester?

Me… a Protester?

 My readers will know Mac users have a problem. There is no near term solution to the problem for several reasons. Even more confusing is there are multiple problems. And today a group approached me hoping to put together a movement to show Linden Lab the extent of the problem and the interest in getting it fixed.

So, I’m scratching my head wondering if the Lab is in a position to fix the problem… and which problem are we talking about? Since I’m not a Mac user, I’m probably not the best one to write this, but no one else seems to be covering it.

I’ve touched on Mac issues in the past; Second Life News 2013-11, Firestorm Viewer News 2014-7, Viewer Release Pipeline Update, and others. The SL Viewer and Third Party Viewers are moving to support Apple’s Cocoa frame work or may be I should say did so move in 2013. But, that has left Apple users on older operating systems behind. SL apparently has problems running in the older Apple OS’s. This has resulted in Apple users staying with older viewer versions.

As we near another release of the Firestorm Viewer those issues are coming to a crisis point for some users. The recent blocking of Firestorm 4.4.0 is bringing home the point of the team only allowing 3 versions to run on the SL grid and blocking older versions. People are getting the idea the team is actually blocking older viewers.  Continue reading

Second Life Bugs

Some are seeing behavior changes in the viewer. It doesn’t seem anyone knows if they were intentional. Whether they are or are not, some people are not happy.

Ardy Lay describes the problem as:

Expectations:

A) Avatar is expected to stop watching mouse pointer after a short period of mouse inactivity.

B) World Map is expected to close-couple pan with mouse movement and stop panning when mouse motion is stopped, regardless of mouse button state after stop.

Results:

A) Avatar is watching mouse pointer long after mouse pointer motion stops.  This defeats a mechanism by which life-like behavior is imparted into avatar motion.

B) World Map exploration is being awkward as the mouse button must be released to stop the map from panning away from the desired view.

These changes start to appear in SL Viewer versions 3.7.3 and 3.7.4. I find them in version 3.7.6.

With the map, I like the change. To see it click on the map part of the World Map and flick the map left or right. Hold the left mouse button down after the drag/flip motion. The map will continue to scroll. How fast you jerk the image does not seem to matter.  The map scrolls at the same speed.

You’ll see some odd behavior when you move quickly. I think our hand bounces a bit at the end and that can confuse the map scroller. Try it. You’ll see.

As to the avatar eyes following the mouse, I have mixed feelings. I gave up trying to control the avatar for pictures with that feature. See Strawberry’s recommendations for pose tools. So, this is not much of an issue for me.

Firestorm Viewer 4.4.0 To Be Blocked

Firestorm Logo

Firestorm Logo

 You may remember a time when there were something like 1600 different versions of viewers in Second Life on any given day. The problem with that is it so dilutes crash stats developers are hampered. There isn’t enough data on any single version to provide a developer good information for tracking down a bug.

The Firestorm Team decided they would do something to help their developers. The decision was to limit the number of versions of Firestorm on the grid at any one time to 3. They block their old viewers and prevent users from logging into Second Life with old viewers. I’m not sure if that blocking includes use on other grids.

In this case ‘old’ means not one of the current three newest versions. Currently version 4.4.0 is the fourth running version. The team is announcing that on Thursday they will block that version. There are about 5500 people using that version. They are encouraged to update now rather than wait until they’re blocked on Thursday.

See: Blocking Version 4.4.0 – 33720.

Firestorm: A Joke… Not So Much

Firestorm Logo

Firestorm Logo

 The Firestorm Viewer Team is thinking. Their recent April Fool’s Joke about the Dynamic User Interface (DUI), the detachable control panels, has been the goal of many developers for some time. Now Firestorm Team member Nicky Dasmijn has built a proof of concept version of the viewer with those detachable panels. In this version window and panel layouts can be saved for later use.

There is no release version of this viewer, beta or otherwise. But the team is releasing the code some other developers can work on the project. The Firestorm Team is hoping the code will inspire developers to come up with new innovations for the Second Life viewer.

See the official announcement here: The real joke… DUI is no joke! Continue reading

Second Life News 2014-15

Viewers

The main viewer is  version 3.7.4-288138.

Immersiva Photoshop Night Vision

Immersiva Photoshop Night Vision

This is the version that got the FMODEX fixes that solved a race condition. For the less geeky, a race condition is a common problem in multi-threaded programs. You can think of the threads as separate processes or programs that run at the same time. Once up on a time computers had only one CPU running programs and race conditions were not as common. Now with 2 to 8 cores (CPU’s) built into a single CPU chip the computer can do more than one thing at a time. Continue reading