Update 16th March: features from this Viewer have been attributed as coming from NACL, which is apparently incorrect. As information is taken at source, I’ve now removed references from the article below. It is also reported that the Sound Explorer and Asset Blacklist may have licencing issues – see Comments.
The latest release, 184.108.40.20698 offers potentially improved graphics handling for older / lower-specification graphics systems (with the exception of ATi systems) and provides blacklisting capabilities for those who are repeatedly troubled by unwanted sights / sounds or need to find an elusive sound.
For graphics cards with 512Mb or less of memory, Dolphin will have texture compression enabled by default. This should help prevent such systems crashing when running SL. The option can be manually enabled / disabled via PREFERENCES->GRAPHICS->HARDWARE SETTINGS.
Lance advises that users with ATi graphics cards should avoid using the option, and keep it switched off.
Asset Blacklisting and Sound Explorer
The Asset Blacklist is a means of removing unwanted objects, textures or sculpt maps from your world-view. Sounds can also be blacklisted via the Sound Explorer (described below).
The Asset Blacklist operates in a similar manner to derendering an item, but with the advantages that a) items that are blacklisted remain so until de-listed, so that if you teleport away from a location and return, you do not need to de-render them again; b) the asset blacklist can be shared by accounts using the same Viewer; c) you can even share lists with other users – hand if you are running a Group or similar and your base of operations is blighted in some way.
Items are added to the list by asset type – object, texture, sculpt map – and recorded by UUID to prevent a simple renaming of the object causing it to reappear.
Blacklisted items are managed via the Asset Blacklist floater (WORLD->ASSET BLACKLIST).
The Sound Explorer allows you to list all sound sources operating around you. It is accessed via WORLD->SOUND EXPLORER. This enables you to filter the available sounds by type, listen to them individually, identify their location and, if required, add them to your Asset Blacklist.
Both of these make extremely useful additions to the Viewer, and will likely prove very useful for those who routinely visit places where there may be issues with items or sounds impacting personal enjoyment.
Other Nips and Tucks
- Anti-spam also arrives in Dolphin with this release (ME->PREFERENCES->DOLPHIN 3-> ANTI-SPAM
- Help has been extensively overhauled within this release of Dolphin so that all help buttons in the Viewer now redirect to the Dolphin Viewer forum
- The “Items incoming too fast” pop-up behaviour has been changed so that it is no longer necessary to click OK in order to remove the message – it will now fade-out on its own (something I hope all other TPVs will adopt; the message is annoying in its default behaviour)
- Anti-aliasing is no longer off by default as it doesn’t impact overall performance so much as it once did
- Fly-after-teleport has been fixed within the Viewer so that if you were flying prior to a teleport, you’ll still be flying on arrival
- There have been some performance tweaks.
This release has some nice additions for those that suffer visual / audio blights around their home space in-world. While the “performance tweaks” aren’t specified in the Dolphin blog, while running this release I did obtain a very small improvement of my average fps rates (around 3-4fps), with this release averaging around 41fps at 390 metres, and 23fps on the ground compared with the last release of Dolphin I actively tried (220.127.116.1163). With shadows enabled, this drops-off to around 12fps at 390 metres and 10fps on the ground (all checks with 3 other avatars on-sim)..
I also recently used Dolphin on Kitely, where it also worked flawlessly, making it my 2nd choice of Viewer for visiting other VWs, after Exodus.