Opera browser gets Featherweight makeover

Opera has released details of project Featherweight, the codename for the redesign of the next version of the Opera web browser.The Oslo-based company said it was aiming to slim down and redesign the browser in order to bring speed and usability improvements.

Opera has released details of project Featherweight, the codename for the redesign of the next version of the Opera web browser.

The Oslo-based company said it was aiming to slim down and redesign the browser in order to bring speed and usability improvements.

From top to bottom: Opera Next for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. Image Credit: Opera

"Our goal has been to make Opera as light, bright and user-friendly as possible—without sacrificing power or flexibility," Jan Henrik Helmers, UI developer at Opera, said in a blog post on Wednesday. "We want the user interface to match the speed of our rendering engine."

The tweaks detailed are focused largely on modifications of the user interface (UI) rather than changes to the underlying code and Presto rendering engine.

Among the changes are a redesigned toolbar icon set, refreshed status bar design, padding and alignment improvements and the removal of borders from buttons on the address bar.

The redesign also brings a brighter colour scheme for backgrounds and borders and a new window gradient for the Mac OS X version. The 'Home' and 'Fast Forward' buttons are also now optional.

The first version of the work-in-progress, known as Opera 'Next', is available to download now for machines running Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems.