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What about Opera?

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Subject:What about Opera?
Summary:Opera has most of this out of the box.
Author:Ruben Beekman
Date:2011-05-20 10:39:17
Update:2011-10-14 09:27:44

  1. What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Ruben Beekman Ruben Beekman - 2011-05-20 15:18:58
I have been developing in Opera for years now. It has almost all of these things that you can get in Firefox using plugins already out of the box.
Why do people always forget to mention this beautiful browser? It has more functions out of the box than any other browser, and it's still fast. Many of the functions that other browsers adopt were originally founded by Opera.
So: why is Firefox "better" than Chrome, while Opera is in many ways even better than Firefox? Especially for developers.
Please do not forget Opera.

  2. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Chris Perkins Chris Perkins - 2011-05-20 20:20:15 - In reply to message 2 from Ruben Beekman
Opera rocks indeed. I'm always surprised by how many developers don't use it. It has everything a developer would want and the integration is fantastic. Firefox with a slew of developer extensions installed is still not as good as Opera. DragonFly sets the bar.

  3. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2011-05-21 22:22:14 - In reply to message 2 from Ruben Beekman
Personally I do not like Opera because it does aggressive caching to make itself artificially faster. This means that sometimes you access a page and it shows you the cache and you wonder if it is a bug in your code why the page is not changing.

Other than that there is a lot missing in Opera. It would be hard to get used to it now that we are so much used to other browsers that have we need.

  4. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Jeff Dickey Jeff Dickey - 2011-05-24 19:36:32 - In reply to message 4 from Manuel Lemos

What do you see as "missing" in Opera? I've been using it since 9.0 (currently, 11.11) as it:
a) has the best HTML 5 and XHTML 1.1 compliance out there;
b) has a (now even more) ridiculously-fast and -compliant JavaScript engine;
c) has greater compatibility across systems (I develop in OS X and test in Linux, BSD and Windows);
d) has displayed FAR greater reliability and professionalism in its releases than Firefox or even Safari; and especially
e) is the only browser I've used in the last 8-10 years that has <i>never</i> crashed on me, on any platform.

I used to be an open-source-at-any-cost geek, who loved Firefox (or "Iceweasel," as it was called on my then-distro of choice) with religious fervour, because it was the most complete open-source browser out there. At about the 3.0 release, it got less compelling, and I'd relegated it to test-only status by the time 4.0 *finally* was declared done.

I believe it's a Good Thing if we as developers use a variety of browsers during development. Not only does that encourage innovation and friendly competition (things open-source software used to be famous for); it also encourages everybody to play nice with standards. Internet Exploder took about a decade out of my and every other longtime Web developer's life; we're not going to get that time back, but we can make *ruddy* well sure that nothing like those bad old days ever happens to us again.

What am I missing here?

  5. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2011-05-25 01:07:56 - In reply to message 5 from Jeff Dickey
There seems to be a misunderstanding. I never mentioned anything I miss in Opera because I do not use it.

What I mentioned is that does aggressive caching by making the browser not respect HTTP standards for not retrieving content that may have changed.

Sometimes I get complaints from Opera users saying that they have logged in the PHPClasses site but the site says they have not logged it. What happens is that Opera does not retrieve again a page recently accessed and still shows the page for non-logged users.

Basically Opera is cheating just to pretend to be faster. That is why I do not use it nor recommend it.

  6. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Ruben Beekman Ruben Beekman - 2011-05-25 19:58:27 - In reply to message 6 from Manuel Lemos
Opera follows page headers completely accurate. I have never seen any caching problems, not local, not online, not anywhere.
PHPclasses isn't exactly a bugless site. Even now when quoting you I get with "replying to message" a post from a completely different topic.

  7. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Buster Buster - 2011-05-31 05:23:09 - In reply to message 6 from Manuel Lemos
Opera sticks to the standards as well for caching. I never had any caching troubles. Users can select if and when Opera should update it's caches. IIRC the default tell's to look for fresh content every 5 hours. That's not a problem as far as webmasters send correct headers for caching, e-tag and so on.

  8. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Manuel Lemos Manuel Lemos - 2011-05-31 05:49:18 - In reply to message 7 from Ruben Beekman
I am not talking about Opera bugs, but what is considered a feature for them.

If you go in Preferences -> General -> History you have an option that says "Check if cached page is updated on the server". The default value is 5 minutes.

The Opera online help about this option page says:

"When you revisit webpages, Opera normally asks for new versions even though most web content is not updated very often. Checking for changes less often may speed up browsing.

Note: If you rarely check for changes, you may sometimes have to reload a webpage to get the newest version." ...

So, as you may see, Opera is configured by default to cache pages for 5 minutes and not check the server, even if the previously retrieved page does not send any headers to tell Opera to cache the page.

The consequence of this is that sometimes I get upset Opera users telling me that they have logged in but after they returned to a previously visited site page, the page appears as if they have not logged in.

Until I realized that this was an incorrect behavior of Opera, it made me waste a lot of time wondering if it was a site bug.

Unfortunately Opera developers think it is a good idea to make their browser pretend that it is faster by making it skip retrieving pages.

If they wanted to make their browser really faster, they should have gone Chrome route, speeding up what can be accelerated still respecting Web standards.

Since they did not do that, I cannot recommend Opera, as neither me nor any Web site publisher can afford to provide support to users making angry complaints about things which are not the site fault.

  9. Re: What about Opera?   Reply   Report abuse  
Picture of Thomas Mobley Thomas Mobley - 2011-08-26 20:30:41 - In reply to message 9 from Manuel Lemos
I was a big opera fan as a user until I got into web programming a few years ago (I was strictly desktop/firmware programmer before). I also switched to Linux from Windows a couple of years ago and I've been using Chromium (not chrome) since. I do agree with a number of points in the article, especially that the "fixing" something I goofed hides it from me. That said, I still have to check against other browsers like firefox and opera, (and IE and safari plus the usual suspects for windows in virtualbox) so for just pure development purposes chromium is the cats whiskers just based on speed because the faster it loads the faster I can see issues and fix them. After it works in chromium I have to go through the other browsers anyway so I fix for them as I go or fix them before I even get to them if I see a known issue. I do agree that the tools are nicer in firefox, but it's become a bit of a bloated pig in my opinion, far slower than chromium. That's maybe a bit rough, but as in so many other programs (I'll note norton security suite as an egregious example) it seems to have become bigger than its britches as it tries to be all to everyone. Chromium is fast, that lets me get the grunt work done faster so I can fix problems faster, especially since I already have to run ff, ie, opera and chrome anyway to make sure it all works right everywhere.

My real issue now is that the popularity of all these new technologies like flash and javascript it means lynx is no longer a viable browser. Where the heck is my sabot...