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Review of Vivaldi 1.6.689.40 - much better!



  • Did they really pay attention to me? Probably not. But my previous suggestions for improvement regarding bookmark management, toolbar customization, send link via email, and tab management, were at least partially addressed.

    The Good
    The Bookmark Bar auto-sorts alphabetically -- a big improvement. Additionally, when the Bookmark management page is opened in a Tab or in the Panel, features like the F2 key (rename) and drag-and-drop organizing are available. Also, a count of how many bookmarks reside in each folder now appears next to each folder -- a nice touch. All this adds up to big improvement in usability. Being able to open the Bookmark management page in a full-screen tab has always been a competitive advantage for Vivaldi.

    As for Tab management, I'm not sure when a close 'X' became available on Tabs, but I've only noticed it recently -- an essential feature. There's lots of granularity in terms of where and how a tab is opened, plus Cycling and Stacking.

    The Bad
    Limitations exist in terms of Bookmark management but there are work-arounds. I live and breath by the Bookmark Bar and have 20 or so folders (many with subfolders) lined up across the top of the browser window with the occasional solitary bookmark in the mix. The problem is the new auto-sort feature does not distinguish between Folder and Bookmark. I need to prepend underscores and tildes to maintain desired order (both in the Bar itself as well as in folders and subfolders). What is needed is a "show folders on top (or bottom)" setting.

    As for in-Bookmark Bar editing, it seems the designers want to relegate drag-and-drop and other editing (beyond rename) to the Panel or Tab. While I feel spoiled by Firefox's in-bookmark toolbar editing, a few additional improvements here might be enough. What comes to mind are: 1) Additional sorting features, and 2) a more intuitive pop-up dialog for editing individual Bookmarks (rather than the current dialog on the side/bottom of the screen).

    The biggest annoyance with Bookmarks is the absence of a right-click context menu for bookmarks in folders in the Bookmark Bar. When I left click on a folder in the Bookmark Bar the list of bookmarks within the folder expands downward as expected. But if I right-click on a bookmark in this drop-down menu of bookmarks, it has the effect of a left click. Bookmarks in the Bookmark Bar that are not in folders behave differently. They produce a context menu on right click. Why are in-folder bookmarks treated differently?

    The Not Yet
    Toolbar customization, that is, the ability to add/remove buttons and customize the controls around the address bar, is missing. Most all other browser have this feature. In particular, a print button and a "send link by email" button is needed (I'd put History and Bookmarks there as well but they work good enough as shortcuts in the Bookmark Bar -- prepended with underscores, that is).

    Finally, how do I backup and restore Bookmarks? I think I can script a filesystem copy of:
    C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\User Data\Default\Bookmarks
    Then just drop it into the same location on a new computer (have not tested this).

    Summary
    No doubt about it, Vivaldi is a winner. The Chrome engine and its use of multiple processes makes Vivaldi stable and responsive. This is precisely the reason I switched to and am now recommending Vivaldi. The bells and whistles are almost all in place. If the folks in Gloucester continue listening to the needs of modern users there's nowhere to go but up.


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