TL:DR The latest Opera update has changed the number of available rows on Speed Dial messing up the order of my thumbnails. I prefer things to be left alone, prefer even more to have customisability.
I have messaged customer services and also made a 'bug report' about the issue below. Some background, I am an older user with I could say medium level computer skills, I know my way around but do like to organise things as I like and prefer the stability of such. Set in my ways? Yes, that's me. Routine is important as one gets older and the technology changes beneath our feet.
Opera Speed Dial has long been a personal bugbear, it started off ok, in fact I used Opera 12 for a very long time (most of this decade) because of the fully customizable Speed Dial, but had to reluctantly move on to obtain more up to date security updates. Like many here I disliked it when an Opera update replaced my needed thumbnail links with Facebook and other advertising partners/suzerains. Eventually they stopped doing that, now you get them hardwired into a toolbar instead. At least I don't have to take the toolbar.
Today Opera made one of its improvement and someone with an artistic vision decreed that we needed larger borders to the left and right of our thumbnails. I had already made queries about this before and found to my chagrin that I could do nothing about the wasted space.
Here is the rub, someone in Opera thinks the Speed Dial page is their artistic canvas, to arrange icons centrally with a large border showing off the artistic dark or light colour schemes. Now I will admit there is some talent behind the artistic vision of Opera, but style should not override usability. Speed Dial is not the developers artistic canvass fact it is the end users online desktop. Or at least it is to me. I have no need for large borders, I do have need for more icon space. With Opera 12 I could fill the screen with thumbnail icons, since then functionality has been stripped away. Today the thumbnail width moved from an acceptable seven down to six columns. Why? So that opera designers can showcase their dark and light theme. If I resize the icons I still only get six columns but now with even wider trendier borders. Older users might not appreciate artistic changes. Opera kids need to get off my lawn.
I don't care how trendy is now looks, where is the icon format I need? Opera suffers a bit because the thumbnails are actually a list, they wrap from one line to the next like a sentence. That is backward but at least it is workable. I can build up a mosaic of links I need where I want them with a little trouble. Needless to say I would wax wroth a bit when Facebook icons 'helpfully' appeared to replace the links I actually wanted. But I saw that as a chore of using the Opera browser. The devs need auto-kneel at the sound of the Zuckerzipper, a price of their otherwise independence, so I understand and forgive; at least I could get rid of the intrusive content and restore things more or less to my liking.
Thing is while operationally Speed Dial is a list, it has functionality as a mosaic. I can set up financial links to one side or corner, hobby links to another etc. While i prefered the older formats where I could have as many columns of thumbnails as I liked I could make do with seven, even though I was annoyed by the wasted 'artistic' inclusion of wide side borders of late.
However todays update reduced the number of columns to six, with extra wide and trendy (and annoying) borders. resixzing still leaves me with six columns of thumbnails and even wider trendier borders.
Time to put my foot down. This thread may appear like First World Problems, but I not only set up my PC for myself but also for even older crustier users, were this possible to imagine. The type who cant find the weblink to a specific site from even a small mosaic of links unless it is WHERE THEY LAST FOUND IT, as opposed to 'wordwrapped' onto a different part of the screen, and are troubled by having to absorb the changes.
Let me put it this way, dear reader, in case you are still in the mindset of defending Opera developer''s sense of artistic vision for the Speed Dial page. When Microsoft introduced Windows 8 one of the major bugbears was because someone in the artistic department decided to clean up the desktop and arrange things 'better'. Thing is, people liked their thumbnail links their way and were angered by the developer knows best attitude of Microsoft.
Sadly Opera has this same mental block. Speed Dial is important, its our front end and while it has different functions to different people, clearly seen as an artistic front page to some, a vessel for advertising to others and a functional internet desktop to some like myself. Those who use Opera Speed Dial as a desktop have long been squeezed in favour of other functions. I noticed long ago, hence why I used Opera 12 for several years after it was replaced until I could not for reasons of missed security updates. To others who like the metaphorical frog in the slowly rising waters do not notice stripped functionality of later versions of Opera. This old frog, before he croaks, wants to make his displeasure felt and signed up to the forum to make this post.
Today you get a Speed Dial with obnoxiously large borders, obnoxious because I have no functionality to remove them, with options for only six columns of thumbnails at any size, with resizing automatically prioritizing even larger borders with excess thumbnails over those the page has limited space for being available by scrolling.
I do NOT want to have to scroll to find icons on what is my internet desktop, i want direct one page functionality.
This is what Opera needs to do.
Acknowledge at the Speed Dial means different things to different users. Ultimately the person whose opinion matters on how Speed Dial should be organised is the end user, not whoever has artistic control at Opera studio.
End users must have unfettered functionality to choose how many rows and columns of thumbnails are available, no matter how much space this takes away from trendy border design.
End users must be able to 'lock in' their choices of their list of chosen thumbnails and their format so they cannot be overridden by corporate sponsor links or well meaning developers who think they know best about how an end users Speed Dial should function.
End users should be able to lock out additional iconography, even from sponsors, artistic changes that they might consider detrimental to functionality, such as mandatory font or images resizes, or fix sizing so it doesn't need scroll bars.
Most of this is possible by simply adding a lock content switch and a menu of chosen thumbnail orientations from say 3x2 up to 9x8 or larger dependent on size of monitor. It would be simple to code, after all Opera once had this functionality. In my opinion the true chance needs to occur in the minds of Opera developers some of whom have an artistic vision so unyielding it has mutated into a we-know-whats-best approach.