|Opera 8 beta is now available|
It's a tiny link below the Buy and Download buttons on the home page.
I'm still looking for a changelog....
Thanks Chndru. I was just coming back to post that.
So I'll post this instead: :)
|The Opera Voice feature allows the user to control the interface by talking and to have documents read aloud. Voice is currently offered in English and works on Windows 2000 and XP. A headset with a microphone is required to use Voice. |
|Some interesting changes in one of the nets favorite 3rd party browsers |
That voice feature sounds nice from the section 508 standpoint. But Firefox has far eclipsed Opera as the webs favorite third party browser.
Yeah- most people don't want to look at ads in their browser ;)
I still love Opera best - and I'm very willing to pay to have no ads plus all the usability details that I appreciate.
I use Firefox about 10% of the time - mostly for research because I appreciate the Developer's extension for checking out other sites.
Out of curiosity- what do you find Opera offers that's better than Mozilla or Firefox?
The Mozilla offerings have come a long way in offering functionality. But Opera has usability oozing from every decision in the interface, as far as I'm concerned. I love the way Forward and Back never need to reload the page.
I love the quick preference changes - what I need is gathered in logical structures that I can get to intuitively, no problem, no guessing. The tabbed browsing is just perfectly executed, the cusomizability, the integrated RSS.
I've been using Opera since version 3 - it rapidly became my favorite and by now I'm very well acclimated. I love the way I can work around in a framed site when I must (I often to assess competition who use frames.)
If my current use of FireFox begins to grow, I'll let you know about that and why. But for now, it still seems like Opera makes all my online work go faster - net result of all the right things in the interface and in the right click menu.
It saves me time every day - and that is a nice payoff.
I'd be interested to hear from anybody running the Opera 8 beta. Right now I've got 7.54u1 tweaked the way I like. 7.5 was a pretty big jump. How's the transition to the beta? Opera's betas seem to have a pretty stable history, but they're still beta. Is it worth trying the beta or are a lot of Opera users waiting for the final version 8?
8's - "ok", but is is not a major leap forward.
Some minor changes is all I can see and a few things I don't like (new tab bar is full of close buttons).
When you install it, there's an Advanced option that retains the close button in the corner, not on the tabs. I'm guessing this can be altered in the Preferences later if you wish.
Opera 7.54u1 was a security upgrade that unfortunately now reloads certain pages on back or forward - most annoying! It's a quick fix though. Opera 8 only does it on secure sites.
There's a lot new in 8 - voice control, fit-to-width, a new start menu that drops down from the address bar, and much more. Apparently they have also rewritten the core, hence version 8 and no longer 7.6.
Apparently, there are some rather large changes since 7.5, thus the major revision:
|We added a new rendering architecture, called ERA (Extensible Rendering Architecture), which lets you use Opera on any screen size, and Opera will reformat the page to fit. |
That sounds intriguing - and maybe just a bit scary. I don't usually use a beta because most of the time my production schedule really can't afford a hiccup. But this has me quite intrigued.
I LIKE IT.
Opera 8 Beta is great loads better than 7.5
My Best Browsers now
1. Opera 8 Beta
2. Internet Explorer 6
3. Firefox 1
My Old Best Browsers
1. Internet Exploer 6
2. Firefox 1
3. Opera 7.5
Absolutly nothing new worthwhile. I can't see anything new in 8 that I would use at all.
Voice - say what!? Less than nothing - a waste of good code.
Small screen - they've had that - never used it then - won't use it now.
The only then new worthwhile is the fix of the back/forward bug of 7.51.
> Opera 8 only does it on secure sites.
Major league annoying - it shouldn't even be doing it there. Opera's security track record is suddenly looking alot like Microsofts.
I will be using Opera 3.62 for the entire day. (eg: the last good version of Opera worth using)
I can read and handle just about any good new product marketing hype. I've obviously even written a bunch myself. However, there comes a time when you read enough of it that stretches the truth too far-too often that something has to be said.
|We had a completely new version of the core in place, with improved support for various standards, |
If memory serves, OS has said that every version since 4.0 in 2001. I believe it was a lie then, and that it is a lie now. imho - No new core was written. Reassembly is not a new core.
|We added a new rendering architecture, called ERA (Extensible Rendering Architecture), |
Isn't this the same stuff that is in v7 by pressing Shift-F11?
|Printing received a facelift too, and fit to paper size was added. |
Ya, it is called a bug fix - deal with it.
What is worse, it is still not fixed right on pages with forms.
|Opera 8.0 automatically checks for new versions every week. |
Phone-home-ware without the option to turn it off by any other name is just low grade Spyware.
|Error dialogs were replaced by error pages. |
|Help files were moved online. |
Phone-home-for-docs-ware without the option to turn it off by any other name is just low grade [/i]Spyware[/i].
|We dropped the Java bundle, and instead offer to download the Java environment when you visit a page using Java. |
Ya, cuz OS was too cheap to pay java a real licensing fee and bundle it. It was a pain in the neck to provide two versions so moving to "one click to install" was a load off OS's plate.
|The user interface, including toolbars and menus, was streamlined and made more friendly to new users |
lol - ya, that's the ticket. I swear that is almost verbatium what the last 3 major release change logs have said.
|and mail, chat and newsfeeds no longer have to be disabled. They are only enabled when needed. |
It is called a bug fix - deal with it.
|If you read the changelog, you will understand why this is a new major version, and not just a minor upgrade. |
It is called a bug fix - deal with it.
LOL :-) Well a lot of improvements are behind the scenes. Yes, bug fixes. The point is, to the user, Opera 8 may appear almost identical to Opera 7, but that can't be the case. Rendering bugs and program bugs do get fixed, so to me it makes sense to use the latest version.
I doubt somehow that Opera 3 can handle half the stuff on the web thesedays, nor in the future. XML? XHTML served as XML? CSS2 and 3? Why do yourself a disfavour by using such an antiquated browser? You might as well use Netscape 4!
(No offence there, just curious.)
Oh, and the Voice stuff in Opera 8 is a separate download I believe. You have to turn it on first.
I guess Java was dropped because everyone already has it, and the filesize with Java added is quite large. (Read: they don't want to appear much bigger than Firefox's download size.)
As for the refresh on secure sites only, I read that this is required by some banks, so Opera had to put it in. But they couldn't fix it properly in 7.54, so that just got a quick fix for now.
Good news anyway - Opera 7 users won't have to pay for Opera 8! What's more, you can now install a registered version on all your machines, not just one.
Your (among others) comments about Opera are what made me switch over in the first place.
To see you rip it (with valid points), is making me have doubts as to the future of this browser. Are you having the same, or have you been disgusted enough to switch?
it is interesting enough to see from different perspective. i have always been fan of opera and now i m really excited about the upcomming opera 8. i believe in opera so much that i want some different perspective that i might b missing. thanks for enlighten me with such a contrast view points. however here is some of my opinion.
"Phone-home-ware without the option to turn it off by any other name is just low grade Spyware." :)
yeh, i don't like that kinda practice also. however deal with it. or let's start calling "Adobe," "iTunes," "Quicktime," "Real Player," "Nero," "Clone CD," "Java," <well let's leave out Micorsoft :) > spyware .
of course, if opera 7 is totally bug free, why bother upgrade?
it is interesting that they found only one critical flaw <thanks for the link.> and get accused of followint MS trail. well that is the first time i have seen the opera's critical flaw. I have seen 3 or 4 of the critical flaws for firefox a while ago. so tell me if there are other browser on the market without critical flaws. do i have choice? may b opera might have more flaw than firefox, who know? people are only now interested in firefox who got all the attention and testing it and finding flaws.anyway, i will still b using opera 8 as long as their visions and effort to provide better browser satisfy me.
by the way, if anyone don't like it. just say so and give reasons. no need to spoil the party by saying such words like "disgusting."
After a hard look at Firefox and Moz, I've kept the trusty Opera up and running.
There are too many things I immediately miss in Firefox:
- Mdi: (aka, tabs) opera's mdi interface is a easier and faster than Firefoxs. (FF's works good for a hand full of windows - operas works' good for dozens. 30+ open right now)
- Mouse gestures. Once adapted too, they increase surf speed by multiples.
- Page DeSpaminization.
o- strip flash. turning off flash advertisements makes the web so much more readable.
o- strip css: press control g and magic happens. You strip off the pages css and replace it with your own. Not only does it make pages more readable, it makes some seo tactics jump out onto the page.
o- strip graphics at will: how many times have you been setting waiting for a page to load the last of it's graphics. A quick "g" key in opera stops those graphics. I use the G key feature very often to get rid of page spam.
o- what is really nice about these 2, is that the page inherits the current settings. Say you are on a site with a bad css (small fonts, light gray text on white bg) and you turn off the page CSS with control-G. Then shift-control-click a stack of links on the page to open those links in the background - they inherit that control-g stetting. The same is true for graphics.
- Customization. Opera puts you in control.
I guess ultimately, the Opera experience still puts me in the drivers seat, while I experience Mozilla/FF as just setting in the passenger seat. With Opera, you are the driver controlling your experience - where as you are just along for the ride with IE and Mozilla.
How can I turn off flash?
Uncheck "Enable plug-ins" in the Multimedia section of the Preferences.
Does that affect anything other than flash?
yes, any other plugins you may have active. The big ones might be PDF's within the browser (but pdfs will still launch the adobe pdf viewer external).
It is easiest to turn on/off flash on a per-page basis. I leave it off an then turn it on (via the F12 quick toggle menu) when needed.
You can disable individual plugins in Firefox as well, but weirdly it's under the Downloads section of the options.
One of the features in Opera's interface that really works for me is the "Windows" menu, where the Titles and URLs for previously closed pages are listed and can be accessed with a quick click.
I've learned to close windows when a certain task area is comepleted, for the momtn - and for the rest of the browser session they are still easily available without the more permanent action of a bookmark.
This is not new in the version 8 beta, but since we are talking about Opera's advantages, I thought it deserved a mention.
though I like opera very much. there are a few very annoying bugs out there.< I have not tested them with beta yet.>
First of all
whenever I install opera, I have to manually copy the Adobe plugins from Adobe folder into opera plugins folder. Moreover, if you have Adobe Professional and and if you use plugins from Adobe Professional, it won't work. The plugins has to be from Adobe standard Free Version. It is not the case with Firefox. It just finds it and works well whether it is Adobe standard or Adobe Professional. If it is Adobe Professional 7, the Adobe Pro 7 even give out the unsuppoted error message.
However once you get the Adobe standard plugins, the Adobe Professional <integrated> will be use when you open pdf file. I forgot if it still work when you uninstall the Adobe standard and leaving the Adobe Professional. <I think, it does not, since uninstalling Adobe standard will remove the plugins from opera folder. It still won't work if you save a plugins copy somewhere else and paste it back into opera's plugins folder.>
M2, wand and error dialog
when you use M2, you want to have some privacy and you use wand. Using wand itself for "Everytime Needed" without M2 is fine. However when you use M2, it is annoying to type the password every five minutes when M2 go checks the email online. so you set the wand to "Once per session," it save you from typing password very often. However it also has its own bug. If you didn't type the Master password right away when the opera start, you will get a bunch of password asking dialog boxes after a while. what else, you also get M2 reporting dialog that said it fails to connect to the mail server and more repeated dialogs that ask you the mail password <the password you type in for your email> to connect the mail server.
I think opera can avoid such annoying dialogs delimma
-if they make opera to launch only when the master password is typed
-if they let opera launch, let opera check if the master password dialog is still there or not, if the master password dialog is still there, don't start other activities that need the master password.
By the way, I use yahoo mail.
I heard that now opera is replacing error dialogs with error pages in beta. I hope that solve the problem I metions here. <there is no mail program in beta yet.> I prefer using webbase email and I don't use other mail program, I have tried Outlook series a couple of times to archive my email from online. So I don't know if the opera problems are unique or common.
I can't stand Real Player in the beginning as it is the first Application, which I notice, going online without your approval. I don't know if they let you disable that option these days or not. It is also frustrating to download Real, as they force you to sign up just to download it and some common users get charged from their credit card because of Real's misleading installation process in the past. However a lot of the website is using Real technology and I have to download and install it for all the computers I have been helping out but I use msconfig to disable Realschedule program manually to punish it. <I am, kinda, used to Real these days.> Well I am a bit off from the subject, Opera. It is not a very big deal. You get error message when you click on Real stream line link with <rtsp protocol>, you can solve this by adding rtsp protocol in the Preference->Programs and Paths, then give the Real program path. Opera should have done that by default. Even I am not hating Real these days :) though I don't use it as much as I can.
I have a friend who can be really stubborn with his view point sometime. He is a successful man from my view point. I told him that his very strong point and weak point is the same. That is his stubborness with his view points.
One of the main reasons that Firefox is successful is that it is really simple to use. <Can iPod be an example here also?> Opera has missed a bunch of fans to FireFox. I also like Firefox for its simplicity. Opera has a lot of complex function and it has been its strong point and at the same time its weak point. I have one friend who said he does not like opera because you have to answer a lot of question to use it. some people they simply want to browse internet , they don't want and can't stand anything complicated. I have been advocating Opera to all my friends and I have little success because of complexity. Sometime I even configure Opera to be the simplest form. there is also another issues, since Firefox is an open source and got a lot of media attention, most of the websites are supporting it. but for opera, some of the websites are even trying to discourage using opera. e.g [dsl.sbc.yahoo.com...] . For that kind of website, all we can do is just write to the administrator to support opera and provide them this link [my.opera.com...]
Some good points. I've never had a problem with Adobe and Opera, but then PDFs do not open within the browser - they are saved as downloads. Opera are working on a new plug-in format that will do away with the old one they are currently using.
Real Player has some options that stop it reporting usage via the net. When you install it, you need to go through the Preferences and untick the options to send back data. A firewall like Zone Alarm is also handy for stopping it accessing the net.
I am talking about the Adobe plug-ins which let you open the adobe in the browser but not download and open in different Adobe application.
Thanks for the advice about zone alarm and real.