Opera 10 Alpha: Web Fonts, Acid 3 and More

Opera 10 alpha has been released. Don't look too much at the UI, as this alpha showcases the all-new 2.2 version of Presto, Opera's core rendering engine.

The developer relations team (David-not-Dave, Mills, Henny, Andreas, Zi Bin, Shwetank and me) have travelled Iceland to Indonesia, Capetown to Cardiff, Mumbai to Moscow via Massachusetts, gathering user requests and feedback, and we then engaged in frenzied bouts of snow-wrestling with the Presto developers to get those requests included.

So I'm very pleased to announce that the Opera 10 alpha highlights:

  • Web Fonts - finally, the ability to embed any font in a web page using CSS or SVG so that you're no longer limited to a tiny choice of typefaces. (See our CTO's A List Apart article, CSS @ Ten: The Next Big Thing for a discussion of what this can do for you).

    Apart from sexy typography, Web Fonts can help with internationalisation, as pages that are written in non-Latin scripts can embed the correct font rather than risking the "WTF glyph" (the square box) that appears if a character on the page isn't supported on the client.

    Note that our implementation does not support the Internet Explorer EOT format. While this is before the W3C and may become a Standard, for the foreseeable future it's proprietary and is a form of DRM. Opera believes in open standards and therefore we support the non-DRM W3C Web Font standard. Richard Rutter has an excellent discussion of how this opens up new business models for font foundaries.

  • Acid 3 test - we score 100/100 on the Acid 3 test (download the alpha and take the test yourself).
  • RGBa and HSL - new ways to specify transparency of colours.

  • Opera Dragonfly our developer tools now add live DOM editing and a network inspector.

  • Selectors API. The selectors API is experimentally supported in Opera 10 alpha (we don't implement it on the DocumentFragment nodes). Those of you who find jQuery attractive because it uses CSS-type selectors to target elements in the DOM will find the selectors API similarly user-friendly.

Read more about the advances in standards-support in Presto 2.2, or better still download and play, baby. And watch this space…this is just the first alpha release.

Please, let us know what you think. We're listening.