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Opera Developer 23.0 adds support for unprefixed CSS transforms, fails to ignite user imagination

14 May 2014, Nick Peers

Opera DeveloperOpera has unveiled Opera Developer 23.0, a brand new version of the alpha build of its web browser. Version 23.0 contains little in the way of eye-catching headlines, but has been used to showcase the browser’s new flexibility with regards to web standards.

Its headline feature is support for “unprefixed CSS Transforms”, which accompanies another update to the underlying rendering engine.

CSS Transforms allow developers to apply various 2D and 3D transformation effects to page elements, including scaling, rotating, moving and skewing. The full changelog shows a lot of minor tweaks and improvements are also being implemented in Opera 23, while the update also includes previously introduced features from version 22 (and now available in Opera Next 22.0), including updated themes and minor improvements to the Windows installer to remove the UAC dialog prompt during updating.

Opera Developer 23.0

Websites sporting the CSS Transform effect can now be displayed in Opera without developer prefixes.

Perhaps mindful of the lack of eye-catching new features in this first development release (as well as Opera Next), Opera is keen to highlight a number of ongoing projects that may or may not bear fruit in terms of actual browser improvements in the next few months.

These include working on improving the browser’s bookmarking tools, which were the cause of much anger among Opera veterans when the browser first switched to its rapid-release cycle.

Developers have also been looking at Mozilla’s PDF.js technology, which powers Firefox’s internal PDF viewer, and concluded that it’s a “very valid candidate” for incorporating into a future build of Opera as its own default internal viewer.

While these changes are all very welcome, it’s already clear judging by responses to the company’s blog post that users are largely underwhelmed by the seeming lack of new, headline-grabbing features.

Opera Developer 23.0 and Opera Next 22.0 are both available now as a freeware downloads for adventurous Windows and Mac users. Both can be installed alongside each other as well as Opera 21.0 FINAL.

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