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Vivaldi 1.0: First Official Release

| by James Chesters Follow 1 Followers on Apr 07, 2016. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

Update 07-04-2016: Vivaldi have released minor update to v1.0 to fix a small security issue.

Vivaldi has launched the first official release for its web browser built for – and with – the web.

Launched in 2015 by the co-founder of Opera Software, Jon von Tetzchner, the browser is unique in being built using only web technologies.

Vivaldi's UI uses React and JavaScript, as well as Node.js, and the core of Vivaldi uses Chromium. Von Tetzchner says the focus on web technologies in building the brower helps pages to render more quickly and accurately, providing more functionality in less time.

Talking directly to InfoQ about the inspiration behind the browser's creation, von Tetzchner said

Today's browsers are all made to be simple. That can be a good thing for some users, but for many it is not enough. People are spending a significant amount of time online with their browser, and want to be effective.

Vivalid Speed DialNot unlike older versions of Opera, Vivaldi 1.0 also features the Speed Dial capability, where a user's favourite sites and bookmarks are accessible from any blank tab.

Other features in Vivaldi include Tab Stacks -- that allow users to "stack" tabs atop one another, Tab Stack Tiling, giving users the option to see multiple pages at the same time, and a notes system that enables users to quickly select those quotes from the internet.

Supporting Chrome addons, the team says Vivaldi values personalisation highly and new to the 1.0 major release is several customisation features.

Vivaldi dark UIAlong with the option for the browser to change colour depending on the website is the ability to change the positions of browser tabs and address bar -- features that require add-ons to do the same thing in browsers like Firefox. Still in the pipeline for future releases of Vivaldi are both mail and sync functionalities.

Von Tetzchner says that, compared to earlier betas, the focus in v1.0 has been on details more than anything else, including more options and bug fixes, with the release "being mostly about stability, polish and details."

Asked how Vivaldi differs from its major, more established rivals on questions of privacy, von Tetzchner says they see the users "as our friends," and don't track users or their usage in any way, promising in the future "more privacy related functionality."

In terms of benchmarks, there are some surprising differences between Vivaldi, Chrome and Firefox. We three benchmarks on the browsres, SunSpider, version 1.0.2, HTML5 Test and Mozilla's Kraken 1.1.

In the first test, with Sunspider, a lower number is better. Vivaldi scored the best (the lowest) coming in at 166.5ms +/- 1.8%, followed by Firefox with 193.2ms +/- 6.8% and Chrome bringing up the rear with 206.0ms +/- 3.5%.

Using HTML5 Test to measure how well each browser supports HTML5, Both Vivaldi 1.0 and Chrome 49 scored 521 points, out of a possible 555, with Firefox 45.0 on 478 points.

Mozilla's Kraken JavaScript benchmark favours lower numbers in the same way as Sunspider, but brought further disappointment for Firefox, with Mozilla's browser scoring 1282.6ms +/- 1.5%. against Chrome scoring 946.0ms +/- 1.0%, and Vivaldi slightly behind with 960.2ms +/- 1.2%.

Following Vivaldi's 1.0 release, QA engineer Ruarí Ødegaard updated the company blog with the post Minor update to Vivaldi 1.0, mentioning the team had identified "an issue that could allow a malicious website to trick a user into thinking they were surfing on a different domain."

Ødegaard says the issue was fixed quickly, and Windows and Mac users will receive the update via Vivaldli's autoupdate system. Linux users should receive an update via the deb and rpm repositories.

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