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For anyone who has been waiting for a chance to use Firestorm with EEP!, here it is! 

Firestorm QA has a beta viewer with EEP! available for testing. To use this viewer, please join the inworld group

Phoenix-Firestorm Preview Group  secondlife:///app/group/7ba4569c-9dd9-fed2-aaa7-36065d18a13c/about

Note this is not a support group, but part of the Firestorm QA testing groups, thus support is limited. 

Save the Group Guidelines notice to understand how the group works. 

Save the Take II - RC Firestorm Beta 6.4.5.60798 notice and attachment, and follow the instructions. 

The beta also includes recent updates from LL including Maintenance Viewer Zirbenz, Camera Presets, FMOD Studio and CEF Update 2020.

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PLEASE PLEASE put an option to disable windlight crossfading. I mentioned this in the group, maybe more eyes will see it here. 👍

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Posted (edited)
42 minutes ago, Willow Wilder said:

The ones that can make it happen though are here https://jira.firestormviewer.org/  😉 

Even better to raise it for the lab as well (https://jira.secondlife.com ). In general if it is not requested on a jira someplace (FS or LL) it is not going to be tracked or remembered amongst the other things we have to do. If it is a general feature request place it on both FS and LL, you get more chances of it getting picked up. If it is a bug and it reproduces on LL viewer then definitely log it there, if we can fix it we will but in the end they are paid and work full-time on SL and there's more of them than us. 🙂 

Edited by Beq Janus
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What about the rendering bugs introduced in the LL EEP viewer (e.g. specular maps) - are those fixed in the FS version? Or will be before the release?

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1 hour ago, Candide LeMay said:

What about the rendering bugs introduced in the LL EEP viewer (e.g. specular maps) - are those fixed in the FS version? Or will be before the release?

If they are not ones that we can fix then if and when LL fix them, they'll be merged into the "next" release. The reason we have a preview is because we are not happy about the state of EEP and don't consider it fit for general release, far too many bugs. Those who want to try it, and I am sure some will find it suits them fine, can try it but everyone else will be able to wait until the most critical bugs are addressed (hopefully).

The reality is that there's a lot of bugs still outstanding from minor to critical and once we get more users exposed to it that count will no doubt increase. 

 

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Dear LL,

I've been test driving this beta for a couple of days, and i've reverted back to the current release for now. reason(s) for this are as follows:

 

EEP, dear oh dear, that needlessly overly complicated EEP thing... where to start. first of all as mentioned before, the crossfading needs to come back. I don't like the fading and i've heard that photographers in SL tend to turn that off so they can navigate quicker through the Windlights..., i mean ... EEP!.. EEPs? How do i say it?

 

Secondly, and this is major, Importing old winlights (WL) is suuuuuuuuuch a complicated AND confusing process its almost a Monty Python sketch. So i have to first make a new Sky, Water or Day cycle in order to import my old WL XML files... Why? What is the logic behind that? Then if i finally managed to import an old WL XML i then have to name it like it was because for some reason it can't read the name of the WL correctly and just makes something up that closely resembles it. Once imported i can NOT hit the save button. Why??? I had to go and ask in the Preview group how? I felt like a noob all over. Turns out i have to click the little arrow in the save button to get the save as option. Then the button changes to a Save As button? Again, why? The same button is in the appearance window and works as expected. It's a Save As button, with a drop down menu allowing you to Save, overriding the current outfit. So why is it not possible to have the same Save As button in there and have a drop down menu on it with Save enabled and clickable? Why change the way an identical  button works IN THE SAME APPLICATION? It looks like the button in the appearance window yet its functionality is different. Stop and think about this please. At least 2 identical buttons in the same application having 2 different ways of working. Who approved this? Then to add further injury to insult the save function is grayed out, you can only Save As with this New Sky that is in reality an old imported WL. So what do you get? You get your new EEP that is actually your old WL with the name you gave it AND a New Sky you have to then manually delete. Come on guys.. Honestly, who thought this was a good idea?

 

Editing a EEP is ok-ish, I guess it's nice to put the moon and the sun right next to each other for giggles. I personally don't care about that but i'm sure creative people will make very interesting EEPs. But i want to talk about editing an EEP. So i've got my old WL XML saved to an EEP thing. Now i have what mostly looks like my old WL going on, but i want to edit it a little, so i go to the World menu > My Environments because clicking the Lighting button at the top brings me to Personal Lighting where i can change things...... But not save the changes to my EEP i currently have going on... Why!? So then let's go to the My Environment menu where i can edit what i currently have active and get the Fixed Environment window, that pretty much looks like the Personal Lighting window, except it's now split into tabs.... Because reasons... I'm yet again failing to understand that logic, but whatever, we're deep in crazy town as it is. So then we'll save those changes we made here. Hit the save button... Now what... is it applied to my current EEP that is active? The window didn't close after clicking save, so who can tell... I just have a second button that says Cancel or i could click the X to close it. Lets hit the X, oh what's this? The EEP goes back to what it was before editing! Did i lose my changes? Oh wait, let's go BACK to the World menu > My environments and lets reactivate the EEP to actually have the changes made, shown... WHO...THOUGHT OF THIS!? I like to get my hands on the source code and clear this mess up, because i'm sorry guys, its a royal mess.

 

A lot of people complain about the frame drop, and from what i hear it is a known issue. I remember being on a Linden Meetup not too long ago where i remembered Oz Linden speak of the fact that a lot of people use older systems, or even older laptops to log in to SL. You can see that in clothing. A lot of creators tend to use painted on fake shine instead of actual Materials and real shine, but i digress. If you know that these older systems are used to log in to SL, Why do you develop and release a new (freakishly buggy, badly made zand graphics card taxing) environment system and force it upon the end user without the possibility to still have the old WL system and just not take part in the new EEP thing you threw out there. Sorry to say, but this kinda feels like Microsoft tactics, Fling something out there and make people use it and gather up the complaints later. Effectively using the end user as a tester. Microsoft may get away with that, but are you in a position to do that right now? Maybe think about that...

 

So as for EEP, hard pass for me. It breaks old stuff like for example, i made something silly that uses RLV that checks weather websites to what my actual local weather is and adjust my WL inworld accordingly, including sun and moon positions. You broke that, i'm sad :(

 

I'm a Firestorm user, have been for years. I believe the FS team keeps 3 older versions alive and updates from them are like one every 4 to 6 months, so we'll see in about a year how this EEP thing evolved. You also know that the vast majority of SL users are Firestorm users, so when this beta they currently have goes live, a lot more people will be subjected to this EEP and its flaws. Hope you're ready.

 

Caith.

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15 minutes ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

'm a Firestorm user, have been for years. I believe the FS team keeps 3 older versions alive and updates from them are like one every 4 to 6 months, so we'll see in about a year how this EEP thing evolved. You also know that the vast majority of SL users are Firestorm users, so when this beta they currently have goes live, a lot more people will be subjected to this EEP and its flaws. Hope you're ready.

That has kind of been my perception for YEARS now. I will say that my latest test (this month) showed some major improvements over the fledgling (but official) release of the Linden EEP viewer.  I didn't install the FS beta and don't plan to. I was thrilled that they are not hurrying to push EEP on the FS folks since it is so VERY obvious that the majority do not want it (or ever did after the initial hoopla subsided and folks got to try it LOL).    So I will be waiting also.   I do have the EEP Linden viewer and use it to test how things look for the few folks that are actively using it.   

 

I did manage to get some of my personal Windlights uploaded when EEP first went "live". I am hoping things will continue to improve over time (originally this was NOT going to happen sayeth Ebbe).   I too would like the ability to use EITHER EEP or Windlight. That apparently is tricky although one third party viewer reportedly has that function.   

 

So you are in VERY GOOD COMPANY with your thoughts :D

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, CaithLynnSayes said:

I remember being on a Linden Meetup not too long ago where i remembered Oz Linden speak of the fact that a lot of people use older systems, or even older laptops to log in to SL. You can see that in clothing. A lot of creators tend to use painted on fake shine instead of actual Materials and real shine, but i digress. If you know that these older systems are used to log in to SL, Why do you develop and release a new (freakishly buggy, badly made zand graphics card taxing) environment system and force it upon the end user

Its not just people with really low end systems that are affected by the regression in performance. I see this on my i7 with a GTX-1080 even on medium settings -- For example, On the non-eep viewer I went somewhere that had a fairly static scene that wasnt changing (also no other avatars around to render except my own) and then set the camera angle to default, noted the FPS (which was around 50), then switched to the EEP viewer that was on identical settings, even the same converted windlight, identical camera angle, and observed a 20FPS drop. All I did was a simple log out and log in between viewers and its reproducible every time. In general, eep just had this clunky and slow feel to it and I went back to non eep out of frustration.. There is something woefully inefficient going on under the hood if eep is managing to slow things down that much...

Anyway end of my rant, my 2 pennys worth, EEP is not fit for release.

 

Edited by mygoditsfullofstars
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Posted (edited)

My first thought about this is yes indeed, for those of us not on the latest hardware (and even those who are also notice it, it just doesn't materially affect their ability to us SL), this frame rate drop is inexcusable and crippling. It's the reason I am not actively testing this beta; I have things to get done regardless of which viewer I am using, so that kind of performance hit makes this DOA for me in terms of usability. The contrast is stark. There is nothing EEP does that would inspire me to give up half my fps. 

 

ETA: I'd also like to note, ironically, that @Kyle Linden very carefully tracked and made sure that BUG-225225 that affected my system was fixed, and that was rolled into EEP releases, which means I have been waiting for this fix for a year now since I exclusively use Firestorm. I can confirm that bug is gone as of this FS EEP beta, and so I don't have to leave on DoF anymore to work around it, but in exchange for that fix I lose half my fps, which was the whole reason I wanted to be able to stop using DoF to work around that bug—the performance hit. Even though I cranked the settings so it isn't actively (visibly) being applied, it still causes more viewer lag to have it on.

So I would like to argue, if anyone is listening, that it is radically illogical to be concerned about a rare bug such as the one I and one other person reported, on older hardware, and then give us the fix on a viewer that is even more performance-crippled than the bug workaround was. Let's not go this direction please. This should be treated with as high of a priority as a bug like the one I found and Kyle made sure was fixed, if not higher, since this affects so many more people.

Edited by Katarin Kiergarten
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Posted (edited)

I use a system with an Intel i7 7700K with an Nvidia GTX 1060 3GB with 16 GB of RAM along with two 1TB SSD's and I also notice quite a bit of degraded fps with the beta version that has EEP over the viewer without the EEP.  If it can drop fps pretty good on a good system, I hate to see how it drops on people with lower end specs.  Bad enough I have already heard of people ending up not being able to access Second Life any more because their old computer can't handle it any more.

I like EEP and it looks good so I do hope that the issues gets fixed so we can all enjoy the environments that can be made and shared.

Edited by Liffento Eldritch
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I have been testing with this viewer for about a week now.  I have noticed the huge drop in the frame rate as well.  The materials for clothing don't look like they should in some cases or at least they are very different.  It seems that randomly that my avatar gains a sheen/shine when none is supposed to be applied but I cannot reproduce it at will, it just seems to happen for a while and then go when I change settings.  The UI isn't the most intuitive either.  I mourn the loss of the windlight day cycle slider, that was quick, useful and simple.  Speaking of windlight, I don't know whether FS has just not completed the changes or whether the LL implementation is to blame but I see the word Windlight and the abbreviation WL all over the Phototools still.

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It was mentioned in the preview chat that rendering water is what is causing the massive fps drop. I also experienced it just toggling transparent water on and off. 50 fps drop with it enabled. That is kinda nuts.

I like this release, but as I stated above, I don't understand why there is no option to disable crossfade and why do I need to file a jira for that? It was a feature and its now not. WHY?

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2 hours ago, Gage Wirefly said:

I don't understand why there is no option to disable crossfade and why do I need to file a jira for that? It was a feature and its now not. WHY?

EEP! is a feature developed by LL. It was not added because no one thought to, or requested it. Here's your chance! 

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6 minutes ago, Willow Wilder said:

EEP! is a feature developed by LL. It was not added because no one thought to, or requested it. Here's your chance! 

The WL crossfading feature in the current version of Firestorm cannot be used with EEP? Maybe I don't understand how it works but I thought the crossfading was  a viewer feature not dependent on LL.  So much confusion on my part. lol

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1 minute ago, Gage Wirefly said:

The WL crossfading feature in the current version of Firestorm cannot be used with EEP? Maybe I don't understand how it works but I thought the crossfading was  a viewer feature not dependent on LL.  So much confusion on my part. lol

I have no idea how you extrapolated that from what I said above, or what I've said in group. You're confusing yourself because you think Windlight has morphed into EEP! when it hasn't. You need to separate the two. Windlight has been removed from the Firestorm beta viewer (except for some wording changes needed to be done) and that includes, among other things, crossfade.  Insert EEP! by Linden Lab. 

If you want crossfade with EEP!, simply make a feature request. 

(P.S. You could have done so at least 10 times over by now.) 😉 

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49 minutes ago, Willow Wilder said:

I have no idea how you extrapolated that from what I said above, or what I've said in group. You're confusing yourself because you think Windlight has morphed into EEP! when it hasn't. You need to separate the two. Windlight has been removed from the Firestorm beta viewer (except for some wording changes needed to be done) and that includes, among other things, crossfade.  Insert EEP! by Linden Lab. 

If you want crossfade with EEP!, simply make a feature request. 

(P.S. You could have done so at least 10 times over by now.) 😉 

It wasn't extrapolating from anything that you said, it was my basic misunderstanding of EEP being a replacement for Windlight. I think I am going to fall back to non EEP viewers until I am forced to use this.

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i remember when we went from Real(tm)light to Windlight.  Was horrible and the sky fell down and we was all doomed. Those that did survive ended up all these funny looking colours. Was pretty awful, all the groaning noises. I thought was a rainbow zombie apocalypse

😸

 

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As you may have noticed from elsewhere, I am a Linux user, and so the only way of getting at the SL viewer is the wine system. I posted on that with an explanation of what needs to be done. Linden Lab does something a bit awkward: at least, that's what it looks like. There is another viewer, running directly on Linux, which handles EEP.

Problem is, with OpenGL on the way out, the term is "deprecated", just keeping Windlight working is going to be a big job. There are tools which allow OpenGL to be translated to the replacements, but they'll still need the results to be tested.

Anyway, I make stuff. I go to a lot of trouble to optimise the mesh. I try to take advantage of normal and specular maps. But there is one specular material shortcut, which I luckily haven't used much, that looks OK for windlight, and totally breaks under EEP. You HAVE to use a specular texture, though that tiny "blank" texture is enough.

I don't think that was well-explained by the Lindens. That's going to be a problem.

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3 minutes ago, arabellajones said:

As you may have noticed from elsewhere, I am a Linux user, and so the only way of getting at the SL viewer is the wine system. I posted on that with an explanation of what needs to be done. Linden Lab does something a bit awkward: at least, that's what it looks like

I should have put in a link to that. See my post at 

It worked with the version briefly out last week as the release version. Rolled back, things are still working. The same basic approach works for the Windows version of Firestorm, which does give you access to some Havok options when uploading Mesh. I am not sure Havok does as good a job on LOD and physics models as a manual creation.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Willow Wilder said:

If you want crossfade with EEP!, simply make a feature request. 

(P.S. You could have done so at least 10 times over by now.) 😉 

16 hours ago, Gage Wirefly said:

It wasn't extrapolating from anything that you said, it was my basic misunderstanding of EEP being a replacement for Windlight. I think I am going to fall back to non EEP viewers until I am forced to use this.

 

A disable-crossfading feature request has been submitted: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/BUG-229152

Edited by Katarin Kiergarten
Added second quote for clarity.
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