Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Juicy Opera Tip

I was just given an awesome tip: In Opera, in order to find things on the page, go to a website and type "/" followed by your search term. A little box pops up in the bottom left corner showing your search term, and it will highlight the first match on the page. Using F3 or Ctrl-G will cycle through the matches. Hitting return if the match is a link will follow that link.

Very useful, nifty little tool. I'm feeling more and more liberated from my mouse as we speak.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Opera Review, Part 3

Fifth Day

I've noticed that I'm not using all the nifty and keen features as written about above. I'm reading a review of OS X 10.4 on Ars Technica, and what I want to do is keep opening links in new tabs (I mean pages) in the background, but I keep forgetting that I can until after the fact. This leads me to believe that more than a week is necessary for my Opera tryout. Also, I still notice that the UI is using much more space than I would like. This isn't helped by the fact that I can't seem to get Opera to keep track of the fact that I'm registered. (UPDATE: I realized when I used my laptop at home that Safari always opens new tabs in the background, which is why I'm not used to specifying it.)

Also, in this article (which is very good, if you are interested in OS X reviews), I find that even though all lab PC's come with QuickTime installed, Opera doesn't seem to recognize this fact, and prompts me to download and install QuickTime all over again.

Sixth Day

I like the way Opera displays forms. It’s nice and rounded. (This may be a property of the skin that I'm using) I appreciate browsers that attempt to make things a little nicer looking.

www.mac.com doesn't display properly either. I sent did the report a site problem thing, but I find it discouraging that this is the second major site (also www.blogger.com) that does not display properly. I doubt that the .css or html for the sites are wrong, so it makes me question Opera's rendering engine.

Seventh Day

I noticed today that Opera highlights the little website icons in the quick links toolbar as you scroll over them. It uses a transparent shade of yellow which looks decent for most icons, like Slashdot and ArsTechnica.

I also noticed that loading psu.dailyjolt.com/courseevaluator.html causes Opera 8 on Windows to die horribly and quit unexpectedly. This will be fun when Opera comes to PSU next year. I submitted a bug report.

Another thing that I've noticed is that Opera opens pop-ups within the Opera window, instead as a new window, which is nice 99% of the time. It definitely helps me keep things organized, which I like, and it keeps popup pages from getting away from you. Pop-ups also get their own page, so they are easy to track down and close. Also, I’ve noticed that Opera does an excellent job of not allowing unwanted pop-ups. Although it doesn’t notify you when it blocks a popup (not that I’ve noticed, at least), I haven’t gotten any unwanted pop-ups yet.

While we're on the subject, Penn State's WebMail service uses a pop-up to browse and upload attachments, but in Opera, it loads as a new page instead of a pop-up window, which is rather disorienting, and may cause users to get confused.

Finally, I'm loving the fit to width option. Basically, Opera does its best to eliminate any sideways scrolling. (Much of this is lessened by css, but it still happens enough to want a feature for it.)


I like Opera. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it does have a couple features that make it worth using over other browsers. Judging from my first week of using it, it would probably take a month before I started to take advantage of all Opera’s features, but the first week has been positive. Overall, I like the idea of Notes, fit-to-width is a very nice feature, I like the way Opera implements tabbed browsing, and Opera feels secure and professional. Area’s for improvement: the GUI could be put on a diet, and the RSS Feed section could use a makeover.