Notes from a new Vivaldi user

  • It's been almost a month now since I decided to give Vivaldi a go as my default browser. I thought I'd share some notes - good and bad. As with any such feedback it errs on the negative side as you tend to note the things that go wrong and glance over the things that go well. So let me start by saying: Overall, this had been a positive experience, and I think Vivaldi will stick.

    Here goes:

    • Split view: I love the split view for tab stacks. Being able to view two pages side by side in the same window is a godsend. More than 2 I didn't really find that useful, but fine. I would like to be able to drag the divider though to give one page more room on the screen than another.
    • Tab-stacks: Tab stacks are a good idea, but the UX feels a little clunky, both in navigating between pages in the stack as well as in rearranging the tabs in the stack or moving them out to "promote" them to full tabs. Having to grab the tiny tab-headers is neither intuitive nor easy. Also: I think tab-stacks and split views are two separate features. I repeatedly found myself wanting to open a link in a new tab, not within the active split view's tab-stack, but as a "full" tab.
    • Stability: During the course of the month I've had Vivaldi crash entirely 3 times. First one was after about 2 hours of use, so it reflected particularly badly. I've also had to restart the browser a few times as something has become weird (input not showing up or the cursor disappearing). I feel that these types of problems were rarer with Chrome.
    • Revive old tabs with history: I miss being able to revive a recently closed tab from history with it's entire browsing history. (also, sidenote: when will a browser stop viewing a browser history as a line, and realize it is a tree where you may want to revisit a branch you went down earlier).
    • Download bar: I feel that having the download bar on the left, rather than at the bottom, takes up more valuable screen real-estate. I also want to be able to drag files from the download bar into the browser or to a Finder window like I would with a file from Finder itself. It's clunky having to "Show in Finder" for any such action, especially if the action is reusing the file in the browser (e.g. downloading an attachment from one web-email to attach in another).
    • Unable to launch WebEx: At work we use (dreaded) WebEx a lot. I've been unable to install their extension in Vivaldi. It keeps downloading and installing for Chrome every time. So I have to copy WebEx links and open Chrome whenever I need to start a WebEx.
    • Stealing keystrokes: Vivaldi seems to more aggressively take control of keystrokes than other browsers. This makes editing documents, e.g. in Google Docs inferior in Vivaldi. Examples: Cmnd-F opens and focuses on the browser's search, not Google Docs' search; Paste without formatting (Cmnd-Shift-V) doesn't work at all and has to be accessed from the drop-down menu.

    Most of these are minor annoyances (and a few things I love), but they add up to an overall sentiment for the product. And - sadly - it is harder for people to discover and love the things that are new and better in a new browser, than discover the things that are inferior to their previous one.

    Keep up the good work. (I'll keep taking notes)

  • I share your thoughts on some of these. There's a feature request thread that might have some ideas, if you visit there and vote it might get your voice heard. For example, this one:

    @pesala said in Feature requests for 1.12:

    Allow Resizing of Tiled Tabs

    As far as the WebEx one: How does that install? Vivaldi is chrome-based so any extensions should work just fine.

  • @lonm Thank you. It's not a regular browser extension, it installs (on a Mac) using a .dmg

    And - as the world would have it - I tried one more time and this works now. Whether that's because I just installed the latest version of Vivaldi, Cisco fixed something in WebEx or something else, I'll probably never know. But it can be stricken from the list.

  • @hjallig good to hear all is working now. 🙂


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