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.