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Here's the bottom line. By doing all my regular browsing in Opera, I gain an extra hour or two of productivity every day. That's worth $$$$, so of course I paid for the browser, just out of gratitude. And I push on my clients to make the switch for their own companies.
Not only is Opera fast with solid security, but it "plays well with others" and makes only sane demands on resources. It even crashes gracefully by remembering what it was doing before some silly site threw bad code at it. This feature alone saves me a good 10-15 minutes a day.
I often have three or four browsers open at once, but I've learned to do my regular browsing only with Opera. If I forget and start browsing with one of the others, I quickly become frustrated with their sluggishness and awkward interface.
Are there quirks in Opera? Some, sure -- it is software, after all. But it really is light years ahead of the rest. Anyone who hasn't made the switch should try it.
Couldn't you use an extra hour or two in your day?
the killer feature for me is...
mouse right down+left click = back
mouse left down+right click =forwards
its the feature i miss most using any other browser
(maybe some expert will tell me how to do it with IE, which would be cool as i need to use it for testing)
Specifically, a link from inside the applet to another page with an applet would hang on my Windows 98.
I hate to say it, but the best Java integration is experienced in Explorer and Netscape, which have their built-in Java. It only works at a Java 1.1 level, but it's very smooth between the applet and the browser. (Actually, I believe Netscape 6.x has a built-in that is compatible with something later than 1.1, but Microsoft is restricted to 1.1 for legal reasons.)
I've also tried the 1.3 JVM from Sun with another browser (K-Meleon), and while it was better than Opera, it's still not very good.
Sun has a problem if they expect people to use applets on the web, in that the ability of their JVM to communicate with the browser is just not very good, for reasons I don't understand.
Add to this the fact that the download for the JVM 1.3 is often twice as many bytes as the typical stripped-down browser itself. Sun is as guilty of bloat as Microsoft in this regard.
I've heard that the Opera 5.x had a built-in Java. Can anyone confirm this? If so, it's too bad that in 6.0 they decided to go with the full-blown Sun JVM 1.3. It's a step backwards.
A few little quirks setting it up, but nothing worse than installing any new software. If all goes well for the rest of the day, next time it asks me to set it as my default browser, I might take the full plunge.
I'm glad they finally put out a final version for Mac... I've been waiting.
Reason1 : No password manager
I don't accept their reason of 'we can't find a way to do it securely'. I use Mozilla mostly, and I only use the password manager for non-critical purposes. I check the stats on many of our sites during the day - they are all password protected but hardly 'critical'. I am a big boy, let me decide please.
Reason2 : I use Webmin for server type stuff. Opera seems to be extremely flaky with the applet used by Webmin. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
I have none of these problems with Mozilla,
Would I change to Opera if they fixed these issues? - dead right I would.
Right now, I can't afford to lose the hours :)
Am I going to try the latest beta - you betcha
If you have netscape 4.7 installed, don't download the Opera java version, just install the stock version. It wil use Netscapes Java first. The version in Opera is the same version (Sun Java Runtime Environment 1.3) that is in Mozilla and Netscape 6. I know, there are some other issues involved. BUT - I don't have java installed, rarely have - rarely will. I know of no major websites that require java to be installed for usage. Rarely do I run into the need for it.
Agreed 4eyes - missing the password manager is the 1 drawback at the current time. I imagine we will see one before summer.
The biggest deal with new users to Opera is the choice between SDI mode and MDI mode. Personally, I use MDI exclusively - it's a great deal faster once you get used to it. If you can force yourself to use shift-control-click and shift-click in mdi mode with the window bar on, you can really speed up your surfing.
And yes, mouse gestures are highly addictive.
Java is the only cross-platform tool that allows you to address the screen pixel-by-pixel on the web, and do so interactively. It's not your usual website, that's for sure, but if you're trying to do something new and unusual, there's no other game in town.
What? Am I really going to see the interclick feature [oberon.ethz.ch] implemented in consumer software during my lifetime?
(Seriously, you can't justifiably claim to have computer use experience without ever having tried the Oberon System... ;))
1.) IE crashes the minute it opens EVERY TIME - despite complete reinstalls
2. The Neoplanet Browser version that works with IE is the only version of IE I can get to work - and it's as close to true IE as I can get
3. Prior installs of Netscape, I believe, are the problems I have with IE - so no Netscape for me
That leaves Opera humming along - no browser conflicts - no nothing. It just works. It's fast, it's clean - I love it. I can live with some of the DHTML funkiness, and some of the applet weirdness I have noticed in Opera simply because it is so dependable in all other respects.
Also, view source, view frame source, printer view, images on or off - I use these features all the time. I think Opera is a webmaster's best friend.
I haven't tried Opera 6.0 for Linux yet...mainly as I'm so pleased with Mozilla...