Opera 12 alpha downloadable soon

Summary: Opera 12 will have almost totally revamped internals, hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, webcam access, and improved theming. An alpha build will be made available for download on Thursday, 13 October 2011.

The next version of the Opera desktop browser, Opera 12, will have almost completely revamped internals and boast a number of new features – revealed Christen Krogh, chief development officer at Opera Software.

Krogh was speaking at their annual Up North Web event held in Oslo, where he showcased some of the features they plan to include in the next version of Opera for the PC.

Among the features demonstrated were:

  • Hardware-accelerated 3D graphics
  • Access to a directly-connected webcam right from the browser
  • Improved/easier theming

Hardware-accelerated 3D graphics

To show off their upcoming support for WebGL with hardware acceleration, Opera had a number of demos on display. The most impressive was an in-browser version of a map used in the iOS version of the Rage video game.

Opera 12 Rage iOS map demo
Opera 12 Rage iOS map demo

As with the iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) version of the game, you can’t control when and how fast you move, but you can control where you look.

Although the FPS counter showed performance between 80 and 100 frames per second, there were instances where the demo would visibly hook.

The Opera staff at the demonstration explained that this was due to the fact that all the game data was being streamed down, and not because of the rendering speed.

Opera 12 3D robot demo
Opera 12 3D robot demo

Another interesting WebGL demo was of a 3D Formula 1 racecar that Opera said was originally developed for Chrome, as the developers didn’t have access to the internal builds of Opera 12.

This showed the 3D HTML standards in action, Opera said.

Webcam access

Krogh also elaborated on Opera’s upcoming support for directly connected webcams. In other words, enabling web applications to grab the video from a webcam directly connected to your PC.

Opera 12 webcam demo
Opera 12 webcam demo

Improved theming

Krogh said that, although most people won’t make use of the theming feature, for those that want to, it will be much easier.

Revamped internals

The main change to Opera 12 are the internals; “We’ve revamped almost everything under the hood,” Krogh said.

Among the changes – a speed improvement to the browser’s JavaScript module.

Alpha launching soon

According to Opera, an alpha build of Opera 12 will be available on Thursday, 13 October 2011.

Jan Vermeulen is a guest of Opera Software at Up North Web in Oslo

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Opera 12 alpha downloadable soon