A new version of the Dolphin Viewer2 is out. The viewer is based on SLV 2.5 version code. There are a number of fixes and a couple of new features. Version are available for Apple, Linux, and Windows.
Download & Install
Download file size is about 24mb. Download Dolphin Viewer.
The only option in the install is which folder to install to. The install apparently wipes out the previous viewer settings. It seems to have kept my color settings.
The install also takes over the Windows setting controlling which viewer is used for SLURL’s. I need to update my article on how to reset Windows to use the viewer you prefer for SLURL’s. See: Emerald Viewer vs SLURL (Emerald… that gives away the age of the article.)
Since the viewer settings are defaulted I go through before login and reset most of them to my preferences and look for new settings. Most of the Preferences panels are as I expect.
This viewer does not have the Avatar Enhanced Physics Render setting. The SLViewer has a setting to reduce the amount of time the render pipeline spends rendering bouncy breasts. It is supposedly good for low powered computers.
The Dolphin Viewer 2 Panel has some nice features. The Grid Selector dropdown control is in Me->Preferences->Dolphin Viewer 2->User Interface.
Paste as Link – Is an inventory setting on the same panel. This allows one to use links to ‘no-copy’ items to have them in more than one folder.
Sculpty Level of Detail – This setting is on the Dolphin Viewer 2->Graphics (tab) panel. This helps with those poorly built sculpties that look like wadded up paper until you are very close. The trade off is render speed. Higher settings mean better looking but slower rendering. The speed difference is small. So, play with the setting. Some regions that are sculpty intense may have significantly slower rez. However, many people use the setting and like it.
The SL default value is 1.25. The Dolphin default value is 2.0.
Build Tool – For those building by the numbers the feature to have more decimal places in the Position, Size and Rotation settings. No copy paste for tri-value settings. (You can’t copy the three Position values from one prim to another in a single action.) I don’t see the control for Projectors in the Build Tool. May be because I do not have Sun/Moon + Projectors enabled. Texture align and prim align are included in the tool.
Fixes and Features
The Griefer Crash fix going around has been added in. There has been a problem saving new landmarks in version 2 viewers. It is fixed in Dolphin.
Web Profiles are now in Dolphin 2. My profile opens on About in Dolphin. That is something that many want to see. I would like a choice as to which tab I see by default in Profiles. But, I think About is way better than opening on the feed/stream.
This viewer has the standard FocusOffsetRearView and FocusOffsetRearView Debug Settings. So, I can move my camera to a better viewpoint.
The splash screen did not work for me. The SL 2.8.3+ viewer are using the new SL splash page with events and destinations.
Adult Setting, I forgot to set this to enable PG, Moderate and Adult. So, I could not tp to Rust! a build in the Rouge region, which is moderate… Took me a couple of minutes to figure out why I could not get in.
Speed – This viewer is fast. In my cottage, once things download, I get 45-59 FPS. \o/ Jumping over to Celtic Myst I get 8 to 12 FPS while things rez and around 42 to 45 FPS after things rez. Teleporting over to Dance Island I find it takes some time for the area to rez, which is common for all viewers. But, the rez is way faster than I get in the SLV 2.8.x viewers. While the massive number of textures in the area download and rez I get 8 to 12 FPS. As I walk toward the dance floor I drop to 2 to 3 FPS. Lots of rubber banding. Today the dance floor is packed with 44 people and avatars are horribly slow rezzing. Changing groups helps speed that up.
My FPS with 44 avatars around me stayed at 4 ot 6 FPS. The Time Dilation = 0.92± and Sim and Physics FPS was bouncing from 36 to 42, which is not bad for a crowded region.
Dolphin is faster than SLV2.8. Where it is slow, other viewers are as slow or even slower. It took a couple of minutes after I changed groups for all the avatars to render.
This is a big one for me. In the later 2.7 viewers and the 2.8 viewers inventory is ANNOYINGLY slow. There is a reaction delay. Click and wait 2 to 3 seconds. Replace an outfit from the Outfit Panel and the entire viewer lots for 15 to 30 seconds and then it takes 30 to 60 seconds more before you start to see the outfit change. See: JIRA VWR-26405.
There is no inventory click delay in Dolphin. This may be because it is based on 2.5 code and does not yet have the preliminary Direct Delivery code. That is the code that allows us to sell stuff on the Market Place without using a Magic Box. It is also supposed to improve delivery of purchased items.
When I replace an outfit I see changes start in about 30 seconds.
I notice that I sink into the ground and floors. Phoenix has a setting so I can adjust my visible avatar in relation to the ground. I can’t find one in Dolphin. There is probably a debug settings but I can’t figure which one it might be. So, my gorgeous N-Core shoes are partially hidden.
UPDATE: noway points out in comments the control I need is in the top menu. There is a slider that adjusts my avatar in relation to the ground. \0/
Group Announcement Attachments
There is a problem of attachments to group notices not opening. That is present in most viewers and appears to be more of a server issue than a viewer issue. Whatever the case, Dolphin suffers from it too.
My computer did not explode, the world is still here. I used the viewer for about an hour while I wrote this. No problems or crashes. A couple of times the screen when black for a couple of seconds after I clicked one of the group chat icons in the bottom right. Not much of a test, but it worked and feels nice. I may be a bit jaded from spending a large portion of my time in-world in Development viewers. They feel sluggish. So, the Dolphin viewer feels like a bit of fresh air.
I think if you have been learning to build in the Second Life Viewer, then the Dolphin Viewer is probably a better choice.
If you are trying to clean up inventory then this viewer is going to be your best choice.
Dolphin Viewer 1
On an aside… I uninstalled the Dolphin Viewer 1. The uninstall program leaves the Dolphin Viewer Cache behind. I had to manually delete it. I did not find any other Dolphin files left behind.
The Dolphin Viewer 2 uses a cache folder named DolphinViewer2. Be sure you get the right folder.