Vivaldi browser and open-source

  • Moderator

    @julien_picalausa said:

    @quhno: Technically, you can figure out our internal API by reading the published code. The .json files under /extensions/schema describe the full API. If you can make sense of C++, then the implementation is under /extensions/api. In general, the json files are supposed to use descriptions to explain what everything is doing. If there is something there that you can't understand, then it's probably something we should fix.

    So that others don't have to download and sift through several Gb of files, I have put all of the API documentation here:

    I notice that some of types lack descriptions, but they are mostly self explanatory. I think I had done this previously, but knowing where to look in the official documents is helpful.

  • @julien_picalausa
    This is what I was talking about when I said:

    I haven’t had a look at it yet, but it’s from a big part coz it’s big (well this can’t be solved) and gets outdated with every release. Why not publish it (still talking about the back-end code) as a git (or whatever VCS) repo?

    As written here ("size": 2087690), it’s only ~2 GB even though it’s from 1.0, while the per-version packs are now nearly 1.5 GB each.

  • - Ambassador -

    @LonM That's really impressive from your part.
    But those are not Open APIs, nor are they accessible through extensions.

    Vivaldi need those.

  • Moderator

    @Cqoicebordel The API is open enough for mods. But you are right - I would love if extensions could access them.

    Two of my more useful mods, the sessions panel & sessions autosave could easily be implemented through an extensions API instead of a mod, and it would be less prone to bugs.

  • @julien_picalausa said in Vivaldi browser and open-source:

    And in addition, anytime someone chooses to fork Chromium, they are reinforcing it as a de-facto standard, giving Google more power.

    ... and Adobe, and Microsoft and all the others which contribute to the standard, making it a strong standard.

    The only thing it is missing to become a real Standard (with a capital S) is a Standard Body that can set what must be in and what is free to change.

    As it is now, when "The Chromium Authors" decide to deprecate things, functionality in which e.g. extension developers have literally put in 1000s of hours are declared to NULL, or additional portions of the web cannot be displayed properly anymore, or not at all. This way we lose more and more information that might still be valuable. That makes me sad.

    Not all old information is there to be forgotten.

  • @QuHno said in Vivaldi browser and open-source:

    "The Chromium Authors" decide to deprecate things, functionality in which e.g. extension developers have literally put in 1000s of hours are declared to NULL, or additional portions of the web cannot be displayed properly anymore, or not at all.

    Funny thing that was what firefox did with xul/xpcom and even sdk extensions.

  • @Sdar Yes and that more or less killed the poor fox..sad to see mozilla slowly destroy the fox over the years..a great browser wrecked by a lousy company.

  • - Ambassador -

    @LonM And it would allow a lot more users to use them…
    Modding is a PITA. Installing an extension is a breeze.

  • don't care in the slightest; open source / close source, whatever. for me what makes a excellent product are the features and how you treat users data.
    plus how the company treat their employees is also very important. are they beating you daily? to get the work done?

  • @ultravio1et , so Jon said, Vivaldi is a cooperative

  • I know especially in the linux community free and open source software is the gospel according to stallman and i can understand that ,but sometimes open source software does not cut the mustard and closed source works better.
    I have read the original blog here about vivaldi and being closed source and the reasons seem sound and of course as a developer you would not wish to have your own work copied and forked etc.
    My impression of the open source communtity is that they want everything done for them and for free..

  • Moderator

    @Priest72 said in Vivaldi browser and open-source:

    My impression of the open source communtity is that they want everything done for them and for free..

    From my own personal stance (as a sometimes contributor to the open source community), I very much disagree with this.

    Not "done for me": Open source allows people to modify software for themselves, if they put in the work. It is in no way a demand that someone do work for you.

    Not "for free": Open source contributors should be compensated for work they do.

  • @LonM , although I always prefer OpenSource for various reasons, I am not a programmer and it is of little use to me to be able to modify the code.
    First of all, I'm interested in the program serving me and coming from trusted sources.
    That an OpenSource program is better or worse than a commercial program is relative, there are examples where an OpenSource program is considerably superior to a commercial equivalent, although there are also quite a few examples where this is the other way around.
    In general it always depends on the user and the functions they need.

  • - Ambassador -


    I thought I would share this Digital Trends link in case you or anyone else were interested in finding out more about the sale.

  • - Ambassador -


    From 2014 - 2018 I was in Windows Insider program. I love testing new software, especially browsers, and at one point I was using Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi (I think I might still be a Vivaldi Ambassador), Firefox, Opera, Brave (and even Torch for a little while).

    Early on I thought Edge was fun and innovative but I was always a big fan of Vivaldi. Back in 2017 I recall VIVIDLY how angry and upset I was when a huge number of tab features that had only been available when using Vivaldi suddenly appeared on Edge. In 2018 I found out how very untrustworthy Microsoft, Edge, Windows 10 and Cortana were and quite honestly watching Microsoft blatantly steal concepts, ideas (and most likely code) from Vivaldi is what led me to start learning about my privacy, security, and anonymity and helped me find out how important it was for me to walk away from Windows, Microsoft, Google, and other invasive monopolies that controlled so many aspects of my life and how I interacted with computers.

    Here is a link to a website reviewing many of the tabbed features which were new at the time in Edge.

    My love affair with Linux started in 2017 but it wasn't until early 2019 that I was able to fully migrate my entire life away from Windows and Microsoft. I am a strong advocate for FOSS and open-source technology but I have never, ever questioned why Vivaldi isn't open-source.

    In my opinion, Vivaldi Browser is one of the most innovative, creative, and useful projects being developed. The Vivaldi development team is one of the most gifted, capable, and accomplished groups of people that I am aware of. You all deserve far more praise and recognition than you likely receive.

    Thank you for articulating how Vivaldi is structured and why you chose not to become a fully open-source project. I am a long, long, long time user and I have no issue with Vivaldi Browser not being fully open-source to prevent blatant theft of your amazing work by other companies or groups that don't share the same strong work ethic that you do.

  • ​Even though our license doesn’t formally allow for this, we welcome it and we allow users to share these code modifications through our forums.

    This is a bad thing to do. Please make it explicit when this is allowed, otherwise people both have to fear legal consequences in case you decide otherwise (then your informal statement is almost useless) and waste of efford when they put a lot of work in the changes and then are not allowed to distribute them anymore.

    Can't you just put in a license "Modification of the obfuscated code is allowed by adding code, please note that our code is non-free and your code must be distributed separately, e.g., in an own source file and cannot have strong copyleft (e.g. GPL)"? This would prove some legal basis for doing what you encourage people to do.

  • Moderator

    @allo Please contact the Vivaldi team and tell them about the GPL etc. issue.

  • @allo said in Vivaldi browser and open-source:

    people both have to fear legal consequences in case you decide otherwise

    I barely can image such scenario as would be a marketing disaster for Vivaldi if they sue potential "clients".
    In the worst case they will ask for code removal (as Opera did for Presto source) due copyright infringement.
    But having a Vivaldi approved licence (e.g.: "mods of our code, obfuscated or not, is allowed - without any kind of support - for personal/community purposes as long they are kept free and could be shared") is not a bad idea.

  • Hello, I'm Sharon New to Vivaldi, I decided to fully engage with this browser, because it's much better product, I've been using Chrome for awhile and still do, however Chrome has is beginning to slow down for me and I don't know why, so in surfing the internet I was impressed with a story I was reading and this browser was mentioned. I knew about this browser when it first came out, but I didn't continue with it and now I am back, my question is what differs from this browser than the other browsers, I've found one for myself, and I also notice the language content is from various countries.

  • @Ja27CS2g there are numerous differences between Vivaldi and other browsers, too many to list. Perhaps it's best to just point out Vivaldi's mission, which is to build a browser that adapts to the user not the other way around. This means their focus is on giving the user control over the browser. If you take a little time to look through the settings, you'll see that Vivaldi offers a much greater variety of options to configure. Much of what gives Vivaldi their flexibility to make these kinds of changes available is the fact that instead of just skinning the browser for branding purposes, they've completely rewritten the user interface, and have done so using web technologies (HTML, CSS, JavaScript). This means that people with the knowledge & skills to do so can further modify the user interface; there are a lot of examples of doing just this in the Modifications category of the forum. While this isn't something every user is going to be doing, that highlights another point of Vivaldi's target audience -- they aren't trying to be "the one browser for everyone." They don't appeal to the lowest common denominator, and some things just work differently than Chrome and the various Chromium-based browsers. They aren't trying to be like everybody else, but that's why we're all here -- those browsers that work for everyone else don't offer us the configurability that we seek. Vivaldi has a specific goal in mind, and it achieves that goal well. If it accommodated everybody, it would accommodated nobody to a very high degree (I refrain from using the word perfectly, because no browser will suit any significant number of people perfectly). So if tweaking the browser, along with lots of innovative features that enable new and unique workflows is what you're seeking, them Vivaldi is likely the browser you want. There is a very active community in the forum, which is another of Vivaldi's special attributes. In fact, the community preceded the browser. Vivaldi provides the home that so many lost when Opera ditched Presto. It's not a coincidence that the same man who built that old home built this one as well.

    Edited some phone autocorrect typos.

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