Opera web browser version 10 alpha

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Image via CrunchBase

Newer, faster browser rendering engines are all the rage. Google released Chrome based on Webkit and V8; Firefox uses Gecko and is going to be using TraceMonkey for JavaScript. Apple made some noise a few weeks ago by releasing a beta of its Webkit-based Safari 4, now using Apple’s new Nitro engine for JavaScript. The improvements Microsoft has made to Trident and JScript are going to be a generation behind by the time Internet Explorer 8 finally officially drops in the next week or so.

All browsers have problems. Google Chrome is fast, but it completely botches the back button. Hitting the back button to return to a dynamic page – search results, for instance – and the browser asks you if you want to resubmit the page. It’s a recognized bug in Chrome that renders the browser useless for most daily browsing. The new Safari is the prettiest browser, and it’s fast, but it copied the Chrome bug and is unusable for that reason. Neither Chrome nor Safari runs on Linux. Internet Explorer is a good browser, when completely patched, but is usually the slowest. Firefox runs slowly on Linux, and its bookmark synchronization component is in beta and doesn’t work on 64 bit Linux, forcing users to rely on a plugin called Foxmarks.

One of the most exciting browsers that hasn’t been getting much press lately is Opera. Opera claims its Presto 2.2 rendering engine presents web pages 30% faster than the last version. Its Futhark is admittedly dated, but the Opera team is working on a new version called Carakan that will be much faster. Many of the most popular add-ons to Firefox are built into Opera, including web developer tools, the ability to block JavaScript and Flash, and bookmark synchronization. The new Opera is completely cross platform and supports synchronization and socialization through the My Opera community.

We’ve been using the new Opera 10 alpha for months now, and it’s performance is markedly better than Firefox 3. The only difficulties we’ve noticed is that when using Opera on Linux in conjunction with Synergy, some Flash objects viewed in Opera can cause Synergy to stop responding. If you’re a frequent user of apps that rely on heavy JavaScript rendering like Gmail, Opera may not be quite as fast as other options. If, however, you subscribe to our belief that JavaScript and Flash should be turned off unless needed, Opera will be much faster than anything else.

Try the latest development version of Opera, available at www.opera.com/next, and let us know what you think in the comments.

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Aaron Traffas, CAI, ATS, CES

twitter.com/traffas | aarontraffas.com | aarontraffasband.com

Aaron Traffas, CAI, AMM, CES, is an auctioneer from Medicine Lodge, Kansas. He is currently community evangelist for Purple Wave in Manhattan, Kansas. Aaron serves as the current president of the Kansas Auctioneers Association and in the past has served on the National Auctioneers Association Education Institute Board of Trustees. He is a past instructor at CAI and co-wrote and instructed the ATS designation course from NAA. He currently instructs the Internet Auction Methods course offered by the NAA. An active contract bid caller, he has competed in multiple state auctioneer contests including placing twice within the top 5 in Kansas.

During the summer, Aaron operates a farm in south central Kansas. Aaron is an active singer and songwriter and the Aaron Traffas Band‘s latest release, Enter: The Wind, can be found at iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.