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Vivaldi 4.0 (vivaldi.com)
469 points by 0x49d1 14 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 280 comments



Vivaldi Mail? That took a while :-D

Vivaldi is developed by a team created by the former Opera founder and CEO. Vivaldi kind of tries to re-create the spirit of Opera, but I think it's going to be too hard to do it.

For those who didn't use it, Opera was first a paid browser (which limited its reach), then an ad-supported browser (which again limited its reach). It then finally became a free browser but by then it was too late.

It had its own, super fast, rendering engine (I forget its name, Presto?). It had a built in email client, feed reader, calendar (unfortunately with no Exchange or Gmail integration), a notes app, a powerful download manager and even a Bitorrent client. And a TON of features and UI flexibility.

It was super compact, a marvel of engineering and UX design that managed to pack all those things in a package of about 5MB at the time, and you wouldn't even see or load the extra functionality like the email client if you didn't use it.

Unfortunately with HTML5 and the Chrome-ification of the web, it couldn't keep up :-(

Vivaldi tries to do the same on top of web techs and web techs just can't handle it. Web techs are almost as flexible but they're really slow and bulky.

Still, I wish them luck.


> Vivaldi kind of tries to re-create the spirit of Opera, but I think it's going to be too hard to do it.

Oh, it's definitely recreating the experience of Opera. You encounter an annoying bug, you report it to their private bug tracker, and then they'll fix it in two years. Maybe. If you're lucky. And you don't get to know its status in the meantime. And the macOS version still feels like an afterthought sometimes.

Still better than Chrome and by far better than Safari.


> they'll fix it in two years

Seems pretty quick, at least compared to Chromium / Firefox ;)

> you don't get to know its status in the meantime

Toward the end of Opera's life (pre v15) either an employee or a member of the community (can't remember which) did actually set up a public bug tracker tracking the status of publicly-reported bugs. It didn't show comments or anything like that: just the original bug description, report date & status. So that was... something at least.

They did also give private bug tracker access to a subset of community members, by invite.


Yeah you can still ask people who have access to look up the status of a bug for you[1]. It just feels so needlessly convoluted. Since they're already using Jira, it shouldn't be too hard to set it up with proper access controls so you could see your own tickets, at least. They must have some reason to not do this.

[1] https://habr.com/ru/company/vivaldi/blog/561834/#comment_231... (in Russian)


Amount of years old bugs with zero activity while they keep working on new features.

Opera/Vivaldi CEO is really adamant about hiding both staff and user counts. Vivaldi even removed itself from User Agent string.


If memory serves, they removed the user agent because one of the Google properties was serving it substandard HTML/JS even though they use the Chromium engine.


Yes that is likely the case.

All browsers wants to use a unique user agent.

It is the only way to prove market share => $$$.

But it is ridiculously difficult to modify it without breaking sites.

Take a look at your own user agent.

It is likely it identifies itself as gecko/mozilla/chrome/safari/IE/KHTML all in one.


Think about it for a second. They removed the very most important metric for a product selling content leads and placement (search bar default bookmarks, placement on the start page) because _one_ website had a bug?

They removed it because they claimed Google was sending substandard markup on purpose.

I dunno, I've submitted four bugs. One solved within a day, one after 20 days, and two still unresolved as far as I know. It could of course be better, I don't think it's quite like you describe.


Those two remaining bugs still have the opportunity to be resolved after only 2 years. Or 4.


I guess I had it good, I was using the Windows and Linux Opera versions. The Windows version was always solid.


I used it exclusively for about a year (iirc) on Linux and had only some minor crashes. When they switched to Chromium I switched to Firefox and never had a single crash since. (It's not only luck, I disable all the feature-creep I know of in about:config)


do you possibly have a list of those to share please?

That list would be very long :D

If you have some time you can look through:

- all the .enabled entrys in

- all the .disabled entrys

- https://github.com/arkenfox/user.js


I vividly remember how it took them several months to make Opera display Flash content correctly (at 2x scale instead of a blurry upscaled-after-rasterization mess) on retina displays when I just bought my macbook. Other browsers had it done in a matter of weeks, days if you installed a beta build. And that was 2012, back when flash was an essential part of the web.


Well the first release of Opera with chromium was 2013 so it was clearly being abandoned at that stage


Flash was not an essential part of the web in 2012. Maybe, if you had some weird work tool you had to use, some video players on the web but that was mostly it. In 2012 flash for Android was killed and it was very well known that it was going out of the window in the near future.


Many video players were still using flash. VKontakte still had its flash app/game platform going strong, though you did have the option of using an iframe that loaded a web app from your server instead. Flash support was only discontinued there around several years ago.


I personally remember being rather annoyed when our uni project in 2012 had to be built with Flash and AS3 as it was well known that flash would get the axe in a few years.

We had the option to use JS as well but it wasn't in the curriculum and 4 out my 5 person team didn't want to do any of the extra work.

Even if Flash was used, it was mostly video players and some online games (like Newgrounds). I think YouTube came out with their HTML5 player in 2012 so Flash was definitely moving into a more niche status and I don't consider it essential after Flash based sites went out of fashion (which was closer to 2008-2009. HTML5, ECMA5 and CSS3 (or just HTML, JS and CSS as it's known today) largely made flash redundant before 2012.


There;s a difference between still being around and being an "essential part" of the web.

Flash was almost certainly not an essential part of the web. 2012 was 5 years after the iPhone and by then Android and iPhone constituted the majority of web browsing, and neither supported flash at all.

You couldn't very well say something was an essential part of the web if it wasnt supported on those devices in 2012.


That's because Opera (and now Vivalvi) cares more about building as many features as possible than stability or even consistency of the experience.


Loved Opera back in the day. It had "page specific settings" that would let me allow to set HTTP/Socks5 proxies on a per-page setting - today you cannot even set a proxy anymore without changing your system settings (not browser settings).

If anyone asks, I used this heavily to bypass country blocks/redirects on a per-page level and also with privoxy on some privacy invading sites.


> today you cannot even set a proxy anymore without changing your system settings (not browser settings).

you can in firefox settings

you can also do it in chrome with the cli parameter --proxy-server


> you can in firefox settings

Obviously a remnant from the Netscape codebase. They will fix it.


I still miss Opera 12.16...


You can do some basic routing using the domain name or the IP via an advanced proxy, such as v2ray. Shadowrocket on iOS also supports this.

Firefox has proxy settings. Socks5 is bugged though. Doesn't support user/password authentication.


And don't forget the ability to run a web server from within the browser. Opera was sometimes buggy, but it was really the first "browser as an operating system".

foxyproxy does this. i set up a ssh passthrough and routed foxyproxy with only specifed pages to use local proxy which meant they would be routed through the ssh. it worked for what i wanted


I miss Proxomitron


> It had its own, super fast, rendering engine (I forget its name, Presto?). It had a built in email client, feed reader, calendar (unfortunately with no Exchange or Gmail integration), a notes app, a powerful download manager and even a Bitorrent client. And a TON of features and UI flexibility.

And don’t forget its MDI interface [1] which made using all those features a joy and is still today better than all the tab implementations of modern browsers (for power users at least).

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple-document_interface


Just to clarify in case someone's wondering, a browser named Opera still exists and gets updated now, but neither the people behind it nor the underlying technology are the same as in the old Opera this post is referring to.

As an old-time classic Opera user since version 5 or so, I do use the current Opera because I find it somewhat better than Chrome (it has more built-in stuff, including mouse gestures, Whatsapp/Telegram support, etc. I hate the barebones browser+extensions model) but unfortunately it's miles behind the old Opera experience.

I have also tried Vivaldi, and while it's a worthy effort, I'm sure many people will love it and I recommend trying it, it's missing one of the Opera characteristics I valued the most: Opera had practically zero UI lag/latency, whereas Vivaldi is rather slow, as the parent post says.


Vivaldi is exactly as slow or fast as any Chromium-based browser. A this point I've surrendered to the notion of the web never getting faster, but just eating away any efficiency gains in computing.

I like Vivaldi for the feature set. It's rich enough for the regular power-user, but the presentation is straightforward enough that you don't feel like you need to pimp your browser like you would Emacs. I felt home with Opera, and I feel home with Vivaldi now.


> Vivaldi is exactly as slow or fast as any Chromium-based browser.

That is not my experience at all. I tried a few different versions over the years (including the beta with the mail client, but not yet this 4.0) and the UI always feels ... slow, and not quite snappy enough to be comfterable. It's really hard to describe this and I'm not the kind of person who quickly gets annoyed by this sort of thing, but for me personally it's too much and every time I tried it it was annoying enough to give up after a day or two. It's like using some remote connection with X or vnc (okay, maybe not quite that bad, but definitely reminiscent of that).

In comparison, Chromium or Firefox doesn't have this at all on the same computer.

Maybe it's a Linux thing; I don't know. I can imagine it's not the highest priority for them. A lot of it seems in the UI layer (and not the rendering layer), which is vastly different from Chromium. I hope they will improve this at some point (and I'll try out this version, too) because outside of this Vivaldi looks pretty neat.

I still miss Opera Presto :-(


Fullscreen takes ~1 second in Vivaldi. Closing a Tab takes 300-1000ms. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uCA2qIIG1M


Try the same test with Vivaldi 3.7, 3.8 or 4.0... They've optimized the browser interactions quite dramatically so it's much faster than the video shows. But... It's still slower than Chromium's UI.


Vivaldi UI got significantly faster exactly two times from product inception. First time was a random Taiwanese hacker reverse engineering it, noticing they were resizing _all background tabs_ every time you resized browser window, and sending them a patch https://github.com/WillyYu/vivaldi_1.7. The second time Vivaldi themselves speed up Tab open operation, and only this one operation. "tabs open twice as fast. increasing speed up to 2x" sounds impressive until you measure 400-500ms instead of previous 700-900ms, versus ~16ms in Chrome (one screen refresh).

You're absolutely right, the painting, or whatever you call that, of the UI elements of Vivaldi itself are definitely sluggish.

I was thinking of the normal in-page stuff. My apologies if I misled anyone.


There is a noticeable delay when opening a new window or moving a tab out of the main window. This happens instantly on Chrome/Edge/Brave.

I've tried switching to Vivaldi at least 5 times since release, but can't get used to this delay.


As someone who now uses Vivaldi as their daily driver I can vouch that it's a bit slow, especially on older hardware. Obviously it's not intolerable, but it would be nice to see some improvements in that area.


If you ever get curious how can UI be so slow, after all "its just js, js is fast", here is how they handle closing browser Tabs currently:

https://www.reddit.com/r/vivaldibrowser/comments/nrasof/fix_...

tldr: Tab bar is just a DIV full of SPANs, one SPAN per Tab. Pages are in a list of DIVs containing iframes. Switching a Tab is a simple process of moving "active" class from one SPAN to another and changing style of one iframe to "visibility: hidden; z-index: -1;" while another one gets "visibility: inherit; z-index: initial;". So far so ~good. So how does Vivaldi handle Tab close? You would guess closing a Tab would entail

    - switching iframe visibility away from Tab being closed first - instant visual feedback for the user
    - removing SPAN representing Tab we want closed
    - maybe fixing widths of remaining SPANs
What actually happens is a horror show normally reserved for second semester CS students trying OOP for the first time. List of all Tabs gets traversed multiple times, most of them rewritten couple of times, everything generating individual DOM changes.

10 Tabs open and you close the first one = ~30 DOM Reflows.

100 Tabs open and you close two in the middle = ~300 DOM Reflows.

100 Tabs open and you close first 10 = ~3000 DOM Reflows.

Stuttering UI is the staple of Vivaldi, codebase is full of functions running in linear/polynomial time to the number of Tabs open/Tab position on the list, in places where O(1) is trivial. Vivaldi is a browser that used to Resize contents of every single Tab opened when you resized its window - resizing was slower the more Tabs you had in Tab bar :o, going fullscreen could take 10 seconds.


I always thought they're slow because of JavaScript, but not because of crappy code!

That actually explains a lot.

It would be interesting to know if they lose a lot of users because of slowness, but since it hasn't been fixed, I guess they don't?


Internally they might even believe Vivaldi is FAST (capital letters) https://vivaldi.com/blog/vivaldi-fires-up-performance-2/

Every bit of speed feedback is met with /impossibru, works great here/ from the staff.


That's AWFUL! But it does explain things...


I use a browser probably 12 hours per day. Maybe there's enough people willing to pay a dollar or two a month for that to be a possible business model again.


This honestly sounds like a great idea. At this point I'd pay money for a browser that was private, fast, and dev-friendly, simply to avoid the moral dilemma of switching from FF to a Chrome clone.


What's wrong with Firefox?

It's an honest question, since as a user I really love it. Is it the 'dev-friendly', which Firefox lacks?


FF is my daily driver (since Quantum in '17) but I've found it really just isn't holding up these days:

• Profiling functions between Chrome/FF reveals that Chrome is frequently considerably faster (usually 60%+)

• During WebGL work I'll often hit blue screens around memory management (this seems to be a relatively recent development)

• Similarly, trying to profile a WebRTC application with video feeds will consistently trigger a blue screen. (I can tell this is from FF, as the browser itself flashes white a few times before the system goes down.)

• Things like the UI changing - while minor - are enough to cause inconvenience, plus the occasional random feature removal (View Image context menu option) indicates that I'm not necessarily the target audience for the browser.

I actually slightly prefer the devtools in FF than Chrome, but there are a number of quirks that have started appearing over the past year or so, ranging from actual bugs to just weird UX.

As I write this, I'm realizing I'd love a browser that's seen more as a devtool than a catch-all web navigator which happens to have a profiler built in.


If WebGL and WebRTC are causing bluescreens, that is probably a GPU driver bug (though I realize that users don't care whose fault a crash is). If you have steps to reproduce, even if not 100% reliable, you can file a Firefox bug in Bugzilla. Mozilla has contacts at Microsoft and can pass along the bug.


Yeah, no user application should cause a blue screen of death or kernel panic under normal circumstances, unless it is either a bug or they're messing with something from the kernel (but in this last case, you generally need to run the program with high privilege anyway).


This is a distant ideal with today's GPU drivers. Browsers go to heroic lengths to rewrite graphics API calls and recompile potentially hostile code originating from WebGL to avoid tipping over crashy GPU drivers.

What normally happens with native GPU intensive apps is that devs change their code to work around driver and OS crashes, and if the app becomes popular, GPU vendors will react to frequent crashes from that app with driver fixes.


Thanks. You make a few interesting points. It just doesn't seem to hit me so bad as an average user.

I actually liked the UI they implemented in Android. Alas, I seem to be in a minority


I actually quite like the mobile browser, it hasn't really given me any issues yet. The fact it supports add-ons like uBlock is awesome.


One small thing in the latest redesign: if you have two tabs, one active, one not, the visual cues suggest exactly the opposite. The active one seems like a clickable button, the inactive one seems pushed down and not clickable.

After misclicking hundreds of times, I still couldn't train myself to go against my perception and follow the designer's "bold vision", using it feels like writing with my left hand or steering a bicycle with a crooked wheel.


Might want to check https://color.firefox.com


This is the way. Additionally I went into about:config and set browser.proton.enabled to false, which fixed most of the issues I had with the new design.


ah then i'm not the only one. i had to change color scheme.


There are salty power users of the old insecure XUL based plugins who can't let their deprecation go.


Still a Firefox user. There is really no alternative for me that don't drive me crazy.

That said:

I'm not salty because they replaced XUL but because they mostly gutted it without replacement.

I'm salty because they pretend we are a community whenever they want donations but write as if we are enemies when we try to ask very nicely about something that is missing and has been missing for years.

I'm also salty because they really haven't been clear about donations not going to browser work but to all kinds of niche projects.


I'm salty because WebExtensions still can't do something as seemingly simple as bind global keybindings years after the transition. I actually supported the switch, but back then I was optimistic about missing features being added soon.


The new UI overhaul looks awful, they killed most useful plugins with the big update awhile back, and ideologically/politically Mozilla has become equivalent to an impoverished Google so personally speaking I'm horny for something new in the browser space


My biggest issue is, running it with a 4k resolution on Windows seems to be considerably slower than Chrome (Intel graphics). With a full-hd resolution I didn't notice the difference and on a different PC running Linux I don't have any performance issues either.


Is Safari an option for you? (Mac?)


Safari is about the least dev friendly browser there is. Their API support is atrocious, especially for web extensions.


Perhaps Orion will be of interest to you (WebKit fork with web extensions support, I am the founder)


Really interesting project, will check it out!

Though I'm not sure what they are up to exactly, isn't this what The Browser Company [1] is trying to do?

[1] https://thebrowser.company/


If it had a decent search agent in it, without ads, I'd pay for it.

Because, let's be honest, advertising sucks and anyone that thinks advertising and search belong together sucks even more.


This is what neeva tries to do, it’s currently free in beta.


They've actually added option for donations: https://vivaldi.com/contribute/


I believe Opera was the first browsers to introduce tabs.


It also had mouse gestures, right click drag left to go back, right click... swirl? to reload... felt like I was casting spells!


I think that came during the period of Black & White by Lionhead Studios. (which was a milestone in using gestures to cast spells by swirly your mouse around)


They where released within one month of each other.


And Opera openly admitted that they copied B&W there, because they considered it a very useful feature. It even came in a sub-version, which at that time was somewhat unusual for such an important feature.


> right click drag left to go back, right click... swirl? to reload

I still customise my Chrome and Firefox mouse gestures add-ons to work exactly this way, despite having long forgotten where those conventions originally came from.

Other gestures I have, probably also from Opera:

DL: Left tab

RL: Right tab

D: Page Down

U: Page Up

RLR: Close tab/window


Mouse gestures, right click scroll between tabs, closed tab history & current tab history. I thank Opera for showing me the way.

Sadly the last two were killed off in Firefox in that last big add-on update. I didn't find anything that works since then.


I was an avid Opera user around 2004. True MDI interface, mouse gestures...come to think of it, that was the peak of my web browsing.

Sure, my current browser supports the latest web standards that enable great things and sure, my internet speed is a lot higher. But just from a "browsing the web" perspective, Opera was the high point.


And the reason I don't use Vivaldi today is that it doesn't support trackpad multitouch gestures.


Reload was up/down.


No, it was not. That's a popular myth, but it's wrong. There were other browser with Tabs before opera event tried them. And Operas first attempts wasn't really Tabs in the modern sense. It was just a poor working button-bar for an MDI, which was a bit cumbersome to use. They fixed it two versions later, around the time when the feature gained attention in other browsers and even Mozilla Suit got it's first Extension that became so insanly popular that it was build into Phoenix (later renamend to Firebird, then Firefox) out of the box.

Though, Opera tried many things in that area. There never really lost the MDI-Spirit and went with different approached than most other TDI-Implementations. Made it more useful for some, more complicated for others. So for certain specific functions they probablly were the first ones.


I'm pretty sure Galeon had tabs before Opera, but maybe something had tabs before Galeon.


According to Wikipedia, Netcaptor was the very first browser to have tabs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tab_(interface)#History

However, Opera supported an MDI interface before it supported tabs, and if you count that it may have supported multiple browser windows within one MDI window even earlier, which could be said to be a form of tabs.

Everything depends on how you define "tabs", as usual.


I thin kyou misread that. Wikipedia says InternetWorks was the first browser with Tabbed Interface, released 1994.


And in a HN thread a couple weeks ago someone posted about how “everyone” switched to Chrome because it invented tabs, if you want to know what today’s web developers think.


I loved tabs in Galeon, it's the only browser I remembering having it at the time, but I probably didn't try Opera. I was sad when Galeon went away (or removed tabs? I don't recall) and I couldn't find another browser with tab support for a while. Again, I may have overlooked Opera :)


Galeon was also the only usable Linux browser having a native look on Gnome (Epiphany was the other one, but I remember it having more difficulty with a lot of sites). It embedded the Mozilla engine (which was a supported use case back then, before Firefox) but launched a lot faster. Usable on a 200Mhz machine at least.


(Galeon had mouse gestures, too!)


It also had a built-in pop-up blocker which none of the other browsers at the time had.


Yes, years before other browsers had tabs.


Opera had some ridiculously powerful keyboard shortcuts and performance as well for the time. I used to play this web game years ago and past beginner level the only way to compete was to use Opera because you could use a combination of keyboard shortcuts to send attacks/defences from multiple tabs within milliseconds.


> Opera was first a paid browser (which limited its reach)

I'd argue that this, in combination with easy availability of pirated serials (and the actual quality of the engine, of course), contributed to Opera popularity because "why use freeware when you can use premium software (which other people supposedly even pay for) for free".

I believe this works so if I were going to release a commercial app I would make sure to put some serials on pirate sites.

Even today, if you release a new Chromium-based browser, make it paid but easily piratable it probably is going to enjoy more popularity than if you release it for free.


Not to forget Opera Mini which did server-side rendering for mobiles. Results were WAP-like quality and mostly sucked (by nature of device's capabilities back then).


I disagree. Opera mini allowed me to browse the web almost normally (I was using a Nokia E65) and I never really understood why I regularly see people saying the iPhone brought internet to smartphones or something of the sort.


I also used Opera on my old Symbian phone. Probably the number of iPhones after two or three years was larger than the number of mobile devices that people actually used to browse the web before the iPhone. Nevertheless where I live (Italy) the number of Android devices were always greater than the number of iPhones. I'm thinking about the Galaxy S and S2 in the very early 2010s and the other flagship phones of the day. So, the iPhone brought the touchscreen to the masses (the iPod too), Android brought the mobile internet.


Yes I give them touch screen. I admit I was a touch screen skeptic (the kind of person who became mad when someone would touch a screen so doing that on a regular basis seemed a really bad idea to me ^^) and did not get a phone with a touch screen until much later, when they were basically the only option :)


Disagree. In 2007 I used a Nokia 6300 (https://i.imgur.com/5ezXN1R.png) and I had an unlimited data plan for €10/month (because, who was going to use a lot of data on 2G on a small feature phone?).

I used to smoothly browse the web on it using Opera Mini. It had a simulated mouse and rendered most stuff excellently.


Opera Mini is still a thing.


Yes, I gave it a spin for old times sake. It's now full of ads, sometimes even popping up in lockscreen.


Also, during the days of Symbian OS Opera Mini was the best mobile browser available. I remember logging into my bank account and actually doing a transaction on my Nokia N73 running Opera Mini.


Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.

- Jamie Zawinski


What do you mean "on top of web techs"? Aren't all browsers web techs...??


The Opera UI was built using Qt widgets. So native, C++ code. The Vivaldi UI is built using React, I think.

Native UIs are much faster than web UIs, for example.


doesn't this also apply to Firefox?


'modern' browsers use/incorporate a lot of the tech that is used to build web-sites(-apps). i.e. convergence of content and presentation


Forgot to mention that China owns them, so say goodbye to data privacy.


I still use Opera 12, by the way. Works fine for about 75% of the web. For the remaining, I use Vivaldi!


Not my experience. I use it out of nostalgia, but only for select sites. Many sites with modern SSL config won't load. Click a random link that lands you on a js-heavy site and the browser will stutter or often crash. Which is impressive because back in the day opera once had the fastest js engine by a mile. Goes to show how far V8 has come.

But browsing traditional sites that just have a little bit of js and are mostly static still feel faster to navigate on this 8 year old browser than the most recent chrome.


Well, I browse without Javascript, so maybe that's why it works.

And I've got a keyboard shortcut to open the current site in Vivaldi as a fallback.


>It then finally became a free browser

Clarifying it became a freeware browser which even after the end of its life remained closed source.

>but by then it was too late

It was the third most popular browser in the pre-Chrome era after IE and Firefox.


The Vivaldi mail thing must have been in the works for a while. Since very early on, they offered an email address at their .net domain. It wasn't integrated or an email client, but they had that aspect setup early on.


it abandoned the Opera engine though, to focus on the UI experience

so, technically not very different to Brave although many users are led to believe it kept the former Opera render codebase


it forces you to provide a phone number to use it. I'm out... too invasive


Kind of off topic, but what do you mean by chrome-ification of the web?


Chrome is taking over the web and a ton of features start/are only in Chrome. Youtube had a "bug" which made it 2x slower in Firefox, for example.


Yep, it's the IE thing all over again.


> Unfortunately with HTML5 and the Chrome-ification of the web, it couldn't keep up :-(

One of the worst things to happen to the web was for Google to start pushing at a speed and scale only they could keep up with.

The web is theirs now.


paid => ads => free. How is a 'free browser' supposed to pay its developers?


They licensed the browser for devices like set-top boxes and similar devices. There was also money coming from Google (for using it as a default search engine). I guess they had also some business model built around Opera Mini and relations with mobile providers.


Did you say that desktop should be subsidized by non-desktop browsers?


I didn't say it should, I just summarized what Opera did.

I want to offer Vivaldi some praise, I switched to it as my main browser a few years ago, and it's been great. I had to look for a new browser when Firefox (that I had used since the Firebird days) kept breaking my settings and plugins with their updates. After yet another Firefox update I wasn't able to restore the browser to how I want it to be, so I tried Vivaldi.

I'm not even a big fan of the original Opera, but love Vivaldi's features such as easy screen splitting between two tabs and one-click actions to disable images or apply certain filters to a page. Picture-in-picture and pop-outs for media are also great, periodic tab reload is occasionally very useful.

Ideally I'd like to use a fully FOSS browser, but my patience with Firefox ran out, and Vivaldi is Chromium + custom open-source parts + closed-source UI layer. Good enough for me, though not ideal.


Same. Huge fan of Opera 12, I was active in their community sites and reported bugs when possible. I'm glad to see them all coming back.

I'm skeptical of trusting Vivaldi Sync with my passwords, so that's turned off, but I use Vivaldi on my Linux desktop and Android phone, syncing bookmarks, notes, speed dials. Works great!

It's also hackable in the sense that the browser chrome uses plain old HTML/JS/CSS, so you could literally dive into `/opt/vivaldi/resources/vivaldi/style/common.css` and change the way the browser looks (may have to re-patch after every browser update).


>may have to re-patch after every browser update

I remember having some kind of flag on pacman, back when I was using Arch, to do that automagically.


I'm on an Ubuntu based system, so an apt-get Post-Invoke hook would do the job for me [1]. I haven't bothered though. I just manually run a bash script that appends my !important changes to the end of the file.

But apparently there's an official way to apply CSS mods using vivaldi://experiments/ and Settings > Appearance

[1] https://www.cyberciti.biz/faq/debian-ubuntu-linux-hook-a-scr...


I hadn't even thought of tab tiling as a feature I might need until now. Just took a look and seems incredibly useful!


If you want tabs and tiling in every program, you should give a tiling WM like Sway or i3 a try ;).

We've had tabs, tiles, tabs of tiled grids, grids of tabbed groups, floating tab groups of grid layouts, etc. for a long time. It's interesting to watch apps re-invent these window managers in different ways.


To me tab tiling is invaluable. I just wish it had session syncing, that would be great. I use Vivaldi a lot.


Vivaldi does have session syncing.


Also Vivaldi is faster.


I find this statement a bit puzzling. Vivaldi is the slowest browser I've tried in recent years. The couple times I used it I always went back to Firefox after a few weeks because I couldn't stand the sluggish UI anymore. Maybe it improved by now, but I find it hard to believe it's now supposed to be faster after Firefox' massive performance updates.


It’s weird how this cycles. Firebird/Firefox was originally an amazingly light browser (discounting some niche Linux ones that embedded Gecko).

Then it got huge, and Chrome was amazing. And it seemed impossible for FF to be able to work out the technical debt.

Now Chrome often makes the fan kick in on my MBP and Firefox is lighter again in CPU and memory.

I think Safari is probably best in this regard on this machine, but I just don’t enjoy using it. Not sure why. Maybe I’m old and it’s just change.

Sadly, I did hit my first work website that only worked in Chrome this week. No FF, no Safari.


> I think Safari is probably best in this regard on this machine, but I just don’t enjoy using it

Safari always gives me the feeling of being too basic. The extension ecosystem is very small, and settings panels try their hardest not to actually give you any options beyond the essential ones. It's a browser for people who endure the web, not enjoy it.


Safari's respect for battery life and ability to limit the harm a misbehaving/disrespectful tab (which is lots of them, these days) can do to overall system responsiveness are what keep me using it, and those definitely help me enjoy the web, to the extent that it can be enjoyed anymore. It's the best at both of those of any major browser I'm aware of, and in fact I don't know any that are even close—something like Surf might match or beat it, I guess, being very small and using the WebKit as the rendering engine, but I wouldn't bet on it.

[EDIT] but yes, FF and Chrome/Chromium destroy it on a feature basis. I just value those other things so much, and both of those options are so bad at those things, that I prefer Safari anyway.


I don't think your last sentence is a particularly generous summation. :)

Maybe I'm an anomaly in the HN crowd, but I never really got into extensions even when I was using Firefox or Chrome as a daily driver. I have an extension for 1Password, an extension for a read-it-later service (for years Instapaper, lately GoodLinks), and somewhat grudgingly, an ad blocker. And sometimes a user style sheet extension. I've tried other extensions at various points and they've never really stuck, not even the "vertical tab" style extensions that I want to love but always find ugly and distracting. (OmniWeb, RIP, is the only browser I ever used that had what I thought was a great implementation of this.)

And I use Chrome daily at work now, because there are a few internal sites that require it (and one that inexplicably requires IE 10, which Chrome turns out to be better at faking than Safari), and... it's fine? But it feels just a little slower, it's harder on the battery, and there's very little about it that I miss when I'm back in Safari on my personal Mac. Maybe if I was deep into web development again, this would change, since Safari's dev tools always seem to be a few steps behind Chrome's. Maybe there's some magic can't-live-without extension I could find on Chrome or Firefox that would sway me to stick with one for the long haul. But for years, I've enjoyed the web, and I've enjoyed it on Safari. [shrug emoji]


I didn’t like Safari at first either, but after using it for performance reasons I prefer it in general now. Simple sane UI and it helps that it syncs to my phone and table seamlessly.


I switched to Vivaldi from Chrome earlier this year as I was uncomfortable with the level of Google integration in that browser.

Vivaldi is based on Chromium and has lots of improvements over Chrome, like gestures out of the box, side panels, lots of clear options. And Chrome extensions work perfectly. I've had no issues so far.

The complexity of managing a browser engine that does what everyone expects requires humongous resources so I can understand the move to Chromium. As long as the google bits are removed and the extensions work, it's great to have an alternative to Edge and Chrome.

I mostly use Firefox as my daily browser and nothing would make me abandon it but it's nice to be able to segregate your various professional/private persona using different browsers.


You can always use multiple ("specialized") instances of portable Firefox (with MultipleInstance=true in ini file). That's how I do it, and I've been using portable Firefox versions exclusively for 10+ years, I think.


You are probably already aware, but there is an official extension that offers this functionality via sand-boxed tabs: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/multi-account...


Thanks for reminding me to try that again.

Last time was a couple of years ago and I had some trouble between instances but maybe I didn't do it right.


If you want Chromium sans Google, Ungoogled-Chromium or any QtWebEngine-based browser should work much better.

Ungoogled-Chromium is what I use when I want to use a feature in Chromium Devtools that isn't available in FF, or when I just beed to test my site in Blink.


How are you installing Chrome extensions without signing into Chrome first? I find I cannot install any of them for Vivaldi without signing into Chrome (which sort of defeats the purpose)


I've been using Vivaldi as my main/work browser for the last ~1 year. Tab tiling and tab groups have been absolute game changers for my workflow and curbed my objections departing from the firefox camp.

It used to feel quite slow with too many open tabs when I started using it, and would improve by hibernating them every now and then (which is built-in functionality). It seems to have improved significantly with recent releases, haven't had to hibernate tabs for quite some time now.


I really tried to like Vivaldi, and it could be a good browser, but is so unbearably slow. The whole UI is unresponsive. Opening a new tab can take almost a second. Price for javascript apps I guess.

edit for clarification: This was on OSX, on Windows it was OK.

Used it for almost a year as a secondary browser, no change, gave up.


I found a bug that slowed it down a great deal. It was the fact that they put multiple `filter` styles onto the tabs, even when those filters did nothing useful. It was still extremely taxing on the GPU driver.

But, since you can customize the UI with your own CSS (there's a hidden setting you need to enable first, in vivaldi://experiments), I put a simple `* {filter: none !important}` in there. After I did, it felt as if I bought a new computer.

The fun part? They still haven't acknowledged it. Even after I gave them the exact steps to fix it.


I just did some tests and was unable to replicate your results. I'm on an i5 2019 Mac, and Vivaldi takes about 200ms to open a tab, with or without CSS filters. (200ms is bearable, but it is slower than I would like.) I have Hardware Acceleration on and Use Animation off.


Can you give more details? I can see how to enable custom CSS, but where I go from there? Where to put the custom CSS?


Settings -> Appearance. There will be a section to choose a folder with your custom css files.


I may be obtuse, but I am not seeing that on Vivaldi 4.0 on the Mac?


https://i.imgur.com/21ueqSf.png in the lower part of the window (I'm too lazy to switch the language sorry).

You need to restart it for the checkbox to take effect.


Which part exactly is being slowed down by these filters? Could you post a link to the bug report if it's public?


I'm not sure about the internals, but when those filters are there, the GPU process causes a lot of CPU load on every frame. So much that it often hits 100% of the single core it uses before it's able to draw at 60 fps. Oh and it redraws the tab bar a lot. It redraws it every time you scroll a page, and it continuously redraws it when there's a tab playing audio in order to animate those waves emanating from the speaker icon. Yes, it redraws the entire tab bar for a 16x16 animated icon.

They unfortunately don't have a public bug tracker.


Settings/Appearance/Window Appearance: disable “Use animation”


Where did you report it? I'd like to take a look.


VB-60356


Do you have an older machine, or is it even slow on new machines?

I tried Vivaldi last year on my computer which is about ten years old now. Vivaldi was extremely sluggish (Chrome and Firefox still run fine), I was hoping to come back to it once I upgrade my computer.


My experience with an 10 years old computer with win 7 is that firefox is slow and vivaldi is faster. I don't use chrome. On Android vivaldi is much faster than firefox.


It was a relatively new hw, MB Pro 2017. No issues with other browsers.


After the 3.7 release they've improved UI responsiveness quite dramatically. In my laptop (i5, 8200U), opening a new tab or settings used to take 1 to 2 seconds, but now it hovers around 250~300ms.


It is indeed bloated. Its main redeeming quality in my opinion was that it was the only chromium-based browser that allowed sideloading extensions freely, but now that's gone too since Chrome and Brave have apparently started allowing it as well.


Odd because the one thing I remember about Opera from back in the day was how fast it was. This was back when Firefox was king amongst in-the-know users but IE6 was most popular overall. Opera was so much faster and smoother than everything else.


Opera was fast and stable, especially with more tabs open. Way into the Chrome era too. Too bad Google used it's monopoly to drive other browsers to death. Only Firefox survived really.


Is it based on electron. - drum roll - :)


No :)


That just means it's based on chromium, which makes sense for a browser.


But not that much for a new/mail reader -- even 100% native Mailmate sweats with my 50k message GMail archive. While it may work for casual users, I'm not really that convinced it is the killer feature Vivaldi users are expecting.


I'm trying Vivaldi again since as an expat I depend on single-click in-browser translation.

For me, the killer feature is built-in no-nonsense vertical tabs, something I had in Galeon many years ago because it used the Gtk+ tab widget. I hate hate hate that Chromium cannot do this, because dogma.


Vertical tabs without the 'tree' aspect (at least when I last used Vivaldi). Firefox with Tree Style Tab extension is still the best option I've found so far.


I switched from Firefox + Tree Style Tabs to Vivaldi + Tab Stacks and I mostly prefer it. The ability to tile tabs within a group is the killer feature, as well as it being much better supported by being native. Stack by host is great too. The big tradeoff is that you only get one layer of nesting, but I find it's generally worth that tradeoff for me.


FWIW, Microsoft Edge also has vertical tabs.


Neat! I'm not the grandparent poster, but I also can't stand horizontal tabs, probably because I'm a tab hoarder. But with screens wider than they are tall, vertical tabs make sense, and each new tab doesn't truncate all other tabs' titles.

I looked up MS Edge's implementation, it seems it only shows the tabs either on top or on the left of the window, with Vivaldi you can set it at any edge of the window, I have mine on the right side.


Indeed, for least distraction, content should start at the top left of the screen. For this, I already had my tabs on the right, but now I am trying bookmarks/address bar at the bottom.

Not sure I'll keep it this way ... but what I ♥ about Vivaldi is the choice. If I wanted training wheels, I would already be using macOS.


Sorry, you lost me at 'Microsoft'.


https://spyware.neocities.org/articles/vivaldi.html

Seems like your bar is low, but not that low.


The last update was made in 2018. That's a long time. It would be nice to revisit this now that they've have added more services (Mail, translations, expanded Sync) and see their impact to the browser's privacy.


Got anything more current than 2018?


Perhaps that was to be expected after you wrote that you used to use Galeon.


I'm surprised it took this long for Vivaldi Mail to come out. I believe it was teased relatively early on in Vivaldi's life although I don't envy the developers that had to work with IMAP.

I am glad to see that some love given to RSS in a browser since it's been marginalized in all mainstream browsers. It's frustrating to see a refuge of decentralized media consumption be thrown away considering privacy concerns.

I am not the biggest fan of the licensing policy along with the inclusion of a third party translating service but I welcome any competition to the market.


For IMAP they seem to use emailjs-imap-client that is written by myself for Whiteout.io a long time ago. IMAP command tags are still prefixed with `W` that would stand for [W]hiteout. Nice to see my old code being useful :D


The translation service is hosted at Vivaldi


Off-topic, but: does anyone know how Vivaldi is funded? I tried looking for it for a bit, but couldn't find any income streams.



They spoke about this business model in the release post too.

I’m just finding it really hard to believe that it’s sustainable and makes them enough money to run a team…


> I’m just finding it really hard to believe that it’s sustainable and makes them enough money to run a team…

Firefox is funded the same way, and they seem to have plenty of income...


Firefox makes the vast majority of that income via their Google partnership. Vivaldi claims they do not get paid by Google.


Firefox makes the majority of that income via their Google partnership today. Recently, the majority of it was coming from Yahoo.

The browser's market share will ultimately determine the market value of the search partnership, so Vivaldi will likely have a much lower income from it than Firefox, but it's in no way limited by whether they partner with Google or with any other search provider. For a smaller more efficient team, not maintaining their own browser engine, it could easily compare in sustainability to Firefox's income stream.


I’m not sure, but I have a feeling the majority of Vivaldi users wouldn’t be using google


Frankly speaking, I’m pretty sure most users of both Firefox and Vivaldi are using Google.

But my point was more around how the minimal amount of money coming from other search engines or sponsored bookmarks can’t sustain a browser dev team.


There were a couple years recently Firefox was primarily sponsored by either Yahoo or Bing (can't remember which) and that deal supported the entire Mozilla foundation same as the Google deal as well as Firefox (which also makes their own browser back end) not just a browser front-end dev team.

So there are definitely other decent sources of income besides Google for these deals and since it's a significantly more focused organization it doesn't seem implausible to me.


These deals are based on market share, user activity and usage, and so on. No search engine is paying Vivaldi as much money as Yahoo or Google did to Firefox. It would be laughable to expect that kind of sponsor money for a niche browser that also reduces ad tracking. That’s how these things work.


It'd be laughable to expect Vivaldi needs the exact same 600 million dollar search deal that floats the entire Mozilla foundation to fund a custom Chromium UI.

As I said, there are definitely other decent sources of income besides Google for these deals and since it's a significantly more focused organization it doesn't seem implausible to me.


It was Yahoo.

But here's why there's confusion. Yahoo search at the time (or shortly before or after) switched to using Bing's search and ad engine.


that link doesn't work: Error establishing a database connection


You can access the archived version: https://web.archive.org/web/20210506194445/https://vivaldi.c...

The short version is: they get money from things like search engine deals, which guide Vivaldi users to third-party services.


The ad blocker is also set up to allow ads that support vivaldi by default.


It did work before we killed it. HN (and other news sites) hugged the Vivaldi site to death :-D


Seems like the website was hugged to death...


Haha, that'll teach me for thinking I can find information just by browsing through the menu items. Thanks!


By merchadising their produc... er... users! :)

That being said, according to their blog, browser users aren't tracked or profiled by Vivaldi.

They claim to make money from search engine partner deals and from bookmark partner deals. And to be honest, I have no reason to think that the statement isn't true.


If it's free, then you're the product. Or will eventually be, plenty of projects have started out with good intentions and a noble cause only to be ultimately bought out, userbase and all. Creating something like Vivaldi 4.0 is not cheap, someone has poured cash in - who that is, I think the end-user should be entitled to know.


They at least have some sponsored bookmarks if you don’t configure them bt yourself.


For an open-source recreation of Opera 12, there is Otter: https://otter-browser.org


I used Otter as a second browser for some time, but, despite all my empathy from the project, a few years ago I stopped.

- Installing and upgrading was a pain on Linux, and compiling was even worse. At first there were no AppImage for it. Then they were created but at first they were half-broken (the whole process of creating an AppImage is hacky and Qt projects were especially hard). It seems the AppImage broke again in 2018.

- The web engine comes from Qt. IIRC, it's an old fork of webkit. Many sites were not compatible, and I suspect the situation goes worse with every year.

I recommend trying Otter, but don't expect it to replace your everyday browser.


It's in the process of switching to QtWebEngine, which is the Chromium version.


Thanks for the link!

Browsing the source code, I love the author's habit to make a code commit every single day [0]. That looks like a powerful way to move the project forward while avoiding fatigue.

https://github.com/OtterBrowser/otter-browser/commits/170f36...


I use Vivaldi regularly for one reason: my company has disabled access to the developer tools on Chrome and FF. With Vivaldi (being Chromium) I have full access again!

Just don't tell them I told you ...


what was the company's reasoning to disable access to the developer tools on Chrome and FF? why?


I don't have the precise wording to hand but it was along the lines of "security, protecting assets, etc, etc"


My company does this too. Try installing Firefox in a nonstandard location, that fixed it for me. Now I enjoy regex search, unlock origin and tampermonkey and have little more peace of mind.


>regex search

Meaning search over within browser window i.e. “Find in Page”?


No. Find in page is dumb text match. I use an extension that let's me construct full regular expressions to search through the page. Comes very handy from time to time.

I'm a long time Firefox user and I still use Firefox for personal use. However my workspace is Google Heavy and Google Meet is a 2nd class citizen on FF. I hate chrome, and Vivaldi is the best blink based browser that fills this niche. I just love the tree-style tabs and Vivaldi was the only blink based browser that provided that. I really love it so far, and it's perfect for my use case.


Since discussions about the browser’s approach to design philosophy and privacy are coming up in this thread, I’ll just flag that I did an interview with Jon von Tetzchner earlier this year where he talked about some of those things, as well as the lineage with Opera: https://tedium.co/2021/02/05/vivaldi-browser-history-profile...


Using Vivaldi as my main browser since a few months ago. Tab grouping and tiling is great. The side panel is neat for checking on Skype without installing the app.

I didn't experience any slowdown, but not being able to drag and drop files from downloads is a pain in the ass. It's been brought up on the forums and left at that years ago.


Looks pretty good, but I'm a bit sceptical of the translation feature. They introduce it by saying Google has access to everything you translate, so therefore you should instead use their service, which sends the texts you translate to their servers in Iceland.

The formulations try really hard not to say "trust us with your data instead of big tech", which seems like an attempt to hide the fact that they do have access to everything you translate, much like Google would have... The only question is who you trust more - Vivaldi or Google?


One thing is for sure. Vivaldi isn't in the ad tech business, or if it were it's not the biggest ad tech business in the world, and does not have any precedent in wanting to know everything I do, write, read, search, talk with to build an ad profile.

Who do you trust less with your most personal data - Vivaldi or Google? I think the answer is pretty easy.

It's just that, if you're the average person, you're already being spied upon massively by Google and you're trying to figure out if a company orders of magnitude smaller is a credible threat to your data.


Vivaldi.


vivaldi :)



I really want to like Vivaldi. It's the only browser (afaik) that supports tabs on the side. Right now I use "Tree Style Tabs" on Firefox with some custom CSS to get rid of the original tab bar.

Unfortunately I get a massive delay when fullscreening youtube videos in Vivaldi. The video first maximizes to the left half of my screen, and only then expands to the whole thing. Sadly a dealbreaker. FWIW its a little faster if I have the browser already maximized.


edge supports vertical tabs


To complement:

Since as early as October 2020 on testing [1] and as early as January 2021 on stable [2].

[1] https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/articles/vertical-tab...

[2] https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/deployedge/microsoft-edge-r...


I can't use Edge for one stupid simple reason: Ctrl+Tab can not be made to cycle tabs in most recent use order, only in the order tabs are displayed. It is especially weird considering Alt-Tab in Windows does most recent.

I switched from Vivaldi to Edge because unfortunately Vivaldi become unusably slow for me beyond a certain amount of open tabs (hopefully just a bug they'll fix eventually).

I miss the little search bar for tabs that Vivaldi shows in the vertical tabs view.


Have the Vivaldi developers confirmed whether or not they'll continue supporting Manifestv2? I think I heard something along those lines but I Can't remember where.


I'm not seeing this exact question answered elsewhere, but since Vivaldi is based on Chromium, does it have any code that randomly reaches out to remote servers (including but not limited to Google) aside from, of course, those which are requested by web page content?


Almost (1) all of it got removed or has option to disable, altho not always clearly explained (2).

(1) it touches Vivaldi server on startup.

(2) "Google Service DNS to help resolve navigational errors" equals https://medium.com/cloud-security/google-chrome-dns-security...


Thanks!


“ Simply put, the era of blindly trusting Big Tech is over.”, but why should I trust small tech? How are these privacy features compared with Apple?


It is really hard to subpoena a server in Iceland. Iceland gave asylum to Robert Fischer despite huge press from US to extradite him.


I like Vivaldi but I do enjoy using my main browser also for web development. BUT, they do a browser for power users but couldn't care less with developers since they haven't fixed the broken responsive mode in the developer tools.

Gonna keep using Brave...


Using Vivaldi as my main browser for several months now. There are some problems with Google Docs, but other then that almost everything is fine. I really like company's attitude to its users, various researchers agree that they really don't leak what they say they don't. Firefox is superb too, but mobile browser experience is not there yet (I mean the new Android browser). Brave is another option, but I feel that Vivaldi is way more under my control and made "for me", even considering that Brave is open sourced.


> As Vivaldi Mail supports IMAP and POP3

And there was me hoping for Exchange-Sync support for Microsoft 365 email integration, to release the local reliance on Outlook 365 which gets worse with every revision :(


I've been using Thunderbird at every Microsoft infested company I've been at for approaching ten years now. It works fine for email, address book and accepting invitations etc. The only thing I have to use the (awful) web interface for is making appointments, but I rarely have to do that. There may be a way to make it work but I haven't bothered to look.


Doesn't Microsoft 365 support POP3? My workplace uses that horrid mess called Microsoft 365, Office 365 or whatever name it has today, and its Outlook, but I can retrieve the emails from GMail connecting via POP3. But I don't know if you're looking for some more advanced functionality (not much of an expert in email, I just did the first thing I found to be able to process my email in a tolerable UI, it worked, so I moved on to more productive things).


For Mail/Calendar/Contacts/Tasks type syncing, you really need Exchange-Sync.

Once you've experienced all three working seamlessly on a mobile phone against Exchange (Online or on-prem) you realise how fragmented other 'Mail' sync systems are.


Ugh, me too! First thing I checked but no ability to add exchange.

Unfortunately my org does not publish exchange as IMAP either.


Doesn't backing a chromium-based browser like Vivaldi or Brave push the industry further toward browser monopoly? (or at least in the rendering engine sense, as we once had with IE)


If you want to use a different engine, there's a plethora of Webkit2gtk-based browsers to choose from. GNOME Web (aka Epiphany) and Eolie are two good options for a basic experience; vimb, Luakit, and Nyxt are more advanced options.


I mean I just use Firefox. Unless you mean you can use those engines within Vivaldi?

I assumed the context was alternatives to the "big four", excluding anything Blink-based.

If Vivaldi were fully open source I would probably use it. But it's not.


It's great there are alternative browsers but being closed source and requiring a phone number is worse than Chrome.


Require a phone number?


https://login.vivaldi.net/profile/id/signup

Last line on the page: "Before using Vivaldi Webmail and the blogging platform, we’ll ask you to verify your phone number. That’s it."


It is otherwise impossible for a small company to provide free email.


What you mean is free email that (supposedly) delivers to hotmail? I could pass out email addresses to everyone on my floor and it wouldn't cost me a dime.


Free email as in the sense of email service like hotmail or gmail, not an email client.

AFAIK Vivaldi is Webkit/Blink based so it'd be interesting to read a reflection on why the original Vivaldi code base was abandoned, if its abandoning was regretted, and on the state of the Web as a sustainable media format in general.


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