It Ain't Over 'Til The "Other" Other Browser Sings

Chris Papaioannou writes:

Heya,

Just watched the video about Firefox 3 beta 1 and you said to let you know what browser we’re using, so thought I’d chip in from the Opera side of things.

Apologies if you know any of the following — but no harm in pointing it out, I feel.

Opera currently has a beta version out also, which can be found here.

More up to date ‘weeklies’ can be found here in the desktop blog.

They are the latest releases, though only alpha.

At current there are crashes, though each release brings that number down noticeably.

You mentioned the malware protection, which was awesome; this is available in the current stable release of Opera and has been for a while now. It presents you with a warning dialog if you try and go on a blacklisted site, which includes sites such as fake banking Web sites, sites with known malware downloads, and more. So yeah, a browser does do that today!

The beta version of Opera also allows the password saving after you have submitted the form, allowing you to see if it was the right details before saving.

Resumeable downloading has been in Opera for ages also — one of the main things I love about the browser. No need for an external download manager; it can pause, resume, and restart them all within. Not sure when this was introduced, but I’m sure has been for many many versions.

‘Full page zoom,’ I’m assuming, means not just the text zooming in, but Flash elements, images, etc. If so, again it’s present in Opera’s current release.

Sessions saving is available in the current release too, saving the tabs and the position on the page. Just like Firefox is adding now.

Clicking twice on text will select the word, three times for the sentance, and four times for the paragraph. This will display a context menu offering options to search that text in a search engine, dictionary, encyclopedia, copy to note, clipboard, go to URL, send in an email, etc.

Bookmarks and history can be organised and searched, put into folders, etc. Not sure what this organization feature they’re adding is.

Autocomplete will also happen in the current release. Assuming you have told Opera your details, it will work out what data is likely to need to be entered and prompt you for this.

Also notes can be put in, which can be any text, and accessed with the down arrow on the keyboard in any field to enter the note.

Selecting which programs will open which files is also present already.

Now the above, unless already said, are already in Opera (before the beta, and these are only the ones I picked up on from your video).

Here are some advantages to Opera’s software, however — and where stated it’s new in the beta, which I haven’t mentioned above:

  • (beta) ‘Link,’ allowing the browser to sync with Opera servers with speed dial, bookmarks, and personal bar data. So your info will follow you around to any Opera browser when you log in, be it on a PC, Mac, or mobile device. Or access it in another browser through a Web site based interface.

  • (beta) History searching allows you to search the URL, title, and content of pages you’ve visited. Handy when looking for a term in a page you were on when neither the title or URL help you locate the page. Just pop it into search and it will find it.
  • Built-in mail client (M2) code has been rewritten to improve performance and offer multithreading.
  • Built-in Torrent client has been improved with new features such as peer exchange.
  • (beta) Improved support for CSS, including many more CSS3 selectors and the CSS2 text-shadow property. Support for other Web standards will also be improved. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) implementation and built-in support for Animated Portable Network Graphics (APNG), MathML and high-security Extended Validation Certificates.
  • (Beta) Screen reader support.
  • Built-in IRC client.
  • Donwload manager, including ‘quick download’ support to download any inputted link.
  • (Beta) Save entire pages into one archive for offline viewing.
  • Speed dial – Opening a new tab will show thumbnails of your nine ‘speed dial’ sites which can be clicked on to open, or via Ctrl-(number). These thumbnails can be refreshed automatically, or on command.
  • One click to turn off all CSS. Handy for sites where the code is messy and you just want to turn it off and see the raw information. Also many other viewing options such as high contrast and having certain elements disabled.
  • Automatic session saving.
  • Trash can to retrieve closed tabs in previous state before closing.
  • Mouse gestures and handy shortcuts such as right click left click, to go back a page. Speeds up use a lot.
  • Built-in contact system.
  • Widgets, custom buttons, and UserJS all available to add to the browser.
  • When viewing source code, can make changes to it, and then ‘reload.’ To make changes to the webpage live.
  • ‘Fast Forward’ will detect the most likely next page link to simplify navigation and speed up use.
  • Tabbed browsing and MDI interface (first browser to support this).
  • Password manager.
  • Inline find on page system (and dialog).
  • Integrated search, with customiseable search engines.
  • Built-in RSS feed management.
  • Page information lists URL of main page, MIME type, size of page, when opened, where the cache file is, encoding type, fraud check, links to all scripts on the page, information on the frames on the page, and more.

I’ll stop here because I’m sure I’ve already bored you to death, and annoyed you with the terrible spelling (forgive me, it’s 4:30 am).

If you haven’t given Opera a try in a long time, maybe you should? Try the stable, and the beta alongside each other maybe, and give it time to grow on you. Might end up liking it. Though I’m aware you obviously know of the browser, I’m not sure to what extent you’ve tried it, when, and for how long.

Even after this beta of 9.5, 10.0 will be released as alpha come the end of the year, or early January with much larger improvements to speed and features.

Keep up the vids, and hope to see something on Opera maybe in the near future!

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  • Bob

    Yeah. But is it open source or free? We already know the answer. I just don’t trust non-free (especially closed source) software.