Opera 9.5..Kestrel..almost ready!

Fantastic news! Kestrel is almost ready all! The following news was pulled from an Opera enthusiast’s blog post. Opera Software is quite busy, actually that busy that two versions are coming. And not just on one platform, no the intention is to link many platforms together, meaning the desktop release will simultaneously come with the release for devices and mobiles. Currently Opera 9.5, code named Kestrel, is planned for a golden final release this year, while the first preview of Opera 10, code named Peregrine, will appear at the end of this year.

So what is Kestrel? A falcon. And also a warming up present from Opera Software. But you shouldn’t take that too negatively, Kestrel is an in-between release, while Peregrine is the next major release (Opera 10). Kestrel will introduce some of the rendering engine changes from Peregrine which don’t have a too high impact yet on the entire release. Peregrine itself, also a falcon, will have major rendering engine changes (of course everything that’s in Kestrel), improvements to the user interface, performance enhancements and stunning new features. What we can expect remains to be seen, but I’m betting on an entirely new skin, one that fits Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), as well as features that, just like Speed Dial, will make the news headlines.

In this article we mainly discuss the upcoming Kestrel release as news on Peregrine is still very limited due to it’s early stage.

Rendering engine improvements
Support for CSS3, where especially selectors will get a major addition. One of the most noticeable is text-shadow support (multiple shadows, maximum blur limitation) to have, well, text with shadows behind them. Amongst other fixes include correct (not IE compatible) support of document.getElementById(), which should return the id, not the name. Additionally changes are in the house for the rendering of tables and fixes for rounding problems (using ems).

Opera Mail improvements
Kestrel will include at least the first run of changes for Opera’s mail client (aka M2), consisting of a new back-end, which should end any freezes when checking mail as well as fixes for corrupted search and indexes. Uncertain is yet if the second run of changes will make it, where a long awaited newsgroup feature is coming (what could it be?). Mail client operability is also important, and Kestrel will have full support (part of it is already in Opera 9.2) for exchanging mails between Apple Mail and Opera Mail. The problem was apparently caused by Apple Mail, which doesn’t fully comply with the RFC standards for exchanging messages. One of the annoying Opera Mail bugs will also be fixed where attachments are renamed to .tmp files rather than their original names, due to content-type recognition problems.

User interface fixes
Although no major user interface work is planned for Kestrel there seems to be a little hope that there will be a couple of small, yet wanted, changes. One of the possible changes could be site specific support for the content blocker. The code is already there, but it’s keeping your hopes up that it’s stable enough to include in Kestrel. Additionally site specific preferences for opera:about will work correctly in Kestrel. For the Linux platform a fix is included where when the tab bar is disabled (with the window panel on), and tabs are minimized icons are displayed (a remnant from MDI).

And more…
Support for extra security through HttpOnly cookies will be included in Kestrel (as it will be in Firefox 3), which should prevent renegade scripts on a site setting the cookie from reading the cookie. UserJS for https should be working in Kestrel according to Mitchman. Peter Karlsson has been working on an updated Info panel, which contains better organized and more information on the current website your viewing.

Unconfirmed future features
Support for the <video> tag is already present in an experimental build on Opera Labs. Microsoft Silverlight support, which by the sounds of supporting competition could be included as a default plug-in, just like Flash? For Peregrine we might see HTML 5 support as well as offline web applications (beyond Widgets) following the WHATWG specifications.As always, please remember this is a rather incomplete article on all the changes that we can expect for Kestrel (Opera 9.5), and especially Peregrine (Opera 10). With the passing of time, and when we get new builds from the Opera Desktop Team, we’ll learn more and more of what Opera Software has up its sleeves. With Kestrel this year, and Peregrine probably next year there’s a lot of work being done, and a lot coming for all of us to see of the famous Opera Software innovations for the web.

What I’ve been up to…Widgetizing!

hey everyone..I’ve been quiet busy lately. Between classes ending at school and study sessions starting, staying out with friends and..widgetizing. Yes, I said widgetizing. I’ve been coding a new cool widget that you’ll see released sometime in the near future. This widget is designed just for the Opera browser, so if you haven’t tried Opera yet…you need to jump on it. I can’t give too many details out about it, but it is something that nearly everyone uses while on a computer. 😉 My coding is nearly halfway complete. I’ve spent the last week or so working on it and thus far I’ve got nearly 2,300 lines of code…javascript code..that is a lot of javascript if you don’t know! I’ve been going through and simplifying some of the code as I go..just finding shorter and easier ways to do things, so it should improve over all performance. I wish I could post a screenshot or something, but I better keep it a secret until it is ready to release. I’ve also waiting for Opera to get back to me about a couple of bugs that I found in their browser when dealing with widgets. Hopefully they will get that sorted out soon so I don’t end up finishing the widget and waiting for them to fix the bugs so it will work correctly. 😛

One thing that is kind of funny is that..I’m constantly checking my code in other browsers to make sure that it is handled correctly (even though this widget is designed specifically for the Opera browser) and I’ve come across so many cases where IE7 can’t handle the code! It’s insane. Microsoft has to be the worst in the world at coding their software to standards. I’m a windows user, I’ll go a head and get that out in the open. However, I have switched it Linux on numerous occasions. It’s just that..the rest of the world and web wants to move on and progress while Microsoft’s Internet Explorer just tries to control the progression so that the coders can sit on their lazy @$$es and do nothing all day. I mean, look at the acid2 test for example: http://www.webstandards.org/files/acid2/test.html. I laugh every time I inspect this page with Internet Explorer. They are so terrible! Also, I noticed that Firefox seems to have trouble handling some simple javascript. The widget renders just fine, however, some elements do not behave the same in Firefox as they do in Opera…even though it is a standard that they are not following. I know this is a bit vague, but more detail is coming just as soon as I release the first version of this widget. Thus far it is up to build number 0.04, lol. Doesn’t sound like much work has been done, but there is, hehe. You’ll see soon enough. Just stay tuned here, or check out the current widgets at widgets.opera.com.

So until then..stay tuned!

Opera Bugs

Hey all, I’ve been toying with the idea of creating an Opera Bugs page so anyone can submit a quick summary of a bug that they posted to the Opera Bug Wizard. If I build a page like this, it will be useful to all Opera fans/addicts if they want to ‘track’ a bug. Currently it is not possible to track bugs that you submit via the bug wizard. This submission tool would allow users to keep track of these bugs in a public way and update the status when there is a change.

I was thinking that I might have items very similar to the bug wizard so users can just copy and paste…making it very easy to add to the bug collection. The following entry items give an idea:

What is the Bug Number Given by Opera Bug Wizard?
[__________________________]

What Date Bug was posted on Opera Bug Wizard:
[__________________________]

What kind of problem is this?
->Other problem
->Spec violation
->Security issue
->Crashes Opera

Where is the problem?
->Web page problem
->Mail, news & feeds
->File Downloads
->Opera Installation
->Not sure/Other

Brief summary of the problem encountered
[__________________________]

What URL triggers this bug, if any?
[__________________________]

Describe in 3 steps or more how to reproduce this bug
[__________________________]

When following the steps described above:
1. What do you expect to appen?
[__________________________]
2. What actually happens?
[__________________________]

Specify what version of Opera you are using:
[__________________________]

That is about all that I’ve come up with so far, but I have not began coding anything yet. We’ll see in the next few weeks to come.

How To: Multiple Homepages in Opera..

Ok, so we all know that you can have a ‘Saved Session’ in Opera and have it open first. This enables you to have what they call “Multiple Homepages”, but I recently had an idea for true ‘Multiple Homepages’. Here it is..

The idea is simple really. You start out by going to the ‘Bookmarks -> Manage bookmarks…’

opera

Now you want to create a folder to store all of the ‘Multiple Homepages’ in. This way you can add as many as you wish and edit the list anytime. Click the arrow beside the ‘Add’ button and select ‘Add New Folder’…

opera

Now that you have a folder made, you can name it anything. Right click on the new folder and in the menu select ‘Properties’. In the properties menu you can edit the name of the folder at anytime. For this example I have called the folder ‘homepages’. The most important part of this step is that you give the folder the nickname ‘homepages’ as seen in the image below. You may add a description if you wish, then click ‘OK’ to save settings.

opera

Now that you’ve added the folder and named it what you wanted, you just need to add a button somewhere so you can open all of your ‘Multiple Homepages’ whenever you wish. To do this simply drag the button you see below to any place in your toolbar as seen in the image below.

Drag me to your toolbar–> [BUTTON]

opera

Now that you’ve finished adding the button where ever you wish, you are finished! That being said, I’d like to say that this task would be accomplished much more easily if Opera would allow us to use nicknames as homepages in the ‘Preferences’ window..

opera

But since they don’t..we are forced to find ‘remedies’ for our problems. I am planning to suggest this to the Opera Developing team so they can possibly add this in the future. It should be as simple as removing the code that inserts the extra ‘http://’ in front of any string that you insert into the homepage text box. (you can see this for your self if you set your homepage in Preferences to ‘homepages’ or something like that then reopen Preferences to see what it saved it as.

Radioio IO2GO Panel for Opera Browser!

Hey all! I got tired of not having any kind of media player in Opera, so I edited a that’s available on my.Opera.com. Now you can just click the station you want to listen to and have it play directly in your browser. This does require javascript to be enabled as well as having a media player plugin installed. The most common one seems to be realPlayer. Here is the link:

Opera Radioio IO2GO