Now I must admit, I’d always been in the I’ll-use-Opera-like-I-use-IE ….. *ahem* Never! camp due to it’s own bunch of strange behaviours. But I’ve been playing with the Opera 9.0b2 release and you know what, it’s really very nice.
The bits I like. Oh and I’m using the Mac version__I assume the PC version is the same__. The most obvious plus for me was the speed of the thing. I find it renders pages much faster than Firefox__my current browser__ and in the relms of Safari, Omniweb or Camino. They’ve also kept the whole UI compact and un-obtrusive. Opera customisation has always been good but now it’s an art form. You appear to be able to change anything and everything. Other nice features are Session saver, Fast-forward, User styles, CSS3 support, blimey so much I like.
They also seem to have packed many different apps in. Quite a feat. Extras include Email Client, IRC, Bit Torrent, Small screen mode, Widgets the list goes on. I’ll be honest I don’t think I’ll use many of these extras__why would you not use Mail? and I have widgets__but the fact you have them available is a bonus.
But …. and there seems always to be a but with Opera, the bloody thing still doesn’t work on sites I view frequently. My first example is flickr. I visit this site a lot as it’s where I store my photos and the first thing I got was ‘your browser is not supported’ looks like the user_agent problems, I think they have set the user agent back to ‘Opera’ in this one. Anyway. Next, after I have forced my way in I try and organise some photos and the brower either hangs or does does nothing, oh and the DHTML menus don’t work.
I realise these are likely not Opera problems but not a great start. I don’t know how Opera fix this, after all they are well known for their Standards Support and it’s one of the rare few that passes the Acid2 test. I know this browser is good, no infact I know this browser is great, but if the big sites break it then where’s the confidence. I wonder if they can make it more flexible in certain situations maybe a toggle should/will work. Hmm, I guess that goes against the grain. You see I really want to use this browser, but viewing the sites I like is far more inportant.
So, in summary I think this browser’s fantastic but I won’t be using it just yet, lets hope some of the problems are addressed in the final release.