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Arduenn Schwartzman

Shocking Statistics

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I started a survey on March 2, with the following question: "Are you using the Phoenix (not Firestorm) viewer? (Yes/No)".

microsurvey_box.jpg

After 6 days, more than 70 people clicked the survey box, and, to me, the result was quite shocking:

microsurvey_results.jpg

I didn't quite expect this number. My question on this forum is: Why are people still using Phoenix? Are the newer viewers too slow on their computer? Is the Viewer 2/3-type user interface too annoying? Any other explanation?

[UPDATE March 10] It's 51% now:

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 4.48.16 PM.png

I'm developing a game HUD that will teleport people to a spawning point after they die in the game. It uses the new llTeleportAgentGlobalCoords function. Since Phoenix development stopped a while ago, it does not handle this function correctly and will annoy the user with cryptic dialog and error windows. I wanted to know how many people are still using the old Phoenix viewer, so I could decide whether it would be worthwile to make a second, Phoenix-compatible HUD version (with less game immersiveness - that should be said).

I have been doing several in-world surveys since last October, with simple yes/no questions like "Can you see all the mesh?" (88% yes) and "Do you use the official SL viewer?" (19% yes). The survey was done by placing several sculptie survey boxes (see image above) in a frequenly-visted store/freebie/combat region as well as near a landing point in a high-profile, Destination Guide-listed region. By clicking the yes or no button, an encrypted ID tag is stored on a remote server, so people can only submit their answer once. The results are only shown after they clicked yes or no. For each question, the percentages remain constant after about 100 people answering. There may be a few biases, but I reckon correcting those would not change the results dramatically.

 

 

 

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I don't find it that shocking. I was using Phoenix for the longest time and wouldn't have changed if I didn't read something on the forums that it's old and unreliable. People are resistant to change..that's why the firestorm viewer (IMO) has a function to make it look like the Phoenix viewer.

People will continue to use it until Phoenix tells them that they can't.

 

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For me, the answer is quite simple: FRAMERATE!! Every other viewer with mesh code included gives me a maximum of 10-12FPS.. anywhere, regardless of what's displayed on the screen or what the detail levels are or how big the draw distance is. I have proved this to others by rezzing at the bottom of an ocean in a completely empty and lag free sim.. with zero change in framerate. Something in the mesh code is triggering this but it does NOT do this with phoenix, with which i enjoy more than triple the framerate that other mesh viewers can give me (i have tried them all). I am not the only one.

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I have to agree with Dana, Phoenix has better frame rates. This is both true for newer systems and older or less capable computers. People are also resistant to change, especially when it comes to relearning such a complicated viewer (the viewer 2 fiasco proved that). Both won't matter though when LL switches to server side loading and "breaks" all but the newest viewers. Sadly, I think it will be a massive blow to SL. For whatever reason, LL is not aware that the world is generally moving away from high-capacity desk and bulky laptop computers that can handle the requirements SL viewers demand. Instead, people are favoring tablets and smart phones that serve most of life's general needs (e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, imaging, and basic gaming). This is nothing new for LL though; as long as I have been a resident they have outbuilt the viewer compared to the average user's computer systems. I think the upcoming change is going to finally widen the void too much - especially considering computing trends - and cause the community to shrink dramatically. I don't want to say SL is doomed but it will certainly be a changed place before the end of the year compared to today.

:: Sent from my tablet prior to using Lumiya to access SL for basic interactive needs :: :matte-motes-big-grin:

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Tex Monday wrote:

I don't find it that shocking. I was using Phoenix for the longest time and wouldn't have changed if I didn't read something on the forums that it's old and unreliable. People are resistant to change..that's why the firestorm viewer (IMO) has a function to make it look like the Phoenix viewer.

People will continue to use it until Phoenix tells them that they can't.

 

This ^^  Plus my current PC is not SEE2 enabled so I literally can't use another viewer.  When I can it will either be the Cool Viewer, Singularity, or Firestorm with the Phoenix interface.  I detest the v2/v3 UIs with a passion and refuse to use them.

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Nuhai Ling wrote:

I have to agree with Dana, Phoenix has better frame rates. This is both true for newer systems and older or less capable computers. People are also resistant to change, especially when it comes to relearning such a complicated viewer (the viewer 2 fiasco proved that). Both won't matter though when LL switches to server side loading and "breaks" all but the newest viewers. Sadly, I think it will be a massive blow to SL. For whatever reason, LL is not aware that the world is generally moving away from high-capacity desk and bulky laptop computers that can handle the requirements SL viewers demand. Instead, people are favoring tablets and smart phones that serve most of life's general needs (e-mail, instant messaging, video conferencing, imaging, and basic gaming). This is nothing new for LL though; as long as I have been a resident they have outbuilt the viewer compared to the average user's computer systems. I think the upcoming change is going to finally widen the void too much - especially considering computing trends - and cause the community to shrink dramatically. I don't want to say SL is doomed but it will certainly be a changed place before the end of the year compared to today.

 

I also agree with this.

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A photographer friend of mine suggested Exodus viewer (though he imports additional windlight settings, there aren't many in Exodus) and I haven't looked back. Low graphics on Exodus resemble medium to high graphics when using other viewers. I never go somewhere and have to wait for it to rez. People using FS viewer always say "let me know when you've rezzed" and before they send that message, all is rezzed. I never experience that perceived lag due to graphics issues either. Even on a 3 year old notebook PC used with a wireless network, Exodus is great. There's an article here from back in January 2012 comparing viewer frame rates; http://modemworld.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/comparative-viewer-frame-rates/ and there's further analysis here http://blog.nalates.net/2012/01/05/sl-viewer-performance/#more-6162  I've heard people say that Exodus is a resource hog. Resource hog or not, SL runs beautifully with it and crashes are extremely rare. I know people say FS is the most stable viewer but I can go a minimum of a month without ever crashing, I've never known anyone who uses FS who can do that. The only viewers that have ever worked for me have been the SL viewer (which I find to be fine if I'm not doing any building or photography, two activies I do very rarely), Kirsten's which is now extinct, Imprudence (which I stopped using because that V1 based interface annoys the hell out of me), and Exodus. I often wonder why more people don't use it.

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Dana, I experience the same as you: Phoenix gives me almost twice the frame rate as Firestorm does, when optimally tweaked and no mesh in view. In contrast, as far as I understand from Lucretia's benchmark links, Phoenix outperforms Firestorm only marginally, frame rate-wise. Yet, my computer is 7 years old, so it may be that my old hardware just can't handle the new rendering pipeline anymore.

The showstopper for me concerning Phoenix, almost a year ago, was that I could not make my Phoenix to show rigged mesh. Consequenly, it took me half a year to accept the new V2-based user interface (1 to 4 more clicks needed to perform things that could be done in 1 click in V1-based viewers, lack of discoverability of functions, unnecessary or unclear icons, buttons, screen clutter, systematically missing all offline group notices because I can't be bothered to look in that huge 99+ list of past events, etc. etc.). I had to wipe out my old muscle memory. Learning the interface felt like revalidating after brain trauma. Others may love the new interface, but this is just how I experienced it ever since V2 came out.

In other words, I had to learn to live with a bad interface and lower frame rate. I'm getting a new computer soon though. And I've gone past the point of getting back to the old interface. I'd have to revalidate my muscle memory AGAIN.

With the advent of mesh, I imagined most people would make the switch to Firestorm. For that reason I expected the current Phoenix user base to be much smaller than turns out to me (it hit 48%, last night).

What remains shocking for me is that LL is going to render Phoenix and other V1-based viewers unusable. I cannot believe that the majority of them has stuck with Phoenix out of laziness. Thus (currently) 47% of all SL residents might be left in the cold, when Server-Side Baking arrives.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


Tex Monday wrote:

I don't find it that shocking. I was using Phoenix for the longest time and wouldn't have changed if I didn't read something on the forums that it's old and unreliable. People are resistant to change..that's why the firestorm viewer (IMO) has a function to make it look like the Phoenix viewer.

People will continue to use it until Phoenix tells them that they can't.

 

This ^^  Plus my current PC is not SEE2 enabled so I literally can't use another viewer.  When I can it will either be the Cool Viewer, Singularity, or Firestorm with the Phoenix interface.  I detest the v2/v3 UIs with a passion and refuse to use them.

oh i really liked singularity best i think..

i ran really nice for me..

the FS with the phoenix UI was nice also..

but right now i just use the SL viewer..i was having a hard time when i came back recently with the FS viewer..

it may have been because mine might have been out dated..i'm not sure since i haven't kept up the past 10 months or so..

but i heard good things about the new SL viewer and decided to give it another try..

it really runs smooth for me when i go on now..

i'm so out of the loop on the bells and whistles that i just don't know what to go with for those really..

so i just went with trying the SL one..

mesh at the time had a lot to do with me switching from singularity..but thye may have it now..they didn't then from what i remember..

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Dana Hickman wrote:

For me, the answer is quite simple: FRAMERATE!! Every other viewer with mesh code included gives me a maximum of 10-12FPS.. anywhere, regardless of what's displayed on the screen or what the detail levels are or how big the draw distance is. I have proved this to others by rezzing at the bottom of an ocean in a completely empty and lag free sim.. with zero change in framerate. Something in the mesh code is triggering this but it does NOT do this with phoenix, with which i enjoy more than triple the framerate that other mesh viewers can give me (i have tried them all). I am not the only one.

I'd be curious to know what OS's people are using.

When Mesh went live, it about destroyed me.  I took about a 75% performance hit with any Mesh enabled Viewer.  No one was ever able to figure out why or a solution including the Linden Dev who owrked on the problem with me.  We tried A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P all the way to X,Y,Z.  Nothing worked.  This went on for months.

It wasn't until I decided to upgrade from Win XP  to Win 7 that my problems all vaporized.   Now overall SL runs better than ever for me. 

My theory on what happened is this:  I have a fairly new custom built computer.  There were never custom drivers wrote for XP for most of the components so they relied on generic XP drivers.  This all added up to something not working right.  But as I said, this is just a theory.

 

 

 

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Arduenn Schwartzman wrote:

 

What remains shocking for me is that LL is going to render Phoenix and other V1-based viewers unusable. I cannot believe that the majority of them has stuck with Phoenix out of laziness. Thus (
currently) 47% of all SL residents might be left in the cold, when Server-Side Baking arrives.

As mentioned previously, some of us simply cannot use another viewer at this time.  I'm just glad that there are TPV viewers that include a V1-UI. 

I do think LL might have a bit of an "awakening" when SSB goes live.  I doubt 47% of SL residents will leave...but I do believe that for some, it will be the last straw.

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Server Side Baking.
It means, that your avatar is no longer assembled by your viewer and then transferred to the sim server,
but instead by a service at Linden Lab's datacenter, reducing the load on the client, speeding up
and making the process more reliable.

You will need a new viewer for this, the still supported third party viewers and the SL-viewer will have it,
when it goes live.

 

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Perrie Juran wrote:

I'd be curious to know what OS's people are using.

When Mesh went live, it about destroyed me.  I took about a 75% performance hit with any Mesh enabled Viewer.  No one was ever able to figure out why or a solution including the Linden Dev who owrked on the problem with me.  We tried A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P all the way to X,Y,Z.  Nothing worked.  This went on for months.

It wasn't until I decided to upgrade from Win XP  to Win 7 that my problems all vaporized.   Now overall SL runs better than ever for me. 

My theory on what happened is this:  I have a fairly new custom built computer.  There were never custom drivers wrote for XP for most of the components so they relied on generic XP drivers.  This all added up to something not working right.  But as I said, this is just a theory.

  

 

I have experienced stuff in my RL job that speaks to that observation. Stands to reason, really. You would figure that coders would be using the latest platforms for their work. Why would they be writing code that runs good on XP?

I do know that everyone does try to support backwards compatibility but at some point there has to be a line, and the line is more to do with Microsoft in this case than with people writing programs to run on Windows. I am not at all surprised that you got better results after upgrading your OS.

As to the questions asked in the OP and thread, the PC I most commonly use for Second Life is running XP and what's worse, it's XP Home. Not going to upgrade because I intend to replace the PC. That being said, I did check my framerate earlier today when I was inworld just because of this thread. Mid forties with the Firestorm viewer.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:

I'd be curious to know what OS's people are using.

When Mesh went live, it about destroyed me.  I took about a 75% performance hit with any Mesh enabled Viewer.  No one was ever able to figure out why or a solution including the Linden Dev who owrked on the problem with me.  We tried A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P all the way to X,Y,Z.  Nothing worked.  This went on for months.

It wasn't until I decided to upgrade from Win XP  to Win 7 that my problems all vaporized.   Now overall SL runs better than ever for me. 

My theory on what happened is this:  I have a fairly new custom built computer.  There were never custom drivers wrote for XP for most of the components so they relied on generic XP drivers.  This all added up to something not working right.  But as I said, this is just a theory.

  

 

I have experienced stuff in my RL job that speaks to that observation. Stands to reason, really. You would figure that coders would be using the latest platforms for their work. Why would they be writing code that runs good on XP?

I do know that everyone does try to support backwards compatibility but at some point there has to be a line, and the line is more to do with Microsoft in this case than with people writing programs to run on Windows. I am not at all surprised that you got better results after upgrading your OS.

As to the questions asked in the OP and thread, the PC I most commonly use for Second Life is running XP and what's worse, it's XP Home. Not going to upgrade because I intend to replace the PC. That being said, I did check my framerate earlier today when I was inworld just because of this thread. Mid forties with the Firestorm viewer.

Reasons for still writing XP drivers?

Consider the number of people who are still using Win XP.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57523380-75/windows-7-ups-lead-over-xp-as-top-os/

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Arielle Simondsen wrote:

we use phoenix cause my partner is right now in middle east and its the only one with IM encryption.  if phoenix goes, I dont know what we will do.  
:(

I never believed IM encryption actually really ever worked, so you have nothing to worry about by switching to another viewer. However, you can use Phoenix for as long as it will work and worry about it not working when it actually stops working.

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Arduenn Schwartzman wrote:

I started a survey on March 2, with the following question: "
Are you using the Phoenix (not Firestorm) viewer? (Yes/No)".

microsurvey_box.jpg

After 6 days, more than 70 people clicked the survey box, and, to me, the result was quite shocking:

microsurvey_results.jpg

I didn't quite expect this number. My question on this forum is:
Why are people still using Phoenix?
Are the newer viewers too slow on their computer? Is the Viewer 2/3-type user interface too annoying? Any other explanation?

[uPDATE March 10] It's 51% now:

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 4.48.16 PM.png

I'm developing a game HUD that will teleport people to a spawning point after they die in the game. It uses the new 
llTeleportAgentGlobalCoords
function. Since Phoenix development stopped a while ago, it does not handle this function correctly and will annoy the user with cryptic dialog and error windows. I wanted to know how many people are still using the old Phoenix viewer, so I could decide whether it would be worthwile to make a second, Phoenix-compatible HUD version (with less game immersiveness - that should be said).

I have been doing several in-world surveys since last October, with simple yes/no questions like "Can you see all the mesh?" (88% yes) and "
Do you use the official SL viewer?" (19% yes). The survey was done by placing several sculptie survey boxes (see image above) in a frequenly-visted store/freebie/combat region as well as near a landing point in a high-profile, Destination Guide-listed region. By clicking the yes or no button, an encrypted ID tag is stored on a remote server, so people can only submit their answer once. The results are only shown after they clicked yes or no. For each question, the percentages remain constant after about 100 people answering. There may be a few biases, but I reckon correcting those would not change the results dramatically.

 

 

 

I was trying not to be so reluctant to change, so I had been using Firestorm for every time I logged in over the past three months.  It feels like I am trying to wade through treacle, slow, cumbersome.

This morning, I logged in with Phoenix, and it felt like I had got over a bad cold and could breathe once again.

This is undoubtedly why a lot of people are still using Phoenix. 

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really you think it doesnt work anyway???  hmmm have to toss that idea around a bit.  I love phoenix for a lot of reasons though.  Hopefully it will be around for a while longer.  hate the other viewers, only use them when I have to use my merchant outbox.

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Arielle Simondsen wrote:

we use phoenix cause my partner is right now in middle east and its the only one with IM encryption.  if phoenix goes, I dont know what we will do.  
:(

 

Someone else commented that IM encryption might not even work; I have zero data on that either way. But I'm pretty sure Phoenix won't stop working. What will happen, if all goes according to plan, is that people using Phoenix will see most parts of most avatars as either gray or white.

Phoenix is coded to work with the client computer (yours) doing avatar baking, as has been the case in Second Life from the beginning. The new method is to have LL's servers do avatar baking. Phoenix is not and will not (because the Phoenix/Firestorm team does not see a need to continue development with the old version of their viewer) be compatible with that method, ergo avatars will appear unbaked to the Pheonix viewer.

You will still be able to use the viewer. You might have to get used to the idea your partner doesn't look as cool as he/she used to, but you and your partner can still IM, chat, look at stuff, and all. You might have to avoid a lot of public appearances since it will be tough to know if you really have your clothes on correctly, but you won't lose the line of communication.

For me, were I in your position, that would be the most important thing. And who knows: maybe an SSAB supporting viewer does or will support encrypted IMs. Don't give up!

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well as it is part of our intimate connection when we are apart, I will keep my fingers crossed.  :P  we can always use skype for encrypted text too if we need to use another viewer.  :P  thanks for the input!!

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