Opera Alpha 9.5 release codenamed Kestrel

It's a year in the making but an Alpha version is now available for download. Kestrel has improved rendering of webpages, increased font-rendering speed, faster and less memory intensive and a more responsive user interface.

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.

Link: Bug Reporting
Download: Opera Alpha 9.5

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21 Comments

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I want to like Opera, but aside from a want of extensions I like/use, there's some things I can't get over.

-The tabs-or-else mentality. I recall with 9.0, I had to install a customization to get both "new window" and "new tab" buttons.

-The inability to position menus in the order I prefer (navigation at the top, bookmarks below)

Idle comparison. All displaying the same page, all on 32-bit Vista:

IE 7: 14.2M
Opera 9.5: 19.0M
Firefox: about 22M.

Now, I'm sure IE can save a lot of "exclusive" memory by burying bits of itself in system shared space, but still, it's impressive. Now if only they could port FireFTP to Opera.

Hak Foo said,
-The tabs-or-else mentality. I recall with 9.0, I had to install a customization to get both "new window" and "new tab" buttons.

Huh? Just press Ctrl+N for a new window. No idea what you are talking about.

-The inability to position menus in the order I prefer (navigation at the top, bookmarks below)

You can do that.

Idle comparison. All displaying the same page, all on 32-bit Vista:

IE 7: 14.2M
Opera 9.5: 19.0M
Firefox: about 22M.


Try opening 20 pages. IE is loaded with the OS, so the memory use is hidden, but open several tabs, and you'll se Opera use far less than the others.

Noticeable changes that are not listed on Opera's test site:

- No more view toolbar by default.
- Zoom bar moved to bottom right. Similar to IE7.
- Mousewheel scrolling is better? Seems like they put in some deceleration. Still a heck of a lot more smoother than Firefox's scrolling.
- They Now Capitalize All Words In The Menus.
- If the wand dialog asks if you want to save the password for a site, Opera no longer waits for user input before loading the page.

I'm still waiting for any v10 preview, when Opera's imho ugly GUI (*) will finally be revamped.

(*): A web browser is a program where I, of course, have to see the interface.

:(

Really? IMO Opera is the sleekest and fastest browser right out of the box. IE7 would rank second now and FireFox is definitely the ugliest of the bunch, even after skinning it doesn't look as good as the other 2...always been way too clunky/boxy looking IMO.

Fx has a completely scriptable GUI (ever heard of XUL?), while Opera's toolbars are simply too wide... and too many.
(Fx can even be used without window borders, so the displayed part of a website is growing even bigger. But that's not the point here.)

th3rEsa said,
Fx has a completely scriptable GUI (ever heard of XUL?), while Opera's toolbars are simply too wide... and too many.
(Fx can even be used without window borders, so the displayed part of a website is growing even bigger. But that's not the point here.)

Hit F11.

th3rEsa said,
Opera's toolbars are simply too wide... and too many.

# of toolbars in Firefox: 3 (address bar, bookmarks bar, status bar), 4 when you open two tabs

# of toolbars in Opera: 9.5: 3 (address bar, tab bar, status bar), 9.2: 2 (address bar, tab bar)

Too many? So basically, Firefox has too many as well?

Remember: Panels, etc. are hidden by default.

(Fx can even be used without window borders, so the displayed part of a website is growing even bigger.

F11 in Opera.

Tried it. DID NOT like it, and I've been an Opera fanboy since version 5. Ever since version 9 though, it's been sucking more and more. Sucks so much now, I don't even have Opera on ANY of my 7 machines!!

Well, at least you're specific about what you don't like. If you've been sending suggestions like that I can't even come close to understanding why they haven't fixed it to your liking by now.

cork1958 said,
Tried it. DID NOT like it, and I've been an Opera fanboy since version 5. Ever since version 9 though, it's been sucking more and more. Sucks so much now, I don't even have Opera on ANY of my 7 machines!! :(
then join buggy Firefox fanboys ...
Opera is great, what you do not like you can switch off or do not use, even though Opera got so many features it is still faster and smaller (memory, app size) and Opera 9.5 is even faster than older ones, not slightly, quite a bit.