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Thank You Firestorm Team


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I have one request for the Firestorm team. I know they do a lot of wonderful things for sl. I have all kinds of appreciation for the work they put in.

Can we get an optional light version of your viewer? Phoenix kind of filled that role until it went away. Just maybe something that has only the Firestorm features that we all need. Firestorm is the most popular viewer for good reason, and I'm sure that a lighter viewer for those who can't use it would be downloaded like crazy if it existed.

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solstyse wrote:

I have one request for the Firestorm team. I know they do a lot of wonderful things for sl. I have all kinds of appreciation for the work they put in.

Can we get an optional light version of your viewer? Phoenix kind of filled that role until it went away. Just maybe something that has only the Firestorm features that we all need. Firestorm is the most popular viewer for good reason, and I'm sure that a lighter viewer for those who can't use it would be downloaded like crazy if it existed.

If light version means lower hardware requirements that is most probably a no. Messing in the rendering pipeline will end up in all kind of weird problems. Even in the current form there are lots of bugs and even LL is tinkering with it (broken rotations and doors, anyone? ;)).

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Phil Deakins wrote:


Peggy Paperdoll wrote:

Emerald was also the most popular viewer in it's hayday and look what happened to that viewer.  It's basically the same people.......think about it. 
:)

But it was only the odd Emerald person who was bad, not all of them.

This is my opinion, keep that in mind... but... when your coding and adding things to a larger piece of work, your not coding blindly. You need to have an understanding of the rest of the code, know what it is doing and test to see that what your doing will not break the rest of the code and vice-verse. There should have been to much contact with the larger code base not to see what was going on. And it went on for to long. Again IMHO. That is why I will never put there software on my computer. It is most likely just me but that is how I feel. Again, this is my opinion and I am entitled to it.

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It takes 2 to tango, as the saying goes.  Those people are supposed to be adults.  Those people are supposed to be smart enough to develop open source viewers.  Those people are responsible for everything they develop.........they are a team.  Pointing a finger at one person and saying "It was him!!  Not me!" is not acting like an adult, it's not acting smart, and it's not being team oriented.  It was some childish squabble that the Emerald team allowed to spill over to the users of their viewer.........they are are responsible.  Not just one person on the team.

I'm not dissing Firestorm.  Use the viewer if you want to use the viewer.  All I'm saying (and have ever said) about Emerald is that it turned me off on TPV's..........all TPV's (I'm not discriminating in the least).  I simply will not use third party viewers ever again.  It's my choice and I have my reasons to making that choice.

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From what I've read from a number of sources, a few Emerald developers had allegedly done less than savoury things.
However, most of the Emerald developers had nothing to do with that and some of those honest devs joined
the Phoenix/Firestorm team. But some residents still have problems with that. Guilty by association, you know.

I see things differently, Firestorm is listed on the TPV-list, there hasn't been any security issues in the Firestorm viewer,
that would point to any foul play in any form, only the usual stability problems, that plague the official viewer as well,
when new technology/code from LL is introduced. That's why I have no problems in recommending the Firestorm-viewer.

If there are security problems, this would make the rounds here on the forums quite quickly. Personally, I haven't seen
anything regarding the viewers on the official TPV-List here on the forums and elsewhere atleast in the last 12 months.

 

 

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Everything you have said about Firestorm could have easily been said about Emerald. And I am not saying there is anything wrong with Firestorm (in fact, most likely not) as there was nothing wrong with Emerald (until). It is just how I feel about it. I tend to go with my feelings, and that is what I have done here.

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It has nothing to do with "guilt by association" for me.  It has everything to do with me putting my trust in a development team (Emerald) and my enthusiastic support for everything Emerald........then they completely let me down with the security issues that were allowed to infiltrate the viewer code.  Regardess of whether or not the entire team had anything to do with the problem, it's the team that allowed it to happen.......one person was blamed.  But it's impossible for me to believe that a single dev on a team of dozens can do what was done without most others turning a blind eye.  And my stance against TPV's stems from what happened in the Emerald team.......if it can happen to Emerald (who, at the time, I held in the highest regard) then it can happen to any development team (including Firestorm........particularly because many of the devs there were part of the Emerald team.  There's history there whether I'm being fair or not).  I don't have to use a TPV so I don't.  I'll stick with the LL team who has over 10 years experience and no history.

Again, I'm not dissing the Firestorm team.  But I don't trust any TPV as much as I trust LL.  Not since the Emerald fiasco.  If LL ever pulls the stunt Emerald pulled then I will simply leave SL for good.........no viewer I can trust means no SL for me.

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I don't care if those major features are written by Oprah Winfrey.  If any part of the code written for any LL viewer contains code that, in any way, violates my trust then I will hold LL responsible.  It's their viewer, it's their product and if they allow any code in the viewer that cause me to loose trust in LL then it's bye-bye Peggy.

I'm gone.  It's that simple.

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... when your coding and adding things to a larger piece of work, your not coding blindly. You need to have an understanding of the rest of the code, know what it is doing and test to see that what your doing will not break the rest of the code and vice-verse. There should have been to much contact with the larger code base not to see what was going on. And it went on for to long. ...

And that's why "guilt by association" doesn't apply. There simply must have been other developers (by no means all) who knew what was going into the Emerald viewer* and said nothing about it. It would be surprising if none of those developers contribute to Firestorm.

On the other hand, there were certainly Emerald developers who were shafted much worse than the general public by the shenanigans of a couple of "bad apples" and we know some of them contribute to Firestorm. I expect they're more than usually cautious that nobody's naughty code ever again gets into a viewer with which they're associated. 


*Or maybe not. My recollection of the whole sorry episode is (happily) vague now, but I seem to recall that one of Emerald's worst sins (perhaps the DDoS scheme?) was buried in code using a licensed third-party library (Kakadu), which I can imagine may have been delivered pre-compiled to the rest of the Emerald team without source. If so, yeah, it should have set off alarm bells, but I can also imagine a tale spun around licensing legalities... and anyway, hindsight is always 20/20.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

On the other hand, there were certainly Emerald developers who were shafted much worse than the general public by the shenanigans of a couple of "bad apples" and we know some of them contribute to Firestorm. I expect they're more than usually cautious that nobody's naughty code ever again gets into a viewer with which they're associated.
 


There are plenty of folks who would love nothing more than to see Firestorm go down in flames, and especially to see it go down in the flames of the same kind of controversy that killed Emerald. We know that there are plenty of folks watching every commit to the repository for just such things - and we watch ourselves so nothing gets through, not only so those folks have no ammunition, but also because we know trust is a fragile thing, easily lost. Indeed, the reactions of some folks here show just how easily it can be lost.

What annoys me (speaking very personally, and only for myself) is that some people insist on holding the current team responsible for actions of former team members, when we've worked hard to purge the team of the kind of shenanigans that the former team members committed and the people likely to commit them in the future. It is very much guilt by association, and I resent it more than just a little bit.


Qie Niangao also wrote:

*Or 
maybe
not. My recollection of the whole sorry episode is (happily) vague now, but I seem to recall that one of Emerald's worst sins (perhaps the DDoS scheme?) was buried in code using a licensed third-party library (Kakadu), which I can imagine may have been delivered pre-compiled to the rest of the Emerald team without source. If so, yeah, it should have set off alarm bells, but I can also imagine a tale spun around licensing legalities... and anyway, hindsight is always 20/20.


There were two components to the malicious code. One, the code that added the user's computer name and account login to the image metadata, was in an interface to the KDU image decoding library; that interface code was itself closed source, as the code license and LL's interpretation of it required at the time. That has since changed, and the interface code itself is now open source. The second, the DDOS, was in the Emerald login screen code as saved on the Emerald website. The equivalent code is now tightly controlled, with only a very few people given write access (I'm not even sure I have it), and placed under the same Mercurial change control as the viewer source code - so that changes can be tracked and, if malicious code is added, the culprit can be found and dealt with.

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Wow, there's a lot going on here. Honestly, Peggy is entitled to her opinion. I've read a lot about "emeraldgate" before I decided that I will use 3rd party viewers (opposite of what she decided.)

the emerald controversy, at least as it had been published, was that the viewer disclosed the path upon which the viewer was instaled. From that, certain things could be made known about the user. Example: If two avatars showed that the viewer was in C:\Program Files (x86)\emerald then you knew that the computer was 64 bit. But if it was installed to C:\Users\anynamet\Downloads then because of it being under a certain user profile, alts could be tracked, certain rl info could be deduced, etc. I chose very benign paths for my examples, but if someone didn't think of it, then it was an open invitation for security exploits. There was a lot more to it too, but since emerald was pretty much a dead issue when I looked into it, I came away from my research with the feeling that LL is now wiser about what to look for before approving a TPV. I also got the impression that the purpose of the original Phoenix viewer was to fork off of emerald, removing all malicious code, and thatLL would approve them only after they had proven that all such code, and those directly responsible for putting it there were gone. As for indirect responsibility, well, I was recently forced to quit a rl job to avoid "indirect responsibility" for things that I saw going on. Not all people can. I'll believe that there are those who believed in about 90% of what emerald was doing, while disapproving of 10%, and stayed on board simplybecause until Phoenix was born, they had nowhere else to go. human nature is to do just that. In the rl job I'm referencign to, there are others who left due to dishonesty. But I'm the only one who did so voluntarily. And I had leisure time because I made it known that there were certtain actions that I could expose from higher-ups.

The point I'm trying to make is that for me, things had to reach a certain threshold, and i trust that for the Phoenix team, that threshold was higher than what it took for the scandal to break. To a person like Peggy, it's probably more a matter of "once bitten twice shy." I never used emerald. She apparently did. And I can see how that makes all the difference in the world.

Then there's this....


Jadeclaw Denfu wrote:

It already exists. It's called Singularity:

I use Firestorm for building / Scripting stuff and Singularity, when I need fast rendering, especially when travelling.

 

I have nothing at all bad to say about Singularity. But it is a completely different flavor than Firestorm. I praise both development teams. I really do. but Singularity is based on v1, with such a devoted team that it remains relevant while everyone else is on v3. That's not an easy task. Singularity is the viewer that allows those with older machines to keep logging into sl, and it's the viewer of choice for those who value fps above all else (a crowd that includes racers, sailors, many people who use combat or spell huds, etc.)  Firestorm, on the other hand, is chock-full of almost too many features. It can do every single thing, but it demands a lot of power.

Simply put, I see singularity as the "purpose built racecar" of sl. Blazingly fast, but with fewer features than we've grown accustomed to. firestorm, on the other hand, is like th luxury car, full of features that we may never know of the whole time we're using it, some need those features to feel comfortable. Some consider them to be inefficient extras, while some who never use them consider them a prestige that they must have for bragging purposes. 

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You can recent as much as you want.  But you're very wrong in your assertion that I hold Firestorm responsible for the Emerald disaster.  What has happened to me is that, because of the Emerald thing, I lost trust.  I lost trust in all TPV's....Imprudenc, Singularity, Pheonix, and, yes, Firestorm.  Every single one of the third party viewers on or off the LL approved list.  I don't hold you, or anyone specifically, responsible for the Emerald mess.  But it happened and it disappointed me greatly.........I put my trust in the TPV developers.  Developers that I do not know (and have no effective way of ever knowing) and I got taken in by a few bad apples.  You're Tonya Souther.........and, from your post, I gather you are one of the devs on the Firstorm team.  That's nice........but I don't know you and I have no way of verifying who your appear to be.  I'm not about to put my trust in you just because you seem to be someone who, perhaps, is worthy of my trust.  That's not your fault and I don't hold any ill feelings what so ever toward you...........but you're still not going to gain my trust by typing a somewhat indigant post telling me that I'm lumping you (or any TPV developer) into group of bad apples.  I'm not.  I'm simply not going to use your viewers (or any other TPV).  It happened with Emerald and it can happen with another TPV (yeah, it can even happen with the LL viewers too) and I won't put myself in a position to exploited again by complete strangers.  I saif it earlier that if something like that happened with the LL viewers then I'm gone........there would be no viewer available developed by a group I can trust so there is not place to go except away.  And I'd do that in a hearbeat.

I'm going to say it one more time.  I am not dissing Firestorm (or any other TPV) and I'm certainly not rooting for your failure or unfortunate re-inactment of the Emerald meltdown.  It's just that I don't know you and since another group of people I don't know exploited me (and many others) for some childish in-house spat ruined it for me (and, sorry to say, you too).  It's not guilt by association.  It's lost trust.  I choose to not use any viewer that I don't trust the developers.  I'm sorry you are resentful.....but don't blame me.  Blame your ex-team mates.

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BeaNine wrote:

I'm sorry but I'm new here and to SL but I've been using the Friestorm Viewer, what exactly was the issue with Emerald that sours people from wanting to allow Firestorm on their computer?

What happened was that at least one person of those who produced the Emerald viewer, included code that caused the viewer to use a competitor's website during the login process. The code itself was compiled so that the other Emerald people couldn't see what it was doing. So every time someone logged into SL with Emerald, their computer would also go to the competitor's site. It was a tactic against the competitior. LL described it as a 'distrubuted denial of service' (DDoS) attack against the competitor's site that all Emerald users were unwittingly a part of. It wasn't that, of course, because a DoS attack requires a massive number of computers simultaneously making requests of a site, and logins to SL don't produce that. But all Emerald users were unwittingly a part of doing something against the competitor's site.

The Emerald team had agreed that nothing would be hidden from the rest of the team so, when the hidden code was found, the person who did it was told to stop doing it, and he did. Later he inserted the code again behind the backs of the others. It was spotted by one of the team and he blew the whistle. Emerald was banned from being used with SL.

The guy who inserted the malicious code was one of the main people in the team - I think he was the main one. That team was not allowed to have a viewer that connected to SL unless that person was not a part of it. Then they gave assurances that he was nothing to do with the new Phoenix viewer, which was Emerald without the mailcious code, and it was allowed to be used.

The thing is, the unscrupulous person was friends with some of the main Emerald people so he may have become part of it again. We only have the word of the Phoenix/Firestorm team that he hasn't been allowed back in. Also, that person had previously done anti-SL things in the past, and been banned for them. Somebody can correct me if my memory is awry but I believe he also produced a copybotting viewer. His switch from the dark side to doing something good (producing the Emerald viewer) was claimed by him to be turning his back on doing bad. Nobody should be running programmes on their computers that an unscrupulous person like that has anything to do with. On the plus side, the person who blew the whistle rejoined the Phoenix team after a while, because it was clean, so, if he's still part of it, he can be seen as a sort of watchdog.

 

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Tonya Souther wrote:

Peggy and Teagan, you do know that there are major features under development for the LL viewer that are being written by TPV developers, don't you?

That may be true, but it's not a problem at all. LL would only include uncompiled third party code, so they can see what it does. The nasty code that the guy inserted into Emerald was compiled so none of the Emerald team could readily see what it did.

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Tonya Souther wrote:

Peggy and Teagan, you do know that there are major features under development for the LL viewer that are being written by TPV developers, don't you?

And my only problem with that is how slow LL is in implementing code from TPVs. A lot of the work done by the TPV devs is great, and I look forward to LL going over the code and adding it to the official LL Viewer. It would sure help the retention of new users if the viewer had a bit more bells and whistles, that is the only thing that will get people to use it more. I had really high hopes when V3 came out with the toolbox that allowed you to add or not add items anywhere you liked. But its like they forgot they made it, it should be pages of tools by now not the miserable few items that are in it at this time.

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More tools?  Be careful what you ask for. :)  It's bad enough right now with what people can fiddle around with that they soon find out is not helping, but hurting their SL experience.  How many times have we all read threads starting out with "I was looking at some of the features in the debug menu (or advanced) and how I have these rays of semi transparent light coming from everywhere.  I forgot what I clicked.  Can someone help me?"

Major and popular features.......yes.  Features just because.......no, absolutely not!!  There's one other thing too....the viewer size in megabytes is getting way up there.  When it reaches a couple gigabytes would you still want to install it on your computer?  I might, but I sure would take a good hard look at the benefits before doing so...........load time for the viewer would also increase and many people hate waiting for a program to launch.  Keep it as simple as possible but with everything (or as much as you can) most people would use and enjoy.  The ability to create content and use it in SL can take care of much of those "features" anyway.

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