Vivaldi Browsercast: The fight to keep the web open (Part 2)

  • In our second Browsercast, Molly and Jon dive deeper into the topic of open standards and why no one should "own" the web.

    See the full blog post here

  • Very nice. I love these Browsercasts. They are so informative specially when the speakers are such veterans in the Web frontier. It gives you a lot of insight of the technology behind the browser and Vivaldi as a company and the direction it is taking.

    I think it would be nice to hear from Developers as well. We all know that Vivaldi has a lot of technology and design decisions under the hood. It would be very interesting to be able to understand some of these decisions and technologies from the developers themselves, maybe through these podcasts or blog posts. Kinda like when a balance patch in a multiplayer game is released, some companies like Valve, Blizzard etc… like to explain the decisions behind the changes, and how mechanics actually work in a game, which in turn informs the player base, keeping an open minded and healthy community.

    I feel like Vivaldi in that sense is like a video game. It is made with the users in mind in such an extend that it makes users interested in the technology (mechanics) and features in a deep way.

  • Moderator

    Unite was one of the most useful innovations of Opera — I was sad to see it removed.

    Opera Turbo mode was also useful for those paying for bandwidth.

    In the future perhaps Better Portable Graphics could speed up the web even more for those users on slow connections. It's particularly impressive for animated GIF. Vivaldi already supports this, but how do you get more web masters to use it?

  • I disagree. Unite was absolutely gimmick. A browser should focus on browser features, not lose focus on other stuff.

    Turbo makes sense in mobile where data is metered and can be costly. It makes no sense in the desktop. Most mobile browsers copied that feature on mobile exactly for that reason, it can be great, in particular when you are roaming and every bit saved is important. On desktop not so much and it was mostly used by users trying to hide their location or as proxy for spamming and other stuff.

  • I agree, and sadly Google today is pushing for its own standards and they more or less own the web and the Internet already.

    Everyone was afraid to live in a IE only Internet and without realizing it, we are living in a webkit only world already where most websites only work nice if they are designed for Chromium/Webkit.

    Open standards should be followed and those standards should never be under the control of one or two private commercial companies. Don't be fooled, Google only takes open source stuff when its fits their agenda (enter markets), once they have market share, they start to slowly regain control to leave competition out. They did that with Android and are doing it with Chrome.

    Its funny how Microsoft is turning more open and Google more closed. I guess it always depends on who is on the top trying to rule the market. Which is why competition is required in order for the Internet to remain truly open. The more options, the better for the consumers. Not having a choice its bad.

    An example is the mobile world where you had different options in the past, Nokia, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Android, iOS, others, all different operating systems and platforms.

    Today its mostly Android or iOS.

    Or how hard it is to find a mobile phone or computer made by an European or US company.

    Your choices with phones are Apple and.. Well nothing more. Nokia maybe if they come back, Blackberry if they don't close down.

    Computers, same story, but at least you have some options. Apple, HP and Dell. End of story. Again everything else Chinese or European brands rebranded Chinese products.

    Same with browsers. In Android, you have Firefox (US), Chrome (US), and then the rest are mostly clones, all of them mostly Chinese developed browsers or nothing else you would seriously consider for important data. You had Opera (but will also be Chinese soon). Its actually shocking how many Chinese browsers there are in the market store with Google and how hungry they are for users data (cloud related browsers which send all your data to their servers, ouch….). You have to be insane to even use something like that, but hey, that is just me...

    Ah wait, I forgot, there is also Dolphin which is very nice but its buggy as hell lately. Still, one of the best Android browsers. I don't even mention iOS because Apple forces everyone to use their Safari rendering engine on developers.

    With browsers on the desktop at least we are starting to see more options. And that is a good thing. A great thing actually. Lets hope we see the same with mobile browsers.

    Vivaldi Mobile maybe 🙂

  • Thanks a lot for the great feedback. We're working on more content from developers and other actors that will be released soon. Stay tuned 😉
    Are there any specific topics you're interested in hearing more about?

  • If the ability to share a file isn't a 'browser feature', I'm not sure what is.

  • Magnus already addressed this, but I wanted to chime in and agree that we'd love your suggestions. I have a long list of ideas for a range of both known and perhaps lesser known contributors to the Web world. As devs, designers and UX folks all fit that - it makes sense to open up these discussions to all kinds of folks who have experiences that can be helpful to us as an industry. So please do think of those individuals and let us know the topics and guests you'd like to hear from, and we'll do our best to make it so! 🙂 Thanks for the great comments and feedback everyone!

  • Computers, same story, but at least you have some options. Apple, HP and Dell. End of story. Again everything else Chinese or European brands rebranded Chinese products.

    Which Apple, HP or Dell that is not made in China?
    What are those Chinese browsers?

  • I mean designed, created and funded in China, not just produced in China.

    Every single electronic product is produced in China today, but would you claim Apple is Chinese? No.

    HP, Dell and Apple are not Chinese companies. Neither is Nokia, and neither is Vivaldi.

    What are those Chinese browsers? All of them !!! Just look the developers address from all the alternative Android browsers in the play store. I don't know why Chinese developers are so interested in making mobile browsers, I'm actually curious about that, just like the only reason the Chinese group wants Opera is the mobile browser, and nothing else. Actually its users.

    We all know what they are really after. Data. Data is very valuable today, you are the product. That is the only reason why browsers are free.

  • Sure no problem.

    I guess a good start could be related to the most controversial decision surrounding the creation of Vivaldi, that is, Javascript technology.

    Vivaldi is an incredibly fast browser. There is improvements to be made I think, but overall it feels incredible responsive and snappy. As a developer myself, I think it would be very interesting to hear about some of the things the team had to do (or will do) in order to get to this level of speed. Maybe talk about the decision behind using React for the UI and not other front-end frameworks such as angular/backbone/ember etc… As I understand React in terms of performance is the fastest, but it would be nice to understand why and how it is being used in Vivaldi. What are the benefits? This could also serve to demystify some of the bad aura surrounding native apps made with Web technologies.

    Maybe talk about the changes/additions made to the chromium back-end. What are the good and bad things of using chromium?

    Incoming changes based on feedback.

    Planned features.

    Maybe talk about the ways the team use Vivaldi. Compare/discuss different and specific configurations. eg. tabs to the right or left, with preview and no close button. Benefits and cons of this config. etc... It would be interesting to hear about how other people use Vivaldi, for example as a researcher I like using Vivaldi with X configuration, as a writer this other way, as a general user, as a developer etc...

    It would be very interesting to hear from the people responsible for all these things and how/why they ended up implementing them.

    Anyways that was my 2 cents. Maybe it is too much, but I'll leave you with this example:

    This is a developer conversation directed to users in a recently released game Overwatch.

    As you can see, even though this is a fairly technical topic for discussion, the developers were able to explain very well, without releasing too much information, some of the techniques, values and technologies used to make the Netcode of the game. They talk about trade-offs and hard decisions they had to make during the development process. They also introduce terms such as interpolation, extrapolation, processing delay, simulations etc… without boring me , well I guess that could be just me and a few others (I do believe that the Vivaldi community is geeky enough to engage in this sort of things).

  • I am quite happy that I found Vivaldi. I used the 1.2 stable version for few days, but moved to the 1.3 snapshot, when I saw the difference. In Windows 10, it just got installed in the normal way, but in Linux I use programs either as stand-alone applications or as self-contained applications, whenever possible. I find Vivaldi 1.3 snapshot (1.3.551.13) somewhat slower in Windows 10 than in Linux, even though my Windows laptop is just 9 months old, while the Linux laptop is more than 6 years old.

    I used Opera for a while so long ago, so cannot compare Vivaldi with it, but can compare Vivaldi with the latest Chrome, Firefox and Edge. With Chrome and Firefox, if a web page crashes, the whole web browser gets crashed. Edge sometimes doesn't get closed. In all three, I usually have to reboot, especially in Windows. In Linux, as I am not using any web browsers "installed in the normal way," I simply close the application and restart it. I also have Brave, but I am not looking forward to use it–it looks old and it is too large in MB.

    I have strong feeling that Vivaldi had found the right attitude and going the right way, listening to the users and creating a web browser that works as a web browser. Only, I don't have a clue, why Bing is the default search engine. If one is searching seriously, Bing is practically useless. Anyway, it is so easy to change the search engine to your liking!

  • The full audio transcript for this episode is now available!

  • You're awesome, thanks for the help! 🙂 I've added a link to it in the blog post.


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