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Opera Browser Usage and Support Forum

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Opera 11 Beta Released; Includes Tab Stacking and Extensions

 2:48 pm on Nov 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Opera 11 Beta Released [my.opera.com]
Opera 11 beta is now available for download from www.opera.com/browser/next/. The beta is loaded with new features. Some are new, while others are improvements to existing Opera features like tabs and mouse gestures.

The tab stacking looks like a useful feature.



 11:04 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

@kaled: You will have to ask Microsoft why they removed the menu. The fact is that they did, and now all other applications are doing it too.

You can keep listing personal pet peeves, but you still don't represent everyone else.

As for an independent source for the 7% figure, that is based on Opera's report to their investors (freely available from opera.com), as well as Internet World Stats. 140 million reported Opera users, and 2 billion reported people online in total = 7%. Simple.


 11:06 pm on Nov 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

@topr8: I find your melancholic comment about Opera having "lost its way" slightly amusing. Having followed Opera for quite a few years, comments like that have been made since the beginning. With every new version, "Opera has lost its way." If one was to take comments like that seriously, one would have thought that Opera would be dead by now :D


 12:15 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

I use Opera almost exclusively these days.. 10.6 version

Very Fast , Pages render as well if not better than any other browsers but the single most important parts for me is Email in the browser..

I have the Panels with Favorites, Contacts etc and EMail set to the right and my email is always loaded..never have to close any windows are start another program ..

I have tried Opera off and on for years .. For me (and what I need it to do) it's about as perfect as can be these days


 2:07 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)


I don't need to ask MS why they removed the menu from some of their programs because I know the answer - some idiot suggested it and another one went yeh, change = better.

I note that you failed to answer any of the questions I asked, you simply repeated your alliterative "pet peeves" accusation. In fact, my comments are actually constructive criticism - clearly you don't understand the concept, so I will try to explain.

Constructive criticism : Pointing out failings that can be corrected thereby improving the subject of the criticism.

As a matter of principle, I never simply say something is rubbish or idiotic - I leave that to other people - instead I always attempt to point out better ways to do things. However, I admit that I do get a bit narked when people simply say I'm wrong without offering anything that even resembles a logical argument.

So, if you genuinely believe that any of the suggestions I have made would make Opera worse then I'm all ears, however, the beauty of software is that it's easy to give users the choice - at least Opera Software were smart enough to do that when they hid the menu.



 9:04 am on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

@kaled: I somehow doubt that "change" is the only reason for removing the menu, but I realize by now that you are going to make a caricature of anything you disagree with.

The question isn't whether your suggestions would make Opera worse. That is not up to me to decide. The question is what Opera's priorities are. Are they to suck up to you personally, or to look at the big picture?


 12:47 pm on Nov 26, 2010 (gmt 0)


@topr8: I find your melancholic comment about Opera having "lost its way" slightly amusing.

sorry, you didn't READ what i said! i said Opera has Lost Ground, not "Lost its way" - it means something totally different

(i apologise if you are not a native english speaker and you didn't understand the subtle difference between the two phrases which have two very different meanings)

i meant that at one point with mouse gestures and tabs (to name but two, at the time, revolutionary features) opera was imho streets ahead of everyone else, but that gap has narrowed considerably.

FYI i've been using opera since you had to pay for it, which i did - i was already using it long before the ad supported version came out, it remains my browser of choice for all kinds of reasons.


 12:28 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would say that "lost ground"/"lost its way" in this context is basically the same thing. Opera never had any ground to lose, so the only thing it can lose is whatever it did well in the past. That means that the company itself must have changed to lose this.

But I don't think it did. In fact, there are as many innovations as before, if not more. And no browser can match the combination of features, and the small size (all competitors are significantly larger despite offering less functionality).


 5:21 pm on Nov 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is that useful functionality or useless functionality?

Are you aware of the 80:20 rule of programming? Basically it says that 80% of the usefulness of a program results from 20% of its features. The key point to try to understand here is that this means it's far more important to get the 20% as close to perfect as possible instead of tinkering with or extending the 80%. If you get the 20% wrong the 80% doesn't matter at all.

I recently took a second look at Inkscape - a vector drawing program. It looks really pretty but I couldn't figure out how to use it all - I just gave up. However it turns out it wasn't me because I'm now using Open Office Draw without a problem (except for a bug when dragging). Having used vector drawing software before, if Inkscape had gotten the 20% right I would have been up and running in few minutes, but instead I guess they concentrated on the 80%.
Some people also apply the 80:20 rule to time and effort too.

Incidentally, "lost ground" clearly relates to numbers of users whilst "lost its way" clearly relates to usability - i.e. they are completely different (although one may result from the other).



 2:57 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)


As for an independent source for the 7% figure, that is based on Opera's report to their investors (freely available from opera.com), as well as Internet World Stats. 140 million reported Opera users, and 2 billion reported people online in total = 7%. Simple.

If you're getting your 140 million number from Opera's report, then that is not an "independent source." Sorry, I trust the websites that track actual usage vs. Opera which tracks "installs". Having Opera installed is not the same thing as using it. Aside from the global stat trackers that I already listed, my own analytics reports show that the percentage of Opera users is even lower than the average. You can say that Opera has 7% market share, but actual usage statistics clearly indicate otherwise.


 8:10 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Opera's biggest problem, IMO, is lack of good marketing.

Isn't that the truth. Opera is the Xerox Alto of browsers. Early version of Opera were way ahead of their time, but they've never been able to capitalize on this.


 8:44 pm on Nov 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Opera is a very good example of what is wrong with free software

kaled, you've been around long enough to know Opera used to be not-free. Do you think their development was better back then?


 1:37 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's too long ago - I can't remember. Plus, whilst I have stayed in touch with Opera, since version 4, I haven't ever used it for an extended period of time. However, it does seem to be a recurring theme that free software has bonkers features in "in the 20%" or obvious features left out or bugs not fixed. It can be extremely high quality in some ways but still have problems that render it unusable that go unfixed for years.

In my own software, I can usually fix bugs in 48 hours and have been known to add sensible suggestions within about a week (but not always). I know exactly how difficult it is to make the sort of changes I have suggested whilst still keeping existing users happy - and the answer is not very difficult at all.

Also, a very common trend these days is to place help file on the internet. Static html can be compiled fairly easily - the Microsoft Help Compiler is a hideous, bug-infested piece of junk but it does just about work. You then have a searchable resource (that doesn't rely on Google) i.e. a .chm file.

So here's a challenge for Operaphiles. Imagine you are new to Opera and you discover it has a spell-check built in for forms - yippee. So how do you change the dictionary from US English to UK English (or any other language come to that). Under Preferences\Advanced\Browsing there is a checkbox labelled "Check Spelling" but no means to select the dictionary. The only thing you can do is laugh - but here's the thing, when an Opera guy took part in a discussion here some time ago (version 10 beta I think) I raised this very point but it still hasn't been fixed.

Problems like that shouldn't even make it into beta releases but in free software they are all too common in the finished product - and they're not fixed even when reported. I once reported a rendering bug to Opera. Despite the fact that I included html source code that clearly demonstrated the fault, they wrote back and said it could not exist - seriously.



 7:08 am on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

@kaled: Opera's user base has grown from year to year, so it hasn't lost ground there either. And Somehow I don't think some tiny project like yours can be compared to the incredible complexity of a web browser. Remember, the browser basically has to handle random input and output, and worse yet, make sense of it. And I somehow doubt that anyone at Opera said "it could not exist." Considering your comments so far, you are most likely making things up again.

@Fotiman: Considering that this is from Opera's financial report to its share holders and the market, and that their numbers are audited, yes, these are indeed trustworthy numbers. Much more trustworthy than browser stats that clearly are incorrect since they aren't even internally consistent. When someone manages to claim that Opera Mini has a lower market share than Opera on the desktop despite the former having more users, something is clearly wrong.

@4serendipity: I don't think Opera's problem is the lack of good marketing. They've got a huge number of successful campaigns, inclufing viral videos with millions of views. No, Opera's problem is that they are independent, and don't have a monopolist to prop them up, unlike IE, Chrome and Firefox (before online ad monopolist Google started promoting their own browser all over the web, they were pushing Firefox like crazy). Give Opera Microsoft or Google's monopolies, and they'll take over the market.


 12:20 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


I just checked, my largest program is about 16% of the size of Opera - hardly tiny. As to the bug I reported, read it and weep...

This is going back to when I started converting .hlp files to .chm files (about 2002 I think). I was necessarily having to learn all about CSS and the like and I was using HTML 3.2 (an Adobe editor I can't remember the name of). Anyway, I tried using <body topmargin leftmargin> and because I was toying with the idea of putting the help online I tested my efforts with multiple browsers as I went along. In doing so, I discovered that Opera did not apply these attributes correctly. I reported this to Opera and the reply I got was that the bug could not exist because Opera ignored those attributes. In point of fact, Opera did not ignore the attributes (they are deprecated in favour of CSS) it simply applied them wrongly. I believe that Opera only operated in standards mode back then (no quirks mode) so it may well be that Opera should have ignored these attributes - but even in that case, it was still a bug.

As for making things up again...
a) I have no need to make up anything
b) You have consistently failed to answer any questions

Let's go back to hiding the menu. You clearly think this is an improvement, so tell us why. If you can't then I think that tells us all we need to know.



 5:40 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

The fact that you claim to have gotten a reply makes your story sound even less plausible, since they don't really reply to bug reports. I'm convinced that you are either making the story up, or consciously or unconsciously exaggerating.

I have already addressed the menu. It doesn't matter what I think. What matters is that Microsoft chose to hide it in newer versions of Windows.


 5:43 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Regarding your application, 16% of Opera, which is already tiny for a browser, is very tiny indeed. And if we consider that you are unlikely to have written the application as tightly and efficiently, and it seems quite odd for you to compare your application to Opera. A browser is likely infinitely more complex than whatever you are working on.


 9:44 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

since they don't really reply to bug reports
Either they do or they don't. They did in my case - I might even have it somewhere but even if I posted it here, you would still choose not to believe it.

As to the miraculously small size of Opera - the distributable is only about 1 MB smaller than Firefox and the total size of DLLs and .EXE files is only about 2MB smaller - in both cases about 12% or so. You might think Opera is tiny but the reality is it's just small, nothing more.

A browser is likely infinitely more complex than whatever you are working on.
Apart from the rendering engine (which I have not criticised) the remainder of the work of a browser is pretty straightforward - it's just a user interface. It takes time but it's not tricky in the way that writing a video codec is (not that I've ever done that but I have implemented what is probably the smallest inflate engine to be found).

As to whether I write tight code - I am very nearly compulsive obsessive on the subject - you might like to view some of my code suggestion here on Webmaster World - in almost every case my solutions will be about as small as they can be.

The program to which I referred as being 16% of the size of Opera represents about 100,000 lines of code - since you think that's tinier than tiny...
What's the biggest program you've written?

As to whether or not I am qualified to comment on the difficulty of implementing the suggestions I have made, I have been programming on and off for nearly thirty years.
How long have you been programming?

Oh and since you are an expert on Opera...
How do you change the spell-check dictionary?



 10:24 pm on Nov 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Opera is tiny. You are forgetting that Opera has a lot more features built in than Firefox. Also, Opera 11 is 30% smaller than Opera 10.6x.

The user interface of a browser is certainly not straightforward. It took Google more than two years to create the first public version of Chrome, and that was when they already had an engine (WebKit).

Commparing your application to Opera or any other browser is... crazy.


 12:28 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

The size I quoted was for Opera 11. I suppose that means that the current stable release (10.x) is larger than Firefox - oops.

Answer the questions I put to you above - let's see which of us is the more qualified.

I can add a degree in Cybernetics and a Masters in Computer Simulation of Control Systems to my years of programming.

Going back to the original subject - tab stacking is a clever idea. However, if tab-stacking had been standard years ago and Opera had invented tab-scrolling loads of people would be saying "wow - that's cool". Tab-stacking is not a game-changer, it's just new, plain and simple. Also, stacking as a concept isn't really new either - Windows has offered stacking on the taskbar for years (although it's not quite the same thing).

As for all the marvellous features built into Opera - I only really want two most of the time - a spell-check dictionary (English not American) and Flashblock. Both of which are easy in Firefox and tricky in Opera.



 1:13 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

A lot of Opera's playing with the default GUI never gets to my eyes. They offer so many customization features for the interface that I long ago optimized it for my work pattern.

I save my user profile regularly, just in case I need it for a new computer or a botched upgrade - but that means I don't see most of the default changes.


 2:17 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

a spell-check dictionary (English not American) and Flashblock.

I can't help you with the dictionary issue, but I just noticed that you can now enable plug-ins, but also choose to have them to be "on-demand" only. This would work somewhat like FlashBlock. You have to click on Flash content to specifically activate it. It doesn't start / execute automatically.


 4:11 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

To change spell check dictionaries in Opera, right click on a form's text input and then choose Dictionaries > Add/Remove dictionaries.

http://www.opera.com/browser/tutorials/intro/speed/#spell [opera.com]


 6:53 am on Dec 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

> Opera's biggest problem, IMO, is lack of good marketing.

I used to promote that idea. I think about versions 2 through about 7 that was true. Since then, they have had so much good word-of-mouth, that you can hardly blame marketing. Good software is word-of-mouth driven.

Since then, I've slowly come around to a few different issue with Opera:

1- The home office in Oslo. They simply are not aggressive in the market place. They don't have that 'go for the throat' instinct. They've had a superior product at several points of the game and have failed to drive that home with users.

2- Opera doesn't get it's user base. They have no concept of social networking. They have a huge community on their own server, and they barely tolerate them. Occasionally sending out a sacrificial emissary to promote and defend - but NEVER ever under any circumstances apologize for errors. It would be a cold day in hell when Opera ever said it made mistakes with code. It is one of the most arrogant and self righetous companies I have ever dealt with (yep - it takes one to know one). They won't budge an inch if they think they are right.

For example, they claim they are 'site developer friendly'. Then they put out this release with an obfuscated address bar which really makes the browser pretty poor for site development. They quickly put out on twitter that, "oh, it will come with a button to turn that off". In other words, they knew exactly what they were doing when they were doing it, but they had their plan and they were sticking to it regardless of what users wanted. That same scenario had been repeated a hundred times over the last 12 years I have been using Opera.

3- Code quality. I think the v3-8 versions of opera really gave opera a bad name for code quality. The browsers were clearly crash happy. Some of the beta's put out v4-v6, would barely boot and would quickly crash.

4- Website Compatibility. Instead of focusing on it and getting it right, Opera stood around and blamed websites for bad code, hid behind the W3C, and wasted several years screwing around building features no one uses. Opera kept saying it was impossible to build a browser that worked with all sites like ie. Funny that Apple came along with WebKit and it worked with 99.9% of the sites out there from day one. If apple could do it as a side project, I would think a browser manufacture would be able to do it.

That all said, it is still a good product. It has some features that other browsers just do not have.

- Firefox is still a slow bloated cow that takes 30 plugins just to get close to what is default in Opera.
- Chrome is a comparative joke. A fraction of the features. Fast, but not a legitimate browser in my book because it is so far behind in quality features site developers need. The only thing chrome has going for it is Google's name on it.
- Safari, seems ok, but feature deficient and 'left handed' Apple.
- IE. Getting pretty cool, but too tied to the operating system. Lord only knows what it is doing with some websites. I just don't feel safe or secure browsing with IE. Too many exploits running out there.

Opera - still has the fastest UI of any of the major browsers. Loads quicker, faster response, better feature set, closer to standards, and I think it loads pages faster than any other browser out there (including chrome). I can out surf a chrome person 2 to one (and that has nothing to do with page load speed alone)

However, I rarely trust Opera any more. They screw something up every built. I can't remember a beta release that wasn't 2 steps forward and 1.5 backward. They add something of value and always always take something away.

For this release - they added tab stacking. Very cool feature and a nice answer to TabCandy. However, they screwed up the address bar, and then blinded us with the mouse gesture prompting (neither of which can be turned off in the beta). 2 steps forward - 1.5 back. Mark my words - that is the case with every Opera build. They constantly mess with peoples favorite features (like the cache system of old) and never turn around on it - apologize for it - or explain it. They just stick their head in a hole and defend it to the end. Then they wonder why they are 4th in a 3 horse race.


 9:35 pm on Dec 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

The size I quoted was for Opera 11. I suppose that means that the current stable release (10.x) is larger than Firefox - oops.

No, the English Firefox installer was bigger than the English Opera installer.


2: That's like any other company, especially American companies. Do you see most companies admit to errors? Of course not. And the whole financial market just crashed because of it.

4: You are actually mistaken about Opera's position. They have said that they are spending a lot of time and resources on compatibility, and that the browser was built from the ground up to be compatible.

WebKit had huge compatibility problems as well, but Apple being what it is, had the power to force designers to comply. I mean, to this day, Safari is what all designers are talking about on mobile even if Opera is the dominant browser for mobile phones.

That said, WebKit browsers still struggle with compatibility tot his day despite having giants like Apple and Google to push them along.

So it's rather unfair to blame Opera, when WebKit's problems have been much worse, and unlike WebKit, Opera doesn't have any monopolies to rely on.

As for breaking things, you may think that the new address bar is a step back, but it's very easy to understand why it was done. And it's necessary

What's holding Opera back, in many ways, is that they are too afraid to just cut their losses and remove features or change things that a minority of hardcore users are using.

Opera spends far too much time appeasing a small minority with extremely specific usage patterns.

So when you complain about them taking something away, I would argue that they probably took too little away. They need to be usable by the mass-market, not just by specialized computer experts.

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