Tag Archives: Opera

Firefox: Like An Old Shoe

Opera Browser

Opera Browser

I’ve had a long and painful war with which browser to use on my Windows machine at work. Firefox has let me down many times before, and the Mozilla Firefox developers have disappointed me. So I switched to Opera, and it’s made me very happy. I have really learned to love Speed Dial, and user javascript is nice. I enjoy the built-in BitTorrent client, the fact that it runs all day without consuming a terabyte of virtual memory, and the fact that it’s about as standards compliant as it gets. But, I’ve had my share of problems with it — small problems that, for the most part, are tiny nitpicks that on most days wouldn’t bug me too much. But today, they got me.

First of all, sometime in the last few months, Gmail version 2 starting working in Opera. It’s frustrating enough that Google rarely support Opera, but in this case, by shooting Gmail the ?nobrowsercheck query string, things were functioning. In the last few weeks, though, that ceased working after about 5 minutes. Things would get stuck on “Still loading…” and I’d have to revert to the “old version.” Easy enough, albeit frustrating losing my “Quick Links.”

I’ve also noticed that the Flashblock component I have installed works so aggressively that about 50% of the time, I can’t actually properly authorize Flash I want to play. I will sit there clicking on the “Play” button over and over to no avail. This one has annoyed me time and again.

Somehow, over the last 30 days, something happened that made Opera crash on a semi-daily basis. At least twice a week, I get the Vista grey-out “This application is no longer responsive. Would you like to Close the App and check online for a solution, or just close the app?” Yeah, thanks. Except, it’s just Opera that’s been doing this.

I'm Back on Firefox

Firefox: Like an old shoe

As a web developer, this was maybe the killer item for me: for the last month, the “View Source” menu on any web page doesn’t work, or if it does, it’s once in 50 tries. I’ve adjusted the “view source” menu to point to the built in viewer, Programmer’s Notepad, and Windows Notepad. None work. Most of the time, I simply have to open Firefox.

Therefore, I find myself, today, back on Firefox. Like an old shoe, it just fits. Once I slapped on the CamiFox theme, I felt right at home. I imported my Opera bookmarks, updated my extensions, and it was very nice. Now I have a very capable Javascript console, Firebug, Stylish, and a host of other useful tools at my fingers. I’m very happy here 5 hours into the day and feeling comfortable with the choice. Yes, I’m still pissed that I can’t style my RSS, but then, I haven’t gotten around to tinkering with that via WordPress anyway. I’ll let you know how life in Firefox 3 turns out.

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ACID3, Safari 3, Opera 10, Take 2

And so the real race begins. Yesterday, Opera software announced via blog post that their post Opera 9.5 builds are passing the ACID3 test. Cool!

But alas, the Webkit team – who really have a great track record of being successful with bleeding edge, one upped them by not only passing the test, but releasing the code. So behold, this is Webkit nightly for Windows, build 31368 from 2008-03-26.

ACID3 on Webkit

We know that Safari 3.1 doesn’t and Opera 9.5 won’t pass ACID3. We know IE8 is a long way off. We know Firefox 3 is still pretty far from it too. But now we have browsers that can do it. The the big question is, who will have the first stable general release that does it? Safari 3.2? Opera 10?

It’s an exciting time in web development, and I hate to admit that I think it’s largely due to IE8. If the IE team steps it up, some of themes technologies have the potential to reinvigorate the web. No serious e-commerce site would alienate all IE users – even today, they make up 80% or so of internet users. But as things progress here, we’re likely to start seeing some incredible things in the next few years.

Update: A bug in ACID3 was apparently noticed as a result of the Webkit team’s work. This awesome detailed blog post from the Webkit site chronicles the final steps of the adventure. Note that the “animation smoothness” criteria is subjectively, and that the team is apparently giving themselves a fail, but nothing that they think they are “faster than all other browsers“. Congrats again, Webkit team. Well done!

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The Facebook Logo Has Gone Into Hiding

It was reported by several sources this week that after an embarassing affair with a prostitute, the Facebook logo has gone into hiding. Actually, what has been happening for me is that the Facebook logo has been randomly disappearing for me in my browser. In fact, most days, lately, in Opera 9.26, this is what I see:


When I dug around, I found the Facebook logo actually has the “on” and “off” image in one file and uses a CSS and “hover” trick to create the little home icon next to the logo. Neat.

Has anyone else experienced the mystery of the disappearing Facebook logo? Other Opera users maybe?

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No Regrets

I moved to Opera browser on Windows sometime ago, and I have no regrets. Apparently, most Opera users agree.

Nothing feels as perfect as Camino on my Mac, but it’s seriously lacking in the developer department. No javascript console, no web developer tools, no draggable tabs. Hopefully by 2.0 this will be ironed out.

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That’s More Like It!

This is much more like it. I’m three days into my experiment. After 9.5 hours running today, this is what Opera 9.1 looks like. I am currently downloading three SHN files all greater than 30MB.

Opera 9.1
Click picture for a larger view

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Take Three: Enter Opera

Using Flock was kind of a long shot. Flock is based on Gecko, like Firefox, which has given me a lot of problems. Flock served me well at first, but then starting gobbling up RAM. So, I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed it down, for me, to XUL and extensions.

I’m not sure exactly what’s to blame for the specific problems I have: other programs on the computer? a single bad extension? I don’t know, but whatever it was, it was present in FF1.5, FF2, and Flock. And each had their own set of extensions installed. It’s not a core Gecko problem, because, as I showed before, Camino doesn’t have the same problem.

So, at the urging of Nate, who, I guess, also spends some time at his computer, I decided to go for a full time ride at Opera.

I don’t require THAT much from a computer: mainly, it has to be able to sustain my browser requirements. And those are tough, because I expect to be able to open 10-15 tabs and still have the browser function without (a) eating up greater than 200MB of RAM, (2) eating up > 10% of the CPU for more than a few seconds, and (third) locking up the browser or worse, the entire system. Enough use of Gmail, Flickr, or other AJAX apps and my Windows Gecko/XUL browsers toast themselves and everything around them. So I’m giving Opera a go.

The only crappy thing is that there’s no way to import form cookies, form history, cookie block list, ad-block filters, or history. And that sucks, because it’s going to take me a long time to rebuild that.

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