Something Wrong With the Firestrom /Phoenix Second Life Viewer!

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I have always been a long time fan of the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer since it’s first appearance but recently both it’s performance and other issues especially when it went to a V3.0 Second Life Official Viewer, it has started to impress me less and less. All this not helped by issues such viewers have on Linux Computers in general.

Currently the main issues with Friestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewers include a bad memory leak especially on Linux which means if a sim within Second Life got moderately full of Avatars means an inordinate amount memory is used on my computer it looks like because of the amount of slplugin processes that are fired up by the viewer itself for seamlessly no real reason.

This in itself would not be a problem as it a liveable problem on most modern computers though shows the laziness of most Second Life Viewer writers who seam not to take into account that not everyone can afford or need computers with specifications needed to run Microsoft’s Windows 8. This in itself is an annoying habit the Second Life viewer writers need breaking of as it almost criminal laziness on their part.

The major problem myself and others are experiencing, even on Windows Computers, which is quickly blamed on Linden Labs rather than the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer is the fact some parts of Avatars simply are not rezzing for other people or are taking a long time to rezz in-world.

Currently it it easy to see someone using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer in-world as they tend to be Avatars who are appearing with bit and pieces of them missing initially or simply never appearing. I have a very similar problem with a set of wings I ware which for number of people within Second Life never appear for them when I am using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer.

This I am finding annoying and I have to use a slightly more unstable Singularity Second Life Viewer on my Linux Computer which simply does not have the same issues including the memory over-usage problem. This is not a satisfactory position to be in considering I have been using the Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer for years with little and no problems.

Basically I am disappointed with the current Firestorm/Phoenix Second Life Viewer as it is not an improvement but a major step backwards as viewers go especially on Linux and low power computers as once well respected viewer is going currently in the same direction as the Linden Lab Official Viewers in so much slowing becoming unusable as a general viewer on a large majority of computers!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal scrapbook of mine just follow the link to Patterns in the Static!.

Please Note: If you are interested in my home page just follow the link to Experiment No. 3.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

An Open Letter the Second Life Viewer Writers!

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As one of the growing number of Linux and OpenBSD users of Second Life I am getting very annoyed both at Linden Labs and Third Party Second Life Viewer Writers not putting in as much work on their Linux versions of their viewers as the Windows and Mac versions of the same viewers.

Contrary to those less enlightened with Second Life who still live under the illusion that Linux and FreeBSD users are a small minority with Second Life from personal experience, that is actually talking to people there, the amount of people using Linux and FreeBSD is much larger than most people think.

All we are asking, as Apple users, is that you test your software better than you do which Linden Labs have no excuse in not doing considering they use Linux to run the machines which generate the Second Life grid itself.

This in itself is not asking much and we Linux and FreeBSD users would greatly appreciate it as there is nothing more annoying than when your favourite viewer, Singularity in my case, is upgraded to find it has a real fatal bug or problem with it because it was not tested properly on all platforms!

Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Please Note: I also have a small personal social network which is invitation only just follow the link to Luther’s Chosen Few.

Second Life: Questioning Viewer Performances!

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For those out there who are going to be upset by what I am about to say as a long suffering Second Life resident I really do not care any more as I am little fed up with being short changed and fighting both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewers over the years especially when I converted to Linux!

After I loaded the now unofficial third party Second Life Viewer, Cool VL Viewer, and tested it out on one of my Linux Computers using one of alternative Second Life Avatars within Second Life it came very apparent to me there seams to be some major performance issues with current batch of both official and third-party second Life Viewers.

For those of you out there who have never used the Cool Viewer it was exclusive Second Life Viewer based upon the 1.23 versions of Second Life Viewers which have been modified to allow for all new features of Second Life including mesh.

Strangely some of the major Third Party Second Life Viewer creators could not do, with the exception of Singularity, who based their viewers on the 2.0+ and 3.0+ Official Second Life Viewers rather than the older and more stable 1.23 viewers which were far more stable than the current batch of viewers.

But I am digressing so I’ll get to the point what became very apparent with the newer Second Life Viewers both Official and Third Party which was really highlighted on Linux Machine are some major performance issue with these viewers.

The major one being due to slplugin process which is spawning a large number of I suspect unnecessary processes which is very clear under Linux which is causing excessive usage of RAM which can be a major problem for older computers both Linux and Windows who do not have excessive memory of newer computers especially Windows 8 machines.

Add to this a very poor support both by Official and Third Party Second Life of Linux and FreeBSD Operating Systems which frankly considering there are a larger number of Second Life residents which use Linux and FreeBSD. We feel greatly aggrieved by the fact we are being ignored or treated as second class citizens or as afterthoughts by both the Official and Third Party viewer writers especially due to the fact we are legitimate computer users much like Windows users.

All in all both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers should stop wasting everyone’s time by working on pointless features which claim to improve the look of their viewers and actually do some long overdue work on the back ends of their viewers to improve their performance especially on older and Linux/FreeBSD computers as things cannot be left as they are.

After all if I was such a viewer writer and an unofficial Second Life Viewer writer using an older version of a Second Life viewer with same features which performs better than their viewers especially on older computers!

As a final note to both the Official and Third Party Second Life Viewer writers there are more than just Windows 8.1 computers out there and by focusing on them you really are shooting both yourselves and Second Life in the foot so wake up and smell the coffee as there is a real Open Source revolution going out there lead by the android tablets!


Please Note: If you are interested in a more personal journal of mine just follow the link to Acta Spiritu Amisso.

Second Life: 10 Years of Viewer Hell!

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As Second Life reaches it’s 10th Birthday some things have remained constant over this time the major one being the stability of the Second Life Viewers both Generic and Third Party. This has been the constant bugbear of a large majority of Second Life Residents.

All this not helped by Linen Labs constant introduction of new, largely useless, features within Second Life itself without making sure the grid is stable from the last lot of modifications and the viewer can cope with them. This has always resulted in unstable Second Life Viewers as both Linden Labs and Third Party groups constantly play catch up with these modifications.

Linden Labs have always been lucky that once people have tasted the virtual life within Second Life they will forgive even bend over backwards to keep their viewers and the computers the viewers are run on going. Though I cannot help but think that if Linden Labs by not putting enough effort to finally get a stable viewer which worked across ALL platforms have last a large number of potential Second Life residents.

Personally my biggest gripe with both Linden Labs and Third Party Creators of Second Life Viewers is the woeful Linux support which over the years caused me no ends of trouble which frankly not exactly smartest idea on both parties part considering that Second Life Residents can be most computer savi people and they are more likely to use Linux than most so called users.

Lets hope someone wakes up to the fact the constant Second Life Viewer stability problems is still causing Second Life problems and still holds it back from it’s full potential as new users are put off by these constant problems!

The Phoenix is Dead!

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Last night in Second Life I had to finally abandon using the wonderful Third Party Viewer Phoenix because the recent changes on the Grid performed by Linden Labs has make the old viewer very unstable on a number of Sims. This is something I have been putting off to the last possible moment as I’ve never got on well with newer classes of Second Life Viewers because of the new interfaces I never been able to get on with.

But in the end it has been well worth waiting to the last minute to change my viewer as in the meanwhile the team which originally created Phoenix have done more development on it’s replacement Firestorm making it now one of the more usable new generation of Second Life Viewers.

So now once again I have the fun of learning to use a new viewer but at least it’s pedigree is a good one so I am hopeful I get the same experience of Second Life as I got with the Phoenix Viewer.

Please Note: If want to view my Second Life Journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Please Note: If want to view a Second Life Wikipedia then go to the Encyclopedia Umbra Machina.

The Reports of Phoenix’s Death have been Greatly Exaggerated

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Well it seems by popular demand from the harden users of the Phoenix Viewer, a Third Party Second Life Viewer, that the Phoenix Project Team have had to create a Mesh enabled version of the Phoenix Viewer contrary to their original plans. I am not surprised by this as Phoenix Viewer has to be one of the best Second Life Viewers out there and a large majority of mid to long term Second Life Residents do not like the newer generation of viewers based on the newer Linden Lab Second Life Viewer.

This is not because the Second Life Residents are stick in muds but frankly the newer generations of Second Life Viewers front ends are far from user friendly and not easy to use. My personal view is these front ends are very messy to use and frankly ugly. I am still mystified just why Linden Labs and the Third Party Viewer Projects changed the front end from the older more traditional front ends which were far more easier to use and most definitely more slick and functional still.

I have every faith in the Phoenix Project Team that they can create a Mesh enabled Phoenix Viewer which will be, if it works, welcomed by the hardened fans of Phoenix with open arms. My personal opinion is the Phoenix Project team should of really concentrated on the Phoenix Viewer first as after all other Second Life Viewers like Singularity have gone down the line of keeping their original front ends and implementing Mesh behind it.

So the reports of Phoenix’s death have been greatly exaggerated and once it’s Mesh enabled version hits Second Life it will be the best Second Life Viewer once again!

Just for everyone who want to find out more about the Phoenix Viewer visit their home on the internet: http://www.phoenixviewer.com/


Please note: If want to see my second life journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

Just How Subtle Second Life Residents Have to Be!

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Linden Labs seem to be deaf to it’s residents complaints about their new V2 and V3 viewers not being user friendly or stable and continue to update it regardless of these complaints. Just how subtle do the residents have to be considering now the large majority of Second Life residents use third party viewers like Phoenix and Singularity!

Even the creators of Phoenix have had to modify their old Phoenix Viewer to cope with mesh because of it’s popularly because of it’s performance and usability which are not present in the newer V2 and V3 Third Party Viewers including Firestorm.

Simply put people do not like the newer generations of the Second Life Viewers both Official and Third Party as they are far from user friendly and look terrible. They certainly do not do Second Life and Linden Labs themselves justice.

Linden Labs please start to listen to your residents and make the front ends of your Official Viewers a lot more friendly and stop flogging the dead horse of V2 and V3!

As a final comment on Jessica Lyon who commented in a blog post on the Phoenix Web site that putting Mesh into the Phoenix Viewer as like ‘a diesel engine from a school bus and fitting it into a ford pinto’ frankly I disagree if you created the Viewers correctly in the first place!

What might be idea if you actually separated the front end of the viewers from the actual back end a standard modern way of programming which is extensively used in the world of Linux hence why there are so many distributions out there!

It may be hard work for both for Phoenix team but would be well worth the effort as users like myself would really appreciate a real choice of front end of the Second Life Viewers!


Please note: If want to see my second life journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

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