Why Opera 9 ?

Tools, Windows

In my previous post , I asked my dear friend Vasuki to comment more on the release of Opera 9 and its features. He has left a comment on that post. So for those who are lazy to click and view the comment here is the text . Also if you are contemplating on whether to shift to opera or not do check his post at this link.

Well, I installed Opera 9 today. Though I was using Opera 9 beta, I did not get any notification that the new version is released. Too bad! This is not the way to treat loyalists

Now to the good things:

1) Site specific preferences – You can have settings specific to every site, like enabling/disabling javascript, pop-up blocking, image control (show images, cached images and no images)Some examples:Rediff News has lot of ads. So you can use “No images” settings.Gmail and Google spreadsheets simply block requets from any other browser other than IE and firefox. So for these sites, have the settings as “Mask as Mozilla” and all these work just fine.

2) Content blocking – Some sites use many ways to irritate you. If you block up images, they come up with flash files and auto play videos. Just right click on the page and “block content” to block anything on a page. Helps if you are browsing astalavista for some serial and Aria Giovanni comes up with a skimpy red dress!

3) Thumbnail preview – Its a cool feature when you start ctrl+tabbing between tab pages. If you are very disorganized and have too many windows open, it helps!

4) Custom search – This is an amazing feature. If you want to use any search engine in any site, right click in the search text box and choose “Create Search”. This new search comes up in the search dropdown next to address bar. Not just that, you can add a keyword to your search (I have added keyword “im” for IMDB search. So if I have to search for ‘Inside Man’ in IMDB, all I do is type im Inside Man in address bar! For the list of keywords, go to Tools – Preferences – Search)

Here are the bad ones:

1) BitTorrent support – I had tried downloading a movie with this, it was awful. May be it is suited for only small sized files.

2) Widgets – This is being told as a great feature. This is something like Google Gadgets. I somehow dont like this. But, you can get widgets for football scores, playing tetris, sudoku, dictionary, pandora music etc.

3) RSS Feeds not improved – I use Opera as my RSS integrator. Its a pretty neat and compact. But, I would have loved if they had enhanced it to have folders to organize feeds and manually refreshing to get the feeds etc.

Finally, this looks much cleaner than Opera 9 beta 2. There are some sites that might not open properly in Opera, but I am happy as long as I am able to do 95% of my job with all the features it provides.

One thing I noticed is that Kannada websites don’t open properly in Opera. If anyone has any idea please let me know.

We can definitely use this post to discuss the pros and cons of Opera and its shortcoming/strong points compared to Firefox !

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Mrinal Jun 22, 2006 Link

    Another opera fan over here 😀
    Btw, yoy have mentioned only the pros not the cons.
    see http://www.pallab.net/2006/06/21/opera-v9-excellent-but-not-perfect/

  • Milk Jun 22, 2006 Link

    The pallab.net story is a bit off-mark though:

    “However, the fact remains that Firefox which is younger than Opera manages to render more websites correctly compared to Opera.”

    That’s an inaccurate statement. It says nothing about what the browser is able to do. All it shows is that more people test their sites in Firefox.

    Also, Firefox is not “young”. Firefox uses Gecko, which is many years old. Gecko is the “new Netscape engine”. All webmasters know about Netscape, and most of them supported Netscape 6 because it was Netscape, and they were used to supporting Netscape. Firefox got to “freeload” off that momentum.

    Also, the higher market share means that more sites are forced to test with Firefox.

    Again, it’s got nothing to do with the browser’s capabilities, just its market position and history.

  • snurfle Jun 22, 2006 Link

    I’ve been a long-time fan of Opera.
    But in the past 3 months, they have managed to push me away…
    I recently submitted (along with a dozen or so other people) a question concerning opera’s inability to open websites that it was able to open the day before. I was told to “pack your —- and get off the forum”.
    I have been running the V9 betas, and all seemed to be well.
    Yesterday, I installed the new release… it crashes reguarly, and complains of missing .dll files.
    The voice features, which worked in the beta, no longer work.
    I have tried to make it work, and I have tried to explain away all of the websites that don’t work with opera as “this website doesn’t work because it isn’t written well enough to work with a GOOD browser.”
    Today, I posted a five paragraph explanation of my history, and growing disappointment, with Opera.
    Their response was to delete my post 10 minutes after I submitted it, and closed my account.
    I have been polite, reasonable, and forgiving with them. The only thing I posted that could be construed as offensive, was when I quoted their techie… and I even posted the “bad” word in l337!
    So, I am moving on to FireFox.
    Opera may be the “most standard” browser, but the rest of the world seems to live on a diet of “non-standard” web pages that only work on IE or FF!

    They (Opera) have a good vision, but their elitist attitude on their support pages, as well as their growing incompatablilty with web sites (like google!), and their inability to release a new version that works WORSE than last week’s beta… it’s all enough for me to throw in the towel and move on to something that may not be as ‘good’, but that at least functions!!!

  • Vasuki Jun 22, 2006 Link

    Some sites blindly block the browsers based on “User string”. So, there is a hack to it. In the site specific preferences, set “Mask as Mozilla”, it works! Still there are some sites like Writely, Google Calendar that dont work properly. In the earlier versions, even Gmail. Google Spreadsheets did not work and even orkut had some alignment problems, but they are working fine with Opera 9. So, with all the other good features that it provides, I am hopeful that in future versions, even the remaining sites work.

    For those sites that dont open properly, I have installed this Opera button called “InIE” from this site:
    It opens the current page opened in Opera, in IE. Though this is not the most elegant solution, I am pretty okay with this workaround for the time being.

    I have a few problems with Opera:
    1) I am not able to listen to any online music, which use real or windows media player.
    2) I dont know how to install new fonts in Opera.

    If anyone knows any solution to these, please let me know.

  • Milk Jun 22, 2006 Link

    snurfle, something is not quite right about your comments…

    “I recently submitted (along with a dozen or so other people) a question concerning opera’s inability to open websites that it was able to open the day before. I was told to “pack your —- and get off the forum”.”

    Link? I’ve never seen anyone say “pack your…” in the forum, so you are obviously seeing something everyone else isn’t.

    “Their response was to delete my post 10 minutes after I submitted it, and closed my account.”

    Really! The only “snurfle” in the forum is still there (not banned). As for your thread, the rules CLEARLY state what is acceptable and what isn’t. Did you ever think that maybe you should avoid breaking the rules? Maybe if you didn’t break the rules (on purpose?), your post would still have been around.

    Not that anyone can verify what you are saying, and there are huge holes in your explanation.

  • Venu Jun 22, 2006 Link

    The cons are also mentioned in the post. Probably you over looked. checked your post, its pretty detailed.

    Milk, yup firefox uses gecko and even the Minefiled version is going to continue using that I believe.

    One reason for opera not getting well with users was the use of ads in the browser. I guess they stopped it after version 7.5 or so and after that they have been able to get more users.

    Firefox on the other hand has gained lot of popularity because of its extension architecture. Any feature which is missing can be overcome by an extension. And there is a big community supporting/writing plugins.

    And google has adopted firefox in a big way. Google even has snapped some of the lead developers of Firefox
    Check this : http://news.com.com/Google+snaps+up+top+Firefox+programmer/2100-1032_3-5548682.html
    and this

  • Vasuki Jun 22, 2006 Link

    Gadgets is being hailed as a great feature in Opera, but I disagree. I wondered if they did this as somewhat similar to Firefox extensions. But I dont think thats the case. Opera Gadgets are not “integrated” into the browser, they are like separate applications compared to Firefox extensions. I am not at all a fan of such “plugin” architectures. If I ask any Firefox fan about a feature I miss from Opera, the answer I get is “there is an extension for that”! As of today, there are 1490 firefox extensions. Do you expect me to try out all those to create a browse I like? Atleast the very good addons should be made part of the next version of the browser. My belief is “if something is so good, it should already be present”!

    If there are any Widget fans out there, can you tell me as to how many widgets you have without which you cannot survive (No, I am not talking about funky clocks and tetris games, but real “useful” ones!)

  • Vepp Jun 22, 2006 Link

    The thing with widgets is that you can (in theory) use them on any device you are running Opera on. A calendar widget can run on your mobile phone and synchronize with your PC calendar widget, etc.

  • Jakob Jul 22, 2007 Link

    This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title Opera 9 ? – Online Diary. Thanks for informative article

  • Niyaz PK Feb 11, 2008 Link

    I am also an opera fan even though there are some glitches. but IE and FF are far more worse.

    I have another very important reason t use opera:
    Better way to manage tabs in your browser: http://www.diovo.com/?p=33

  • venukb Feb 17, 2008 Link

    I somehow manage to fallback to firefox, after tying out all the other cool browsers say opera or flock, not sure why.

    I am planing to buy a widescreen monitor soon, probably then the article you have written might be of some use.

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