Opera 10 has evolved all the way to Build 1535, a development milestone that is labeled as Beta, despite not being quite a Beta in fact. Still, one thing is clear. Opera Software, the maker of Opera, is gearing up to take the browser from the Alpha stage onward. This is where Build 1535 comes in, a snapshot build with preview of the “new” skin, according to Jon Hicks, Opera Software senior designer. The release is designed to give end-users a taste of the upcoming graphical user interface of Opera 10, as far as the Windows and the Mac variants of the browser are concerned. Still, nothing is set in stone at this point in time.
“Things to bear in mind while you're playing with this: what you see here is neither complete nor final, and there will be more iterations before the final release. Some elements will still look like the current skin! Currently the skin is implemented for the default setup, tabs at the top, panels on the left, panel toolbar on the left and status bar at the bottom. Other setups will look a bit odd – for now,” Hicks stated.
The installer of Opera Build 1535 claims that the release is a Beta version. Checking the About Opera information also indicates that the current snapshot, made available for download on May 27, 2009, is a Beta. However, the developers building the browser are claiming that the Beta is still under way, hence the pre-Beta mention in my title.
“This build doesn't include the new features in Opera 10, so one of the reasons for the revised skin isn't there. All we be clear when the beta comes out,” Hicks explained, promising that Opera Software will provide additional explanations when it comes down to the new skin and the reasons for its implementation once the fully fledged Beta development milestone becomes available.
“We have also hit another issue no other browser has run into (yet!). By reaching the version number 10 we have noticed several high-profile sites and frameworks breaking because of wrong browser sniffing. Opera 10 gets (erroneously!) detected as... Opera 1. We have modified the UA string to read: Opera/9.80 (X11; Linux i686; U; en) Presto/2.2.15 Version/10.00. (or similar – depending on your platform). The 'real' version is added at the end of the string. We will publish a more detailed explanation of this soon. Please let us know if you come across some websites that break now because of this change,” Hicks added.