20 Apr

opera 9 beta

Opera have announced the first beta of Opera 9.

A quick look through the changelog shows these tasty titbits

  • Allowed self closing SCRIPT tags in HTML documents. This is one thing that’s annoyed me since the release of XHTML1 – that <script type="text/javascript" src="blah.js" /> was totally legal, and made perfect sense, yet would screw up in some browsers.
  • Changed default UserAgent string to identify as Opera. Thank you! This will help reduce the size of my browser sniffer object – at the moment, it recognises IE as anything that claims to be IE, and does not also claim to be Opera, the latter being an idea of very questionable genius on Opera’s part.
  • Opera now passes the Acid 2 test. Three major browsers down, Firefox and IE to go.
  • Added support for CSS 3 opacity. That’s all the major browsers that can do this now, although IE still needs a filter hack to support it.
  • Added support for CSS 3 attribute and UI selectors. Not sure what the UI selectors are, but the attribute thing would allow you to, say, bolden links to a certain page with a[href="http://blah.blah/test.php"]{font-weight:bold}
  • Allowed positioned elements to appear in front of iframes and objects. Although I don’t use iframes and objects much, anything that disobeys the z-index directives are looking to be smacked. IE7 fixed their own version of this bug, which involved the <selct> object.
  • Implemented designMode for rich text editing. Hallelujah, there is a god! Tonight, I will be hacking at FCKEditor to get it working in Opera 9. Now the only browser lacking in this is Konqueror.
  • Implemented support for canvas, as described in the Web Applications 1.0 draft, as well as the opera-2dgame context. I have not used this much, but this should promise for some very interesting Flash-like effects using plain old JavaScript. There are analogues of this in Firefox, Konqueror and IE. I don’t know if Safari has a Canvas element yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long!
  • Added support for onreadystatechange events, and the readyState property. very important for Ajax

There are some not quite so great things in there as well, though.

  • Body element now uses margin instead of padding by default. – wtf? surely anything which is outside the <body> should not be seen at all?
  • Removed support for “javascript:” URLs in CSS. – aww! I never even got to play with that!

In summary, this looks like a very major upgrade to the browser.

4 thoughts on “opera 9 beta

  1. Just a correction to your point on canvas. Canvas was originally writen by Apple to help support their dashboard widgets, so Safari was actualy the first browser to suppoer Canvas. Firefox also supports canvas, but whether or not it will make it into IE remains to be seen. Great to see it in Opera though, especially in addition to SVG support.

  2. good point, Arjan. that leaves just IE. …again… IE7 had better have goodies galore if it hopes to win respect from anyone other than the microsofties.

    point of note there – the word “galore” is an Anglicanisation of the Irish “go leor”, which means basically “enough”. right… enough of that!

  3. Will xml/xsl transformation be supported in Opera 9.0. It’s very useful feature for Ajax technology.

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