Otter, the spiritual successor of Opera browser
Those of us who have been using the (until recently) outstanding internet suite by Norwegian company Opera Software had to say goodbye to the last year feeling some disenchantment as its development has been dropped in favor of a (currently) simply refurbished Chrome -which feels virtually devoid of advanced features. But the beginning of this year has brought us a fairly positive new in this regard.
The announcement was first published in Phoronix and not much later spread to Reddit and some non-English speaking sites: a Polish developer has started a promising application, Otter, a web browser controlled by the user, not vice-versa, as its motto claims. It is quite obvious that the programmer would like to fill the vacuum that the disappearance of the old Opera generation has originated, thus joining the ranks of (uncommon) similar browsers (such as Maxthon -of which might also take note about some features-, Sleipnir, Avant and SlimBrowser), all them aimed at advanced users or those who requires several native functions.
The goal seems to be developing a modular browser that aims to recreate the look and feel of classic Opera, as well as improving those features rendered outdated or simply left aside. The developer claims that Otter doesn’t pretend to be exactly an Opera clone, mainly due that is just not feasible to implement some of its features; but on the other hand, he also says that he would like to integrate some functions that many of us miss in current “ChrOpera”, such as a built-in mail client and the sidebar panel.
Otter will be free of charge as is common among web browser apps, but its open source code will be offered as well, unlike formerly cited apps. Obviously this would allows supporting of more operative systems, another feature to be welcome for those who use minority platforms. As for now it seems to have been just tested under Windows and Linux.
The app is being developed using the Qt5 framework and employs the Webkit engine, though support for Blink and maybe even other rendering engines is planned to be introduced in the future. In his own words, the sole project coder (who has no relationship with Opera Software) hopes to release a beta version in March, even though after barely two months of work an early precompilation in alpha state is already available for download.
While it’s yet too early to consider that new browser as already settled, in light of its results it seems to be a promising project that any classic Opera user should consider to closely follow.