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Opera Browser Usage and Support Forum

This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >     
Convince me to use Opera (or Moz/FB)
opera benefits

 3:18 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

I see that there are a lot of Opera/Mozilla/Firebird users on this forum. I am very interested in switching from the dreaded IE6, but I'm looking for a browser I will actually USE. I have opera, firebird and netscape (latest versions) installed, but with the IE icon still on my desktop I find myself always clicking that first. Old habits die hard I guess.

What turns me away from Opera is their banner. I'm not opposed to buying software that I enjoy and supporting their work, but at $39 plus $15 upgrades is pretty steep when there are viable free options. I don't think it's as pretty as IE or Moz either. But for those of you Opera fans out there, convince me that it's worth the price. Or even that the free version is good enough.

I like Netscape/Mozilla a lot right now. Firebird is a bit too stripped out for me though. I'm just looking for a fast, competent, browser here with perhaps some cool tools and options. Email isn't important though. I have 10 years worth saved in Outlook.

So please give me your opinions on the major browsers as well as their pros and cons. I've read through their respective propoganda but I'd really like to know what WebmasterWorld thinks. Except people who only use Lynx. I don't care about you people. ;)


Another thing that is important to me is consistency. I don't want to have to switch to another browser while surfing because things don't look as they are supposed to. And as supposed to, I mean in the IE sense, not the code is wrong so it should display wrong. A majority of websites are "optimized" (dumb word) for IE and not even tested in alternative browsers. So I'm interested in your experiences in regards to this as well.



 3:38 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Two reasons, either of which might appeal to you.

First is mouse navigation, switching back and forward pages, for example, is so much faster and simpler. I now get serious withdrawal when forced to use IE.

Second is Opera adhears to standards, which in itself is reason enough to support them. Testing pages and seeing them as the code suggests rather than the browser bugs presented was my initial reason for switching/trialing opera.

There's also a fair amount of options to supress javascript popup etc.


 3:47 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

"What turns me away from Opera is their banner."

Handy for seeing what google thinks is relevent though.

"I don't think it's as pretty as IE or Moz either."
There are loads of skins for Opera.


 4:03 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

If the banner really annoys you then press F11 to go full screen.

Personally I don't mind it, I have it set on the Google AdWords option and I quite often find myself clicking on them out of interest (which in turn generates some revenue for Opera which is no bad thing:))


 4:16 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

Main reasons I use Opera:

  • built-in tabbed browsing No need to have hundreds of windows open (the "Open in new background page" is soo useful, allowing you to carry on reading a page while opening a link in the background)

  • speed - not sure I can quantify this but it certainly feels way faster than IE to use on a dialup, probably because it starts rendering pics straight away

  • better feedback - instead of staring at the animated logo as pop-up status bar tells you what its actually doing (percent complete, number of images loaded, time taken, bandwidth etc)

  • extendability - you can add you own menus via a simple text file. I currently have the W3-dev menu installed which has lots of useful web development stuff on it.

  • sessions - ability to 'save a session' so that you can open up the same set of sites next time you start browsing (e.g. I have one with WebmasterWorld, HTML4 spec, CSS2 spec, AListApart etc)

  • popup blocking - always nice

  • better privacy - clear the cache, cookies, history, passwords etc etc with one click on one dialog. Handy for more nefarious activities.

    I've nothing against the other 'alternative' browsers. I'm sure they are equally as good, its just Opera was the first one I tried that I immediately took to.

    As for problems, I find I can view the vast majority of sites without issues. Occassionally a site will get snooty and say 'you must use IE on this site' (this is particularly true of financial or shopping sites) but you can often get around this by asking Opera to identify itself as IE6.

  • hartlandcat

     4:19 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I don't want to have to switch to another browser while surfing because things don't look as they are supposed to.

    This is one of the main misconceptions about non-IE browsers. I've been using Netscape for well over a year, and 99% of websites I've visited rendered seamlessly. The majority of the remaining 1% was still functional.


     4:34 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I don't want to have to switch to another browser while surfing because things don't look as they are supposed to.

    I agree with hartlandcat, it just doesn't happen all that often. And when there is a problem, then often all it takes is to change the user agent to spoofing as IE (and that's simple with Quick Preferences)

    When I do hit a page that absolutely requires IE because it's so horribly non-standard, I'm reminded of the poor mac user who has to deal with this all the time and keeps a browser arsenal at the ready. So it reminds me to test for the mac more thoroughly.

    When I first switched to Opera, it was like getting an extra hour in my work day - that's how good the speed and intelligent interface features are.


     4:43 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Here's a question:

    How many people have *gone back* to IE?

    How many have tried the latest versions of Mozilla (or Opera, Firebird, or whatever) and actually returned to using IE as their main browser?
    I mean actually tried switching for a day or two - or longer - rather than 15 minutes on a Friday afternoon because they were bored :)


     4:49 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I use NS7 and use the tabbed browing all the time. It is up to you to choose between browsers, however I would not go back to a non-tabbed browser.

    Pressing control+left mouse on a link in NS7, (shift+control in Opera), opens a new tab with the link contents being loaded. Click on recent posts at the top of this page in Opera or NS7 and run quickly down the list with the Shift+control or control and click, opening thread after thread. Press Control+W and the tab closes (in either browser). Now you have a list of thread to read, all loaded in for when you get to them.

    If you have a lot of favorites, get a browser that will import the export file from IE. Netscape will, Opera probably will, but I have never done it with Opera, so someone else may be able to answer that.


     5:03 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Yeah Opera does it as part of the install.


     5:23 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Well, I've been playing with opera all morning and I have to say it is quite awesome. The functionality that they have included is quite amazing. Graham your post was exactly the kind I'm looking for. Thank you to everyone.

    I still feel that Opera's design is kind of cluttered. Without clear seperations of menus it just looks odd to me. It is definitely something I will need to get use to. I've downloaded many skins, and there are a few that add those tech lines. I think I'll keep with the windows_skin for now.

    I still have an issue with the $39 as well. If I could download upgrades for free, even if for only a year or two, I would do it in a second. But since new versions are coming out all the time, it makes me very hesitant.

    So we all know how much opera wins over IE. But I'm also looking for differences/preferences of the other browsers. How does Opera and Mozilla compare? Why did you go with one over the other?


     5:35 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    chadmg said:
    If I could download upgrades for free, even if for only a year or two, I would do it in a second.

    You can. The upgrade charge only applies for upgrading a major version number (i.e. moving from Opera 6 to Opera 7) or when switching OS.

    From the Opera upgrade section of the site:
    Note: All decimal upgrades within one Opera for OS version number are free.


     6:07 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Haha. Thanks again Graham.

    Stupid user says, "Well they should display that information more prominently!"


     6:26 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Also, unless a site deliberately blocks opera (which user agent switching fixes about 50-75% of the time), you can virtually always access the content. A quick tap on the user/author style button eliminates all css from the page (also very useful for painful color schemes such as white on black ;)).

    7.5 has much better menus and a less intrusive ad banner, but it's still in beta.


     7:50 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Try it for 1 month and then be honest. Would ya, well?

    Forget the banner, you wouln't even notice it unless you're on a small monitor.



     7:58 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    still feel that Opera's design is kind of cluttered.

    You can customize like crazy, delete elements you don't want, move things around. I have a very stripped down GUI going, text only and very slim on the toolbars - except for four custom search boxes.

    For me it's all about the function and the feel - never the look - and Opera lets me have that. The only skin I ever care about is on a living being.


     8:39 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    With Opera's context menu I can highlight a word or phrase on a web page, and with a right click choose to:

    1) Search via my default SE with one more click;
    2) Perform many other searches (using any SE, Amazon, eBay, Download.com, Google Groups, to name a few of the defaults, and any others I want to define myself) with two more clicks;
    3) Look up the word at a dictionary or encylopedia site;
    4) Translate it into six different languages;
    5) Fire up my mail program to send it to someone;

    And my favorite one to use here at WebmasterWorld:

    6) Go to URL (especially handy for those "delinked" sites like http*//www.samplesite.com. Just highlight the www through .com, and go. No cutting and pasting and editing).

    [edited to add]
    And if we can't convince you, try looking at Thirty Days to Becoming an Opera Lover at tntluoma.com.


     9:30 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    The updated version for Opera 7 is at h*ttp://tntluoma.com/opera/lover/7/

    Well worth a read, I seem to share his opinion of Netscape 4:
    For the sake of all that is good and holy, please stop using that awful browser. Yes, I realize it is familiar. Yes, I know you think it is just fine. Yes, I know it is as comfortable as an old pair of shoes... the trouble is that ... it smells an awful lot like an old pair of shoes.



     9:37 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Opera is cool but for the plethora of releases and fixes - which means there's a fair few copies out there that DON'T render standard-compliant sites properly.

    If it's for testing, then yeah, you've got to have it. If your concern is for merely browsing and functionality, I'd highly, HIGHLY recommend MyIE2:

    MyIE2 has a lot in common with Opera but it works from the IE engine... and it just keeps gettin better:

    Gecko engine support, (experimental). Check it at File->New .
    (Must install mozilla control from [iol.ie...] <-- Excellent for testing IE/Gecko within one browser.
    Tabbed Browsing Interface, of course!
    Mouse Gestures
    Super Drag&Drop
    AD/Banner Killer
    Pop-Up Killer
    Google Bar Support
    External Utility Bar
    Note-Collector - Highlight text on page & drag/drop into collector ¦ Run Javascripts on web-page.
    Display Your IP Address in status bar.
    Network Speed.
    Window Size - Resize window, see size in status bar
    Auto-Google - Drag word off page, MyIE2 queries and displays Google results <- Dead handy.
    Search Multiple SE's all at once.
    Auto highlight search keywords.
    Utility Manager - Assign programs to open from within MyIE2
    Plug-inable - Loads'a plug-ins + Roll ya own ¦ Check out plug-ins page after 1st start.
    Drive Directory - View HD directory, Filterable, Open files. <-- Dead handy.
    Zoom Page
    Drag URL text - Drag non clickable URL anywhere on page, auto-opens link in new window.
    Drag a graphic - Drag graphic, hold down the Ctrl key - Saved!
    Groups - Save open pages to a group. Auto-open them all at once or on start-up.
    Auto-refresh - Set refresh time per page or all pages
    Undo closed windows
    Resume last open pages after crash
    Windows Protection - Password protect certain web-pages.
    Link list - Displays all links on page. Filter binaries, email, grafx, protocol etc... and open all links.
    Proxy Server - Assign proxy server addy's for certain websites, none for others.
    WHOIS current page.
    Translate current page

    ... and more, it's a mo-fo trust me.

    I'm also detectin a "bridgin" of the gap between IE & Mozilla & Web Dev.

    There's a "Combo" download (~3.5Mb) and a "lite" (~750Kb) one - There aint no difference between them apart from plug-ins which you can download from the site anyway.


     9:40 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Me like Opera:
    * blazing speed
    * many, very many handy keyboard shortcuts
    * Shift-Arrow to 'surf' the hyperlinks on a page (no mouse needed)
    * very easy to zoom in and out (just press + or - on the numeric keyboard)
    * et cetera!


     10:12 pm on Jan 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Opera is cool but ... there's a fair few copies out there that DON'T render standard-compliant sites properly....

    MyIE2 ... works from the IE engine...

    :) ROFL :)

    Sorry, but you are worried about standards compliance so you use a browser based on the IE engine? Hmm...

    Trust me, Opera is WAAAAAY better at standards compliance than IE6 (as is pretty much every other modern browser out there). what paricular rendering bugs were you referring to?

    As for those numerous MyIE2 features.. I think Opera pretty much has all that out of the box.


     12:50 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Sorry, but you are worried about standards compliance so you use a browser based on the IE engine? Hmm...

    Oh I see, I did wonder how long it'd be for this thread to eventually deteriorate into the <yawn>, "Browser War" thread.

    Well I've written enough on the subject, here and elsewhere, to be bothered to re-hash old arguments that, in the end, no one wins nor listens to.

    You've missed the point though grahamstewart, or rather, you've selectively quoted my post as a base to launch an attack on IE - In my 2nd paragraph I divided the reasons for owning/using either/or... no where did I question which browser is more compliant than the other.

    As for those numerous MyIE2 features.. I think Opera pretty much has all that out of the box.

    ... Yes, there are things in one that aren't in the other though I think MyIE2 beats Opera on count alone and...MyIE2 is free heheheh... yep FREE!... with no ads too!

    ... And what MyIE2 also proves is that the IE engine can go as far, if not further than competing browsers... apart from the compliancy thing but that's another thread.


     1:48 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I can hardly be bothered to add my 2c worth. It's all been said before.

    I think this subject is only worth discussing when a new browser version is released and there is something new to compare. Everything else is in the archives.



     2:44 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I'm really not interested in Browser Bashing or a Browser War thread. You are right, they getting very boring very quickly.

    The point of this thread was to outline arguments for using an alternative to IE6 and I guess MyIE2 qualifies as an alternative in some way. (To be fair I've never used it).

    I agree MyIE2 certainly shows that there is nothing fundamentally holding back the IE engine from being able to do the same kind of funky stuff that other browsers have been doing for years.

    you've selectively quoted my post as a base to launch an attack on IE

    Not my intention and I apologise. However you did claim that some versions of Opera have problems with standards compliant pages and you seemed (to me at least) to be suggesting that this was part of your reasoning for using MyIE2. I merely meant to question that reasoning.

    Opera has great standards compliance and that is something I feel strongly about, so I vote with my feet (or my mouse to be exact :))


     6:14 am on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hi to all.

    Ignore number of my posts. I just came from local (Serbian) tech forum.
    There I learned a lot about browsers. Some surprising things!
    It is hard to meet somebody who actually tried more than one really good browser, simply because when you think yours is best, why bother with more?
    I had to try mozilla firebird, mozilla 1.5, so I can reply to someone who said that mozilla has all I highlighted for opera - with truth.
    I never have reply there, because in meanwhile I learned that people is driven by habits. Some have tried the best and returned to ie! When I tried firebird, I saw that he surely never has tried opera. People tend to war about any topic. Expected here to, so I will try to stick with benefits of opera and not to talk much what I dislike in other browsers. (In general, I dislike lack of opera features in them). :)

    Be sure to have opera set to open all tabs in one window.
    Always use "open in background" option in right-click menu. (When it is loaded its tab goes blue. It is good idea to set a sound for that event too.)
    Set search field to "find in page" search.
    Experiment with precious button for toggling loading of pictures. (Indispensable with slow loading pages or ad-powered sites such as hotmail!). Progress bar immediately shows what size to expect of page, and number of pictures in it. Just by skipping "stupid" pages you are sparing some money used to register.
    Set buttons to minimum size (40% for new version).
    When licensed, drag status-bar in line with buttons (use smaller group of buttons, no text). Great space-saving.
    Set start to "continue from previous session."

    There are many sites in English about further customizing opera. Note that all this is "briefing!"

    If you happen to start with some other good browser, you will get addicted and will never know the rest of great features in opera. Read help, find all the things you would not suspect exist.

    - conclusion -

    I tried many browsers, spent thousands of hours in active surfing, and I have strong feeling that you will not miss anything by choosing opera, and will gain much. (Price for that peace of art is fair. Try before buy). :)


     1:48 pm on Jan 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Hey grahamstewart, no worries - Better to have a Browser War than a member war I suppose... though that can be enjoyable sometimes ;)


     12:51 am on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

    My two cents worth...

    For checking serps and webmaster stuff, I use IE, for the Google PR, and also to see how pages appear to the majority of users. I check new pages of my own with Netscape 4.7 to see if they render properly in an older browser.

    When I'm using the net for my own purposes, I use Firebird because it's the fastest and I'm on dial-up. I like its cleanliness also. Pages that don't render in it, I forget about. If they demand that I use IE, I'm not interested.


     2:58 am on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

    I know it wasn't a problem in Opera 6 but Opera 7, at least the first versions, had a issue with hot-keys and flash. If trying to play some flash games or use some flash forms flash would lose focus when certian Opera hot-keys were pressed. I recall finding a few other Opera issues on the Opera forums. Mostly just obscure bugs. I am sure that hot-keys and most of the other problems with Opera could be fixed by the user adjusting settings but as most website developers know you should never expect anything from you visitors, especially asking them to change their settings around to view your website. So I only test with default settings on all browsers.

    I use almost all browsers to test my pages. I will even find myself keeping a certain browser open to search the web for awhile, but I must admit that I use ie6 for everyday use.

    Why, because almost 100% of website developers test their pages in ie6. They would be a fool if they didn't. So even though ie6 sucks. I know if I use it 99% of my pages will look ok and the ones that don't would probably look messed up in the other browsers anyway.

    I must say though, that if I was thrust back into 56k hell I would go with Opera because it has that handy little button to disable images which I imagine would come in very handy. I know ie6 has it too, but not in as easy to get to location.


     1:45 pm on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

    ... if I was thrust back into 56k hell I would go with Opera ...

    Appreciate your point, but choice of browser would make little difference to the 56k hell I am experiencing in the UK. I am with one one of the biggest 24/7 ISPs in the UK and over the recent months speed has slowed to a crawl and I am flooded with invalid "Object Moved" error messages. My guess is that funding is going into broadband at the expense of dialup. And I can't get broadband where I am.

    Sorry, off-topic rant over. :)



     6:13 pm on Jan 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

    Brief history of opera:
    before 6.06 gradual progress
    version 6.06 very good
    version 7 catastrophe
    version 7.1 some recovery
    version 7.2 and above: more than recovery, best dhtml and css support. There are still some sites that only IE can open as intended (because they were optimized for it, not because they are "by the rules"), one in a thousand.

    The point:
    Many honest netizens have version 7 in mind when discussing about browsers. Sad, reality.
    no flash problems in 7.23 with default settings

    This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35 ( [1] 2 > >
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