released the beta of version 11.6 of the Opera browser, furthering its support for some of the latest HTML5 features. The browser's latest update introduced Ragnarök, the company's implementation of the latest HTML5 parsing algorithm and includes support for a few things most other browsers don't yet offer.Opera Software recently
"HTML5 actually specifies how browsers should handle code errors," said Opera Web evangelist Bruce Lawson. "Before, browsers had to guess, and they all guessed differently. That led to a lot of site incompatibilities and meant more work for developers. Now that we have the ever-so-sexy unified error parsing as part of Ragnarök, I spend less time helping developers tweak their sites to work in all browsers and more time on my true passion - making double rainbows in CSS."
Indeed, Lawson used the new features to build a radial double rainbow on this page, although it will only load in Opera currently.
Opera says it's the first browser to support HTML5 microdata, which is a standard adopted by most major browsers for more visually distinctive search results. For example, Google uses "rich snippets" for results that include information about, say, a person or audio content, displaying search results for those pages differently than it would for a standard Web page. The feature also furthers the goal of a semantic Web by adding machine-readable context to pages.
Not a Top Browser, But a Standards Champion
Opera is by no means a heavyweight in the Web browser market, but it is important nonetheless. It has about 200 million users across the globe and in some countries it even enjoys a majority of the browser market. There are mobile versions of Opera for every major smartphone platform, Windows 7 and Blackberry included. It's also built into some gaming consoles like the Nintendo Wii.
Despite being a minor player in the U.S. browser market, Opera has always been an early adopter of Web standards. It was one of the first browsers to utilize CSS for styling and laying out pages, something that is very central to the way the Web looks today. Since then, it has generally done quite well on Web standards compliance tests.