Vivaldi: a web browser for our friends
It was to be expected that, sooner or later, Jon von Tetzchner, founding member and former president of Opera Software would publishize a brand new product to supplement the community he created as a replacement of the old My Opera community.
So he has recently announced the development of Vivaldi, a browser “for our friends”, regarding to the users who are asking for tons of features and whom the new managers of the company are purposely overlooking.
Von Tetzchner claims that there are around 20 millons of classic Opera users still, despite it hasn’t received a relevant update for near two years. A more than evident signal of the unenthusiastic receivement which users are showing for the new (and bareboned) spinoff.
So, along with a dozen of former Opera Software employees and several new members as well, Jon is working on developing an Opera Presto clone; which will join the ranks of the several already existing browsers, as well as the new ones, such as Otter -the other Opera clone- and the yet unnamed Internet Explorer succesor.
Given the cost and difficulty that implies creating and mantaining a brand new rendering engine, the Vivaldi stuff has decided to use Chrome, the Google browser engine, as a basis for their own application. On this framework they are using Node.js and React.js to develop a pleasing interface which color automatically changes to resemble the currently visited website.
While still in a early development phase, the testing builds have a good number of features already, most of which are probably familiar for Opera users. These include, among many others: mouse gestures, speed dial, tab stacking, quick commands, sidebar panels, cached images… final version will supposedly include a mail client and extensions support as well.
To that extent, the developers have published an online survey so users can let them know which missing features are most important to them. That way, the staff can give them priority over less demanded features and add them as soon as possible.
As of now, the browser is only available for the three main desktop plattforms (Windows, MacOS and Linux, in both 32 and 64 bits versions) but they are confident in adopting it to smartphones as well -though it’s too early to say anything on the matter yet. The development team is releasing weekly builds and it’s possible to download and test a tech preview as well from their official website.