Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Phoenix Viewer Gets New Update, But Developers Promise it Will Break

The Phoenix development team is announcing its latest update.  As is typical, they are trying to dismiss concerns that Viewer 1 will no longer function by addressing questions that don't seem to have arisen.  You can read the condescension here.

What grabbed my attention, though, was the following comment:

Both Singularity and Cool VL Viewer are in the final stages of having mesh implemented. It is wrong to think V1 and mesh are mutually exclusive. It might be that Phoenix will be left behind, but there sure will be mesh capable V1 viewers pretty soon.

I don't expect the Phoenix development team to give a straight or satisfactory answer, but that's not the only comment worth noting.  (Note: I asked a similar question in the blog thread.)  I've experienced this myself on the latest Firestorm beta release, and received nothing but dismissive answers in the past, which is why I uninstalled the viewer and left the support group.  Here is a comment that sums up the problems many of us face when trying to use ANY Viewer 2-based viewer, not just Firestorm:

i'm TRYING to get used to Firestorm, if the webkit crash can be fixed :( Right now it crashes for me as soon as I load the viewer, and then i'm stuck... search does not work, some group chats wont work... we've been goign back and forth on JIRA for a couple of weeks now (thank you Whirly), I've even submited logs! HELP!

The general response, other than to repeatedly sing the praises of their Viewer 2 clone, is to either ignore the issue or write it off as a troll post.  In this light, it isn't surprising that the Phoenix development team is rolling out at least one last update for its superior, Viewer 1-based viewer.  In spite of claims to being #3 for users, Firestorm is still in ultra-buggy beta mode and it is based on a viewer that only a fraction of the SL user base even bothers with.  Most people I encounter in SL are either on Phoenix, Singularity, and Imprudence, with Singularity starting to appear more common — especially among users who signed on to SL before Linden Labs rolled out its cruddy Ukrainian made viewer.

So what the Phoenix development team is saying is that even though Viewer 1-based viewers will no longer work, they'll still work, or something along those lines.  They'll just break so that they become unusable, which doesn't mean Linden Labs is effectively blocking them.  But unless they are made by a development team with the skills and patience to resolve the issue, the inability to work properly means that Linden Labs is effectively blocking them by making them unable to function properly, if at all.

Can you see the contradictions in that train of logic?  Yeah, I thought so.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted about Viewer 1 and Viewer 2 developments.

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