Rehearsing for Big Opening: Opera 10 Alpha
Opera measures up. With a new, faster version of the Presto engine and a 100/100 score in the Acid3 test, the browser might easily get under its competition’s skin.
Opera Software has come out with an alpha version of its Opera 10 that it's presenting to the browser world as a "preview". The alpha should give users a taste of Opera's new rendering engine, known as Presto and currently in version 2.2. In their press release, the company indicates that "Opera Presto 2.2 offers approximately a 30-percent-faster browsing experience as compared to Opera Presto 2.1, introduced in Opera 9.5 in June 2008."
Opera can also brag that it passed the Acid3 test with flying colors. It's easy to confirm the score by opening the Opera 10 alpha to the acid3.acidtests.org website, which will resolve to the page shown in Figure 2. Opera 10 also provides a spell-checker as you type and an auto-updating feature to the newest available Opera version.
The Opera developers, who are now expecting feedback for the alpha, are especially excited about users' possibility to render web pages supporting new technologies. Among these technologies are Web Fonts and Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) files for transparent graphics that have an additional alpha channel for RGB and hue/saturation/lightness (HSL). Not least of all, Opera's Dragonfly can inspect HTTP headers and edit Document Object Model (DOM) files to help in website debugging.
The final Opera 10 should appear in 2009, exactly when isn't clear. The alpha, intended for exploratory use only, is available for download here.
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