Now that Opera 11.60 is out of the way, the focus is again 100 percent on Opera 12. In fact, the first post-Opera 11.60 snapshot release of Opera 12, which is still in 'alpha,' is out.
The latest update comes with all of the goodies and fixes from Opera 11.60 along with the features planned for Opera 12, interesting things like full UI and content hardware acceleration and support for WebGL 3D graphics.
"Since Tunny has been released from the holding tank, we can now focus on Wahoo (Opera 12)," Opera wrote
"The changelog for this snapshot is mostly the same as the 11.60 changes since the previous Opera 12 build. In addition to that, there is a basic implementation of themes on Linux/FreeBSD and other themes fixes," explained in the brief announcement.
Fans know that Opera 11.60 was not planned. In fact, the team had been working on Opera 12 as the next major release after Opera 11.50.
But Opera had, and has, big ambitions for Opera 12, it's going to be the first release to offer hardware acceleration
, a major touting point for browsers of late, and WebGL, a hardware accelerated 3D graphics, technology.
Progress had been slow on these two big features, so Opera decided to pack everything that was ready and ship it as Opera 11.60.
There's good reason for why it's taking so long, as all other browser makers that have added any of the two features have found out, any time you have to work with drivers and low-level APIs, there's trouble.
Even in browsers that support them, hardware acceleration and WebGL don't work on all computers. In fact, they are only enabled on computers that sport relatively modern graphic cards and up-to-date drivers.
Still, Opera is toiling away. When Opera 12 is done, it promises to be quite interesting. On computers that will be able to run it, Opera 12 will use the GPU the accelerate the rendering and processing of not only content, animations or video, but the entire user interface as well.
At the very least, this should result in a much snappier and responsive UI, but also a lighter load on the CPU, especially for graphics-intensive websites.