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Why doesn't Opera get more attention?

I installed Opera 7.5 a few days ago and I think it rocks.  It's very customisable, has rich integrated email, usenet client, rss reader, chat, customisable UI and tons of handy web browser features.

It is an excellent piece of software yet it doesn't seem to get 1/10th of the attention of Mozilla, which IMO is slow, buggy and honestly plain by comparison. Yeah, I know you can add to Mozilla with plugins, but that whole process is a joke in itself at the moment. I'm sure Mozilla will be a great browser one day, but for now - it just sucks.

Which is why I just don't understand why so many people sing the praises of Mozilla when it is so obviously deficient with respect to Opera.

stealth browser
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I use Opera and I rarely, if ever, have problems with it. I can't understand why everyone isn't using it.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Why people use VHS while Betamax has always been way better ?

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Well, shall we compare the price?

i like i
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

> Betamax has always been way better

Old myths never die...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I am using Opera since version 3.0. I never experienced a crash with it. I also appreciate its conformity to the standards (which isn't the case of IE.) Paying $39 for it or having the ad on the top of the window is not a problem for me.

Open source/Linux/GPL people actively support Mozilla and write a lot about it  (I am sometimes very surprised when I see some articles explaining that Mozilla is great because it can draw a rounded box!)

But Opera users community is relatively silent and Opera Software ASA doesn't do a lot of marketing hype. I think that they should hire a Microsoft guy for that :-)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Opera is quite good indeed, but Opera has lost a lot of ground to Mozilla for various reasons.

Opera was slow to improve it's compatability.  Back in the days of Opera 5.x and 6.x the Opera developers were too obsessed with "standards" and there were way too many web sites that Opera couldn't display properly.

Opera was slow implement a Password Manager.  At one point the opera develpers said they would never do it ..... for "security" reasons.

Price.  Mozilla is free.

Mozilla is open source, which appeals to some people -- particularly "power users" -- the type of people most likely to try an "Alternative" browser.

My Cousin Vinniwashtharam
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I personally can't stand Opera's interface. That's the biggest reason I don't use it.

They seem to have fallen into the trap of configurability over solid UI design. I think that a lot of the time, massively configurable interfaces are just a cop out for developers who don't want to spend the time to come up with a good UI. I'll take a completely non-configurable but well-designed UI over a thrown together buy completely configurable interface any day. If you can have both a well-designed interface and configurability, great. But don't try to fob off a bad interface on me and say "just configure it how you like it."

Sean Harding
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Oops. "thrown together buy" should be "thrown together but," if it's not obvious. Sorry.

Sean Harding
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

>> Price.  Mozilla is free.


And because of the stupid goddamn blinking ads in the free version. Forget it.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I used Opera until Mozilla hit 1.0, and have been a Mozilla + StrokeIt user since (yeah the mouse gesture software has an unfortunate name, but it works beautifully, and throughout the entire OS).

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"They seem to have fallen into the trap of configurability over solid UI design."

Assuming that's what Opera developers did, I can understand why.

You say "I personally can't stand Opera's interface. That's the biggest reason I don't use it.".

For me, Opera has the best UI of all the browsers I used/used - IE, Netscape, Opera, Mozilla/Firefox, Konqueror.

So, taking into consideration that everyone has its ideas about what's good and what's bad in UI, what exactly is a "solid UI design", and how should Opera developers go about it?

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I use 7.5 as my main browser, and I like it, but there are still several problems with it. It often ignores keystrokes, it crashes all the damn time, and the whole program slows down often when you load complex pages. If you're loading a page in the background and trying to navigate or fill in a form on another page, that can be a real nuisance.

That said, the tabbed interface and the gestures keep me using it. (And yes, I've tried Firezillabirdfox. Don't like it at all.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

It's not just that Opera is not free, it's that there's nothing compelling enough about it to make the free alternatives "not good enough."  I like Opera's rendering (now that 5 and 6 are behind them), but I share all the other gripes above.  I would actually *like* to pay a software company a reasonable price for a compelling product in a space lacking choice, but I'm not seeing it with Opera.

And the ad supported version isn't even an option -- same argument applies, just substitute my eyeballs for my cash.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

To pick up the argument of the issues with Opera's interface, I would assert that the problem is not that there's anything "bad" about the interface.  It's not like it's difficult to use or as unintuitive as say, vi (for an exageration), or as ugly as OpenOffice.Org; it's that it's not the *same* as the standard, or sufficiently similar.  I think Paulo and others who like Opera's UI are among those less common people who aren't subconciously annoyed by things breaking the established mind maps for other things of the same type.  I think that is a great quality, but I've discovered that I am not in that camp.  I like things to be the same.  Don't make me think.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I don't like Opera. It's interface is extremely colorful, so colorful that it hurts your eyes. :-(

It's also strange.. for example, a side panel appears, well.. on the side. This side panel doesn't have a CLOSE button, so I don't know how to close it.

A lot of software has side panels with close buttons:

- MyIE 2 web browser
- NetCaptor web browser
- Visual Studio .NET
- MS Office 2003

A developer in Germany
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

If there were more operas in english they might
be more popular. Who can listen to two hours
of something they don't understand?

son of parnas
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"It's also strange.. for example, a side panel appears, well.. on the side. This side panel doesn't have a CLOSE button, so I don't know how to close it."

Hey German Dev - I think there IS a close button for the side Panel in version 7.5.

For instance, I have my side panel open (aligned left) and bookmarks out (aligned top). To the right side of the word "Bookmarks" there is an 'X'. If you click that X then the side panel will close.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"It often ignores keystrokes, it crashes all the damn time, and the whole program slows down often when you load complex pages."

Never had the keystroke/crash problem, but I've seen it slow to a crawl for some seconds on my Win2K at work (which hasn't been upgraded for 4+ years). Don't have that problem on my wife's XP at home.

"I like things to be the same.  Don't make me think."

I'm glad Opera did break away from IE's way of working. I love the fact that I can do almost anything with the keyboard, instead of having to use the mouse. It's Opera's strongest point for me, that I can navigate backward and forward, switch tabs (sequentially or "alt+tab"-like), turn graphics on/off, etc. all through the keyboard.

IE and Netscape (my browsers back at the time I started using Opera) were a PITA in this particular aspect.

Like you said - different people, different preferences.

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I think both Opera users and the comapny itself aren't really in "take over the world" mode anyway. Especially with web standards coming into fruition, they're happy offering a good product to a few appreciative people.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Open source tinkerers tend to use an open source project in each category available for various reasons -- the biggest being that they're cheapskates, but also because they religiously believe the open-source "talking points" regardless of whether the evidence supports their theory in that category, or they simply like to tinker, or they're building upon that source base, or they'd be ashamed to admit to their open-source acquaintances that they actually bought commercial software.  This creates a buzz, and sometimes even some actual activity and use.

Nearly everyone else uses what came with their computer, either because they're cheapskates, or because they don't really need anything more than the bundled thing.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Isn't that funny - I use the free version and I can't remember the last time it crashed. As for the ads, I don't even see them.

I enjoy just naturally not having to play whack-a-mole with popups, without having to add another tool like Pop-Up Stopper which doesn't.

I even like the interface now that I'm used to it.

I'm the most irritable person in the world and yet Opera doesn't bother me a bit.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I'm the least irritable person yet Opera irritates me.

Firefox doesn't.

See "Angry Fruit Salad" in the jargon file for one.

fool for python
Thursday, May 20, 2004

The default skin for Opera 7.0  irritated the hell out of me - but fortunately it's very easy to change the skin.  The Opera 7.5 default is a lot nicer but I still use a minimalist skin for preference. 

Over the last year or two I've waivered between Phoenix /Firebird /Firefox and Opera (with a brief move to K-meleon).  Currently I mostly use Firefox - but 7.5 is looking tempting.

a cynic writes...
Thursday, May 20, 2004

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