Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Opera browser hasn't got its act all together

Filed under
Software

Opera's new Web browser responds to commands you speak into a microphone. It rearranges pages to fit narrower windows. It adds a security bar to help reduce the risk of fraud.

All impressive features.

But when it comes to the basics, too many Web sites simply don't work as well with Opera when compared with rival browsers from Microsoft Corp. and the Mozilla Foundation.

What a disappointment, as I really like the browser's other improvements.

The latest version of Opera Software ASA's browser, Opera 8, adds voice functionality that the company considers mostly a preview of what hands-free browsing might be like one day.

Still, I was quite impressed.

After getting my microphone to work properly, I only had to say "Opera reload" to have the Web page automatically update. "Opera speak" gets the browser to read aloud a highlighted passage of text. I didn't have to do a thing to train the software to recognize my voice.

Opera's new fit-to-width feature, meanwhile, lets you navigate Web pages without having to constantly reach for the horizontal scroll bar.

Opera can automatically rearrange pages so that sentences fit, no matter how narrow the window. When pages have multiple columns, Opera may stack one on top of the other to eliminate that scroll bar. Graphics and photos are shrunk. This feature worked well with most sites I tried, though with a Flash-heavy portal, Opera simply shrunk the entire page, making text unreadable. Opera 8 also has a trash can that stores blocked pop-up windows and pages you close, just in case you need them again.

Many of Opera's returning features are similar to those of Mozilla's Firefox, which itself offers more than Microsoft's aging Internet Explorer.
I haven't run into any sites that didn't work at all with Opera, but many didn't work as well.

With Opera, I couldn't access America Online Inc. e-mail or empty Hotmail's junk folder. I couldn't use the word processor-like interface when posting new entries on LiveJournal's blogging service.

Making travel plans through Expedia, I had more options for creating discount packages from the home page using Firefox and Microsoft's IE.

Several menu options failed to appear on Northwest's Web site when using Opera, and only with Opera did an ad permanently block me from reading tech news at The Washington Post's Web site.

Opera spokesman Tor Odland said some Web developers design their sites to work with IE and Firefox but don't bother testing them with Opera, which has smaller market share.

I can see how Opera isn't to blame, but the bottom line for me is whether it works. The $39 browser (free if you accept ads) is available for Windows and Linux computers, though the voice features need Windows 2000 or XP.

A Mac OS version is being tested.

If IE were the only option, then Opera would be a strong candidate.

But Firefox handles all the basics well. For free. And on the Mac.

ANICK JESDANUN
ASSOCIATED PRESS

More in Tux Machines

Linus Torvalds Announces Subsurface 4.6 Open-Source Dive Log and Planning App

Linus Torvalds not only works on the Linux kernel, but he's also part of the development team behind the open-source dive log and dive planning application most of you out there know as Subsurface. Read more

openSUSE Tumbleweed Gets XOrg Server 1.19 & Irssi 1.0, PulseAudio 10 Coming Soon

openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio is informing the Tumbleweed community today, January 18, 2017, about the latest software updates and other improvements delivered by a total of two snapshots released last week. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Linux use on Pornhub surged 14% in 2016
    Pornhub is one of the preeminent porn sites on the web. Each year Pornhub releases a year in review post with anonymous details about the site’s users. More and more Linux users are visiting Pornhub, Linux saw an impressive 14% increase in traffic share in 2016.
  • Amdocs partners with Linux Foundation to accelerate OpenECOMP adoption in Open Source
  • Calamares 2.4.6 Distribution-Independent Linux Installer Delivers Improvements
    The Calamares team is proud to announce the availability of the sixth maintenance update to the 2.4 stable series of the open-source, distribution-independent system installer Calamares, for Linux-based operating systems. Calamares 2.4.6 comes approximately two months after the release of the previous version, namely Calamares 2.4.5, and, as expected, it's a bugfix release that only delivers various improvements and bug fixes for some of the issues reported by users during all this time.
  • Shotwell Photo Manager 0.25.3 Released
    Photography fans will be pleased to hear that a new bug-fix release of photo management app Shotwell is now available to download.
  • AntiX 16.1 is available for public
    AntiX is Debian based Linux distribution. It uses lightweight desktop environments like Fluxbox, Icewm, Xfce, etc. This distribution is originated in Greece and is typically ideal for old systems. Few hours ago AntiX team released new version named AntiX 16.1. It is based on Debian Jessie.
  • Tumbleweed Preps for PulseAudio 10, Gets Ruby, Python Updates
    Developers using openSUSE Tumbleweed are always getting the newest packages as well as updated languages and past week’s snapshots delivered update versions of Python and Ruby. The most recent snapshot, 20170112, brought Python 2.x users version 2.7.13, which updated cipher lists for openSSL wrapper and supports versions equal to or greater than OpenSSL 1.1.0. Python-unidecode 0.04.20 was also updated in the snapshot. Another update related to OpenSSL 1.1.0 was PulseAudio 9.99.1, which is a release in preparation for PulseAudio 10.0. PulseAudio 10.0 includes compatibility with OpenSSL 1.1.0, a fix for hotplugged USB surround sound cards and and automatic switching of Bluetooth profile when using VoIP applications.
  • Genode OS Framework Planning For Async I/O, App ABI, Qt5 Plans For 2017
    The Genode Operating System Framework has announced their planned roadmap for this year as the involved developers continue working on this original OS initiative. The overall theme of the Genode OS work in 2017 is to focus on stability and scalability, but there is also much more on their road-map for this calendar year.
  • PrestaShop
    Helping people overcome the challenges of building and growing an online business is what the PrestaShop open-source ecommerce platform is all about. The significant PrestaShop 1.7 release provides innovations focused on three themes: sell faster, create easier and code better.
  • This Week in Spring: Reactor 3.0, Open Source CD, and All Kinds of Cloud

Linux on Servers

  • IBM i Open Source Business Architect Lays Out A Plan
    Enterprise level application development is no place for open source languages. Can you believe it? That was once the widely accepted truth. Jiminy Crickets! Things have changed. The number of the stable open source distributions available with comprehensive support and maintenance goes well beyond common knowledge. Industry giants, successful SMB players, and mom and pop businesses are finding good reasons to use open source. Even IBM uses open source for internal business reasons. There are reasons for you to do the same.
  • Lightning Talk - Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes by Blake White, The Walt Disney Co.
  • How Disney Is Realizing the Multi-Cloud Promise of Kubernetes
    The Walt Disney Company is famous for “making magic happen,” and their cross-cloud, enterprise level Kubernetes implementation is no different. In a brief but information-packed lightning talk at CloudNativeCon in Seattle in November, Disney senior cloud engineer Blake White laid out a few of the struggles and solutions in making Kubernetes work across clouds.
  • Puppet Launches its Latest State of DevOps Survey
    Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008. Fast-forward to today, and Puppet is still making news, creating jobs and more.