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Opera Prepares for final v4.0 release

     
9:24 pm on Jun 24, 2000 (gmt 0)

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This week is suppose to be the first final release of Opera [opera.com] version 4.00. This version has been firming up over the last couple of beta's and the final will be without a doubt, the best version of Opera yet. There are some new features in the final that aren't present in the betas. It would be worth a download to checkout (1.7meg). Rumor has it, Tuesday is the day.

O4 has html 4.0, css2, early xml, wml, emascript (java script) 1.3, new ui tools, new email client, and bunches of little tweaks to existing features.

The best thing about Opera is it uses MDI document windows. You can open 1 or 100 web pages - no problem and they don't clutter up your task bar. Opera is the fastest browser on the market in terms of page rendering and loading. When you combine that with shift-click and shift-control-click new window loading, Opera can real world out surf anything available (by 30 to 50%). It is the main reason I use it exclusively.

The down side? Costs $40usd. It also may display pages from some of the more restricitive sites that are writen in MSHTML and non-standard. Mostly it isn't a huge problem. Opera has addressed any problems with all the major sites. Java is handled by Sun's own Java 1.3 Plugin - so you get 100% compatability there. Some plugins are still a bit weird like shockwave takes a bit to get going, but others like the adobe pdf viewer are plug-and-go. You can even use some of your existing netscape plugins right out of the netscape directory.

GWJ

6:51 pm on June 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

Question:

I use anybroswer.com to see different views, however it does not emulate Opera. Know of any site that does?

Thanks in advacne

11:08 pm on June 26, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Not at all GWJ.

Which leads me to question. Do you think something like a 'screenshot exchange' forum would work?

The way I envision it, users could request a screen shot of a page. Users would have to contribute 2 screen shots for other requests before they could request one themselves. We would upload screen shots right here through the board. I could do the Opera shots :-)

I think I might give this a try.

GWJ

12:24 pm on June 27, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Hi Brett,

Sounds cool. Allthough when I test not only do I use different browser and browser sites. I also have swapped monitor size (14-21 inches) and resolution. On my last graphic revamp to my site I finaly gave in and desinged for 800 X 600 res..

1:58 pm on June 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Opera 4 was released this morning. Good luck trying to get it. Every download site was slaughtered with people trying to download it.
6:10 pm on June 28, 2000 (gmt 0)

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How many people are downloading Opera 4? Demand is so heavy (whew) it crashed a couple of servers. That includes heavy weights like tucows, opera.com, and download.com. It may rank up there with the top 20 downloads in a day, in net history. Not bad for a 3rd party browser eh? temp download v4 [netins.net]
8:45 pm on June 29, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Brett, If it's so "light" in terms of Meg, and is written for speed, what's the chances of Opera working on an old 486 laptop? Plenty of those babies are being hauled around as "email appliances." I have one myself, love to take it on the road because it's not worth stealing --just leave it set up in the room and let housekeeping dust around it. It will handle NS 4, but it takes 5 minutes for a page to load.

Road Warrior tip: A piece or two of duct tape put on the corner of a laptop makes it look like it's worthless and that the case is cracked --not at all attractive to a thief.

BK

12:28 am on June 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I found Opera to be the best choice for my old P60 that the kids have taken over now. As you said, all else was crawling but Opera stayed quick and smooth with its lower requirements on memory.

For me though, that is all I like about Opera. I like the extras that MS added to IE4, especially the page transitions and hover effects.

Sure, I hate the bugs and security holes in IE, but I didn't find Opera 3.5 to be perfect and that was not free either! I think Opera needs to move in the direction that Eudora and WebFerret and Go!Zilla have taken and become advertiser sponsored. People can register to remove the ads, or can use it for free with the ads paying for the development costs.

Using this model, I believe the use of Opera would sky-rocket and it would really take its place on the map. At the moment it is still less than 1% on most of my logs for my test sites.

BK

12:41 am on June 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Howdy BK, 4.0 does address most of those issues. 4 has hover :-) A year in the writting, and that appears to be one of the most popular new features. That and they finally got ok'd from Sun to distribute the Java plugin with it. So for the first time it is feature-for-feature matched (as we call them on the Opera grous) the SOB's (some other browsers).

Opera just admitted they'd sold 1.5 million copies to date. Most of the better stats put Opera at between 1.7% to 2.4% of the market. I think that will grow. The biggest problem is the new UA string is configurable to look like IE/NN. "Opera" is still in the various strings, but I'm sure log filters won't see it unless they just look for Opera.

Now that O is getting ready for the first Beta 4 for Linux, Mac, Epoc, and BeOs, this should greatly enhance Opera's appeal. Linux users are looking hard for something to replace crash happy Netscape for Linux.

BK

1:07 am on June 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I must confess that I'm looking forward to installing Opera 4 (haven't done so yet - too damn busy) and giving it a test drive on some CSS heavy sites that the old versions hated. :)

The main thing that has helped Opera over the last year is that many previously loyal NN users finally quit in disgust and rather than sell out to MSIE, they shelled out for Opera.

Handled right, Opera will soon surpass Netscape which shot itself in something far more terminal than the foot with its lack of CSS support. (in two years of development they never had time to support CSS1?) They are frantically trying to win wide support for the impending NN6 but even that serves only to remind the entire world that NN5 never even made it to release.

I'm not sure yet how Opera will really fare with the Linux / OpenSource fans ... its too commercial for many of the diehards. Mind you, I think the hacked and cracked copies will be very successful in the Linux camp.

BK

Air

4:04 am on July 2, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Just got Opera 4.0 and I love it. I think the Linux folks will go for the 35 bucks to get rid of NN, it really is awful on Linux....

[edit]The only thing missing seems to be DHTML, but I haven't gone through the extensive preferences yet ... [/edit]

Edited by: Air

12:23 pm on July 3, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I really doubt Opera will ever support dhtml until it is officially endorsed by the W3C. After all, several of the W3C guys work for Opera. They are pounding the standards hard. Right now they have a touch of egg on their face since 4 hasn't passed many of the css2 tests. Which is rather ironic considering the guy who wrote most of css is Opera's Cheif Tech Officer. yikes. It is going to take the .1 and .2 upgrades to get it all right.
7:40 am on July 13, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Brett, I just gotta share this with you. I was listening to cnet radio (910 am in the sf bay area) - they were talking about the new MSIE 5.5 browser release today. One of the announcers started to criticize MS's new browser download process then he turned around and praised Opera. He called Opera lean and efficient and came very close to endorsing it.
6:54 am on July 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Little.

Opera 4.01 was released today. Fixes a bunch of crashers in 4.00. Much more stable now.

4:39 pm on July 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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Brett,

thanks for the Opera recommend. I had a beta version about a year and a half back but it started crashing my computer for some reason (probably cause it was a beta). Anyway, just got 4.01 and I love it! It's a lean, mean web surfin machine.

6:16 pm on July 30, 2000 (gmt 0)

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I also have appreciated Opera for over a year.

What's their game plan? Is there any hope they can get some serious market penetration?