A few days ago I deided to take Opera 9.0 TP 2 for a spin. As a regular Opera user 9.0 was long awaited, and the new TP sure feels pretty stable. One of the first things that striked me was that Ctrl+N didn't open a new tab but rather a new window. This annoyed me, but was easily fixed.
One thing that could not be fixed as it seems is that shift+enter in the google search field, right of the address bar, does not open a new window. Annoying if you ask me.
So this is how it looks. Not much has changed on the surface since 8.x, but a lot has happened under the hood. The whole browser core feels, if possible faster than it used to be.
SVG rendering too feels a bit slicker. The changelog also talks about partial SVG 1.1 support, but I have yet to check that out.
I found out about some gmail
fixes in the console. Oh yeah, did I mention? Gmail does no longer crashes Opera, which it occasionally did in 8.x.
It seems as if Opera is moving upon a HTML based configuration system, opera:config
. I'm not sure whether this will be an alternative to or replacement for the regular settings dialog in the future. Only the future can tell.
There are also other html-based "opera:" internals which have gotten a new design for this version, like opera:history
, which have gotten a face lift.
Another neat little feature that I discovered by accident is that if you hover an inactive tab you'll get nice little tool tip with a miniature of the page in the tab. It's one of those small sparks of creativity that makes just love Opera Software ASA.
But what I really like the most in this TP is something called widgets. When I first saw it in the Tools menu I thought, "Hmm, do they really mean widgets?".
And sure they did! A widget is a HTML document, with an XML metafile, which is shown in a chromeless window. And what's more the background is transparent, effectively letting the windows or desktop underneath recieve mouse events. There's already a pretty great number of widgets readily available, such as clocks, weather forecast widgets and games. Everything works pretty stable, including translucency, but there are other bugs. If I close a widget, I can't seem to be able to bring it back without re-installling it. It's a neat nonetheless, and this might be my opportunity to finally make that yellow notes application that I've planning for a while. That'd require some additional support for a few things.
Another great surprise is that Opera finally supports opacity, not only in png images, but also for arbitrary HTML elements. You simply add opacity: value
in your CSS.
This is black text with 50% opacity. This text should also be semi-transparent in FF 1.5.
<div style="color: black; opacity: .5;">
This is black text with 50% opacity.
This text should also be semi-transparent in FF 1.5.
Apart from that the BitTorrent client is once again functioning, and this time we've got bandwidth limiting! That's about time. Although there are better BT clients, I like the idea of having many things so integrated in one application. Which other browser is an XHTML browser, mail client, BT client and RSS reader in one integrated app?