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Finally! The first public beta of the new Dolphin Viewer 3!

It is my great pleasure to announce that I finally have something that I can release into the wild!

I present you with:
The first public beta of the revamped Dolphin Viewer 3!

Right now it’s on par with RLV 2.9.1 (the official viewer around version 3.7.9), just before SLShare came in, but I’ll be working on that now.

Implemented from what we had in the last public Dolphin Viewer 3:

  • Mesh upload
  • Sailor’s mini map Mk.II
  • Worn tab
  • Inventory filters
  • Lots of small fixes

Missing:

  • All build tool improvements
  • Area search
  • Asset blacklist
  • Spam protection

Not going to be implemented:

  • Flickr uploader (see: SLShare)
  • Client AO (see previous blog posts)
  • Media filter (see previous blog posts)

The Windows download is here (and not on the download page, since it is only a beta version).

The Linux version is only available as a rpm package for openSUSE 12.3 and 13.1 right now, just do a “zypper in dolphinviewer3-beta” after adding the repository (instructions are on the download page) to try it out.

Update: the download link for a Linux version of the Dolphin Viewer 3 BETA is here. Of course openSUSE users can simply install it with zypper or from YaST, if the repository has been added.

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the Dolphin Viewer is not going anywhere.

I’m sure that by now a lot of rumours and white noise is flying around after Ebbe Altberg basically announced at a TPV meeting that the Lab is working on “the next big thing” to come.

Especially in this thread on SLU a lot of people sound as if the Lab is going to pull the plug on SL “any time now”.

To that I only say, “If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant an apple tree today.”

From what I understand from what Ebbe actually said at the TPV meeting, SL is here to stay for at least several more years, I mean come on, first beta late next year, that means public availability as a finished product not until 4-5 years from now… and he says even then they will keep SL around as long as it makes them money.

What this means for The Dolphin Viewer is pretty obvious to me: I’ll be working on it just as before (which means way too slow to be proud about it). Heh, if y’all have a problem with my working speeds, chip in some $ so that I can have a laptop that actually has enough power to work on building viewers when I’m travelling :)

That being said… “This is the end of Second Life” has been a constant cry to be heard in certain forums for the last five years at least, and guess what, my account still works, so… guess what, I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for the lights go dark.

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Dolphins don’t always move all that fast…

Here’s a little bit of a status update on Dolphin Viewer…

I am currently struggling with the changes under the hood that have come into the official source code by means of “Project Interesting” (as many other TPV developers are too).

Besides that, I do have now, on top of what I listed in the previous update:

  • Worn tab
  • Preferences page
  • Machinima floater

And I made a few decisions about some features that the Dolphin Viewer won’t have in the future:

  • No client-side AO (To fully implement this in such a way that the user can have the same advantages that are possible with inworld AO attachments , I’d have to port the scripted Bridge from Firestorm, and that is too big a fish for me to fry. Besides I don’t want to force an attachment like the Bridge on people.)
  • No media filter (Is that one really still needed? Does actually having to confirm the URL for a stream actually help anything?)
  • No Flickr uploader (After all there is “SL Share” coming from the Lab, which includes a Flickr uploader, and posting to Twitter.)

So after getting through all that “Project Interesting” mess, I still need to get the build tools sorted, area search, and the inventory filters … and then we can haz dolphins!

Timeline: “When it’s done.”

 

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Dophin Viewer 3 on openSUSE

Here’s another little bit of pre-release information:

openSUSE 12.2 is officially End-Of-Life as of January 27, 2014. That means, I won’t be providing rpm packages of the Dolphin Viewer 3 for openSUSE 12.2 anymore. The last one available for openSUSE 12.2 will be 3.4.14.

That being said, if you are running openSUSE 12.3, and have been using the Dolphin Viewer 3 through packages from the RPM repository, try a “zypper install dolphinviewer3-beta” if you feel like it :)

Once I have an actual release, the beta version will uninstall itself, just like magic.

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The Ghost of Dolphins Yet To Come

Just in case you thought it would not happen … from Help/About:

Dolphin Viewer 3 3.5.99 (30446) Jan 25 2014 17:15:48 (RestrainedLove viewer v2.08.05.09 (3.6.11.30354))

So far I have:

  • Latest Viewer-Release+RLV
  • The Sailor’s Mini Map V2
  • Avatar name in the title bar
  • Several bugfixes

What I still need before I can even think of calling it a public beta, let alone release:

  • Proper branding in all places, including icons and names of settings files
  • Preferences pages for all Dolphin Viewer 3 features
  • Flickr uploader
  • Improved build tools
  • Worn tab
  • Advanced inventory search/filter
  • Area search
  • Machinima floater

Estimated release date: no idea yet. Right now I have time to work on it, but that might change in a few weeks.

Just thought you’d like to know…

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The next Dolphin Viewer…

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.

Not exactly totally unrelated: I will eventually stop building / providing openSUSE rpm packages for some of the other third party viewers in my OBS repository. I just can’t seem to get more than 24 hours out of a day.