Opera 9

Yeah. “Opera 9”:http://www.opera.com/ is “out”:http://www.opera.com/pressreleases/en/2006/06/20/. Among the “new features”:http://www.opera.com/products/desktop/ are “BitTorrent”:http://www.bittorrent.com/, content blocker, customizable search engines, site-specific preferences and more. More importantly, there are numerous improvements for web authors. Read on


h3. Widgets
The most prominent new feature of Opera 9 (and the one I’ve been most buried in) is “widgets”:http://widgets.opera.com/. And you should really learn to love them. To parrot something I said in issue #3 of “Opera Bits”:http://www.opera.com/operabits/06/05/
Widgets are small applications, created using standard web technologies. This means that authors can deploy the same application instantly all of the desktop platforms Opera resides on, and just expect the application to work. Furthermore, this is done using well-known web technologies. All of the world’s Web 2.0 companies can bring their application to the user’s desktop, having a presence beyond being “just a web service”. Their applications instantly available to the user.
Also, by using web technologies, the threshold of writing software is much lower. This means that you will get software authored by people who normally do not develop applications. Typically, this will be single-task applications, or what I would like to name microapplications. Some examples:
* “Mass validator”:http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4187 – batch validates web pages
* “touchTheWire”:http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4197 – lets you monitor web pages and check whether they’re up or not.
* “Torus”:http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4134 – this is Tetris like you never played it before (and if you want something more like the traditional game of block stacking, there’s “WidgetTetra”:http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4017 ).
* “Opera clock”:http://widgets.opera.com/widget/4094 – In real life, I always prefered analog clocks. This is a rather space-saving variety. The code, based on canvas, is so easy to use that our “pixelmonkey”:http://my.opera.com/Helmers/blog/ creates “new clockfaces”:http://widgets.opera.com/author/Helmers when he has five minutes to spare.
I could have mentioned a bunch of other widgets, but it’s really much better if you just check it out yourself. If you’d rather just get started with widget creation, there is some introductory material:
* “Your first widget”:http://my.opera.com/community/dev/widgets/first/
* “Widgets and animation”:http://my.opera.com/community/dev/widgets/animation/
* “Deploying widgets”:http://my.opera.com/community/dev/widgets/deploy/
* “Opera animation library”:http://my.opera.com/community/dev/widgets/animation/lib/
* “config.xml file syntax”:http://oxine.opera.com/widgets/documentation/widget-configuration.html
* “Opera widget forum”:http://my.opera.com/community/forums/forum.dml?id=1296 for those that want to start creating widgets.
h3. Standards and technologies
The “changelog”:http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/900/ has all the gory details, but I’ll highlight some of what I like most:
* Atom 1.0 support.
* OPML import and export
* Multiple rendering fixes. We pass “Acid 2”:http://webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html
* SVG 1.1 basic
* Support for the “canvas element”:http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#scs-dynamic
* Support for “Audio”:http://whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/#scs-sound
* Body element now uses margin instead of padding by default. This has been the cause of a lot of headaches for developers new to Opera.
* Added support for XSLT 1.0 and the XSLTProcessor constructor.
* XPath 1.0
* DOM level 2 Style Sheets and associated parts of DOM level 2 CSS
* Rich text editing: designMode and contentEditable
* “History navigation improvements”:http://www.opera.com/support/search/supsearch.dml?index=827
* “Web forms 2.0”:http://whatwg.org/specs/web-forms/current-work/ – the new configuration editor, opera:config uses this actively.
Again, examine the changelogs
* “Linux”:http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/linux/900/
* “Windows”:http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/900/
* “Mac”:http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/mac/900/
* “Other platforms”:http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/
And “download Opera 9 now”:http://www.opera.com/download/ — you’ll enjoy it!

7 Comments

  1. Medina

     /  2006-06-20

    Medina is using OperaVoice to read this entry.

  2. Congratulations, Arve! Opera 9 is a nice piece of work!

  3. Asbjørn Ulsberg

     /  2006-06-21

    Excellent work, the browser just rocks harder with every version! But please get working on bugs #215306 and #215308, will ya? 😉

  4. It still shows Helvetica as a blocky font in Windows.
    It still renders list markers wrong when a blockquote is positioned relatively inside a list item.
    It still shows visited sites as drop-down suggestions when typing into the address bar, despite deleting the private data.
    It still deletes favicons when you delete the private data.
    It still resizes images wrongly over a certain height when no width is supplied.
    It still doesn’t show a tooltip when a title is given to an option element.
    Some of these bugs are demoed on my site. I have reported them. OK, so they’re not exactly major bugs, though the first one is annoying.
    Now has the dreaded textarea forms bug been fixed? Scrolling in a form would sometimes only scroll part of the text, leaving the other part static. That only affected scrolling with the mouse.

  5. It still deletes favicons when you delete the private data.

    But only after closing down the program it seems. A shame as favicons can never be built up in the bookmarks, unless you manually make the images read-only!
    Now what’s happened to the Find-in-page colours? Words are now highlighted in grey not yellow. Is it possible to change that? I find the grey much harder to see on a page.
    The current highlighted word is now in blue instead of green too. Not sure that’s better, as black text on a dark blue background isn’t so easily read. Still, at least we got the orange RSS icon back! 🙂

  6. Asbjørn Ulsberg

     /  2006-06-26

    In 9.01, bug #215306 isn’t fully fixed yet. The form field bug is gone, but zooming an e-mail or RSS/Atom entry still gives “this”:http://tiger-it.no/misc/font-kerning-zoom-150.png problem.

  7. Asbjørn Ulsberg

     /  2006-06-26

    And in addition to bug #215306, I have reported #216971 which is regarding a bug when printing in User mode. The steps described in the bug are so:

    1. Open up the article “Understanding XForms: Components”:http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2006/06/understanding_xforms_component.html in Opera 9.01
    2. Press SHIFT+G to enter user mode
    3. Press SHIFT+P to enter print preview mode
    4. Notice that only the first page of the article is possible to print

    I have no idea what causes the XML.com articles to not be printable, but “other”:http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2006/06/more_on_xslt_and_xlinqlinq_and.html “articles”:http://www.oreillynet.com/xml/blog/2006/06/msliveclipboard_and_calendar_s_1.html are also problematic. The fact that they aren’t valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional shouldn’t matter much since much worse coded web pages are printed perfectly.