Home How Opera’s Latest Beta Advances HTML5 Support

How Opera’s Latest Beta Advances HTML5 Support

Opera Software recently 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.

The latest version of Opera supports radial gradients in CSS3, which allows front-end developers to define the color and placement of circular gradients using only CSS code, rather than relying on images to create this visual effect. It also uses the newest version of the JavaScript standard, ECMAScript 5.1, and supports HTML5 microdata for search engines. Using microdata, developers can add semantic context to certain content, which allows Google and others to present it accordingly in search results.

“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.

Next week, Amazon will ship its Kindle Fire tablet with a new “cloud-accelerated” browser called Silk. It uses cloud-based infrastructure to make pages load faster, something Opera is already doing.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.