Vivaldi Team Blog
Why Vivaldi sponsors a small football team in Iceland
Since January 2015, Vivaldi has sponsored a small football club in Iceland. Being a big football fan myself, I am often asked how a small country like Iceland is able to turn out such a strong team. Let me share some insights with you. By Jon von Tetzchner
TEDxTitech - Northen Europe x Startupshttps://youtu.be/Stje0PaoHwo Hello everyone. My name is Takaaki Yoshikawa. I come from Osaka and live in Oslo, Norway as a legal expat. You might think “why did he move to Norway when they don’t even have better sushi than Japan?” It’s true, they don’t. But even so, I live in Norway and work for a Norwegian startup tech company called Vivaldi Technologies because I wanted to. When I tell my friends in Japan that I live in Norway, they often say - “So you are working at Nokia, right?” “Is your Swedish partner blond?” “Do you speak Danish to her?” “Please send me some salmon.” Some of them still have a very blurry picture about the whole Nordic region. But recently I started getting decent reactions. “The Nordic countries always rank high in the world’s happiest country reports. And Japan always ranks negligibly low.” The thing about Japan is a real pity. I truly believe that the food scene in Japan is jaw-dropping and mouth-watering. The sun’s rays during the winter time feel much better than in Northern Europe locked up in darkness for months. There are several reasons why they rank so differently. Let’s take a look at the work environments where people spend a lot of their time. Have you been told “I’ll make you happy.” by your coworkers or bosses? If you say that in Japan in 2018, it’ll sound like a marriage proposal from a male to a female But keep calm and doubt everything. It’s not that the men in Japan have an exclusive patent to make someone happy. Everyone is allowed to make someone happy. So you are allowed to make me happy too. I’m happy with that...
Improving functionalities, is as good as making new functionalitiesAs users, we love when new functionalities come to Vivaldi, and the long awaiting Sync that will come soon, is one of them. However, when it comes to existing functionalities, we are so used to use them that we do not even think how to improve them. My aim here is to analyse somes of existing Vivaldi functionalities, compare it to its competitors (if the competitors have the functionality, of course) and what should be improved or added. Screenshots Photo by Marc Mueller on Unsplash In my opinion, screenshots really need a lot of refresh since Opera and Firefox integrated it. I will only talk about Firefox, because Opera has a lot in common with Firefox, which be only repetitive. To be very clear, Firefox has the best screenshot tool on the market : I really mean it. Firefox can capture the HTML elements on the page by flying over with the mouse, which is very convenient to capture specific elements on the page instead of selecting a rectangular area. If think this is a must have feature to have in Vivaldi. Firefox can also capture areas outside the viewport by scrolling with the mouse wheel (Opera can do that too), which is convenient if you want to take only a part of the page. Firefox has also a much more simple interface. Let see how it works, and then we will compare it to Vivaldi. Actually, you only press the screenshot button in the address bar, then a pop up appear in the upper right corner : It contrasts with Vivaldi, where you have to click on the screenshot icon, selectioning if you want to take a full page screenshot or only a selection, then choose if you want to download it or paste it in the clipboard. It is far more simple in Firefox. Notice also, opposed to Firefox, that you cannot make a capture of the viewport, and you want to download the image, you cannot choose the location where it should be located. This is bad...
Captcha ParanoiaIn the wake of Data Collection getting some discussion in the media, and greater scrutiny by governmental bodies, I felt that there was perhaps too much focus on Facebook, and that something that Google has been doing has just skirted past everyone's minds. Captcha Paranoia CAPTCHAs are everywhere. In the early days of the web, developers wanted a way to guarantee that certain users were real people, and not just automated tools. Enter reCAPTCHA, Google's solution to this problem. Solve a small problem that is difficult for an AI to do, and prove that you're human, all by simply including a little bit of code on your website. But there are many problems with that idea. Many of these problems could be applied to all forms of CAPTCHA served by a central server, but considering the prevalence of Google's reCAPTCHA, I think they are particularly poignant when combined with the overreach which I believe Google exercises. Assumption about User Ability The first is is that you, as a website owner, are making an implicit declaration that the users of your site be able to solve whatever problem is being asked. In the early days this meant working on the assumption that your users would be able to read distorted text. Never mind if they speak another language, or have difficulty reading. In more recent iterations of reCAPTCHA, this task is usually a visual recognition task. Perhaps better as it doesn't require a language solution, but you are still requiring site visitors to understand what the question is asking. I come across elderly users of the web who are confounded when faced with challenges such as this, because after all: "if i'm just trying to access mail, or read the news, why am I suddenly being asked to click on random pictures?" - Clicking on random stuff that isn't what you were originally looking for is not a lesson we ought to be teaching novice internet users. This also doesn't help a new internet user from a foreign country, who might never have seen a storefront from an image of a British Street, or an American car, and when prompted to select one, might not be able to answer. Are they a robot because of this? You might suggest using an audio-based reCAPTCHA? Well considering the recent
Project Origin #02Making mistakes So here we are. Months have passed since the last update and decisions has been made to change the direction of Project Origin. I ended my last update with the solution that would make this game possible, pixel-art. My final words were that I had to prepare for this type of art-style, and so I took a deep dive into these types of games. It was like taking one step forwards and falling into a deep, dark hole. Making Project Origin a 2D pixel-art game would limit game mechanics and creativity to the point where it was no longer in line with my visions and identity of the game...
Unicodes: 🂡 to 🃞I watched tutorials on how to build an app - a card game called War. I wanted to load the app on my iPhone but at the end, I realized I couldn't plus the app didn't use a full deck of playing cards. So, I made a SVG version which was alot simpler employing Unicode playing cards ( & # 127137 ; to & # 127198 ; ) with Aces at the low end and an extra face card (Cavalier) in a non-depleting card deck. Since, the game is not like the real card game, I changed its name to Hi-Card Wins. 😉 🂡 🂢 🂣 🂤 🂥 🂦 🂧 🂨 🂩 🂪 🂫 🂬 🂭 🂮 🂱 🂲 🂳 🂴 🂵 🂶 🂷 🂸 🂹 🂺 🂻 🂼 🂽 🂾 🃁 🃂 🃃 🃄 🃅 🃆 🃇 🃈 🃉 🃊 🃋 🃌 🃍 🃎 🃑 🃒 🃓 🃔 🃕 🃖 🃗 🃘 🃙 🃚 🃛 🃜 🃝 🃞
Hunting Down Audio Bugs - a view from behind the scenesAll what should become a great mess later started with a single bug report some time back: " HTML5 Live stream has bad sound and video" (dramatic music effect) found by Gwendragon, who in the following events tested, logged and categorized a lot of audio stuff too. This bug happened only on a single site, which is well frequented in one country, but otherwise rather irrelevant. Back then we could only check if it works for us - which it did for those who tested it after spoofing the user agent - so this bug was set to "cannot reproduce" (which means: Closed) after contacting the site owner because at that time it appeared to be a problem for the site to fix. Usually this is the end of the story, the developers can only fix what they see and what they can analyze, and if it works for the testers and the developers, it can't be broken, right? Sadly not. Somehow we managed to forget one operating system (OS) during the check, which was partly my fault, because usually I use that OS while testing. All was good until the next report came in for exactly the same site. We checked it again (usual procedure, no bug gets closed unchecked), this time with the right OS too and the result was: ! Not only that - suddenly reports about dozens of other sites started popping up! PANIC!!! Well, no panic, but no real solution in sight either, which is quite frustrating because at that time all of the developers, who can fix this kind of bugs, were heavily burdened with really important stuff like frozen UI or crashes, which of course have a higher priority, especially because super traffic-heavy sites like YT, Vimeo etc. worked well - but of course those audio bugs were constantly nagging in the background. Then, one day, it was finally possible to assign a developer to the problem, but the fix was everything but easy. One of the first things was to find out where it breaks and what exactly breaks - which sounds easy enough but isn't, especially if you have to deal with the codecs inside of the OS because prohibitive license fees from the MPEG-LA and the Fraunhofer institute forbid to bundle the full ffmpeg+aac codec in binary form to Vivaldi, no thanks to them. (Linux users might have noticed by now, that they are not hit by this because they can steal re-purpose the original Chrome codecs hosted in the usual repositories - a luxury the owners of other OSs don't have) The first thing to do was to add some sophisticated debugging code to the internal builds which can provide log files for the sites that were affected by the issue. Said and done, we testers (both the employed and we volunteers) went through all of the bugs and created tons of big log files which we dumped on the poor Developer. After some time some of us became experienced enough to identify some common problems so that we could "Duplicate" bugs (meaning link together bugs that have the identical cause) on some kind of master bugs (usually the bug where the exact problem was first seen). One thing all of those bugs had in common was the interaction between Vivaldi and the OS codecs...
Vivaldi thumbnailsWould you like have thumbnails like this? Maybe you're a new user of this browser and you want customize it, but when you add the thumbnails you get just a preview of the web page and not logos like these. Personally, I don't like the previews. I will theach you how to do it. Just you need: 1) Google images 2) Paint.net If you prefer, you can use Bing and Photoshop, it's the same. I use Paint.net because I like it for quick editions (and it's free). What I will show you, is the dimensions that the image must have, because a wrong size make some like this: Let's begin... 1.- First, select the image that you want for the web site, can be the name, logo, or anything else. The original dimension no matters. The size of this pic is 1200 x 800 px. 2.- Open it in your edition software My native language is spanish, sorry, but I will explan everyting Go to Image > Resize and change just the width by 222 px. Make sure to check the aspect ratio for the automatic resize of the high. Note: Width = Anchura; High = Altura Then, you get a smaller image. 3.- Go to Image > Canvas size and change the high to 180 px. Now, here is important to uncheck the aspect ratio for don't move the width. This is the result: 4.- Finally, open canvas resize again and now check by percentage, and change it to 120%, this is for get the logo a litte more centred If you have some areas of different color, use Paint Bucket. And voilà. Just save it in a folder...
Why Did I Switch To Vivaldi?I have always been an open-source devotee. I have tried to make use of free and/or open-source software all the time. While back in college, this initiative saved me lots of money and I was capable of doing whatever's necessary. Since Google's becoming the E-Corp of our reality, I avoided Chrome and pushed myself to use Mozilla Firefox. Mozilla is great at promoting privacy among internet users, yet Firefox isn't that great when it comes to browsing. Firefox doesn't feel like a quantum project but rather like an ancient thinker's ideas of the universe. Since my adored browser Opera has lost its way, I decided to give Vivaldi a shot. Now, I feel like inside an exciting idea that I first met back when Opera browser was a community of helpful people...
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