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Vivaldi Browser 1.0 (vivaldi.net)
122 points by sverrejoh on April 6, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 93 comments



One of the things that makes Vivaldi unique is that it is built on modern web technologies. We use JavaScript and React to create the user interface with the help of Node.js and a long list of NPM modules. Vivaldi is the web built with the web.

By the looks of things Vivaldi is Chromium with a skin written using React, but there's no links to a repo or any API documentation as far as I can tell. The extensions page in the browser suggests it uses Chromium's extensions API which rather defeats the "Customize Everything" tag line that's all over the website. Is it possible to load in my own React components to add to the browser chrome some how?


FWIW there are bits of the code here, but I don't know what is the extent of it

https://vivaldi.com/source/


The browser is proprietary, but includes open source components, without checking, what you've linked to above is probably just the open source bits.


I'm honestly curious as to who'd move to a proprietary browser in 2016 given all the history of the last couple of decades!


Google, for one. Chromium is an open-source project, but Chrome is and has always been proprietary.


It's still using an open source rendering engine, which I think is the important bit, it's just the container that is proprietary.


> a long list of NPM modules

doesn't sound like a good thing.


What about security?

Adding node.js and react on the user interface may open up security issues

If it's not running in a sandbox, I'm worried about issues like these: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/04/noscript-and-other-p...

Plus it's not open source so we can't check for vulnerabilities.


I'm yet to understand the hype. Perhaps there are users out there to whom it is appealing, but personally I don't see the need for the features they bring out like notes in the browser or stacking tabs next to one another. These are things I can already do using standalone applications or a window manager. I would rather a browser be simple and most importantly stable and fast.


There is no need to "understand the hype", as a) there is none and b) it mostly comes down to personal preferences. When you're happy with your current workflow using other tools - that's totally fine, good for you. But, you know, there are people out there who are really looking forward to an alternative Browser-UI that 1) is very fast, 2) has a lot of configuration/features the others lack and 3) does not require you to install buggy/slow/tracking extensions for each and every single thing you want to change.

e.g. having a vertical tab list out of the box is great, even when it still lacks some nice features from Tree Style Tabs.


I use Chrome as my main browser and the lack of vertical tabs is about the only thing that really frustrates me. It's almost enough to switch to Firefox.


> 2) has a lot of configuration/features the others lack

Such as? I find it less customizable than Firefox or Chrome


Vertical tabs - lot of users want it, but chrome devs close the feature requests.


Ah, ok. They are however available in Firefox as an extension, aren't they? Or at least that used to be the case


I tried the Vivaldi version of this a few months ago and it unfortunately does not meet the feature set of Tree Style Tabs. It isn't a worthwhile alternative, for me.


Yes, they are available with the Tree Style Tabs extension


I'm yet to understand all the attention smartphones get. Perhaps there are users out there to whom it is appealing, but personally I don't see the need for the features they bring out like address books and instant messaging in the phone or taking photos. These are things I can already do using standalone applications or other devices. I would rather a phone be simple and most importantly reliable and fast.


That analogy makes no sense. "standalone applications" running on what? a non-smart phone? that would make the phone smart.


I think the humorous type of "standalone application" in this analogy would be a physical camera, a physical address book etc.


But right after that they say "or other devices". So my question is: Where is this standalone application, that can apparently do what a smartphone does, running on? It's apparently not an "other device".


I don't see you making a point that is relevant.


I thought it was pretty clear. Maybe I should have used "Swiss army knife" instead of smartphones?

The point is that Vivaldi is a toolbox. Some people like toolboxes.


I wouldn't say it's a toolbox, it's just another browser with some more sugar strapped to it out of the box. Coming back to your smartphone analogy, it's just another smartphone with more stock apps that many users don't want at all.


You mean like pre-built toolboxes have some tools many people don't really want? Good thing people can choose the toolboxes they find the most ideal, even if it contains only a hammer and a duct type and a lot of empty space, isn't it? :)

When Opera switched from Presto to Chromium, it was about as fast, but it was much lighter. Yet, almost every Opera fan/"customer" at the time was pretty mad. It was not because they were attached to Presto, but because of the huge feature depreciation. It's the features what made people use Opera until its 12th iteration, and some even use it today despite it having huge issues chewing through the bloat of JS on some sites.


If I recall correctly, Opera dropped even bookmarks at that point.


Yep! They brought that revolutionary feature back in about a year.


Yeah, they really stripped it down... at least it put an end to all the fanboy gangs who used to jump into any browser-related discussion, trying to convince everyone how Opera invented everything including tabs (it didn't invent tabs), and how other browsers are nothing but knock-offs that don't even have a torrent client built-in ; )

(No offense to Opera supporters - I used it on PC for a while and it worked very well esp. on slower machines, and I use it on Android to this day - but this was annoying like hell)


Well they were the first ones to implement it natively, by default and made it an integral part of their browser, and were successful with it. Of course they didn't invent it though. They didn't "invent" things like Dragonfly, Unite features, Turbo, etc., but I strongly believe the implementation is bloody good :P

But I don't count among those who call other browsers rubbish because they don't have some features. Personal preference and all that. However, I hate Opera Mini. It has little to no control. Not Mobile though! (if it still exists)


They were early adopters of tabbed browsing, I do give them that, but the first browser to have it was NetCaptor.

The whole idea of a browser as a swiss-knife internet suite (with an email client, torrent client, web server etc. all built-in) which was hailed as Opera's main strength back in the day, proved to be an evolutionary dead end - noone really followed that path, Mozilla had an enormous following, especially among geeks/superusers, and yet its SeaMonkey never gained traction, that does tell you something

I feel Opera hurted themselves by believing that this was what made their browser attractive. Probably overestimated that factor. As a user, I cared much more about whether eg. "Look into" on Amazon worked correctly (Opera - a few years ago when I used it - was the only major browser where it didn't).

Yes internet browsing still owes Opera much credit, they popularized a great many useful solutions such as mouse gestures, the product was very solid and ergonomical, I'm not questioning that. Plus it performed well on older PCs and slower bandwidths, which probably explains why it enjoyed tremendous popularity in Central and Eastern Europe (where I'm from)


The hype train was driven by old Opera enthusiast who long for full UI customizability and full _per domain_ configurability. Sadly Vivaldi delivers none of those, you cant even change mouse gestures :(


I personally think vertical tabs rule, and I remember them fondly from OmniWeb, but it's not something I would switch my main browser for.


I was introduced to them in Opera, but you can do it through extensions today. I use TreeStyleTab for example, and it's excellent.


The tab tiling is interesting, maybe it can be made into a chrome extension (I wouldn't bet on it though).


I'm glad there's something. Chrome simply sucks[1]. Firefox is complicated[1], and even if you invest time, there are too many things wrong[1]. There's not much else (as in different).

I tried Vivaldi many times over the last year, and my conclusion is that I find it unusably slow. They take direction I like, but they chose technology that is bad (but cheap). Maybe it will get better, I surely hope so. Another nitpick of mine is that it uses WebKit (or whatever it's called now) and I hate using that.. but I do... because browser market (and perhaps web itself as a result) is in a really bad state.

What makes it different (and better in my eyes)? It's a browser usable out of the box, without any extensions. Not to say there shouldn't be any extensions, just that the basic functionality and configuration should be there.

1. For me obviously, personal preference and all.


For me, apart from the slowness, the problem is the non-nativity of it all... for example if you enable the menu bar, click on an entry (e.g. tools) and then move the mouse left or right, that entry remains selected. In standard menu bars (at least on Windows), when you go left or right you navigate through the menus.

I'm used to all these little features of the native interface and if you remove them, my productivity suffers.

Also, no MDI. Although at least the devs did a good job including the "click current tab to go to previous tab" option. 80% of my use of MDI in classic Opera was to do that.


Also try Otter Browser ( http://www.otter-browser.org/ ). It aims to replicate the feature set of old Opera, with the same idea of being usable out of the box, and it doesn't use as slow a technology as Vivaldi. It still is lacking some important stuff (such as passwords manager) but it's actually progressing at a very good pace considering it's practically a single-person FOSS project.

On the other hand it's also Webkit-based at the moment, because everything seems to be... the architecture is multi-engine though.


I follow them as well (mostly by idling on irc and posting major releases to reddit; I don't contribute). It's a nice project. Though I don't particularly agree with their priorities (i.e. recreating complete Opera 12.x).

For me Opera wasn't great because it had bundled irc/torrent/mail clients. I couldn't care less about those. It was great because it was stable, fast, small, memory efficient. No other browser was even close at that time (2012 they neded iirc?). Had all the things you want - content blocker, ui/input customization, great tab/window management, "inspector",.. and I don't even know what else anymore :)

I don't think Otter will be able to achieve many of those. Partially because it uses webkit and is in no place to maintain its own fork.


Well, I didn't care much for torrent and email in Opera 12, but they didn't bother me either, as they didn't seem to spend any resources when they were not used. Even with torrent, email and IRC, Opera was still the fastest and most lightweight browser around by a mile.

The thing with Opera features is that each user had their own pet features. In fact, when Opera released the new Chrome-based versions, removing lots of features, they claimed that those features were not used by the vast majority of users (an example was bookmarks which they claimed was unused by more than 90% according from their survey data). And it may very well be true, but the problem is that each particular feature was used by a different minority, so they upset a lot of users even if for different reasons for each user (in my case, menu bar, MDI and "click tab to minimize" were some of the biggest ones, other people don't care about these but loved tab stacking which I always turned off, etc.)

In view of this, even if I didn't use all Opera's features, I think trying to implement the full feature set is a sensible goal.

For the record I think the bundled clients, at least IRC and torrent, are quite low priority in Otter anyway.


> Well, I didn't care much for torrent and email in Opera 12, but they didn't bother me either, as they didn't seem to spend any resources when they were not used.

That's true, but they surely spent their resources on developing these extensions. In hindsight, this wasn't such a good bet. Case in point: noone else did that, and this approach is rather outdated now.


Not entirely true with the email as it was also (or only I guess) used as RSS reader by many people.


So-called "superusers" are probably overrepresented in your circles (as in mine), and thus your point of view is kind of skewed ;) Ask your family members or people on the street, an overwhelming majority of regular internet users won't have a slightest clue what an RSS reader even is


Just curious - for you, personally, what makes Firefox complicated? Just want to know people's reasons about what makes software look complicated.


Firefox itself isn't. But configuring the UI and getting some functionality in is. (Some) extensions are huge bundles of functionality, affecting things all over the place. It's not a fault of firefox, but firefox caused it by not having very basic functionality built in (namely tab ordering, cycling, ...).

Then there are frustrating things like how do I move the reload/stop button to the left? Why do have quite powerful UI customization when it doesn't allow such a simple operation?


Yeah, IIRC, you used to be able to move the Reload/stop button. They stopped supporting it for some reason. I use add-ons for other tab related things that affect me.


How exactly is firefox 'complicated' ?


Its main selling point is supposed to be customizability, but I can't even customize predefined mouse gestures :) And there are no mouse gestures allowing to navigate between tabs (only back and forth in history, which is kind of pointless to me as that's already covered by mouse buttons). I also can't disable that annoying gap between the tab bar and the top edge of the screen...


I really like it for a few reasons:

  - On OSX all browsers except Safari consume battery like crazy - In Vivaldi you can use "hibernate background tabs" and it will take a lot less resources 
  - Vertical tabs - I tend to have a lot of tabs open (Hibernate feature is even more handy in this case)
  - Tab group tiling - I can have 2 websites open side by side in 1 browser Window


> Tab group tiling - I can have 2 websites open side by side in 1 browser Window

I feel like window-management is pretty much broken at this point. I can now have multiple windows, containing multiple tabs, containing multiple ... what would you call those things? Mini-windows? Pages? Panes? Anyway, we also have tiling window managers, OSX's very limited equivalent, full-screen modes that are very slightly different from maximised windows, Chrome doing its own weird UI for ripping a tab out of its window and merging it back again, Firefox's tab groups, one ordering for app-cycling, another order for window-cycling, one-or-the-other order for tab-cycling... It's all getting a bit too much.


This is why you pick and use one browser. I like the difference and choice to pick whichever functionality (browser) I want.

> I feel like window-management is pretty much broken at this point. I can now have multiple windows, containing multiple tabs, containing multiple ... what would you call those things?

Are you saying that we should do all "window" management on OS level? I want to maximise screen estate, having 2 windows side by side with vertical tabs will just take way too much space on a laptop screen.

Compare the following and tell me which one do you prefer:

http://imgur.com/4rxsF3G http://imgur.com/X4FsuAB


I totally take your point (yes, the 2nd image is 'better' for the most part), and it's one I considered when I wrote my comment. I think it's interesting to compare it with OSX and its global menubar.

I'd like to see a windowing system that totally revamps how we think about screens, apps, windows, tabs; menus, toolbars, etc. When should a menu be linked to an app and when should it be linked to a tab? How can we meaningfully manage all these things together? Do we really need a 5th level in this hierarchy? Is it really a hierarchy, or should an 'app' be able to overlap more than one screen? Does it ever make sense for a tab (image a 'naked' pane displaying an image) to be available to more than one app? etc.

I feel like, yes, we need to solve these issues at a higher-than-app level, because every app doing its own thing will just be incredibly confusing.


Is there any incentive you know that tries to standardise how desktop apps should behave?

Just my observations & opinions: I don't think we will reach a point anytime soon where desktop apps have standardised UIs much more than now. The most effort in this space is done on iOS. Apple pushed UX Guidelines quite hard, most of the apps are mainstream consumer oriented and are not even that complex so Tab bar on the bottom + screens above works well. Desktop apps are generally much more complex and therefore harder to standardise I guess.


You can do this with Chromium Extensions:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tabs-outliner/eggk...

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/the-great-suspende...

The great suspender is open source, Tabs outliner is not - but it doesn't require access to all your site content (It will require access to browser history though).


I like the idea of a new browser, but I won't switch from my beloved Firefox that has all the addons and stability I need.

Is it using webkit or something else?


It is using Blink (the same engine that powers Chrome), which started as a fork of Webkit. Blink is also used by Opera since 2013.


Webkit/Blink.


Its UI is made with Javascript. As if I don't already have a bad enough time dealing with sloth websites, they have to pile it on. Not even worth a try.


Microsoft Visual Studio Code's UI also runs on a JavaScript engine and it runs surprisingly fast.

Edit: Also Mozilla's Servo browser engine will use a web based user interface.


Javascript is plenty fast, I don't see why you shouldn't use it to power a browser.


It's not just about the speed of executing Javascript code. The UI is rendered with the browser's rendering engine. I've used Atom and it was a disaster, so I no longer trust any desktop applications written using that technology.

I think that if you're going to write a desktop application, you should either use your native platform's APIs or pick a GUI toolkit that can give you a native look and feel. It'll give you a fast UI that looks and behaves consistently with the rest of the user's environment.


Please don't write off an entire technology because of one slow early release of an example of it. There should be better ways of utilising native UIs, I'll give you that.


> The UI is rendered with the browser's rendering engine.

Yes, the performance will matter. But as Servo demonstrates there are a lot of speed gains to be made with the right design.

See this talk by Patrick Walton about Servo's WebRender: https://air.mozilla.org/bay-area-rust-meetup-february-2016/#...

And this short demo comparing Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Servo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0hYIRQRiws


It may be fast, but I don't see a scripting language winning out compiled native code on speed. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the speed difference is large enough that it matters in something as simple as a basic UI.


Why should i use Vivaldi when i also can use Firefox and Classic Theme restorer?

Let's see... Vivaldi is Open Source Chromium with a bundled closed source app (Want to see that is true? Open Vivaldi task manager, kill the webview Vivaldi process, and UI disappears, but browser keeps running) to create the UI which is thanks to how it is created highly exploitable.

No thanks, go away!


I loved Opera back in the 3.x to 7.x days. Vivaldi's UI and features reminds me of it.

After using it for an hour for my regular browsing, I noticed it uses a lot of CPU for some websites. I saw over 100% for pages where Safari chugs along with 25%. That's enough to get the fans spinning.


How does it enable the user to block adds? Built-in? Addon?


It's using chrome addons so you can install uBlock as normal.


You can use the extensions from the Chrome store.


I'd definitely want a new browser, but one which promises it won't slow down like hell after a few days of use until I open a 100 tabs. The stackable tabs features is nice, but I'd prefer someone creates a Firefox extension to do the same.


Just installed Vivaldi to try anyway. Slow out of the box - plain window interaction feels delayed and it's a fresh install! Will try after a few releases.


Now all we need is a more browser-centric variant of Electron, and we'll get all kinds of these Chrome "distributions". Here's one in Ember, here's one in Angular, here's one with vertical tabs...



A month ago when I tried Vivaldi, it seemed quite slow to load websites. But it could also be the blinking progress bar that tricks me to have that impression. Anyone else?

Also, waiting to see the promised mailer app. I still use Opera Mail for my mail but now that it is in the Chinese hands, I do not feel comfortable updating it.


To those who a curious about "why?" = this is from some of the guys who worked making Opera and for those (but not only for) who liked it more than other browsers.

Not only opera had a very nice engine of its own (not anymore in Vivaldi, though), but also great functionality and ways for customization


    Vivaldi 1.0 32bit DEB
    Vivaldi 1.0 64bit DEB
    Vivaldi 1.0 32bit RPM
    Vivaldi 1.0 64bit RPM
Where's the good old .tar.gz for all those NOT using deb/rpm-based systems?


Unfortunate that I can't run it on Arch Linux: segmentation fault. Failed to initialize database.

I don't have plans to move away from Firefox, but it's always nice to see people attempt new things.


I use to use vivaldi on my old computer due to performance issues with chrome. The killer feature I remember was stackable tabs. Going to reinstall it again to see what is new.


I'd be curious to see a comparison of this with the "big 3" (Chrome, Firefox, IE). And playing devil's advocate, why bother to make yet another browser?


I don't really have fragmentation concerns because it's basically Chrome with an Opera-like front end. I did a benchmark comparison and they were roughly equal, with Vivaldi winning some and Chrome winning some.

I'm liking it so far. If you aren't crazy about Chrome's UI, it's worth a shot. Hope to see more privacy features, but right now the settings are the same as in Chrome.


Only unlike Chrome, Opera or Firefox, it doesn't support tearing tabs off the window (to spawn a new window)


Given the browser is one of the most used pieces of software, and we increasingly live our digital lives in to, the more competition the better. When was the last time you saw significant innovation in a browser? It seems a while, and I dont believe we're run out of things to improve. More competition is awesome.

And dont forget competition encourages the big browser companies to work together to maintain interoperability, not branching off to 'their software' trying to create a competitive moat or simply because they want to push the world in one direction with monopolistic power. If people have options it stops this typically negative behavior happening.


Unless I am missing something. We have seen some major improvements and innovations in the browsing world from major competition even since Chrome entered the market.

Your definition of innovation might be different, but both IE and Firefox have gone through major changes for the better ever since chrome entered the scene.


I guess this comes to ones definition of recent. Chrome launched 8 years ago - how fast time goes! I dont know how closely you followed browser news at that time but there was a constant fight for features and faster browsing in the few years before/after that launch. And it's not like nothing has happened since that time but it does seem to have slowed significantly the last few years. I'd love to see that passion return to the wider market. There must be so many features we cant even think of that will become 'how did I live without that' yet invented for such a core piece of software category.


Major rewrite and redesign takes time even for the world largest software company, in the past 8 years or so both MSFT IE and Firefox has gone through major rewrites in their js engine, rendering engines and UI. Chrome on its part forked webkit so that they can make changes and add feature faster, which was not possible before.

Making browsing and maintaining your own rendering engine is not easy which is why we don't have a lot of competition in the this market.


I think it's good to make another browser. Trying to improve on existing things benefits everyone. Just downloaded it, it's got some nice touches I've not seen in other browsers.


The only browser I'm comparing it with is Opera 12 as Vivaldi is supposed to be its successor.


The main focus of Vivaldi appears to be in improving the user experience. You can read more here:

https://vivaldi.com/?lang=en


I hate it alway trying to use my "confidential information stored in Chrome Safe Storage" in my keychain.


Spring has come! Thing it is good that there is such a different choice.


what is the relation between Vivaldi, Opera, and Qihoo?


No incognito mode? Bye!


There seems to be a "Private Window" feature. Not sure whether it's theirs or the engine's.


There is a private window option.


If you want to help me use the web, don't just build a browser. Build a web user's toolkit that helps me customise my workflow and experience with the various sites and their services. It's an integrated web, but where are the "browsers" that acknowledge this reality and orchestrate instead of simply providing a read-only experience. Sure, Safari has made a start on iOS with plugins, but it should go much further.




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