Since the closure of Google+ back in April 2019 it’s been hard for people to find out what’s going on across the OpenSim grids. There were many useful OpenSim Google+ communities that were sadly closed down.
I personally liked the OpenSim Virtual Google+ page as it was a great source to find out about everything. It’s a shame it’s all gone now. In general the OpenSim community is scattered all over the place. Today there are ways to find out whats going on via MeWe, Discord and Diaspora.
Today the Firestorm team announced a brand new version (188.8.131.52588) of the well known Firestorm Viewer. This latest version is fully merged up to the 6.2.3 Linden code-base. See the full release notes here.
There are many new features including the EAM (Estate Access Management) tools, LMR (Love Me Render) containing rendering bug fixes, improvements to communications, inventory, appearance and much more. This new update means that version 184.108.40.206634 will be blocked from logging in to the Second Life grid in 3 weeks time.
New Change For SL & OpenSim Users
Second Life and OpenSim versions of the Firestorm viewer are no longer going to be joined together going forward starting in Firestorm 220.127.116.11588 which is now for Second Life only.
The Firestorm team will now issue updates for Second Life and OpenSim independently, There will be no need to worry about backwards compatibility in future versions.
We have reached a milestone in how we handle Open Simulator and Second Life binaries. In the past we have provided SL-only builds AND OpenSim-and-SL builds. This has always caused much confusion to our users, and for that reason—among many others—we have forked our code into two repositories. This means we can now issue updates for Second Life and updates for OpenSim independently of each other. It also makes it a lot easier for us to develop for Second Life without worrying about backwards compatibility with OpenSim, and to develop for OpenSim without concern about SL compatibility. Everyone wins!
No longer will the two be tied by release date or version numbers. Firestorm developer Beq Janus has been communicating with OpenSim developers and grid owners and has been working hard on OpenSim-specific issues for a future OpenSim Firestorm viewer update.
After the future OpenSim update:
There will be TWO install directories if you wish to install both binaries and log into both SL and OpenSim.
These will install independently from one another, will not share settings or cache, and therefore will not conflict with each other.
The Second Life dedicated viewer’s grid manager will only offer Agni and Aditi (SL main and beta grids).
The OpenSim dedicated viewer’s grid manager will NOT offer Second Life grids.
This is great news for both Second Life users and OpenSim users, and we are excited about the way we are moving forward.
Some of the things I like…
Advanced Region Info on World Map
IMPROVEMENTAdvanced region info on the world map has been moved to a new row below the region name To enable/disable showing of the advanced map information: Preferences → Move & View → Map & Minimap → Show additional region information on World Map. When enabled, this option displays avatar count and maturity level for the region. Ansarirl Hiller
EAM – Estate Access Management Project
EAM improves the state of Estate Access Management! New features include:
New “Access” tab in the Region/Estate floater with sub-tabs for “Estate Managers”, “Allowed”, “Allowed Groups”, and “Banned”.
Search & Sort within each of the sub-tabs.
Recording banned date, banned by, and last login for each banned account. This feature is only available going forward.
Copy Banlist & Allowed-list.
Added a confirmation for adding or removing from a list.
More Estate Managers! We’ve upped the number from 10 to 15. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.
This update from Linden Lab adds retina display support on Mac, and has a variety of graphics-related fixes.
Note: For Mac displays with HiDPI support, retina display mode is disabled by default on Firestorm. Enabling HiDPI support will generally give you a sharper display but a lower frame rate.
If you want to enable HiDPI display, go to the preference settings page: Avatar → Preferences → Graphics → Hardware Settings, and tick the box Enable support for HiDPI displays (Mac OSX only, requires restart), then restart the viewer.
Graham Linden, Ruslan ProductEngine Tonya Souther – Firestorm implementation of HiDPI support for Mac
New Texture Refresh Function
NEWAdded a Texture Refresh function to the inventory context menu for worn attachments. Added the ability to texture refresh via right click menu in inventory. This option is only available if the object is currently being worn and refreshes the texture of the worn object. Zi Ree
New Avatar Stop Animations button to Toolbar
NEWAdded Avatar Stop Animations button to Toolbar This feature was requested in FIRE-16256 Avatar → Toolbar Buttons → Stop Animations Patch contributed by Angeldark Raymaker
A few interesting visual changes this month on the new SSP continent which is worth mentioning I think. Firstly on the SSP124 region there is a new message saying OSSM TAKES TIME with a smiley face next to it. This is definitely a code for something more official in the works I think or it could be something relating to a hyperlink to OpenSim which would be most interesting. What do you think this could mean ?
This month there appears to be more houses built, more new trees and more docking points around the continent (see the map above). I hope the new SSP continent will be connected by many water regions to another large continent because that would be great.
A new orange and green development has appeared in the central area of the continent with a double lane road on the right side (SSP186, SSP187, SSP202 & SSP203) which looks like a new retail space. There is another double lane on the left which may be worked on soon.
A cute smiley face has appeared on the SSP2 QA Test region.
The moles have definitely been busy during the past few months building more and more. The bottom half of the content remains empty it seems on the map and who knows what that will become in the months ahead. Good progress is being made and I’ll post another update next month.
Important Note: As early as 4th February 2019 anyone wanting to create new content will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events. If you’re a Google+ Community owner or moderator you can still download your data for your Google+ community.
In the coming weeks the sign-in buttons for Google+ will stop working although you’ll be able to sign in with your Google account.
It will be a real shame to see Google+ shut down in two months time as it was a useful way to find out what’s happening in Second Life, OpenSim, Sansar and for many other interesting things.