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back to article Opera sings WebKit's tune for new mobile browser

WebKit, the open source web page rendering engine used in Chrome and Safari, is about to pick up another sliver of market share after Norwegian browser-maker Opera revealed it will drop its own rendering engine in a forthcoming mobile browser. Opera has, for many years, used its own Presto rendering engine, but that apparently …

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Anonymous Coward

maybe firefox should follow suit?

.. webkit renders a lot better on a broad range of devices -- from a smart phone to my 40" samsung TV. FF renders poorly on large screens -- fonts overlap or too big etc.. try comparing how chrome and FF renders cnn on a large screen and you'll see what I mean.

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Stop

Re: maybe firefox should follow suit?

Don't matter how large your screen is, it's the resolution.

A 150" screen at 1366x768 is the same as a 17" at 1366*768.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: maybe firefox should follow suit?

"Don't matter how large your screen is, it's the resolution.

A 150" screen at 1366x768 is the same as a 17" at 1366*768."

That's not entirely true, the DPI is just as important. Keep in mind there are 7" tablets with a similar resolution (1280x800) where the increased DPI could mean the same font is using twice as many pixels as on a larger screen of the same resolution and a lower DPI.

View a screenshot taken on any modern smartphone on a PC to see this in action..

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Re: maybe firefox should follow suit?

Maybe Firefox should never follow suit. Webkit is fast, but it's also buggy. Comparing the number of site rendering errors I've had to fix in Gecko vs Webkit isn't even a contest, because the number for Gecko is 0.

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Childcatcher

Re: maybe firefox should follow suit?

Don't matter how large your screen is, it's the resolution.

That is not always the case, especially when dealing with the rendering of text. What looks good at a smaller physical size may look worse if it is simply blown up. Conversely, text meant to be read at a larger size can be rendered unreadable if it is simply reduced. This is a matter of the way we perceive proportion, not simply a function of resolution.

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income

I used to pay for Opera versions on the PC. Then they stopped wanting my money. So that was lost income.

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Not great

If infact their desktop browser becomes webkit too which seems likely, it's not good for standards, fewer rendering options means more chance of people writing html for implementations, not standards. =(

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Re: Not great

People always have written for implementations and not standards viz. the recent decisions by Opera and Firefox to support the webkit-prefixes in CSS. Browsers can be developed for standards but websites always have to be tested in browsers.

The real problem with a monoculture is, as we saw with IE 6, that it stifles innovation. Even if Webkit would, in theory, mean that vendor lock-in could be avoided there are still huge problems about security: what are the incentives to continue development without any competition?

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so???

What is the killer feature that WebKit provides that ICE couldn't?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: so???

A free development team is my bet.

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Re: so???

On IOS WebKit is the only engine allowed. Opera Mini currently avoids this restriction by rendering on the server and sending bytecode to thr browser. Opera Mobile and Desktop have a similar mode when running in Turbo, This is great for performance as it dramatically reduces both the number of connections and the volume of data transferred. However, it also imposes restrictions on client-side javascript which leads to more calls to Opera's proxy servers. So, as more and more websites become dependent on client-side javascriipt it's probably the only option for Opera to stay on IOS.

There's been no announcement so far so it will be interesting to hear the details as and when.

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Stop

I'm skeptical

A single throwaway comment, on a single pocket-lint article, posted last Friday. Where's the statement from someone at Opera? Has anyone even thought to ask?

Perhaps there's something more substantial in the video (I have no audio on this machine), but at this point, AFAICT, this is just more baseless rumour-mongering.

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Junior

Mozilla attempted something similar with Junior for iPad. This is just a concept UI for iPad, which doesn't allow Opera's own Presto to run.

I still have to see any official verification of this being an actual move by Opera. Some articles even incorrectly claimed the gentleman in the video is the CEO, which he is not.

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Anonymous Coward

F**k Opera

The browser, the singing, the music ...whatever. It all needs to go.

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Happy

Re: F**k Opera

But but... without Opera, where would the Firefox developers get their inspiration from?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: F**k Opera

You know, I don't mind it on TV with subtitles ...

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Re: F**k Opera

But but... without Opera, where would the Firefox developers get their inspiration from?

Yeah, I mean Opera's so awesome, it doesn't need a plugin architectu-.... Oh.

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Re: F**k Opera

Um... no.

As long as Opera is the only browser on mobile devices that automatically rewraps text when zoomed in so the user doesn't have to scroll back and forth AS WELL AS up and down to read a story, then f**k the rest of them.

Now, I'm sure that someone will come up with the "...but there's a plug-in for Firefox that does that..." whine.

F**k that, too. I don't really have the time nor the interest to hunt for add-ons that give me something that I can get out of the box elsewhere. A browser is a commodity product. I prefer a commodity that works the way that I want it to from Day 1 without requiring my fiddling with it. YMMV

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Re: F**k Opera

As long as Opera is the only browser on mobile devices that automatically rewraps text when zoomed in

It isn't. Firefox Mobile does it.

Now, I'm sure that someone will come up with the "...but there's a plug-in for Firefox that does that..." whine.

Nope, no plugin required (though on the original FF Mobile it was the most popular plugin). People requested it, Mozilla added it, job done.

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Re: F**k Opera

" 'As long as Opera is the only browser on mobile devices that automatically rewraps text when zoomed in'

"It isn't. Firefox Mobile does it."

Interesting. Because I've got Firefox for Android v.18.0 on my phone and tablet (Android 2.3.5 and 4.0.4, respectively) and it doesn't do it and doesn't give me that even as an option. Is there a newer version, or another FF that Google Whatsit isn't showing me?

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Re: F**k Opera

In settings, check "pinch to reflow text" and there you go. Maybe it's only in ff beta, I don't use anything else.

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Re: F**k Opera

Nope. Definitely not in the standard version, and I generally avoid "beta" anything. When/if they roll it out to the "real" one, I'll try it out. Until then, if it's only available in beta, my point stands.

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Anonymous Coward

New design direction?

"the new browser offers a different design direction to its competitors, presenting users a set of square icons to represent bookmarks in an arrangement closely resembling the iPhone's interface"

You mean speed dial?

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Re: New design direction?

Unlike Speed Dial, because there is no chrome, just a field of icons. Actions are all gesture controlled.

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Unsure

Presto is a great engine, one of the best infact. The ICE demo looks really nice. I am wondering if they need to use WebKit for iOS (because of lame Apple rules), but it will use Presto on everything else???

Either way, NOTHING is official, it's all hearsay from a single site (the same site that claimed Facebook for about to buy Opera).

I wouldn't trust too much.

What I do trust however, is Opera will do the right thing for it's userbase (250m users), and I don't care if that means WebKit, Presto or Trident (LOL...)

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Unhappy

Only two browsers left for Android

Firefox and Webkit. Android has a built-in Webkit-based browser and all the so-called third party browsers for Android are nothing but GUI wrappers that use the built-in browser's core. Opera Mobile and Firefox were the only ones with their own rendering core. They definitely aren't perfect and have their glitches but it's good to have choices. So now Opera Mobile on Android will be just another GUI like Maxthon, Dolphin, X-Scope etc.

A web browser consists of its own rendering core and GUI. Maxthon on Windows is not a browser but a GUI for IE.

Looks like downloading any further updates of Opera Mobile will be pointless since I already have a GUI I have settled on for my Android device. Hopefully Firefox for Android won't go the coreless route and continue improving as it's the only third party Android browser left.

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