A look at Otter browser beta 1

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 2, 2014

When Opera Software released the first Chromium-based version of the Opera browser back in July 2013, it was clear immediately that it would take a long time before the browser would offer most of the features that made previous versions of it popular.

The third-party project Otter browser was launched back in December 2013 and a first public alpha version followed soon thereafter in January 2014.

The Otter Browser project aims to replicate the old Opera as much as possible without losing its own identity in the process. The author plans to integrate what made Opera great into the browser.

A first beta version of the web browser was released yesterday, reason enough for us to take another look at the browser to see how much progress has been made in the meantime.

When you install the most recent version and run the program afterwards, you will notice that the interface has not changed much if at all.

otter browser beta 1

If you compare the screenshot to the previous one you will notice that it looks more or less identical. That does not mean that it is still the same version though, as improvements have been made in the meantime.

The changelog highlights all changes that have been made since the initial alpha version release back in January. Here is a short list of the most important feature additions since that release:

  • Proxy support added.
  • Option to disable referrer added.
  • Support for keyboard shortcuts and actions added.
  • Added delayed tab loading.
  • Middle-click on address field pastes and loads clipboard contents.
  • User-Agent configuration added.
  • Error Console added.
  • Bookmark keyword support added.
  • SSL Cipher priorities can be configured now.
  • 18 language translations now available.

Considering that the browser is not backed by a company it is fair to say that progress has been made. While there is still a long way to go until most of Opera's functionality is integrate, it looks as if the project could achieve that goal before the "real" Opera browser reaches a comparable goal, at least in regards to the features that Opera Software plans to integrate.

This is definitely one of the more promising projects which is why we will keep an eye on it to see how it evolves. Interestingly enough, the browser is currently only available for Windows and Linux, and not Mac systems. That's more or less comparable to the Opera browser but with the difference that it is not available for Linux but for Windows and Mac systems. (thanks Deskmodder)


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  1. SuilAmhain said on June 5, 2014 at 12:25 am

    I genuinely miss Opera for browsing more than I thought possible. FF is fine, but it’s not Opera 12.
    New Opera is a joke. I imagine their user numbers have disappeared.
    Opera unfortunately did need to get a “main stream” rendering engine, but why ditch the UI and community as well?
    Everything Opera was annihilated for profit??? I really can’t imagine there is much of that going on.

    1. Andrew said on June 5, 2014 at 12:31 am

      I believe they ditched the community to focus more resources on the browser, as for the UI, If I remember correctly, it was the result of switching to the blink/webkit engine. They couldn’t just throw the engine into their browser as everything had to be reworked. I’m more curious why blink instead of gecko.

      1. chugmug said on July 19, 2014 at 2:10 pm

        why blink over gecko?
        ’embedding’ was what i read, moz corp made it impossible to use gecko in anything other than moz browsers.
        that and the need to be compatible w/ mobile websites (which are written for webkit & alike engines).
        plus moz corp’s browser has no uptake on mobiles (see pt 2).

        ta ta…

  2. Shadess said on June 3, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    Hey guys I won’t take any of this opera negativity. They just went up a whole version number and added a new background…err…theme! Oh okay maybe opera’s new direction does suck.

    Most of the updates they do are basically “updated to new Chromium” + added one tiny feature you could basically have made in 5minutes yourself in the old opera. I’m talking to you new “heart menu”.

  3. ACow said on June 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    It’s nice to see a new project pop up.

    There are four important non-standard features for me when it comes to browsers: responsiveness, customizability, ad blocking, mouse gestures. Opera covered them all. I hope he can bring some of those back in the future. I’d actually love to see a Blink-based browser with customizable interface.

    1. sades said on June 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      That’s what everyone hoped when Opera announced blink adoption, they have been utterly unable to even get 10% of that. Heck it took a lot of sh**storm to make them implement a f***ng bookmark, bookmark.

  4. sades said on June 3, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Did what Opera can’t, and this is an effort initiated by a single person. I hope he grow enough to be a company from this browser, I have no love more for Opera company.

  5. theMike said on June 3, 2014 at 2:57 am

    nice, now that firefox does nothing but crash every time i open a new page.

  6. jackal said on June 2, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    Opera WAS such a nice Browser.

    Now however, surely even they must be wondering if they made a mistake.

  7. Ficho said on June 2, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I’m waiting for support for (Chrome ?) extensions.
    I am also disappointed with Opera (Blink) development.

  8. Andrew said on June 2, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I might have to check this out. Sadly, Opera’s development has been disappointing with each update, and they are miles away from what Opera 12 was like. I finally gave up following them and having their browser installed when I couldn’t set ddg as my default search.

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