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Friday, July 20, 2012

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ThereIsChoice

eh, no, they can transition to Singularity, which is based on v1 and has all the bells and whistles and runs pretty darn stable to boot. Latest version, just out, has multiwearable layers with shuffling, mesh rendering, everything.

There are *choices*.

Pussycat Catnap

They said this almost a year ago... and then promptly kept on putting out updates.

the last update to Phoenix was supposed to be when it gained the ability to see Mesh. Actually the last update was supposed to be the one right before that...

I -do- think its time to retire the thing and put 100% effort into Firestorm for them, but I'm not sure they actually will until LLs flips the off switch for it.

Pussycat Catnap

That blog was posted on the 13th of this month and has no comments, and now this topic has so few comments despite Hamlet's blogs usually getting a lot. And this is a Phoenix post - so you'd think folks would be coming out of the woodworks to scream about stuff. :)

What gives?

Adeon Writer

It's a crazy amount of work to constantly need to backport all of LL's new features to an old codebase. I don't blame them. Really. V1 viewers are a real pain.

Lani Global

There is a reason why it is the most popular viewer. It simply has the best GUI an the best features.

shockwave yareach

It is time to kill the V1 and move forward. I don't blame anyone for despising V2, but V3 is wonderful. It's a shame that LL has so burned their bridges with the users that everyone so loathed V2 that nobody will even consider anything new by LL anymore.

But the harsh fact is, development is way overdue, and any real improvement is going to require everyone be running a newer viewer to make this real improvement work.

Incidently, V3 viewer works fine with double digit FPS on my puny 2.2ghz laptop that couldn't run Pheonix... for those of you saying your computers can't handle it. If my slobox can do it, so can yours.

Hitomi Tiponi

A lot depends on whether anyone goes to the trouble of integrating these changes into the V1 code-base - like Henri Beauchamp did with mesh.

I do think that for many it is time they converted, but the difference between the V1-based Rainbow viewer and V3 based viewers on my Nvidia Ion netbook is a real chasm. The rendering stream could, and should, be optimised further. Not for the first time I disagree with LL's viewer priorities, but we have to live with them.

Zewe

Phoenix.. Oh yeah ... Came after Emerald and was superseded by Firestorm. I remember when I used to use it... Way back when...

If people are still using it, maybe they don't realize you can configure Firestorm to have a UI similar to the v 1.23 viewers. That was the final straw that allowed me to switch... Can't think of any other compelling reason to stay on Phoenix.

Augustlusch

It is time to pull the plug on Phoenix. Though honestly I recognise that some people's computers are not optimised for a V3 viewer.

Honestly, the way Firestorm is now is wonderful, it really is.

Jessicka

I appreciate Firestorm having made big jumps in what LL can't/won't/refuses to do, but it's still a good little distance away from obsoleting the V1 viewer. I understand they don't want to keep up Phoenix, but they don't have to.

Singularity is doing fantastic in regards to keeping the V1 viewers a viable option. It's got pretty much everything the V3 viewers have, but with a much better interface.

Stone Semyorka

Look up troglodytism in your dictionary.

I am running LL v.3 happily every day on my MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Pro.

Pining for v.1? Get over it.

Rin Tae

Eventually all v.1 viewers will go away. And the Phoenix/FS team has said so long ago and with Firestorm running nice and having gained more popularity then Phoenix (if I remember correctly what was said since LL keeps the numbers secret) they should concentrate on it and let Phoenix go. It was great but so is FS.

Of course LL still deserves a kick for their failure at v.2 introduction so even now people are reluctant to move to the much much much better v.3 viewers.

I like FS a lot and use it ... and luckily there are choices available so anyone can get the viewer that works best for them.

Henri Beauchamp

Pulling the plug on Phoenix is its developers' only choice, byt there is strictly *nothing* preventing to keep the beloved v1 UI around in up to date viewers...

On my side, I will keep providing (like I have been doing for the past 5 years) the Cool VL Viewer (on which Phoenix is based for most of the v2/3 features, such as Alpha & Tattoo, inventory links, mesh, etc...), an I will keep it up to date and on par with v3 viewers (for example, the Cool VL Viewer has been supporting multi-wearables for over 5 months already, that is, *much* longer before Singularity).

val kendal

"If people are still using it"? it's the most popular viewer on the grid. I appreciate all their efforts it keeping it alive and current (especially mesh viewing) i have tried the latest Firestorm in 'phoenix' mode, and yes it looks like Phoenix, but ever version of Firestorm (or v3) has run just a little noticeable bit slower on my two year old Mac, and it bugs me, so within a day or two I switch back. *shrugs nice to have the choice, but I can understand if they have to pull the plug, after all they are doing the Lab's work for free

Archangel Mortenwold

And once again Tonya Souther is deliberately lying to people, but that's to be expected. The fact is that Phoenix remains the most-used viewer on the grid — more than Firestorm and more than the default Linden Lab viewer — and it would be suicide for the Phoenix developers to stop offering updates. They've been claiming that they'll stop offering Phoenix updates for a while now, and every time they end up having to swallow their own lies because user demand keeps forcing them to provide what their user base actually wants — and it isn't Firestorm, a highly unstable viewer with a user interface that is not very friendly and requires hours of class time just to learn how to use.

Meanwhile, Singularity just brought out a new update that works even better than the last version, very fast and easy to use. If the Firestorm liars do decide not to offer anymore Phoenix updates, then Singularity will replace it as the grid's most-used viewer.

Archangel Mortenwold

ThereIsChoice, you're right that people will simply switch to Singularity.

Pussycat Catnap, Linden Lab never was going to flip any switch and kill Viewer 1-based viewers. There was never any plan by LL to turn off "server side functionality". That was another lie concocted by the Firestorm snobs to try and get people to give up Phoenix, but no one was buying it. And you're right that Souther and Lyon have predicted the demise of Phoenix many times before only to announce another release — because demand for it is still higher than for the bloated, unstable, resource-hogging mess that is Firestorm.

Jessicka, you're absolutely right that Singularity (and Phoenix and Cool VL) maintain a GUI that people can actually figure out. It was stupid of the Firestorm team to make a viewer that literally requires hours of course-taking just to learn how to use when the V1-GUI-based viewers can be learnt within a matter of minutes and very little coaching required. With Firestorm you still have to de-anchor meus, try and learn how to open and close chat boxes, figure out how to operate drop-down menus that in Firestorm don't drop down, and so on. What's more, Phoenix is the one many (if not most) builders and scripters still use because Firestorm simply does not have the features needed for us to do our work.

When all is said and done Lyon, Souther, and their suckups insist on lying to people to get them to go with a viewer nobody asked for and that fewer people prefer. Phoenix will die only because the Firestorm people let it, and then the majority of the gris will end up on Singularity and Cool VL. Linden lab isn't stupid enough to turn off access to half the grid.

Dave Bell

Since Linden Labs blocked the signals that allowed people to detect which viewer others were using, I am not sure how anyone can know which Viewer is most popular. But the Linden Lab viewer was not popular.

What I see in the support group for Phoenix and Firestorm is that very few people are using Phoenix now. Maybe Phoenix users don't need to ask questions, but that's the only indicator I have seen.

I'm comfortable with Firestorm. It might not be the fastest, but I have it set right for me, I know I can get good support and I am confident that the Developers listen to the users.

And I keep Cool VL Viewer up to date as a back-up. If there were a Yellow Jersey for viewer developers, Henri would be wearing it.

Ada Radius

For some content creators, like me, this is a nightmare, as V3 (and even the most recent version of Phoenix) dropped features that some of us need. Character Meshes and Morphs, Import/Export of avatar shapes and layers, Import/Export of linked prim sets. I do have the biggest fastest graphics card and bandwidth I can afford - that is so not the point for my decisions on what viewer to use.

Max March

Boy, and I thought LL was the world's worst company in the category of public relations and image management. Phoenix is aptly named because it manages to keep on rising from its own ashes.

foneco zuzu

For long, long time, a Phoenix user, still using imprudence and now singularity on OSGrid i can only say:
The time for the dominance of Phoenix/Firestorm ended on Sl but there is still a lot of other grids where they can be used and improved!
As for Sl i can only say that the time i tried Niran's was one i never forget, as it made Sl look a new brand engine, not a dated one, but a brand new shining 1!
And if LL does not give a f***about its users, the Tpv developers, the creators, just a small note:
There are more grids besides Second Life!
OSgrid tested a 850.000 prim region!
Intel is developing Bullet physics fully!
All that will make open sims grids, be commercial ones, or free ones, much more developed then SL will ever be!
So its time for the Tpv's make a choice!
Some already did it!
Now its up to users to find out why!

Tonya Souther

Archangel, I replied to most of your delirious ranting over at my blog, but I'll simply point out here that anyone who thinks I'm lying about what Oz Linden told us about LL's plans is invited can go listen to the recording of the TPV meeting in question and judge for themselves.

And in this week's stats, Firestorm broke the record for being the most stable V2/3-based viewer ever, at a level that Phoenix only achieved once. That's before a slew of crash fixes Nicky Dasmijn has added to the codebase that will appear in the next version.

Different folks have different priorities. Henri and the Singularity team have their own priorities, and I wish them the best of luck, even though I doubt their long-term viability.

And, Foneco, there are indeed other grids - and Firestorm is making significant inroads there, too. Me? I'm staying on SL. Yeah, I'd love to have a region with 850K prims. That's not enough to pull me away from SL - because that's where my friends are, and my friends are why I'm in this to begin with.

Hamlet Au

Whatever the case, people are welcome to rant and make accusations on other blogs (as their owners allow), but not here. NWN comment guidelines: http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2006/02/nwn_tips.html

Kadah Coba

As the, I believe, only Phoenix/Firestorm developer on the team that still uses Phoenix exclusively, so I am likely the most invested in seeing the Phoenix UI continue.

I am also one of a larger contingent of users who have found that we are unable to use Viewer 2, and later 3, for any length of period without receiving sever eye strain, or even migraines, from attempting to use the viewer for regular chatting activities. After over a year of investigating this, I have not been able to find cause(s) for these issues. The only break I had looking in to it was when I tried Singularity about 6 months and found that they have somehow managed to replicate what ever it is in V2/3 that causes this, but I wasn't able to figure out what they had done add that. Unfortunately this also makes Singularity completely unsuitable as an alternative for people like myself. This has mostly become known as the "blurry text" issue since, to us, that's how it feels.

As far as the "Phoenix mode" on Firestorm, its a significant miss in my opinion. I've attempted to use it after each major update (and trying had to work through the text problems by ignoring chat) and becomes highly agrovating after a short while how close but completely off it is. Many of the default settings are just wrong, other setting are either impossible to locate or do not have any configurable setting approximate of v1. I have quite literally gone off for hours on these and many other differences and issues, but I have been far too tired as of late to on rants.

---

@Dave Bell,
>Since Linden Labs blocked the signals that allowed people to detect which viewer others were using, I am not sure how anyone can know which Viewer is most popular. But the Linden Lab viewer was not popular.

LL only blocked in-world viewer tags, which are/were easily spoofed (and had been) and would only let you see a very tiny sample of what clients were being used in your draw distance. LL still publishes viewer crash and usage stats to TPVDs every week, and these have shown that Phoenix is sill more greatly used by more users than Firestorm. Firestorm, however, has been growing in usage consistently each week. And no, I cannot share numbers.

---

Firestorm is second in usage behind Phoenix, Viewer3 is in very distant 3rd. Its clear LL's viewer is still doing something wrong.


Viewer performance is highly subjective. I do get metrics from SL that have very the very limited stats they collect on a viewer performance as the average FPS per our viewers broken down by GPU and OS. I (we) do not get any other viewers' numbers on these, so I cannot make any form of comparative between them, but I can between Phoenix and Firestorm. Based on those numbers, which are quite old since the last report was total foobar, FS has on average 20% higher FPS. These are based on LL's numbers, so you can trust it as far as you trust LL to generate a stats report.
I myself see better performance with FS 4.1 than I have on Phoenix or other V1's I've tested in the past year. I get similar on LL's v3, but I rarely ever check it for that when I'm running it. V1's are having issues for me with high unique texture counts within view; I have not checked for this, but a KDU vs. OpenJPEG thing would be my first guess.

---

Since Firestorm first came out, I had been receiving fairly constant complaints about they "blurry text" issue and only a few random complaints about other things. I am not a highly visible developer or even a widely known avatar on SL, so to me get a large number complaints about one issue when I'm not someone that normally receives or looks at complaints, makes me think that there is a substantially more people affected by this than I thought back when LL launched 2.0.

I'm starting to work again on the "blurry text" and general Phoenix-deviations issues, but my previous attempts at making the phoenix-mode more v1-like were met with opposition within the team, and the changes I will need to make will quickly become incompatible with the other modes in Firestorm. My course of action is not clear right now, but I have thoughts on how to handle this.

---

As far as other grids are concerned: my stuff is on SL and the people that make the stuff I like are only on SL. SL has its issues, but has fewer than others I've tried. If I were to leave SL for some other virtual world thing, it would be to Minecraft and I would go learn Java finally.

(Long post is long. Proofreading be damned, I need lunch. :3)

Kadah Coba

As direct comment to this post's comment about Tonya's blog post:

LL has had a number of flag days scheduled for SL in the past year and a half, but they change plans last minute and either pull the project completely, rework it to have a transitions, or it slows long enough for v1's to pull in the new APIs to continue to function. LL has canceled so many V1 API deprecation windows that I've lost count and stopped expecting any of them to actually come.
V1 search was going to be shut off last year, but wasn't.
V1 profile API was supposed to be shut off and everyone was going to be forced to web profiles, but that was caned.
Mesh was planned to kill V1, it didn't.

Currently there are 2 things on the furture horizon that will cause some bumps for v1:
A completely overhaul of how HTTP is done in the viewer along with server changes to improve reliably and resource use. Eventually the old caps will be turned off after that is deployed, or so it is planned.
Then later they are going to rework avatar baking, which will cause issues for V1's that do not support the Current Outfit folder. The transition window on this one is supposedly going to be far more strict.

Other than those, there isn't much LL is planning to do that will directly kill viewers that have passed v1.5. I do expect that LL will finally block their own 1.23 at some point during the next 6-12 months, but I would be hard pressed to believe they would block anything beyond that.

foneco zuzu

kadah, I had that problem for long!
Thats why i claimed and All laughed about, that i could use only a pre mesh viewer!
The reason is that on a pre mesh v1 viewer you can force AA and AF with your hardware so you can have a much smoother image (on a 23inch led monitor running at 1090x1030 screen resolution, believe it makes a lot of difference!)
Until latest Nvidia drivers release, Any mesh viewer, be based on v1 or v2 or v3 code, had the AF capped at 2!
So all looked much more blured when using a mesh viewer!
But with the latest Nvidia drivers, all mesh viewers graphics can be overrided via nvidia control pannel!
And then it comes to the point that, now if one can use a mesh viewer without stressing the eyes (I think LL still should and wish it so, to be put in court for the attitude towards the ones who are descriminated for long due to their vision problems, but that is another story.
And for sure, on that point, nobody can deny, unless they just dont have the hardware required, that there is only 1 viewer to be used!
Niran.
All the others viewers, no matter what, are just simply dull and poor, on graphics side, and that matters a lot in fact!
To bad it does not work with Apple, to bad it does not have a inbuild ao, to bad its interface is unique!
But none beats its performance on my computer and most important its graphics quality with all settings to max, and i mean max graphics settings ALL times you are in world!
See just this to understand:
https://my.secondlife.com/foneco.zuzu
All taken in world as i see it with Niran!

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