Good way to start the month, release a new version of one’s viewer. The Dolphin blog announced today the release of version 38. It seems the build numbers common in other developments is not used in Dolphin versioning, as I over looked last Dolphin update.
Get your copy here: Dolphin Viewer 126.96.36.19927
Interesting New Features
Of course ‘interesting’ means interesting to me. There are other updates, additions, and fixes that I haven’t mentioned. See the link above.
A load of people will be glad to see this feature. It is interesting that SLV 2.3 has the feature too. Whatever, it has been a main topic on the SL Blogrum that people have been having trouble getting their avie to render. Some people have lived with a cloud avie for a week or more.
If you haven’t seen my article on the problem and tips for avoiding and fixing avie rez problems, it is here: Avatar Render Problems: Ghost Cloud Smoke Ball Ruth.
Display Names Support
This viewer is extending Display Names support into more of the series 1 viewer interface. For those that like the Silver skin there is addition information on how to get it to work with Display Names.
With the addition of Display Names several functions were added to the Linden Scripting Language (LSL). Things like door controls with access lists get confused by Display Names. The new functions provide a means of dealing with Display Names, so one does not have to change all their door locks each time they change their name. Now the viewer supports those functions.
Multi-Wear-Attach and Inventory Links
Viewers used for grid hopping are having some problems with the new multiple clothing layers and attachments as well as inventories that use ‘links’. Links are how it is possible to have apparent copies of no-copy items. Links are like shortcuts on your desktop.
Not all grids support the new features Linden Lab is adding to the SL grid. Dolphin now has Debug Settings set to False by default to make the viewer compatible with OpenSim grids that have yet to catch up. They are: OSAllowMultipleAttachments and OSAllowInventoryLinks.
I’ve been using the Dolphin Viewer on both OSGrid and SL’s Agni grid, SL’s main grid. I had a problem on OSGrid. The viewer would run for a few minutes and crash. I had hoped the install over the previous version would fix it. The initial start up went into slow motion mode, where it takes 15 to 90 seconds for the viewer to respond to mouse clicks in the menus and this is before one logs in.
There are 15 or more threads running under the image name Dolphin and making disk read/writes and pegging my CPU’s at 100%. Most of the effort seems to be in loading viewer skin textures… and that is driving my ESET (anti-virus) nuts, no warning just lots of activity.
First thing I tried was to clear the cache and restart. That did not fix it, still in slow motion prior to login. However, the anti-virus stayed out of the party this time.
When this viewer crashes it sends crash logs somewhere. One should realize that some RL user information and some details of your computer configuration are in those files.
The uninstall does not remove all the files. A manual examine shows that Dolphin is using some of the files in the Second Life folders, logs and chat logs apparently. Since many logs are replaced at viewer start that shouldn’t be a problem. But, when things aren’t working and installing one viewer affects another viewer such sharing is suspect.
After manually removing the left over files clearly related to Dolphin I reinstalled and started up the viewer. The scary part is the viewer remembered it’s settings which should have been gone. A quick check reveals settings_dolphinviewer.xml is stashed in C:\Users\[user_name]\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife\user_settings.
The viewer remained in slow motion mode. Grrrr.
Uninstall again. Checking the settings location reveals 4 files that Dolphin is modifying and does not remove when uninstalled; settings_dolphinviewer.xml, saved_grids_login.xml, open_notifications.xml, and settings_crash_behavior.xml.
As an experiment I removed the 4 files and started SLV Development Viewer. It immediately went into reinstall mode. So, Dolphin is doing something with these files because the mod dates and time are changing and those files obviously affect the SLV’s operation. This is not giving me a warm fuzzy feeling… and OMG, now my SLV is running in intermittent slow mode… mouse clicks are taking 15 to 30 seconds… 🙁 A little checking and I found the SLV reinstall was wacked… oh what a mess.
Remove ALL my SLV’s and restart. Uninstall, restart the computer, manually remove all my SL related files, and begin reinstalling. Now the SLV’s are working; main production 2.3.0, development viewer 188.8.131.52642, and Mesh Second Life 2.4.0 (215755).
I was using Dolphin because it was nice and it is easy to hope between grids. It is also getting more and more features. Plus it seems stable. I’m not going to try another install until the next release. I’ll do without it.
Don’t let that influence you too much in your decision about trying Dolphin. I think this viewer would be fine for a primary viewer. But, I have over a dozen viewers installed at any one time and switch between them. That is conducive for problems. Over the next few days we’ll see if others have problems or success with Dolphin.