June 22, 2006

Opera 9 … no dice

I’m a great Opera fan; it’s been my browser of choice since version 6. And I don’t normally complain about software <well, one tries> but I have to say that the brand new Opera 9 just does not seem to be a finished product.

I installed it in a folder separate from Opera 8.54 (the last version). It worked fine; had a few more gadgets. Then I began to notice little things:

- I couldn’t import RSS feeds but had to manually add them. Then I couldn’t rename them … well, I could but the new titles wouldn’t stick even if I restarted O9, so what was the point?

- Even though I declined the option, Opera 9 eventually set itself as my default browser. What this means, in addition, is that it is the default email client as well. Tsk tsk.

- Strange CSS rendering bugs for which there is no good answer.

The Opera forums have numerous posts about these issues and more (for instance, consuming huge amounts of CPU) … and notations from several people that the last Opera 9 beta was better.

I’m pretty surprised at this, as Opera 8 (my review) is both rock solid and elegant. I’m not sure what happened here, and I’m sorry to see it, but am hopeful that it will get sorted out, as the Opera developers have been quite capable of turning out the best browser I’ve ever used.

8 Comments to "Opera 9 … no dice"

  1. Importing Email from Netscape 4 to Thunderbird says:

    [...] ke an accident waiting to happen. But after Adrian called my use of Netscape 4.x for email hardcore old skool, and mindful that, one day, I might not b [...]

  2. Yuri says:

    The thing I find annoying in the new Opera is that they changed the keyboard shortcuts.

    Pressing Ctrl+N now opens a new Opera program window instead of opening a new tab. Ctrl+T opens a new tab instead of opening a bookmark window.

    Choosing what type of an RSS to include is kind of troublesome as well. Does it matter much if it works? Why not just pick the one, which will work in the future, automatically and be done with it. Oh well.

    Other than those, I haven’t noticed any fundamental changes.

    Were you using Opera beta? The one I used allowed installing in the same folder as before.

    And yes, I use Opera since I first saw it and don’t use any other browser except for screen testing.

  3. DianeV says:

    Hi, Yuri. This a little bit reminds me of when Adobe changed some of the Photoshop interface in version 6.0, which meant we all had to relearn it in the middle of ongoing work. Turns out it was pretty good, although I used Photoshop owned but didn’t *use* 6.0, and didn’t switch from 5.5 until Adobe CS (version 7.0, I think).

    I wasn’t using Opera 9 beta, as I’ve been very happy with 8.54 (and, like you, don’t use other browsers except for testing and the occasional “doesn’t work in Opera” website that suggests I use IE or -gasp!- AOL).

    Well, at least it sounds like Opera 9 is *working* on your machine, even if some of the features are different. On my machine, things got a little weird, but I’ve got it back to normal now.

  4. Adrian says:

    The CTRL+N/CTRL+T thing was all about other browsers. Opera now uses the same keyboard combo’s as Firefox. So it’s a compatibility thing.

    On the whole, I’m loving version 9. I have found the final release to be a bit more susceptipal to crashing, seems to be mostly related to the download manager for me.

    Some widgets are pretty cool. More for fun and games than real usefull tools. Site compatability does seem better. Rich text email is a big improvement, and the content blocker is particularly easy to use.

    Guessing there will be an update fairly soon to fix some of the crashing bugs.

    I don’t use the RSS reader, like to access feeds from more than one machine, so I use bloglines instead, I do wish Opera could just render RSS in an XML tree like IE and Firefox do though. It makes checking feeds a lot harder.

  5. DianeV says:

    Thanks, Adrian.

    You’re using it for email? I’m still using <grin> NS4.78, though I’ve been testing Thunderbird.

    It doesn’t sound like you two are having the same kinds of problems with Opera 9 that I did. And I’m sure you’re right — that they’ll be coming out with the bug-fix update before too long.

  6. Adrian Lee says:

    I love email in it :)
    There are a few things that have bugged me int he past. Till now it was plain text, and when I got emailed content for a website I manage, I couldn’t just C&P it, as it would lose the paragraph spacings.
    The rich editor addition seems to have solved that.

    I like the way I can browse round my email as much as anything. I use Trend Micro’s antivirus on my machine (AVG would be cheaper, but it doesn’t seem to scan email in Opera) which I pay for online each year. Of course, I always forget some of the details (they ask for the license key! no way I’m remembering that), but it’s a breeze to search for it in M2. As is anything else.

    Filter by contact, by phrase, label stuf if you want. no more folders :)

    I’ve just started seeing if I can use it at work for email as well might take some getting used to and sorting out there though, as I already had a load of folders setup in Outlook, with lot of rules….
    If I can use Opera, I will though.

    NS4.78 for email, hehe, hardcore old skool ;)

    I’m amazed it’s started crashing in the final release. I don’t think I had the beta crash once, yet a couple of ngihts ago, the final release crashed about 6 times in the evening….

  7. Yuri says:

    I know the shortcuts need to be consistent with the most popular OS and browsers, but it took me several weeks to re-learn. Especially when I don’t use other browsers and Ctrl+T in Firefox to open a tab and Ctrl+D for bookmark was new experience, instead of things being otherwise.

    Netscape 4.78? Man I think I was surfing my first websites with it.

    I use Opera for local network e-mail and RSS reads and it works fine. Not sure if I can set up Opera to work for my corporate mail, though. It’d be neat.

  8. DianeV says:

    I know what you mean, Yuri … it’s difficult when keystrokes for certain commands change, or when they’re different from browser to browser.

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