Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Phoenix Viewer Is Dead Long Live Firestorm

Support for the official phoenix viewer has to all intense and purposes ended as was confirmed in their office hour discussion which there is a video below.


In it they discuss the reason for dropping support of the old phoenix viewer and pushing ahead with the newer firestorm incarnation. The simple crux of the matter is that phoenix was based on the old V1 core base of SL and its been a few years since V2 base came out and now we are at V3 most of the worked needed on keeping Phoenix relevant are all hacks to make it function properly.

When you already have a viewer which can deal with the newer core version the only reason to keep a V1 viewer is for people who have less powerful computers which may not be able to handle some of the additions required in V2/V3.

Linden Labs (creators of Second life) are constantly updating their server code and with that viewers need to be capable of understanding those changes and unless V1 viewers are constantly updated with hacks to deal with them, more an more aspects of the system will break on those viewers.

Probably as explained in the video, the final death nail may have to do with the new server side rebake system, which should be implemented in the next few months, as of today, 3rd party viewers aren't set up to display avatars properly when the new code is implemented, so between now and the time the servers received the update, viewers will need to be updated for it. There are no plans to have that implemented in phoenix and as of the end of the year official support will be removed from it.

So what does it mean for those who use any of the phoenix viewers.

1. Phoenix viewer will constantly start failing with error messages and have an inability to display and function properly, this will constantly happen until the viewer is practically unusable in any meaningful form.

2. Firestorm viewer will be fine as its constantly being updated and certainly the newer versions of firestorm are definitely more friendly than they use to be on less powerful machines.

There comes a time when SL has to grow up and to do that it needs to be able to create the world using the best technology it can and as fond as we maybe of older systems, eventually you will have to update. Maybe as phoenix V1 is based on an open source system some group may take the challenge on but its asking too much to expect a group to be trying to create two viewers at once especially since one is just patching up holes in a sinking ship. Maybe time to let the ship sink to the bottom of the ocean and remember it fondly and have the newer one simulate all the best features of it.

Phoenix is dead long live firestorm 
(or is it?)

for more information read HERE

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