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New Mac browser!

 8:08 pm on Feb 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

Opera for the Mac has arrived in a technology (alpha) version:




 8:11 pm on Feb 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

OK, before I get all excited, I've got to go see what it supports... I don't think I could bear seeing all my sites with all the nifty jscript/DHTML doohickeys missing.


 9:37 pm on Feb 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

No, prioprietary Mshtml (dhtml) is not supported. (and this is a Alpha/Tech preview, a public Build 1 release - probably crash and burn bug city).

Might help you decide by reading the press release:

Opera 5.0 for Macintosh TP 1 supports the following features:
128-bit encryption
TLS 1.0
SSL 2/3
HTML 4.0
HTTP 1.1
JavaScript 1.3


 11:56 pm on Feb 26, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm not sure DHTML is quite the right word... The scripts I dug up seem to be a combination of javascript and CSS.

Definitely going to have to start doing some heavy research into such things... NS6 claims to be "standards compliant" also, and some of my niftier scripts don't work there either.

Heh... maybe I can make a name for myself by compiling a site full of Opera compatible/standards compliant scripts!


 1:15 am on Feb 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

Hrm... after doing a bit of research, it seems that DHTML isn't anything specific in and of itself. It simply refers to using javascript to change or set style properties for elements in a page.

The proprietary problem comes in because the Document Object Models (DOMs) used by various browsers are different. Netscape 4.x uses document.layers (and some other NS only stuff), IE uses document.all (and some other IE only stuff), and NS6 supposedly uses the W3C's "standard" DOM.

So if Opera were to fully support javascript, the W3C DOM, and interaction between the two, it would support "standard compliant" DHTML. Unfortunately, writing standard compliant DHTML seems to be a bit more complex than making sure browser detection works properly...

Besides, javascript was introduced with NN 3... so it started out as "proprietary" too. ;)

[edited by mivox, to include useful information]


 7:08 pm on Feb 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

The nice thing is that Opera, Mozilla/NS6, and IE5+ all support at least part of the W3C DOM. Layers and the IE DOM are only needed for compatibility with IE4 and NN4. Most of the new browsers announced in the last year or so have been Mozilla derivatives and most of the rest are IE ActiveX wrappers. W3C DOM supports looks to become nearly universal, although different implementations vary in their completeness.

For those interested in history, MS and NS both proposed their proprietary APIs as the basis for W3C DOM. The W3C chose the MS API and then modified it to fix various technical problems with it. MS and Mozilla then adopted the W3C DOM in their next major releases.


 7:59 pm on Feb 27, 2001 (gmt 0)

> at least part of the W3C DOM

That's the frustrating bit... I can get/edit scripts to work with BOTH proprietary DOMs, but if the "standards compliant" browsers are only supporting *part* of the "standard" DOM, suddenly my scripts don't work right, even after I edit them to detect and deliver W3C compliant code to those browsers. Not much of a "standard" yet, if nobody supports it *fully*.


 11:18 pm on Feb 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

Sure, but working around the missing bits in each browser is no worse than writing separate code from scratch for each one.

That said, I don't use a lot of JS/DOM tricks on my sites these days. It just hasn't paid off very well the last few years. It's hard to find anything to add that actually improves the site for the users.


 11:35 pm on Feb 28, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, if they all support their own complete DOMs, at least you can write separate *working* code for each... working around the missing bits can easily become making sure the page displays OK without the DHTML effects/functionality, because there's no way to get it to work quite right.


 2:27 pm on Mar 2, 2001 (gmt 0)

I've never been a big fan of blocking non-MS/NS browsers. Because of that, I'd be designing my pages to degrade gracefully on non-JS browsers and browsers with JS turned off regardless of the DOM situation.


 10:14 pm on Mar 3, 2001 (gmt 0)

Is Opera offering full CSS 2 support? I think Netscape 6 is only complete on CSS 1, and partial on CSS 2.


 9:21 pm on Mar 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

I don't *think* anybody's really close to CSS2 yet.

NS6 has some cool things I like (adjacent selectors are nice for specifying certain types of layouts) from CSS2, but as I recall, no released browser does, for example position: fixed. Of course, I've been asking for somebody (anybody) to implement a pref to treat position: fixed as position: absolute, so it's not like I personally miss that feature ;)


 10:12 pm on Mar 4, 2001 (gmt 0)

I was just skimming through the W3C spec [w3.org].
"CSS2 supports media-specific style sheets so that authors may tailor the presentation of their documents to visual browsers, aural devices, printers, braille devices, handheld devices, etc.

This specification also supports content positioning, downloadable fonts, table layout, features for internationalization, automatic counters and numbering, and some properties related to user interface."

The primary focus is accessibility for assistive technologies. A visual browser wouldn't need to take on all of this. And after all, CSS 1 support is still a bit quirky!

I assume that second paragraph above describes where the meat of the matter lies for visual browsers.


 10:34 pm on Mar 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

The first paragraph just refers to CSS's support for stylesheets assigned to specific types of media... e.g., you can provide a sheet for the screen and another one for printed copies of the page.

The deprecated presentational elements in HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0 don't provide you with that option. If you have a huge graphical background on the screen, anybody that prints a copy uses up ink/toner on the background image as well. With CSS, you can wrap the background rule inside an @media screen { }

I wonder if WebTV supports @media tv rules? That could come in handy.


 10:46 pm on Mar 5, 2001 (gmt 0)

According to the WebTV website [developer.webtv.net], they currently support a limited version of CSS1.


 11:02 pm on Mar 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

An interesting usage of the @media presentation mode for those with Opera 5:


The presentation mode, opens full screen, and then allows control on a page by page basis. Combine that with Java, Java Script, Plugins like flash - and who needs power point?


 4:35 pm on Mar 7, 2001 (gmt 0)

Great story on Opera for the Mac - from none other than Zdnet no less:

(check out the ad in the middle of the page - what an ad)


 4:56 pm on Mar 7, 2001 (gmt 0)


I am waiting for you to put Opera on your Mac to tell the rest of us chicken Mac users how well it works.



 12:43 pm on Mar 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

Tell you the truth, the Mac port sounds like it is the best first release port Opera has done yet. The Linux port has been slow to develop and was pretty poor first release quality.


 7:38 pm on Mar 8, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'm keeping an eye on it... still undecided. There are a couple of things about the functionality of the windows version I don't care for, so I'm still on the fence overall.


 3:23 pm on Mar 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

I'm posting this reply using Opera 5 and I am very impressed with it!

Mainly just because it is sooooooooooo fast! I am definately going to make this my default browser. I always seem to be having problems accessing certain sites with IE and NN but i accessed the same sites with Opera and no probs!! WOO HOO!!

I also like the ability to turn of images etc. I've never used any previous version of opera but I may even use this my PC.


 7:30 pm on Mar 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

knighty... are you on Windows or Mac? I heard the Mac version still had a lot of features missing.


 8:16 pm on Mar 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

Mac...features missing? definately getting the PC version


 10:03 pm on Mar 14, 2001 (gmt 0)

Well, the Mac version is a public Alpha... so it isn't expected to be finished or 'perfect' yet. Hopefully, the final version will actually have extensive standards support, plug in support, etc., etc.


 6:19 am on Mar 15, 2001 (gmt 0)

I really like Opera. I haven't tried any of the newer versions yet, I'm using 4.01 on PC (Win). Really fast, MDI interface (so no multiple windows in taskbar).

It only had one flaw. My pages use CSS (absolute positioning). The pages will render perfectly. However, when you scroll down the page, nothing renders (correctly) except what was in the original viewport. Background didn't show, fonts changed, etc.

So, unfortunately, when my server sees an opera browser, it serves up the same stuff as it would to Lynx.

If they've fixed this in newer versions, I'm switching.

The best thing about CSS positioning (and my Opera 4.01 supported fixed, not just absolute) is that you will never have to use frames. The site can have the look and feel of a framed page, but it's all contained in the same page. DIV's can be presented in any order, allowing your content to show up at the top of the source, before banners, ads, menus, which may be rendered before your content as with a framed page.

So far neither NS6 or IE5.5 support fixed CSS positioning. I'd really like to see them all do it.


 3:22 am on Mar 16, 2001 (gmt 0)

I haven't had the problem you describe with Opera 5, although I've had a problem or two with strange positioning of floats.

There was quite a bit of debate prior to the release of NS6 over whether to enable it or not. It was ultimately disabled. They didn't want it to become the sort of constant annoyance that NN4's CSS bugs became. Personally, I've been begging them to implement a pref to disable it before they release a branded browser with p: fixed support. I hate having sections of a Window scroll independently of each other.

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