back to article Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Opera, the Norwegian browser maker acquired last year by a Chinese investment consortium, on Thursday introduced the browser equivalent of a concept car. Opera Neon, available for macOS and Windows, is intended as an exploration of browser design alternatives. It isn't a replacement for the current desktop version of Opera and …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Opera, the fat lady has sung and it's over for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why? Opera 42 is a very fine browser, better than Chrome in many ways. I guess you are one of the 10 people still upset about skin,ini ???

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Why?

        Nope it's still chrome but with their mysterious binary blobs thrown in as well, if I want Chrome then it's Chromium for me or failing that FF or derivative of FF.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Chinese now?

    Does your browsing data go to the Chinese government before or after it's sent to the NSA?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Chinese now?

      Does your browsing data go to the Chinese government before or after it's sent to the NSA?..... AMBxx

      Howdy, AMBxx,

      Does the following facility mitigate your paranoia? ....... Free VPN integrated in Opera for better online privacy

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Chinese now?

        so is the VPN endpoint in Washington or Beijing?

        1. AMBxx Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Chinese now?

          Read the article - no VPN in this version

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Chinese now?

        @ amanfromMars 1

        It's not a VPN in Opera, it's a web proxy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Chinese now?

          No it's proper VPN, titsloy free, very fast.

          https://www.surfeasy.com/blog/get-vpn-get-vpn-everyone-gets-vpn/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Chinese now?

            @AC-No it's proper VPN, titsloy free, very fast.

            "Opera VPN as part of the Opera web browser for computers:

            Free – we just want you to use the Opera browser

            Strict no logging

            Limited to use inside the Opera browser"

            Learn to read, this is actually from the article you quoted. It's a BROWSER proxy, a VPN encrypts ALL your traffic and not just your browser traffic. Have you learned nothing, if it's free then YOU are the product.

            Jees, the technical competence of the average commentard on the Reg has seriously declined of late. I blame point and click OS's.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      When is a PACT not a Persistent Advanced Cyber Threat Vector? *

      Something else to consider in these novel times and vast spaces of APT ACTivIT, AMBxx.

      A Norwegian browser acquired by a Chinese investment consortium is a great stealthy vehicle with which to place secrets for inconvenient universal discovery, rather than thinking such platforms are for the hunting and ready unconditional supply of searched for items ...... although the same can be said of any and all administering browser systems, unless they be compromised and an object of subjective censure/information vetting, no matter who or what owns or acquires them.

      Both situations then though would extraordinarily render all able to be extremely subversive and interesting and entertaining and valuable.

      *When Secret Intelligence Services and Central Intelligence Agencies are MIA and subject to capture and imprisonment in the Sector?

    3. Alan W. Rateliff, II

      Re: Chinese now?

      And through which servers does OperaMini proxy its connections?

      1. Planty Bronze badge
        FAIL

        Re: Chinese now?

        This isn't opera mini

    4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    "Cool effects and animation", huh?

    I don't need that, it just is unneccessary and get stale quickly.

    1. Joe Werner

      Re: "cool effects..."

      Yeah, what about having a fast, nimble browser, you know, like Opera *used* to be? With some really useful features (tab groups, mouse gestures, inbuilt rss reader, ...).

      Signs of getting old:

      - "in my days.."

      - "like it used to be"

      - o tempora, o mores

      (and I had sworn myself not to do this)

      1. Steven Raith

        Re: "cool effects..."

        You say that, but I'm fairly sure I remember back in the day, Opera having a built in email client and (possibly?) a download/torrent client.

        We're talking mebbe a decade ago, though.

        Anyone is free to correct me, but this feels a bit 'That which is old is new again', etc.

        Steven R

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: "cool effects..."

          You're right. The mail client was stupendously fast too.

        2. RealBigAl

          Re: "cool effects..."

          Yep, I think it was called Opera Turbo or something like that.

  4. Unep Eurobats
    Coat

    Enough of the cynicism

    Sometimes I want cool effects and animations. I'm off to get it now.

  5. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Cool effects and animations

    Cool effects and animations have a place in Cinema. TV etc. They are pretty in a demo or showroom, but 100% stupid and damaging to usability and productivity on a GUI.

    As are totally flat interfaces. Clickable stuff needs a minimal 3D highlight and shadow (not a HUGE Aero blur). Icons need to be obvious and neither skeumorphic, nor abstracted to the point of being meaningless black glyphs.

    Hyperlinks should look like hyperlinks.

    Text should not be light grey on white or dark grey on black etc.

    1. Keef

      Re: Cool effects and animations

      But does it do star wipes?

      If not I'm out.

    2. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Cool effects and animations

      "Text should not be light grey on white or dark grey on black etc."

      Yes, this does seem to be the fashion of the moment and a bloody irritating one too.

      My eyesight is not what it once was and these schemas are the bane of my life. I play EVE Online and that game is hard enough as it is without the invisible text that the devs. seem to think is so "kool"

    3. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Cool effects and animations

      Having worked on accessibility I think I can safely say that any cool effect and animation is just a pain in the arse. Its quite surprising how effective simple vanilla no frills shit is! If you want to make your web site accessible then this is what you start with. When you have that working you find that, guess what, it is more than sufficient for everyone else. You only need cool effects and animations to keep them busy while you try and do what you should have been doing in the first place.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Cool effects and animations

        Spot on.

        Anywhere there's the option, irrespective of OS or software, first thing to disable is the graphics effects.

        It's amazing how much this improves the user experience, for those who want to *use* rather than play with their computer.

  6. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Come on Opera, resurrect the features from 12 STILL missing from Developer...

    A proper menu, the bookmarks, easy access to screen resize, on screen indicator of Turbo on/off, etc, etc, etc. How hard can it be? < /Clarksonius >

  7. Mr Dogshit
    FAIL

    Stop fannying about

    Dump the stupid Blink/Chrome nonsense, stop being Google's bitches.

    Give me the functionality of version 12 and I'll start using your browser again.

    1. toughluck

      Re: Stop fannying about

      What a nice coincidence. I finally switched from Opera 12 to Vivaldi yesterday for my browsing. I'm still getting used to it, but at least all pages load fine and I get no more 406 errors or high CPU usage (where opera:cpu showed 100% utilization by "Other").

      I'm still waiting for Vivaldi to replicate the mail client functionality, at which point I have no more need for Opera. I can't say I'll miss it too much with what they did between version 12 and 19493 that they're apparently on now.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Stop fannying about

        You have a low bar for your browser experience: Pages load fine, no 406s (literally never seen one), and doesn't slaughter the CPU.

        Mind you, until more recently, this browser could gobble up a GB on El Reg's page until the tab was nuked and restarted, whereupon it would drop to a ridiculous 300MB or something. I suppose it keeps a copy of all the ads or had a big memory leak.

        1. Grifter

          Re: Stop fannying about

          I've been using vivaldi for a while now and while it's decent, the memory it gobbles is ridiculous; I run Linux so ram usage has never been much of an issue, thus long ago this computer was built with 4G of ram, plenty for everything including gaming, and it's been enough up until this monstrosity came out. I don't know if there's a fix for the memory hogging insanity of blink-based browsers, up until I started running vivaldi I've never felt I even needed more ram, and now I have to shut it (vivaldi) down whenever I start rocket league, to avoid the inevitable churning of swap that would otherwise ensue. Anyone have some spare dd3 sticks? :(

          1. Paul Webb

            Re: Stop fannying about

            I have exactly the same experience and it does the same with my Windows box (12GB RAM) too. It has been discussed with the same incredulity in Vivaldi's forums but they seem to be concentrating on new features (email) instead of fixing the basics.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stop fannying about

      Which functionality? The broken webpages where 100% of the web only codes for Webkit and it's derritives?

      Presto was dead long before Opera 12 dropped it.

      1. Mr Dogshit

        Re: Which functionality?

        Ooh - the ability to right-click an image and block it and the entire domain that hosts it, the ability to be able to open a new tab both in the background and in the foreground, responsiveness when clicking between tabs even though you've got two dozen tabs open, you know, the basics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which functionality?

          Those don't sound like basics, they sound like niche features not very few people care about.

          Thank god you don't work in engineering or product design. keeping the country safe from undercooked burgers should be the limit I think.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Browsers

    I prefer my browsers to be like my [women | men | tg]*: mature, extensible & open sourced.

    * delete as appropriate.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: Browsers

      If "mature, extensible, and open sourced" doesn't describe an ageing prostitute down to a tee, I don't know what does.

  9. Lamont Cranston

    "Neon is visually appealing"

    I know this isn't the way to highlight spelling errors, but you seem to have misspelled "appalling"

  10. sabroni Silver badge

    Miserable old gits

    The article clearly states that it's not supposed to be for general use, it's a concept browser, and yet the comments are full of people moaning about how frightful this is, how old things are better and browsers don't need to change.

    How can you be sure that there isn't a better way to do things if you never try anything new?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Miserable old gits

      Yeah, it's a concept browser... and people are saying they don't like the concepts presented.

      "How can you be sure that there isn't a better way to do things if you never try anything new?"

      Who says we haven't tried it?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Miserable old gits

      It's yet more pointless UI masturbation. I'd like to see my bookmark list represented as (4)99 red balloons.

    3. Dabooka Silver badge

      Re: Miserable old gits

      Be away with you!

      This is El Reg, no place for common sense and alternative viewpoints

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Miserable old gits

        "This is El Reg, no place for common sense and alternative viewpoints"

        Or rather ... This is El Reg. For *any* given "innovation", some of the people commenting here probably tried it years ago, agreed with everyone else that it was crap, watched it sink without trace, and are now dismayed to discover that a bunch of twenty-somethings think it is a new idea worth trying.

        It's all the more distressing when the new idea is "more eye candy". The cycle-of-reincarnation period for that can't be much more than half a decade. How young do you have to be not to be able to remember the last time someone promised either "lots more sound and animation will make computers more friendly and easy to use" or (at the other end of the cycle) "we need to make everything either flat or, better, invisible so that it doesn't get in the way".

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Any attempt to get people to use a VPN is welcome...

    And the Opera one is a good start (other than the lack of global endpoints) and as long as you don't want any non-browser data secured... or collected by the Chinese.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: Any attempt to get people to use a VPN is welcome...

      One issue with Opera's "Turbo" mode is that to compress pages, etc, for less bandwidth they have to MITM your https connection. Of course, they can use their own certificate when doing so so no complaints seen in the browser. But that means whoever controls the Opera servers can see all your "secure" traffic passing by in plain-text. No idea if they avoid doing this for banks, etc, to avoid any liability, but it is a concern.

      A plain VPN is a great idea, but again, they have to pay for it somehow. What is being sold?

  12. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Haven't tried it.

    Does the selected tab promote itself to position 1 in the stack, or, do the tabs move themselves around when I'm not looking?

    I think in either case I prefer things to stay put and not slide around on me.

    Example - WordPad "Recent Documents" - I can live with having to inspect the list of previous files to load, numbered 1 to 9, to find the one that I want. But only just.

    I browse with Opera (Blink version) on 4 GB RAM with about 6 tabs left open always, and I seem to have a memory leak. Or a virus or something.

  13. Tim #3

    RAM usage and Opera 12

    I still have an XP box and have experimented with browsers for a while, as you do. Opera 12 works well on many sites, it uses very little RAM compared to when I have tried Firefox or Chrome, with multiple tabs open etc too. Chrome in particular has/had a memory leak that this Google issue thread is all about https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/86yzpxX7aws (though however do you sort that into most recent???) .

    Opera 12 was an excellent browser, however some sites will no longer load nicely on it. Few good browsers are left for XP now, I tried to load SRWARE Iron but the installer for that kept failing, which is not a good sign! Anyone found any good XP browsers for this experiment?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: RAM usage and Opera 12

      Seriously - you should not be using XP for anything Internet-related now.

      By all means keep it for stuff that still works off-line, or maybe even convert it into a VM so you can move it to other machines down the line (host OS either a supported version Windows, or if you value your privacy Linux and not Win10), but just don't risk something like a poisoned image hosing your machine because its not been patched for years.

      1. Tim #3

        Re: RAM usage and Opera 12

        I know what you mean, but it's just an old pc, no data is stored on it & its not used for banking or anything, so there is nothing of mine at risk. I run anti malware on it too, to ensure it's not becoming part of a botnet etc and putting anyone else at risk.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RAM usage and Opera 12

        You wouldn't want to be using a 4 year old browser either. It sounds this guy just won the prize for the dumbest person on the internet.

  14. Lee D Silver badge

    Integrated fecking mail client?

    No?

    Then bugger off and dig your code out from all those years ago when it used to have that.

    Integrated torrenting too.

    And download management (with "download all documents / links / subpages on this page", etc.

    And IRC (but fair enough that's been obsoleted, really).

    And hugely customisable interface to do whatever you wanted in terms of layout (I like minimal without all this start screen, toolbar nonsense - a URL line and a tab bar, and then get out of my way).

    Wouldn't touch Opera nowadays.

    Vivaldi is like Opera too.

    Both are "Chrome in a different wrapper". That's NOT what Opera ever was.

    Hell Opera had advert blockers, click-to-play plugins and all kinds of things by default nearly a DECADE before the other browsers put them in as extensions.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Opera Mail

      I think you can get a self-contained copy of Opera's e-mail system, and keep using that. Maybe.

      It's "innovative" too.

  15. Dabooka Silver badge

    Last version I truly loved

    was a Java applet (?) on my fantastic Sony Ericsson W810i.

    It was like nothing else at the time. Took it off my desktop some years ago and never been back, maybe I should give it a go again.

  16. Florida1920 Silver badge

    I vaguely recall

    A concept browser from about 2000 that had floating links from past page loads swimming around the window. And some other, forgettable, stuff. It may have used a Java engine. It was cranky on my Win98SE machine of the time, and didn't offer anything more than entertainment. Ad-free, pop-up-free, Flash-free content, folks. That's what we need.

  17. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Good to be warned

    cool effects and animations

    This, and "bubble tabs" are all I need to know.

    Novelty and kewlness almost never improve usability.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's actually very very good.

    If they once they in sync, it could easilly be my daily go to bowser.

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Document-Centrism and the Right Tool for the Job

    "Kolondra contends that browsers, after two decades, have become rather stale and are tied to a document-centric model that doesn't reflect the way people interact online today."

    Perhaps there is room for more than one browser on a desktop. Quite a lot of what I do on the web involves extended pieces of writing. I'm quite happy using a document-centric browser for that. If this Kolondra person, or anyone else, can come up with a better way of doing some of the other stuff then I'm happy to use a second browser with a completely different UI to perform that completely different interaction.

    The main problem I foresee is that user shells tend to want to associate just one application with (say) https:// urls and will almost certainly manage (somehow) to launch the wrong app *every* time.

    1. Barry Rueger Silver badge

      Re: Document-Centrism and the Right Tool for the Job

      Browsers are "document-centric" because the vast majority of information is best presented in words, sentences, and paragraphs.

      I have to assume that Kolandra is one of the people who believe that emoji represent an actual advance in human communication.

  20. Ian Easson

    Concept cars

    Have you ever, ever in your life seen a concept car whose concepts have ever made it to market?

    Nor me.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Win10!

    I'm actually an Opera user and I really enjoy the browser as-is. I think you guys got it all wrong though, this is just their attempt to appeal to the Win10 users :D

  22. james 68

    Eh?

    How is this crap any different than Google Chromes out of the box Google homepage?

    Other than making a desktop image the background lets and being slower because you have to wait through a bloody animation before your page loads when you click a link?

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