Archive for April, 2006

Opera 9 Review

April 30, 2006 39 comments

The first beta version of Opera 9 has been out for a little over a week. This version includes many new features and changes from previous ones.

Overall Opera included lots of new features and many new fixes. Gmail, for example, now works with the Opera browser.

If you come across any websites that haven’t worked with previous versions of Opera, chances are that they work in Opera 9. This is not to say that Opera 9 works fine with all sites. One site that I use often,, doesn’t work with Opera 9, the tables are messed up.

The preferences dialog has been slimmed down a lot with Opera 8, but with Opera 9 it has regained a lot.

Read more…

Categories: Uncategorized

Welcome to the new Opera Watch

April 30, 2006 41 comments

I am proud to unveil the new home for Opera Watch.

With the new design and layout, you will find our content more readable and structured. There are numerous new changes that have been made with the new site, some more apparent than others. As with any change, it takes time to get used to a new look and feel.

This has been a big step, and there is more to come. In the coming weeks and months I hope to roll out more features on Opera Watch. Just to give you a sneak. Opera Watch will conduct a monthly interview with Opera executives and officials, where our readers will have a chance to submit the questions.

Starting soon, I will have other writers and columnist join me to provide a more complete coverage of the latest buzz and news on the Opera browser.

Here at Opera Watch we will continue to strive in bring you the best and most comprehensive coverage on the Opera browser. More than 20,000 readers read our articles on the old site each month.

Opera Watch was first to break several Opera stories over the past year and has been featured in the press on countless occasions including The Inquirer, CBS Market Watch, Red Herring Magazine,, Slashdot, Investors Business Daily, Neowin, and more.

I’d be lying if I said that I’m not proud of Opera Watch’s success. There is no better reward for me when I see people write comments and link to Opera Watch in their own blogs — I read every comment and generally visit the blogs/sites that link to Opera Watch. Thanks to everyone who has commented on Opera Watch.

There are still some bugs to squash and some changes to be made; your feedback is very important. (If there are any WordPress users out there, I still can’t figure out how to properly word wrap the posts).

Over the past 4-5 months I’ve been working nights and weekend on this new site. And while I did put in a lot of work myself, it couldn’t have been done without the advice and help from a friend who wanted to remain anonymous. His input on style and layout has been immense. Thanks EC.

Also deserving credit is Dhaivat Maharaja, who worked on the graphics for the site.

Note: If you got this post with your RSS or email subscription, there is no need to update your subscription.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera opens Beijing office

April 25, 2006 5 comments

Opera today opened its new offices in (the communist) Beijing, China.

China has more than 100 million Internet users, and the number is increasing rapidly. Over 400 million people own a mobile phone, providing a massive market potential for Opera’s browsers.

With the new Beijing office, Opera is hoping to secure a strategic foothold in the emerging Chinese market and reinforcing its partnerships with local companies. Opera already has business relationships with Chinese and China-based companies.

In February Opera opened an office in India. The Norway based Opera also has offices in Japan, Sweden, USA, and Korea.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera CTO, Håkon Wium Lie, answers your questions

April 24, 2006 1 comment

Two and a half weeks ago we solicited questions for Håkon Wium Lie, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Opera Software. Hakon, of course, is also known as the father of CSS and as the one who proposed the Acid2 test.

Here is a snippet of some of his answers to questions that were submitted by Opera Watch readers. This interview is part of this month’s issue of Opera Bits, which is due out later today.

Anonymous: I don’t know if he is the right one to ask, but I’d like to know if there will be more css3-selectors like :last-child order the :nth-selectors in the near future? The latest changelogs seem to me, that more GUI-features are implemented, but a significant improvement of the CSS3-support is lacking a bit.

Hakon: We have prioritized fixing old bugs over adding new functionality. The Acid2 test now renders flawlessly in Opera and having interoperable functionality of the CSS2.1 layout model is more important than most CSS3 modules. As the CSS3 drafts mature, you will see more support from us.

FataL: Håkon, what do you think about idea of CSS Naked Day (April 5th)?

Hakon: I liked the naked day idea. This is what I wrote in a comment on the blog:

This is a fun idea, fully in line with the reasons for creating CSS in the first place. While most designers are attracted by the extra presentational capabilities, saving HTML from becoming a presentational language was probably a more important motivation for most people who participated in the beginning.

Thomas Scholz: You used Prince to print your thesis — will Opera cooperate with Prince to improve the printing capabilities of the Opera browser? Are there any other concrete plans for CSS printing?

Hakon: Yes, I used Prince to make a PDF file of the thesis. Bert Bos and I also used Prince for our book on CSS. Ideally, Opera would be able to do the job. However, making a PDF file is quite different from displaying content on the screen. Opera is tuned for speed and size, while Prince is tuned for that page number references that cannot be resolved until the whole book has been formatted. So, from an engineering perspective it makes sense to have two different programs.

The W3C CSS WG is working on more advanced print features and I think we’ll see strong uptake of CSS for print-oriented content.

David Naylor: Apparently, someone has started thinking about creating an Acid3 test. What useful features are there to be tested in such a test, which aren’t already in the Acid2 test?

Hakon: Yes, I think it’s time to start thinking about Acid3. The basic principle should remain the same: Acid3 should be a one-page test to help browser vendors keep their promises. As for functionality, I think acid3 should be an applications, not a document.

Bernie Zimmermann: Håkon, why doesn’t CSS support constants? Being able to assign an RGB value to a constant, for instance, could make stylesheet maintenance a lot more manageable. Was it just an oversight?

Hakon: No, we thought about it. True, it would have saved some typing. However, there are also some downsides. First, the CSS syntax would have been more complex and more programming-like. Second, what would be the scope of the constant? The file? The document? Why? In the end we decided it wasn’t worth it.

Subscribe to Opera Bits, to read more of this interview with Hakon.

Categories: Interviews

Opera 9 beta 1 released

April 21, 2006 16 comments

Opera on Thursday released its first beta version of Opera 9.

The beta version includes many new features to the browser, including Widget, BitTorrent, Content Blocking (aka ad blocking), the ability to customize the integrated search engine field, Tab Thumbnail preview, site-specific preferences, and more. A complete list of changes for this release is available here.

Download Opera 9

P.S. I’m on a (mini) vacation now; I hope to write a more detailed review of Opera 9 later.

Categories: Desktop

Yahoo AU uses the Opera Man

April 17, 2006 15 comments

Yahoo Australia has added the ‘Opera Man’ on its homepage.

The hitching Opera Man was first introduced as part of the Opera 8 campaign. It was never really popular in the Opera community.

But it’s apparently popular with some after all.

Opera doesn’t have a mascot at this time. Some in the Opera community suggested that the Opera Man might become Opera’s new mascot, though Opera denied this multiple times.

There was actually talk in Opera about introducing an official mascot, but that seems to have died down.
Yahoo’s use of the Opera Man

Hat tip to santouras.

Categories: Uncategorized

Opera 9 beta 1 close to being released

April 7, 2006 20 comments

The first beta version of Opera 9 is close to being made public.

In addition to the weekly builds of Opera 9 being released, over the last couple weeks Opera has also released some mid-weekly builds in order to get more feedback and squash more bugs. If all goes well with this week’s build, the beta should be out soon.

Some of the new features in Opera 9 include Widgets, a new and improved opera:config, BitTorrent support, site specific preferences, editable integrated search, and a rewrite of important parts of the rendering engine. (It still doesn’t have the status toolbar enabled by default.)

Opera 9, codenamed Merlin, will also pass the Acid2 test.

P.S. For those of you Mac users, an Easter egg has been added in this week’s weekly build of the Mac version. Hint: You need a remote control.

Categories: Desktop