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|Opera 11 Beta Released; Includes Tab Stacking and Extensions|
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.
Just had a very quick look - not impressed.
Opera is a very good example of what is wrong with free software - they spend their time tinkering and adding new features instead of adding basic functionality that is missing (perhaps because they don't realise it's missing because they only use their own product).
For instance, I still can't Ctrl-click to open a link in a new tab (I have to shift-click instead). Nor can I right-click the navigation buttons to bring up the history. That said, you can shift-click a bookmark to open it in a new tab now (not sure when they added that though). But I can't make minor changes to bookmarks by dragging or right-clicking.
Particularly stupid is the absence of the menu-bar by default (one company has a stupid idea and others feel the need to copy it - crazy). However, when you show the menu bar with aero active, it works but looks ridiculous. Either it should be drawn using aero methods or the glass area below should be made non-aero.
However, the most obviously stupid feature that needs to be changed has to be the "Closed Tabs" button all on it's own on the right instead of on the left with other navigation controls. And when you move it, it's slightly the wrong size and looks silly!
This might be enough to hold on to their 1% market share but not nearly enough to improve upon it.
You still can't focus a link (or tab between links). How do you reach version 11 of a browser and miss that? Clearly you don't - its by design - proving if proof were needed that stubbornness rules the roost at Opera Software.
|This might be enough to hold on to their 1% market share but not nearly enough to improve upon it. |
I am a major Opera fan, and certainly agree that this new version will hold me. The browser is still the best browsing tool I use - and I use at least 3, often 4 or 5 every day. Mostly, Opera saves me a lot of time, and lets me customize the GUI in ways that fit my work habits. Relearning a keyboard shortcut takes a very small effort, and after all - Opera introduced tabbed browsing in 1995 so the others are just adopting Opera's ideas, not setting any kind of "standard."
I have a custom menu bar that I maintain for accessing the closed tabs, so Opera's adventure in this area doesn't really impact me. But the possibility of true extensions does. I'll bet when the dust clears I'll be able to migrate even more of my daily functions away from Firefox and its [gradually improving] memory problems.
As much as I'd like to see Opera become another major force in the desktop browser market, they are very strong in mobile browsing. So much so that, unless I reset my user-agent, some enterprise sites automatically redirect me to their mobile version!
|they spend their time tinkering and adding new features instead of adding basic functionality that is missing |
This does not compute. You don't think they should add new features, but they should add new features that are missing? Do you want them to add new functionality/features or not?
Maybe they aren't adding what you personally want them to add, but that's a different discussion.
|For instance, I still can't Ctrl-click to open a link in a new tab (I have to shift-click instead). |
Or middle-click. Doesn't exactly sound like a big deal.
|Nor can I right-click the navigation buttons to bring up the history. |
Yes, click and hold.
|Particularly stupid is the absence of the menu-bar by default |
That's the default on Windows nowadays, so don't blame Opera. Opera should blend into the OS, don't you agree?
|This might be enough to hold on to their 1% market share but not nearly enough to improve upon it. |
1%? Where did you get that figure from? Opera's total user base is more than 140 million users. Since there are 2 billion people online, Opera's market share is around 7%. Of course, its market share is very low in some markets, and very hight in others.
I keep a copy of Opera around for testing, of course. But the main thing that keeps me from going back to it is this. Last three installs/upgrades, it has blown away any profiles I've built up - preferences, bookmarks, saved passwords, home page, and the like. Opera's bookmark import transaction is overly awkward.
Until they can get some of these basics ironed out, I'll stick with other browsers where this seems to be routine.
[edited by: albo at 3:27 am (utc) on Nov 24, 2010]
Albo, I don't think many people are having the kind of problem you are reporting. And certainly, this same kind of "basic" problem affects the users of other browsers too, but also on a small scale.
I always keep a copy of my profile on back up, but I've never had to use it in all the years I've used Opera. That began with version 3 for me in the late 90s, and back then it was not free - but I happily paid for it and never looked back.
I always loved Opera as a company - the forward thinking, early with real CSS support, first with tabs and many other innovations, and very active in challenging the W3C to get out of their ivory tower.
@tedster, perhaps it is peculiar to MacOSX, but it has happened no matter whether I pursue a fresh install or a "prompted" upgrade (Opera says, "a new version is available: do you want to install?") Also, upon attempted bookmark import, I'm presented with a Finder window, and prompted to search for a file containing bookmarks. This, I consider not to be user-friendly or "forward-thinking."
Insofar as CSS support is concerned, though Webkit uses proprietary tags (-webkit-...) in many instances, its support of advanced CSS properties equals or exceeds that of Opera, in my experience.
[Edit: I don't recall this sort of problem having happened on any browser I've upgraded since 2003 on Windows or MacOSX. Although Camino on MacOSX has a hard time importing bookmarks.]
|Opera should blend into the OS, don't you agree? |
It should do things sensibly even when Windows does not. However, since you raise this point, click-and-hold certainly does not qualify as blending into the OS. Whilst I have encountered this sort of behaviour before, it's neither intuitive nor guessable but I will use it now that I know about it.
Incidentally, laptops typically come with two buttons and pressing both simultaneously to achieve a middle click is highly unreliable.
Also, I apologise for confusing you - I should have said they spend their time tinkering and adding unnecessary [not new] features instead of adding basic functionality that is missing
The point I make every time Opera releases an update is that they never attempt to woo potential users - importing bookmarks may be necessary but it comes nowhere near being sufficient. Little-things like Ctrl-click can be a really really really big deal when trying to attract new users from other browsers but they are just too stubborn to add these features - DUMB DUMB DUMB (unless they don't want any new users).
Consider this, I am fed up of Firefox and would like to switch, so if Opera cannot persuade me to do so, they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of persuading devotees of other browsers (or almost anybody else come to that).
|I still can't Ctrl-click to open a link in a new tab (I have to shift-click instead) |
Or you could right click the link and choose from a number of commands. The truth is, as tedster already noted, Opera was the first with the tabbed browser, so you're criticizing them for not adopting the FireFox style? Sure I understand that other browsers have a bigger market share and wooing them is important, but I can also see where something like this Ctrl-click on a link behavior might not be their highest priority. I've also been using Opera since the days when it was a paid browser and changing that functionality would be a bit awkward for me.
I think the key of this release will be the addition of Extensions. That will do more to pull users of other browsers than anything else.
|It should do things sensibly even when Windows does not. However, since you raise this point, click-and-hold certainly does not qualify as blending into the OS. Whilst I have encountered this sort of behaviour before, it's neither intuitive nor guessable but I will use it now that I know about it. |
This is a question about priorities. The menu is a lot more in your face than the back button's menu. Not showing the menu is something you would expect from Windows applications. And as for the dropdowns, you may have seen the new IE9 interface. No dropdowns there either, as far as I can tell.
|Also, I apologise for confusing you - I should have said they spend their time tinkering and adding unnecessary [not new] features instead of adding basic functionality that is missing |
But that was my point. You want them to spend time on things you think are important, as if you represent everyone in the world. A lot of people apparently thought that tab stacking was something that was missing, and now it's being talked about all over the web. Don't confuse your personal opinions for the needs of everyone else.
|The point I make every time Opera releases an update is that they never attempt to woo potential users - importing bookmarks may be necessary but it comes nowhere near being sufficient. Little-things like Ctrl-click can be a really really really big deal when trying to attract new users from other browsers but they are just too stubborn to add these features - DUMB DUMB DUMB (unless they don't want any new users). |
Importing bookmarks? It already does that. I don't quite understand what you are referring to. And it all seems to boil down to you saying "Opera should do exactly what I personally want -- never mind the rest of the world."
Let's face it: Neither you nor I represent everyone else in the world.
|Consider this, I am fed up of Firefox and would like to switch, so if Opera cannot persuade me to do so, they haven't got a cat in hell's chance of persuading devotees of other browsers (or almost anybody else come to that). |
Considering that Opera's user base is growing, they are able to persuade at least some people.
|I keep a copy of Opera around for testing, of course. But the main thing that keeps me from going back to it is this. Last three installs/upgrades, it has blown away any profiles I've built up - preferences, bookmarks, saved passwords, home page, and the like. Opera's bookmark import transaction is overly awkward. |
Did you install alphas or betas? I think they use a different folder for settings to avoid nuking your standard (stable) settings.
Could that be what you are seeing?
Ctrl-Click exemplifies their attitude of mind...
1) Adding Ctrl-Click would not mean removing Shift-Click - it could work as now or an option could be provided to open-in-new-window (as IE and Firefox do).
It's also worth noting that Shift-click was always inconsistent for opening a new tab because it used to open a link in a new window as far back as IE4 (and maybe further back than that).
However, even ignoring that - not being able to tab between links (because links can't be focused) constitutes an accessibility problem. It also represents a failure to follow standards - I seem to recall they make a big thing about following standards when it suits them.
I am also less than convinced that placing the navigation bar below the tab bar is logical, nevertheless details like that I can live with. However, both the tab bar and the navigation bar waste space - very annoying. When you consider that not displaying the menu-bar serves only one purpose - increasing the page area - wasting space isn't just annoying, it's inconsistent.
1) Of course I know bookmarks can be imported (don't you understand the difference between necessary and sufficient).
2) The changes I believe are necessary would take from hours to days to implement (I'm a programmer so don't even think about arguing with me on that). Contrast that with pointless tinkering such as being able to drag down the tab bar to reveal silly thumb-nails - that would have taken some real effort.
I'm not going to bother arguing with you any more since you are clearly incapable of rational thought - for instance - only recent MS software and a few stupid copycats omit the menu bar when inclusion would be sensible so stating that "Not showing the menu is something you would expect from Windows applications" is factually wrong - I would only expect the menu-bar to be missing if written by brain-dead morons. If Ford decided to move the hand-break and place it on the dashboard there would be plenty of people stupid enough to think it was a good it was a good idea - but that would not make it a good idea.
Kaled - How about you agree to disagree, and we'll leave it at that. The argument is 100% subjective. It's what YOU believe vs. what PKASTER believes. No one is right, no one is wrong. Any WebmasterWorld veteran knows you hold strongly to your ideas, and that's fine.
But, I do challenge you to use only use Opera as your primary browser for a month and then see what you think. You might be surprised. If not, at least you gave it a go.
1%? Where did you get that figure from? Opera's total user base is more than 140 million users. Since there are 2 billion people online, Opera's market share is around 7%.
Opera's worldwide market share is only about 2%, and has been hovering around that level for the past 12 months:
It has slightly higher market share in the Europe at about 4.5%.
Considering that Opera's user base is growing, they are able to persuade at least some people.
Their user base may be growing, but not at a substantial enough rate to increase their market share.
Opera is not a bad browser, and they have demonstrated innovation in the past. But my experience has been that it is slow to start up, and that always turned me off. But I've also read a lot of complaints about it changing the "auto update" setting on it's own, which is a big no-no. Opera's biggest problem, IMO, is lack of good marketing.
Browser stats are highly unreliable, and that site is heavily biased towards the US. But the fact is that we do know that Opera has more than 140 million users, and we do know that there are about 2 billion people online in total. That means that Opera's actual market share is about 7%. Opera is also huge in parts of the world, such as Eastern Europe.
You should stop attributing "attitudes" to Opera, especially when it is so massively misplaced as this one. Opera has had several rounds of aligning shortcuts with other browsers, including moving from Ctrl+N to Ctrl+T to open new tabs, which caused a massive uproar among existing Opera users. If Opera had an "attitude", they would not have made these changes in the first place.
And even though we are discussing Opera in general, you keep bringing up your personal pet peeves. Once again, you do not represent everyone else! Of course, neither do I. And luckily, neither of us will have do the design here.
You don't have to tab between links in Opera, because you can move between them using the arrow keys. It's called Spatial Navigation.
And the address bar does belong below the tab bar, because the address bar is directly linked to the page, while the tab bar is global. And indeed, all the other browsers are now following Opera, and placing the tab bar at the top! Looks like Opera is doing something right even though you think it's wrong.
And finally, chill out! We're just debating. Our lives don't depend on who's right and who's wrong. I definitely think your arguments are based on various fallacies, though.
@pkaster Could be. However, that's part of my point. Even when I use[d] Minefield on FF... It didn't blow away Firefox preferences. And Webkit nightlies don't blow away Safari preferences. (Heck, even ol' W3C Amaya retained its few user preferences when I downloaded a beta.) As I suggested, IMO this is a basic user-friendliness behavior Opera needs to consider for its alpha/beta trials.
However, these are mere inconveniences for me (as are CSS proprietaries "-o-" and such)... and I have a userid in the Opera forum to converse with the community there. So no major gripe. I still play with this fast little browser, though Chrome is my habit for personal use.
Sorry, I don't buy it. You can't just say that Opera has 7% market share without providing any source statistics, and then shoot down a legitimate source. Saying it's biased towards the US makes no sense either, especially since I included the Europe only results as well. In addition, here is another well respected statistic site which confirms the 2% number I quoted earlier:
Opera does not have 7% market share.
In addition, from the Opera webpage itself in a press release earlier this year:
Opera browsers exceed 100 million users
50 million desktop users and 50 million mobile users
1. This number is NOT 140 million
2. You can't legitimately lump mobile and desktop users together. They are two very different categories, and 2 different products.
Opera is, by far, the leader in the mobile browser market, and I give them full credit for that. But that is a different statistic as far as I'm concerned.
I wonder if I'm one of the 140 million users that contributes to a market share of 7%. Of course, based on that logic, the market itself could be at least 400% in size since I also might be considered a user of IE, Firefox and (puke) Chrome.
Considering that the lack of Ctrl-click on Opera has been been discussed on the web for years (and no reliable solution found that I am aware of) it can hardly be described as my pet peeve, etc.
I tried using the arrow keys to navigate
1) You have to press the control key at the same time - awkward.
2) Although I am right-handed, I use my computer left-handedly so using the arrow keys is certainly more difficult not less - it's worse not better.
3) Despite the fact that Opera like to harp on about CSS standards compliance, it looks to me like they are probably ignoring the CSS :focus pseudo-class (but I haven't checked closely).
The standard way to indicate focus is with a dotted rectangle (although MS decided to switch off this feature by default from XP onwards - completely crazy).
If I manufactured cars that had an odd control layout and turned to a marketing consultant that actually knew his a**e from his elbow, he would tell me to adopt a standard control layout instead of trying to convert people to a non-standard layout. Mercedes bit the bullet some years ago with their silly handbrake design. If Opera really want new users then they need to do the same.
Software-makers around the world strive to make their programs easy to use - often they fail but at least they try - Opera Software don't even try. I suppose they are doing better than Microsoft though - they just think change==better - morons.
@albo: Having unfinished software taking over your settings is dangerous. It is exactly because of user-friendliness that Opera is set to not potentially destroy your settings just because you wanted to test a beta version.
@Fotiman: Yes, Opera announced 100 million earlier this year, but now they have grown above 140 million. They said so in their quarterly financial report. And yes, you can mix mobile and desktop stats if you are talking about users in general. It kind of puts things in perspective. People are focusing solely on the desktop and North America, and that is a huge mistake, especially because browsing from mobile phones is groing much faster than PCs. Also, the notion of a "mobile web" is dead. Mobile browsers today don't access WAP sites. They access the full web. If they accessed a separate mobile web it might make sense to separate them, but site owners have to take mobile browsers into consideration today.
@kaled: You will only be counted as a user if you actually use Opera (and enable automatic updates). And your claim that Opera Software doesn't even try to make the software easy to use has already been refuted. I did point out how they have changed their shortcuts in the past to align them with other browsers, didn't I? Is there any particular reason why you have to repeat claims that have already been refuted?
It's one thing to disagree with what a company does. It's another thing completely to start spreading FUD about them because they don't do exactly as one personally wants them to.
Even if you say that they have 140 million users, that still does not mean that have 7% market share if there are 200 billion users, because many users have multiple browsers installed. To simplify things, assume you have 10 users:
- 10 of them have Firefox installed
- 5 of them have Opera installed as well
Since there are 10 users, is it fair then to say that Firefox has 100% market share? Does Opera have 50% of the market share? In other words, your number of 7% is a drastic over estimate.
In addition, I don't think "people are focusing solely on the desktop and North America". The stats I listed are Worldwide and Europe only, exactly the opposite of what you are stating.
|Is there any particular reason why you have to repeat claims that have already been refuted? |
You're absolutely right, once a claim has been refuted, the argument ends there - oh wait a minute - that's in you're little universe not mine - sorry for that mistake. My bad...
I could equally ask if there is any particular reason you refute claims that have been justified - but I won't bother because I know the answer.
I think those stats are probably somewhat skewed towards webmasters, but no matter how you cut it Firefox kicks Opera's but in the numbers game. There are things I like about Opera, but when it comes to basic functionality, it has hasn't improved, it's actually getting worse. In the case of Firefox it's the bugs that have gotten worse over the years. Both sets of programmers have their heads buried in the sand, Mozilla can't be bothered to fix bugs and Opera can't be bothered to standardize basic functionality (or even offer a standards option for those that want it). Both deserve to fail.
Opera harp on about standards and yet they cannot see that it's their non-standard user interface that's holding them back - crazy, absolutely crazy.
@pkaster I see it as user-friendliness that Opera should carry over settings when Opera itself prompts to update itself (i.e. "A new version of Opera is available: would you like to install it?")
I still do not consider it a matter of user-friendliness when Opera offers to import bookmarks from another browser then (no matter which browser I choose to import from) presents me with a Finder window in which *I* must find the file containing the bookmarks. No other browser does this.
It appears our experience with Opera has differed from yours; sorry to have raised a sore point.
With regard to stats for Opera's market share - the following has been said many times on this forum, but it deserves repeating here. Many stats programs do not correctly identify Opera, because Opera users often need to spoof their user agent to get past foolish programming.
Just this week, I was researching a major international enterprise (household name) and found that their website redirects ALL Opera user-agents to the mobile version of their site. They are far from alone.
@Fotiman: No, the 7% figure is not a drastic over estimate. We know that Opera has 140 million users, and there are 2 billion people (not browsers - this is a figure from Internet World Stats) online. And the stats you listed are indeed overly focused on NA.
@kaled: Nice baiting, but I don't care about Firefox stats. I was just pointing out that claiming that Opera only has 1% market share is false. And linking to a site whose stats are only for that specific site doesn't help either. That site is not representative of all sites on the entire web. And regarding refuted claims, you have made claims about "attitude," for example. I have shown you that such claims are false, because Opera has indeed changed shortcuts before. That is just an example of a claim of yours I have refuted with actual facts. And what's "holding Opera back" is certainly not something you are competent to talk about. Then again, Opera is gaining more than 5 million users every month, so if that's the definition of being held back, count me in!
@albo: It is not very user-friendly to have unfinished software take over your settings. There could be bugs, and those bugs could destroy something. That's why unfinished software should be installed separately.
pkaster, I use laptops only (don't own a desktop). Please explain the following.
How does not having a menu bar make life easier?
How does having to stretch further to Shift-click make life easier?
How does having to remember to Shift-click instead of Ctrl-click make life easier?
How does having to use two keys to navigate between links instead of one make life easier?
How does having to open the bookmark editor to delete, edit or move a link make life easier?
How does wasted space in the tab and navigation bars make Opera better?
How does having to click and wait on a forward/backward button make life easier than right-clicking? (even if you know about it)
And that's just the basic stuff I can think of before going to bed.
You seem very fond of your 7% user figure - just for clarity, please link to an independent source if you are going to vociferously insist it is correct. I'm happy to admit that the 1% figure I suggested is out of date but even amongst Opera admirers no one seems keen to agree with your 7% figure - certainly not in the desktop/laptop market anyway and that's what I'm discussing even if you are not.
I give up.
i love opera and it is my browser of choice for many reasons, i don't care about the stats! - just so long as it keeps going.
however i think @kaled makes some correct and excellent points.
>>How does not having a menu bar make life easier?
couldn't agree more!
>>How does having to stretch further to Shift-click make life easier?
>>How does having to remember to Shift-click instead of Ctrl-click make life easier?
agreed, however with a wheel mouse (which i use with my laptop) then a center click opens a link in a new tab, just like all modern browsers
>>How does having to use two keys to navigate between links instead of one make life easier?
>>How does having to open the bookmark editor to delete, edit or move a link make life easier?
bookmark editing is poor
>>How does wasted space in the tab and navigation bars make Opera better?
agreed, it takes a while to configure the bars how you want, i get everything i need/want onto 1 bar
>>How does having to click and wait on a forward/backward button make life easier than right-clicking? (even if you know about it)
agreed, but again if you use a mouse then hold right down and left click or the reverse, takes you backwards and forwards through pages
i agree that opera has lost ground in that it was by far the most innovative browser at one point.
like everything i guess it's horses for courses!
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