Vivaldi Browsercast: One Size Does Not Fit All! (Part 1)

  • Community Manager

    We're starting off something new, and that's our Vivaldi Browsercast!

    This is the first of what will be many interviews with developers across the World Wide Web and how their experiences have helped to shape a user-centric model of browser development.

    See the full blog post here

  • First! And nice browsercast.

  • I'm Vivaldi lover, not using anything else until Vivaldi's broken, but with that "HTML, CSS and JavaScript" we'll always be the slowest browser 😞

  • Moderator

    "It's either slower but feature rich or faster and having almost no special features."

    That's not true at all though, all you have to do is have a look at Opera. They seem to be doing fine in the speed and feature department.

    I agree though that in the long run going with non-native GUI will be better. But that doesn't change the fact that I always get a little jealous of Opera's speed every time I decide to use it for few minutes.

  • Unfortunately the browsercast only in English. In german it would be nice also.

  • I could not agree more with everything Molly and Jon are talking about here and it is really heartening to hear that this focus, which was high on the agenda in the early days of Opera, remains now with Vivaldi.

    I believe maintaining a keen focus on accessibility innovation has net benefits for every user, regardless of their ability. Zoom, keyboard navigation, gestures, style overrides, just to name a few things that help us get the job done quickly and efficiently, with minimal stress.

    One thing I would like to see in Vivaldi is a way to hide floating divs, which can clutter up so much of the header and footer area of the viewport and reduce the visible area. On desktop this is a pain because the most comfortable position to read is at eye-level, near the top of the monitor. If there's a great big website menu banner at the top, I usually dive into the DOM and remove it manually using the debugger just so I can read more comfortably. On mobile, when that version arrives, this would return control of the valuable screen real-estate to the user!

  • Moderator

    well … that's a good idea. any plans to include closed caption?

  • Molly: you make a powerful case for User Style Sheets. It's not just about accessibility, though, essential though that is, but about usability more widely. Although Vivaldi is my main browser, I still use Opera 12 when I need to. I have a range of User Style Sheets to customise pages according to my own usability preferences, e.g. exposing links clearly (now that the blue underscore convention is dead); suppressing navigation when printing; revealing potentially harmful iframes; showing page outlines (headings only); and many more

    Vivaldi's Page Actions are nearly there but need just a little more work to make them fully useful. I think Vivaldi could provide a better set of predefined User Style Sheets than the present ones.

    I posted a Feature Request in March and indicated the extra work that I think is needed.

    Thanks for the Browsercast.

  • I agree, and I think we've been driving the point of removing Chromium code node used or needed and replacing it with Vivaldi's code with web technologies for a while now. I wish we could have some sort of confirmation from Molly and the team, but maybe she's still researching on it.

  • @MollyH, since people are asking and your conversation with Jon was so awesome I've transcribed the entire podcast (and posted it to my Vivaldi blog). If the moderating powers that be approve it, at least people can then read/translate it.

    Feel free to reject/approve/move it to wherever you feel is more appropriate… it's your great content, after all! Looking forward to hearing future casts and learning more about this fascinating world and the people involved.

  • Thanks Molly & Jon. As have others before me, i found this interesting & informative. To improve the future casts, could you pls significantly reduce the "background" music volume played during your intro & afterword? For me that music was so loud compared to your voice that i had lots of trouble understanding what you were saying. It was a relief when the main cast content commenced, sans music, so i could understand all the chat. Ta.

  • Nice with a cast.

    A few issues:

    • Music in intro is too loud.
    • Get some better microphones and/or room to record, there is a lot of echo in this cast.
    • There are multiple audio cuts. (Could be the record/cast software which cuts the sound when there is silence)
    • I though the sneaky music in the end was another application on my machine. It does not really fit in, in the middle of a a conversation.

    I really had to concentrate to listen to it, because of the lowish quality.

  • Hi, will you be releasing this on pocketcasts? thanks

  • Moderator

    I was specifically referring to your statement which was objectively wrong since you didn't expand on what you meant.

    "It's either slower but feature rich or faster and having almost no special features."

    A lot of Opera features implemented recently can be considered special and are very functional indeed. Such as Popup menu on selection, ad blocking, battery saving, html video popup, browser vpn etc.

    You also mentioned Brave, that actually makes a pretty good comparison. Brave although it uses an custom GUI engine as well (electron specifically) its interface is noticeably faster than Vivaldi's and whose startup speed is extremely faster as well.

    My point is, let's not rest on our laurels admitting it has to be feature rich and slow, when it's evident that there's a lot of viable space for improvement. And to to be honest it's bugging me why there's no clear communication from the developers regarding performance. Unless they plan to rewrite huge chunks of the interface soon this doesn't make much sense.

  • And this is what I love the most about Vivaldi: options!
    Conversely, that's also the reason why I hate all the other browsers. This "one size fits all" mentality didn't fit my needs or desires at all! After Opera died (a.k.a. went Chromium), I was left without any browser that could satisfy me. I kept on using O12.17 until Vivaldi appeared because neither Chrome or Firefox could do for me what an outdated browser could.

    If not for the lack of support for HTML5 and more modern features, I would have kept on using O12, without ever changing to Chrome, but due to necessity, I kept both Opera and Chrome.

    Also, the idea of removing the least used features… FF did it, Opera did it, and I'm pretty sure Chrome is also pulling it off. Bookmarks, stash, a lot of things that a handful of people utilize get removed from the browser without any care for them. I learned to use some functions of Opera because they were there all the time, so I could choose to explore a little more - and that's how I got to use most of the features I now do! If you keep removing features from your browser just because they're unpopular, you're neglecting possible users! And you're removing what could be the deciding factor between your browser and the competition!

    Seriously, if I have Chrome, what do I need Firefox or Opera for? They are all the same!

    Thank you all Vivaldi staff members for this amazing browser! Now I don't have to worry about browsers that have no selling points, and having to stuff in as many extensions as possible. Having control over your browser from the get go is the best! I don't use 50% of the features it has, but I wouldn't trade them for nothing.

  • Not quite the same, I know, but you can try reading this Google Translate German version of the text or maybe even playing it through text-to-speech.

    Full English transcript (blog post).

  • Thank you Molly. While it doesn't necessarily confirm you guys will strip Chromium code that you don't need and have already replaced with your own web tech code, it seems like you are or will probably go down that route eventually. Will you keep us up to date on the team's plans on doing that?

  • Beautiful message! I'm really looking forward to it! I think taking away Chromium code that Vivaldi is already using web tech for, such as UI, Vivaldi pages, and so on would be a great way to start, and then replace things like History/history page, notifications, extension page, plugins page, etc. etc., until everything is Vivaldi-only except the rendering engine itself and maybe a few exceptions.

    Now I'm excited and can't wait to hear more!

  • What about the emerging WebAssembly technology? It is being inserted to chromium project as it being developed by the big 4. $, G, foxes and apples.

    I'm not sure if it could be used to create an UI and it is still in it's infancy, but it should be something to check because it would be a more low level code and in theory speed everything up considerably.

    For a more top view of the technology this seems a good article

  • Hello Molly do you have any information if we will be able to dock developer tools to tabs as it works on other browsers? I'am a web developer and love Vivaldi but this makes the switch for main working browser difficult. Remember tech people recommend to their lesser techy friends which will help adoption. I believe that a good stand with developers would help Vivaldi a lot.

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