First Impressions on the HW-Accelerated Opera
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 7:13:20 PM
It has WebGL (finally!) which will push forward the need for a pluginless web and the hardware acceleration is implemented in OpenGL which was probably easier to implement cross-platform.
I underestimated the power of OpenGL as I didn't think it was 'good enough' until I saw this video. I was amazed at how Opera could keep up with IE9 (which probably uses 'special' hacks) and I thought the software backend was fast! If an OpenGL build could do that what would a DirectX-accelerated build do? It would kill the other browsers!
Regarding WebGL I have no idea what backend Opera uses but at least it's another step ahead of IE. Chrome and Firefox both use ANGLE while IE and Safari have no support for it at all. Is Opera's WebGL implementation faster or better than ANGLE in any way? Probably not yet as it's of pre-alpha quality but warmly welcomed.
If you want my opinion then I think this HW-accelerated build is overdue. But I also think it wasn't necessary as Opera was doing fine without it. If Opera has both the HTML5 parser along with the WebGL and HW-acceleration by the end of this year (which it probably won't) this browser will no longer be the 'underdog' everyone thinks it is, it will be the one to switch to.