This week, the Phoenix-Firestorm development team announced the full release version of the Firestorm Viewer. Encouraged by how well it works with our computers in Second Life, we were eager to test it in our OpenSim, =IcaruS= RealmS. To our joy, we could use it in our grid with surprising ease. Be sure to tick the box next to “Allow login to other grids” on the “Advanced” tab in the Firestorm viewer preferences. You will see a list of grids on the login screen. If your desired grid is not there, you can use a workaround in Windows – create a shortcut to the Firestorm Viewer and add ‘-loginuri’ with the grid web address on the client shortcut target. Please note, as shown in the viewer preference screen, that not all grids are listed on the Firestorm Viewer.
When installing previous generations of the Firestorm viewer for testing in both Second Life and =IcaruS= RealmS, we didn’t bother with a “clean install” but with the advent of the full release, it is definitely worth the extra faff of re-tweaking your settings, waiting for inventory to load and so forth. Please be sure to completely uninstall any previous iterations of Firestorm first.
In our opinion, one of the very best features of Firestorm is the choice of interface, or mode, on the login screen. There are three: Phoenix, V3 and Hybrid. The first two modes will give you the look and feel of those viewers; the third choice is a blend of the two, which is most useful for OpenSim grids.
As is the case with all viewers, there are some variations in the specific allowed capabilities – and quirks. Here is a quick run-down as pertaining to Firestorm in OpenSim Grids with add-on Modules (profiles, groups etc):
- We’re still testing the Map feature. At this writing, the land appears correctly, but instead of showing sea regions, it shows SL’s land (may need a tweak in the .ini file).
- While you may find an in-grid region to teleport to, you may not be able to teleport there via the map, you may crash, or some regions may not be found at all
- Direct teleports work using landmarks in Inventory
- We were able to teleport other avatars in our grid to our location
- The Search feature brings up SL’s search page
- Some items in the viewer, like Account in the Avatar menu (“Me” in SL Viewer), still go to the SL web interface – is there a way to change this?
- The “About” grid option under Help brings up a “grid_about” uncreated wiki page on the Phoenix Viewer site
- Profile and Groups features work properly In hybrid mode
- The Mesh upload option is available in OpenSim 0.7.2 and later grids; for previous versions of OpenSim the viewer does not show it.
- In the build menu, while you can select “grass” or “tree”, but you can’t select the specific type of grass or tree (Imprudence Viewer has choices available)
- When building with a torus, you CAN use hole sizes smaller than 0.05
- You cannot link more than 256 prims in a set
With a few changes and fixes to the above, Firestorm could be an ideal viewer for OpenSim Grids, with features such as shadows working well. We’re obviously continuing to test the myriad options. What has your experience been with Firestorm in OpenSim?
Further Recommended Reading about the Firestorm Viewer: