Print 77 comment(s) - last by blowfish.. on Jun 29 at 4:55 PM

Opera 10 beta 1, released today, has expandable tabs -- drag a bar beneath the tabs and they become thumbnails. The browser is also much faster, easily beating Firefox 3.0.10 in speed, and giving Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 a run for its money.  (Source: DailyTech)

The browser's only glaring weakness is its handling of Javascript/Flash blocking. Unlike Firefox's NoScript, blocking Javascript in Opera 10 remains an all or nothing affair. If you block Javascript, you block ads often, but you'll also block content, as seen here on  (Source: DailyTech)
A test drive of Opera 10 shows it to be shaping up to be a very impressive release

Though still young in the development cycle, Opera 10, which hit the web today in beta 1 form, is shaping up to be a potentially must-have release for Windows, OS X, and Linux users alike.  The smoking fast browser packs some great innovations and puts older competitors, like Firefox 3 on notice.

First of all, the new browser uses advanced compression technology to deliver better performance on low bandwidth connections like public Wi-Fi, dial-up, or throttled connections.  Secondly, the browser is compatible with the highest current web standards.  Built on the Opera Presto 2.2 engine, it scores a perfect 100/100 on the Acid3 compatibility test.  The new engine adds Web Fonts support, RGBA/HSLA color, SVG improvements, and more.

Where the browser truly shines is its speed.  It loads pages extremely fast.  DailyTech took it for a spin on a Fedora 10 desktop installation, to try some page loads. loaded in 1.2 seconds in Opera 10 beta 1, versus approximately 2.2 seconds in Firefox 3.0.10.  Likewise, (via CNN) had first and second load speeds of 4 seconds and 1 seconds in Opera, versus 11 seconds and 9 seconds in Firefox.  It may not sound like much, but like Internet Explorer 8, the difference over Firefox's latest build is noticeable -- and Opera 10 even appears to surpass IE 8 in load speeds.

One improved feature of the release is Speed Dial, an exclusive Opera feature which allows you to see and pick from your favorite sites when opening a new tab.  Refined, it now supports up to 25 favorites, and the ability to set custom backgrounds.  Opera 10 also adds nicer integration with web mail clients like Gmail.

Another highlight-reel addition is the ability to resize your tabs.  By dragging a bar beneath the tabs downwards, the tabs become tiny thumbnail screenshots of the page.  While primarily a graphical effect, it certainly adds "wow" factor to the browser, and gives it a decidedly next generation feel.  The effect resembles the "Windows Peek" feature in the upcoming Windows 7.

Other additions include an impressive inline spell checker.  Also, if you want a lightweight email client, akin to Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird, Opera sports a refined version of Opera Mail.  And for developers, the new browser packs a new and improved version of Opera Dragonfly.  The new version includes tools to edit the DOM and inspect HTTP headers of pages you're debugging.

The only real disappointment here is security/ad-blocking.  While popup blocking is a breeze, it'd be nice to see a bit more selective JavaScript and Flash blocking, along the lines of NoScript.  Currently it’s easy to block scripts on a site, but blocking via the menus is an all or nothing affair, making it impractical for sights that use JavaScript for content you actually want.

While the official release of Opera 10 may be some time away, the browser is already shaping up impressively.  Ultra-fast and packing a great set of features, the browser definitely will lure away some Firefox users, and maybe even a few Safari or IE 8 users.  It’s definitely worth a download, if only to take it for a quick test ride.

Update 1:
There is a good way to block ads after-all, that's actually been around since Opera 9.  To access it, right click anywhere on a page that doesn't have linked content.  Then select "Block Content" then proceed to click on all content you want block (ads) and finally click "Done" on the top of the page.  White space will appear for a bit, but reloads will fix this.  Also you can use .ini filters to further block ad content.

Also, Mozilla currently is beta testing Firefox 3.5, which is expected to deliver substantial speed improvements.  Expect an upcoming article to look at speed between all the browsers' latest betas or releases.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: I always liked Opera...
By Oregonian2 on 6/3/2009 4:36:18 PM , Rating: 3
I love firefox because of the plugins. They are plentiful and many are wonderful.

For example, I can go to any of many dozen major food-related websites and can "extract" a recipe (including photo) by clicking ONE button (on a plugin generated toolbar), and then I can export it to my MasterCook recipe program equally instantaneously. So incredibly useful. And that's just one example.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By kkwst2 on 6/3/2009 5:36:20 PM , Rating: 2
I use a (seemingly) similar program for managing research publication citations, called Zotero. It far exceeds commercial alternatives like Reference Manager. If I could only get my colleagues to switch, I would completely get rid of Reference Manager.

It's styles database is actually far more accurate and current than the commercial products.

This and XMarks keep me on Firefox, though XMarks has now been ported to other browsers.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By tdawg on 6/3/2009 5:49:23 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I can't live without the AdBlock extension for Firefox.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By tdawg on 6/3/2009 5:50:34 PM , Rating: 3
Forgot to add, GreaseMonkey is great too. I don't think that's available on any of the other browsers, but I could be wrong. The extensions are what keep me coming back to Firefox. If not for them, I would probably be a Chrome user most of the time.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By Luticus on 6/4/2009 9:03:45 AM , Rating: 2
For me, I never got the whole plug-in argument. I think people are trying to make browsers into something there not. Personally I want a browser to quickly open (NO LOADING TIME), show me the webpage I want (without cluttering up my screen space with 9,000 tool bars), support tabs, download stuff, be secure, and maybe have an FTP client built in.

I guess I can see the customization side of it, because I’m always a fan of customization. It’s just in my opinion, and I’m obviously speaking only about my own preference here… anything more than the aforementioned in a browser, is too much.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By MScrip on 6/4/2009 6:56:52 PM , Rating: 2
None of the addons I use have toolbars cluttering the screen. They work their magic behind the scenes... doing things that I want them to do.

RE: I always liked Opera...
By Oregonian2 on 6/6/2009 3:15:34 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly, one can pick and choose only the ones one likes (out of a huge selection).

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki