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Firestorm Beta with EEP!


Willow Wilder
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On 9/13/2020 at 1:53 PM, Willow Wilder said:

Hi Caith! The beta has not expired. We released a public beta in July. See this post Firestorm 6.4.5—EEP Public Beta!

A new test cycle will begin as it always does when there is enough material ready for testing. We are waiting in particular for Love Me Render fixes to make its way through LL's QA and be released. Patience grasshopper. 

This is the first time I have seen anything definite about any likelihood of another Beta. My current experience of EEP viewers is that none of them can reliably handle existing content. Full Windlight material settings look different in EEP. With the Love Me Render changes (themselves sometime changing) it seems pointless trying to create for EEP users until we have something stable that everyone is using.

Firestorm does seem to have a communication problem. I know, you haven't said there actually will be another beta, but the combination of cloud sim servers and EEP is a huge change. You're making the Lindens look garrulous.

Who can I trust?

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2 hours ago, arabellajones said:

This is the first time I have seen anything definite about any likelihood of another Beta.

It's correct, I never said there will be another beta, but there will always be a next test cycle. Development doesn't stop, and we don't release without a QA cycle. If you read our blog release, you know why we released an EEP beta. 

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5 hours ago, Willow Wilder said:

It's correct, I never said there will be another beta, but there will always be a next test cycle. Development doesn't stop, and we don't release without a QA cycle. If you read our blog release, you know why we released an EEP beta. 

umm ok but its all taken care of ty for your help and response back 

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LL has merged Love Me Render into their default release today, so I rushed to see what was new on the Firestorm changelogs. I was excited to see that the LL code was merged there as well. I know that this code change hasn't been thoroughly tested by the FS team, but being the adventurous sort, I compiled my own Linux version of Firestorm 6.4.10. I have been practicing the compiling process lately, and I soon had this new one ready for testing. I have to say, in my opinion, things are looking better than before. Without a doubt, EEP is going to be more 'shiny' than the old Windlight renderer. However, with LMR I believe that a reasonable balance has finally been struck between sun & moon light specular shine and point & spot light specular shine, the former being enhanced and the latter now becoming more subtle.

Freestate

 

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I'm hopeful about the new standard release of the SL viewer, but since I am a Linux user... The listed bugfixes look to cover most of what was wrong with the initial EEP release, which carried over into the Firestorm Beta. It's too soon to expect anything official from Firestorm, about thirteen hours as I write, but I don't think anyone should rely on the current Firestorm Beta. It is effectively obsolete.

Agreed, the Firestorm team can't make any promises about dates, but the promotion of the Love Me Render viewer, with all the bugfixes, makes further silence on the matter woefully inadequate.

It seems possible that the full, current, EEP release is close. But, as a creator, the silence from the Firestorm team is making things difficult. It is a very widely used viewer, and until I can be sure that Firestorm users are able to access the same EEP as everyone else, what's the point of trying to get items looking right?

The last time I used the Firestorm Beta, it broke existing content. It looks as though EEP drops the lazy-creator's specularity settings of low, medium, and high. But what will be happening?

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@arabellajones, it can be frustrating to wait. 🚏

Indeed, the Firestorm beta 6.4.5 is essentially obsolete at this point for the purpose of showing the state of the EEP renderer. There are many other factors to consider though. Firestorm beta 6.4.5 has an updated Dullahan with Chromium 81, and this is now required by some media content. A lot of work was done to get that ready for Linux users, and I'm very grateful for it. I don't think RLVa visual commands have been fully fixed for EEP yet, so that's another major consideration. I'm sure the FS team is working as fast as they can to address any issues that remain.

As a fellow Linux user, I've attempted to run viewers via WINE and Steam's Proton, but without luck. If you are willing to try it, the Firestorm team has graciously put a guide for self compilers in their Wiki. I set up a 100GB partition and installed Ubuntu 16.04 on it per the guide's recommendation. All the steps are there, and while there is always a learning curve, it can be done! 👨‍🎓

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5 hours ago, KjartanEno said:

@arabellajones, it can be frustrating to wait. 🚏

I don't think RLVa visual commands have been fully fixed for EEP yet, so that's another major consideration.

I redid the WindLight RLV commands (with a few new EEP-specific ones) in RLVa back in May and it's gone out in several FS betas/nightlies since then and no one's poked me about any issues so if you know/think something's wrong/broken please do let me know.

Edited by Kitty Barnett
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22 minutes ago, Kitty Barnett said:

I redid the WindLight RLV commands (with a few new EEP-specific ones) in RLVa back in May and it's gone out in several FS betas/nightlies since then and no one's poked me about any issues so if you know/think something's wrong/broken please do let me know.

Good! I'll be sure to make some tests soon and pass along any oddities I may find. The reason I thought things might not be updated fully is due to an object that is supposed to blur vision, but it did not seem to work the last time I checked it. I'll need to do a bit of scripting to know for certain.

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18 hours ago, KjartanEno said:

There are many other factors to consider though. Firestorm beta 6.4.5 has an updated Dullahan with Chromium 81, and this is now required by some media content.

I have a couple of Chrome/Chromium based browsers, and I am seeing a lot of misbehaving sites with them, but not Firefox. So I hesitate to attribute problems with media content to Dullahan. I suspect a difference in how some web standards are handled. Standards, so important that every programmer must have one of their own...

I don't program, I document. So I hesitate about compiling my own Firestorm version.

I realise I hesitate a lot, maybe too much, but I see too many people running things while displaying an inability to organise a drunken party at an alcohol production facility.

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5 hours ago, arabellajones said:

I have a couple of Chrome/Chromium based browsers, and I am seeing a lot of misbehaving sites with them, but not Firefox. So I hesitate to attribute problems with media content to Dullahan. I suspect a difference in how some web standards are handled. Standards, so important that every programmer must have one of their own...

I don't program, I document. So I hesitate about compiling my own Firestorm version.

I realise I hesitate a lot, maybe too much, but I see too many people running things while displaying an inability to organise a drunken party at an alcohol production facility.

All media inside Second Life is played using the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF). Dullahan is a headless browser SDK that uses the CEF. When you compile Firestorm, prebuilt binaries are downloaded to /var/tmp/<user_name>/install.cache, including Dullahan/CEF. There will be no need to compile a browser separately. The newer Dullahan/CEF enables certain types of encrypted media content, if I recall the message on my television correctly.

I don't normally compile programs, and my coding is limited to some LSL. If compiling isn't something you wish to try, then maybe a new beta will be out soon or maybe not?

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OK, so I am looking at the Firestorm compile process for Linux. They recommend Ubuntu 16.04, which is getting a bit old. It's an LTS version, which is good, but it's not the most recent LTS version and it looks to have about 6 months left. On the usual Firestorm timescale, they might have another release version compiled with that, but time is getting short. Oh, well, I have back-ups. Let's see what happens...

[Time passes]

SL Viewers usually run at around 9% CPU load on this system, but I am seeing 100% now, and I am still just installing tools...

Oh dear, I seem to be using Python 2.7, which is no longer supported by pip, and then the processes fail

I have backups.

This is entirely too much fun for anyone sane.

 

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5 minutes ago, arabellajones said:

And here I am back, system restored. If you wonder why people use Linux, that's why. And if Firestorm does depend on Python 2.7, oh boy do you have problems.

Yeah, using Python 2.7 for running build scripts (like any other viewer until LL finally updated their scripts to be Python 3 compatible)... man... those are some serious problems... as if the viewer would be executed on a webserver!

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2 hours ago, arabellajones said:

OK, so I am looking at the Firestorm compile process for Linux. They recommend Ubuntu 16.04, which is getting a bit old. It's an LTS version, which is good, but it's not the most recent LTS version and it looks to have about 6 months left. On the usual Firestorm timescale, they might have another release version compiled with that, but time is getting short. Oh, well, I have back-ups. Let's see what happens...

[Time passes]

SL Viewers usually run at around 9% CPU load on this system, but I am seeing 100% now, and I am still just installing tools...

Oh dear, I seem to be using Python 2.7, which is no longer supported by pip, and then the processes fail

I have backups.

This is entirely too much fun for anyone sane.

 

It does seem like a lot to do. I debated whether to answer, but as a fellow Linux user I want to be helpful. For one thing, you don't need to replace your operating system. Linux has GRUB, which makes it possible to boot into different operating systems. My main distro right now is RPM-based, but I am quite familiar with the Ubuntu/Deb distros. One can install Ubuntu 16.04 along side one's main operating system. I would not want to 'live' in Ubuntu 16.04, but I gave it a 100GB partition on my drive. It is also possible to run Ubuntu 16.04 in a virtual machine, but that's another layer of complexity even I do not care to add. The final product of compiling the viewer will be a compressed archive that you should be able to copy to your main distro.

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18 hours ago, Ansariel Hiller said:

Yeah, using Python 2.7 for running build scripts (like any other viewer until LL finally updated their scripts to be Python 3 compatible)... man... those are some serious problems... as if the viewer would be executed on a webserver!

I just don't know enough to be sure, but Python 2.7 has been deprecated since the start of the year. I probably need to upgrade my whole OS to get around that. When I did some digging, it looks as if some take their Python support from Debian, even when they claim to use an Ubuntu distro with Python 3 as a base.

It looks a bit too much like the looming OpenGL problem.

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19 hours ago, KjartanEno said:

All media inside Second Life is played using the Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF). Dullahan is a headless browser SDK that uses the CEF. When you compile Firestorm, prebuilt binaries are downloaded to /var/tmp/<user_name>/install.cache, including Dullahan/CEF. There will be no need to compile a browser separately. The newer Dullahan/CEF enables certain types of encrypted media content, if I recall the message on my television correctly.

I don't normally compile programs, and my coding is limited to some LSL. If compiling isn't something you wish to try, then maybe a new beta will be out soon or maybe not?

Just a quote from the Cool VL Viewer changelog. Dullahan isn't Chromium/Chrome, but it seems I am right to be wary of the family: "Linux only: updated the Dullahan pre-built library (reverted to CEF 74 due to CEF 81 crashing in SL grid status page and randomly in other places)."

 

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8 hours ago, arabellajones said:

Just a quote from the Cool VL Viewer changelog. Dullahan isn't Chromium/Chrome, but it seems I am right to be wary of the family: "Linux only: updated the Dullahan pre-built library (reverted to CEF 74 due to CEF 81 crashing in SL grid status page and randomly in other places)."

 

I ran that version of Cool VL Viewer. The viewer itself did not crash. The media player would stop working (CEF 81 crashing). I can't speak for Henri, but it would not surprise me if he works out the cause of that issue soon. If you have been using Firestorm beta 6.4.5, you've been running Dullahan/CEF 81 already. I have an issue with Firestorm 6.3.9, where logging out would cause the viewer to hang, and I would kill the main process in the system monitor where multiple Dullahan processes would just be sitting there doing nothing [Edit: And this could actually be unrelated to Dullahan, but IDK]. Firestorm 6.4.5 never caused any issues like that for me.

I'm running Firestorm 6.3.9 & 6.4.10, Cool VL Viewer 1.28.0.9, Singularity 1.87.8193, and Kokua 6.4.7. Each viewer has strengths and weaknesses, so I'll pick a viewer depending on what I want to do in world. I'm incredibly grateful that we have such a variety of viewers on Linux!

Edited by KjartanEno
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8 hours ago, arabellajones said:

I just don't know enough to be sure, but Python 2.7 has been deprecated since the start of the year. I probably need to upgrade my whole OS to get around that. When I did some digging, it looks as if some take their Python support from Debian, even when they claim to use an Ubuntu distro with Python 3 as a base.

It looks a bit too much like the looming OpenGL problem.

Since Python is only used for build scripts and not to run websites, the deprecation issue is neglectable - at least on Windows, where you simply download Python 2.7 and install it, because Windows - it just works! :D

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Python 2.7 is available in repositories for all Linux distributions, even Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, which means it will be around for years to come. This is not an issue. Firestorm can be built in Ubuntu 18.04 (which I did before the instructions on the Firestorm Wiki changed). One could build it in Arch, Fedora, or OpenSuSE as well. I know of someone who is building Firestorm in Slackware. I can't speak for anyone else, but all of my testing with Second Life viewers shows that they run up to 40% slower on Windows 10 on my system with the exact same hardware specifications and viewer settings than they do on Linux. The open source Mesa drivers on Linux are as good as the official Radeon drivers by AMD on Windows, but I believe that the real gains are on the CPU side with the efficiency of the compiled code and lack of bloat.

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17 hours ago, Ansariel Hiller said:

Since Python is only used for build scripts and not to run websites, the deprecation issue is neglectable - at least on Windows, where you simply download Python 2.7 and install it, because Windows - it just works! :D

It just... what? Don't let Todd Howard hear that.

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