The Firestorm team announced that you can now download the public beta version of release 188.8.131.52838 of their very popular viewer for Second Life. While it doesn’t have all the latest bug fixes and service improvements from Linden Lab (a release that will incorporate all of them will be delayed for about a month or thereabouts, all things being equal), it includes much-talked about and much-desired improvements like content import/export, Collada .DAE export, plus materials support, ribbon particles etc.
Also, an experimental 64-bit version for Windows has been released so that the team will gather feedback from users. Consider it as an unsupported release, which could eventually lead to regular releases for Windows, Linux and (hopefully) Mac OS X.
Also, if you’re on an old (pre-4.4.0) version of Firestorm, you’re not going to be able to log in. The team has blocked log-ins from old viewers, so, even if you’ve been living under a virtual rock and haven’t realised Server-Side Appearance has rolled out, you’d best get with the programme. No, I’m not even going to bother to link to my old coverage of this capability. It’s been out for quite some months now, and there’s no excuse for anyone to say they didn’t know about it. No whining will be accepted.
For more details, please read the Firestorm team’s announcement and the related documentation and news.
Personally, I don’t do SL viewer reviews; I’m more than happy to choose one that works for me, settle on it and be done with it, using only stable releases (until something much better comes along). If you want a detailed review of Firestorm 4.5.1 beta, I suggest you have a look at Inara Pey’s coverage, which is as detailed as you’d need it to be. And Her coverage of TPVs and SL news in general is as good as it gets.
Well, that’s it for now. Have fun!
- Firestorm Public Beta and Win64 Alpha releases! – The Firestorm Project
- fs_import_export [Phoenix Firestorm Project – Wiki]
- collada_export [Phoenix Firestorm Project – Wiki]
- Second Life – Introduction to the Materials Project (on YouTube)
- Second Life® – Ribbon Particles Quick Test (on Youtube)
- Firestorm 4.5.1: living in a materials world – by Inara Pey
- Inara Pey’s “Living in a Modem World” blog – perhaps the definitive source for SL news