Home > Uncategorized > Opera 8.0 beta 3

Opera 8.0 beta 3

March 16, 2005

Opera has released yet another beta of Opera 8.0 (Windows), this time beta 3.

It has redesigned the preferences window, making it much more user friendly (screenshot). With this important redesign, Opera has caved in to what many critics have been saying for a long time that Opera has to many features and a bit too complex for the average user. Firefox, on the other hand, has by default few features making it more user friendly for newbies, but provides a boatload of plugins. The risk that Firefox takes is that the user may never “discover” the useful plugins.

Among the changes it removed is the ambiguous window/tab handling options (“Prefer pages inside window”, “Prefer separate windows”, and “Advanced Opera workspace”) and replaced with two simple checkboxes (“Open pages in tabs” and “Show close button on each tab”). The previous way of handling tabs (that was introduced in Opera 8.0) was extremely confusing to users.

It has also added preferences for showing notification pop-ups for messages, blocked pop-ups, and completed file transfers.

In this version Opera has also added native support for SVG 1.1 Tiny (Scalable Vector Graphics). SVG is an XML-based language for Web graphics developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It enables Web developers to create the next generation of interactive and personalized Web applications in high-quality vector graphics instead of bitmaps, which are most often used on Web sites today (examples of SVG here).

Since SVG is based on XML, it can therefore be scaled to fit any screen – from small mobile devices to high-resolution printers. As opposed to proprietary vector-based Web technologies, SVG is an open, text-based standard, and can be reached and indexed by search engines.

“We believe SVG will enter mainstream Web design in the future and we are very pleased to add native support in the Opera browser”, says Hakon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera Software. “We will work with other vendors to ensure that SVG can be used interoperably on the Web.”

“As the Internet is maturing we see that most new Web sites are no longer static displays of information, but rather complex online applications that use advanced Web technologies to enable improved interactivity, speed, and services,” says Jon S. von Tetzchner, CEO, Opera Software. “It is only natural that Web browsers support Web technologies natively, rather than by having to keep adding plug-ins. By integrating SVG support, Opera continues its tradition of bringing innovation to the Web and setting the de-facto standard for Web browsers.”

Opera has yet to reveal the name of their newest browser version.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 16, 2005 at 10:11 am

    Could you post screen shots of the preferences window, highlighting differences between the upcoming new version with the current stable 7.54 version?

    Also, when you say that they made it more user friendly, how does it affect a power user? Will we settle for editing .ini files, or is there an option to make the preferences window more conducive for power users?

    Lastly, do you have an idea when they will release Opera 8 as a stable version? I had previously installed a beta version of Opera, and the experience (excruciating, infuriating and confusing) has made me quite wary of downloading any more betas. I’ll leave the testing to people like you. 😛

    Thanks for the informative article, and thanks for your great blog!

  2. March 16, 2005 at 10:41 am

    Post update: I added a screenshot of the new preferences dialog. Also added a new link of SVG examples.

  3. March 16, 2005 at 11:30 am

    SVG will not be widely used until Moz enables SVG on its official builds, which will not be possibly done in the near future. 😦

  4. March 18, 2005 at 3:23 am

    SVG will not be truly widely used even if IE were to support it natively tomorrow. You shouldn’t expect it to replace GIF or Flash. But it is about to be widespread in some environments like phone portals and there are many more to come.

    But unlike many similar technology changes in the past browser SVG support doesn’t have to be ubiquitous for SVG to be used. The ‘object’ fallback mechanism has become good enough. You can include a nice SVG image on the page, but if the browser can’t handle it a common GIF or PNG can be shown instead.

    Integrated SVG, where SVG is mixed with the HTML, doesn’t really have this fallback and is less likely to happen any time soon.

  5. March 22, 2005 at 1:37 pm

    Darn, I’m an Opera lover, but the latest version does not support the text editor of Blogspot. How do you post in this blog anyway, is there a trick to make Opera beta to work with Blogger?

  6. March 22, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, it’s unfortunate the Opera 8.0 doesn’t work with Blogger.

    To post to this blog, I use Opera 7.5, the most recent stable release.

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