Opera revisited

It’s been a while since I last wrote of my trying out Opera. Since then, my tech-savvy friend has taken it upon himself to bring me into the light. A calm evening of beer and pizza quickly turned into just that, with the addendum of him prodding me to use Opera in no uncertain terms. Indeed, so much so that he convinced me to download and install Opera to my EeePC so that I could see the marvels of Opera in all their splendour.

It all started by him being amazed that I still used Firefox, and wasn’t Opera so much better? After a while, his line of questioning turned towards aren’t you convinced it’s the superior choice etc. Frankly, I wasn’t. My friend said, OK, here’s what we’ll do: Try it exclusively for a week, and then tell me what you think.

After using it for a week, not only am I not convinced it’s a superior choice, though it does have some things I’d like to see in Firefox, like syncronisation of bookmarks, and easy customisation of search parameters. The reasons I’m not convinced all have to do with usability. I’ve tried the same version on three different computers and two different OS’s.

  • Ctrl+click does not open in a new tab
  • Shift+click opens in a new tab, and moves focus to the new tab
  • Ctrl++shift+click opens in a new tab, leaving focus in the active tab
  • Ctrl+tab opens the last active tab (this can be changed)
  • Closing a tab moves to the last active tab (this can also be changed, but is still erratic and unpredictable)
  • Does not work properly in Google Docs Spreadsheets or Lotus Notes Webmail
  • Opera sync does not sync settings, meaning that you need to tweak every install

The first six of these examples are counterintuitive, and simply don’t work well. Even though they may be tweaked, changing their behaviour to mimic that of Mozilla Firefox does not seem possible.

I stand by my original assessment, all in all, Opera is a good browser, but it will not be the browser that makes me move away from Firefox as my default browser.






2 responses to “Opera revisited”

  1. Sebastian

    I do think the first 3 can be changed too. And ctrl+click to open in new tab? wtf?

    To open in new tab without focus you press middle mousebutton. 😉

    And it seems your problem is still as Fredrik stated, you are too used to Firefox. Mouse Gestures alone should be enugh to switch! 😀

    And the sync is getting better every month or so, adding more features to the synclist

  2. Aleksander R. Rødner

    You are of course entitled to your opinion. I just happen to disagree with it.

    Not all mice have a middle mousebutton, mine has a scrollwheel which does not operate as a button (review here.

    Fact is, there are a few pages that I depend on using at work that do not work properly in Opera.

    And yes, I *am* used to Firefox. Also, mouse gestures are worthless when using a trackpad IMHO (to this, even Fredrik cedes).

    I understand that Opera is trying to go its own way. The problem is, they’re not being terribly smart about it. Setting different default hotkeys than what’s used by the rest of the industry means people need to learn new hotkeys, which they don’t want to do.

By posting a comment, you consent to our collecting the information you enter. See privacy policy for more information.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.