Firestorm 4.6.7

For me, SL viewers are like text editors: I hardly ever switch and once I've made a choice I'm comfortable with it takes a lot to entice me away (which reminds me, I really must write about how I fell in love with Sumblime Text and how I almost never use the in-world editor any more). On top of that, I almost never early adopt. When a new version comes out I tend to hold back and see how things go in general and then I update my backup machine first.

Only when I'm happy with everything and there's no annoying or showstopper bugs do I finally make the move.

And yet, for reasons I still can't figure out, I dived right in and installed Firestorm 4.6.7 within 24 hours of it being announced. On my main machine!

So far though it's mostly okay. I'd say rezzing is a bit faster and things do appear to show up in-world in a more logical order, but I have run into a couple of annoyances.

The first and most obvious one is that it appears to be causing lighting to misbehave. In our home, shop and workshop we use automatic lighting. You know the sort of thing, it detects if the SL Sun is up or not (as dictated by the region's daylight cycle) and turns the lights on and off.

Nothing clever, but it works and has been working for a good couple of years in different incarnations. But, suddenly, with the move to 4.6.7, the lights appear to be misbehaving (emphasis on "appear"). Both Mistress and I have noticed that the lights are sometimes on when they should be off, or off when they should be on. At first I thought something had gone wrong with the scripts or someone had somehow gained access to the menus (they're coded so only we can interact with them) but a quick bit of testing suggested otherwise.

The lights are coded so that the menu offers three options: On (as in always on), Off (as in always off) or Auto (on when night, off when day). They're normally always in Auto mode. If the light looks wrong and I use the menu to set them to Auto again they show in the right state.

Except.... sometimes they show in the right state, I'll look away, look back and they're wrong again.

As best as I can tell, at the moment, what appears to be happening is that some (all?) of the object's prim properties appear to bounce back to whatever state they were in when I first "saw" the object in that login session. The only properties I've noticed this with so far are PRIM_GLOWPRIM_FULLBRIGHT and PRIM_POINT_LIGHT.

Further evidence that this appears to be viewer-related is the fact that if I'm looking at lights that are wrong I can relog and they appear right. Or if I'm looking at them and they're wrong I can log one of my test avatars in on a different machine and come look at the same light and it'll appear right to them (while still appearing wrong to me).

I've tried, and so far failed, to create a setup that recreates the problem in a controlled way. I've also asked in the support group but nobody else has knowingly experienced the same issue. Given the nature of this release (which is, in part, about caching object details and the like) it was suggested that it'd be a good idea to JIRA it.

So I did.

Another niggle I've noticed is that, on my mini-map, avatars seem to turn up at 0,0 (or, in some cases, waaaaaay of the region) a lot. And they appear to stay there until I can actually see them in world.

In the above image I'm way up in the sky in my workshop and Zanda and Black (the two shop bots) appear to be at 0,0,0 on the region. If I pop down to the shop they both snap into place. While this issue isn't exactly new in that I've had this happen before if my connection has been rather dodgy this is happening all the time now and only started post-upgrade.

I've not bothered to ask about this or document it just yet as I don't see it as being such a big deal, although I probably should some point soon. Again, it has the feel of being related to the "Project Interesting" changes that have taken place.

Those niggles aside though 4.6.7 seems to perform fine. No better than 4.6.5 but no worse either.

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