9 marzo 2015

Interview with the team of Vivaldi, the new cross-platform web browser based on Blink

1) Why did you choose Vivaldi as your brand name?
We wanted to have a name that is easy to remember, internationally recognisable and without requiring translation, and innovative. Vivaldi's music was considered to be quite innovation back then.

2) Which technologies do you use in the software? And why did you choose them?
We are using the Blink rendering engine from Google (Chromium). For the UI we are mainly using modern web based technologies (one of them being React.js). We chose Blink since it's the most used rendering engine out there making sure we can render as many sites as possible in the way the user expect. As for the UI we chose modern web based technologies since they are flexible and offer opportunities to implement UI elements that otherwise would be very difficult to implement. An example is the chameleon toolbar color change adapting the web site's color scheme.

3) Did you think about open sourcing your codebase before starting coding?
No, to be frank, we didn’t think about that. We wanted to get the product out as soon as we can and get feedbacks from people. That has been and is our focus. For us, that is the most important thing.

4) How do you code? Which programming techniques do you use in your team?
We use C++, and javascript. Our UI is mainly done using Javascript which is quite unique as far as web browsers go. On the other hand it's natural to use web technologies in a product which is designed to render the web.

5) What's your opinion about W3C standards compliance? Will you implement vendor-specific CSS extensions?
Standards compliance is pretty important. Web compatibility continue to be an issue and all browser vendors including us need to make collective effort to keep the Web compatible. When we are introducing a new features, say CSS, we need to be careful. CSS vendor prefix enabled a way to turn on certain feature for specific browser but it caused lasting issues in return as we know.
We’ve discussed among browser vendors how new feature can be introduced without breaking the Web. We need some coordinated effort.

6) Which features will make your browser recognizable with respect to Maxthon, UC Browser, Yandex (all browsers based on Webkit/Blink)?
We have some unique features that are available in another browser such Notes, Tab stacking, Advanced Speed dials etc. However, it’s not just a list of features which would make us unique. We focus on user experience. There are many details that we try to make it right so that when users use those features even existing features available in another browser, it works better. Clearly, we are focusing on power users, so our design decision is catered toward that segment.

7) Which is your business model?
Our business model is to generate revenue through partnerships with search engines, e-commerces sites, as well as other content partners.

8) There will be a Modern UI version?
There will only be one version of Vivaldi as far as the UI goes. The design you already see is the one we will build on moving towards a final release. We are also looking at a mobile version of Vivaldi.

9) Some people criticize Google Chrome because it's becoming a "memory hog" (cfr http://gizmodo.com/fuck-it-im-going-back-to-firefox-1685425815). How will you handle the memory usage? Do you plan to favor performance or resources usage?
As you know we are using the Blink rendering engine from Google (Chromium) so Vivaldi's memory usage initially not differ drastically for that of Chrome/Chromium, but over time we will work on the rendering engine possibly pulling more performance out of it than any other browser currently using it. We will also work on memory management and again, we will work on the code reducing memory consumption to an absolute minimum without sacrificing performance.

10) Some people think that there's lack of browsers using QT libraries. Whats's your opinion? Would you consider using it?
We would not consider using Qt. We do not have experience with it. We strongly feel that to create a modern efficient web browser application, Web technologies is a great choice. It gives us lot of flexibility and enables us to support all 3 major platforms with very small development team.

11) The Webkit / Blink developer tools are awesome. Do you thing there's space for improvement? I noticed that at the moment it doesn't dock to the window as in Chrome for example.
There's always room for improvement, also in this regard. We will begin looking at how we can implement and possibly improve on the developer tools currently offered in Chrome. We have some ideas already :)

12) In a world where everyone wants to drop 32bit support, you chose to add it. Why?We are creating this browser for the user. We decided initially to drop 32 bit, but had so many requests for it that we decided to include it. A lot of what you will see included in Vivaldi will come from our users in addition to the features you currently see.

13) A certain browser uses data compression, do you plan to introduce a similar feature?
We have not decided whether to include those kind of technologies. Again, we will be listening to our users and analyze the market. If it turns out that this is something people want and/or need we will consider including it.

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