5 things you’ll love about Opera

Computerworld recently posted a piece about “5 things you’ll love about Firefox 3”:http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9054138&taxonomyId=16&intsrc=kc_top — it’s at this stage I feel compelled to correct their title to “5 things you’ll love about Opera”. Take any and all bias into account, as I’m an Opera employee (even if I only ever “speak for myself”:http://virtuelvis.com/help/about.html on this blog), but just to set the record straight, I’ll go through their main points, and some minor ones:
bq. 1. Easier downloads.
Opera’s download manager includes everything the Firefox manager has, and in 9.5 also allows you to select which application to open something with. The only thing Firefox adds is when you downloaded something.
bq. 2. An enhanced address bar.
Opera 9.5 also searches all of your history, and provides excerpts of pages where the text you are typing occurs. There is also a dedicated historysearch.
bq. 3. A workable bookmark organizer.
Opera has had this for ages, and from 9.5 has built-in synchronization.
bq. 4. Easier bookmarking.
Ok, I’ll give them this one, it’s a nice improvement if you’re mouse-centric. (Personally, I can still live with my Ctrl-D shortcut)
bq. 5. Better memory management.
While Firefox may have improved, I’ll wager that Opera does way better. I started a fresh Opera install. It uses 18.6MB on my Ubuntu system, according to System Monitor (The actual usage is a more complicated matter: X memory, shared memory etc.), but the usage is still lower.
Either way, the acid test of memory consumption is what happens when you have an active history and a few hundred open tabs. My SO usually keeps over 100 tabs open on a machine with 512MB.
Another thing mentioned:
bq. For example, Firefox 3 Beta 2 adds the ability to save your existing tabs when you close the app down
Has “always” been available in Opera (Session saving has been there since 2.12, I believe, but automatic saving came sometime later).
And another:
bq. it has enhanced the browser’s ability to magnify Web pages from just affecting text to taking in the entire page
Full-page zoom has always been a feature in Opera.
Congratulating innovations is fine, but it would be nice if journalists stopped acting like something doesn’t exist until it’s part of Firefox.
(This is a somewhat edited repost of a similar “comment”:http://reddit.com/info/64cgf/comments/c02spt2 I’ve placed on reddit)

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  1. The reasons why Opera isn’t on that podium instead of Firefox run down to the following (IMO):
    * The Opera-team did a lousy job getting the community involved in the advertising campaign
    * Everybody loves open source — Opera isn’t on the bandwagon
    Fix those two, and Opera’s name will be much, much stronger.

  2. Opera is a 100% better browser than IE or Firefox or Safari, but as Henrik said, their advertising sucks. Mozilla takes out full page ads in the NYT — clever ads, too — and has affiliate banners all across the internet saying “Switch to Firefox!” I’ve never seen a “Switch To Opera” banner. The heavy-duty marketing is something Opera still hasn’t figured out.

  3. Asa Dotzler

     /  2008-04-15

    “Mozilla takes out full page ads in the NYT”
    Actually, that was the Mozilla volunteer community. They raised the money, they designed the ad graphics, they wrote the ad copy, and they placed the ad in the NYT to celebrate the launch of Firefox 1.0.