“Our dreams are a second life.” ~Gerard de Nerval
Just so you don’t log in one day and wonder what happened to Second Life, it’s best to stay up-to-date about the rollouts of the new release Firestorm viewer. Jessica Lyon, Project Manager of the Firestorm project, recently posted an important update on the Firestorm website. The bottom line is that in order to experience Second Life –see avatars or textures properly– you will need to update your viewer as soon as the new ones become available, since old SL viewers and Phoenix will not be “Server-Side Baking capable”. Don’t panic. The good news is that the Firestorm viewer will be ready. Here is Jessica’s post in its entirety:
Plenty of folks have been eager to see another release from us, and I can honestly say that the release is quickly approaching. However, the timing of this release depends on several factors, not the least of which is… the status of Server Side Baking.
Let’s very briefly refresh about “Server Side Baking”. In layman’s terms:
The main thing you need to know is that if you have not updated to a Server Side Baking-capable viewer by the time LL updates the server with this code, you will not see avatars correctly. This coming Firestorm release DOES support Server Side Baking.
Firestorm is currently in very good shape for a release. We have overcome many challenges, we have the latest Server Side Baking code from LL integrated and ready, we are passing our Quality Assurance tests and we could potentially even release right now if we had to. In fact, it’s looking like this will be a very good update with a lot of great new features and bug fixes to boot! So why don’t we release now?
Because Linden Lab has not released their viewer with Server Side Baking yet. And if we release Firestorm now, and then LL realizes there needs to be more code changes for Server Side Baking that will affect both their viewer and ours, then we will have to do yet another release immediately after. We wish to avoid this. So our current plan is to let LL release their viewer with Server Side Baking, give them a few days to determine if more code is needed and, if they don’t, then release Firestorm. LL’s Server Side Baking-capable viewer will be released with enough time before the server support is rolled out for us to have this safety bumper. Firestorm’s Server Side Baking-capable release will be available in plenty of time for the server rollout.
The specific release date depends on the readiness of Server Side Baking, but we expect it roughly within the next couple of weeks.
It is very important that you understand Phoenix Viewer is not Server Side Baking-capable. It will not be possible to view avatars properly on Phoenix once Linden Lab flips that switch and rolls it out at the server end.
For more information on Server Side Baking, you can watch our most recent Question and Answer meeting here, where we went to great lengths to explain and inform, or read specifically about it what server side baking is HERE. Or do a Google search, many results to choose from.