Friday, February 10, 2006

Opera 8.5

I have switched to 64-bit computing completely. SuSE 10 x86_64 works like a charm, KDE is faster and the compilations are fast too. Better part is that ATI provides even 64-bit drivers for Linux...and with 180 FPS i am too happy.

The only thing nagging me was Firefox. The one shipped by SuSE 10 is sluggish, both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of SuSE have this issue. And startup time is annoying, particularly because Firefox needs to load the gtk libraries too in the all qt KDE environment. I wanted a browser replacement desperately... i spend loads of time on the browser searching and reading, so a good fast browser is a must. I tried the app-of-all-things Konqueror. Its good as a browser too...but not that fast, and definitely not feature packed when it comes to surfing.

Enter Opera. I installed the SuSE 32-bit version, the wise guys still dont ship 64-bit builds. Interestingly neither does Firefox... the reason behind this is flash and java, who dont have 64-bit versions... that is so pathetic. Opera is qt based, ideal for a KDE environment, loads faster and works lightening fast. And i mean fast. The features provided by default in a 3.6 MB download are superb.

* Browser, with all the things a new browser should have
* Feed Reader
* Mail Client
* Download Manager
* Notes ( a nice thing: i am writing this post in the Notes feature, i think they can extend this to blog poster easily)

The UI is good, and leaves a lot of screen space to be used for rendering webpages. It can be skinned and the skins available are impressive. The only thing i found missing was that the feed reader doesnt support Atom feeds, only RSS. But the latest Opera 9, yet to be released has Atom support too. It also has AJAX based widgets... like floating calc, md5 hash, RSS reader etc. which i think are going to rock the browser world. All browsers henceforth will support this widget thing. Opera people know what a browser does and what it will do in the future... and they are already pulling the shoes. Are you Firefox ?

PS: For those who dont know, Opera is completely free and ad-free.
And if you are missing any of the extensions in Firefox...all of them have equivalents in Opera...

PS2: is a pain for all browsers, including Opera and Konqueror except for Firefox... offcourse, afterall Google is investing in Firefox.

Category [ _Tech_ ] [ _Review_ ]


Tushar Thole said...

Very informative post! Even I found that firefox is a little slower and I hate konqueror as it keeps crashing all the time on my machine. I'll definitely gonna try Opera. I dint know that google funds firefox:O...

parag said...

One of the major developers of Firefox is on Google's payroll.

Addicted To Chaos said...

Why do I recollect you once trying to mock me (note the try..u werent successful) for using Opera when I was working on Linux? You told me 'Firefox rocks'.

Parag said...

I still think so, because Firefox is Open Source.

But Opera, as of version 9, is better. The time when you were using Opera, it wasnt even ad-free.