Firestorm most popular viewer in OpenSim

Firestorm is the preferred viewer for OpenSim users, based on a survey of Hypergrid Business readers. Nearly 53 percent of respondents chose Firestorm as their favorite, followed by 26 percent for Singularity and 7 percent for Alchemy.

(Hypergrid Business data.)

Firestorm was also the viewer that most people had tried. According to the survey, 96 percent of readers have used this viewer, followed by 89 percent for Singularity and 61 percent for Imprudence.

(Hypergrid Business data.)

Fewer than 5 percent of respondents tried the following viewers: RadegastHippoReplexLumiyaCatznip Viewer, Darkstorm, Dolphin 1.23 Exolife Version, Military Slots Viewer, Hadron Viewer, Wabbit Viewer, Black Dragon, TeapotMeerkatRainbow, or Angstrom.

The most appreciated feature of their preferred viewer was the ability to export and import content, selected by 54 percent of respondents. Hypergrid was a close second, with 44 percent, followed by user interface and memory management at 29 percent. Another popular feature was the ability to teleport and build above 8,096 meters, appreciated by 21 percent of respondents.

(Hypergrid Business data.)

The fix most respondents wanted to see was to have an OpenSim version of Second Life URLs. Just over 55 percent of respondents said they wanted this. Fixing “unknown user” avatar errors was a close second, at 51 percent.

Another 39 percent wanted to see special features just for OpenSim, 30 percent wanted to see correct hypergrid addresses in the address bar, 24 percent wanted the removal of Second Life-specific options like currency purchases, 23 percent wanted an easy-to-use beginner mode, and 20 percent wanted to see better documentation.

(Hypergrid Business data.)

Other features or fixes wanted by respondents:

  • Better support for VR headsets
  • Ability to have two regional chats
  • Ability to move popup windows outside the main viewer window or to another monitor
  • Add a way to translate spoken voice to text
  • Android support
  • Better documentation about self-compiling
  • Better graphics card ultization
  • Better interaction for the hearing impaired
  • Easy scaling of avatar with +/- key
  • Export-Import files in OXP format
  • First person mode that’s not mouselook)
  • Fix attachments bug
  • Fix grayed-out avatars
  • General OS bugs
  • High memory usage
  • In Alchemy, Ctrl+Alt+F1 doesn’t give you a clear shot when filming
  • Inventory errors such as cannot rezz body parts in OpenSim
  • Invisiprim support again for vessel creators
  • Linked objects
  • Nighttime stars that are points of light
  • Out-of-memory errors
  • Teleporting to SecondLife
  • Web and OnLook customizable viewers
  • When I have adjusted my camera rotation and zoomed in to an object I don’t want my camera rotation to change when I select a piece of the object when I want to edit a piece of it

Have more suggestions — or ideas for future surveys? Please add them in the comments below, or email me at [email protected].


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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

48 Responses

  1.' Da Hayward says:

    done did

  2. “Add support for multiple monitors” not sure what you mean by that. I always been able to stretch firestorm into all 3 of my monitors with no issue.

  3.' Tony Lester says:

    Thank you Maria great work.

  4.' Your Teacher says:

    It’s great to see Open Sim viewers being developed that aren’t so SL centric. I love the idea of a slimmed down viewer for new users who have no interest in building etc.

  5.' Susannah Avonside says:

    Great idea to have s survey, but I would have preferred to have seen something a lot more in depth, as I’m sure most of us have experienced issues with all viewers, which, let’s face it, are mainly aimed at Second Life, with OpenSim compatibility almost added as an afterthought.

    I have been told, by someone who I believe wouldn’t make this kind of thing up, that Firestorm, the most used viewer in OpenSim, isn’t really compatible with OpenSim. I know it has major issues in not suddenly deciding to NOT render items in view, a feature shared with recent versions of Singularity, though the latter viewer isn’t quite as bad in this respect.

    I would also have liked to have seen a question posed about the perceived need for a dedicated OpenSim viewer, something it is high time we had – I realise that there are serious cost implications, but it would help immensely if demand for a dedicated viewer were known, and of course, someone telling us likely development costs. Then there might be a realistic prospect of raising the finance, but at the moment no one knows anything, but we all are aware that ALL viewers are a lot less than optimal for use with OpenSim.

  6.' XMIR Grid says:

    The survey is essentially worthless without asking what operating system people run the viewers on, as there are very significant differences in performance, stability and even features across operating systems.

    I also see the opensim version of Kokua is not on the survey. It is not identical to Kokua, which in the latest versions are SecondLife only.

    Further there is no such ting as “Incorrect hypergrid addresses in the address bar” as there is no standard for it.
    “Avatars named “unknown user” is a server side issue and has nothing to do with the viewer code.

    “Easy-to-use “beginner” mode” this one keeps popping up, but it was tried as one odd the major features of SecondLife viewer version 2, and was quickly abandoned, because users got super frustrated almost immediately as it limited their ability to operate in-world significantly. Add to that, they had to un-learn first experience when using the full viewer.

    “Standardized OpenSim equivalent to SLURLs” this is essentially a server side issue too, where there currently are differences in implementation between grids.

    •' Cinder Biscuits says:

      > Further there is no such ting as “Incorrect hypergrid addresses in the address bar” as there is no standard for it.

      This is broken in most viewers, but it works in Alchemy. When you grab the url from the top, it has the home grid’s hostname rather than the one for region you’re in. It’s wrong.

      > “Avatars named “unknown user” is a server side issue and has nothing to do with the viewer code.

      I’m sure Maria is already aware of this, but included it for the drama factor in the comments as this was already discussed at length.

      > “Standardized OpenSim equivalent to SLURLs” this is essentially a server side issue too, where there currently are differences in implementation between grids.

      This one isn’t server side at all. SLURLs are generated by the viewer, not the server.
      However, secondlife:// doesn’t do a good job at resource identification in a multi-grid environment. I’ve designed a uri scheme that does and it is pending IANA inclusion. Works on Alchemy and Singularity:

      Have a look at Alchemy, it would be great if you included this too as this is an easily solved issue if other viewers pull the implementation.

    •' TribeGadgets says:

      Thanks, I was not aware there were now different versions. So thats off my list I am afraid as it almost had me switching. 2 viewers I can live with, one being my main across both, the second for specifics. So there has to be an obvious one there.

      •' XMIR Grid says:

        The reason why we have split it is because there will be significant changes to the LL version of the viewer and their backend that will make it virtually impossible to keep a combined version of the viewer in the near future. This includes the fact LL in reality have stopped all development on the Linux version of the viewer.

  7.' John Sheppard says:

    Which viewer allows teleport and building up to 8096?

    I thought that was an interesting response… might have me checking out another viewer.

    •' XMIR Grid says:

      KokuaOS already support build heights to 10000 meters, and you can easily teleport to any height (such as 8096) with the chat command gth 8096 or location gtp 128 128 8096. You can also use a teleport script to get to such heights. (this support has been there for a few years, so also in older versions of Kokua)

      The World Map floater currently limits teleports to 4096, and we will probably keep it like that till it is no longer possible to log onto SecondLife with this version of the viewer.

      •' Tony Lester says:

        There is absolutely no reason why all viewers can’t support upto 99999 on everything except to maintain compatibility with SL.

        •' Cinder Biscuits says:

          The ability is already there in all currently maintained viewers. The issue has been moot since shortly after varregions was released.

  8.' Linda Kellie says:

    I feel like we have done this survey before. 🙂

    I’d just like to say “Thank you” to everyone that works on ALL of the viewers. The time and energy that goes into them has to be massive and I am sure that they don’t get the kudos and praise that they should most of the time. So………. “THANKS VIEWER PEOPLE!’ 🙂

  9.' Da Hayward says:

    great job maria

  10.' Carlos Loff says:

    Thank you Maria, this is so so useful, for people who build worlds we need to know what people use and what they like, cheers

  11.' Minethereé says:

    umph, I thought the unknown users were really the Watchers from Highlander looking for secret Immortals hanging out in OpenSim///shows what I knowz…..

  12.' Walter Betson says:

    How about that… the most popular OpenSim viewer is the one alot of people in OpenSim and most everyone in OSGrid says doesn’t work in OpenSim. Guess that tells you something.

    •' lmpierce says:

      I wonder what you mean by “doesn’t work in OpenSim”. Aside from the survey results, I’ve used Firestorm for years on both hosted and local OpenSim regions and it clearly works. Then you add, “Guess that tells you something.” What does it tell you? It’s also the case that viewers have many features. Are there particular specific features you found not to be well implemented?

      •' Da Hayward says:

        Firestorm works for me too

        •' Walter Betson says:

          I know it does, and if my post doesn’t get “moderated out” you’ll see why I said what I did..

        •' Walter Betson says:

          Oh well Impierce decided to moderate my answer out. Feel free to contact me if you want to know why that remark was made so you can learn the truth about what goes on.

      • i cant stand any other viewer. gotta have my FS, even if i sometimes refer to the initials as bad words when something in the viewer goes coo coo

        • I love my Firestorm, too. The only time I ever pull up another viewer is that when I need to log into two different grids at the same time. When I do, I use Singularity for the other one.

          I hate switching viewers because I have all my buttons exactly where I want them, and all my logins are already programmed in, so I don’t have to remember any passwords. I use it for all grids I visit, including Second Life.

      •' Walter Betson says:

        If your going to ask a question Impierce, don’t moderate my answer out.

        •' lmpierce says:

          Hi Walter. I did not moderate your answer out. When a link is included in a comment, the Disqus system automatically holds the comment for moderation. This morning (my time), I saw your comment pending moderation and approved it right then and there. It is both fine based on the guidelines and it also gives context to your comment which was helpful. Sarcasm is sometimes lost in a verbal discussion, but is even more prone to misunderstanding in a written context. Thanks for the follow-up.

        •' Walter Betson says:

          After I posted it, it vanished. I see it up now. Thank you for allowing me to explain my comment. Maybe this will bring attention to this kind of thing and people will be less inclined to follow the sheep and drink the cool-aid and not give FS a chance because someone tells them it doesn’t work in OpenSim.

  13.' Tony Lester says:

    A survey is really just another form of customer feedback. And if the same items stays on the form year after year then someone is not fixing the issues or adding the right features. So hint hint Firestorm and everyone make your product better. This survey was talking about features to present viewers, no one spoke of the obvious adding viewer capability to a webbrowser via something like a java plugin. Imagine Firestorm light running in your chrome. So a survey in January gives everyone an idea for a plan. Now we need one for OpenSim server…again…