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

dolphin-logoLance Corrimal released Dolphin Viewer 3.2.24.24816 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 3.2.24.24816 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.

Performance

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.

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

  1. Love the new minimap. Glad Lance was able to include it so quickly. I hope this encourages more people to try Dolphin. It is my viewer of choice, would love to see it get more press and users.

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  2. Until tone mapping is used, sorry to say but its no use to me!
    I got an amzing performance x quality with it and the lack of its use in most tpv, knowing that it will be the 1st feature ever implemented from a tpv into the offivcial viewer, strikes me as a perfect nonsense!
    And if one can argue that most Sl users don’t have hardware good enough to run a viewer in its max graphics settings, i refute saying that even when defered rendering is disabled, both exodus and Niran’s nightbulds run on high fps then any other viewer!
    So if Catnip or Dolphin dont move to tone mapping, my hope is that Niran or Exodus use the mini map revamped on their next builds!
    But i really would love to see more tpv’s using both features.

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    1. There have been many many TPV projects that have ended up in the official code base.

      If something is going to end up in the official LL code base and eventually in every viewer by default, it’s good karma to leave that code well alone till such time as LL release it.

      (Catznip Project Manager)

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  3. That looks cool, but I’m not installing yet another viewer. LL’s viewer is more stable for graphics/pictures and FS has more tools for building and inventory management. Two is enough for me. Nice feature, though.

    You’ve “never really seen the point of Minimap” ?? Lordy, I don’t think in the last five years I’ve ever had it closed. It’s essential in my view. Tells you who’s around you and gives you a good lay of the land.

    The default does, admittedly, have one major flaw. It shows prims which are a bloody nuisance and all I want to see is LAND and PEOPLE. But that’s easily solved. Go into Advanced/Show Debug Settings and search for MiniMapPrimMaxRadius. Set the value to 0 (zero). Voila, all you will see thereafter are topography, avatar dots, and reduced display of your own personal prims (teal-color). Nice and tidy and yes, absolutely necessary when using vehicles.

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    1. I use a TPV which, for telling me who is around, has Radar, which is an advantage, as there is the mini-map if I need it, and a list of names complete with options to IM, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I get the usefulness when sailing / flying – but these are activities I’ve only recently engaged in, and I’ve naturally preferred pulling out the Wrold Map the brief times I’ve needed to see what is going on around me when on the Mainland.

      Interesting comments on your photography. I’m one of the people plagued by the (more than 2-years-old) tiling bug, so vannot take shots at a higher resolution than my screen (1440×900). Well, I suppose I could if I could ever get my head around Photoshop, I guess, but it tends to lave me sobbing into a very tall mug of hot choloclate inside of 15 minutes. I’m envious that you can get wawy with high-rez photos :).

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  4. it has always cracked me up that men seem to find the mini map useful (in any viewer) and walk around with it open… imagine! whereas women rarely use it or only use it for task specific erm, tasks. me i cant understand it at all, and being typically dyslexic, never will get left from right, east from west figured out, so i treat most maps as though they are pictures.
    ^ but this one looks like a prettier picture at least 😛

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    1. In fairness, I can see the mini-map (even in its default form) has having uses for flying, combat rp, etc. It’s sort-of the equivalent of getting having a small, folded map you can refer to quickly and having to get the full Ordinance Survey Map (as we call them in the UK) out and unfolding it acrossthe windscreen :).

      Having taken Dolphin for a spin yesterday while flying my trusty little Stingray for a trip over Blake Sea, I found the revised Mini-map a wonder – and more convenient than having YAH (“yet another hud”) on my screen.

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  5. When i used Phoenix, minimap was useless.
    A simple reason for that, i crashed after 2 or 3 sim crossings, so i never did trips like im doing since a few months ago!
    And Phoenix radar was really amazing!
    Now with Niran, before i got the Explorer Hud, i had to use it a lot and still do, cause being being able to corss how many sims i want allow me to fly and on a plane its easy to get lost!

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