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People singing random things in random languages...
A web browser with an identity crisis that claims to be worth money

Having much maligned Opera (the browser) for some time I thought I would give it another go and I will admit to being pleasantly surprised (I will admit I last tried a version 2 or 3 years ago ^^;).

The installer crashed on me, but that was the Java bit of the install and it seems to work anyway.  3.2Mb for the full browser minus Java is quite impressive.

Several things initially worried me ("Um... where's the address bar??") but that was just getting used to the new interface.  I do quite like the idea of pages appearing inside the browser now I have found out that I can rip them out.

Onto the most important thing, page processing.  Not bad at all.  Most pages seemed to work with only a couple of glitches in formatting and javascript (and one fairly fatal glitch in Flash but I don't have the latest version of Flash so I imagine that explains it).

I still find it amusing that you can set the browser it pretends to be in the preferences.

Final verdict...  I now get to say our web sites are Opera compatible :)  A lot better than I expected, but I can't see any particular reason to switch (I'm sure other ToothyWikizens will be happy to enlighten me).
I could have told you that already :)

I can't work out what the 39 dollars is supposed to buy you though.  Is this thing time-locked?  Its not very clear.

 - Kazuhiko

MoonShadow is currently using [Mozilla] 1.0 under Debian, with Java and Flash plugins. He's yet to see a site it can't cope with, which is impressive given the current release version of Mozilla is 1.2.1 and 1.3 is in beta.
Update - MoonShadow has now come across a site it can't cope with; namely the spybotics game in CategoryTimeSink that MoonShadow has taken to playing at lunchtimes. The shockwave plugin needs Mozilla 1.1 or higher :/ Ah well - time to pin Mozilla to debian/unstable...
Bummer.  I've not tried flash for opera in a long time, when I did, it worked though.  Probably lego being overly clever trying to detect browser/flash version and getting it wrong.  --Vitenka

Vitenka's opinion. 
Opera is wonderful.  You can turn off flash, javascript, images, sounds, backgrounds, colour schemes, css, cookies - the lot.  And, if you really really need them for a particular site, you can turn them back on again.
Your 39 bucks buys you some free itme using their webmail client (blegh) and gets rid of the adverts.  It's kinda a shareware model (and, of course, they want to sell it to mobile phone makers)

The disadvantages:  The news/mail client is a bit crappy - and I seem to have persuaded it to crap out (taking windows with it) periodically - its index file is twisted and thinks it has one more mail than it actually has.  Known bug :(

Multitabbed browsing is, frankly, fantastic.  I often have 40+ sites open at once.  No other browser I know of can do that without slowing your system to a crawl.
mutter mutter [mozilla] does it too mutter mutter - but agreed, it is fantastic - MoonShadow
Entertaining edit conflict. Here's what AC just wrote in this spot: Recent (6 months to a year) builds of [Mozilla] also support tabbed browsing, which I agree is fantastic.  --AlexChurchill

I dislike the interface of 7, but it's fully skinnable so that's not a big issue.  Unfortunately, seven supports more features that I have to turn off.  And the ability to force your own schemes onto website is fun.  (C64 webbrowser?  Check.  Microsoft-b0rk-bork-bork-Network sweidsh chef plugin?  Check.)

(And is actually useful in two cases:  You can use it for presentations ala powerpoint, and to see what your site will look like on a mobile device)

And the main advantage?  It's not IE so you're invulnerable to a huge wodge of spyware and lame hack attempts.  (Comet cursor?  BEGONE!)  Of course, netscape has that advantage too.

[Opera goes oops...]

To be fair, that security bug is thwarted by turning of javascript too... but yeah.  Opera is losing some of its advantage.  I still like it (but there is a strong "I paid for it, so I'm gonna use it" factor for me)

Basically, Opera5 is netscape2.4 but with fewer crashes.  Opera7 is a dodgier proposition.

Oooh.. It suports LINK REL= - so you get actual 'prev' and 'next' buttons in the browser (on the 0.01% of websites that use them)

7.1 is officially out.  But I'm thinking of skipping, since my license doesn't give me free upgrade to 7 the way it did to 6.  Suggestions for clone replacements welcome - ideally able to import a (slightly broken) mail database which is causing it to crash periodically, but I really must keep the interface and 'turn everything off' ability.  I hear pheonix is the way to go, but that didn't seem multitabbed and was so option free it scared me.  (Plus couldn't get it through the proxy at work to test it)  Full moz wouldn't compile a custom build, and full package seems far junkier than IE  --Vitenka

Humm.  Found a bug in Opera 5.12.  It appears to truncate edit boxes after they pass the 64k mark or so.  (Just a guess as to where it happens)  Sometimes it just clears the edit box without warning when this happens, other times it just fails to send data beyond a certain point to the host.
Dunno if this bug exists in the current version - there's nothing about the current version I like.  (I especially dislike the concept of paying again.)  --Vitenka

FireFox seems rather good. It has the advantage over Opera that the default "open in new tab" is an "open in a new tab *in the background*". Unfortunately InternetExplorer still has better support for Ctrl-F finding the search string inside edit boxes, which I find invaluable for Wiki editing (especially Wikipedia). FireFox will highlight them, but not jump to them. And the ToothyWikiInternals/RSS ticker toolbar integrates better with InternetExplorer. Plus of course the Opera "buy now to remove this banner" box is big and ugly and I refuse to get a crack for it. --AlexChurchill
FireFox is ok, but I find it very slow, compared to opera.  I also find it less easy to turn off things that I don't want, since its entire plugin and theming system runs on JavaScript, it reacts badly to suggestions that EvilScript be treated as vilely as it deserves.  As for the advertising - I was lucky enough to trail run it when they were doing '30 days no nagging' - and bought it before that period ended.  --Vitenka
Oooh!  opera is now permanently free without adverts.  Guess they're going to an all-pda payment base.  --Vitenka

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Last edited September 20, 2005 12:56 pm (viewing revision 20, which is the newest) (diff)