Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Opera 9.50 Alpha 1 Build 9500 - codename Kestrel

Opera Browser 9.5 alpha release - codenamed Kestrel. For your everyday browsing, please continue to use 9.23, the latest version of Opera's free and award-winning browser. This release is all about you: we want to hear what you think about it, what we did right and what we didn't and how we can make it even better for our beta and final releases.

• The world's fastest...now even faster. Even though it's hard to imagine, we made Opera faster.
Following the release of Opera 9 last year, we re-wrote Opera's rendering engine for the coming Opera 9.5 release. As a result, Opera 9.5 contains more than a year's worth of speed, standards and performance improvements.

Some enhancements include:
* Faster and less-memory intensive ECMAscript engine
* A greatly improved layout algorithm
* The font-rendering speed is improved significantly, along with the tiling of bitmaps
* More responsive user interface

Internal benchmarks show up to 50 percent increase in speed compared to the previous core version in Opera 8. But, performance is more than just showing Web pages faster. Performance is about making your browsing experience more enjoyable and productive. In the past, we introduced much-loved and powerful features like Tabbed browsing, Mouse gestures, Fast Forward and Rewind, Speed Dial all designed to make you get more out of your time browsing the web. With Kestrel we add another powerful feature to this family:

• Synchronize: The preview
Log in just once. Then access your stuff anywhere, anytime.

A new Internet revolution is under way and millions of people are now surfing their favorite Web sites every day. But they're not just browsing on their computers. Instead, they're browsing from practically any device mobile phones, TVs, game consoles, PDAs. In fact, Internet users today tend to browse from various devices throughout the day.

This alpha version of Kestrel contains a sneak preview with support for bookmarks, Speed Dial and personal bar synchronization between desktop versions of Opera. To check it out, just click File - Synchronize with My Opera and follow the instructions. Get your stuff anywhere!

• Full History Search
Have you ever read something interesting, but then later struggled to find your way back to that same small portion of a Web page? Now you can say goodbye to that problem. With Opera 9.5, we introduce full history search - search the complete Web pages you visited, but without requiring you to bookmark them.
Unlike previous and other browser history searches which only look at the URLs of the pages you have visited full history search searches the actual content of the Web pages you have visited. When typing a keyword, Opera 9.5 will automatically search the text of Web pages in your history.
Moreover, we have directly integrated Full History Search into the URL field of the Opera 9.5 browser, making it extremely easy and quick to find what you're looking for.

• Status bar with Zoom and Image control
Opera's excellent zoom function and the bandwidth saving control of images are now made easily available on the Status bar. Tip: Add your own buttons like the developer console to the Status bar.

• Restore closed windows and changes in Speed Dial
Kestrel has an improved version of the much loved trash-can feature by adding support for opening closed windows, not only the closed tabs. You can also use the undo function now for Speed Dial.

• Improved BitTorrent™ performance
We added support for BitTorrent Peer Exchange to allow you to connect to more download hosts and improve your download speeds.

• Platform integration
We worked to make Kestrel feel even more integrated with your platform. Mac users can expect a nice new visual look and feel, while Opera for Linux will add a QT4 build, so you can easily adjust your skin to match the desktop. 64-bit Linux/FreeBSD packages will also be available.

• VoiceOver support
Kestrel adds support for Apple's screen reader "VoiceOver" found in Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. This allows visually impaired Opera users to more easily use all of the features in the browser. For more details, please see: www.apple.com/accessibility/voiceover

• Skin
Our skins in Opera 9.5 feature improved conformance to Apple Human Interface Guidelines. We have also added a new native skin with a brushed metal appearance, for those of you in to that sort of look.

• Mail improvements
Kestrel features great stability and performance to Opera's integrated email client, M2. We've added a new mail backend and new IMAP support. M2 is also much faster than in previous versions of Opera.
Note to existing M2 users: Please be aware that you will need to install this version on top of your existing Opera version to use this version for mail. Opera will then re-index all your email, something which can take several minutes if you have thousands of emails.

All that, and this is just the alpha. Even more amazing stuff will arrive shortly. Thanks for taking the time to evaluate.

NOTE: Opera 9.5 alpha will by default install separately from your previous version of Opera. If you choose to install it on top of your previous installation, please make sure you have proper back-up of Opera and M2.

Changes in this new version:
The rendering engine for Opera 9.5, nicknamed Kestrel, has been greatly improved, giving you better speed, better CSS3 support, and improved Ajax compatibility. This is the same rendering engine that is used by Wii’s Internet Channel browser, as well as Opera Mini 4 Beta. Site compatibility for Kestrel has also been improved, as Opera has fixed bugs with Google and Wordpress sites, as well as issues with Javascript libraries.

For sites that still can’t be opened in the Opera browser, you’re presented with the option to right-click in order to open it in another browser. This option is available for some files as well, but full support hasn’t been added for this feature just yet. Opera 9.5 also has the option to privately synchronize your bookmarks, giving you access from any computer. There’s also a full history search option, which scours through URLs and text of sites you’ve already visited.

Full Changelog

The Opera Mini 4 Beta has recently been released for mobile browsing.
See more details on Opera 9.5 alpha here:

Known issues:
* Kestrel does not currently run on Windows 95B
* POP server cleaning has been disabled: When disabling the "Leave messages on server" option, existing messages on the server are not removed
* [BUG 274975] Graphical smilies do not work
* [BUG 280261] Removing messages from filters does not work
* [BUG 277681] Some order lists are displayed as unordered lists
* [BUG 279302] Line wrapping does not work correctly in some cases, causing overly long lines of text and horizontal scrollbars; often seen at Wikipedia
* [BUG 280678] Files are often saved with the incorrect file extension
* [BUG 213115] Queued mail is sent at the next check, instead of waiting for manual action

Homepage: http://snapshot.opera.com/windows/

English only: Opera 9.50 Alpha 1 Build 9500
English Classic installer
Multilanguage: Opera 9.50 Alpha 1 Build 9500 International

Build: 9500
Released: September 4, 2007

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