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Last post Author Topic: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users  (Read 11968 times)

mouser

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Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« on: March 08, 2015, 04:59:01 PM »
Interesting development in the desktop browser world, a new web browser from some Opera folks.  I'm not exactly sold on this, and I was never a huge fan of Opera, but I do agree that I don't like this trend towards making the browser feel and look more and more invisible -- removing menubars, addressbars, statusbars, etc..

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Desktop browsers have largely followed this overall trend of slipping into the background. Every new release sees them simplifying their interfaces and removing features that their data collection tools indicate are only used by a small handful. RSS icons disappear, toolbars get hidden away, the URL bar will likely disappear soon for many...

There is, however, still that five percent that actually did use the RSS icon, liked their status bar, and will most likely abandon any browser that hides away the address bar. The power users may be the minority, but they still exist. Exactly what constitutes a power user is up for debate, but looking at the recent history of Web browser "advances" one thing seems clear, the power user is not the target audience. The person who wants to be in control of their experience and customize it to their liking has been left behind by most browsers.

The power user's current solution to the simplification, arguably the infantilization, of the Web browser interface is to get all those missing features back with add-ons. This works to a degree, but it introduces a ton of extra code, some of it written by programmers far less capable than those contributing to the code of Firefox or Chromium. This inevitably means add-ons slow things down. The problem is bad enough that a future version of Firefox will even have a feature dedicated to letting you know which of your add-ons is slowing you down.


iMark

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 07:00:23 PM »
A very interesting article to read. Vivaldi looks pretty cool and it is bringing something different to the world of web browsers. I personally think the rewind feature would be awesome, although I am not convinced with the fast forward feature. I may use it from time to time but if I wanted to get to the next page of a post on a forum, I would just click next page. Why risk the possibility of not getting to the right next page like they advertise. Although it may be nice to view related articles on a blog.

Windows is also making a new browser called Spartan browser with a little helper called Cortana which is supposed to help you browser the web and suggest stuff to you by looking at your history, search habits etc. They will release it with Windows 10 which I greatly dislike. I wanted a better Windows 7, not a more improved Windows 8. They are also making "holo lenses" which I don't think everyday people will want to use, I wouldn't mind using it for a bit but not to replace my tv,computer and phone. However these are all different topics that can be discussed on other posts.

Overall I think Vivaldi is pretty cool and I may even use it when it comes out.

Renegade

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 07:48:13 PM »
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Just about every major feature in today's browsers started out in Opera: tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, pioneering support for Web standards, and even the clustered page thumbnails when you open a new window or tab (a feature known as "speed dial"). These all started in Opera and were then copied by Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and (sometimes) IE.

Given that Opera really has been the main innovator in browser UX, they very well may pull off a new trend.

I'll give it a try sometime. I use Opera as my primary browser, and it has been lacking since they swapped engines.
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rxantos

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 09:44:38 PM »
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It's no accident that Vivaldi offers most of what Opera 12 offered. Vivaldi's CEO is Jon S. von Tetzchner, co-founder and former CEO of Opera. Von Tetzchner's primary goal for Vivaldi is to rebuild the browser that Opera once was—the power user's browser.

Now I understand what happened at that company, it changed leadership.

I will give Vivaldi a try. I really liked Opera 12, but despise the new O-Chromium with a passion. It made me go to WaterFox and different other programs Never liked the way Chrome and all Chromium based browsers (including the new Opera)sends information behind your back.

Ath

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2015, 02:44:57 AM »
I will give Vivaldi a try. I really liked Opera 12, but despise the new O-Chromium with a passion. It made me go to WaterFox and different other programs Never liked the way Chrome and all Chromium based browsers (including the new Opera)sends information behind your back.
But this new Vivaldi browser is using the WebKit/Blink rendering engine, the same as Chrome is using, doesn't that bother you?

eleman

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2015, 08:41:34 AM »
Aren't the vast majority of power users hooked on add-ons? How will they switch to a new browser? I honestly can't, without at least 8 add-ons I consider must-have also making the jump.

allen

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2015, 09:49:44 AM »
I've loved Opera since the 90's, and was quite saddened by its move to Chromium. As you can imagine, I am excited to follow the Vivaldi story but if I'm being completely honest, I'm quite skeptical it'll go anywhere. The first two releases were in close succession, but it's been quiet since...

Aren't the vast majority of power users hooked on add-ons? How will they switch to a new browser? I honestly can't, without at least 8 add-ons I consider must-have also making the jump.

I have a few I cannot live without as well... Vivaldi is by no means ready for prime time (It doesn't even support bookmarklets yet). But much is coming, if it's coming. :)

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We want to build a powerful, feature packed browser to minimize your need for extentions. They can impact browser performance and increase security risks. Still, we understand you might want more, so extension support is coming. Stay tuned.

cyberdiva

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 03:33:07 PM »
I too have a number of add-ons I can't do without (e.g. Lazarus, Last Pass, Linkman Fox).  A browser on which I can't use Lazarus, Linkman, and Last Pass is of little use to me.  Add-ons were one of the features that made me switch from Opera to Firefox, though now I'm rather disenchanted with both.  Fortunately, as I became more and more frustrated with Firefox, I tried Pale Moon, and I found that I could install in Pale Moon all the add-ons I had valued in Firefox.  Pale Moon is now my primary browser, though I still have Firefox (36.0.1), Opera (12.17), and IE 11, in part for testing purposes.   As a software enthusiast, I often can't resist trying new programs that sound appealing, but in its present form, Vivaldi doesn't sound all that interesting to me.  The good news is that it's being created by some of the folks who created Opera, which was in many ways a great browser.  The bad news is that Vivaldi is being created by some of the folks who created Opera, who stubbornly resisted add-ons.  Of course, Opera had many features built in that were possible in other browsers only via add-ons, and perhaps the Vivaldi team will apply some of that same ingenuity to the new browser. 

Bending_Unit

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2015, 03:46:35 PM »
The bad news is that Vivaldi is being created by some of the folks who created Opera, who stubbornly resisted add-ons.  Of course, Opera had many features built in that were possible in other browsers only via add-ons, and perhaps the Vivaldi team will apply some of that same ingenuity to the new browser. 

Well the new Team is not locked in the ways of the old team. AddOns will come. They are talking to the users. They are communicating changes. This is a whole new show and i have high hopes for it.
Also not relying on AddOns for most important features is actually why i will love this browser as i did the old Opera. AddOns become abandoned. Or you might need to wait for an update after a browser update. I understand why people might love updates and i use some in other browsers too but i will feel far more "secure"  with builtin features.

MilesAhead

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2015, 04:29:50 PM »
Well the new Team is not locked in the ways of the old team. AddOns will come. They are talking to the users.

I used Opera 8.52 for a long time.  I liked that it did most of what I wanted out of the box.  But I noticed an intolerance to rational suggestions on the forum.  When I conjectured that an AutoCopy might be better than quadruple clicking the mouse to copy some text to clipboard I thought they were going to put me on America's Most Wanted.

cyberdiva

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2015, 06:53:11 PM »
AddOns become abandoned. Or you might need to wait for an update after a browser update. I understand why people might love updates and i use some in other browsers too but i will feel far more "secure"  with builtin features.
To some extent, I agree with you.  Indeed, years ago I made the same arguments in explaining to friends and colleagues my preference for Opera.  The other side of the coin, however, is that with add-ons, you don't have to wait for the browser's developers to build in the features you find you need, and if your preferences don't coincide with what the browser's developers regard as important, one of the hundreds of add-on creators may come up with just what you need.

cyberdiva

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2015, 07:11:58 PM »
I used Opera 8.52 for a long time.  I liked that it did most of what I wanted out of the box.  But I noticed an intolerance to rational suggestions on the forum. 
Yes, this drove me crazy.  I found both the Firefox forums and the Opera forums to be filled with fan boys and trolls.  The atmosphere discouraged me from even reading the messages.  One of the many things I like about Pale Moon is its forum: the tone is generally polite and even friendly, and queries generally receive knowledgeable responses from informed users and from the developer, who participates quite actively. 

Curt

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2015, 07:24:14 PM »
The good news is that it's being created by some of the folks who created Opera, which was in many ways a great browser. The bad news is that Vivaldi is being created by some of the folks who created Opera, who stubbornly resisted add-ons.

When I read about the Vivaldi browser, I thought (almost) exactly what our diva just said; "What about addons? How can anyone in their right mind think they can create a new Internet Browser to compete with Firefox, Pale Moon and Chrome - without first letting a thousand unpaid, software authors write a gazillion extensions, to make the browser useful? Wow, that Vivaldi company will have to make it a fantastic browser!"

Edvard

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2015, 08:37:02 PM »
I use Opera mainly because it is faster than the others - ALL the others (at least on my box...).  The switch to using the webkit engine (and webkit IS just an engine) wasn't what bothered me, it was the dumbing-down trend I'd seen in other browsers.  When I was a Firefox fan, I thought the "Firefox button" was a good idea (all the menus, 10% of the space!) but then they took that away and left me with a hamburger and a box of pictures.  :-\
Opera went the same way, taking away many of the old Opera's features, and axing a bunch of fairly serious configurability (really? no way to change the default search engine? seriously?) and I usually blamed it on the switch to webkit, though I am now beginning to think that was on purpose.

I have tried Vivaldi, and it really does look like they're trying to bring back the old Opera, even starting a browser-centered community-driven site (Vivaldi.net) that has email, blogging, forums, etc. (MyOpera, anyone?).
As it stands, Vivaldi starts up rather slow for me, and it has that weird Metro square-iness look that is REALLY out of place on my Linux box, but so far, it's... OK.  Not as fast as Opera, but it renders some stuff better, and I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements are waiting in the future.  For now though, it's an also-ran that I'll keep my eye on.

xtabber

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2015, 10:17:20 PM »
Opera has been my favorite browser for Web surfing since version 3.50, 16 years ago. Hard to believe now, but a single user license cost $35 back then!  Yet it has never been my default browser, if only because too many sloppily designed commercial sites simply don't work properly with it.

The new Chromium Opera is definitely faster, but at first was missing too many essential features to be usable.  That is no longer the case and it is now my primary surfing browser.  I haven't completely removed Opera 12 from my system, but I have unpinned it from my taskbar and haven't used it for a while.  Opera Chromium seems to work fine anywhere that Chrome does, without the snoopware and invasive baggage that Google builds into Chrome. Opera Chromium has a growing number of extensions of its own and can work with many Chrome extensions.

While Firefox remains my default browser on Windows, it is definitely beginning to suffer from bloat and weird UI decisions. If not for the Classic Theme Restorer extension, I might have dropped it.  I also use SeaMonkey on Windows.

I've almost completely abandoned Firefox on Android. It's become just too bloated and slow to be usable.  Chrome works best on that platform, of course, but I also use Opera for Android and Dolphin, which allow more private browsing without having to load an incognito tab every time I look something up.


clippingpath

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2015, 12:03:55 AM »
Can I use it safely?

Curt

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2015, 03:25:55 AM »

Innuendo

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2015, 07:30:46 PM »
Power users want add-ons. Power users need add-ons. Do *not* build a browser that has all the gee-whiz functionality built in. Power users will not use that.

Give me a bare framework built for speed and let me add the features I want through add-ons. I will have the functionality I want without a whole bunch of features I don't want or need slowing me down. I will decide what add-ons are making my browser too slow and I will decide which ones give me enough functionality that it's worth a small price in speed in return.

If the Vivaldi devs don't understand this then they are just building Opera: The Next Generation.

MilesAhead

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2015, 05:58:52 AM »
If the Vivaldi devs don't understand this then they are just building Opera: The Next Generation.

That's what it sounds like.  Kitchen Sink City Sequel.  :)

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2015, 07:25:32 AM »
I will give Vivaldi a try. I really liked Opera 12, but despise the new O-Chromium with a passion. It made me go to WaterFox and different other programs Never liked the way Chrome and all Chromium based browsers (including the new Opera)sends information behind your back.
But this new Vivaldi browser is using the WebKit/Blink rendering engine, the same as Chrome is using, doesn't that bother you?

There's an interesting separation going on here.

I have no particular interest in the back end engine. While way back in the day it I learned Firefox for the early browser freedom philosophy, they long since torched that. So now it's all front end UI for me. And most of what I use Palemoon (FF spinoff) is just the layout of where the features are. So for example if someone made a plugin that adds a Palemoon/old FF type second UI then I would switch because you'd get all the basics where you know them and then all the cool new toys on top.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2015, 07:27:32 AM »
Aren't the vast majority of power users hooked on add-ons? How will they switch to a new browser? I honestly can't, without at least 8 add-ons I consider must-have also making the jump.

I second this.


TaoPhoenix

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2015, 07:36:04 AM »
I use Opera mainly because it is faster than the others - ALL the others (at least on my box...).  The switch to using the webkit engine (and webkit IS just an engine) wasn't what bothered me, it was the dumbing-down trend I'd seen in other browsers.  When I was a Firefox fan, I thought the "Firefox button" was a good idea (all the menus, 10% of the space!) but then they took that away and left me with a hamburger and a box of pictures.  :-\
Opera went the same way, taking away many of the old Opera's features, and axing a bunch of fairly serious configurability (really? no way to change the default search engine? seriously?) and I usually blamed it on the switch to webkit, though I am now beginning to think that was on purpose.

I have tried Vivaldi, and it really does look like they're trying to bring back the old Opera, even starting a browser-centered community-driven site (Vivaldi.net) that has email, blogging, forums, etc. (MyOpera, anyone?).
As it stands, Vivaldi starts up rather slow for me, and it has that weird Metro square-iness look that is REALLY out of place on my Linux box, but so far, it's... OK.  Not as fast as Opera, but it renders some stuff better, and I'm looking forward to seeing what improvements are waiting in the future.  For now though, it's an also-ran that I'll keep my eye on.


Well, philosophy wise it looks like this gang is also grumpy with where Opera went, and this looks "almost like a fork". So that FF button is almost exactly what I'd want.

But there's a bunch of business issues here - they have to convince people they have deep enough funding to hold onto this because I think I recall some of old Opera senior management deciding Presto was too expensive to maintain. So this is interesting - just borrow the Blink backend, and then just stay on the UI side.

But I'm most alerted to the possibility this is just a "cool five year mission" that then gets discontinued ... after three years because of external forces.


Gwen7

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2015, 12:50:45 PM »
this sounds a lot like the old netscape versus internet explorer battle. you could pick a browsing suite that did everything. or get a stand alone browser that was lean and faster. firefox gave us the best of both worlds with their plug-ins. you could start lean. and then junk things up the way you wanted based on how *you* used it. but the real difference is the rendering engines anyway. vivaldi is yet another blink browser without presto. and microsoft's spartan is starting to look interesting now that they've gotten away from their old way of doing things. they also built a supposedly decent new engine to replace trident. and you know their integration with windows will be second to none.

i tried vivaldi for a few days since part of my job is vetting desktop software for the company i work for. i think it's ok as far as it goes. better than a bulked-up firefox if you don't need the plug-ins. but i think vivaldi is too much old-think in trying to do everything. and the vivaldi developers make a lot of assumptions about how people want to do things. opera did that too. so like opera, vivaldi may be a winner. but mostly for people who match the user profile the developers are coding for.

i think it's worth trying to see if its for you. i'm going to stick with firefox for now. :-)

MilesAhead

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2015, 01:51:36 PM »
I'm trying the x64 version in a W7 x64 VM.  So far it refuses to do the ordinary expected things.  Like increasing font size with Control NumPad Plus.  Also I can't move the window with the mouse.  Pretty weird.  It has this extended glass area where the caption would be and below it a gray caption bar with the usual min/max/close buttons.

It seems too freaky to try.  Being in a VM on a Laptop it's going to be unsmooth.  But it still feels weird even so.  :)

allen

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Re: Vivaldi, the new Web browser for power users
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2015, 11:19:00 AM »
I'm trying the x64 version in a W7 x64 VM.  So far it refuses to do the ordinary expected things.  Like increasing font size with Control NumPad Plus.  Also I can't move the window with the mouse.  Pretty weird.  It has this extended glass area where the caption would be and below it a gray caption bar with the usual min/max/close buttons.

It seems too freaky to try.  Being in a VM on a Laptop it's going to be unsmooth.  But it still feels weird even so.  :)

Keep in mind also, the 64 bit version is listed as "experimental"... yeehaw!