Opera 12.02 is an essential update

Norwegian browser developer Opera has updated its cross-platform browser. Opera 12.02 features minor security and stability updates, making it an essential update for all users.

The update comes less than 48 hours after Opera also released a new snapshot of its pre-release version of Opera NEXT 12.50 with a major core update, adding new features such as keyboard text selection and options for adding extensions to Opera’s context menus.

Opera 12.02 focuses on stability and security, including a fix for issues with Speed Dial thumbnails that occurs when automatic scaling has been enabled. A security hole whereby truncated dialog boxes could be used to trick users has also been resolved.

One reversion applies to users of the Windows 32-bit build: in-process plugins have been reinstated while issues with the new out-of-process plugin system introduced in version 12.00. This means that plugins will run in the same process as Opera itself while the problems are fixed.

The new build was preceded by a major snapshot update to Opera NEXT 12.50, the alpha build previewing features due to appear in the next major Opera release. This new snapshot, build 1577, features major changes to the core engine powering Opera, as well as a couple of keyboard-related features.

The core benefits from added support for image colour management using ICC Profiles version 4, plus fullscreen API, the SPDY protocol, nested media blocks (a step towards supporting CSS3 Conditional Rules) and the “reversed” attribute in HTML 5. Also added is support for accessing extensions via Opera’s context menu.

The new snapshot also makes it possible to select text from web pages using the keyboard -- toggle this on and off using the [F7] key, then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move around. The latest build also aims to improve keyboard event handling on the Mac.

Two issues are noted with build 1577: Speed Dial shows up blank after autoupdate, while all plugins will crash in Linux/BSD, highlighting the developmental and unstable nature of Opera NEXT.

Opera 12.02 and Opera NEXT 12.50 Build 1577 are both available as a freeware downloads for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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