Modal browser mode

  • Vivaldi Translator

    I think it would be a killer feature having the possibility (many may don't want this feature, so just as an option) to use Vivaldi as a modal browser. There are already a few of these browsers inspired by vim (qutebrowser and vieb just to make some examples).

  • Moderator

    @AntVivaldi Yeah, no. I can't for the life of me think of a use case that would make it attractive or compelling to re-write the bulk of Vivaldi code to make it have a modal option. The restrictions and limitations on customizability alone would make the mode the antithesis of Vivaldi. One might as well have modal Chromium. And good luck with that.

  • Moderator

    @AntVivaldi said in Modal browser mode:


    Could you clarify what you mean by "modal"? I'm not sure I understand.

    You mention vim and vim-related browsers, do you just want Vimium-like page navigation?

  • @LonM I guess it’s modes like normal (the default), insert (when an input field is focused) etc, each with its own hotkeys.

  • Moderator

    @potmeklecbohdan On the whole, "modal" refers to a subordinate application with exists in a window within a dominant application, and steals focus from the dominant app, requiring its operations be completed before returning to the dominant app. For instance, following a link within the facebook app could open a browser window which, though subordinate to the facebook app, nonetheless has focus until browsing is completed and closed. As a rule, modal windows are styled like those of the dominant app but provide a function the dominant app does not have.

  • @Ayespy So now you know a new meaning of ‘modal’. And QB really doesn’t work like you described, but rather it has Vim-like modes.

  • Moderator

    @potmeklecbohdan It's the meaning of "modal" I learned over a decade ago. I don't know how it's "new."

  • @Ayespy The one I and the OP (and many others) use is new… for you.

  • Moderator

    @potmeklecbohdan If you mean "like Vim modes," that likewise strikes me as not having a wide range of applicable use cases.

  • If you primarily use the keyboard, then having modes makes some sense. A positional navigation mode, access key mode, Vivaldi's quick commands is already a mode, etc. And most users wouldn't even know it was there, if they primarily use a pointer or touch. Having modes would allow you to bypass a web app's key bindings by making that just another mode - and I see requests for that feature quite often.

  • Moderator

    @sgunhouse I think you'd have to be a keyboard freak to really appreciate it. I don't know how many of those there are, but I do know that Vivaldi strives to be friendly to mouse freaks, keyboard freaks, and everyone in-between.

  • @sgunhouse Thinking of that, there’re at least normal mode and insert mode; try Ctl-Left in a text field and outside of a text field. The problem is, the shortcuts not overriden by a text field are common for both modes.

  • @Ayespy Keyboard freak is too narrow a focus. It’s all about accessibility. Some people aren’t physically able to use a mouse and Vivaldi can’t be operated by keyboard alone currently. Additionally the parts of the UI and webpages that can be navigated with keyboard have awkward and inefficient operation. Vivaldi is a mouse first browser, comparable in that regard to Chrome, Opera, Edge, &c. Making it accessible to everyone shouldn’t be a question of why but when.

  • Moderator

    @luetage I know it's not much spoken of, but accessibility is already a focus. Pure keyboard operation, though not easy to achieve, is a goal.

  • @Ayespy At least escaping websites that grab hotkey focus is a necessity in my opinion, and that would already mean that you have at least two modes.

  • @Ayespy Yeah, I know. In theory that’s true, but the steps taken to achieve this goal currently lead to the basement, when we really should be aiming for the rooftop. Spatial navigation on webpages and tabbing through the UI are this basement. I don’t see the turnaround without completely abandoning the approach.

  • Moderator

    @jumpsq It's on the radar. Sites stealing shortcuts is a problem.

  • Vivaldi Translator

    @Ayespy said in Modal browser mode:

    @AntVivaldi Yeah, no. I can't for the life of me think of a use case that would make it attractive or compelling to re-write the bulk of Vivaldi code to make it have a modal option. The restrictions and limitations on customizability alone would make the mode the antithesis of Vivaldi. One might as well have modal Chromium. And good luck with that.

    Thank you fro the opportunity you gave me to talk about use cases. And yes it is like Vim modes, so to make some examples: Normal, Insert, Visual.

    First of all, the major use case are people who can't use the mouse, like @Ayespy said, so certainly a keyboard based browser would be necessary for them. Consider also that these people have still a small choice between browsers because no major project has a complete keyboard compatibility.

    And there's even more! As @sgunhouse said, if you use primarily you keyboard rather than your mouse it makes a lot of sense. And even if it could seem to be really strange to someone who hasn't tried, there are many "keyboard freaks" out there. Indeed, consider Vim: it has been created in the 90's and it is based on Vi, which has been created in the 70's, so it is one of the oldest editors (and surely one of the worst in the graphics since Vi was created to run in a terminal). However, as you can see in this research from 2016 (I read something more up to date, but I can no longer find it) Vim is still in fourth place in the list of the most used IDEs (yes, Vim, which is modal, for the possibilities it offers, it is somethimes defined as an IDE too). Now, there are on the market some modal browsers, like qutebrowser ( and Vieb ( but they are relatively small projects. I have tried Vieb and its speed would be inconceivable if it wasn't modal (for speed I don't mean startup speed but rather how fast I can go from one part to another, how fast I can open links without moving around with the mouse ecc.). Now that I've explained the advantages of modal editors/browsers let's put it into Vivaldi. Since Vivaldi has lot of functionalities it is more and more difficult to give a simple shortcut to all of them, so, imagine having a mode (let's call it input mode) where I can search and do the basic stuff, then you could simply switch mode (by pressing ESC for example) and you have an entire keyboard to assign shortcuts. In this way not only you have a modal browser (vim-like) but you have also a simple and comfortable way to assign shortcuts to advanced functionalities.

    And for the ones who aren't "keyboard freaks"? Well, I don't think it would be a problem for them because it could be created as an option, so that the ones who don't like it may well go as always done. I think it is simple to create modes (disclaimer: I'm not really good at coding so I may be wrong but I don't think so), and to integrate them in an existing program, because it only needs a key to be the mode switcher, like the ESC I mentioned before, and then say: if you are in mode A and press a certain key do that, if you are in mode B and press a certain key do that ecc.

    Finally, a consideration on extensions like vimium. The problem is that they aren't well integrated with the browser for the simple reason that they aren't built for one specific browser ( and if they are, surely the are not for Vivaldi), and they are built without knowing the code behind it (at least in the case of Vivaldi), so this reduce dramatically the power of modal editing/browsing.

    If we had a modal browser it doesn't mean that we can't use the mouse, so, for example, we could always rum the mouse gestures.

    Sorry for the long post

  • @Ayespy said in Modal browser mode:

    It's on the radar. Sites stealing shortcuts is a problem.

    Bug VB-34531 is a start, requesting a general and a site-specific list of keyboard shortcut priority (should the site be allowed to intercept keyboard shortcuts x, y and z?). The default list should correspond to the safeguarded tab handling shortcuts that other browsers also prevent sites from overriding (we let sites steal Ctrl+F4 or Ctrl+Tab, to the detriment of keyboard users).

    The issue was filed late 2017 so is almost 3 years old now, nonetheless it remains at P4 and there has been zero developer feedback on it thus far.

    I'd say "on the radar" is a bit optimistic a statement but I keep hoping it will be picked up one day.

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