Opera

Personally, I’ve never liked the Opera web browser. Sure, they’re making progress, but I thought I’d present some reasons why I think they haven’t made it bigger.

They want to get paid
If you don’t buy a license you get a built-in ad space that is constantly present. Given how sick and tired people are of banners, pop-up windows etc, I understand why they don’t want to install a program with built-in commercial that is always present. Especially not when there are such a number of good web browsers available, that are free and commercial free.
Version handling
They release a lot of minor versions all the time. If something doesn’t work in your current version, you can easily upgrade to version 7.54 where the issue has been resolved. Sure, great, but this is a thing that just kills a developer’s interest in it. For a web browser that perhaps has got 1% of the web browser market, it’s impossible to motivate testing in 20 different versions just to see if it works in version 7 that is in the market right now.
Rendering bugs
Maybe this is just me, but the versions I’ve tested have been working just fine, except for some renderings bugs I’ve experienced when it comes to background colors rendered over a too big area etc.
The interface
A totally personal opninion, but I don’t think it looks good.

What are they doing right then? These two things are really attractive to me:

Good support for the W3C recommendations
Right on. I have nothing more to say about that.
SVG
In an upcoming version they’ve added support for SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). Incredibly good move, and the day all major web browser supports natively, web user interfaces will be a new world. Something that is also happening in Mozilla.
About time for Internet Explorer too?

PS. Visited the Opera web site, where they’ve added the ENORMOUSLY annoying keybord shortcut alt+D that automatically sends you to the download page. For me. it’s the keyboard shortcut I always use to move focus to the address bar. DS.

PPS. I live for the hope of daylight-saving time now. My little daughter wakes up at 5 in the morning, and I really hope that daylight-saving time will nudge her time of waking up one hour forward. DS.

4 Comments

  • Julia says:

    I got into Opera when I was looking for a new email client and stumbled over M2. The more I played with it, the more I liked it. I do think Opera takes a bit of getting used to, and is not to everyone's taste admittedly, but having taken the time to get to know it, I am sold. I do agree about the ads though. This has probably held back their popularity, as opposed to Firefox, which I also use regularly. IE is just for testing and Windows Update!

  • Robert says:

    Julia,

    If it does the trick for you, keep using it.

    But for above mentioned reasons, it's not going to be my first choice web browser (for now, at least).

  • Hallvord says:

    Got here via Anne v K's weblog..

    I'm obviously biased here πŸ™‚ but if you hire people to write and test a piece of software you need money. The ad space is not annoying and quite small if you use text ads, and it is also being used for more fun and creative things like all of a sudden you'll see tips from other users about how to get the most out of Opera.

    New versions and upgrades come quickly because we're trying to solve YOUR problem (or somebody else's) with some rendering issue, so that rather than wasting time working around a problem or blocking Opera-users you can tell users to just upgrade to the latest and fixed version πŸ™‚

    Don't forget: Web developers have 4-5 moving targets called "web browsers". Browser vendors have 9 000 000 000+ running targets called "web pages". Sometimes we think someone is thinking up another self-contradictory way to mix CSS every day..

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Hallvord,

    Thanks for your comment and for taking it the right way.

    Regarding money, I have full understanding of the dilemma. I just think that it might make people shy away and use other web browsers, if they don't approve of the small ad space.

    Upgrades are good to solve problems, but telling users to upgrade (maybe several times) isn't always a good option. And, as stated, it's a pain for web developers to test for many different version.

    Maybe I'm out on thin ice here (this is but a humble pondering), but perhaps there should be more extensive testing before releasing every minor version?

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