Tuesday, February 7th 2006
This is not a full review of Opera 9 (TP2). Just a little pointer to a few things I like about it, things I think Firefox should have too. 🙂 Alright, alright, Opera fans, it’s all about copying features.
- Autoscrolling is much slower in Opera than in Firefox. That’s great, since it means that you can actually set it to scroll the text slowly enough for you to be able to read it. (This may not be new to Opera 9.)
- BitTorrent support. A great and logical addition to the web browser. Non-geeky people shouldn’t need to worry about separate BitTorrent software, they should just be able to click a bittorrent link and have it download the file there and then. Just like we don’t (usually) use separate software to handle our normal ftp/http downloads. Azureus and other BitTorrent clients will be around for those of us who like to fiddle around with settings and/or are serious file sharers. For instance, I’ve got four episodes of the CommandN tech show being uploaded in Azureus right now. I like to have full control over what happens with my torrents, and having something constantly on the task bar (like I would have were I using Opera instead) is not an option. I guess what I’m trying to say is that having built-in, simple BitTorrent support is in line with the philosophy of Firefox.
- New keyboard shortcuts. I’m not sure, but I think Ctrl+L for the location bar is new for Opera 9. I know Ctrl+T for new tab (not page, as in Opera 8) and Ctrl+N for new page are new for Opera 9. It must have hurt Opera to make that change, but I think it was the best thing to do in the long run, seeing that both Firefox and IE7 are using those combinations.
- The Tab Preview feature is definately nice. But I think it would be even nicer (cleaner) without the information displayed to the right of the (anti-aliased) thumbnail:
The title is visible at the top of the tab, and the other informations doesn’t feel essential enough to outweigh the clutter it creates. I doubt that this is something that should be in the default Firefox install though.
The improved content blocking à la adblock initially seems to work fine. Does anyone know how it remembers what to block? If a different ad is displayed in the position where I blocked an ad a few days ago, will that also be blocked? If not, this is useless. If it is, this is useful. Adblock still has a slight edge on Opera though, with the ability to import a ready-made filter. Also, Opera doesn’t seem to be able to block Google Ads, should you wish to do so.
As for the widgets, I’m not entirely convinced of their usefullness. At least the widgets available now seem to be of limited value. Maybe the possibilities go far beyond the present ones. I get a feeling this whole widget thing is a bit overrated – a fad or a craze if you like.
All in all, Opera 9 looks very promising. I almost thought
This is something I could use permanently!. But I just can’t get used to the behaviour of Ctrl+Tab. I want it to be instant, as in Firefox. Not a big issue, but I just can’t quite get used to it.
Edit: Fixed a typo in the title.