Saying Goodbye to Opera

 Why a former Opera user has jumped ship.


 I have been using Opera for a few years now. It controls less than a half percent of the browser market, and yet it remains a formidable contender. I stopped using it when the Firefox 2.0 release candidates were released.  For some reason, Opera has ceased to be a comfortable browsing experience after using the newest offering from Firefox.  It wasn't just because of how good the new Firefox is, I figured out that the reasons run much deeper.

 Software being open source does not influence how I choose what I use. I believe that a team of happy, well-payed programmers can create just as high quality code as an open source community.  Just because you can't see it, doesn't change it's quality, which is about the full extent of my opinion on the matter.

 What first attracted me to Opera was the promise of it's vast speed advantage over the other browsers. This has impressed me less and less over the years as my broadband became faster and most browsers now display the web almost instantaneously. The boot time and ram usage have also become less of a factor as my computers continue to improve.

 Another thing that kept my attention on Opera was that you could tell that the developers and higher ups actually like to have fun with creating amusing PR news announcements to try and draw attention to a major release.  It worked.  Too bad they don't do it more often. Nowadays Opera seems to be grumpy and wanting attention for it's past innovations and the things it is trying to do to keep up with Firefox and IE7, apparent in this article

 In version 9.0 of Opera they released widgets to try and compete with Firefox's extensions.  They seemed to entirely miss the point of how Firefox's extensions change your entire experience, and in turn created something less than thrilling.  Think random gizmos that you can download for your desktop, integrated into your browser.  Things such as the Firefox adblock extension can only be replicated in Opera by setting up the UserCSS to act the same way, which is not user friendly.  Blocking specific content is of no use in the long run either. The Greasemonkey extension in Firefox can only be replicated by tinkering with User Javascript.  Again, not very user friendly.

 Recently,  Opera has decided to integrate a feature that will automatically send your browsing information to a company called Trustwatch in order to keep you from visiting phishing sites, detailed in this blog entry and the current development preview. Firefox has this feature also, except it is not turned on by default and it sends your information to Google instead.  Which one do you trust more?

Web designers tend to try and support what the majority of their  users will be using. They want everyone to use their web-apps, but tweaking for each browser takes time. Opera is a Web1.0 browser, not because of Opera's own doing, but because the majority of Web2.0 does not have the time to make it compatible(see: Meebo and Google Reader).  Opera should be commended for being able to pass the Acid2 test, but this will only prove useful in displaying web pages that do not have complex uses and are only used to display information, not interact with it. The majority of Web 2.0 has no standards to conform to. The browser standards are more important than the internet standards, and that will never change.

 I now use Firefox because the internet is made for it.