Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha debuts with much needed CSS support

By HTMLGoodies Staff

Opera's recent release of their Opera 10.5 Pre-Alpha has shown significant improvements in its support of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript, and has provided a glimpse of what should be the standard for the future of other web browsers, and developers are taking notice. Opera's new JavaScript engine, which is called "Carakan", has brought it up to speed with the Just In Time (JIT) JavaScript engines already in use in browsers such as Safari, Firefox and Chrome. In this release, Opera has put itself on par with the latest standards of ECMA Script v5, with support for JSON encoding and decoding, which should be a nice holiday gift for web developers. In regards to CSS, this release includes support for rounded borders, box-shadow, transforms and transitions, and multiple backgrounds. This means that developers will now be able to use the full functionality of CSS to make their websites function and appear correctly in the Opera web browser, which has been a thorn in many a developer's side for far too long. Opera 10.5 also makes use of a new "Vega" engine which features GPU-acceleration to render web pages, which is a good thing since Firefox and MSIE 9 also have Direct2D acceleration rendering in their future. The Vega engine uses DX9 rendering, which should work for those who are still using Microsoft XP--which is only a minor step up, considering that Direct2D is still limited to Microsoft Windows Vista/7 Operating Systems. One technology was notably absent from Opera's new release--the support for HTML5 video! While they did release a version of Opera 9.6 that did support HTML5, there is no such support in this release. Given that three of the most popular browser already support the technology, developers have already pined that Opera needs to step up to the plate and add this to their browser's toolbox, which would further encourage MSIE users to make the jump to one of the "other" browsers. Opera's release of the new browser have given developer's hope, however, and provides them with another browser that they can actively include in their list of "must have" browsers to work with in their development efforts. Given that this is a pre-release version, they still have time to make some changes and add support for those oft-requested features that will push Microsoft further away from the domination that its browser once held.

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