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.

Dolphin Viewer and support for OpenSim

I am writing to Dolphin users to advise that in the current development code for Second Life, Linden Lab has removed support for connecting to other grids. This is due to licensing restrictions imposed on Linden Lab for the use of Havok libraries (needed for pathfinding, mesh uploads etc).

This means that in order for future versions of Dolphin to access OpenSim, there would need to be a separate version with its own maintenance path.

Since Dolphin is a one-person project, I regrettably do not have the time to develop two parallel versions of the viewer for 3 operating systems.

So, please note that effective with the next release, the Dolphin Viewer will no longer have the list of OpenSim-based grids on the login screen, or the following commandline parameters –loginpage, –loginuri, and –helperuri.

I will provide a clone of the original repository for anyone who might want to fork it to make updated versions for OpenSim. I will also leave the 3.3.19 installers available on the website.




Dolphin Viewer 3, Direct Delivery, and the Merchant Outbox

As most of you should know, Linden Lab™ has rolled out what they named “Direct Delivery”, a new technique to deliver Second Life Marketplace purchases to customers that does not utilize Magic boxes anymore.

If you do not sell anything on the Second Life Marketplace, most of this post does not concern you, since receiving Direct Delivery items from the Marketplace works as it should. All you will need to know, is that you have a new ‘Received Items’ folder, where all your SL Marketplace purchases will go if the merchant uses Direct Delivery.

If you do sell things on the Marketplace, please read on:

During this roll-out, Linden Lab™ has followed their true and trusted procedures and changed course in the last second, by announcing that Magic Boxes will cease to function in May 2012, in total disagreement with all their previous statements which were to the effect that Magic Boxes would continue to work for some time.

What you need to know is that uploading your products to the Second Life Marketplace does not work on linux or Mac OS X right now, and does not work reliably on Windows on any viewer, including the official Linden Lab™ viewer.

The reports on the JIRA seem to indicate that, at least on Windows, it can help to switch your viewer language to English.

My own findings show that the “Merchant Outbox” has other very volatile issues as well, such as not even showing up all the time.

For now, if you have to migrate items from your old Magic Box, use the original 3.3.0 Viewer for Windows from Linden Lab, which is available here. If this is not an option for you because you do not run a Windows operating system, I suggest that you comment to that effect on the JIRA. The links are further up in this post.

Here is the planned migration schedule:

  • April 2 through 13, 2012: Inworld Q&A sessions on using and migrating to Direct Delivery
  • April 18, 2012: All listings priced L$10 and lower must use Direct Delivery
  • May 16, 2012: Magic Boxes no longer allowed for any Marketplace listing


Statement on the changed TPV Policy

Effective Friday, February 24th 2012, Linden Lab has added the following clauses to the Third Party Viewer Policy:

2.a.iii : You must not provide any feature that circumvents any privacy protection option made available through a Linden Lab viewer or any Second Life service.

2.i : You must not display any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of any other Second Life user.

2.j : You must not include any information regarding the computer system, software, or network connection of the user in any messages sent to other viewers, except when explicitly elected by the user of your viewer.

2.k : You must not provide any feature that alters the shared experience of the virtual world in any way not provided by or accessible to users of the latest released Linden Lab viewer.

I have reviewed the above changes, had some discussion with my colleagues and find the following:

  • As far as sections 2.a.iii, 2.i and 2.j are concerned, the Dolphin Viewer 3 does not contain any features that violate those sections.
  • As for section 2.k, the only feature that would have violated this clause was Qarl Fizz’s Mesh Deformer, which was removed from Dolphin 3 in the last release due to the fact that  it simply didn’t work  well in its current iteration.

Therefore, based on my understanding of the above policy changes, the Dolphin Viewer 3 remains compliant with Linden Lab’s Third Party Viewer policy.

Petition against automated vehicles on Mainland

As you can see from some of the oldest features in the Dolphin Viewer, the main focus group for it are people who ride vehicles (boats, cars, planes etc.) in Second Life. These are coincidentally the same people who would love to see those automated vehicles run by AnnOToole and others gone. Especially the one that pushed you off the road just now. And the ice cream truck on the water of the Mallard River.

Someone started a petition against them, since the Lindens don’t seem to care at all.

Please go and sign it, thanks.