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User concern, and return of old features.

  • Will the handy basic features like bookmarks, session saving and advanced expanded settings return in any forthcoming version of Opera?

    I'm writing this on behalf of a sizeable (57 people) IT-community in Norway, and all of us are stalwart supporters of Opera. However, sadly, a lot of people think that the new Opera isn't going in the right direction. That is, Opera pre v.15 had direct user-friendliness for basic users, as well as the advanced settings and flexibility of the alternative browsers for intermediate users.
    I've seen a lot of discussion online regarding this, and it seems people are "getting tired of waiting" (as some of them put it) and migrating over to Firefox and Chrome.

    I asked someone in the Norwegian community about why they hadn't notified you about their displeasure, and this person said "[your] website doesn't lend itself well to feedback." Just a thought.

    Now, development-wise the blink engine seems to work like a charm. However, stability, compatibility and speed aside - though they are important elements - the interface design seems to have been "dumbed down" somewhat. As a professionial user (and also representing nearly sixty other pro-users and even program developers) I have to ask if there are any plans to make Opera as feature-rich and comprehensive as it was.

  • Well, let me answer that point by point:

    • Bookmarks: If you download the Opera Developer, which is currently at v25.0.1597.0, you will have the first implementation of a bookmarks management again. If you activate that in the flags however, your stash will disappear. It's not ready for productive use in my opinion and it is one missing feature among many, but at least on this one, Opera is going in the right direction.

    • Session saving: Opera already saves and loads your current session, but you were probably thinking about the loading and saving of sessions like Opera did until version 12. In that case, you will definitely need an extension like OneTab, which can save all currently opened tabs of your window into one tab-group. Said tab-group can then be restored with a single click in the OneTab list, which you can call up with a custom shortcut (see the button at the bottom of the extensions page for that configuration).

    • Advanced settings: That's one of the remaining weaknesses of Opera, unfortunately. There does exist an extension called "Site-specific Preferences" ( ), but I haven't tested it yet. Looking at its screenshots, it doesn't appear to be nearly as extensive as the original feature of Opera 12.

    In general, you have to view the current Opera as a Google Chrome browser with a touch of Opera. That may be cynical if you consider that the browser has been in development for more than a year by now, but feature-wise it is true nonetheless. Still, one can learn to live with it and there are certainly some extensions to make the browser useable, more for some people and less for others.

    If you're looking to get back the majority of the old feature-set from version 12 or earlier, then you might never be satisfied with this browser again. With their move to Blink, Opera seems to have undergone a considerable change of direction for their browser development towards the casual user. This may not have been said this explicitly of course, but reading between the lines and looking closely at every single changelog from version 15 to 23 will tell you a lot.

    On a personal note: there are a number of hopeful independent and open source developments going on, but they're nowhere near ready to replace Opera 12 yet. Otter Browser is planned as a full-out replacement with the WebKit engine (through QTWebEngine), while QupZilla is an interesting alternative with some similarities as well. Both are already closer to the often mentioned Opera 12 already than Opera 23, but I wouldn't use either of them productively for some time yet.

  • Thank you for your reply, eldani.
    I'll relay what you've said to those it might concern or benefit.

    Whilst compensating for the loss of features through extensions would be a viable tactic, I fear an immigration of sorts of the advanced user base over to other alternatives nonetheless.

    Again, thanks.