Mute Group Chat
Also finding its way into Firestorm from Exodus is Katharine Berry’s Mute Group Chat. This allows you to mute incoming IMs from any individual Group of which you’re a member; handy if you want to receive notices from a group but not have to deal with swathes of chat associated with it. The option can be set via a new check box located in the Group Profile floater.
Client Phantom Removed
Client Phantom (sometimes also referred to a “Avatar Phantom”) was a means of making your avatar “phantom” (i.e. other could walk through it without pushing, etc.). This was first introduced with the Phoenix viewer as a means of combating griefing where people physically barge others or use scripted tools to push others around. The option was ported to Firestorm, and enabled using CTRL-ALT-P (on a PC). However, it has always been an unofficial “feature”, rather than anything supported by Linden Lab. As the roll-out of pathfinding effectively disables the ability to make an avatar phantom, the option has been removed from Firestorm, effective this release (consider using ground sit instead, which achieves the same result – your avatar cannot be shoved around).
Other updates in this release include:
- Merge up to RLVa-1.4.7 – Kitty Barnett
- Translation updates – various contributors
- Skin improvements – various contributors
- New Windlight settings – various contributors
- Reinstated the “Allow Other Residents to Edit Terrain” option in About Land – Whirly Fizzle
- CTRL+SHIFT+E shortcut added for Edit Linked Parts – Tonya Souther
- Improved mesh loading – Ansariel Hiller – attempts to work around problem of the viewer using a partially downloaded mesh throughout the rest of the session by adding a timeout and retry functionality if the request gets lost
- Improved client AO functionality when working with attachments animating your avatar – Zi Ree – helps to eliminate ”jerkiness” sometimes seen as a result of the built-in AO conflicting with animations in a scripted worn object.
Updates via Linden Lab:
- Non-standard sea level now correctly renders around private islands – Simon Linden
- Property lines no longer flash when selecting objects – Runitai Linden
- Banlines are now extended from 768 meters to 5000 meters now that the explicit ban height has been changed – code contribution from Jonathan Yap.
The complete list of changes, including all attributes for their contributors, can be found in the release notes.
OpenSim specific Updates
The 4.2.2 release retains the ability for users to log into either Second Life or OpenSim grids of their choosing, and also brings with it some OpenSim specific updates:
- LSL Bridge now disabled when logging-in to OpenSim
- Grid manager help link and documentation on login page
- Group creation cost corrected
- Mapto command now working in OSgrid
- Upload cost amounts corrected.
Performance and Feedback
I’ve not had the opportunity to run 4.2.1 or 4.2.2 long enough to comment on over stability; however, I’ve encountered no crashes over the time I have been using them.
Performance-wise, this release is perhaps a little slower on the rough-and-ready fps measure. At 370m, with my usual test defaults (see the Review Systems panel on the right of this blog’s home page) and on my home region with three other avatars present, average frame rates were 37-38fps with deferred off and 11-12fps with deferred active and lighting set to Sun/Moon + Projectors. At ground level this dropped to 17-18fps with deferred off, and 6-7fps with deferred on and Sun/Moon + Projectors active. At 2875m on my build platform, the rates were: 49-51fps sans deferred and lighting, dropping to 12-13fps with both enabled.
The changes to the Region Rebake option is interesting, and certainly make things less intrusive (particularly if the default pop-up request to rebake the region is disabled). By the same hand, however, it might be argued that the move makes the option less intuitive for the uninitiated, as there is no longer a clearly definable button to click once the pop-up has been displayed and responded to.This might leave some people wondering / worrying as to what it all means given the lack of overall information LL have furnished to the population at large about pathfinding. Even so, I like the approach, and when working with pathfinding, it is easy enough to retrain oneself to click the icon.
Navmesh visualisation is obviously missing from this release, but this is not absolutely vital to pathfinding (unless you’re actively working with it and defining character paths, in which case there is the SL beta viewer as a fall-back). Given the Firestorm team’s statement of intent about SL and OpenSim support, navmesh visualisation will doubtless be a part of a future release.
Overall, another evolutionary, rather than revolutionary update to Firestorm with some nice additions. I’m personally very happy to see the Flickr upload option come to this release, given the degree to which I use Flickr.
Again, for a complete list of updates and changes to this release, and for credits to those contributing to it, please refer to the release notes.