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 😞

  • "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!

  • Ah, I wish we could have them in every language. Alas, we go with English.

  • Thanks @wardies for the kind words as well as the interesting idea of hiding useless divs - this is the sort of thing that user style sheets were in fact created to do and as such, you can already make those changes yourself if you know how. We want to make it easier for you to do that without breaking things and give your user interface controls both at the level of the browser and the pages it's interpreting.

  • Thanks for the insight and kind words everyone! 🙂 We have a long way to go and much to learn! I for one have learned the hard way that saying something will "always be" a certain way has not worked out that well for me!

    I suppose the point I want to make is we never know until we give it a go - and we're giving it a go. Is it a risk, a constant to-and-fro conversation about balancing performance and feature sets? Absolutely!

    And this is something I expect will continue as we take this journey and draw the map together along the way. HTML5, CSS and Web technologies are ever evolving and there may well be solutions to problems we don't even understand yet.

    Great risk can often bring great reward, I think. Do you agree :?:

  • 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

  • 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).

  • Hi everyone! Yes, here's what I've been able to find out. There is absolutely concern with code bloat and our devs are working on various aspects of that currently. There's some decision-making as to how/what the priority list will look like, but it's clear to all of us I believe we can agree - that not reducing Chromium UI bloat in favor of a more streamlined approach will cause problems down the road as the browser becomes more feature rich. It's a constant balancing act.

    I honestly don't think there's a way to say "on this day we will do X" - in a way, building a browser (or a web site/app for that matter) is a job never done - we are constantly in a state of what can we get rid of that's not needed, what can we enhance that's needed, and how do we ensure that everyone is as secure and happy along the way. No small task!

    What my current intentions to do with this is to ensure that we have a developer-centric area for these deeper conversations from community members and provide a feedback loop where as we make a decision to course-correct or re-prioritize a given bug or feature and keep this conversation going throughout the process.

    The frustration point is time and resources, and that not everyone agrees with when and how to approach issues. I can reiterate: We want as much of our UI to be built with open Web tech wherever possible, and to not be dedicated to user security and privacy would just be orders of ridiculous for any software group in this day and age!

    So again, it's timing and communication. I can't promise I'll please everyone, but I will promise to share what I know and am able and we all very much want and grow from the input because we are here for you. Right now, we are just waiting until we can upgrade our technology and UI for a new developer site where this blog will be available daily, regular monthly/bi-monthly podcasts on topics driven by audience members, articles, and so forth. We've got a lot of work ahead, and I for one am very glad to be able to do it with you.


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