The development of Opera continues apace and for anyone wanting to try out the very latest features of the browser have a new version to install. The latest build of Wahoo (the codename for Opera 12) is available for the first time as a 64-bit release for both Mac and Windows users and the latest snaps shot also features improved support for HTML 5 and CSS3. As with previous builds of Opera 12, it is possible to install this alongside your current stable version of the browser so you can try it out while maintaining the version you have become used to.
The move to a 64-bit version has been made possible due to a change in the way plugins are handled. Plugins are now run in a separate process to the browser itself – known as OOPP or Out of Process Plugins – which also not only help to improve overall stability, but the security of Opera as well. The move to OOPP also means that it is possible to run 32-bit plugins in a 64-bit browser and Mac users will find that there is now a universal binary available that includes both 32- and 64-but versions rather than making them available separately.
The two other major points of interest are the improved support for HTML5 and CSS3. This particular build sees support for HTML5 drag and drop, and while this is still something of an emerging standard, it’s god to see that work is taking place to ensure the best level of support possible. On the CSS3 front, there is now experimental support for CSS animations as well as updated support for transitions.
At the heart of the browser there is a new Presto core which gives the rendering engine a complete overhaul. If you’ve yet to try out some of the more experimental versions of web browsers that are being released, this is an excellent opportunity to do so. Despite the fact that it is still fairly early days for Opera 12, things are already shaping up well. For a full list of changes in this release, head on over to the Opera Desktop Team blog and the Opera Developer News blog.
You can find out more and download a free copy of the program by paying a visit to the Opera 12 review page.