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Opera 9.5 Alpha and Opera 10
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Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:47 am Reply and quote this 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.

Wired wrote:
Opera has taken the wraps of the new version 9.5, with an alpha preview release that boasts some impressive new features including the much improved Kestrel rendering engine. Kestrel, the new version of the rendering engine behind Opera 9.5, is already in the wild as part of Opera Mini, as well as the Wii's Internet Channel browser.

Kestrel is significantly faster than any other browser I’ve used. I don’t have any official benchmarks to compare, but go ahead and test the 9.5 alpha — it’s fast, damn fast.

But the new release isn’t just about speed, there’s a host of new features, both in the UI and behind the scenes, that promises the next version of Opera will be an impressive release.

Perhaps most notable for web developers is much improved CSS rendering capabilities, including support of CSS 3 features that have yet to make it into other popular browsers (for what it’s worth, Opera is only browser I have that passes all the CSS 3 selectors test).

Here are the changes:

  • Performance improvements
  • Full history search

  • Improved site compatibility
  • Improved platform integration
  • Preview of bookmark and Speed Dial synchronization
  • Improved content blocking options
  • Mac GUI changes/improvements. Opera 9.5 looks much better on a Mac, and conforms to the Apple Human Interface Guidelines.

The full history search is perhaps the most immediately useful of the new features and one of those things you’ll wonder how you did without once you experience it. Unlike most browser history searches, which look at the URLs, and sometimes titles of the pages you have visited, Opera’s full history search searches the actual content of the Web pages you have visited to pull up relevant results.

Other notable new features include a context menu option to open the current page in any other browser on your system, and some significant improvements to the built-in mail client, such as faster IMAP performance and an improved indexing and storage back end.

The new alpha release is meant merely for testing and you shouldn’t overwrite your existing copy of Opera, but it provides a nice preview of what’s to come. So far Opera has not released any information about when the final version of 9.5 will arrive.

From Opera Development Blogs:
Opera's zoom function has always been a very popular accessibility feature. Opera 9.5 takes a big step forward in accessibility by introducing screen reader support , improved keyboard navigation and more consistent keyboard shortcuts.

Platform integration
To make sure that Opera remains the best choice on your platform, we spend a lot of time making Opera feel more integrated with your platform. Mac users can expect a nice new visual look and feel. Opera for Linux will add a QT4 build, so you can easily adjust the skin to match with desktop. There will also be 64-bit Linux/FreeBSD packages made available.

If you like speed, we've got good news for you! Opera 9.5 will be much faster, both in benchmarks (and we don't have to cheat ) and most important: on real web pages. The user interface will also feel snappier and more responsive, for example switching tabs is now a lot faster on UNIX.

Restore closed windows and changes in Speed Dial
Kestrel has an improved version of the much loved trash-can feature by adding support for opening closed windows, not only the closed tabs. You can also use the undo function now for Speed Dial.

Improved BitTorrent™ performance
We added support for BitTorrent Peer Exchange to allow you to connect to more download hosts and improve your download speeds.

You can Download it from
Welcome to the Opera Browser 9.5 alpha release - codenamed Kestrel. For your everyday browsing, please continue to use 9.23, the latest version of Opera's free and award-winning browser. This release is all about you: we want to hear what you think about it, what we did right and what we didn't and how we can make it even better for our beta and final releases.

CyberNet just published an article with a 5 minute video showing some new features of the not yet released alpha version of Opera 9.5.

Download for Opera

Last edited by Editorial Team on Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:49 pm; edited 1 time in total

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:20 am Reply and quote this post
Damn you, you bastard (and damn my lazyness), you beat me to it by about a day . Opera is great, I've been using it since 6 and up until now I've been reluctant to use it on my macs because it just doesn't feel right, but now it's totally my default browser.

Oh yeah, *high five* for spreading the word and waking people up to the fact that Firefox is nowhere near the best free browser around.

Contributed by defukt, iVirtua Leading Contributor
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Fri Oct 26, 2007 6:04 pm Reply and quote this post
Opera 9.5 beta released

Opera 9.5 beta is available for download! Since the first alpha release hundreds of bugs have been fixed. Website rendering has been significantly improved, along with performance, stability and usability.

Contributed by Editorial Team, Executive Management Team
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Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:34 am Reply and quote this post
Awesome thanks for the heads up!  I've been using Opera since 7 and I don't regret it at all.  Everything you mentioned that is better about it is EXACTLY what I dislike about it and wanted changed, I'll be happy to know about the full release and if these changes are effective, I think it'd be safe to let computer noobs use it instead of FF.  I don't really have anything against FF other than its a little too basic and doesn't have enough built in features even though it takes up more space.  Also, wasn't there a recent discovery that FF had a major security leak?
Contributed by schmidtbag, iVirtua Leading Contributor
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