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A Preview of Opera 9.5 162

Posted by Zonk
from the shiny-new-browser dept.
jrowl writes "Opera 9.5 Alpha is scheduled to be released tomorrow, and CyberNet has a review of the browser's new features based on preview code. Some of the most prominent new options include a full history search, bookmark and Speed Dial syncing, and an 'Open with' menu option to pull up a website in another browser that's installed on your PC. 'This is one of those things that I had said Opera needs to work on the most. By this point, most Firefox users have grown accustomed to keeping their bookmarks synchronized with an online service. Now Opera users will have the same pleasure! All you need is a free My Opera account, and you'll be able to privately synchronize your bookmarks, Speed Dial sites, and Personal Bar with their server. You'll then be able to access that data whether you're at work, home, or anywhere! To setup synchronization just select the "Synchronize with My Opera" option from the File Menu.' There's also a video to go along with the text."
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A Preview of Opera 9.5

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  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Monday September 03, 2007 @09:52AM (#20451347)
    To the best of my knowledge, Firefox does not have automatic syncing of bookmarks with a central server. There are definitely add-ons that allow it (such as foxmarks and the google toolbar (I think)). From this point of view, I think Opera has one up on Firefox by including it in the default installation (unless you don't believe in adding features to a browser that not everyone will use, of course).

    Please note: I am not an Opera user. I use Firefox (with foxmarks).
    • will the opera sync allow you to do so on your own private server?   I've a plugin for firefox to allow for that.
      Trust no one
      • by Jugalator (259273)
        Did you type that on a typewriter and sent your message via a courier to Slashdot? :-)
      • by Sancho (17056)
        The only plugin I saw that allowed that required that it be an FTP server. I'd just as soon be able to encrypt my login credentials, thankyouverymuch. Maybe it's changed since then.

        Anyway, you're trusting Opera, already. You're trusting them with your web browsing, and with your login details (for sites where you log in) and with your CC information (when you buy something online through Opera.) I don't see what the issue is.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "From this point of view, I think Opera has one up on Firefox by including it in the default installation (unless you don't believe in adding features to a browser that not everyone will use, of course)." - by MMC Monster (602931) on Monday September 03, @09:52AM (#20451347)

      Totally, 110% agreed... Opera truly is, "the superior warrior", as far as webbrowsers go, by ALL means!

      (& the best part is, Opera has ALL of the features a body can need, WITHOUT using addons (though it has that via Opera widgets), & is LIGHTER ON MEMORY than FireFox &/or IE typically!)

      You can check memory residency yourselves by loading FF, & Opera (& IE for Windows users) & test memory size occupancy via taskmgr.exe (or similar tools like Process Explorer) yourselves & see wha

      • by lekikui (1000144)
        How well does Opera handle 60 tabs open simultaneously? w3m does that no problem.

        Furthermore, I seem to recall webkit being the first browser to pass Acid2, but don't quote me on that.

        Finally, of course, Opera is non-free.
        • by sircrown (82531)
          I often have over 100 tabs open in Opera at any given time. Mostly due to laziness but that's neither here nor there.
      • by Vacuous (652107)
        Safari, and I _THINK_ Konqeror passed acid2 before opera did.
      • by JPriest (547211)
        I use multiple browsers here. I didn't like the free version of Opera (6?) that was around in the Firefox ~0.8 days, but I have to say the current version of Opera is a much needed improvement and definitely worth another look.
    • by PCM2 (4486)

      To the best of my knowledge, Firefox does not have automatic syncing of bookmarks with a central server. There are definitely add-ons that allow it (such as foxmarks and the google toolbar (I think)).

      I knew there was a reason why, when the summary implied that "everyone who uses Firefox is syncing their bookmarks," I had never heard of such a thing. From the Foxmarks Web site: [foxmarks.com]

      Foxmarks is a startup that goes beyond the Web 2.0 hype. The company is poised to turn search upside down by harnessing the coll

  • There have been bookmark synchronization extensions for Opera already...

    The synchronization still doesn't compare to Google browser sync.

    Until I have a browser that's multiplatform, allows online synchronization of passwords, cookies and bookmarks (no manual FTPing files about, file shares -- don't work too well since I may have more than one computer's browser open), ability to import Firefox's passwords, cookies, bookmarks -- there is no alternative to Firefox for me.

    I suppose at the very worst I could go
    • Doesn't it worry you to have all your passwords and stuff being synced for you by a third party? Couldn't they look at them if they really wanted to?
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        Doesn't it worry you to have all your passwords and stuff being synced for you by a third party? Couldn't they look at them if they really wanted to?
        Google browser sync encrypts the data. See Google Browser Sync FAQ.
  • Can't wait (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mark Gillespie (866733) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:35AM (#20451699)
    Been eagerly awaiting Kestrel for months now. I already think Opera is miles ahead of any other browser around, these latest changes put it further ahead.

    I tried Firefox for a while, but it was extremenly frustrating, security vunrabilities what seemed like every few days, and more bloat and memory useage that I wanted.

    I tried Opera, and after an initial learning period, came to love it. The fact I can use Opera on my destkop, my mobile, my PS3, my Wii is a bonus. The fact I will soon be able to have synced bookmarks between all of these devices is awesome.
    • Yeah, I've been an Opera user for years (since 3.6* at least) and finally, with the 9.2 releases, think I'm ready to make it my default browser. There are still a couple of Firefox extensions that I wish would make it to Opera (like Flashblock and ForecastFox) but I still find myself using it 50+% of the time, mostly because of the speeddial feature.
    • I was a longtime Opera user before Firefox 1.5 and then I made the switch to FF. Opera has come ahead in leaps and bounds since and I use it occasionally, but the absolute only feature that is keeping me from going back to Opera is the lack of ad-blocking functionality.

      I deal with all of Firefox's glitches and occasional memory leaks just because it lets me block out ads, and when I use Opera it's a jarring reminder everytime that the internet is so damn full of ads.
      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        Opera does ship with content blockers - right-click somewhere on a web page and hit the "block content" option. Click on the banner ads, edit them to block your own wildcards. Before that you could add a filter.ini file definition to your opera6rc.ini but that was a bit of a PITA to use.

        They can't ship by default with an ad blocker else I imagine they'd get reamed by online ad companies for "stealing" or some such cobblers.
  • by Fëanáro (130986) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:38AM (#20451727)
    What i would like to see is a way to synchronize both Opera and Firefox Bookmarks with each other seamlessly.

    All solutions I have seen so far seemed to result in either overwritten or duplicated bookmarks.
    Synchronizing passwords would be nice too.

    This forced me to choose one browser for almost all my surfing, which ended up being opera, but I figure others may choose differently, so this would benefit Opera too.
    • I don't know if it would work for you, but you could try using Google's Bookmarks.

      With Firefox and Google Toolbar, you've got the star button.
      And in Opera, though a toolbar might be better, it looks like you can use a javascript bookmarklet [blogspot.com]. Only problem is quickly accessing them again in Opera.
    • by imemyself (757318)
      I sometimes use a little program called BookmarkBridge(http://bookmarkbridge.sourceforge. n et/index.html). By itself it can only sync between browsers on one computer. I find it pretty useful (because I use IE, FF, and Opera on my laptop), but YMMV. It can sync between Opera, FF, IE, and I *think* that I read that it works with Konqueror. That could be my imagination though. It can run on Linux and Windows.

      I use it on my Windows laptop. It has a GUI, but it can also be run from the command line. I
  • All well and good... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrNemesis (587188) on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:43AM (#20451763) Homepage Journal
    ...although there's a few features that haven't been mentioned here but were part of the developer announcement, including:

    Faster tab switching in UNIX (this is one of my biggest irritations about opera at the moment - tab switchng under windows is nearly instantaneous, under X there's a perceptible delay)
    QT4 builds
    64bit builds

    I imagine alot of this comes from the new rendering engine which is probably 64bit clean. It would have been nice to be able to configure bookmark syncing to use something other than an external web host (it's blocked for me at work), for example using FTP or WebDAV, or even just an external shared folder.

    Opera still doesn't work well with my company's filters, all of which require NTLM auth. Opera still doesn't seem to manage this successfully and asks for for a password every time I open a page, unless I pass through a local NTM proxy (NTLMAPS).

    That said, it's still my favourite browser under Linux and Windows.
    • by QCompson (675963) on Monday September 03, 2007 @12:00PM (#20452415)
      Faster tab switching in UNIX (this is one of my biggest irritations about opera at the moment - tab switchng under windows is nearly instantaneous, under X there's a perceptible delay)

      I experience the same tab-switching slowdown from windows to linux on firefox. Might this be a wider issue with X?
    • by muszek (882567)
      I've used Opera since 3.something (when it required some 3rd party patch to display Polish characters properly) and I've always loved it. Until half a year ago or so when it suddenly started to work really slow (and slower as the session got longer). I gave up after couple days of trying to do everything with no success. I think it must have been something with QT (I'm on Ubuntu). Switched to Firefox and still, after that half a year, I really miss it.

      FF is decent, but it's all about those little things
      • by MrNemesis (587188)
        Luckily I haven't had any of the slowdown problems you mention (Gentoo, Debian and Ubuntu, dynamic linked version). Been using it since v5 on windows (my first ever non-IE web browser) and v6 on Linux.

        I know what you mean about FF though - I want to like it, but I just find the Opera UI so much easier and faster to use, and the speed difference (real or apparent) adds up after a while. Mouse gestures under FF are still shit compared to Opera IMHO - they're far too laggy and are often mis-detected for me, an
        • by muszek (882567)

          What extension do you use to replicate the remember-scroll-position-on-reload function, or is this something you don't have?

          that's something I don't have. haven't looked for it though, so there's a chance some dev felt like doing it.

          but at the moment there aren't a huge amount of FF functions/extensions that I miss that I can't replicate under Opera

          I use two kinds of extensions - ones that add "general" functionality (either modify FF's behavior to my liking, like Tab Mix Plus [mozilla.org] or add some little feature, like MeasureIt [mozilla.org]) and ones that are specific to a site, like Slashdotter [mozilla.org] (javascript-based collapsing of threads is its coolest feature) or AdSense Notifier [mozilla.org]. Some of these, especially from the latter group, will never be introduced by Ope

          • by Fweeky (41046)
            Opera has site-specific user JS, so you should be able to do things like Slashdotter, though some of the fancier context menu modifications are probably trickier.
  • Benchmarks (Score:5, Informative)

    by David_Bloom (578245) <slashdot@3lesson.org> on Monday September 03, 2007 @10:46AM (#20451789) Homepage
    http://www.apple.com/safari/ [apple.com]

    According to Apple's "objective" benchmarks, Safari and Opera are tied for everything except HTML load performance, which doesn't count because Safari cheated [howtocreate.co.uk].

    It will be interesting to see how the 9.5 performance improvements affect this :-)
  • Kestrel (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Tangent128 (1112197)
    Aside from the welcome tweak to the "remember password?" dialog, I'm satisfied with the browser as-is. I'm more excited about the rendering engine upgrades, like the improved CSS support.

    Have they also improved SVG & XSLT support? Specifically, cross-document <use/> and the "document()" selector? ...And when will we get the 3d Canvas?
    • by Excors (807434)

      when will we get the 3d Canvas?

      I would hope it'll go through some standardisation process before they try adding it to an official release; and that process hasn't happened at all yet, so it would be quite a while. (Opera experimented with a <video> feature some months ago, then submitted a proposal to the WHATWG, and it changed quite substantially when put into the specification - hopefully they'll use the same process for other new features.)

      At least they've improved their 2d canvas support for Op

      • At least they've improved their 2d canvas support for Opera 9.5 (adding getImageData, setTransform, etc, and fixing a few bugs) - but there's still a long way to go before any browser does 2d correctly or matches any other browser, so I guess it'll be years before 3d is well supported.
        Well, setTransform is a consolation prize, anyway. Should make faking textured 3d easier, and allow for proper skewing.
  • Light, fast, loads quickly, rarely crashes, has some innovative features that the vaunted Apple "interface gurus" could learn from. What's not to like about Opera? I'd like to see it market itself more aggressively.
    • What's not to like about Opera?
      Ugly, cluttered UI that sticks out like a sore thumb no matter what OS you use, and it's closed source. Other than that, nothing really. It's a pretty solid browser.
  • Does Opera 9.5 have a UI for this function yet?
  • by Dazza (2865)

    By this point, most Firefox users have grown accustomed to keeping their bookmarks synchronized with an online service.
    Really ? Do you have any figures to back that up ?

    If we're going to pull 'facts' out of our collective ass, I'll state that most Firefox users probably don't even realise you can do such a thing.

  • ...And Mozilla is forgetting the very nice Thunderbird.
  • By this point, most Firefox users have grown accustomed to keeping their bookmarks synchronized with an online service

    Oh really? I've been using it since it was Phoenix and didn't know it could do this. Nor have I ever read about anyone doing this, nor talked with any of my many Firefox-using friends who mentioned it.
  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:10PM (#20453781) Homepage
    Because everything else does and at my work we're about to make opera users very sad.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPNEGO [wikipedia.org]
  • Netscape Communicator 4.5-4.8 had roaming profiles which sync'ed your bookmarks with a LDAP server and your address book, cookies too. This feature kept me using Netscape long after it was really dead, for some reason people seem to have forgotten about this great feature. http://www.acns.colostate.edu/aspx/www.acns/bulls/ nsroaming_whatsroaming.html [colostate.edu] http://www.itworld.com/AppDev/1411/LWD990901netsca pe/ [itworld.com] http://www.geocities.com/petru2/netscape_roaming.h tml [geocities.com]
  • Long time (Score:3, Funny)

    by Joebert (946227) on Monday September 03, 2007 @02:32PM (#20454133) Homepage

    I did three tests for each browser and averaged out the time it took for each to completely load our site. Here are the results with the slowest browsers first:
    Internet Explorer 7: 18 seconds
    Firefox 2: 15 seconds
    Opera 9.23: 12 seconds
    Firefox 3 Nightly: 11 seconds Opera 9.5 Alpha: 8 seconds
    Wow, that seems like a long time for a webpage to load, actually.
  • Can RSS feeds be synced with myopera.com?
  • Sure, Opera is fast ..

    But speed doesnt matter when it fails to display so many web pages properly.

    Call me back when Opera is as compatible with websites as Firefox or IE.

    • A slight correction: Those websites are compatible only with certain browsers, not the other way around. *Especially* if someone went through the trouble of making a complex website work in both IE and FF, you know that they're designing for browser-specific features and bugs. Just because they ignore Opera doesn't mean Opera doesn't display pages properly (not that it doesn't have rendering bugs either).
      • Actually, yes it does mean exactly that ... if Opera is less compliant with the webstandards. Are they?

        I've never had to go out of my way to make a website that works with both FF and IE, generally if a website passes html and css validation they just work ... but not necessarily in Opera.
        • Are you kidding? Not with IE's dozens of CSS bugs you haven't. Every single time I use CSS it ends up having hacks related to IE's box model, if nothing else. Also, when it comes to JavaScript, most stuff that works the same in FF and Opera does *not* work in IE, though JS can be a dicier matter, and is where most of the difficulty with Opera arises.

          Regardless, I've had the opposite experience. Most sites work fine in FF and Opera, and have to be tweaked for IE. How you can even suggest that Opera woul
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by toriver (11308)
      When people then are asked to identify the "so many web pages" they invariably come up with some shitty Active/X reliant application. And no, Opera will not support that.

      However: If I see a site that does not work in Opera and an equivalent site that does, I conclude the author of the first site has a problem - not Opera. Saying that Opera should have even more error correction than today is like the doctor in the classic joke:

      - Doctor, it hurst when I do this!
      - Then don't do it!

      HTML was designed to present
  • is a good idea. Do we know their servers can keep up with the load of every Opera user syncing their bookmarks?

    Being able to sync with any service would be better. Is that available?

    I frequently consider dumping Firefox for Opera, as I'm getting really tired of random Firefox bugs and performance problems with heavy JavaScript sites. Today I tried to upload some images to ImageShack - first, Firefox wouldn't do the login properly, then after an image or two it insisted on trying to open the PHP page instead
  • The best thing that could happen to Opera would be an open source or Free software version. The lack of an open source Opera is exactly what keeps Opera so low in the browser popularity charts. Kudos to Opera for creating a great desktop and mobile browser, and I have to admit that I am amazed at the quality of their software given the fact that they chose the closed source model, but I think their days in business are numbered unless they learn how to make a profit while letting the code be free, prefera
    • by mikkelm (1000451)
      "The lack of an open source Opera is exactly what keeps Opera so low in the browser popularity charts."

      .. what? How? Where is your supporting evidence of such an absolutely outrageous claim? How can you keep a straight face while claiming that closed source code can't turn a profit? Do you have -any- financial insight into how Opera operates? All Opera seems to do is go forward. Mobile devices, Wii, PC, they aren't losing market share anywhere.

      Your personal ideals don't really reflect how the real worl
    • by tehcyder (746570)

      The best thing that could happen to Opera would be an open source or Free software version. The lack of an open source Opera is exactly what keeps Opera so low in the browser popularity charts. Kudos to Opera for creating a great desktop and mobile browser, and I have to admit that I am amazed at the quality of their software given the fact that they chose the closed source model, but I think their days in business are numbered unless they learn how to make a profit while letting the code be free, preferabl

  • Opera is already the best browser there is, been using it since the old 3.x days. It has consistently proved itself to be more elegant, faster, more stable, much much less buggy or crash prone and much smaller and slicker than its alternatives, and I even use it on my sony ericsson phone. Great going opera.
  • You can grab it here:
    http://snapshot.opera.com/ [opera.com]
  • I've been using Opera for about two years, and since the 9.x it became unbearably slow. I now use firefox or IE instead. Other people have reported the same behaviour and believe it has to do with some nasty interaction with Symantec's AV.

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