Opera 9.5 alpha released

The folks at Opera Software have released a new version of the Opera browser for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux. Although it’s still in development, the new Opera 9.5 alpha already includes an extensive array of improvements, including a tweaked user interface, a redesigned address bar, online bookmarks and settings synchronization features, a history search feature that searches the contents of visited pages (accessible by entering opera:historysearch in the address bar), better site compatibility, and faster performance.

Detailed change logs showing the Opera 9.5 alpha’s additions over previous versions can be viewed for Windows, MacOS X, and Linux/Solaris/FreeBSD. The software can be downloaded from those links, too. As with all alpha-quality software, though, we do advise that users exercise caution.

Comments closed
    • vsbox
    • 14 years ago

    Opera is fast and stable, with a steady pack of features. The Mozilla pair of T Bird/ FF sucks now. There are too many fixes and an utterly confusing labyrinth of add ons, many of whom are not updated.
    Memory usage is more or less the same in FF/ Opera when you open more windows.
    The configuration options are equally weird in Opera and FF. There are limited menu options. For advances options, you must go to aboubt:config in FF and pref.js in Opera.
    Also Opera has a mail client by default included. A combined package uses less memory. If you don’t believe me, check mem usage when using Mozilla browser and mail; then FF and T Bird together.
    If Opera improves the usability of its mail, including formatting support, it will be unbeatable.
    The Mozilla pair, FF and T Bird have lost track. Too many security fixes instead of added features.
    In general I prefer- Opera/ Seamonkey for browsers and Eudora (undoubtedly) for mail

      • indeego
      • 14 years ago

      I’d use Opera, except the ability to do certain things is prohibitively hard I can’t even talk about them on TR, it’s a blacklisted topic. However, these obvious lack of features keeps me away from what I recognize as a better browser overall.

      FF ability to do just a few things and *[

    • PRIME1
    • 14 years ago

    9 versions already???

      • RandomNull
      • 14 years ago

      It has been around for 13 years

    • Saribro
    • 14 years ago

    [edit] gah, wrong button again

    • Trymor
    • 14 years ago

    Drool, pant, WooHoo!

    The thing I like about Opera, is all the built-in features that are either enabled by default, or just need to be turned on. Firefox is very nice too, but I am getting lazy in my old age, and don’t feel like downloading extentions for guestures and what-not.

      • RandomNull
      • 14 years ago

      That is the nice thing about Opera, you don’t have to worry about compatibility of extensions/whether or not the author has updated the extension when a new version hits or if it’ll be stable in the first place
      and the way opera works is that if you don’t use one of its features it doesn’t get in your way.
      The whole install file for the alpha is about 5MB and I’m sure they’ll be able to shrink it further when the final hits, that’s pretty good considering you need at least 3 extentions to make firefox come close to the features that come in the default Opera install.

    • nerdrage
    • 14 years ago

    Don’t mean to be a jerk, but why is an alpha release worthy of a news story?

      • deathBOB
      • 14 years ago

      Is the web browser one of if not the single most important program on most peoples PCs? I can’t think of anything else that provides so much utility besides the OS itself.

      Firefox has been very crashy for me lately on Vista, I’m not very happy with it.

        • thecoldanddarkone
        • 14 years ago

        I haven’t been very happy with firefox on linux.

    • Hance
    • 14 years ago

    I am going to give it a try. I have been having random crash problems with opera and Ubuntu. 9.23 has been working fine in windows but was a POS in linux for some reason.

      • stdPikachu
      • 14 years ago

      Could it be related to flash? I was experiencing crashes in Ubuntu with opera – this was due to the flash plugin going tits up due to a bug in GTK. I think it should be fixed now.

      • FubbHead
      • 14 years ago

      GTK and KDE doesn’t always play nice

    • Saribro
    • 14 years ago

    I’m loving it. I’ve run into a few small issues so far (small font rendering thing on 1 widget I use, redraw issue on source viewer/listboxes such as content blocker), but it’s nothing I run into often enough to be a bother.
    So far I’ve been using 9.5 as main browser over 9.23, it’s been that good for me :). (It’s really amasingly solid for an alpha imho)

      • FubbHead
      • 14 years ago

      They really have sped up the scrolling. I always found it a bit sluggish, but now it’s blazing fast. The only thing I’m a little annoyed with, is when the scrolling “settles down”, it could be smoother. But hey, it’s an alpha. 🙂

    • axeman
    • 14 years ago

    Opera is so fast it blows my mind. I’ve never seen a browser that loads pages so quickly, they must be up to some trickery.

    I would probably use it, but the UI is so far from the average browser, I’m too lazy to relearn. There are Firefox-like layouts/themes for it, but some of them suck pretty hard. When it comes down to it, navigating in IE, Firefox, Epiphany, Safari, or whatever is pretty much the same, but Opera is WEIRD man.

      • FubbHead
      • 14 years ago

      Personally, I have no problem using both. The differences isn’t *that* big. 🙂

      There are a lot of crap themes, very true. The best and most professional looking theme is the my_colored_opera theme. They should make it default.

      • lombot
      • 14 years ago

      Trying it out now and liking what i see so far. I tried using Mozilla for a while but I have to admit that end of the day I found Mozilla clunky by comparison to Opera. However haven’t had any real issues with 9.23 though.

      • Illissius
      • 14 years ago

      Could you list some specific differences? I just find it really odd how many people perceive Opera’s interface to be “strange”. To me, all of them seem like nearly carbon copies of each other, including Opera. I use it as my main browser, but don’t really notice much difference when I use Firefox besides the features from Opera it’s lacking (by default).

        • Philldoe
        • 14 years ago

        I always find other browsers to have the crappy layouts. Opera just seems to have things right where they need to be and there is NO browser with as much usable view space as Opera.

          • evermore
          • 14 years ago

          I can shrink IE6’s interface down to a single bar in the window and still have access to everything I need, with almost the entire screen available for page viewing. I prefer to have 2 bars though so the address bar is longer. Firefox I can get down to 1 bar as well, but Opera only gets down to 2 bars to include the same items (and IE7 needs 3). Opera and IE6 end up with exactly the same amount of vertical space taken by the 2 bars, Firefox takes a few pixels more. By default Opera seems to give the least amount of page view space. Those could be changed by using downloaded skins and icons that take up less space of course, but in terms of basic menus, I prefer IE6.

          Some things that make them all different as far as interface: what can and can’t be customized: Firefox lets you modify even the File|Edit|etc. menu items or remove them completely while IE and Opera don’t let you touch them; IE6 lets you drag toolbars anywhere, IE7 limits that, and Opera doesn’t allow it at all, Firefox allows it when you have the customization dialog open; IE7 has definite ideas about what items you need on what toolbars and where to place them, Opera just uses too many toolbars by default with too many items.

          It also comes down to simple preferences and what you’re used to. I like IE6’s icons and the way they appear, as well as the appearance of the menus and dialogs, because they’re standard Windows layouts. Firefox just looks drab, even with an IE-like skin, and Opera is just funky. I’m just boring that way.

            • RandomNull
            • 14 years ago

            All you have to do is enable the main bar in opera and drag what you want to it, you can add anything using custom buttons found here §[<http://operawiki.info/CustomButtons<]§ this is my setup from last year, not much has changed since §[<http://www.nu11.org/linked_files/operaforums/opera060106_tags.PNG<]§

            • evermore
            • 14 years ago

            Hmm. Yes, I was mistaken partly, the fact that they have them named things like “Address Bar” had me thinking of that as a monolithic address bar, rather than realizing the address item could actually be on any bar you want.

            And there’s the option to hide the main File menu using one of those CustomButtons, but within the standard Opera install it’s not possible to modify it, remove it, or reposition it. If I have to go searching to find out whether anybody has made a custom add-in of some kind to allow some feature or utility, then I consider those secondarily when comparing products. It becomes a caveat – you can do it by default in browser X, but you’ll need to download an add-in to make it happen in Y, and we can’t find anything to add it to Z but someone might create an add-in one day and you might or might not find out about it.

            • Illissius
            • 14 years ago

            For the record, last I checked the menus (and most other things not in the GUI) were editable in ini files.

            • RandomNull
            • 14 years ago

            It is possible to hide it without an addon, you just have to modify the keyboard shortcut in the preferences, just search for F11 and you’ll see Unix F11 Alt, just change it to Alt F11 and you can toggle it using that shortcut or any other you make.
            It is hidden but then again I don’t think they want to have people accidentally hide that menu.
            I think they are taking a step in the right direction in removing all the one key shortcuts by default

            • Saribro
            • 14 years ago

            Yeah, nontroppo’s wiki rocks, I used some of his stuff too:
            §[<http://users.telenet.be/bart_swinnen/opera.jpg<]§ Been my config for most of the time I've been using Opera.

    • evermore
    • 14 years ago

    You sure Opera was the only change you made that might be causing that? That has to be some seriously bad code for a web browser to cause BSOD and reboots, especially one way up in version 9.x.

    Reply to #1 of course.

    • JdL
    • 14 years ago

    I’ve been getting BSOD’s and reboots with the current 9.23 version. Not too thrilled with that. Hopefully they should fix those issues in the upcoming versions.

      • FubbHead
      • 14 years ago

      Got to be something else. I don’t even think a normal application *can* cause a BSOD.

        • nagashi
        • 14 years ago

        Opera starting around v7 or so has used some bloody weird rendering code that occasionally on *some* of my computers caused system-wide rendering glitches. Can I prove that it’s opera? no; but I’d say I’m 99% sure.

        So what’s causing it? again, no proof whatsoever but I always wondered if opera was somehow using some dodgy directx calls to speed things up somehow and hitting a bug in my graphics drivers. It seemed to happen a LOT more on my computers with intel integrated graphics than on computers with discrete graphics cards.

        If opera *was* doing this, then I could potentially see it somehow causing a bsod via a graphics driver bug.

          • Philldoe
          • 14 years ago

          If so then that is your graphics driver causing the BSOD not Opera. As for Opera loading so fast. that is easy to explain. When IE7 loads a page it say’s “I want this part first” it will wait for th eserver to give it that part of the page then it will move on to another part of the page ect ect. Opera says “Gimmie what ya got whenever” thus it’s not sittign around waiting. That’s why some people complain saying they won’t use Opera becasue it loads funky. There are other reasons Opera loads faster but that is one of the biggies.

            • evermore
            • 14 years ago

            All browsers have to make a request for the base page itself, then wait to receive at least part of that, then make a request for each individual element within the page. No browser can just say “gimme what ya got whenever”, there’s no such thing as “this page and everything that’s part of it” as a request, and if the data is compressed then the browser has to wait to receive the whole page before it can attempt to load the elements since it has to read the file.

            By default, IE will only attempt 2 connections at a time to one server, so elements that take time to receive make it appear the browser is just doing nothing. That can be modified. Opera defaults to 8 connections to a single server. So Opera will be able to receive more content faster.

            There’s also the issue of page rendering speed, which Opera appears to have different options on. Plus, depending on the page, the browser may have to wait until a certain proportion of the content is loaded before being able to display any of it. There may have been changes to the way that works in the new version of Opera.

            Note that I don’t use Opera, can’t stand it, and don’t know details of how it operates other than basics of all browsers and a quick search just now.

            I did find this though. §[<http://operawiki.info/OperaPerformance<]§

            • JdL
            • 14 years ago

            Graphics driver is not something that I would have related to Opera, but now that I think about it, there is a distinct possibility. I’m running NVIDIA’s 162.18 drivers (latest non-beta from their website) with my GeForce 8800 GTS, and have had some issues with different programs. For example, QuickTime no longer works on this machine and will crash EVERY time I play any QuickTime movie. Reinstalls have failed to help.

            Cool that the drivers let me play games fine, but not so cool that they break in normal Windows apps.

            Good call. Just one more reason to keep my eyes on NVIDIA’s driver site for more updates.

            • Philldoe
            • 14 years ago

            Those kinds of issues are why I just stay away from nvidia. I never have any sort of issue with my ATI drivers. My X2900XT isn’t as fast as an 8800GT but it sure as hell won’t crash as much.

            • nagashi
            • 14 years ago

            try running linux =P

            • Philldoe
            • 14 years ago

            I have linux too. and ATI drivers do suck for linux but I’ve never had it crash thank god.

            • evermore
            • 14 years ago

            X2800XT?…

            • Philldoe
            • 14 years ago

            X2900XT, damn typos.

      • Perezoso
      • 14 years ago

      Your Windows is b0rked and you’re barking at the wrong tree.

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