Computing

A friendly neighbourhood über-browser

Vivaldi01

There’s been a trend in the browser market in recent years – streamline and strip out features that apparently ‘nobody’ uses, let someone else add them back via extensions or plugins.

This makes sense for those who only use the basic features, but for power users, developers, geeks and tweakers, all those plugins just slow down the browser, add bloat and risk causing the whole thing to fall over like a washing machine with a brick in the drum (google it).

Now, however, there’s Vivaldi.

Vivaldi03

The beta is super-fast but still with tons of features and configuration options, even before it’s been officially released.

Stacked tabs, tiled browsing (side-by-side comparisons anyone?), keyboard shortcuts, customisation settings for EVERYTHING, the ability to use arrow keys to move between links (instead of just tabbing), etc, etc.

All your settings are belong to us...
All your settings are belong to us…

There’s also a really cool feature where the tab changes colour to match the favicon of the website you’re viewing. Plus, Sync and a minimal email client are in the pipeline.

Vivaldi is built from JavaScript – React and Node.js, plus other stuff – and is based on the same Blink engine (WebKit fork) used by Google Chrome and Chromium.

It’s closed source, but you can’t have everything…

It’s like having the good old Opera back (before it lost the plot), with all the best bits of Firefox and Chrome as well. UPDATE 12/2019: Unfortunately, Vivaldi seem to have followed Opera’s example, and lost the plot.

The developers say they’re only just getting started, so I’m expecting much, much more from this browser.

UPDATE: as of December 2019, Vivaldi seem to have lost their way and despite implementing several features I was hoping for, the browser has become buggy, illogical and frankly a bit of a mess. Profiles and sync are shocking in how poorly they have been implemented, and woe betide anyone who imports passwords from another browser, only to find it is impossible to delete them without uninstalling Vivaldi completely and deleting your Vivaldi sync account. Even then, I’m not entirely convinced they’ve been wiped. Huge shame, Vivaldi seemed to have so much potential, but