Opera developer team has been at it again. While I have been moving, the wizards at Opera Labs have managed to wring a bit more than 50% improvement from the JavaScript engine, and added a number of other enhancements to the browser.

While I was moving, the dev team has released two new updates, tentatively called Opera 10.60. With them both being alpha releases, you might think that the work would be fast and sloppy, but the second one was released a couple of days ago and I have been using it for a time on my [de]Celeron 1.5GHz laptop, and the difference is quite notable. Perhaps those with dual core or better machines will have to concern themselves with the changes in the user interface, as the many changes are very nice, and make for some features that many will appreciate.

The address bar works as it does in Chrome, allowing searches for things without changing where you type. Not a big deal for me, but if you want your user to have  common feel with Chrome and Opera, you have it.

The menu bar has been changed slightly, and makes for a nicer look if you have Windows Vista or Seven. For XP, there are changes for the better but they are not nearly as dramatic.

From the Desktop Team blog:

I hope all of you aren’t tired of testing just yet. Because mere hours after releasing the previous one, here is yet another Opera snapshot (YAOS) for testing!
For Mac, we have fixed a significant SVG drawing/animation regression from Peregrine, and optimized the start-up sequence to make it faster. Two crashers introduced with 10.60 Alpha 1 have also been fixed.
For FreeBSD and Linux, we have numerous font fixes, improvements to X11 mode, and the KDE file selector freeze is fixed.

Known issues

  • The User Agent states two different Presto versions
  • Icon replacements for internal pages are stretched in the tab hover previews
  • Web fonts not working on Mac
  • Java is not working on FreeBSD/Linux
  • IME is not working on FreeBSD/Linux

WARNING: This is a development snapshot of Opera. It is released for testing purposes, and there may be serious bugs and unfinished features.
Download

Though this is an alpha release, the basics are solid, and I’d use it if you are using the Windows or Mac versions. If you are using the FreeBSD or Linux versions, you might want to hang back for a while, as there are more known glitches. Still, if you have the need for speed, you might want to jump in anyway.

The team has about three projects out for inspection right now, and they are all good. If you want to see the latest features as they appearing, this is for you…

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