A Shining Dolphin 3.2.6

dolphin-logoIt’s getting to be hard work keeping up with Viewer releases!

Lance Corrimal has issued an update to Dolphin – 3.2.3 (22899), which he’s calling (a little tongue-in-cheek) the “Fellowship” edition in that, in quoting Tolkien, the development of this release is a “Tale that grew in the telling”!

Based on the latest release of RLV from Marine Kelley, and the official “Shining” 3.2.6 release from LL, the update brings Dolphin 3 bang up-to-date with the latest OpenGL fixes from the lab.

While conditions were not absolutely identical to my earlier “tests”, I made my usual Viewer UI and settings tweaks, and took the Viewer for a spin on my (now “standard”) “test” sims. The results were as follows:

  • High graphics, no deferred: averaged 46fps at 370m and 38fps at 22m
  • High with deferred ON: 21fps at 370m and 17fps at 22m
  • High with deferred and shadows ON (Sun + Moon + projectors): 12fps at both heights

On my home sim, and on my own, frame rates bounced around the 58-61fps mark while up at the house.

Updates

The core updates to the Viewer comprise:

  • Options to auto-accept / auto-open textures, photos and notecards (both via PREFERENCES->DOLPHIN VIEWER 3->INTERFACE)
  • Empty system folders (e.g. Objects, Notecards, etc) are hidden from your inventory list
  • The additional pop-up informing you that a landmark has been added to a folder can be suppressed (from Firestorm)
  • Firestorm’s inventory filtering options have been implemented in Dolphin, allowing inventory to be filtered by description, UUID, creator, name, etc; or can be filtered by combinations of words separated by “+”(e.g. Joe+Smith) (from Firestorm)
  • Debug level (verbosity) of log files can be configured (STORM-1790)
  • Default debug level has been changed to WARNING to make the logs less chatty

The ability to hide empty system folders is rather novel, and works automatically – once a system folder is empty, it is hidden (see right, and note there is no Landmarks or Notecards folder).

If you end up with an empty Body Parts, Clothing, Gestures, Notecards or Scripts folder, you can “unhide” it by creating a new item from the + button on at the bottom of the inventory panel – creating a new item will automatically un-hide the required system folder.

Similarly, creating a Landmark (or left-clicking on a Landmark in a notecard) will automatically unhide the Landmark folder, and so on.

Those who don’t use the system folders may find this capability useful to have and cuts down on the clutter in their inventory.

Selecting additional inventory search filters

In adopting the new Firestorm inventory filters, Dolphin appears to have adopted the accompanying issue that searching on creator, UUID, etc., isn’t particularly intuitive for the first-timer. To search by a specific additional criteria – UUID, creator, etc., – you must click on the gear button at the bottom of the Inventory panel and select the required option in SEARCH BY before you commence a search. It would be nice to see all the filters grouped into a single location in the future.

Lance notes a few other issues with the Viewer – so again, if you experience them, please don’t report them, as he’s liable to be already trying to sort things out where he can, or awaiting a fix from LL. He lists the known issues as:

  • “Textures with transparency have a grey background instead of the usual checkerboard pattern in any texture preview UI element (e.g. the preview window when you upload a texture, or when you open a texture from your inventory). Applied to prims, the textures will be fine. People, use the temp upload feature and check your new textures on a prim if you need to test something with transparency. This problem exists in all viewers that are based on the latest viewer-development code, even in the official Second Life viewer 3.2.4 from Linden Lab. There is already a JIRA for it: https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-28037. Please go and watch and vote.
  • “The alignment handles in the Build Tool all point upwards instead of inwards. The alignment tool still works the same way, it just looks funky.
  • “The automatic opening of incoming notecards and pictures is highly dependent on lag.
  • “There is still no Flickr uploader.”

Rendering

This release puts Dolphin back up in the list of “fast fps” Viewers for my system, and rendering on the whole is good, and I’m now getting a similar “pop-out” for sculpts already loaded in local cache (i.e. my furniture at home) on logging-in / teleporting home I get with some of the other recent Viewer releases. Shadows render well, although I’m still taking a bit of an additional performance hit with shadows and occlusion both active.

Overall, a nice set of updates that should please Dolphin regulars.

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