Is Vivaldi really targeted at Mac users? (semi-rant)

  • Hey there. Since Chrome is annoying me more and more I'm looking for an alternative. Removing backspace navigation finally got me to look for one. So I tried Vivaldi. The current stable release is just utterly broken. Broken to an extend that it is unusable. I could elaborate but I think I rather make a video to show all the issues I found. Anyways, I tried the snapshot and some of the really broken stuff got fixed, so far so good. But I have to say that Vivaldi feels and behaves really "unnative". It doesn't respect any of my system settings and doesn't act like any other application on my Mac. I tried the native UI mode and that somewhat fixes the issues but it looks really ugly. Every other browser (Firefox, Chrome, Opera) is capable of behaving native without an ugly native frame around the entire thing. So I'm really in doubt that the makers of Vivaldi care about Mac users. And looking at the stable release I have serious doubts that anyone in the dev team even tested the thing on OS X. Am I right with this feeling? And on top of that there are so many fundamental things Vivaldi doesn't support (or it's broken) that I can hardly accept the fact that this browser is targeted at power users. Opening a new window has a really noticeable delay, even the slow Firefox doesn't have that problem and generally the performance is very poor (except the actual rendering but that's chromium/blink). I would go as far as to label the current Vivaldi on Mac as alpha software. I really like the ideas but the implementations seem so unfinished. If there is an actual interest from the team I would love to list all the problems but the list is so long (and the issues seem to take so much time to resolve) that I don't think I can use this browser as my primary browser until 2020 or something. Am I using it wrong? Cheers! --- Just to list a few: - Opening a window has a very noticable delay (0.7 seconds) - Every time I open a new window the size and position of the window is different and it doesn't remember the window size I set it to the last time - mouse3 (aka mouse wheel click) on tabs closes them, reopens closed tabs and also triggers maximize/reduce (I only want the first one or I go insane, is there an option?) - Doubleclick the top frame maximizes/reduces the window but my native setting is to minimize the window to the dock - I can't CMD+W the settings window (again no native behaviour) - I can't drag out tabs (I know it's a known bug but this is a fundamental thing) - I can't drag sites into bookmark folders (also a known bug but also very fundamental) - I don't like the sidebar (panel), you can hide it but every time I open a new window it's shown by default, gets hidden and this makes the viewport stutter noticeably and is torture for my OCD - When opting out of the panels there is no indication except for the dock icon that a download has started or is ongoing. In my test phase I downloaded a file 12 times until I realized. - Devtools are not dockable (again this is a known bug/missing feature but a total showstopper for a webdev) - The "traffic light" buttons behave and look like I'm on a different version of OS X - Resizing windows (especially enlarging them) shows a very poor update rate and large white blocks.

  • Moderator

    Vivaldi is as much targeted at Mac users as it is targeted at Windows and Linux users. It is still a very young browser, though, and supporting a native look & feel is not trivial with a cross-platform application. However, Vivaldi has already made a lot of progress in this area (and in other areas), just look at builds from the beginning of this year or even better, from about a year ago. The difference is quite remarkable.

    It is definitely still a 1.x product, though, that has a number of unpolished edges left. At the same time, it also contains a bunch of really cool features that are hard to find in other browsers and it allows you a degree of customization that is pretty remarkable. For instance, having 20 or more tabs open in a window is a pretty miserable experience in most browsers. In Vivaldi, by contrast, I can have my tabs on the left instead of at the top and even with 40 open tabs, I still don't have a mess of favicons and single letters and can instead still read the actual web page titles. Or take the Quick Commands (⌘E) function: it allows you to very easily and quickly switch to a certain tab, open a bookmark or initiate a web search.

    I could easily go on like this for an hour or two. The main point is that to me, the small compromises in performance and a few non-native quirks are a tradeoff I am very happy to make for what I get in return in terms of unique features and very high degree of customizability. This is especially true in light of the speed of development of Vivaldi, which results in pain points continuously getting fewer and additional cool features being introduced. The openness of the developers to diverse usage preferences of their users is also very refreshing if you are familiar with Chrome's "Our way or the highway" approach to user feedback.

    So in sum, if you feel like those are tradeoffs you are willing to make, Vivaldi in its current form could already be a great browser choice for you, as it is for many others. If you want to contribute to making it better, you are welcome to report bugs or suggest features. If you don't think you can live with the current non-native quirks, maybe you want to check back in six months or so to see how much Vivaldi has improved in the meantime.

  • Moderator

    Mac users are a small fraction of Vivaldi users. Like 5% or so. So a major effort to resolve problems in Mac that do not appear in Windows, given that the Vivaldi team is quite small, would stall progress on the overall product to serve a tiny fraction of the user base.

    That said, there is a higher proportion of primarily-Mac users among members of the team than among the general population, it appears. The other day, a developer rolled out a solution which, for most testers did not seem to work at all. Why? He used Mac-only code in part of it. It was quickly fixed, but this anecdote helps to demonstrate that Mac is DEFINITELY on the radar screen of developers. While the arrival of the "perfect" Mac version of Vivaldi is liable to trail the "perfect" Windows version of it, Mac will probably always get a little more attention than it "deserves" compared to its user share, just because of the makeup of the team. So do not despair. The team will get there, but the road is long and the load is heavy, and there are only a few hands between which to divide the work.

  • Thank you for the detailed answers.

    Honestly my main concern is performance and I'm willing to trade in customizability for this to some extend. I could live with some of the native quirks but just the delay of opening a window is the biggest issue I have with Vivaldi (next to the problem that the window size is different every time and doesn't remember the size I set it to).

    And for the tab example. I use multiple windows if I happen to have so many tabs but I can't drag out tabs. On top of that Vivaldi gets really unresponsive when I have more than 20 tabs open. As I said I love a lot of the features but in my humble opinion it is more important to fix those bugs before introducing new features.

    I tried Vivaldi when it first come out and I had the same opinion back then. Nice attempt but not polished enough for me to use it as a main browser. It's kind of ironic that I'm using one of the least customizable browsers as a power user (at least that's what I'm labeling myself as).

    But you are right, Vivaldi came a long way since then and maybe in 6 months or a year it's actually an alternative for me. I'll definitely keep an eye on the development.

    And for the current "stable" release. When I open a second tab, close it and then attempt to close the last remaining tab nothing happens. When I then click the tab or enter a URL the window closes. This is something that deserves a hotfix in my opinion and renders a browser completely useless and also will turn down users (who starts using a browser by using snapshot versions?).

    Anyways… I'm looking forward to the browsers development and try it every month or so until it might become an alternative.


  • Moderator

    Would you mind sharing what type of Mac you have? I have a MacBook Pro (2013; i7, 16GB RAM), which admittedly is more on the powerful side of things, but I currently have 76 tabs open and sometimes that number escalates to 130 or so. With 130 open tabs, Vivaldi does not feel super fast, but it still feels pretty responsive to me. The only time I remember Vivaldi feeling unresponsive was when I was testing Cmd-swipe to zoom a web page, not realizing Vivaldi would then try to apply that setting immediately also to the other 50 tabs I had opened from that same domain. Oops.

    You said that opening a new window takes about 0.7s with Vivaldi on your machine. That seems to be roughly how long opening a new window in Firefox takes on my machine. Sure, that's not quite as instantaneous as it is in Safari, but I am a bit surprised that you find that that annoying, especially since opening a new window is not something you do every minute or so. A longer time ago, there was a pretty significant lag after opening/creating new tabs, which was something that I found pretty annoying too, but opening a window is something that I only do occasionally, so I don't feel bothered by it.

    You are correct that it's not great that the "closing a window by closing the last tab" bug is (and stayed) in 1.2 stable, especially considering for how long that version has been the most recent stable release. If 1.3 had come out three weeks after 1.2 (that was the interval between stable releases for the previous releases), this would have been less of an issue. I'm not in a good position to give you an explanation for that, but I am optimistic that stable builds will progressively get more stable as they are further away from 1.0.

  • I'm sorry that you're having so much trouble with Vivaldi on your Mac. My experience has been nothing but positive, and I run it on four different Macs! In fact, I have been wanting to let the developers know how pleased I have been with it. It's been the best browser I've ever used, and I think I've used them all (-; . Maybe you're having trouble b/c you don't have either the latest OSX update or the latest Vivaldi one? I switched to Vivaldi a couple of months or so ago, and I've never looked back. In fact, my only complaint is that my start/home page usually won't show; it will be Vivaldi's start page. I've checked everything I know to check (i.e. Preferences, etc.), but I still haven't solved the problem. I was hoping with this latest update that it would be fixed, but I'm still having the problem. Maybe if I do a restart on Vivaldi and/or my computer, it will work. That solution has worked numerous times for me with other random problems (-: .

    For me, I like seeing the options available on the screen and not hidden. However, there aren't so many that I'm overwhelmed. I love the choices available in Preferences. All of the extensions I've installed work great. And, most importantly, my computer does not start having problems like the spinning beach ball when I use Vivaldi. That's eventually why I had to leave Safari. I'd always loved that browser, despite its instability with numerous web sites. But once it began causing my computers to deteriorate in performance and speed, not to mention actually crash, I looked for a new browser. Other browsers have given me similar problems. And like I said, I have four different Mac computers, so I think it's safe to say that it's a browser issue when it does that on all or most all of the computers.

    So thank you, Vivaldi, and keep up the great work! The only other thing I personally would like to see would maybe be a Vivaldi mail application. Apple Mail has really nosedived, so having a Vivaldi one sounds like a good idea (-: !

  • Well I am using it on linux and overall it works fine.
    Yes it still shows signs of being a very young browser but at the same time has come so far in such a short time.
    I think it faces the same issues chrome did, I remember how much of a mess that was back when it first came out.
    The strategy i came up with isa that with each new version clean out your configurations folder for it…
    But i dont know where that is on Mac but I do know where it is on Windows and linux

  • I'm going to jump in on this thread and say that I am a Mac user, and I also notice a performance issue with Vivaldi, especially when I open a new window or try to search for a keyword through the URL bar.

    • using the URL bar to search directly: in Chrome, using the URL bar for a Google search is almost instanenous, meaning I type a keyword and I immediately get directed to the search results on Google. On Vivaldi, I type the keyword…and there is a 1 sec delay before I get the results.

    • opening a new window on Vivaldi is also noticeably slower than on Chrome. Again, clicking on the "+" sign to open a new tab will take at least 1sec to 1.5 sec more than on Chrome or Safari.

    I played with almost all the settings to try to reduce this delay, but didn't find anything that worked.

    Overall I love this browser and will continue to use it, but please know there is for sure a performance issue on Vivaldi / Mac compared to other browsers.

  • At this point, I'd just be happy if they'd implement the Emoji & Symbols menu item at the bottom of Edit menu. That's pretty much essential to modern-day Internet usage on the Mac.

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