Animated/Non Animated Themes Behind Thumbnails

  • I have only one suggestion. Could the Vivaldi Team please consider incorporating animated and non animated themes a la Opera which has a wide variety of animated and nonanimated themes. In the Opera browser, there are two animated themes of fireplaces with grand, warm fires burning behind the thumbnails, the perfect theme for cold winter months. I have daisies waving in a cool green field, and themes of animated coral reefs full of dazzling denizens of the deep for the summer months. Similar seasonal and other Themes running behind Vivaldi's Start Page, will, I'm sure, delight Vivaldi users. There isn't much choice at present with the pre-set non-animated themes on offer.

  • Moderator

    @catnip This could be done with a browser mod. You could set an animated image to display behind the toolbars or on the speeddial.

  • @lonm Could you tell me how to do this, please? With Opera, you just pick a them and it appears.

  • Moderator

    @catnip You would need to create it is as a CSS mod, I believe. If you look through the modding forums there are guides on how to install such styles. I would say though, if the image was very lagre it might cause stability issues.

  • OK thank you for the info. You are right. Fiddling around with the browser could make it unstable. I'd rather have a browser which is a steady workhorse than one which looks pretty but sticks, crashes or goes blank every so often. However, if the Vivaldi team mods the Themes feature to include animated and non-animated theme addons a la Opera, they will definitely also ensure future builds are strengthened enough to handle the load smoothly. Vivaldi and Opera are twin sister browsers, after all, so adding a feature like this shouldn't be too hard.

  • @catnip Twin sisters? lol
    If that's true their parents got divorced and took one daughter each to live on another continent.

  • Moderator

    @catnip If twin sisters could be built using two entirely different technical and architectural models, then, yeah.

  • Moderator

    Instead of hypothesising (as I did earlier in the thread) I decided to do some actual experimentation:

    • A small (40px high) 30fps mp4 sized 800kb in the main window bar It gets around 5% CPU usage
    • A large 720p high 30fps mp4 sized 300kb playing on the speed dial it spiked to around 25% CPU usage

    I'm going to guess based on this (totally unscientifically measured 2 data points) that the overall file size isn't really an issue (that will affect at worst your ram, but I don't personally see that as a performance blocker), it's the size of the individual frames that kills the performance.

    You could try to scale up a very small video, but then it looks pixelated and blurry and awful. Anything large enough to look nice probably is going to impact performance.

    Worth considering might be other forms of animation:

    • A CSS animation - maybe animate the background somehow?
    • If you could find a nice small transparent animated gif or png you could put that as an overlay in one corner of the speed dial, and it might look quite nice while not being distracting.
    • A very small 40px-high subtle video animation could work well in the title bar area, as that doesn't take a massive amount of CPU usage, and if it is sublte enough it wouldn't be distracting while still looking nice

    I'm not an expert at graphic design though, so that that last bit advice with a grain of salt.

  • @luetage, @Ayespy : Oops! Looks like I ruffled a feather or two with the twin sister remark. So Opera and Vivaldi are NOT twin sisters? You could have fooled me. Honestly, same thumbnail layout, same Panel at the side and the same extensions from the Chrome collection?

    There is another funny thing I've noticed: I always place the Opera and Vivaldi icons side by side on my Task Bar, but the Opera icon always repositions itself well away from, and way ahead of, the Vivaldi icon, just as though Opera wants nothing to do with the new kid on the block who looks and behaves so much alike! Now if that isn't sibling rivalry, what is?

    LonM : Thank you so very much for your suggestions. However, Opera is obviously built to support live/non live full screen themes, and Vivaldi isn't. Perhaps with all the other great features on offer, which Opera doesn't have, there's no room for any more bunce. I am truly grateful for the sustained effort and hard work which has gone into creating Vivaldi, which appeared on the scene just as Firefox was no longer viable because of certain recent unsavoury connections.

  • @LonM : Please check the conversation thread for my reply to you. I didn't put the @ before your name in the thread, hence you might not see it.

  • Moderator

    @catnip So, not to be too boring, a bit of a history lesson:

    Jon S Von Tetzchner was the founder of Opera, and is the founder of Vivaldi. Many of his current staff used to work at Opera, and were responsible for its original look, feel and functionality. Opera, up to about 1.11, was his baby. After he left the company, it was taken in a different direction, and moved to a different rendering engine (Blink/Chromium). When that happened, Opera lost its entire personality. However, knowing that people who had used Opera for over a decade were looking for a certain look, feel and functionality, the new bosses at Opera slowly, bit-by-bit, tried to build up the new Opera to somewhat resemble the old. But they were only partially successful, partly because they built it using native elements - which dragged out their development cycle, and limited their options on how flexible and configurable they could make the browser, and has so far prohibited them from bringing back some of the old functionality.

    Jon had thought to get out of the browser business, but when he became convinced NeuOpera would never be as good as OldeOpera, he began to feel the only way he would ever have a browser he truly liked again, would be to build it. Literally, some millions of OldeOpera users felt similarly. Vivaldi was born to fill the gap left by the loss of OldeOpera. BUT - though Jon (and his friends and advisers) decided the Chromium engine was the way to go, it was also decided that native elements were too slow and restrictive a development path. Sooooo, the idea of making the entire UI out of web technologies was born. This made Vivaldi faster to develop, more flexible and configurable, and offered the best chance to replicate the OldeOpera functionality everyone missed so much. The rest is history. Two browsers, one engine, two different architectures and philosophies.

    This explains many of the similarities and differences between the two browsers, and also explains why Vivaldi already has more of the OldeOpera functionality than NeuOpera does. So, "twin sisters" of differing species. 🙂

  • @ayespy Thank you for the very lucid and clear word picture painted of the differences between Opera and Vivaldi.

    Yes, Opera is based on Chrome. Its also true that Opera seems stuck in a groove. They haven't really moved on very much, and now I know why. I am sure the people at Opera will see red when I say this, but I do wish they'd take a leaf out of the Vivaldi team's really great ideas! As I say, I just have one small wish - animated/non animated themes playing at the back of our Start Page thumbnails. Once Vivaldi addresses that, I will be an extremely happy 🐈 !!

    I didn't realize Vivaldi is built out of newer and very much more flexible web tech. No wonder they've been able to incorporate so many great features. The first release was buggy, but since then they've truly worked overtime to correct the glitches that used to cause sudden blank pages, crashes and refusals to open &c, and it runs smoothly now. Vivaldi is now my default browser.

    One feature I love is this Forum chat, and being able to meet and make new friends, and chat with them, especially about issues like this.

    Thank you once more for the time spent in replying to me.

  • Moderator

    @catnip Animation is a resource hog. Still, I expect to see it as an option for speed dial backgrounds before all is said and done. Already, animated GIFs and Apngs are being used as thumbnails. But as to animated backgrounds, have you looked at this?

  • @Ayespy Thanks. Very interesting link.

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