What’s Going Wrong With Opera?
By on August 11th, 2009

I have been an ardent fan of Opera browser, both desktop and mobile, for a long time now, in fact have been using it from the time their desktop browser wans’t available for free, back in time the free version of Opera was ad-supported. Okay I am not here to discuss about my history with Opera but to discuss what’s going wrong with this very innovative browser.

Everything was going fine with Opera until they tried integrating a server inside the browser. Rather than inventing new things they should really concentrate on fixing the mess they are in now.

Oh by the way, did you know Opera was the first browser to come with tabbed browsing? They are really good with inventing and integrating new stuff inside their browser, but we need better browsing experience now. Here are some problem areas that I have been seeing with the latest versions of Opera.

AJAX

The problem on browsing pages with Opera is that, AJAXIFIED pages do not respond as they should. Instead, in most of the cases it reloads the whole page. Well that defeats the purpose of AJAX and consumes more bandwidth.

Take the case of tweete. When you hit the reply button, ideally it shouldn’t reload the entire page but it does. Does that mean Opera doesn’t load the entire webpage at first instance? Does it ignore the AJAX codes thinking they are not necessary to load?

Here is an article by opera dev team asking to make minimal use of AJAX in a page but the article is dated back in 2008. If Flickr, a photo sharing site, didn’t use   unnecessary AJAX codes the page would look like this. That looks ugly right?

TURBO

Opera has come up with a smarter way to solve the above problem of consuming more bandwidth usage by coming up with something awesome, Opera TURBO. It works on the similar lines of Operamini. But it works the best in Operamini and not on the desktop browser.

Somehow, Opera doesn’t remember cookies when the TURBO mode is turned ON. That’s quite annoying as you have to login again everytime you visit a new page on the same site.

SUPPORT

No, I am not talking about Opera support here. They are simple awesome, no complaints there. What made Firefox, a buggy piece of software, a worldwide hit was marketing. And within few months of their marketing strategy(remember Google’s message to use Firefox? ), I could see millions of sites supporting and modifying their webpage for Firefox.

I have never seen Opera doing anything of such magnitude. Why? It’s the time when you can’t rely simply on innovations. You need to market it properly. Ask webmasters to support Opera browser. Ask sites to support Opera.

Sites like Zoomin, Inkfruit, Mumbai university site and most of the Indian government sites do not completely support Opera.

Plugins

The reason Firefox became hit was Plugins. There is a lighter option for plugin in opera, javascript codes. But that’s not very helpful when trying to create something like StumbleUpon button.

The widgets in Opera hog up more memory than plugins in firefox. I don’t see what can be done with existing structure of Opera, but probably they could implement something for better integration of 3rd party codes in here.

That said, this does not mean my love for Opera has diminished even slightly. I just want it to give me a  better browsing experience. I would be more than happy to see Opera improving on these loopholes and making it a much better browser.

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Author: Apurva Chaudhary Google Profile for Apurva Chaudhary
Apurva is a tech enthusiast, works at ClassMatrix , cycles on her Firefox Cyclone, and runs a newsletter at Techknots . Follow her on Twitter

Apurva Chaudhary has written and can be contacted at apurva@techie-buzz.com.
  • http://www.pallab.net Pallab

    I am also huge fan of Opera.

    Regarding Unite : I dont think that Unite has affected Opera’s rendering. Also remember that Website compatibility can be a bitch. Most of the websites that don’t work in Opera is due to poor coding and not poor rendering.

    Read Hallvord’s blogto see how hard opera is trying to fix the broken web.

    Regarding Turbo : I won’t really complain since Opera is offering for free something that has always been paid (see http://www.onspeed.com).

    Regarding Extensions : Something Opera should have added a long time back. Its beyond me as to why they are being so rigid about providing an API.

    Oh by the way, did you know Opera was the first browser to come with tabbed browsing?

    This is incorrect. The first browser with tabbed browsing was The Internet Works (1994). Several years later Opera got it (initially it had MDI but not tabbed browsing).

 
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