Dolphin bids “adieu” to OpenSim, says “hello” to Mini-map

dolphin-logoLance Corrimal released Dolphin Viewer on November 1st.

The release comprises a small number of updates, of which perhaps the most significant is the inclusion of the revised Mini-map first seen in Catznip R7.

For the most part, I have to say that I’ve never really seen the point of the Mini-map. Certainly, it has its various uses at times – role-play, combat, etc., but for me, the big let-down with it has been the map itself, impaired by an exceptionally weak background texture and god-awful zooming.

Catznip R7 revised all this, as I recently reviewed, completely overhauling the Mini-map and making it an exceptionally useful tool – and one I have been hoping would be adopted elsewhere (such as the code being contributed to LL).

Dolphin now includes the revised Mini-map in this release, and to mark its arrival, Lance has called the release his “Sailor’s Mini-map Mark 2”. It’s well-named, as the new Mini-map is a complete godsend for those into sailing and flying – and will probably be really handy for those who engage in cross-region road races.

The code includes all of Kitty’s refinements and updates, and really does make flying and sailing a joy without needing to necessarily clutter-up the screen with a lot of HUDs and having to waste space with the World Map to confirm your overall location.

Red Alert: using the updated mini-map to avoid parcels with object entry turned off

Not only does it how you your overall direction, it displays upcoming region boundaries, allowing you to make adjustments to course and speed which may help smooth the crossing (very handy in avoiding the risk of trying to make the diagonal corner-crossing between regions, which so often finishes rather badly (at least for me).

The revised Mini-map also helps avoid those pesky parcels where object entry has been turned off, showing them in red in the display, allowing sailors and aviators to navigate around them without suddenly finding themselves bouncing up against something or having their craft vanish from under them.

Other Updates in the Release:

  • Reset graphics preferences to default button in status panel, next to draw distance slider, labeled “GReset”.
  • Z offset reset button relabeled to “Z” to get room for GReset button.
  • “Refresh texture” also refreshes sculpt maps (from Firestorm).
  • “Restore inworld” now also sets the proper land group if you have “Rez with land group” switched on and are a member of that group.
The new reset graphics button (GReset) and revised Z-offset buttons in Dolphin’s menu bar

The Last Dolphin Release Supporting OpenSim

Release marks the end of line for OpenSim support within the Dolphin Viewer; it will be removed from future releases. That Lance would no longer be supporting OpenSim was made in a Dolphin blog announcement back in August 2012. The reason for this is the new Havok sub-licence arrangement Linden Lab have entered into, and Lance feeling he is unable to support two flavours of Dolphin for SL and OpenSim access on his own – which is a fair and reasonable decision on his part.

Should anyone wish to continue development of Dolphin to specifically support OpenSim access, Lance has created a clone of the original Dolphin repository for anyone wishing to fork the viewer, and he is also leaving the 3.3.19 release installers available for download from the Dolphin website.


This release of Dolphin sees a slight upturn in FPS rates over recent viewer reviews for me, if again using my rough-and-ride technique. With my usual test defaults (see the Review Systems panel on the right of this blog’s home page), I subjected Dolphin on my Linden Home region with three other residents (including my Alt in the same parcel) with the following results:

  • Deferred off:
    • Ground: 38-39 fps
    • 370 metres: 43-44 fps
    • 2875 metres: 55-56 fps
  • Deferred on + lighting set to Sun/Moon + Projectors; ambient occlusion on, full reflections:
    • Ground: 11 fps
    • 370 metres:15 fps
    • 2875 metres: 17 fps

I did find that running in Deferred with both lighting & shadows and ambient occlusion active within my Linden Home parcel did result is a significant drop in fps (to 5-6). A quick test with Catznip produced the same result.

Overall, a small, tidy, and welcome update.

Viewer release summary 2012: week 44

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information as the week progresses
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: 4 November, 2012

  • SL Viewer updates:
      • Beta version rolled to on Nov 2 – core updates: core updates: tcmalloc re-enabled; realloc disabled  (release notes)
      • Development version rolled to on October 30
      • CHUI project viewer updated to on October 30
  • Dolphin released version on November 1 – core updates: Incorporates World Map background in Mini-map, incl. parcel boundaries, etc. (from Catznip R7); Button to reset Grpahics settings to default in the menu bar (GReset); Refresh Texture refreshes scupts and tortured pirms (from Firestorm); Restore Inworld also sets to land group, if the latter enabled through prefs; this is the final Dolphin version which will support OpenSim access (release notes)
  • Niran’s viewer rolled to 2.0.2212 on October 29 – core updates: fading toats, experimental tweaks to webkit plugin; removal of “Hide Lookat feature (release notes)
  • Cool VL updates:
    • Stable branch rolled to on November 3 – core updates: bug fixes imported from Firestorm; additional bug fixies and optimisations; further media on a prim (MOAP) backports and fixes, option remains disabled as work continues; system clothing layers now stack correctly under RLV; fixes for using Temp directories for plug-ins; OpenSim support: pirms now resizeable to 0.001.
    • Experimental branch rolled to also on November 3 – core updates as per main release, plus:Reverted the “blurry/rainbow texture” fix implemented in the last release for the new HTTP texture fetch, as it caused memory leaks. Recommendation is to disable the new HTTP capability to avoid blurry/rainbow textures, or use the “reload selected texture”
    • Release notes
  • Libretto – removed from round-up page due to website being unavailable for a month and no response from creator on status (also removed from the SL Third-party Viewer Directory)

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