Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Opera 10 Alpha - Preview

Introduction
Opera 10 is the next generation of the popular, closed-source web browser built in Qt, and available on UNIX (including both Linux and FreeBSD), Mac and Windows platforms.

In this review I used the Qt 4 version of Opera 10 alpha, build 4102 (the .tar.gz package), but Opera 10 will be available using both Qt 3 and Qt 4 toolkits, so you can choose which one you prefer. I ran Opera in Debian Lenny (KDE 3.5.10) with all the updates to date.


Presto 2.2 engine
Opera 10 alpha is powered by the Presto 2.2 rendering engine, which, according to the website, should provide 'significant improvements in speed, performance and security'. Presto 2.2 also comes with improved CSS performance, web font support, and a score of 100/100 at the Acid3 test, where Firefox 3.0.5 gets 71/100 and Konqueror fails. Acid3 is a test page for web browsers which shows how much a browser follows web standards like DOM or JavaScript.


Impressions
At this stage, the interface is Nice Graphics by Flott Altså, the same one used in Opera 9.6, with apparently no changes. Currently, the alpha version does not come with Flash Player included by default. A bug I could catch was that sometimes when you click a widget (like the web pages scrolling bar or clicking on tabs) does not always work the first time you use it, so you will have to click it again. This happens completely random for me.


Regarding stability, I was impressed to see that Opera 10 is pretty stable, even though it's still in alpha stage. No crashes occured while I used it for this review.

Currently Opera 10 does not include new features (except for the Presto engine), but these will be added pretty soon when it gets into beta phase.

Conclusion
There isn't much to say about Opera 10 alpha at this time, expect for the major change with the new version of the rendering engine. I truly hope for a stable release on Linux rather than lots of new features, since I already consider Opera full-featured, coming with an IRC client, BitTorrent client, widgets, great-looking, customisable themes, these being just a few.

4 comments:

hotdiggettydog said...

Good review of a fine browser.

I have also been impressed with this alpha release as well.

I was impressed to have a developer answer my questions at the Opera forum.

Good product and good people. Can't ask for more.

housetier said...

Does the mail thing support GPG or OpenPGP?

Dan Craciun said...

I agree about the community situation hotdiggettydog, I too think Opera did great job with the forums and the free hosting of blogs. It's the kind of warmth which makes one stick to it. I also think their support for Opera on Linux is more serious than for other cross-platform, closed-source applications.

housetier: honestly I don't know because I never tried the mail function in Opera. Maybe you can ask on their forums, here.

Anonymous said...

Opera 10 has a built in upgrade process now. No longer will you have to download the new opera and run the upgrade.