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Opera Software The Internet Technology

Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha Is Out, and It's Fast 274

Posted by kdawson
from the fat-lady-has-not-sung dept.
sgunhouse writes to let us know that, following a leaked internal build over the weekend, Opera Software has now released their official 10.5 pre-alpha. There are no Linux versions yet. And an anonymous reader adds, "Opera's 10.5 pre-alpha includes the Carakan JavaScript Engine. Benchmarks now show that Opera is competitive with Chrome, beating it in Sunspider and other tests. Safari, Firefox, and IE are all behind. This is still pre-alpha, so further speed gains should be expected."
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Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha Is Out, and It's Fast

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @05:32PM (#30529384) Journal

    Complete What's new:

    Carakan
    Carakan is our new JavaScript engine. It’s fast, more than 7x faster in SunSpider than Opera 10.10 with Futhark on Windows (Mac optimization is not as far along). You can read more gritty details regarding register-based bytecode, automatic object classification and native code generation in the Opera Core blog.

    Presto 2.5
    We are now using Presto 2.5, which contains a huge numbers of improvements. It also includes support for CSS3 transitions and transforms, and more HTML5 features like persistent storage.

    Vega
    Vega is our new graphics library. It’s currently software based and displays everything you see on-screen. Vega can be hardware accelerated, but as you can see from the complex graphics benchmark in Peacekeeper, we don’t seem to need it yet. (Note that Futuremarks Peacekeeper test does no include the results of their complex graphics tests in the overall score. We believe this is wrong in 2009 and will simply be silly if not changed in 2010.)

    Outside - Platform integration
    On Windows 7/Vista, you will notice a lot of visual changes and use of APIs which allow the UI to display the Aero Glass effect. For Windows 7, we also added Aero Peek and Jump List support to easily access your Speed Dials, Tabs, etc. from the Taskbar.
    For Mac, a complete rewrite in Cocoa brings an Unified Toolbar, native buttons and scrollbars, multi-touch gestures (try 3-Finger Swipe Left/Right or Pinch to zoom) and a bunch of other small details. We also added Growl notification support.

    “Private tab” and “Private window”
    You can open a new Private tab or Private window that forgets everything that happened on it once closed.

    Non-modal dialogs
    Dialog boxes (JavaScript alerts, HTTP authentication, etc.) are now non-modal and are displayed as a page overlay. This allows you to switch tabs or windows while the dialog is still displayed. Similarly, the Password Manager dialog is now anchored at the top of the page won’t block any content as it loads a new page.

    Address field and Search field improvements
    Both fields have been upgraded in looks and functionality. They can now remember searches, support removing items from history and show results in a better layout.

    Opera just keeps getting better and better. It was in some Opera 10 beta that they improved the JS engine a lot, and now they've improved it over 7x again, along with the on-screen drawing. That's what I've always loved about Opera; UI responsivess and the smoothness of browsing (scrolling, mouse gestures) beats every other browser and everything is thighly packed in, so no need for clumsy addons which quality and speed differ a lot.

    However, the preview [opera.com] images seem to have the Windows 7 like layout. I really hope this is just to show it off and it can be switched to normal - I like having my menubars easily accessible.

  • It's fast but buggy (Score:3, Informative)

    by mantis2009 (1557343) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @05:39PM (#30529480)
    I'm a regular Chrome user. I've tried Opera 10.5 pre-alpha for the last few hours, and I find it at least as snappy on my regular rounds of javascript heavy websites. I also really like the trend in browsers toward simple UI, with no real estate wasted on menubars. The new Opera looks almost as minimalistic as Chrome. Nice. However, be warned, this early build really is wonky. Lots of small errors and things that simply don't work. Don't uninstall your main browser just yet. But, I think you might be able to rely on this pre-alpha build of Opera as your (superfast) gmail client, and then have another browser open for your browsing needs.
  • by micksam7 (1026240) * on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @05:56PM (#30529704)

    Yes.

    Right click, choose "Block content", then select elements on a page you'd like to have blocked. Flash, images, iframes, what have you.

    May not be as complete as AdBlock, but it's certainly useful.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:04PM (#30529822)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:07PM (#30529852)

    Opera has a built-in "Ad-block-like feature": Right-click on an empty area of the page, select the option to block content, click on your hated ad, ???, profit.

    Also, there are several ad-block plug-in-ish software for Opera. Try this: http://www.fanboy.co.nz/adblock/opera/

    Or just google "Opea adblock"

  • by moronoxyd (1000371) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:10PM (#30529900)

    I use an (older) version of AdSweep to get rid of more than 90% of the ads, and Opera's own block content function for the few things that still annoy me.
    Yes, it's not quite AdBlock+, but close enough.

  • by Icegryphon (715550) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:15PM (#30529952)
    Shoryuken will only get you so far, Most likely when you come down you are going to eat a Hadouken.
    Prefered method would be a Tatsu-maki Senpuu-kyaku nowadays since you will go through any wave motion fist Shenanigans.
  • Re:Pre Alpha?? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Ksevio (865461) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @06:54PM (#30530468) Homepage
    Opera has sort of broken away from that traditional model since so many people like to try the latest versions. They usually release weekly builds and "pre-alphas" on their blog, betas and RCs on their beta download page (more public), and then the stable version. This one seems to have the title "pre-alpha" because it compiled, but not all the UI is complete, and a lot of things will crash it. Basically they haven't finished writing stuff and know some stuff doesn't work, so it's not even to the testing stage (which would be "alpha") or the large scale testing "beta".
  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:17PM (#30530722) Journal

    However, the preview [opera.com] images seem to have the Windows 7 like layout. I really hope this is just to show it off and it can be switched to normal - I like having my menubars easily accessible.

    It's nothing new - they've had the option to hide the menu bar for God knows how long (since 7.x, I think? maybe even before that), it was just buried deep - it was an UI command with no key bound by default, so you had to bind it first. In 10.0, they've added the option to hide main menu to the menu itself. And in this build, they've made that setting the default, but you can, of course, change it back (and generally change the UI to look like it used to be).

    Note though that menu is still accessible with mouse only - that Opera logo in top left corner, when clicked, shows all the items normally displayed on the main menu in a popup menu. In that, it's quite similar to Ribbon "pearl" button. So it's better than IE, where you have to use keyboard (Alt or F10) to activate the hidden menu.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:21PM (#30530758) Journal

    Tiling itself isn't new (Window -> Tile Horizontal/Vertical was there since 1.0), but in previous versions, when you tiled the windows, it worked precisely as in any other Win32 MDI application - you'd see two "child" windows, complete with title bar and other chrome, positioned one after another; if you then dragged the border of any window, only it would resize (possibly overlapping the other windows). Now, though, they've got rid of the child window chrome, and make it look more like a bunch of frames (or windows in a tiling window manager).

  • FAIL (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:25PM (#30530796) Homepage

    Fast? Really? Not. The acclaimed SunSpider test:

    Opera 10.5 A fresh install:

    Total: 4790.0ms +/- 0.2%

    FIrefox 3.7a1pre20091222 (with extensions all enabled)

    Total: 1928.0ms +/- 3.4%

    and just for the heck of it

    Opera 10.10

    Total: 8887.6ms +/- 1.9%

    is there some secret 'disable slow' preference in Opera I need to change?

    Granted, this is on an old dual-cpu Athlon MP system so the absolute results are not comparable to anyone else but the relative results are - Opera Fails.

  • About Opera's GUI (Score:4, Informative)

    by thc4k (951561) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:28PM (#30530824) Homepage

    I love two things about Opera: One is integrated www, email and rss and the other is it that it's one of the most customizable software I've ever seen. You can change *every* keyboard/mouse/mouse-gesture setting and you can customize *every* ui element (and with a good menu to do so, too).

    For software i spend hours each day using, like a browser, I think the most important thing is a good user interface - and there is no better one than the one you built yourself. But it kinda makes talking about the interface pointless - spend 10 minutes with it and it will look like (your personal version of) perfection.

  • by Zerimar (1124785) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:33PM (#30530866)
    It's faster, according to Lifehacker [lifehacker.com].
  • by richlv (778496) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:37PM (#30530900)

    erm, wait. tabbed browsing was brought to masses (avoiding "invented" here) by opera.

    for me, it's mostly relatively low memory usage, built-in features that you have to hunt firefox plugins down for (mouse gestures and whatnot) and some features ff is missing (although there might be some obscure plugin for them, like tab previews, tab closure undos etc).

    major feature is ability to set pages from history to be always loaded from cache, which allows to recover forum/slashdot/tracker/bugzilla messages if some problem occurs - although a major gripe of mine is inability to do this with https sites. that sucks. on the other hand, ff sucks even more badly at this.

    then there's (built-in) ability to disable all images by default (enabling cached only ones !) and switch this on tab basis easily - awesome feature when using dog slow gprs.

    oh, and opera was the first mainstream browser that introduced "persistent" browsing by saving state of your open tabs and restoring that upon next startup. a feature opera users got used to several years before firefox got this as a basic feature - no idea about msie.

    in general, opera has indeed pioneered most of the features in modern browsers. being a passionate opensource user, opera is still the last bastion of proprietary software in my toolbox, despite of some major annoyances with it - which basically means all other browsers are even more annoying.

  • Re:FAIL (Score:3, Informative)

    by yffe (187902) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @07:43PM (#30530962)

    Granted, this is on an old dual-cpu Athlon MP system so the absolute results are not comparable to anyone else but the relative results are

    This is because the JavaScript engine (Carakan) does not currently compile to native code for CPUs lacking SSE2. Support for older CPUs will be added in future builds.

  • It's fast is it? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Slutticus (1237534) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @08:43PM (#30531426)
    So basically... pages are incorrectly rendered at an even faster rate, causing me to open Safari quicker for those pesky webpages that I shouldn't be using anyway? I can't wait! *this is from a frustrated Opera user...*
  • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @09:00PM (#30531518) Journal
    browser: A piece of software used to access information on the internet.
    built in: included as a normal part of the whole.
    speed dial: Not sure what this means in this context. Normally, a button on a telephone that dials a sequence of numbers rather than a single digit.
    mouse gestures: a means of controlling a software by motions made with a mouse.
    email: a means of transmitting messages over the internet.
    RSS: a protocol for collecting short descriptions of changes to websites so that the user can decide whether to view the website or not.
    third party extensions: enhancements made to a program by people other than the program author, or the program user.
    security vulnerabilities: weaknesses in a program that make it possible to retrieve information, or run programs without authorization.
    killer features: slang term for characteristics, elements, or traits that are so highly valued that things not having these traits are considered not worth having.
  • by Vectronic (1221470) on Tuesday December 22, 2009 @09:55PM (#30531852)

    I can't actually time this, but there is a noticeable difference, granted I only did a single test in each browser... if I had to make up numbers...

    Opera 10.5: 0.7 seconds
    Opera 10.10: 1.0 seconds
    Chromium 4.0: 1.2 seconds
    IExplorer8: 1.5 seconds
    Safari 4.0: 1.6 seconds
    Firefox 3.6 B5: 1.7 seconds

    Though, Safari actually "looks" slower than Firefox because Firefox starts rendering sooner, whereas Safari waits for the full page then displays. For what it's worth, DL 5Mb/UL 1Mb connection... less than a second difference between them all, but for a lot of people that adds up, it's like a little nagging voice that eventually turns into frustration, especially when a website isn't what you were hoping for.

    The actual speed with which the browser GETs and renders a website is probably close to the last reason why Opera is my preferred browser, however, it is the main reason why Chromium is my secondary browser in tandem with the fact that it also starts about as quick as Opera, so I can quickly test something outside of Opera without having to go make coffee while it does so.

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @01:01AM (#30532700)
    Opera can run greasemonkey scripts.. Opera simply calls them User JavaScript and has had this ability since version 8 (yes, thats a year before greasemonkey existed) Invented here.

    Opera doesnt have anything as nice as Adblock Plus, but it hasnt required a plugin for content blocking either. Invented here, but not the best implementation.
    Ghostery has been ported to operas User JavaScript. Yes, its just a script.

    NoScript? Disable scripts (and plugins, and pretty much anything else) globally, then enable them on a site-by-site basis with Site Preferences. Invented here.
  • by XO (250276) <blade DOT eric AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @02:34AM (#30533110) Homepage Journal

    The more you use good non-open source software (when you can find it) the more you will realise that there is not a single piece of good open source software, at least, nothing in the popular ranks.

  • Re:FAIL (Score:3, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:47AM (#30533596) Journal

    That's because you're using a pointless test:

    "This is SunSpider, a JavaScript benchmark. This benchmark tests the core JavaScript language only, not the DOM or other browser APIs."

    Which is about as useless as it gets. Your typical web page doesn't do number crunching in JS; the heaviest operation it does is going to be AJAX calls and DOM manipulation, lots of it. So JS perf is nowhere nearly as important as the speed at which browser can redraw while DOM is being updated. And on that metric, Opera is fast; only Chrome seems to be able to beat it (but lags behind in features...).

    Don't bother with tests. They're useless, really - for any UI-heavy application, you don't want raw perf; you want responsibility, and that's an altogether different beast, that can be only tested by actually trying it out, and not something you can capture in numbers. It's about how smooth the pages scroll, how responsible the UI is with 20 tabs loading at the same time... these kinds of things.

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