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Opera vs. Firefox - Which one to use?
Looking for opinions
christopher w




msg:1583817
 2:04 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have really liked Firefox (apart from some minor problems) but during the recent upgrade to 1.1 it seems to just not really be working well at all. So I figure this is a perfect time to start looking at Opera - is it worth it? What do you love or hate about either?

 

tedster




msg:1583818
 5:19 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Which one to use? I use both all the time.

Firefox
I love the extensions, especially the Developer's Extension. It has replaced a bunch of utilities I used (server headers, IP lookup, Google TB, on and on) and put everything in one easy spot. Firefox is my main tool for basic study of websites.

Opera
I love the feel and the way I can customize the GUI. This company has put amazing developmental effort into usability. And then there's speed - any other browser (even FireFox) seems sluggish compared to Opera. As I've often written here, I know that Opera saves me time everyday. And that means it makes me money. Opera is my main browser.

christopher w




msg:1583819
 8:07 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tedster -

Thanks - exactly the type of feedback I am looking for...

Anyone else?

troels nybo nielsen




msg:1583820
 9:04 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also use both of them quite a lot because each has some advantages and features that the other does not have.

If you are to make a choice between them it may very much be a choice of philosophy. The two organizations behind the browsers are very different and have very different philosophies. And this shows in the browsers.

But both organizations put much weight on web standards, security and innovations.

kaled




msg:1583821
 9:32 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

I like Opera but I have yet to use a copy that wasn't buggy. Some releases have had huge bugs in the javascript. Also the version I use right now doesn't save settings under Win2000, works ok under XP - crazy.

I'm also not that impressed with fault reporting. I reported one bug and was told it didn't exist because Opera ignores the particular attributes I was complaining about. I didn't bother to reply with an url to my site that proved otherwise - I eventually fixed the problem with CSS.

Kaled.

olwen




msg:1583822
 9:38 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Firefox has problems with extensions sometimes when upgrading. Tabbed browser extensions are the main culprit. I had trouble opening new windows, and even getting extensions. This happend on two differnt upgrades. Uninstall extensions and close and reopen the browser until it's working properly again. Then you gan get the extensions fresh and it should be fine.

MatthewHSE




msg:1583823
 10:06 pm on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

FireFox is my tool of choice because of its great extensions (Web Developer has already been mentioned; it's one of the best but there are many other useful ones). I also really love how customizable the FireFox options and interface are.

I'll agree with Tedster's statement that even FireFox isn't as fast as Opera, out of the box. Once FireFox is adjusted as described in this thread [webmasterworld.com], I can't tell any difference in browsing speed between FireFox and Opera. (Results may vary according to system specs.)

FireFox does take some getting used to. Just as the finest machinery requires the most delicate balance, so FireFox requires a little care. You'll probably wreck a couple profiles before you've gotten the hang of it all, but once you're used to it and have customized it, the FireFox browser stops being a browser and is an extension of your mind - that's how intuitive using it can be. And once you have it tuned a bit (which isn't as hard as it may sound) you can really make it a workhorse.

I've got nothing bad to say about Opera (it and FireFox being the clear choices for developers these days), but I just find it less appealing than "the Fox." They're both great browsers. I go with FireFox because I find it easier to customize and I think it has a slimmer interface - but no doubt some Opera users say the same thing about their browser of choice.

vkaryl




msg:1583824
 5:21 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it's a matter of what feels right to you. I don't like Opera and don't find it "faster" than the fox. I do like Firefox. I use both, the fox for my regular browsing, and Opera to test web pages before going live (I also test in many other browsers, including IE....)

Either is infinitely preferable to the "second class citizen from the wrong side of the tracks"....

Hester




msg:1583825
 10:15 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

I reported one bug and was told it didn't exist because Opera ignores the particular attributes I was complaining about. I didn't bother to reply with an url to my site that proved otherwise - I eventually fixed the problem with CSS.

What were the attributes Opera ignored?

kaled




msg:1583826
 11:15 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

From memory, they were <body> attributes marginWidth and marginHeight (I may have the names wrong). These are deprecated but I found that I had to set them to zero in Opera in order to get absolute positioning of divs to work correctly. At the time I was new to CSS and it did not occur to me that body { padding:0px } would fix the problem.

Kaled.

Hester




msg:1583827
 11:35 am on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

So really you were using non-standard code and blaming Opera for not supporting it.

ohfiddlesticks




msg:1583828
 4:41 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

Opera is my browser of choice. Also have Firefox, Netscape, and IE. Opera is by far the best for the reasons below.

1.Fast, fast, fast!

2.All the customization options, there are tons!

3.Using all the keyboard shortcuts for navigation(which can be customized too).

4.Built-in views helpful for webmasters, like viewing the graphical layout and markup of any page with one click.

5.Built-in e-mail with excellent storage and organization. It takes some getting used to, but once you do it is the best way to go.

7.Security better than IE, Outlook.

8.Sessions that can save whatever you are looking at, even if the computer locks up or shutsdown.

9.Excellent support through the message boards at Opera. You have a problem and tell them about it, they try to figure it out with you. Programmers read the board and make fixes in the next update. Updates are frequent and all fixes or upgrades are well documented.

Downsides to using Opera.

1. Dumb webmasters that try to block Opera users. Can get around this sometimes, but it is really annoying.

2. Dumb webmasters that use invalid code that only renders in IE quirky mode.

3. It occasionaly locks up and shuts down on me, but since it auto-saves what I was doing it is not a big deal.

kaled




msg:1583829
 5:37 pm on Mar 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

So really you were using non-standard code and blaming Opera for not supporting it.

NO NO NO.

Read my post carefully this time. I had to use non-standard code to get my divs positioned correctly. However, the point is that Opera support said these attributes were ignored therefore the bug did not exist. HOWEVER, these attributes are/were not ignored and the bug DID/DOES exist.

Stating that attributes are ignored when they are not does not inspire confidence. However, my real point is this - I've used many versions of Opera since version 4 and I've found obvious bugs in all of them. Maybe I've just be unlucky with the versions I've downloaded but I know for a fact that it took several months for them to fix a SERIOUS javascript bug after I reported it. That was a bug that did not exist in the previous version. Right now, Opera throws an error (in the console) on some javascript code but actually runs the code correctly - crazy.

Kaled.

AbsintheSyringe




msg:1583830
 8:08 am on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

So really you were using non-standard code and blaming Opera for not supporting it.

Nicely observed kaled ;)

Well I've been using Opera since v3.x (98-99) simply because I was looking for a IE alternative on Win. At that time on linux I believe I was using Mozilla, never had any problems with it.

First thing that grabbed my attention was the speed, slowly but surely I was stepping away from IE. Not to forget "Transfers" back in the day on 56K's pausing your download meant salvation. Later on I officially set Opera as my default on both win and nix.

Opera went even beyond my needs, and every version brought some major changes.

When I installed FireFox, (as an Opera user) it terribly bothered me that new window was actually opened in new window! Tabbed browsing was nothing like compared to Opera. Surfing was nothing special, switching and opening new tabs was messed up. Download manager was ... too miniature ...

Opera, everything! It saves my time, money, (yes money!), workspace, nerves, opera saves the day ;) These guys really know what you need. Development team is great, and if you have any suggestions you can post in the wish-list and it actually get's included in one of the future versions. Now people will say it's not free and whatever. What you pay is what you get!

Well I dont think FireFox is a great browser, it's just something IE "fans" needed, download manager, tabbed browsing may seem fascinating to you if all you ever used was IE. That is why it got so many fans out of a blue. And ahh yes it's free. It only proves how much the market needs great free (open source?) programs, to be particular windows users.

Basically it's simple as this:

Novice user: Use IE
With IE I feel like I'm naked, floating like an astronaut in this www space.

Intermediate User: Use FireFox
Well it just feels like driving "Yugo" and yes I'll get "BMW" one day.

Advanced User: Use Opera
Using Opera I feel like I'm navigating this invincible jet-alike tank, fast, safe and sound. Within few clicks I'll go through 20 pages, read my email, I'll even get to write few sticky notes :P

cooldoug




msg:1583831
 11:14 pm on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I would choose Firefox,but, when I upgraded some of the extentions stopped working. It also now has trouble opening new windows.

vkaryl




msg:1583832
 11:24 pm on Mar 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

You probably need to tweak some settings in Options....

dreamcatcher




msg:1583833
 8:51 pm on Mar 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does anyone else have the problem with Firefox that when you go to select something from a bookmark on the top bar, the options disappear before you have clicked anything?

This is really annoying me. :)

microduma




msg:1583834
 5:06 am on Mar 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

How I enjoy Opera on Saturdays and Sundays::

for some reason my (soon to be ex) host's website and my control panel will not load via any of the gecko- based browzers (Windows & Linux) or MSIE late on Saturday or Sunday nights.

Opera to the resque- it is the only browzer tried that allows me to access the above at these times, most of the time. Don't ask me why.

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