New Firestorm release offers fixes, interface improvements

(Image courtesy Firestorm Viewer.)

(Image courtesy Firestorm Viewer.)

The Firestorm viewer — by far the most popular viewer in both Second Life and OpenSim — has a new release out, with a very long list of bug fixes and interface improvements.

After removing the previous version of the viewer from your computer, you can download the new version here.

Inara Pey has a nice review of the new features on her blog, Living in a Modem World.

In particular, I appreciate:

  • Being able to set default permission settings for new builds and other content.
  • The new snapshot preview window.
  • All the stability improvements.

Region tracker

Probably the most significant new feature is the region tracker, which lets you see how many avatars are on other regions.

The Track Region button is on the bottom right of the World Map window.

The Track Region button is on the bottom right of the World Map window.

Just open the map, find a region, and click on “Region Tracker” on the bottom right.

That region then gets added to your list of tracked regions, which you can access via World>Region Tracker.

The Region Tracker lets you add both local regions and hypergrid ones, and if you click on their names in the Region Tracker, it will trigger a teleport.

However, it will only show a visitor count if you are currently on the same grid as that region — and if you added it while you were on that grid.

So, for example, if I’m standing on Hyperica, and I search for hg.osgrid.org:80:lbsa plaza on my map, I can find it, and I can add it to the region tracker, and if I click on it, I can teleport there. But it won’t show the visitor count. But after I’ve teleported to OSgrid, I can find LBSA Plaza in the map and add it to the region tracker, and now, whenever I’m on OSgrid, it will show me the number of avatars that are on that region — but then I can only teleport there from within OSgrid itself, because it’s now saved as a local teleport.

In fact, the issue of local versus long-distance teleports is still a problem in OpenSim.

Clicking on a hypergrid teleport link in the Hyperica directory, for example, or the in-world destination guide only works if you’re on a different grid. If you’re on the same grid, you need to copy and paste the region name into the Map, instead.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Cinder Biscuits

    Default permissions don’t work in opensim, do they? It requires some simulator support for persistence. Wouldn’t be hard to add support though.

    • It’s not a viewer-only function?

      I’m thinking that when you create an object for the first time, you set the permissions through the viewer, and its the viewer that passes it along to the grid.

      Though I can see how switching viewers might make the defaults go away — is that what you meant?

      • Cinder Biscuits

        Yes, that’s what I meant. This week, I spent some time porting the necessary simulator code over to OpenSim to allow persistent server side storage of this between viewers and computers.

  • Seth Nygard

    It is still too early to know for sure, but this public beta release may have changed the behavior of inventory loading for OpenSim. There are however some good points to this release despite it not including fixes for some other known issues, such as Mesh uploading.

    There is a long standing bug http://opensimulator.org/mantis/view.php?id=7054 that seems to be particularly noticeable with Firestorm, although it happens with other viewers as well. This version on a limited number of tries appears to trigger this problem condition more frequently which is a concern. It also appears that the viewer’s indicator of the inventory fetching may not be consistent/correct in this version.

    We have also been testing a very recent simulator patch (which may help address that particular Mantis bug) in the dev branch and have seen mixed results, although more testing is certainly needed. This needs to be done with not only this release, but also the prior release(s) to see if there are any differences.

  • LordNine

    This is actually the first version of the Firestorm Viewer that I have actually liked, though it still has a little wonkiness to it for my tastes…still, for those who just won’t use Cool VL Viewer, I have begun recommending it to them, along with the Kokua Viewer.