Opera 7.50 preview and my Opera Journal

A few days ago, Opera released an early Christmas Present for the avid group of people following the opera.beta newsgroup, and the “Opera Beta forum”:http://my.opera.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=31.


Opera released a preview version of Opera 7.50, both for “Windows”:http://my.opera.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39541 and “Linux and FreeBSD”:http://my.opera.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=39518. There are some major changes in this new version:
* UI cleanup: The UI in Opera has been seriously cleaned up. There are fewer buttons. There is more space dedicated to the browser viewport, and the menus are far more logical than in earlier releases. Much more beginner-friendly, but if you are a long-time Opera-user, you have some unlearning to do.
* Improved panel/sidebars: Panels can now be maximized, and there is a new Start panel that will give inexperiences/non-tech users easier access to Opera.
* Newsfeeds: Opera now has support for RSS 0.91/1.0/2.0 and it’s all integrated into the perhaps smoothest mail/news ride in the world: M2.
* Chat: Opera now has the beginning of a chat backend. The first protocol supported is IRC.
* Spelling checker: It is now possible to use Opera with the ASpell spelling checker, both in mails and in web forms.
* M2: The M2 backend has undergone some major changes that makes it faster than anything I’ve seen. I’ve attempted searching through around 100 000 mails, and I have gotten my results in less than a second.
* Learning message filters: In M2, you can now use learning message filters both for your spam and for your other mails.
Remember: This Opera version is a preview version, and I have the following pieces of advice:
* Do not test it unless you are willing to report bugs, and follow the forums or newsgroups.
* Do not install it on top of older Opera releases. The warning you get on installing if you try, *is* serious.
* You can import your mail/news and accounts by copying your mail folder from an earlier install. You should, given the beta status, set M2 in 7.50 to *leave mail on the server*, and fetch it into the old M2 every once in a while.
In light of the recent “MyOpera”:http://my.opera.com/ redesign, I have decided to also keep a journal at their servers, pretty much dedicated to the Opera browser. So, please visit “Yet I cannot look away”:http://my.opera.com/virtuelvis/journal. The journal of course has it’s own RSS feed.
Merry christmas, everyone!

6 Comments

  1. Marius Andersen

     /  2003-12-29

    Nice indeed. But when, oh when will Opera support MathML?

  2. While MathML may be the “cool” technology to support, I believe that resources are better spent elsewhere (and that goes for Mozilla/FireBird as well).

  3. Marius Andersen

     /  2003-12-29

    MathML is more than just a “cool” technology, it’s the only proper way to publish mathematics on the Web.
    What’s wrong with Mozilla?

  4. While MathML may be the only proper way to publish mathematics, it still is not important.
    The academic users, whether you like it or not, only amounts for a fraction of web users. What I was saying was that instead of spending significant resources creating browsers for this group, browser vendors could spend their resources on something that benefits the majority of users.
    I would much rather like to see the browser pass the various CSS test suites with flying colors. Support for CSS 2.1. I’d like to see significant speed improvements with Javascript.
    And no, my response was not meant to indicate that there’s anything wrong with Mozilla. Personally, I only use Mozilla or Firebird to check rendering, but that’s purely a matter of personal preference.

  5. Marius Andersen

     /  2003-12-31

    If the browser vendors always were to prioritize like you’re suggesting, specific technologies like MathML would never be implemented. There’s always something to improve on a “general” basis.
    Doesn’t seem like the Opera team is prioritizing so well, anyway. I mean, chat support in an Internet browser? That’s what my IRC and IM clients are for. Instead of making more Web content accessible (I’m referring to mathematical expressions stored in images) by implementing something longed for since HTML 4.5 was turned down, they go for functions that have been available for many years elsewhere.
    CSS 2.1 seems like a specific standard too (not every author will use the new features it introduces), but to me, content accessibility is more important than stylistic possibilities.

  6. Marius, what you have to realize is that complaining against features such as chat, is rather pointless.
    Opera, like any other large software project, have different people working on different parts of the product. The people working on the chat backend are not the same people working on standards compliance.
    Regarding CSS 2.1: CSS 2.1 is not so much about new stuff, it’s more about clearing out unused stuff from the spec, a few a dditions, and lots of clarifications. And CSS is something that’s actually used by more than a small minority.