Opera 10 nears final stages

The Norwegian company is nearing completion of the next version of its browser. It boasts better performance but doesn't feature a new JavaScript engine yet.

Opera Software has completed its first release candidate of Opera 10, a browser that the company says has better performance, a Turbo mode for slow Internet connections, support for a variety of Web standards such as Web fonts, and improvements to the Opera Mail feature.

"Now, we are very close to releasing the best browser in Opera's long history," Jan Standal, Opera's vice president of desktop products, said in a statement. "We hope everyone who has helped us test our browser thus far will put the release candidate through its paces."

The new Carakan JavaScript engine , which is used to run Web-based applications such as Google Docs, isn't done yet.

"It won't be ready for (Opera) 10 final, but rest assured that it will be impressive when it comes," spokesman Thomas Ford said. He said Opera won't comment on the timing of the new engine's release until it enters alpha testing.

Firefox, Safari, and Chrome also all are working furiously on better JavaScript performance too, in an effort to make the Web a better foundation for applications.

The new Opera release candidate is available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Opera has been available for years as an alternative to the dominant Microsoft Internet Explorer, the second-ranked Firefox, and Apple's Safari. It was pushed into fifth place with the arrival of Google Chrome. The Opera browser often charts new territory, though. For example, its Speed Dial feature, which presents an array of Web site thumbnails when a person opens a new browser tab, was first introduced in 2007. A similar feature can now be found in Chrome and Safari, and Firefox may add something comparable.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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