Review: Otter browser, weekly 46 release

Otter browser is a project to re-create Opera browser interface, as it stood during Presto era. (Nowadays Opera has moved on to the uninteresting Blink era and lost its unique interface.) 

Otter browser builds interface with Qt5 and renders with Webkit. The development has had a fast pace. The plans look moderately ambitious, i.e. achievable. In weekly 46 release, these Opera-like elements have been re-created:

  • Sidebar/Panel (currently featuring only History, Bookmarks, and Downloads)
  • Tray icon
  • Zoom slider
  • Paste-and-go (opens in same tab)
  • Pin tabs
  • Duplicate tab (called CloneTab)
  • Reopen closed tabs
  • Website Preferences and Quick Options (F12)
  • Save sessions
  • Private tabs and private sessions
  • Configure search engines
  • Set custom fonts, custom colours, and a custom stylesheet
  • Configurable keyboard shortcuts in INI file (has its glitches, not all shortcuts can be assigned)
  • Configurable menu bar items in JSON file
  • Easy switching between translations (you can translate your own language and thus contribute to the project)
  • Bookmarks import in Opera format (.adr) and HTML format. Opera bookmarks keywords get imported and assigned correctly
  • Keywords can be accessed with QuickBookmarkAccess dialogue just like in Opera with keyboard shortcut Shift+F2
  • Secondary address bar with keyboard shortcut F2
  • Rocker gestures (mouse buttons left+right to go forward in history, right+left to go back)
  • Some incremental Rewind and Fast Forward
  • Hint: take a look in about:config

The adress field is still not quite uptodate with suggestions et al., but at this stage I’d call Otter generally usable, particularly because of good cookie support. It’s usable as a general purpose browser, and it’s a joy to follow its development.

Most easily installable packages are available for Arch Linux and Windows. In other distros and opsyses you will have to hunt for Qt dependencies in order to get Otter installed.

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