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.
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 Last Dolphin Release Supporting OpenSim
Release 188.8.131.5216 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.