It’s been several months since the release of the last Dolphin viewer update (March 2013). This means the viewer is lagging behind many of the 2013 updates from the Lab, including things like Server-side Appearance, materials, etc.
Lance Corrimal, the man behind Dolphin is not unaware that this is the situation. His real life this year has been such that it has required almost all of his attention (including starting a new job which sees him travelling and away from home a lot of the time), all of which has limited the time he can devote to the viewer, as much as he’d like to be able to do so.
In July and August he gave a couple of short updates on his situation, which I also passed on through these pages, and on November 22nd, he posted a further update on the Dolphin website, which reads in part:
I am not exactly happy about what I have to announce here, but this is how it is going to be:
The next Dolphin Viewer is not going to be around any time soon.
I have looked at the mess that my current state of the sources would produce, and I have (finally but far too late) come to this decision:
I will start from scratch.
Right now, taking the current Dolphin Viewer source and just “shoe-horning” in everything new from the official sources produces a terrible mess that does not compile cleanly, let alone works. Besides, the last Dolphin Viewer has a quite large number of features that don’t work any more, due to changes that the Lab has made in the meantime, temp uploads being one of them.
So, I’ll basically have to reinvent everything. That will of course take some time. I’m guessing “several months” right now, not the least due to the fact that with my new job that I have been doing since April, I’m travelling a lot, so I’m not even home all that much. I’ll see how much I can do on my company laptop.
I will go back to my usual “release early, release often” policy, as soon as I have something that is properly branded as Dolphin Viewer and has more to offer than just the name. I will plan to release at least a public beta as soon as I have something.
This would suggest that an updated Dolphin viewer is unlikely to emerge before the end of the year, and that we may be a few months into 2014 before one does. However, the upside of this is that Lance is not abandoning the viewer, which has enjoyed a loyal following. Patience remains the order of the day as he tries to balance the demands of real life and Second Life on his time.
One additional consequence of everything going-on for Lance right now is that he plans to eventually stop building / providing openSUSE rpm packages for some of the other third-party viewers; as he notes himself, he just can’t seem to pack more than 24 hours into a day.
Further news / updates from Lance will be reported as they become available.