Here is the latest news on the Dolphin Viewer.
Dolphin 1.5 Development Stops
A couple of weeks ago a poll was being taken to see whether residents wanted the Dolphin Viewer to stay with the series 1 code and user interface (UI) or move on to the series 2 code and UI. The final vote was 76 to 39 for series 2.
Lance is going to shift over… well has shifted over to series 2 code and UI. He plans to maintain the 1.5 based Dolphin Viewer until it is either too much work or Linden Lab bans the use of series 1 viewers on the grid.
New Dolphin Viewer 2 Released
Lance’s new series 2 viewer was released on the 28th. You can read about it and find the download links here: Dolphin Viewer 2 126.96.36.19926.
Lance has a list of the things he likes about the Dolphin Viewer and feels make it better than the Lab’s production viewer. List There are some pretty nifty mods that he has added. I’ll mention the ones I like. Check the list. That PITA bug you hate or that feature you are missing may be there.
The RECENT tab in inventory no longer displays new links. This is a big deal for users. If you are using the new inventory Outfits you realize how many new links are generated to old stuff. It makes lots of clutter to look through to find something that is truly recent.
The Worn tab no longer shows links.
These are a royal PITA in the Lab’s viewers. It will eventually get fixed in the SLV2. But there are lots of ‘bigger’ fixes ahead of it.
These pop ups are the annoying pop ups that tell you, you just read an IM or Notice or accepted inventory immediate after you read the IM, Notice, or accept inventory. They are just dumb. Now in Dolphin Viewer 2 they nicely fade away without being clicked.
Some of the more commonly used commands are too deep into the SLV2 right-click menu (a menu formerly known as Pie). Lance has rearranged them to better reflect use.
Qarl Fizz’s prim alignment tool has been added as well as his Linden Plants patch.
A hot key (ctrl-shift-d) for saving pictures to disk has been added. That should be handy.
This is nice but not much use. OSGrid and series 2 code are getting too far apart. Series 2 viewers are having lots of problems on various OpenSim grids. OSGrid is where I have regions. My last use of Kirsten’s 2.6 viewer on OSGrid was a pain. My attachments, clothes, inventory… lots of stuff were messing up. So, while it is nice to have it there, until OpenSim catches up, it isn’t much use.
This version of Dolphin Viewer gets the Auto-Close OOC patch.
Henri Beauchamp’s feature to completely disable camera restrains has been added. This also removes the camera collision so you can move the camera inside things.
Download & Install
Download is easy… Dolphin Viewer 2 Download – for whatever reason my download was slow.
Dolphin Viewer 2 (DV2) installs in its own folder. So, you can have both 1.5 and 2 installed at the same time. However, DV2 takes over the SLURL’s, unless you have manually tweaked your browsers. So, clicking any SLURL will open DV2. Install your preferred viewer last or in Windows edit your registry to have all browsers use the same viewer. Set Second Life SLURL
The viewer appears to use the SL default cache folder. Since it is series 2 viewer, that would seem to be OK. My experience is any viewer that uses OpenJPEG should not share a cache with one that uses KDU. So, I suggest you create a separate cache for this viewer.
I created a new cache for DV2, naming it DolphinV2. Next time I checked, I found no such folder and the viewer was using one in the right place but named New Folder. I tried making a new cache while online and it was created and used. It made the folder DolphinV2 as I wanted.
No Splash screen. This is typical of the Lab’s Development viewers. I suppose that code made it into this viewer. Or it may be a side effect of the DV2 viewer update feature. Whichever, you won’t get a concurrent users number.
DV2 uses the SLV2 User Interface (UI). However, DV2 has some of the UI features not yet in SLV2. For instance the SPEAK button hides itself when one disables voice. Plus there is a handy Inventory button in the bottom menu. It opens a separate inventory window that floats on the right side of the screen.
Detach menu drop down menus: If you click ‘Me’ in the top menu then click and on the double line in the drop down menu, the menu will detach and you can drag it around. This works for any menu that has a double line at the top.
Lighting & Shadows: This viewer has the controls to turn on Frame Buffer Objects (FBO), Lighting & Shadows and then Sun/Moon shadows. Enabling Frame Buffer Object turned the screen black. I had to restart the viewer to correct the problem.
Turning on Lighting & Shadows (L&S) gave me an odd black screen I’ve not seen before. It also took me down to 0.5 FPS. Restarting did not help. The viewer stuck in slow-motion mode. A computer reboot cleared the problem. So… if you are using an nVidia 8800 GTS you probably need to change these settings before you attempt to login.
With FBO and L&S both on I get between 20 FPS and 65 FPS with 25 to 34 being about average.
I had some crashes. After the second one sculpties stopped rendering. :/ A computer reboot helped clear that problem.
IM, Group and Local Chat: One of the problems is getting an avatar name from chat by copy to paste into chat. Some viewers allow one to start typing the name and press tab-key to complete it. I haven’t tried plain text chat. However DV2 has the option for that.
Favorites: DV2 draws the LM’s from your SLV2 Favorites. So, that is handy.
I kept crashing. The viewer just vanished. I doubt I ever lasted an hour.
Dolphin Viewer 2 Tab
In Preferences there is a tab unique to DV2. The DV2 tab has all the DV2 features.
User Interface Tab: This panel has extra login settings, hide inventory Library, hover tips, and color controls for avatar name tags.
Navigation: This panel has mini map settings. The settings allow you highlight prims in the map, make them transparent, differentiate phantom prims, and select a max prim size for use with the map. There is also a camera control that allows you to turn off camera collision. That lets you move the camera inside things.
Graphics: HTTP Texture Get is on this panel, Alpha Mask Rendering controls, and Miscellaneous rendering controls; Render Unloaded Avatars, set LoD for sculpties, and a delay to allow caching at logon.
Miscellaneous: This panel has some chat settings. The OOC complete control is here. Also the RLV (Restrained Love Viewer – a set of features that allow others to have control over your avatar).
This is a nice start on a series 2 viewer. I think Dolphin is the 2nd TPV to go series 2.
The Lab’s 2.4 version viewers were a problem for me. I gave up using them and used the Mesh Project Viewer and the Snowstorm Development Viewer. I now use the 2.6 Development viewers with few problems. As DV2 moves on to 2.6 code I expect things to get better.
I dug through the crash log to see what was happening. There are a number of HTTP Texture Get errors and eventually a bad asset (UUID: be6ed72e-da1b-d03e-c698-ae6e65d4bd98) that seems to have crashed me. So, my problem could well be the SL location that is the problem. I’ll try the viewer a few more times over the next week.