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Arden Sirnah

Firestorm or SL viewer?

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I'm wondering which viewer (if that's what it's called) is easier to use?  I'm using SL and have used it for years but I see a lot mentioned about Firestorm and didn't know the difference.   I'm trying to learn how the mesh bodies work and needless to say it's been an epic fail.  Would Firestorm be easier?   

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I think the main advantage of FS is that it enables you to do things you can't do at all with the LL viewer. I build mesh, and the LL viewer lacks basic functionality I need to do that -- like copy paste rotation, size, and position.

I personally hate the LL UI but I suppose if you are used to it that is not an issue.

Neither would make mesh bodies easier.

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I go sailing so I need to be able to see parcel boundaries on the minimap to avoid getting snarled up in ban lines and last time I checked that functionality was only avaialable in the third party viewers. Also the option of RLV is handy for my Sailors buddy hud because it saves me having to keep closing the world map each time I pass by a waypoint.

Firestorm has a neat built in AO I would miss greatly now too.

For those reasons I haven't used the Linden viewer for about a year now, it just doesn't have the functionality I use when I am in world.

I am not sure Firestorm would be easier for using mesh bodies, it might be... I haven't used the Linden Lab viewer for so long I can't really advise on that. Firestorms quick preferences might be a slight advantage. But I think both UIs are fairly modifiable so you can clear away all the useless buttons you get preinstalled to make the most of the screen area for accessing huds, which is where most of the set up happens with mesh bodies. If you use the firestorm AO then one less hud on screen is a marginal advantage.

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Arden Sirnah wrote:

I'm wondering which viewer (if that's what it's called) is easier to use?  I'm using SL and have used it for years but I see a lot mentioned about Firestorm and didn't know the difference.   I'm trying to learn how the mesh bodies work and needless to say it's been an epic fail.  Would Firestorm be easier?   

The choice which viewer to use is essentially a choice between different user interfaces and secondary the choice for a bit more functionality. Both has no effect on how things inside Second Life work.

Mesh bodies for example do not suddenly work different, just because you switched to a different user. How a mesh body works depends on how the creator of that mesh body designed it.

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i don't do much as far as activities and I surely don't build anything....I might stick with the one I have.  Only because I'm use to it.  Changing would mean I'd be starting all over again.  And I don't have anyone to direct me. 

 

Thanks for your input I'll do a little bit more research before jumping to a new viewer. 

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Emerald.  Thanks for your input.  It's probably me with the mesh.  It's not easy to learn.  I'm experimenting with a demo before I buy.   So I guess my problem is my figuring out the mesh bodies. 

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My personal prefrense is SL viewer. I have tried Firestorm, Singularity, and CoolVL viewers but always go back to the LLs viwer. For me on this old laptop it is the least lagy and least complacted. Although, if i had to use any other view other then SL viewer I would use Singularity. Singularity is simple and not bogged down with compacated stuff. But,it takes some getting use to. For instance, it doesnt have a home button. You have to actualy go into the world menu to tp home. Same with faverates. All in all if SL viewer is working fine for you for several years why change. But it is nice to have a backup.

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This might help with mesh bodies

http://meshbodyaddicts.com/

In world there is a group Maitreya Lara Friends that can be very helpful and extreamly chatty too.  This is obvioussly for resident to resident help with that specific mesh body but I have never seen them not share their thought on other bodies as well.

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Christin73 I didn't know there were more viewers but the LL and Firestorm. :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:  

 

im in the process of looking for a new laptop because mine is old....5 yrs perhaps.   When I get the new one I was wondering what viewer would be best to install.  But you're right, why change since I've used the SL for years. 

 

Thanks for your input. 

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Emerald,  I found that blog the other day and have been reading for days.  It's great.   I'll check out the group perhaps it could be helpful. 

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Arden Sirnah wrote:

I'm wondering which viewer (if that's what it's called) is easier to use?  I'm using SL and have used it for years but I see a lot mentioned about Firestorm and didn't know the difference.   I'm trying to learn how the mesh bodies work and needless to say it's been an epic fail.  Would Firestorm be easier?   

Easier is a relative term.  Each Viewer has its own special features.  So it comes down to (in the long run) which Viewer makes SL easiest for you...

Firestorm, though it had a small learning curve at first, has made my SL easier for me.  For example there is a quick preference option that you can customise.  There are preference settings I toggle depending on what I am doing that are right at my fingertips now. No digging through the preference menu.  If I want to change my Draw Distance all I need to do is type a simple command in chat.  So yes it makes things easier.

As far as overall performance goes it can vary with Viewers.  But it seems that everyone's experience is individually computer  based.  So it comes down to a question of what works best for you.   Personally I like Firestorm best because it offers the most possible customization.  But that may not be as big a deal for you.

 

eta:shpelling

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SL all the way.

Firestorm has a history of griefing, abuse, and privacy busting in their original incarnation, Emerald.

This was banned. Few remember this history of some years ago.

Then they came back as Phoenix -- the same people, minus a few obvious griefers/copybotters.

Then they reconstituted as Firestorm, after they set the leafs on fire with Emerald, then emerged from the ashes like Phoenix if you will.

Today, they deny any connection to griefing and copybotting, yet it is in their DNA and we can't know if they "phone home."

I personally find it criminal that Firestorm overrides certain group rules set in the Second Life regular viewer.

I don't think any third-party viewer should have this much of a market. It just shows you all kinds of problems with the structure and governance of the world. Few consider these deeper issues.

They only care about whether the UI is "easier". But the UI as it is now in the SL bog standard view is fine, I use it heavily. Can't really complain, although I was the last person to have my cold, dead hands pried loose from Viewer 1.0. Viewer 1.0 I prized mainly for its view of *search* and the VERSION of search it went with. But those days are gone. The search is worse now, and the Lindens still need to fix it.

Here's a difference I see with my customers:

1. Those with Firestorm have to relog to make any change in their group membership or powers "take". That's annoying.

2. Those with the SL viewer just make the change during the same session without relogging.

However, this is a rental or club managers' issue, not the end user's issue. So YMMV.

Ask yourself why a company needs to have the overwhelming majority of their users have a viewer they do not code, because of their ideological adherence to the notion of open source code.

Now, you may conclude then that the thing to do is to go with that popular third-part viewer.

I don't.

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I have used Firestorm now for years because all of it's innovative extra features make SL easier both for everyday stuff and building.  The official viewer seems like a dinosaur to me when I have to use it.

The fact that Firestorm is the most popular viewer (beating out even the official viewer) says a lot.

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

 

I personally find it criminal that Firestorm overrides certain group rules set in the Second Life regular viewer.


What group rules does Firestorm override?

Proof please!


Prokofy Neva wrote:

 

Here's a difference I see with my customers:

1. Those with Firestorm have to relog to make any change in their group membership or powers "take". That's annoying.

2. Those with the SL viewer just make the change during the same session without relogging.


Nope, again not true.

Whether the user is on the LL viewer, Firestorm, or any other viewer, if the user is added to a new role or their role is given extra abilities, you need to relog to aquire those extra abilities in the group. It has been this way for years.

It's a pain in neck but it is not specific to Firestorm.

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FWIW, I prefer LL's viewer.  I am more familiar with it and it seems to have a better performance than FS.  Also, I do not need the extra tools FS includes.  I have not tried any other viewer in years so I could not give you an informed opinion on them.

Still, I don't get the FS hate.  I mean I may be schizophrenic and I have always advised to keep a healthy level of paranoia when doing anything on the Internet but even the evil-evil bad joojoo installed in Emerald was a practical joke; it was a stupid mistake, yes but it was hardly evil.  To think there is some nefarious™(used without permission) plan being carried out by the FS team is above and beyond a healthy level and into the realm of paranoid schizophrenia.

 

I will say that choice of viewer seems very much like most religious debates :).  In the end, pick the one that does what you want, how you want and try not to get mired in the dogma.

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

 The official viewer seems like a dinosaur to me when I have to use it.

It's flipped for me.  Other than the wheel menu it just feels too much like V1 to me.  The quick prefs button is very nice, tho.  It is one thing I really wish V4 had from FS.

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Arden Sirnah wrote:

Christin73 I didn't know there were more viewers but the LL and Firestorm. :matte-motes-big-grin-squint:  


There are indeed!

All the compliant third party viewers are listed in the TPV directory here.

Best thing to do is try each one for a few days and see which suits you best.

Any of the viewers in the "Active Full Viewers" section are worth trying.

Avoid the  viewers in the "Out Of Date Viewers" section. Those have not been updated for a long time & do not support all current SL features.

 

 

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Amethyst Jetaime wrote:

The fact that Firestorm is the most popular viewer (beating out even the official viewer) says a lot.

It does say a, lot, Amethyst, but I don't believe it says what you think it says. I believe it says that people tend to blindly follow word of mouth. I.e. one person says to another, "You should be using Firestorm because it's better", so the other person uses it, not because it's better for the person, but because s/he was told it was better. I do believe that there's an awful lot of blind usage, and that a massive number of its users use it for that reason and not because it suits what they do any better.

@Prokofy. I haven't forgotten what happened with the Emerald viewer, and it does prevent me from even looking at Firestorm, let alone using it.

@Rhonda. What was done with the Emerald viewer was not a practical joke. It was not a DoS attack either, as LL stated it was at the time, because it couldn't generate enough simultaneous accesses of the other person's server. It was done to put someone's nose out of joint, which I don't consider to be a practical joke.

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Well, the LL viewer ...

- It doesnt rez stuff under the land group so forces me to change my group all the time or set the group of the rezzed object. If I forget that - autoreturn will remember me on that.
- There is no copy/paste of object settings in the object editor. That makes building stuff ALOT easier.
- It saves and compiles scripts always in old LSL format which doesnt work with most scripts and causes an error message and forces to load that script into a prim just for proper saving and compiling then copy that back in inventory. Congrats!
- The editor doesnt work. In long lines the visible cursor is not at the place where the editor thinks it is. Congrats! Oh, some TPV's copy that code from LL :) I didn't look for a while so if it's gone now - just ignore me :)
- I'm a bit blind with the LL viewer. In case of a griefer I usually put the griefer and all his rezzed objects into the trashcan with a few clicks. With the LL viewer I don't even know who is on the sim. Information at your fingertips? Nahhhh.
- Alot of *censored* run around with showing everyones camera info. (thanks Firestorm for that :) ) Ok, if someone ever tries to bother me here I right click and block immediately, but I dont even want to know about that stuff. So I need to edit 2 files of the LL viewer to switch off every camera hint (brings me even to the TPV's). I can do it but it is bothering again.

So my personal usage of SL makes the LL viewer look like crap. It's just an emergency fallback - not more.

I tried a few TPV's

Firestorm - has all bells and whistles - the latest version runs fine and after some heavy tweaking - fast enough.
Alchemy - looks great to me
Kokua - is very close to the LL viewer but has the mandantory extras I mentioned above.

And who to trust?

I don't know anybody of the TPV developers - only what they write about themselves. From my point of view I took a risk by using any non-LL viewer. The LL viewer ans SL in general is a risk too since I don't know how good LL's safety is. But since I connected only a prepaid card I have limited this kind of risk.

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I would trust Firestorm's Whirly or Jessica Lyons above almost anyone else in SL. They not only know what they are talking about, both have come to my store to investigate problems. Whirly has reproduced many problems I have filed JIRAs for, something that takes time and effort, and called LL attention to them. She probably knows more about the JIRA than any LL employee. On top of that there are the sainted FS support people, who go out of their way to help, free of charge, (and too often receive abuse for it) in a way that puts LL support to shame. 

The FS team as a whole provides a hugely valuable service, and have the thanks of its hundreds of thousands of users. Yes one former member of the Emerald team long ago played a prank, but he is long gone, and that in no way reflects on the present team.

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I might be a bit biased toward Firestorm, but I've been using it since the first public beta went live. It has only grown more mature as a software since. For me, it's a great viewer because of its customization and familiarity with certain features that I thought were pretty good out of the v1 generation of viewers while keeping the sleek modern UI of the v3/v4 generation viewers.

That said, after some recent usage with the standard viewer provided by LL, I still feel somewhat lost in the preferences panels there. There are considerably fewer preferences in the LL viewer that makes it difficult to truly customize the experience. For a new user to Second Life, this is actually OK. I'd much rather them get used to how the world works than find themselves overwhelmed by customization options in their viewer. It's easy and quick to learn when you have no experience with any other viewers.

At the end of the day, trying a few different viewers from the currently updated viewer list is always recommended. My needs are not your needs, nor are your needs the needs of someone close to you. Take them all for a test drive and see which car rides smoothest for you.

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Regardless of which viewer you prefer, I recommend having two on your computer. Use your favorite regularly, and when something odd happens (inventory loss, graphics glitch, etc.) switch to the other one. If the problem goes away, you know it's a viewer issue. If it stays, you know it's something else.

It's nice to have an emergency backup.

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You mean LL still makes a viewer? The last version I have is 1.23 from 2010, which I keep only for historical reasons. The V2 interface was a disaster. Been using Firestorm since Emerald days.

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