Browser 2014 reviews — opera

For my first review, I chose opera.  That is mostly because the future of opera is uncertain, and there is talk of removing it from opensuse.

The uncertainty is because opera has not been updated recently.  This is still version 12, which is what I reviewed last year.  The opera developers are in process of switching to using the Webkit engine.  But, thus far, they have done this for Windows and Mac, but not for linux.  The Windows release of opera is currently at 17, which I have not tried.  Linux is left behind.  On the other hand, looking at discussion on the opera forum, I see some people regretting the switch and asking for a return to version 12.

What I liked

Overall, opera performs well, renders pages quickly and is congenial to use.  The only web page that gave me problems was the groupwise web access mail page at work.  It complained about opera, and suggested other browsers.  It would not allow me to login.  All of the other pages that I used worked well.

In last year’s review, I mentioned a problem with the Yahoo webmail page.  I tried that again, and it worked quite well.  Yahoo did recommend that I update to a newer browser such as firefox.  However, the mail page was still functional.

When I logged into a site, it offered to save my password (which I allowed).  I had previously setup an encryption key for this.

I posted messages at an online web forum.  And I am writing this blog post with opera.  This all seems to be going very well.  Bookmarks are handled as a multi-level menu, somewhat similar to the way that firefox does it.

Generally speaking, tabbed browing works well.  Middle-click on a link opens the link in a new tab.

Private browsing is selected with right-click on a tab.  There, I can choose to open a private tab, which works quite well.

What I didn’t like

Although I like the structure of the bookmark multi-level menu, I did not like the fact that it sorts the entries into alphabetical order.  That makes it hard to find items.  My preference is to have the most commonly used entries near the top, but some of those were sorted to a lower position.

My other dislike was also with bookmarks.  I am used to middle-clicking on a bookmark entry to open it in a new tab.  With opera, I must open the new tab first, then left-click on the bookmark.

What went wrong

Two things went wrong.  One of those was groupwise webmail (as mentioned above).  It refused to allow access with opera.

My other problem was with clicking the “like” button on a wordpress blog.  I was logged into wordpress at the time.  When I clicked “like” there was a brief pop-up, though too brief to read.  And the “Like” on the blog page changed to “liked”.  But it did not list me as a liker.  So I opened the same blog page in firefox, and there was no sign that I had liked it.  It is hard to say if this is an opera bug.  It could also be that wordpress detects opera but provides bad javascript.  Either way, it did not work.

Overall

In summary, opera is a pretty nice browser with a few minor flaws, but an uncertain future.

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About Neil Rickert

Mathematician and computer scientist who dabbles in cognitive science.

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