Tuesday, 16 August 2011

A Night at the Opera

The news that Mozilla has released a new version of Firefox hasn't tempted me away from Chrome; but, something else has persuaded me to change my browser!

Recently, page loads in Chrome have got slower and slower and it seems that this is neither a new problem, nor is it attributable to a single reason. After enduring the rather cryptic sending request error message for a few days, I thought I'd take the opportunity to see how Opera performs on Ubuntu. This move isn't entirely a leap in the dark, I'm already a regular Opera user - it's the primary browser on my iPAQ hx2790!

I've always liked the speed dial page in Opera Mini and, in my opinion, text rendering has always been superior to Firefox. So, this weekend I downloaded Opera 11.50 and gave it a whirl on my Ubuntu machines.

It's taken a day or so to get used to the way the browser works and shortcuts aren't as intuitive as I would like. Moreover, online help is not as readily available as it is with other browsers and this dearth of expertize is probably a reflection of the minuscule market share (estimated at around 2.3%) that Opera enjoys. However, Opera is probably the quickest browser that I've used (particularly with the Turbo function enabled) and text rendering is as stunning on the desktop version as it is on the WinMob application!

If you are tempted to give Opera a try, here's a couple of tips:

  1. If you enable Speed Dial, use your mouse's centre button to open links in a new tab or window rather than than the current tab.
  2. Take a look at Opera's tutorial on mouse gestures - it could save you some time trying to set preferences.

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