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30 Days to Becoming an Opera Lover

The 30 Days to Becoming an Opera 6 Lover series may very well have been what pulled me over the edge. That which made me choose Opera instead of MyIE2 (now Maxthon). It should therefore be no surprise that I still harbor warm feelings toward it. While it may be old, and the original series is no longer hosted by TnT Luoma as far as I can tell, I think that the series could still teach current (aspiring) users of Opera a thing or two — even the 30 Days series for Opera 6. Due to the large part the Opera 6 series played in my personal discovery of Opera, however, my judgment may be somewhat impaired.

I dug into the Internet Archive and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the 30 Days series for Opera 6 is available through the archive in a nice ZIP file. The original Opera 6 lover pages do not seem to have been preserved, but the ZIP file is easier to use regardless.

The 30 Days series for Opera 8 was also preserved.

While I would not recommend a detailed read (it is quite outdated after all), I would certainly recommend skimming through most of it.

By the time Opera 8 came out — and consequently, the 30 Days to Becoming an Opera 8 Lover series — I was already a seasoned Opera user, so the series didn’t do much for me. I did discover one very important Opera feature thanks to it, however. In the default keyboard setup, Shift + F2 is bound to go to nickname. If you don’t know what nicknames are, you can give bookmarks so-called nicknames; if you type them out in the address bar and press enter it will take you to the bookmark, and it will offer autocomplete suggestions while you’re typing. Useful, but not a huge time saver.

Go to nickname is better, because it starts going to the nickname as soon as it’s got a match. So if you have only one bookmark with a nickname that starts with a, you’ll only have to type a and you’ll be on your way. I had not realized this prior to reading the Opera 8 Lover series, and it wasn’t actually written in the series, but without it I might very well never have tried this feature again. After some consideration and major inspiration by Moose I rebound F2 to new page & go to nickname, which means that ever since, pressing F2 automatically opened a new page and this tremendously useful dialog. The introduction of speed dial didn’t do much for me thanks to this keyboard shortcut. It might take a few seconds more to configure, but it’s worth it. Additionally, new tabs will open even faster if you disable speed dial.

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Extend Opera

ExtendOpera.org was launched a few days ago. It’s a user initiative, aimed at bringing those aspects of Opera customization that Opera software has somewhat abandoned together.

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Deceptive Safari 4 Marketing

Last month, Apple released the Safari 4 beta. A few Opera users, myself included, decided to take action after viewing Apple’s false marketing claims. The following is the result of a combined effort. It’s not entirely finished yet, but it’s good enough to cross-post it right now to draw some extra attention to it.

Everything that follows is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Deceptive Safari 4 Marketing.”


When the Safari 4 beta was released, on February 24, 2009[1], Apple Inc. published a feature list claiming a long list of innovations, inventions, and browser firsts[2]. While Safari 4 may contain numerous features that are new to current Safari users, many of these have been publicly available to users of other browsers for quite some time, invalidating many of Apple’s claims.

Contents

Falsely Claimed Innovations In Safari

Implemented Prior to Safari’s Initial Release

The first public beta of Safari was released on January 7, 2003[3]. This is a list of innovations claimed by Apple that were first added in other browsers prior to Safari’s release.

  • Built-in Google search: Apple claims that “Safari was the first popular browser to build a search field into its user interface” (emphasis added). The first public beta of Safari was released on January 7, 2003[3]. Opera 5, however, which was released on December 6, 2000[4][5], already featured a built-in search field[6][7]. The second version of Mozilla Firefox (Phoenix 0.2), which was released on October 1, 2002, contains a similar feature[8]. Consequently, Apple’s usage of “popular browser,” which has been suggested to validate this claim[9], is ambiguous at best[10].
  • CSS 3 Web fonts: Apple claims that “Safari is the first web browser to automatically recognize websites that use custom fonts, downloading them as they’re needed” (emphasis added). However, Internet Explorer 4, released in 1997[11], sports this feature as well[12].
  • Downloads window: Apple asserts that “Safari was the first popular browser with a download management window.” However, Opera 3.5, released on November 18, 1998, first introduced a transfer window to the Opera browser[13]. Similarly to the built-in Google search, if Opera is assumed not popular enough to falsify the claim, Firefox (Phoenix 0.1) had this feature nearly half a year prior to Safari on September 23, 2002[8].
  • Inline Progress Indicator: While Apple states that “Safari was the first browser to move the progress indicator into the address field,” Opera first added this feature in Opera 5.10, released in 2001[14].
  • Movable tabs: In Apple’s words, “Safari was the first browser to let you organize tabs by dragging and dropping. … Rearrange tabs by dragging their tab handle left or right. Drag a tab out of a window to create a new window. Or drag a tab from one window to another window to merge their tabs” (emphasis added). Opera 7 Beta 1, released on November 13, 2002[5], came with “Extended and vastly improved drag-and-drop support,” and this included the ability to “Move bookmarks, tabs, and MDI pages between SDI windows”[15]. Furthermore, the same feature was already available as an extension[16] in Firefox and was added as a feature to Firefox 1.5[17], released on November 29, 2005. Safari did not add movable tabs until Safari 3[18], which was released on June 11, 2007[3].
    • Releaseyears of tabbed browsers: NetCaptor in 1998[19], later by IBrowse in 1999, Opera in 2000, Mozilla in 2001, Konqueror and Safari in 2003, Internet Explorer 7 in 2006 and Google Chrome in 2008.
    • Releaseyears of movable tabs: NetCaptor 5.0 in 1998[19], IBrowse 2.3 at 29 Jan 2003[20], Opera 7 in 2003, Google Chrome 1 in 2008, Safari 4 in 2009.
  • Open multiple bookmarks in one click – According to Apple, “[Safari] was the first browser to offer Auto-Click bookmarks.” This feature offers the ability “to open multiple pages in individual tabs with a single click.” Opera 4, released in 2000[13], could open all of the bookmarks inside of a folder through the right-click menu. Opera 6 added the feature to open all bookmarks in a folder with a single middle click and added “Open all folder items” to the drop-down menu on the personal bar[21].
  • Third party cookie blocking: According to Apple, “Safari is the first browser that blocks … tracking cookies by default” (emphasis added). It is hard to verify or falsify this claim; nevertheless, it should be noted that this feature was already present in Opera 4[21].

Implemented Prior to Inclusion in Safari

  • RSS Aggregator: While Apple claims that Safari is the first browser that integrated an RSS reader into the browser, Opera integrated an RSS reader into its browser in 2003[22], well before Apple in 2005[3][23].

Not Implemented Exclusively in Safari

  • Acid 3 Compliance: Apple asserts, “Safari is the first — and only — web browser to pass Acid 3″ (emphasis added). It is arguable that WebKit was the first rendering engine to get 100/100 (it was close between Opera and WebKit). However, Safari is not the only WebKit browser. Lunascape is also capable of using the Webkit rendering engine, and thus also passes the Acid 3 test[24].

Other

References

  1. ^ Apple Inc. (2009-02-24). Apple Announces Safari 4—The World’s Fastest & Most Innovative Browser. Press release. http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/02/24safari.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-24. 
  2. ^ “150 Features: Leading the way with innovation”. Apple Inc.. http://www.apple.com/safari/features.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d Safari
  4. ^ Opera Software ASA (2001-10-04). Opera 5 for Windows Reaches New All-Time High. Press release. http://www.opera.com/press/releases/2001/10/04/. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  5. ^ a b “Opera Changelogs for Windows”. Opera Software ASA. http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  6. ^ Schenk, Mark. “Opera browser version history”. http://www.markschenk.com/opera/history.html#series5. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  7. ^ “Changelog for Opera 5.x for Windows”. Opera Software Asa. 2000-12-??. http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/500-512/. Retrieved on 2009-03-06. 
  8. ^ a b Gsurface (2005-03-30). “The History of Mozilla Firefox: From Phoenix, to Firebird, to Firefox”. Flexbeta. http://www.flexbeta.net/main/printarticle.php?id=89. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  9. ^ bennetttt (25. February 2009). “Call to action: Deceptive marketing of Safari 4”. My Opera Community. http://my.opera.com/community/forums/findpost.pl?id=2907289. Retrieved on 2009-03-27. 
  10. ^ drlaunch (25. February 2009). “Call to action: Deceptive marketing of Safari 4”. My Opera Community. http://my.opera.com/community/forums/findpost.pl?id=2907394. Retrieved on 2009-03-27. 
  11. ^ Reid, Stephen (1997-10-??). “Product Reviews Internet Explorer 4”. PC Pro. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/broadband/reviews/671/internet-explorer-4.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  12. ^ “@font-face support in Internet Explorer”. http://www.webfonts.infohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.php?title=%40font-face_support_in_Internet_Explorer. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  13. ^ a b “Opera version history” (in English). Opera Software ASA. 2009-03-13. http://www.opera.com/docs/history/#o3. Retrieved on 2009-03-13. 
  14. ^ Tabke, Brett (2001-04-10). “Opera 5.10 for windows Released!”. WebMasterWorld. http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum118/364.htm. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  15. ^ “New in Opera 7.0 Beta 1” (in English). Opera ASA. 2002-11-13. http://www.opera.com/docs/changelogs/windows/700b1/. Retrieved on 2009-03-07. 
  16. ^ Ruderman, Jesse (2006-03-12). “Bug 179656 – (MoveTabs) Allow drag-and-drop reordering of tabs” (in English). Bugzilla@Mozilla. https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=179656#c7. Retrieved on 2009-03-07. 
  17. ^ Ruderman, Jesse (2005-11-30). “What’s new in Firefox 1.5 (comprehensive)” (in English). http://www.squarefree.com/burningedge/releases/1.5-comprehensive.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-07. 
  18. ^ Almaer, Dion (2006-09-03). “Safari 3: Improved Tab Handling” (in English). http://ajaxian.com/archives/safari-3-improved-tab-handling. Retrieved on 2009-03-07. 
  19. ^ a b “New in NetCaptor 5.0”. NetCaptor. http://web.archive.org/web/19991013001944/netcaptor.com/newinnc5.cfm. Retrieved on 2009-03-28. 
  20. ^ “IBrowse – News”. IBrowse. http://www.ibrowse-dev.net/news.php. Retrieved on 2009-03-28. 
  21. ^ a b de Jonge, Frans (2009-03-07). “Opera 4 Had Transfer Window” (in English). http://my.opera.com/Frenzie/blog/2009/03/07/opera-4-had-a-transfer-window. Retrieved on 2009-03-07. 
  22. ^ Altman, Tim (2003-12-19). “Opera 7.50 Preview 1 for Windows available”. Opera Software Asa. http://my.opera.com/community/forums/topic.dml?id=39541. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  23. ^ Pogue, David (2005-04-28). “Safari and RSS”. The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/28/technology/circuits/28pogue-email.html. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. 
  24. ^ Toto, Serkan. “Lunascape Browser: Firefox, Internet Explorer And Chrome All-In-One”. http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/25/lunascape-browser-firefox-internet-explorer-and-chrome-all-in-one/. Retrieved on 2009-03-27. 
  25. ^ Machell, Matt (2009-03-03). “Safari 4 – Quickfire ARIA Testing”. Eclectic Dreams. http://eclecticdreams.com/blog/safari-4-quickfire-aria-testing. Retrieved on 2009-03-06. 

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Opera Mini 4

I know Opera Mini 4 has been out for a while (a week, maybe two?), but in combination with my new mobile phone it’s absolutely awesome, that’s for sure.

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A new tool

Who doesn’t love a new toy/tool? And best of all, it’s free. I consider the Opera 9 technical preview 2 to be far more exiting than IE7 beta 2 or the latest Firefox nightly. “Living on the edge” as I am, I will migrate my custom settings and start to use it as my main browser. Not that I ever felt on the edge with an Opera technical preview (except perhaps with the experimental BitTorrent implementation), so kudos for that.

I am not too sure about the new thumbnails if you hover over tabs. As I seldomly use that anyway I decided to enable them as well for ctrl+tab. It seems to slow down things a little without being really useful, but I’m going to leave it enabled for a while to see if I like it. Perhaps it’s useful if I have more than 30 pages open, but I seldomly have and in the few cases I do have so many windows open, I consider the windows manager the most convenient way to deal with them in Opera.

Then there’s the addition of widgets, but you should know that I uninstalled Konfabulator quickly after trying it once it became free. For now the only widget I considered interesting enough to enable was the analog clock, which is not interesting at all, especially since I use the ASD Clock (don’t mind the design, I’ll be involved in creating something good looking, semantic and standards compliant in the future).

Anne wrote about it. Tim wrote about it. Moose posted about his personal work on the internal stylesheets and, of course, updated the designer setup. I personally do keep the risky Javascript enabled however, so if you’re like me, keep in mind that you’ll have to edit that. Moose’s idea is of course to only enable Javascript on sites you trust and keep it disabled anywhere else except to enable it to quickly check something out, but I’m lazy for now. First I should update my site-specific styles to the new method anyway.

I don’t think there’s more to tell, except perhaps where to get it and where to read the changelog.

I only just noticed. The history is finally similar to IE’s history, which, as far as I’m concerned, is good.

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Moose is back

He has been back for a couple of weeks already, but until today I had not freed the time to read his recent log entries. If you followed my old log, then you are probably aware that my customized Opera browser relies heavily upon his work.

If you use one or more of his customized ini-files, then you should head over to Moose’s new site and download the latest editions. If you have never used them before, then you should go to the site and discover all aspects of it. It will take a while, but it is worth it. From the old CSS experiments to the thoughts behind the keyboard- and menu-setup.

Try out the keyboard setup. To say that it is unconventional is an understatement. But give it some time. It might grow on you. Opera’s browsing speed combined with those keyboard shortcuts make my browsing an experience where almost no futile time is lost on controlling my browser.

Last, but not least, looking at the beautiful layout of the site, the lean markup and well-written CSS is a 100% convincing argument to drop support for IE.

A must-visit for everyone who is interested in Opera customization.

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