Features vs Extensions

  • Vivaldi Team

    Browser extensions let you add new features – literally extending the functionality of your browser. But should you go for extensions or native, built-in features?

    Click here to see the full blog post

  • Ambassador

    I currently have only two extensions installed: Grammarly and Wordweb, and the latter is only installed because the standalone application does not work well with Vivaldi.

    Screen capture is best dealt with by a dedicated application like FastStone Capture (on Windows), as it can then be used to capture and annotate screenshots from any installed application, not just from my browser. The built-in capture is only better for one thing, capturing an entire scrolling webpage, which is something I never need to do (Print to a PDF or save Webpage as a single file is better)

    Vivaldi's built-in notes feature is adequate for my needs, but sessions are still too limited for frequent use. A Sessions Panel is sorely needed to make the editing and management of sessions much easier.

  • Ambassador

    I think that using extensions or functions of the browser depends on several factors, in first line of the use we give the browser that determine whether a function turns out to be useful or not.
    On the other hand it is impossible to foresee and cover any use with a function.
    For example, as some ask, to include a VPN, but in my opinion is not recommended, starting to depend a lot on third-party services and services that are also paid, if you want it with a certain quality. Likewise with other functions that must be left to the user's decision to replace it with an extension or software.
    I think that Vivaldi still includes more functions and possibilities than any other browser and has a cover of needs for any use, for everything else there are extensions to the user's liking, with the advantage of being removable if they do not comply expectations.

  • We shouldn't forget that it's possible to disable extensions and enable them as needed. There's no point in cutting back on extensions if you need the specific functionality/tools to improve the usability of the browser. No browser can have everything built in. Of course, if the functionality is already built in, why use an extension – but few users would consider this and only happens if the built in version lacks severely in features (eg password management)

  • Vivaldi Team

    @pesala: Personally, I only ever find use for screen capture when using a browser (where I spend 99% of my work day). I use CloudApp when the capture is being shared with someone else, though – the way you're able to share an annotated capture using a link there is great. I use Vivaldi's built-in capture when I'm grabbing a screenshot for myself or need the full-page.

  • Moderator

    Even though web technologies evolve all the time, native features will always provide a better, consistent with the product, user experience.

    But... Vivaldi's native features are written using web technologies 🤔

    That aside this is a good article. I have several extensions installed, but if i'm not actively using it, I just disable it. An example would be this "Open iFrame" extension: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/open-iframe/pmaadckffijlkpdcgpbbmoihlhhapikm. I checked the source code, and it seems perfectly safe, but I don't need it using an extra process and resources all the time, so I disable it until it is needed. A built-in feature doesn't need to spin up a whole new process just to add a menu entry.

    There are other extensions I use which I am always wary of as even if they seem safe right now, there are often tales of horror where extension maintainers sell their extension to third parties who just convert them into spyware, so you never know what a future update will bring. Built-in features come with the trust given to Vivaldi, so I can be sure of its safety, even after updates.

  • Ambassador

    @jonmc I spend much of my time supporting users of applications for print and web publishing, font-editing, etc., so although I have Vivaldi (and Opera 12.18) open whenever I switch on the PC, I take a lot of screenshots (often 20+ a day) to illustrate dialogs for software reviews and for providing support on forums. Vivaldi's screen capture cannot capture the Settings dialogue, unless it is opened in a tab, for example.

  • What I also found (when briefly tried to use FF after Opera 12) is that extensions often keep breaking when a browser core is updated, or they got abandoned for random reasons.
    I then got to really appreciate browser-native features because using them gives confidence that they'll get proper support and care from browser creators.

  • that's why Opera was THE browser: it supported extensions but you could do exactly everything without them (okay, Firefox had better interface customization in some areas, no custom buttons but changing visuals was a piece of cake)

    Unfortunately Vivaldi is not Opera yet, and won't be for few years probably
    It still misses some things, some other need polishing, but we are getting there slowly

    But also I think there is need for better extensions API than very limited chromium/WE (for example I'd love to be able to use RSS Reader interface to talk to my own tt-rss instance with my own plugins, without proper API I'm limitted to my own client that won't ever have native interface due to chromium/WE limitations)

  • @pesala: I'm using sharex for that, and always willing to switch to my own hosting, though always too lazy to do so

  • Moderator

    @pesala: the sessions would be perfect to me If i could select what tabs to save into a session, load a specific tab insted its whole session, a session manager which allows me to order/copy/move/delete tabs in sessions like a bookmark panel/manager, an autosave with option of every X minute/hour. With that management i could reduce the number of tabs a session i use

  • Ambassador

    @zakius said in Features vs Extensions:

    @pesala: I'm using sharex for that, and always willing to switch to my own hosting, though always too lazy to do so

    I also use ShareX (I don't know a better tool for this), I think that no extension or function of the browser can do the same, starting with why a function or extension to capture the screen in the browser requires to have it open for use them.

  • Having the extensions features included as default features in Vivaldi would be awesome. The problem might be to choose the ones that could have a real added value and know how to prioritize the developments of those.
    It's also true that Vivaldi could outperform its concurrents if the most used extensions of Chrome, Opera or Firefox (which are actually features that users are looking for and are missing in their browsers) were included by default...

  • You should implement a feed reader. Some argue that this should be implemented as part of the email client, but I think it should be a separate thing. I am interrested in RSS feed reader, but not necessarily email client in Vivaldi.

  • Moderator

    @waldo If you haven't already, case a vote for this FR

    I currently use an RSS extension, but I dont think it is maintained anymore. There's another plus for features: You can guarantee they'll be kept up to date.

    Well, unless you're Google in which case features may disappear at any moment. (I never used it, but there was a lot of noise when google killed of its web based feed reader)

  • @lonm Vocal minority. It's known that very very few users take advantage of RSS. Firefox ditched it too. I like RSS and it's been the first thing I asked about when joining Vivaldi, but I can understand why it doesn't get priority.

  • Is it possible to have a built-in support for password managers like LastPass?
    That would be great!

  • Moderator

    @nagel Depends on license costs of those non-free programs to implement them as a feature in Vivaldi.

  • @luetage: RSS is the basic of the basics, impossible to live without and moderately easy to do (when compared to sync for example) but sync is prioritized
    well, market is like democracy: majority hurts the minority

  • @zakius said in Features vs Extensions:

    impossible to live without

    I beg to differ, I never had the need of RSS myself.

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