Phoenix Viewer support ending on 31st December 2012


The big news this weekend announced by Jessica Lyon during a recent Phoenix office hour with the SL community is that the Phoenix Viewer support will be ending on Monday 31st December 2012. Apparently the Phoenix Viewer will then be removed from the SL third-party directory and Phoenix links will be removed from the Phoenix Official Blog. In 2013 Firestorm Viewer will be the default popular third party viewer and more new developments will continue to happen.

The reason for why Phoenix Viewer support will be ending is because Linden Lab will be rolling out server-side avatar baking in 2013 which should be interesting. TPVs have been told about this 2013 avatar baking roll out and hopefully the deployment will go without any major issues.

It seems like the server side baking rollout is at it’s final stages now with a timeline of 8 weeks according to Oz Linden via the Open Source Mailing List recently.

Oz Linden (Scott Lawrence) 



to opensource-dev 

For any of you developing viewers that are not in the TPV Directory and
so didn’t get the notice there….

We have now made available the code for our upcoming server side baking
changes – you will need to update to be compatible with this in order
for users to see avatars correctly once the server side change is rolled
out to the main grid (some time > 8 weeks from now, but no date has been
set yet).

See
https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Project_Sunshine-Server_Side_Appearance
for information on this new code, and watch it for updates.

Tonya Souther blogs about this roll out here

As Oz said in the meeting, the clock is now ticking. We asked for at least two months’ notice, and yesterday we got that. LL would like to roll the code out to the grid in February, but they’ll work with TPV developers to make sure we all have had the code and a good chance to implement it before they actually roll it out.

History of the Phoenix Viewer

  • Transition from Emerald controversy to Phoenix in September 2010
  • Phoenix Viewer added to The Third-Party Viewer Directory list in September 2010
  • Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 in July 2011
  • 40 groups enabled on Phoenix Viewer in January 2011
  • Phoenix Project turned one years old in September 2011
  • Phoenix Viewer Beta 2 with Mesh Support in September 2011
  • Phoenix classes started in 2011
  • New changes to TPV policy & Phoenix TPV policy meeting in late February 2012
  • Phoenix Viewer support ends 31st December 2012

What do you think about this major announcement and will you be switching to Firestorm if not already?

New video showing how to download, install, and setup Second Life


Watch these newly uploaded Second Life videos by  showing how to download, install and setup Second Life for the first time. These new interesting helpful videos will help any new resident in Second Life get started on the grid. Check this out!

Here is the second Second Life video which shows you how to move, go places, friend, and other basic features.

Join Second Life today! 

Is Viewer 3 around the corner for Second Life?


A few days ago Opensource Obscure posted a screenshot of a test version which appears to be showing version 3 from the latest Development Viewer. Opensource talks futher about the transition from version 2 to version 3 in his post called With the arrival of the mesh, the Second Life viewer goes to version 3.0. On LL viewer development changeset page it shows version 3 on there as well.

This suggests that Viewer 3 versions will be here soon and if so will support the introduction of mesh etc.

In the coming weeks the number of the official version of the viewer will go from 2 to 3

Oz Linden said today that the transition to the version number of 3 points to support the introduction of ‘ import of 3D models – the famous ” Mesh ” .

The transition to the version number 3 does not involve radical changes in the interface such as those carried by Viewer 2.0, which differed greatly from versions 1.x

In other words, the official version 3 of the viewer should be almost identical to version 2.8 , adding support to the mesh and some other minor innovations.

We will have to see if Linden Lab will announce more details about Viewer 3 during SLCC 2011 this weekend. It’s going to be interesting to see what announcements Linden Lab will make this year.

I will be blogging about SLCC 2011 during the weekend – stay tuned.

New SL login screen on Viewer 2.8.1


It looks like Linden Lab have added a new SL login screen page on Viewer 2.8.1. It’s now live on http://viewer-login.agni.lindenlab.com/ so check out the new web launch of the login screen. I like this new improved SL login screen than previous ones. But I would like to see the current SLT/PDT clock with grid stats perhaps in the near future.

Older versions of the SL login screen can be found here.

New features

  • Shows upcoming events and sets location when clicked on
  • Shows the latest blog posts from Linden Lab and now the posts can be easily viewed without navigating else where
  • Shows the latest hot places around SL and showcases the Destination Guide by selecting them
The current sl login screen page looks like this on Viewer 2.8.0 only showing two boxes with links.

Popular SL news during May 2011


This is the May 2011 edition of popular Second Life news with links and dates below.

New Second Life Search System Beta Review


Linden Lab has released a new Search Project Viewer for testing which provides a brand new Second Life search system. Check out the Search Project Viewer FAQ for more details. I’m glad to see Linden Lab are spending time on improving Search at last with help by the SL community.

View screenshots of Second Life Search in previous years.

The Search Project Viewer provides an early look for testing and feedback on the new Second Life search system. For more information, see the Search Project Viewer FAQ and read the Test Out New Search! blog post.

Linden Lab mentions in the blog post that this is a big improvement from the current version of search and that 75% of residents that did a quiet test preferred the new search results.

It has been a while since we last updated you on search and that’s because we’ve chosen to take a big leap forward versus smaller, incremental improvements. We believe that new search is a vast improvement over current search both in terms of usability and relevance. But we’re not the only ones who think that. We conducted a quiet test with a savvy group of Residents who preferred new search results over 75% of the time compared with current search results. 

At the end of the blog post Linden Lab mentions that they don’t plan on implementing the new search engine for the 1.23 viewer. It’s another nail in the coffin for viewer 1.23 as it’s lifetime nears the end.

“Will new search work in Viewer 1.23 and Third-Party Viewers?”  New search will soon be available to you in the official SL Viewer and we will not be implementing it for the 1.23 Viewer. To be clear, you can still use the 1.23 Viewer, but search functionality will be impaired once new search is released into general availability, after the test period.

Soon after the announcement I installed the new search viewer and used it for some time. It looks pretty good and looks promising I think. It’s faster trying to find SL stuff and I like that the search results are now scrollable. The 15 minute window of searching for stuff in the new search I like as well. Improvements I would suggest is the following..When the Find menu opens everything is too quashed in and it needs to be separated out a bit. Another improvement is to have a filter for the maturity ratings and for search to link to SL wiki pages. There is more to add. Search results time…

  • Everything: Searching for “Doctor Who” returned a lot of helpful location links
  • Destination Guide: Navigating through SL showcase places was cool
  • Events: Likes the Happening Now tick box
  • Groups: Worked rather well when searching
  • People: Didn’t work when I searched for my name “Your search for “Daniel Voyager” did not return any matches”
  • Real Estate: Worked okay when searching
  • Places: Worked okay when searching

This is a good step forward for Search for Second Life and hopefully it will be better when it comes out of beta testing stages later in the year.

Feedback and discussion links

Linden Lab updates welcome login screen


Linden Lab have recently updated the welcome login screen with two new featured slide boxes on Viewer 2. The left box links you to featured destinations in Second Life and the right box links you to the Official Second Life Blog RSS feeds.

Last year Linden Lab removed the SL grid statistics away from the login screen. Since then it’s just been blank with a changing background until just recently. Suggestions!..It would be good to see the SL grid statistics on the login screen again, the name of location of the background picture and the grid status reports RSS feed back.

View previous login screens of Second Life through the years.

Q Linden Leaves Linden Lab This Friday


During today’s Viewer 2 Evolution User Group meeting,  Q Linden (team leader) said that this Friday will be his last day at Linden Lab. It was not so long ago since Esbee Linden the project manager left Linden Lab two months ago. Q Linden will be moving on to other related tech things apparently and it’s sad to see another Linden go.

Q Linden did say this “#1 Near term proceed as usual & #2 Longer term is waiting on reorganzational decisions for LL engineering in general“. So who’s left now?…Well Bao Linden, Merov Linden, Oz Linden, and Wolf Linden are all part of the Snowstorm team including sub-contract devs at ProjectEngine apparently.

Snowstorm Project SL Wiki page

Snowstorm is the name of the team responsible for coordinating development and integration of the Second Life Viewer 2, and for engaging the open source development community in its evolution. The Snowstorm team and Project Snowstorm started in August, 2010.

To improve the performance, reliability, and ease of use of the Second Life Viewer, while enabling the rapid, effective deployment of new Viewer features and functionality to the Second Life Resident population.

I wish Q the best of luck for the future. This is definitely disappointing news and a big blow for the user group team for Viewer 2.

Viewer 2.5 Released


Q Linden announced the new version of Viewer 2.5 on the Official Second Life Blog yesterday afternoon (SLT), which comes with the new web-based profiles. I downloaded and installed the new version from the Viewer 2.5 release notes page from the SL wiki to view the recent changes. I noticed that Viewer 2.5 on my PC was faster in performance which is way better than previous versions of Viewer 2.

New Profiles

I still much prefer to see profiles in-world (sidebar) instead of opening up a web browser or tab to view them each time. It would be good to have a choice between them. The new privacy settings make sense for how public SL profiles are seen and there is definitely room for improvements and changes for web-based SL profiles like including Plurk in social networking options. There is still alot of mixed reactions to the new SL profiles on the web and it’s going to be interesting to see what Linden Lab does with web based profiles during 2011.

Landmark Favorites

I think this is a great feature that Linden Lab has introduced with Viewer 2.5 to access landmarks from the login screen to favourite places in-world. It would be nice to view existing favourite LMs from one’s inventory too.

History Timeline of Viewer 2 Versions

What do you think of Viewer 2.5 release ?

Latest News on 40 Groups Limit in SL


UPDATE: [6:21] Maestro Linden: Hey Daniel, one of the server RC channels has configurable group limits.  Once that’s considered ‘passed’ (which will probably happen early January), that server version will go out to the whole grid.  At that point, we’ll be able to increase the group limit at any time. – 22nd December 2010

 

Back in October 2010 FJ Linden announced that group limits will be raised from 25 groups to 40 groups before the end of 2010. I have been trying to find out the very latest news on the groups limits in SL.

It looks like the 25 group limit is still active on all server versions at the moment. Linden Lab plans to roll out 40 groups to the RC grid server versions very soon. When it comes available I’m sure Viewer 2 will support 40 groups too along with third-party viewers.

If you are using the Phoenix Viewer there is no server support yet for 40 groups limit. You will not be able to have more than 25 groups. You can enable the feature by setting phoenix40GroupsSupport to True in the debug settings. I have been hearing if you are on Emergence Viewer you will see 40 groups on your count but you cannot add 40 groups. It will not be enabled until Linden Lab turns it on for everybody to use.

However Jessica Lyon made a statement via group notice on 21st, December, 2010 saying the following about this:

Re: Rumor about 40 groups support in phoenix…To be clear, while Phoenix does have a debug setting to enable 40 groups this is NOT enabled server side! We added the debug setting for when LL DOES enable it server side some time in the new year. Currently enabling 40 groups in Phoenix will do nothing! It will not work.

Here are some updates by Linden Lab during December 2010

Maestro Linden said this on 1st December 2010:

The ’40 groups’ changes  are actually both viewer and server related.  Right now the viewer is  hardcoded to a limit of 25 groups, and prevents you from adding more via  the UI.  The updated viewer will grab the grid’s group limit at login  time, and act accordingly.

The server enforces the 25 groups  limit, so it needs to be updated too.  This week’s new RC doesn’t have  the group limit changes, but the change is coming very soon.

Oskar Linden’s Beta Server Office Hour on December 9th, 2010

  • [15:17] Oskar Linden: so you guys all heard about the group limits changes
  • [15:18] Oskar Linden: the problem with group limits was mostly the limit being hard coded into the sim code
  • [15:19] Oskar Linden: at some later date when the code is completely on AGNI, and maybe after a live test with a special viewer we’ll change it gridwide
  • [15:21] Falcon Linden: Everything we do is about forcing our users to do stuff they don’t want to
  • [15:21] Oskar Linden: so if you notice any unusual weirdness relating to groups on BlueSteel or LeTigre please let me know

According to Oskar Linden’s Beta Server Office Hour on December 16th, 2010 group limits cannot be tested this year.

  • [15:14] Oskar Linden:   group limits and compressed crossings cannot be tested this year either because of the bug that stopped us from shipping that code
  • [15:14] Oskar Linden:  so first week in January things will be getting busy
  • [15:16] Simon Linden: The current viewer has the 25 limit hard-coded.
  • [15:16] Simon Linden: That was some of the work required … telling the viewer what the limit is so it can do the right thing
  • [15:16] Oskar Linden: once the code is all over the grid then we’ll set it higher and see if things break

I will keep you informed if this status changes on my blog. If you know anything else, feel free to comment cause I would love to know. Thanks!