Black Dragon 2.4.1 – steaming ahead

Update, Thursday, December 4th: Black Dragon 2.4.1.4 bug fix update released on Wednesday, December 3rd.

It’s been a busy week for Niran V Dean and his Black Dragon viewer, with no fewer than four updates between Thursday, November 27th and Tuesday, December 2nd.

The first of these updates – which lifted the viewer from version 2.4.0.4  to 2.4.1 came on Thursday, November 27th, and was quickly followed by two bug fix updates, 2.4.1.1 on the 27th and 2.4.1.2 on Friday November 28th. Then version 2.4.1.3, also a bug fix update, appeared on Tuesday, December 2nd.

The major part of these updates, appearing in version 2.4.1, is a complete overhaul of the UI. Gone is the ability to place toolbar button up in the top left of the menu bar area, the ink blots surrounding floaters and panels, etc. Instead, the UI presents a look heavily influenced by Valve’s Steam client.  The result is a striking, charcoal grey finish to floater and panels, on which the white text shows up somewhat better than it did with the previous UI, together with bold white lines denoting fields, input boxes, etc., and individual headings to sections within a floater or tab highlighted in blue, all in a manner that works quite well.

Black dragon's 2.4.1 UI design
Black dragon’s 2.4.1 UI design

There are a few immediately noticeable “Niran-isms” on display: the Favourites bar, for example, is now above the Navigation bar, rather than under it, as with most viewers. There’s also a nice incorporation of the notifications icon into the navigation bar area as well, over to the right of the screen. And, of course, the Dragon menu single point-of-access to the viewer’s menu tree is retained.

Given this release was an extensive overhaul of the UI, 2.4.1 and its subsequent releases didn’t bring too much in the way of new features to viewer, which is unsurprising – there’s work enough involved in getting the UI sorted for a release.  There were a few issues following the initial 2.4.1 update – hence the release of 2.4.1.1 through 2.4.1.3, but looking at the release notes, most of these seem to have been nips and tucks rather than major “oopsie” fixes.

The updated preferences panel showing the crisper layout of the new UI
The updated preferences panel showing the crisper layout of the new UI

In terms of LL code updates, Black Dragon 2.4.1 through 2.4.1.3 see the viewer again reach parity with the Lab’s viewer, including implementing the benchmark viewer code and HTTP pipelining (I believe).

As always, for a full breakdown of updates, please refer to the Black Dragon change log, which lists changes from the most release release (in this case, 2.4.1.1) on down.

I did encounter a couple of minor problems with the viewer – although these may well be operator induced. Setting neither the “Show Network Stats” and “Show L$ Balance in Statusbar” options in Preferences > Interface seemed to do anything for me. I was particularly keen to try the latter, as I personally find having my account balance displayed in the Inventory floater nothing short of the PITA. But, other than these, the  – admittedly brief – drive I did take with the viewer revealed nothing exasperatingly unpleasant or unexpected.

Overall, and interesting and clean UI update; one which I personally prefer to the last outing.

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6 thoughts on “Black Dragon 2.4.1 – steaming ahead

  1. Network Stats works fine here, the L$ balance obviously needs removal (haven’t gone through preferences and cleaned up all the menus yet). Network stats are the 2 little black bars at the far right of your top bar.

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    1. You mean the two black bars that show up in black on a black background when enabled? Yup, those are the ones I’m not seeing.

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      1. Yes those. I can see them fine up there, the toggle in Preferences – Interface works just fine for me (as well as the debug option ‘ShowNetStats’).

        Also made an update that fixes some more stuff i found and removes the L$ balance option for the top bar.

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        1. I’ll check the new release when I can, for me the stats bars on 2.4.1.3 don’t show-up when toggled. Tested on every log in and with main account and CTA. But as noted, could be something my end (just no idea what…).

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          1. I found Black Dragon just a few days ago. Had to roll back AMD graphics driver to 14.4 to see attached mesh (same as for Firestorm). However, I’ve also had 3 major (like there is any other kind) blue screen dumps. 😦 Salvaged my PC, but now I’m very nervous about venturing into the Black Dragon territory again. Too bad the graphics are stunning. I have an AMD Radeon 7870 card. 12 Gig Ram, Windows 7. Is anyone else having issues. with Blue Screen in the Dragon?

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            1. Not encountered any problems myself – although running Win 7/64 + Nvidia.

              For those who are using AMD and still having issues with drivers, Yoho Waco has provided a zip file with the 14.9 DLL files for those wishing to swap-out. This doesn’t solve all of the problems (and if someone is willing to put the 14.4 DLLs up somewhere in a ZIP, I’ll be happy to post details in this blog). As Yoho’s notes have proven so useful, I put out a blog post on them here.

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