back to article Opera debuts Chromium-luvvin' desktop browser Next 15

The biggest change to Opera's browser in 17 years has debuted, with code for Opera Next released today for Windows and Mac. Opera Software today announced the beta availability of a completely re-engineered version of its browser that rips out the old plumbing in favour of Chromium, the open-source code that's the basis for …

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Facepalm

"a combined search and address bar"

Oh dear.

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Re: "a combined search and address bar"

LOL! even IE has one of those!!!

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Def
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WTF?

Re: "a combined search and address bar"

So has Opera for at least a couple of years now. So, I'm not sure what they're talking about.

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So

Does this make use of Webkit as in Webkit, or Webkit as in Blink.

/

Does Blink exist anymore, or did google drop it before it picked up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So

It uses Blink.

http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/2013/05/28/a-first-peek-at-opera-15-for-computers

"It's called Opera Next 15 and it's based on Chromium 28 — which means that it comes with Blink on board"

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This post has been deleted by its author

WTF?

Windows only for now?

And yet the accompanying picture is of it running on a Mac on OSX.

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Re: Windows only for now?

(that's the pic on the Opera download site, not t'Reg.)

Where the Linux version too?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows only for now?

Windows and Mac. Linux coming soon.

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Happy

Re: Windows only for now?

Its been test marketed on Linux under the alias 'Chromium' so you would never know. Posting from it right now. Will Opera XP be catching up RSN ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows only for now?

Don't think Chromium's Opera - according to Debian it's what Chromium is based on and open source. Opera's never been open, has it?

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Re: Windows only for now?

"Opera's never been open, has it"

Nope was shareware then freeware so the source has never been available.

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Tried it

Couldn't believe how cumbersome it felt compared to the old browser - this on an S3

Plus, you can't access your bookmarks through Opera Link (apart from Speed Dial) unless you import them to the Speed Dial.

The only upside that I've found is that Facebook has an improved interface on the new browser (queue Facebook-hating commentards ;-) )

Luckily you can download the old one, now labelled Opera Classic, from the app store. Will be sticking with this for the foreseeable future.

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JDX
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Re: Tried it

This article is about Opera full-fat desktop version, not Opera Mini, isn't it?

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FAIL

Re: Tried it

WOW, your S3 runs Windows or MacOS???

Did you even read the article????

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Re: Tried it

Ah. My mistake.

Thought it was about the new android browser.

As you were :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Impressions so far.

VERY good. They have taken the best bits of chrome and put their own spin on things. Many of the things that made Opera so great are still there, some are missing but being worked on, and will arive soon.

Been using it all day, it's rock solid, already includes Blink (based on Chromium 28.0.1500.20), and it feels very speedy..

Needs Opera-Link (coming soon), and I hope RSS panel of some description comes back, I sorely miss that.

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Re: Impressions so far.

A missing 'Feeds' panel in the final release would be a deal breaker for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impressions so far.

Absolutely. People thought I was crazy when I said there was a corporate conspiracy to stop people using RSS feeds. And maybe I am crazy, but you can't help notice RSS feeds being dropped in favour of social media junk like TwitFace.

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Re: Impressions so far.

Feeds are in the separately available <a href="http://snapshot.opera.com/opera-mail/first_1.0-1033/Opera-Mail-1.0-1033.i386.exe>Mail client</a>. Always loved having mail and rss integrated in Opera. We'll have to see if separating allows for independent release cycles. This could work in M2's favour as it has traditionally been held back by the browser side's release schedule. But it could also be an orphaning off of the client like Mozilla has effectively done with Thunderbird.

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Re: Impressions so far.

Very bad. They've dropped everything that made Opera different from any-other-browser in the interest of the New Shiny.

I hope this state of malnutrition is solved by waiting a couple of months, whereby:

a) The recently-evicted Opera Mail (which is still on Presto) gets its own port to Blink and is reintegrated in the browser

b) Opera Link gets reimplemented

c) Mouse-button rocker shortcuts come back

d) Panels come back (we all use wide screens now, Panels are perfect)

e) Site-specific preferences

f) Site-specific ad-blocking

g) Customizable Speed Dial

h) Customizable Discover, or a "My Feeds" alternative alongside Discover

i) Proper page zoom comes back

j) Status bar comes back

k) Customizable search shortcuts or dropdown

l) Dragonfly comes back

etc., etc. If the Mobile browser hadn't come in Beta as Kate Moss and in Final as Kate Moss and two green-peas' worth of lunch, why would I be worried?

Opera is building a totally new browser, as the faithful feared. The new, streamlined version is twice the size and spends thrice the memory. And does a tenth of the previous one. But hey, it has the shiny Facebook and Gmail interfaces!

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Re: Impressions so far.

well opera usage is barely a blip on most graphs these days... will this make it finally sink???

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Re: Impressions so far.

Will give this a try tonight, but you've listed a number of my favourite Opera features...

Given how bad the new Opera Mobile is, I seriously hope they are still planning a lot of work on these.

If Mobile doesn't get better soon, I'm either going to roll back or find an alternatively and lose thinks like Link.

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Def
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FAIL

Re: Impressions so far.

I got as far as realising you can't ctrl+enter to automatically convert the text in the address bar into a url. (Ie surround with 'http://' and '.com'.

So that was 90 seconds of my life I wont see again. *sigh*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Impressions so far.

Opera has 250m users, hardly "a blip".

You should stop believing browsing surveys that only look at the traffic for a handful of US websites that only Americans look at....

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FAIL

Re: Impressions so far.

> You should stop caring about browsing surveys [snip]

There, fixed that for you.

Honestly, my browser experience is far more important to me than other people's.

Fail is for surveys in general.

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Unhappy

Re: Impressions so far.

Indeed, barely a tenth of the functionalities and customization options. I realise it's a beta, but they better get their act together as it's unusable for me right now.

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Unhappy

Re: Impressions so far.

@ScissorHands

Agree with most of it, one thing I must have is the option to save what tabs I have open when I close the browser (Used to love the option on Lotus Notes before it was taken off me). Unless I have been completly blind its required the use of third party apps (OR in IE's case crash it and it'll reload the tabs whilst moaning something crashed the browser).

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Alert

Re: Impressions so far.

Opera Next isn't Opera... yet? http://bit.ly/13BQsvn

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JDX
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Differentiation?

As a non-Opera user, how does this new version differentiate itself from Chrome in terms of real functionality (rather than simply being Chrome without alleged spying)? Does it bring Opera's old featureset along, whatever that is, or is this a total restart?

I like Chrome but wouldn't mind trying something Chromey if it has some cool features.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Differentiation?

It's got the compatability of Chrome/Webkit and the added Opera magic sauce, what's not to love.

It's still a little feature light, more functionality is coming in the next betas. But even now it's certainly usable on a day to day basis, and there are some REALLY nice features, like the speed dial that supports folders.

One of the big things this allows, is Opera to use Chrome extensions (currently a subset, but will eventually support all of them, in addition to opera's own extension API for speed dial.).

Opera also released a tool to convert extensions from old Opera format to the new format.

https://github.com/operasoftware/oex2nex

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Re: Differentiation?

(rather than simply being Chrome without alleged spying)

Unless you turn on Turbo. Sorry, sorry, Off-road (because that makes much more sense!).

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FAIL

Re: Differentiation?

"A tool to convert extensions from old Opera format to the new format."

Because another parser would be impossible to build into the new browser, instead we'll get the user to manually go through all that nonsense.

This is what happens when you fire the wrong people. Bet the B-Arkers are still there.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Differentiation?

User?

It's a developer tool.

Did you go to school? Just askin'....

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Boffin

Re: Differentiation?

It should be transparent to the user. The browser should accept both types of extension instead of making the user wait for the developer to jump through those hoops (or do it themselves if the developer isn't developing the extension any more).

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, well, cheerio

The mobile version of this "updated" itself on my phone the other day. It's utter shit. I've deleted it and I won't be installing the new desktop version. I've been using Opera as my only browser since '98 (version 3.5) and this is probably the last straw before I just go and write my own bloody browser.

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Re: Yeah, well, cheerio

Good luck with writing your own browser! I know a couple of people who've been doing it for many years.

I, too, am a long-time user of Opera and while I'm still "wait-and-see" about what moving to Blink will bring long term I can understand all the arguments for it. The new version has separate processes for each tab, plugin and hardware rendering, something which Opera's engineers have been struggling with for a while. They've also had to struggle with sites simply not working properly with Opera.

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Turbo / Offroad

Among the changes in Next 15 is Opera's "Off-Road mode", which now sucks on Google's SPDY

Opera has supported SPDY for a while now. Seeing as Turbo already bundles all content into a single stream I'm not sure how much additional oompf that will bring. SPDY is still only in use on a small number of sites (Google, obviously, but also Twitter)

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May well be time to jump to Firefox

After years of using Opera (all the way back to when I used to pay for it), I may finally ditch the thing. Where are the visual tabs (one of the best features of Opera)? Where is the menu bar (especially Tools->Quick Preferences)? And they are questions are just thirty seconds of running the thing, god only knows what else is missing. It looks like some kind of Chrome or IE 10 wannabe.

Whoever's in charge these days is in real danger of doing an 'eMusic' whereby you stop providing for your core customers in an attempt to copy someone else's business and end up losing all your customers in the process. Really hope this is just an early version which will be fixed.

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Meh

Re: May well be time to jump to Firefox

It's a beta. it's not finished (i hope)

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Anonymous Coward

opera

steadily removing everything that makes it distinctive so what's the reason to use it now?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: opera

It's removed the clutter and gradually putting back the real differentiators.

There will be alot of upset Opera fanboys of course, the ones that like to apply custom style sheets and tweak skin INI files and crazy sidebar layouts. However that's 0.0000001% of Opera's userbase.

Whilst this version is light on existing Opera features, the important ones are coming back, not all in Opera 15, but they have told us their plans of an accelerated release cycle, so Opera 16 and 17 are close behind, reintroducing the good stuff like tab stacking and such.

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Stop

Breaking up is hard to do

I'll miss you Opera. We've been together for 10+ years but I will not support the whole-sale departure of privacy at the hands of Google. It's bad enough they've web-crawled and indexed their way to the top. Now they want my web browser? If you need to reach me I'll be with Mozilla..

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WTF?

Enemy of Fitts' Law

I see they've brought their signature design element to Chrome: A 1-pixel border above the tab bar. Google and Mozilla make their tabs infinitely tall, by having the tab right at the top of the screen. Microsoft ignores Fitts, except for making the close button have the largest Fitts' Law area. Maximum destructiveness, just what you'd expect from Microsoft.

But Opera is unique. Opera puts the tabs almost at the top of the screen, but not quite. There is a border between the top of the tab and the top of the screen. Just 1 pixel tall. This new version puts the O menu at the top of the screen, while the old version had a 1-pixel border, but the tab bar is still barely not at the top.

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Meh

Nothing unique move along

"craftsmanship, 17 years of hands-on experience and a passion for the web," not seeing that at all. I am seeing a reskinned Chromium version 28 to be exact. Just look at the user agents. I was even able to install Chrome extensions on it. It has been a couple of months since the announcement to move to webkit, I kinda expected more from Opera.

AppleWebKit/537.36 Chrome/28.0.1500.20 (Opera Next)

vs

AppleWebKit/537.36 Chrome/27.0.1453.94 (Chrome)

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Anonymous Coward

Opera seems to bet on migrating users from handsets, not from other browsers.

Opera has been losing desktop users relative to other browsers, especially Chrome. It is also losing users on mobile handsets, because feature phones disappear quickly and less expensive android smartphones are taking over in emerging markets.

Something had to be done. As users expand their device portfolio some brands will still stick. Web browser is one of them. So users going from feature phones with Opera Mini to Android smartphones may search for Opera for Android (or Opera Mini) in this segment. Some of those who had feature phones, may also acquire PC/Laptop and going from the relatively simple Opera Mini to old Opera is in many ways dull. Pages don't work, the design was old and all the features we love and take for granted takes for ever to learn and appreciate.

Sacking 17 years of experience takes a toll on freedom to do what is optimal for old and new users.

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