back to article Opera Jon weaves a brand new browser

The man behind the Opera browser has created a new one, he says, because power users are poorly served. The new Vivaldi browser launched today in a "Technical Preview" form, with customisation and speed taking it in a different direction to the mainstream, where minimalism rules the day. "We're creating a browser for geeks and …

  1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Let us know when it moves out of technical preview, although I might be prepared to give it a go once the mail client is working. (Are the planning to allow us to import a mail "database" from an existing Opera installation? And will it run on a USB stick?)

    1. mi1400

      Opera 11.64 was the best ever poweruser-humanity could have. I have approx 2,000+ tabs opened every given time and opera.exe consumes as little as 1.4GB ... these tabs are unread articles...research on some software tech... each research field/area consisting of some 100tabs... how it is achieved... three small checkboxes added to my opera taskbar .. disableJavaScript, DisablePlugins, and DisableImages. opera can enable it on the fly instead of restarting. i also have disabled autoredirect to keep even expired pages as is. also have disabled themes. I have VBS script which copies opera session/.win file in yyyymmddhhmmss foramt every 30min. so even if opera.exe crashes i can resume the state back. At this level the tabs are so small the i cant see them except a shadow moving in near smooth tabs line (tabs borders even disappear even while scattered in 6 windows. So the move around tabs i have customized shortcuts to instead of using ctrl+tab i have defined "[" and "]" to move linearly among them. Instead of ctrl+w to close tab which has a mystery of crashing opera i defined only "m" to close tab.. this saves from crashing opera. People praising opera12 are fake power users. as 12 had removed many of 11.64 legacy. I have "j" defined to enable javascript only for that page instead of whole session and "k" to disable javascript for that page after load complete. have defiened "n" for new tab unstead of ctrl+t as it had similar opera crashing habits like ctrl+w. lastly the session restore on my samsung840pro ssd takes 15-20mins with all pages loaded with content. If this browser has taken the legacy of 11.64 then i wish them very best!!!

      1. mdava

        I appreciate that people have different needs, uses, yadda, yadda . . . but what in god's name are you doing with 2,000 tabs?!?!?

  2. bitten

    Still surviving on a starving Opera 12 this could be good news.

  3. Groaning Ninny

    /.

    One of the things I like about the Opera I still use (12.x) is that "/." in the address translates to "slashdot.org"

    Hardly a deal breaker, but it's one of those niggles. Perhaps I'll be able to get Vivaldi to understand how to do this.

    I certainly like the idea of getting bookmarks back....

    1. Graham 24

      Re: /.

      Just tried it - /. in address bar brings up slashdot.org....

      On the downside - why do application developers seem to think that it's alright to build their own outer frames for windows and ignore the operating system's configuration? Some people, due to eyesight issues and so on, deliberately change things like border colours. It's a real pity when an arrogant dev. assumes that they know better than the end user.

      On the upside - I can see "tabs on left" catching on, particularly with those mahoosively wide screens that seem to be the fashion these days.

      1. Robin

        Re: /.

        "why do application developers seem to think that it's alright to build their own outer frames for windows and ignore the operating system's configuration?"

        Seconded. Like the Windows Media Player from (I think) Windows 95. Fancy looking window frame, but then the rectangular frame came back when you need the menus, and looked terrible.

        Also, on Mac Yosemite the functionality of the green button only does 'full screen' (i.e. no menu bar). What's supposed to happen is if you hold ALT while you click it, the functionality changes to 'expand to fit content' like old pre-Mavericks OS X.

    2. PleebSmash

      This browser is also Chromium, so you will have to give up that third engine.

      RIP Presto.

    3. ButlerInstitute

      Also still on Opera 12. Not inclined to update unless/until new one supports tabs, which it didn't last time I looked...

      PS. Is is just me or is the new Register site really rubbish on Opera 12 ?

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        FFuX

        I haven't used the site on Opera but it looks shit on Firefox. The idiosyncratic headlines are no match for hypertext muckup language.

        Or maybe they are. Keep it simple, stupids!

        BTW, I couldn't get the browser to download. I rather suspect it has about as much planning and good coding as Vivaldi.net.

        1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

          Re: FFuX

          I had to approve scripts temporarily to get anything to happen at the Vivaldi site. So far it's relatively speedy compared to FF, has the same memory footprint (which is decidedly superior to Chrome), and pleasant.

          BTW, I'm using it right as I type this. Interesting to see all the "crap" that I've had FF weed out just for once. Extensions are going to be sorely needed.

      2. Irongut

        The Reg looks rubbish on all browsers these days. Its the modern trying to look like Arse Technica crossed with Buzzfeed way apparently.

      3. Def Silver badge

        I finally got fed up with Opera 12. It's falling apart these days as the web moves forward.

        I plumped for Firefox with the "Tree Style Tab" (which is far superior to Opera's tab grouping IMO) for tabs down the left side of the screen.

        I customised the address bar a bit too, so I can 'g...', 'w...' for Google and Wikipedia respectfully. I'm just missing Paste & Go on a single keyboard shortcut.

        I'd like to find an extension which lets me block content selectively (and show me the URLs so I can add them to the filter on my router), but that's all I'm missing at the moment, I think.

        Other than that, I have to admit I'm reasonably happy. Which is definitely different to when I tried Firefox many years ago.

        1. moiety

          Ditto with the Opera 12. Looks like Vivaldi'll be worth giving a serious spin when there's extension support (specifically Ghostery, AdBlock and NoScript)

          1. Turtle

            @moiety

            "NoScript" is exactly what came to mind as I was reading the article. If it doesn't support it then I can't even consider it.

            1. moiety

              Re: @moiety

              And I don't like Opera 12. 9-point-something was the last one that actually did what I wanted from a browser. Tools for browsing the internet instead of being a tool on the internet.

            2. Tannin

              Re: @moiety

              Opera - and I mean real Opera, not that Chromeified rubbish they pretend is "Opera" now - doesn't have a NoScript add-on because it already has that functionality built in from scratch, and has had for years.

              Straight out of the box, it provides easy global settings if you want them, and fine-grained control over any desired individual site if that's what you are after. Nothing to install, just click "site preferences" and set it the way you want it. While you are there, you can add individual per-site custom CSS if you like. This is seldom needed but can be really handy. For example, one site I visit frequently doesn't like you disabling scripting and obscures half the content with a faux helpful "Javascript is disabled" notice. No problem. In Opera (real Opera), you go tools > quick preferences > site preferences > user CSS and slip in a ".js-warning {display:none}. Try doing that in any other browser.

              (I dare say it's possible in at least some of the others, but certainly difficult. I remember spending a couple of hours once bloating out my Firefox with any number of extensions in the hope of teaching it to do what Opera knows how to do straight out of the box, but without success. I got sick of mucking about and went back to Opera 12.x again. It just works. Bliss!)

              Will Vivaldi ever approach Opera 12.x's best-of-breed user interface and peerless flexibility? Probably not - it took many years of work to get Opera's UI to the state of near-perfection it reached with 12.x, and it's unreasonable to expect a new project to manage that anytime soon, but good luck to them and every success.

              1. moiety

                Re: @moiety

                Well there's plusses and minuses to every UI; but IMO things had already started to go wrong by 12. Specifically every thing you do has to go through the Opera button; adding at least one click to everything you do.

      4. ButlerInstitute

        I meant Tab Stacking - I know tabs are there but I have so many open I need to stack them.

        One of my colleagues says "how many tabs ....... ?" whenever he sees my screen.

        Re: Opera 12:

        This is taking so long to respond when I type I'm on the verge of givi r-box. Or just not respond to trying to position the cursor with the mouse. Or

      5. ButlerInstitute

        I meant Tab Stacking - I know tabs are there but I have so many open I need to stack them.

        One of my colleagues says "how many tabs ....... ?" whenever he sees my screen.

        Re: Opera 12:

        This is taking so long to respond when I type I'm on the verge of giving up. (I have now given up and I'm doing this in IE)

        And that's when it doesn't jump the cursor to a random place in the edit-box. Or just not respond to trying to position the cursor with the mouse. Or the cursor just drifts around the edit-box selecting stuff....

        etc.

        Now off to try Vivaldi ...

  4. Alister Silver badge

    with customisation and speed taking it in a different direction to the mainstream, where minimalism rules the day.

    I'm genuinely a little confused, is the above statement meant to mean that mainstream browsers are minimalist?

    If that's the case I would argue strongly that the mainstream browsers are far from minimalist, In fact I would describe all of them as pretty bloated.

    I would love to see a new, minimalist browser, but I suspect that's not what is on offer.

    1. Chewi

      UI

      He means in terms of the UI. The spyware features continue to grow unabated. ;-)

    2. ScissorHands

      Bloated code but minimal functionality. Anything else is farmed to extensions (and more bloat).

    3. Graham Dawson

      He means in terms of visible user interface, not the blobs of code behind it.

    4. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      The missing word was "UI" perhaps.

  5. Chris Miller
    Flame

    Just what the world needs

    Another browser. Because ensuring that your new web site looks good and works correctly on every available browser just isn't time-consuming enough already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just what the world needs

      Make your site standards-compliant and most will look ok*

      *Internet Exploder pre-11 excluded. ;-)

    2. ScissorHands

      Re: Just what the world needs

      There's only 3 and a half (and soon another half) rendering engines: Trident, Gecko, WebKit, the fork of WebKit called "Blink", and soon the fork of Trident currently called "Spartan".

      I'm still running Opera12 because of the interface and the bleeding efficiency of the code. I've been keeping an Opera Developer as a backup because it uses an engine that web developers deign to support, but it's all meh to me. I will try this, since it uses the same engine and that's all that matters to me.

    3. Graham 24

      Re: Just what the world needs

      It uses the Chromium engine underneath (all the way down to getting the same text in the same debug log file on install), so if it looks OK in Chrome, it should look OK in Vivaldi.

  6. Ben Bonsall

    There's only one feature I want in a new browser:

    Tree style history and back and forward buttons- so I can look at three links from one page and see what order I visited them, or go back 3 levels and up another branch of the tree and still be able to click back and see the pages I visited up the other branch

    1. Dave Lawton

      Another Browser

      Have you tried Netsurf ?

      http://www.netsurf-browser.org/

  7. Blank-Reg
    Thumb Up

    Annnnd downloaded. I was hoping the old sacked Opera team would do something like this. Glad to see this happening

  8. Ketlan
    Meh

    Meh...

    I loved Opera and was a beta tester for years but I went off it when they added the unremovable mail client in and it started to bloat pretty outrageously. The thing I miss the most is Notes - an excellent and well-executed facility sadly lacking in Firefox.

  9. SolidSquid

    Even if it's just a case of them adding the mail client and rss reader back into Opera then I'll be happy to give it a shot, that was one of the big selling points for the browser for me

  10. Chewi
    Thumb Up

    I think I'm going to like this

    I finally made the switch from Opera 12 to Opera 27 before Christmas. As much as I loved it, I just couldn't deal with 12 any longer. Performance on modern sites was becoming increasingly painful and there were long-standing UI bugs that were never fixed. 27 finally fixed the colour issues with the address bar that had prevented me from switching sooner. I am feeling quite comfortable with it now but part of me still yearns for the Opera of old so I really like the look of this. Get that Linux version going, pronto!

    1. Thecowking

      Re: I think I'm going to like this

      It's out on Linux.

      I'm using it already, there's .deb .rpm available. It's nice and fast and _very_ reminiscent of older Opera, down to the default mouse gestures, which really pleased me. I'll be giving it a good testing the coming week or so.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Sam Liddicott

    emacs mode

    It just needs emacs mode to replace the entire OS.

    A javascript/scheme/lisp console to manage your interface to the entire world.

  13. Zimmer

    Tabs on the right?

    OOOh... from the look of your screenshots the tabs can be moved to the right... that and a proper speeddial is what I have missed with all the latest browser offerings and kept me on a hobbled Opera v.12.16.... simple things..

    I must investigate further..

  14. Lee D Silver badge

    Sold.

    Jon, I'll pay what you were charging for the old Opera browsers of yore for it.

    So long as it is as promised - customisable, practical to browse the modern web with AND has the email client built-in.

    I've been waiting for the open-source Opera clone to take off, and it's not there yet.

    People who don't use Opera don't understand Opera and it's power. You could do ALL the things that they've been plugging in add-ins to do for the last few years MANY years ago, as part of the standard browser. Just because normal users didn't know of, or use them, doesn't mean they aren't valuable to the people who do.

    Honestly, will gladly pay if it's as advertised, which is pretty much where Opera began many years ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: emacs mode

      That's just eVil :)

  15. Joe Drunk

    Another Chromium browser. I wonder if they fixed that new tab annoyance - the one that sends new tabs to the background unless you do a key combo (control+shift+left mouse or shift+middle mouse) or load an extension. Firefox, Opera 12.x and even IE have the option to open new tabs on top.

    I also wonder if it will be able to play Netflix via HTML5 like Google Chrome instead of using Silverlight.

    And yeah, for it to be really geeky is should be portable without requiring software virtualization.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      There's not a wealth of options in it at the moment, but Ctrl-T tabs open on top of older tabs.

      You can also change tab-cycle order for when you're keyboard navigating to be tab-order or recently-used order (which is INVALUABLE and one of the best bits of old Opera).

      He's obviously aiming for a proper Opera clone on a Chromium rendering engine, and the tech preview shows that. There's Windows, Linux, Mac versions available and it allows import of a lot of data from Opera and other browsers (including Opera Notes, passwords, etc.). And it's fast at rendering.

      I will continue to try it out, because just the tech demo is impressive enough to a Opera 12.x user that's been hanging on for dear life. Haven't yet found a site it can't render (Acid 3 test is 100/100) but I expect that if they are using other's rendering engines. Opera's rendered used to be the selling point for many years, but now it's actually replaceable and it's the options / setup / configuration that matters and they appear to be working heavily in the Opera direction (e.g. side-panels, etc. are almost the same).

      Only thing that's annoying - the window colour changes with the CSS in the tab you have open. I don't WANT a yellow tab bar when I'm viewing some garish site. But I'm sure they'll sort that out or "option it" soon.

  16. Defiant

    It's Opera

    Looks like a re-badged Opera 12

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: It's Opera

      but in reality it's a re-skinned Iron.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: It's Opera

      And what's wrong with that? The reasons for Opera switching to the Blink engine were solid, the rest of the crap they did with Opera 15 was stupid.

      I love the rss/mail client and bookmark management.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no 32-bit download? :(

    I have several old computers that still work well. Although it seems that 32 bit is being ignored more often. I can understand why but still it's too bad, again sad face :(

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: no 32-bit download? :(

      How old is your computer to not support 64-bit? The CPU's have been around since 2003 in the x86 world, the last two three Microsoft OS have had 64-bit versions (and so did XP but it was poorly supported), the last server OS is 64-bit ONLY, etc.

      I get that you might have a 32-bit OS legacy that you're carrying forward, but the underlying hardware should support 64-bit on anything that's still viable to use on the modern web.

      And I don't think it'll be long before a 32-bit version appears but, really, you might consider it a first shot at moving to 64-bit systems. Hell, 4Gb RAM is my minimum spec nowadays, and I work in schools who don't need anything past Word and a browser for the majority of the time.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. What was the question

      Re: no 32-bit download? :(

      It installs and works just fine on this ancient 32-bit netbook running 32-bit Windows XP. That's probably a bit of a hint.

  18. MichaelGordon

    Tab handling makes it almost unusable

    Is there any way to click on a link and have it open in the background? One of the main things I use tabs for is on sites like The Register, BBC News etc. where I Control-click on headlines I want to read, then look through the resulting tabs; being taken to the new tab immediately and having to go back to the main page to select another story is irritating enough to ensure I won't use their browser. Another feature that's important for the way I work is that the browser shows the tab next to the one I was reading if I close a tab, either to the right if there is one or to the left otherwise; going back to the first tab on tab-close is another annoyance big enough to drive me away.

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Re: Tab handling makes it almost unusable

      The old Opera "what's the next tab" choice is in there.

      The Ctrl-Click trick works (but middle-click used to do the same thing in Opera and I find that easier - will have to check their hotkey preferences and see if I can make it do that).

    2. DanceMan

      Re: Tab handling makes it almost unusable

      I use Tab Mix Plus in FF to control the tab behaviour you talk about. Would not use a browser without it now.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Tab handling makes it almost unusable

      On MacOS that seems to work with CMD + click. Anyone know how the keyboard shortcuts for speed dial? This and bookmark management is what I miss most from the new Opera.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There's no Haydn it: At the Vivaldi debut, see their Faure Bach to the future.

    Can you Handel it? It's the Mozart-istic browser in the world. But it looks like they are going Boroque.

  20. 100113.1537

    Phew!

    I thought I was the only person still using 12! I had to resurrect my old-old PC to find the installation files when I got the newest one as I had (foolishly) installed directly at my last upgrade. Never again!

    I have to admit I do use Chrome a lot now as 12 is clunking along, but I never considered myself a power user, just someone who wanted to use a quick simple browser the way that I wanted - not the way someone else thought I "should" use it

  21. What was the question

    Promising, not there yet of course

    Several of the essential basic usability features are still missing - no single close tab button yet, no way to turn off the screen-hogging panel down the left, no standard menu, and some problems with keeping focus when it shouldn't - but there is at least now some hope of getting a decent modern browser to replace the wonderful but defunct Opera.

    Obviously not ready for prime time, but let's keep our fingers crossed.

    1. Eric O'Brien

      Re: Promising, not there yet of course

      To close the left panel, click on the widget at the lower left of the window. "Standard menu" ... click the "V" icon in the upper left. Is that what you're looking for?

  22. ecofeco Silver badge

    Will it be stable?

    Seriously, WTF is wrong all the browsers these days that they are no longer stable? And will MS EVER allow ad blocking, cross script killing add-ons?

    I not only need fast, I need armored... and some way to send a message to the fucking morons who build websites these days that their code should be shoved up their ass.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will it be stable?

      To echo my own comment below - In my experience... New Opera (27ish?) is stable, does have ad-block extensions, does also allow scripts/objects-on-demand (doesn't load flash etc without a click on it from you), and is relatively resource light (runs happily on my old 2GB / 1.6Ghz Netbook).

      Give it a try if you're still looking & haven't already.

      It's feature-set and customisation options aren't nearly as good as they were in Opera 12 though. Which is why I'm hoping Vivaldi will be the best of both.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks!

    Thanks for letting us know - this is brilliant news.

    I moved away from Opera 12 to New Opera, which was terrible to begin with, but is now much better - good enough to use daily. It also has some decent advanced options, though one often has to rely on extensions to get the functionality that was lost in the jump. (Anyone looking for a STABLE, relatively resource-light browser could do much worse).

    However - as a die-hard Old Opera fan - Vivaldi sounds perfect. Off to go play with it now...

    not like I ought to be working or anything.

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