Opera have released a new version of their browser – V11.10, otherwise known as ‘Barracuda’. This improves the speed of the Turbo traffic compression service and expands the SpeedDial interface to provide quick access to an unlimited number of sites.
Barracuda is now available for Windows, Linux and the Macintosh and it uses a new version of the Presto rendering engine ( 2.8.131). Also the engine has support for WebP, the ‘lossy’ image format that Google have open sourced last year.
Opera say that it has boosted the speed of Turbo while improving image quality. Turbo uses a series of proxy servers to compress web pages before sending them down to the browser. Opera’s own lab tests show that the new Turbo provides 35 percent smaller pages and is 15 percent faster than the version bundled with Opera 11.
WebP is interesting and we have discussed it before at Kitguru, it is derived from VP8, the video codec Google acquired with their purchase of On2 Technologies last year and then open sourced as part of the new WebM media format. WebP is in theory meant to be replace JPEG.
Google said “Most of the common image formats on the web today were established over a decade ago and are based on technology from around that time. Some engineers at Google decided to figure out if there was a way to further compress lossy images like JPEG to make them load faster, while still preserving quality and resolution. “WebP … promises to significantly reduce the byte size of photos on the web, allowing web sites to load faster than before.”
WebP uses lossy compression, just like JPEG, and removes small parts of images to save space. Google have used similar techniques from VP8’s video intraframe coding to the image coding algorithms.
Opera have also tweaked the browser so that if you visit one that requires Flash it can automatically download and install the Adobe plug in, in the background. Grab it for yourself over here.
KitGuru says: Better than Firefox?