In praise of Opera 17

  • Things seem a little one sided here, and I thought some praise is due where it is deserved.

    The only reason I ever used any browser other than Opera was because it became too slow to use with Facebook. Here's why this happened:

    Facebok began as a bunch of crappy php scripts and some javascript. Since they were to experience expoential growth forever, performance problems both on the servers and on the brower side began to suffer. To add to this there was a large influx of people that left Google and went to Facebook and with them they took the idea "hey, do it in javascript with ajax - way way better and hey, you know, the Google V8 Javascript engine is 10X faster so we can do ALL OF THE STUFF now. And right way non V8 browsers began to get slow. This was around 2009 when Facebook intriduced "auto page refresh" to compete with Twitter who had just added it. Things wend bad from that point and in only two years it was easy to get a browser that ends up in a state spending more time updating itself than letting the user actually do anything. But, there was Chrome, and if you switched to that, Facebook was fine. For a while. Now it's as bad as Opera was in 2010. FB is gonna have to do something, you shouldn't need a 6 core CPU and an 884 core GPU to run the moral equivalent of Usenet with pictures. Ahem.

    Anyway, the point it, since I downloaded Opera 17 about a week and and got over the freakout of ALL OF THE FEATURES THAT MAKE IT OPERA ARE GONE I came to realize...

    ...i haven't needed to run Chrome in a week. Ok, that's pretty impressive. Opera was starting to fall behind even Mozilla, with no hope of matching Chrome's performance (but who cares, it crashes all the f'ing time and doesn't work with forms, it'd rather have slow but works than fast bu doesn't!) but has now leapfrogged past Mozilla and replaced the need to ever use Chrome again. Ok, that's a big deal and deserves recognition.

    The other thing is the aesthetics. I will admit to the xmas tree effect in my own copy of 12 and the new one is so minimalist it's actually refreshing. I can understand why Opera wants to add things slowly are carefully. That's commendable. Also the look and feel of the browser and the better web pages has improved dramatically in the last 8-14 months, to be sure a lot of this was driven by phone, but none the less the progress is staggering and I'm impressed.

    It's a tough decision but I think once we get past the short term pain there's long term gain to be had.

    So... constructive criticism. I realize not there's tons of bulky Opera 12 features that aren't in 17 and I don't miss and I'm glad I'm not paying the storage and computational overhead for them: sync, unite, mail, irc, torrent... all that Swiss Army Knife stuff. So I'm glad that's gone and it would be nice that if they came back they came back as some sort of loadable (and unloadable!) module. I do want dragonfly but I never want it all the time and wouldn't even mind firing up a different version of Opera to get it. I can live with that even.

    But, despite the long list of things I'd like to have from 12 be new features in 15 there's really only one I can't actually live without and that's the ability to edit forms properly which currently doesn't work in Opera 17 or Chrome 30. The problem is if you half fill out a form then go to another page then go back - everything you typed in is gone now, and without this, you can't use a browser to edit some things, that it it, new Opera breaks some apps that work in old Opera.

    Opera used to be the only browser that got this right (Mozilla fixed this and works now too) and got sold into a lot of installations that relied on accurate editing where only Opera worked. They can't upgrade, they have to switch to Mozilla now, or stay with Opera 12.

    As a programmer, I don't even care all the -o- stuff is gone and the -webkit stuff is different, I can work around that, but I can't work around a browser that had a fundamental and essential property suddenly go away with no warning. So, if it were me, I'd fix this first. Because if this isn't fixed, than it does't really matter if anything else gets fixed because it can't be used.

    It's taken 15 years too long to convince business and government to use http instead of paper and to suddenly go from 1 to 2 to 1 programs that can used for this is not progress though and would like to hear this is something that is fairly high up in the queue of things to do next.

    Speaking of hearing things, is there some official channel to find out what future directions are in the short, medium and long terms? They only way I can see on the Opera site per se is the job ads which to indicate some direction but not as to the specifics of the future of the browser. Perhaps I missed it? Perhaps if one doesn't exist something like that could be created?

  • Originally posted by rs79:

    The problem is if you half fill out a form then go to another page then go back - everything you typed in is gone now

    Why not just open a new tab?

    Originally posted by rs79:

    Speaking of hearing things, is there some official channel to find out what future directions are in the short, medium and long terms?

    The Desktop Team Blog is the place to learn about the latest developments, but future plans are not usually revealed. As Haavard commented on the blogs much more recently, if they do say that they are working on bringing back bookmarks, people expect it in the very next version. They don't understand that "We are working on it" means it will be released WIR.

    The same goes for a Linux version or any other statement about future plans. It's better to say nothing until it's ready for inclusion in the Developer versions at least.

  • The only problem you have doesn't exist here. I can go back and forth history from this page and when I come back here the text of my reply stays.

    In fact in the newest Opera versions (17+) you can even close the tab and when recovering it (Ctrl+Shift+T), or even if you exit the browser completely with that tab opened and Continue from last time set in the startup settings, the forms will be filled the way you left them.

    You probably came across a page that creates a form in the screen as part of a JavaScript process, in such a page not even Opera 12 will recover the text.

    You can follow the Desktop Team blog Pesala linked and also watch this topic about the future of the development where users are free to copy and paste interesting comments from the developers they find.

  • I take it back, Opera17 crashes more than Chrome and and have had to go back to Chrome for FB which is 10000% flakier than Opera12 under load it's not funny. I still develop under 12, it's still the only browser that works. Mozilla has fixed checkboxes but not textboxes and it still does not preserve that user-typed content, of all browsers made, only Opera 12 gets this right, and flawlessly so, as it it hasn't glitched once in over a decade.

    Man, this was one very very expensive way to get WebKit+v8 support.

  • I'm not having any of the "crashing" problems you're relating to although I am using Opera 18. What extensions do you have enabled? Have you considered uninstalling v.17 and re-installing v.18 without any extensions? Then you might want to add one extension at a time to see what the possible conflict might be. As I said, I am not experiencing these things. I have WebofTrust, Adblock Plus, LastPass and Turn off the Lights as my current extensions in addition to having the Quick Access Bar enabled.

  • Originally posted by rs79:

    So... constructive criticism. I realize not there's tons of bulky Opera 12 features that aren't in 17 and I don't miss and I'm glad I'm not paying the storage and computational overhead for them: sync, unite, mail, irc, torrent... all that Swiss Army Knife stuff. So I'm glad that's gone and it would be nice that if they came back they came back as some sort of loadable (and unloadable!) module. I do want dragonfly but I never want it all the time and wouldn't even mind firing up a different version of Opera to get it. I can live with that even.

    The funny thing is that all those "bulky" Opera 12 features took up only about a half of the disk space of Opera 17, and even less if Opera 17 updates are to be counted... and as far as Opera 15–17 releases are concerned, there are now many reports about its tripled amount of I/O data (O.K., I know that using databases for everything takes its toll) and significantly increased memory requirements.

    Anyway... the perennial question is this: what on earth makes people use the new Opera?!
    It seems that I do not understand it.
    And I suppose that you are the right person for this question.

    I just cannot understand people using the "new Opera". Why? Because its tab handlers look and behave like in the "old Opera"?
    I understand the frustration and anger of users of the "old Opera". Their beloved platform has been killed, leaving a painful void in its place.
    And I cannot understand all the praise with which some users now shower the "new Opera". The praise mainly revolves around the fact that Opera is/performs now like Google Chrome.
    But why are they so enthusiastic about it?! If they wanted the performance of Google Chrome, why did not they switch to it a long time ago?!
    The new Opera does not have significant distinguishing features (apart from "Off-Road", formerly "Turbo" -- but I have never seen it mentioned as an advantage anywhere), so... why??? What is the fuss about it??!
    Is it because of the prestige of the label? Oh, I believe that Opera Software killed that a long time ago... the Opera browser was known to support torrents, Unite, IRC, e-mail and what not (simply put: many functions completely unrelated to browsing)... but it did not support form autocompletion, and the Opera team was obstinately refusing to implement it for more that a decade! And with the demise of the "old Opera", the former prestige got buried for good.

    So... what did all those "new fanboys" gain with the new Opera??! What is it that Google Chrome or other Chromium clones did not have??!
    In fact, I see no reason for their enthusiasm. Google Chrome has even better compatibility with extensions.

    So, why all those people now hail Opera, if they could get the same with Google Chrome before??!
    For me the range of options was simply reduced. It is quite ironic that Opera Software reduced it, as it had lobbied for more browser choices at the European Commission a few years ago.

  • Originally posted by Antikapitalista:

    If they wanted the performance of Google Chrome, why did not they switch to it a long time ago?!

    The fact is people were indeed switching! Opera was losing desktop users, look at the quarterly financial reports.

    Originally posted by Antikapitalista:

    The new Opera does not have significant distinguishing features (apart from "Off-Road", formerly "Turbo" -- but I have never seen it mentioned as an advantage anywhere) [...]So... what did all those "new fanboys" gain with the new Opera??! What is it that Google Chrome or other Chromium clones did not have??!

    You don't seem to have "looked" anywhere for different opinions, including some mentioning Off-road. Have you even tried the new Opera to compare? There are details in the experience (menus, unique settings, features) that are obvious enough...

    Originally posted by Antikapitalista:

    Google Chrome has even better compatibility with extensions.

    That's only while the devs are still implementing the Chromium extension APIs in the newborn product (Opera 15+). Other than that the problem is caused because the third-party developers don't care enough to upload their extensions to Opera's extension catalog, not because of compatibility.

    Originally posted by Antikapitalista:

    For me the range of options was simply reduced. It is quite ironic that Opera Software reduced it, as it had lobbied for more browser choices at the European Commission a few years ago.

    ?? That process was about IE being bundled with Windows plus its poor support of open web standards at the time (it's still the worst BTW) what has been judged as an anti-trust by the EU, not about Presto superiority over others nor browser features or anything else.
    Nonetheless, it's still a different choice regarding open web standards support. Opera is now based on Blink, which already supports more standards than Presto, and Opera is not including NaCl and those kinds of non-standardized stuff found in Google Chrome.

  • Nice rant but pretty much pointless. The new Opera IS now the official browser and that is the long and short of it. It is far more compatible with popular sites around the internet and it is getting better all the time as more features are added. I'm not going to go into the reasons given for abandoning the Presto version but you can do that with a little searching. We've been fielding these same questions for months now and in truth - it's gets a little old and becomes a little tiresome when the same questions are posed almost on a daily basis week after week. A little searching on your part would provide answers to the questions you're now posing.

    Bottom line? I like the new Opera. I believe Opera is headed in the right direction and I look forward to the new features that will undoubtedly be added to the browser. Yes, I could use Chrome if I wanted but I try and use as little of Google's products as possible. I find their attitude about privacy rather cavalier at best. Firefox is an option but currently has a font-related bug for those on Windows 8.1 and frankly, I don't find it more compelling than Opera v.18. Many of the features of the older Opera suite were features I did not use so I do not feel the "loss" you and others talk about. Not sure what else to tell you. If the new Opera isn't doing it for you, keep v.12.16 and run the two side by side until Opera Next has the features you require. Your only other option is to find another browser. Good luck.

Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to Opera forums was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.