Opera Browser

Opera Dragonfly : Opera’s Web Development Tool

Some time ago Opera Software announced that they would open-source their web development tool, called Dragonly. On the 14th of March Opera Software announced the first beta version of Dragonly after it became open-source. This release came few days before the Opera 11.10 Beta Browser release. Dragonfly is a Firebug-like tool that aims to aid the web developer and designer on the development and debugging process.


Dragonly provides support for the latest web technologies, such as HTML5 APIs and SVG files. I will present you the Dragonfly capabilities later on the screenshot tour.


Opera comes with Dragonly pre-installed. In order to use the beta version do the following:

  1. In the Opera’s address bar type opera:config#DeveloperTools|DeveloperToolsURL, or else type opera:config and search for the keyword “develop“.
  2. Replace the “Developer Tools URL” with https://dragonfly.opera.com/app/cutting-edge/ (it was https://dragonfly.opera.com/app/).
  3. Use Ctrl+Shift+I to start Dragonfly. You can alternatively started by right click -> Inspect Element on a page.

Screenshot Tour

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Opera 11.10 Beta : A First Look

Today Opera released the Opera version 11.10 Beta version, codenamed Barracuda. I installed it and gave it a first look. Here I present you the new stuff that I recognized.

Redesigned Speedial

This looks as the biggest (and almost the only) change done regarding the user interface.

Opera 11.11 Beta Screenshot

Opera 11.11 Beta Screenshot

Although it is an interesting redesign that gives the ability to have as many speedial shortcuts as wanted, I used to use a 3×3 speedial which now seems to fit a little worse in my screen.
An interesting ability is the one of changing the shortcuts’ positions by drag and drop.
Drag and Drop Shortcuts

Drag and Drop Shortcuts

Closed-Tabs Can Flashing

Whenever you close a tab in Opera it goes in the closed tabs can on the upper-right. You can use the can in order to reopen a closed tab, ability which is very very useful! Now, the can is flashing whenever a new tab is added (aka closed).

Visual “help”

I noticed that some visual aids for the “novice” users were added, in order to help them get accustomed with some more advanced capabilities of the browser. For example, when you first install the browser and type something in the address bar, you get a message that informs you that you can perform a search straight from the address bar.

Javascript Performance

Before installing Opera 11.10 Beta, I ran the SunSpider 0.91 Javascript benchmark (Opera 11.01 – Ubuntu). The total result I got was 726.7ms +/- 15.5%. With Opera 11.10, under the same conditions (same tabs open, no use while benchmarking, and same OS load) I got a total result of 1003.6ms +/- 0.5%. Probably it is because of some ongoing work being done on the Javascript engine.


I did not have the time to test the other “big” feature of Barracuda (the ability to install missing plugin, such as Adobe flash, easier), but, in my point of view, what I saw is not enough to explain a new release. I hope the final 11.10 release will have more surprises for Opera Browser’s users.

Opera Software makes fun of Apple’s Mac App Store’s weird decision

Opera Logo
Opera was the first non-native browser to be available for download in Apple’s Mac App Store. Though, Apple judged that the Opera browser is “inappropriate” for people younger than 17 years old.

Opera Software “accepted” this weird decision with a humorous/satiric press release:

This week, the Opera web browser became the first non-native browser made available in Apple’s Mac App Store, but only for those over seventeen years of age. Jan Standal, VP of Desktop Products for Opera Software, is surprised.

“I’m very concerned,” says Standal. “Seventeen is very young, and I am not sure if, at that age, people are ready to use such an application. It’s very fast, you know, and it has a lot of features. I think the download requirement should be at least 18.”

For those under 17, there is a workaround. Just visit www.opera.com and download it. We do not ask for your age or your credit card number. Please, get your parents’ permission before using this browser.

After Chrome, Opera will drop support for H.264

Opera BrowserAs you probably already know, some days ago Google announced that they will not support H.264 video codec in the future releases of Chrome (announcement).The <video> html tag, in Chrome, will support WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other open codecs in the future.

After this announcement, Opera decided to support Google’s decision on dropping the H.264 codec. Thomas Ford, Senior Communications Manager, Opera, told Muktware, “Actually, Opera has never supported H.264. We have always chosen to support open formats like Ogg Theora and WebM. In fact, Opera was the first company to propose the <video> tag, and when we did, we did it with Ogg. Simply put, we welcome Google’s decision to rely on open codecs for HTML5 video.”. Indeed, Opera was the company that proposed the <video> tag in an post back in 2007.

I have to disagree with both companies’ decision, because there is a big difference between better supporting and promoting open standards and forcing the drop of a proprietary technology that is currently so commonly used..