Remember the website were browsers useful tools? Remember when you were able to follow the sites you liked, check your email, and view your calendar without having to leave everything in the browser? Or, I should say, remember when you could do all this without Does Big Tech feed your personal data on the brink of capitalist yawning?
I remember them because I still live in those days, thanks to a web browser you may not have heard of: Vivaldi.
This week, the team behind the Vivaldi web browser has released version 4.0, I think it’s the right time to say you need to try it. Neil Stephenson to reef, Vivaldi highlights all other web browsers “in the same way that the midday sun makes the stars, roughly … not bigger and brighter; everything else disappears.”
Personalization is key
It really was Stephenson Talking about the Emacs text editor, which turns its endless recursion into a programmer Holy Grail of Text Editors. But I think the metaphor applies just as well to Vivaldi as it does to other web browsers. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that to Vivaldi yes web browsers Emacs.
Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Vivaldi, was also the co-founder Opera, one of the first browsers with features like pop-up blocking and tab browsing. The level of personalization that distinguishes the opera and the characteristics of the user’s abilities are present in Vivaldi today, much more so.
At first glance, Vivaldi looks a little more colorful than your average web browser. Reflecting the colors of the website is an outstanding Vivaldi feature that Apple has shamelessly copied from Safari. You won’t discover its true strength until you delve into Vivaldi’s settings: it’s your ability to adapt your browsing experience the way you want.
Like Emacs, Vivaldi’s setup and experience can be different, and that’s the point. Vivaldi’s tag is “It’s a web browser for our friends”. “Our friends” means Vivaldi people like you and me—Thinking, of course, that you are someone on the net to work and connect with your friends, instead of consuming the whims and algorithms of Big Tech.
For example, I like keyboard shortcuts and have never used a mouse gesture in my life. Vivaldi supports both. I take advantage of customizable keyboard shortcuts and ignore mouse gestures and everyone wins. Vivaldi 4.0 recognizes this with a new dialog that offers some presets: Essentials, Classic or my favorite, fully loaded.