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Tab Stacking is a pretty genious new feature in Opera 11. It's very intuitive.  (Source: Opera)

Mouse Gestures have also received a graphical makeover.  (Source: Opera)
Watch out Firefox, there's a new extendable browser in town

We recently interviewed Opera about the addition of extensions to the latest version of their browser, Opera 11.

The beta went live yesterday and features numerous improvements. 

Up first is "Tab Extensions".  This new feature is somewhat akin to the tab grouping features found in the Firefox 4.0 betas.  However, arguably, it's a lot easier to use.  Rather than special windows or panes to manage tab grouping, you simply drag tabs on top of each other to create stacks.  Mousing over or clicking a tab stack opens a secondary group of tabs below, which you can pick from.  You can also click and hold on a tab inside the appearing group to drag it out of the stack.

A video of the feature is available here, courtesy of Opera.

Another major addition to Opera 11 is a new graphical makeover for Mouse Gestures.  Many Opera users don't even know what Mouse Gestures are, but those who do can tell you that it's a key to much faster browsing.  Basically, with mouse gestures, you click a mouse button (typically the right one) and move your mouse in a specific pattern to execute an action like navigating back, opening a link in a new tab, etc.

With Opera 11 Mouse Gestures gets overhauled with a snazzy new interface, which should help new users learn.  When the feature is enabled and you activate it via mouse button press, a special window pops up commenting on your gesture.

A list of gestures can be found here from Opera.

Last, but not least the browser finally has extensions.  Currently there are 130 extensions, including AdBlock and NoScript extensions, two of the most popular ones on Firefox.  While many of these features were previously available, they were buried deep in Opera's internals and thus were tricky to learn how to use.  Suffice it to say that the addition of extensions is a very big deal for Opera as it takes some of the burden off the browser maker and gives the user more responsibility in learning and optimizing their browser -- an approach that has proven very rewarding for Mozilla.

Overall the browser is much faster than its predecessor -- 15 to 20 percent by Opera's estimates.  Linux performance was a key focus of improvement.  While performance and features received bumps, the installer size has dropped 30 percent from the previous edition.

It's worth mentioning that Opera's download page features a rather humorous homage to the much-beloved Spinal Tap.  So is Opera truly taking "to 11" as it claims?  Well it certainly seems like it.  Definitely seems like this release is worth a test drive, even for Opera skeptics.

You can download the English version of Opera 11 beta (1) here.


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Forget the AdBlock
By HypocriteWatch on 11/24/2010 3:29:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly, the adBlock app in this beta doesn't work well at all. Most users (like me) are reporting multiple problems across many websites. This AdBlock IS NOT the same as the one in FF.
So if you've been waiting to move over to Opera and want an easy AdBlock interface. You'll have to wait a little longer - don't bother to D/L the beta!




RE: Forget the AdBlock
By WTFzilla on 11/24/2010 5:16:15 PM , Rating: 2
If you are that obsessed with nuking every single ad... well, good luck in your life!


RE: Forget the AdBlock
By HypocriteWatch on 11/24/2010 5:24:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I am. And, thank you.


RE: Forget the AdBlock
By BruceLeet on 11/24/2010 6:56:37 PM , Rating: 1
Do you know the definition of a beta and the spirit of its purpose?

Telling people not to download the beta because it or its extensions doesn't work well is not only bad advice but just plain stupid and contradictory to the purpose of a beta, and you're expecting a beta to work as well as a release candidate?

Feel free to back out of the beta program as you're clueless as to what a beta program actually is.


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