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Opera 9 with Widgets and BitTorrent Now Available

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the new-shiny-toys dept.

Software 385

ZarK writes "Technical Preview 2 of the upcoming Opera 9.0 browser is now available for download. In addition to the general bugfix and rendering improvements there's also new features, like x-platform type widgets, improved content blocking, bittorrent support, thumbnail preview of tabs and more. Improved functionality also comes in the fact that a good lot of the scripts from userscripts.org will now work, advanced settings have improved in opera:config, and more browser customization is available at the opera community. However, some clear indications that this is still an alpha release is the experimental support for NTLM which breaks the proxy functionality for some users, and the fact that widgets are always on top."

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It would help if Opera didn't suck stanky ass (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667173)

But it does.

WTF (1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667175)

I'm sure Io read this on Digg... Is this site some kind of online mirror or just some ranting place?

Re:WTF (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667307)

That's really great for you. How about you stop posting crap like this and go to Digg then. Considering anyone with even the smallest amount of intelligence doesn't read Digg I'm sure many of us haven't seen this. What possesses you Digg rejects to constantly post crap like this? Digg is pathetic joke of a website and always will be.

P.S. Whoever programmed Digg needs to be fired immediately. It's a bloody mess that has a horrible caching scheme and requires 15+ JavaScript files and 3 CSS files just to load the incredibly basic front page. They also seem incapable of adding basic features such as threaded comments...

A browser with native BitTorrent (5, Insightful)

Brother Dysk (939885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667176)

Finally! A browser with native support for BitTorrent downloading. This is certainly a positive thing, especially given the superb functioning of Opera's download system, at least compared to other browsers. Good move, Opera.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (4, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667219)

I predict that Firefox's numbers will soar even further once it's made illegal for us to download Opera in Australia.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

xEndymionx (757963) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667447)

Actually, ELinks has had experimental built-in bittorrent for a little while now.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667254)

Except that it doesn't seem to work :)

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

wolf369T (951405) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667430)

Oh, but it DOES WORK FOR ME!!! It's just... that simple... This is so cool!

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (4, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667256)

I agree, I've thought for over a year that the first browser to incorporate native BT downloading into itself, so that someone could just click a link and start downloading a torrent without having to download the client/server program first, would make it big on the web very soon.
Now if only websites had a way to offer a BT version of their download files, so that they'll never get Slashdotted again...

RSS viewing too tedious (3, Interesting)

chowsapal (945532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667343)

The Opera preview is very nice, and they've done very nice work packaging it up. You can download it just about any way you'd want it.. deb's, rpm's, etc. I like the preview of the tab when you hold your pointer over it. I like the built-in mouse gestures. They've implemented Ctrl-Enter to complete www.***.com's (though Ctrl-Shift-Enter and Shift-Enter don't do .org or .net), Ctrl-T now makes a new tab just like Ctrl-N. My only complaints at this point are the fonts/default interface and the format for reading RSS. I love Firefox's drop-down live bookmarks. I don't want to switch to a mail-reader type page to check headlines, and I've never been into the sidebar. I've heard complaints about Firefox's implementation of RSS, but I think it's spot on. Firefox with extensions does everything I want. Opera comes sooo close to having all the features I want even without extensions, but the default UI feels congested and I can't filter my news the way I want to. If I wanted to read news in a mail reader I'd subscribe to email lists. Here's to hoping the final version fixes some of this.

Re:RSS viewing too tedious (1)

piper-noiter (772438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667415)

I agree with you about the the RSS feeds. Opera's format doesn't impress me, I'm quite happy using Thunderbird for email, I don't need Opera's client.

No there is no built in support for .org and .net, but it took me less than three minutes to find the relevant Ctrl-Enter keyboard shortcut which gave me all the info I needed to apply it to a .org or .net shortcut.

Tools>Preference>Advanced>Shortcuts>Edit Keyboard Setup>Advanced>Address Drop Down Widget>Enter ctrl

Your issues with congestion and fonts and interface are all easily rectified. Taking no more time to change than downloading and setting up several extensions.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (4, Informative)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667371)

I have been using this all day. This was my first experience with Opera, but I figured it was time to give it a try. Here is what I thought: Ease of use: Still not up to Firefox standards, but about as good as IE7 (I'm not a huge fan of that interface). You can easily change the theme, but some things are frustratingly un-customizable (in Firefox you can drag just about anything anyplace and expect it to do something). Speed: WOW! Even on my dual core 2.8 with 2GB RAM, Opera still renders pages noticably faster than IE or Firefox. Plus, no (or fewer) pesky memory leaks. Also, Opera tended to use about 2/3 of the RAM as Firefox with as many tabs open. How do they do that?!?! Downsides: Opera has a couple downsides. For one, it still doesn't have IE's universal exceptance, I still had to open IE to get to Yahoo! sites (shudder). Plus, I found that Opera had mysterious and quite common rendering errors on CSS heavy pages (as in navigation bars would not show up). This maybe because of the beta status, but it was frustrating. Opera also has much fewer plugins and add-ons available to enhance functionality. This is probably due to the smaller user base and closed source nature of the program. After a day with Opera, I am sad to say that I switched back to Firefox for my main browser. However, Opera will remain on my machine, and I will continue to download new versions to see how things improve.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

AKA Panama Jack (952804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667416)

Actually the one thing I really like about Opera is how highly customizable it is. You can move anything anywhere you want. You can put everything on one line if you like. I think you might want to explore the customizability more. :)

I like a highly minimalistic approach and this is how I setup Opera 9 TP2 for my use. :)

http://junk.aatraders.com/myopera9tp2.gif [aatraders.com]

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667428)

You can easily change the theme [in Opera], but some things are frustratingly un-customizable (in Firefox you can drag just about anything anyplace and expect it to do something).

As much as I hate Digg, people posting in http://www.digg.com/software/Opera_9.0_TP2_is_out [digg.com] have provided some of their Opera screenshots. If you can manage to read through Digg crap to find some, I think you'll find that your statement isn't completely correct; in Opera, it's incredibly easy to rearrange the UI. Just right-click on a toolbar, hit Customize and play. You can place any toolbar anywhere, and have any icon/function anywhere. Plus, Opera has a really nice keyboard/mouse gesture editor so you can assign any combination to any set of actions.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (3, Informative)

AKA Panama Jack (952804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667435)

BTW, Opera can use ANY Netscape compatible plugin. So basically if the plugin can be used on Firefox it can be used in Opera. :)

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

Jozer99 (693146) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667511)

Supposedly true, although I tried to set up several plugins that did not work correctly. This includes Quicktime, Flash, and ActiveX.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (5, Informative)

AKA Panama Jack (952804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667551)

I have the latest Quicktime and Flash 8 along with Shockwave installed under Opera 9 TP2 without any problems. They work like a charm. So you might want to see what you did wrong during the install. If you use their installers they will automatically install into Opera. If you copy the plugin files from anotehr directory make sure you place them in the program/plugin directory in Opera.

And I thank GOD that Opera doesn't support ActiveX. ActiveX is one of the most insecure pieces of programming I have ever come across. Using ActiveX is akin to browsing the web and opening email attachments without a firewall or antivirus package installed. An open invitation to disaster.

Re:A browser with native BitTorrent (1)

jfscheuren (927772) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667392)

Yeah, this is pretty awesome. Think firefox will get BitTorrent support soon?

I WANT TO SHIT ON YOUR FACE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667186)

OPEN WIDE SLASHDOT. This is the Colbert Report

Re:I WANT TO SHIT ON YOUR FACE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667205)

There's only word to describe it: Trustigious.

Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (2, Interesting)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667191)

Well, I've got to admit, my knee-jerk reaction to this was so what. The main browsers are already so intrenched in my habits, from the way I author html to my day-to-day use of the browser that it is unlikely I will care about another application unless it captures a significant share of the market thus forcing me to care about any quirks it may have in behavior and compliance to standards. But after reading the list of features, I find myself thinking I might be interested in some of them. Site-specific prefs are an interesting idea; A torrent client would be handy; the ability to change the default search engine is nice too. It looks like I'll try it out.

Re:Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (5, Interesting)

piper-noiter (772438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667314)

For the most part if your code is up to standards it looks fine in opera. 90% of the time it renders like Mozilla. Opera is not making the designers job harder. It's closer than most to passing the Acid 2 test.

I'm already trying it out. Full of more great stuff, as one expects. They smoothed out a lot of the features they added in Preview 1 and added so much more.

I heard reports of problems with upgrading so I did a clean install and spent the afternoon adding my custom buttons and changing my search options. (I no longer have to use 3rd party tools to change them)

Between custom buttons, panels, and widgets I think Opera can now easily do anything a Firefox extension can do.

Re:Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667595)

Opera is not making the designers job harder. It's closer than most to passing the Acid 2 test.

And that's exactly it's main weakness.

Don't be fooled. The last time I tried Opera it didn't render Wikipedia and Gmail correctly (I don't know about other sites, because I uninstalled it after visiting those 2 sites).

Re:Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667461)

You can change the default search engines in pre9.0 versions, too. You have to dive into the .ini files, though, which isn't particularily user-friendly.

Re:Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (2, Interesting)

piper-noiter (772438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667552)

Yeah I'm not afraid of the .ini files, but Opera Search.ini Editor (Op6sed) [opera-info.xorg.pl] made it a heck of a lot easier to get the correct search link, and set up short cuts.

Re:Hmmm...maybe I'll try it. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667588)

Actually, to create a new search now you only have to right-click in a search field on any page, select "Create search" from the menu and voila :) Pick your shortcut and you can search from the address line just as with google searches (g define:slashdotted). or use F2

Little benefit to Firefox these days. (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667203)

Now that Opera has removed the ads from their browser, and added these other features, it has become a real competitor to Firefox.

The Firefox developers will really have to step up to the plate with the upcoming Firefox 2.0 release if they want to retain the marketshare they currently have. Firefox will have to show some pretty serious speed improvements, and far better memory management. It can't leak memory at the rate which the current 1.5 releases do.

Already there (4, Insightful)

Nichotin (794369) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667245)

Opera has been a worthy competitor for a long time, but what keeps amusing me is that they pack 10032894208492 features, and a pony, into the browser, and it still does not feel bloated (not compared to some apps, that have two features and a eye candy interface which makes your eyes fall out).
Don't like using one program for browsing, mail, and bittorrent? Then don't. Just use the browsing capabilities, and the rest of the features will be sufficiently hid away.

Re:Already there (4, Insightful)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667267)

Indeed. The download for FreeBSD was 6 MB, with a statically-linked version of Qt. It's quite fantastic how much they manage to pack into such a small package.

We often hear how Firefox's greatest strength is its extensions. Well, to be honest, when you're using Opera you don't need to delve into extensions. Opera includes all the functionality you want by default.

Re:Already there (2, Interesting)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667592)

It's probably because Opera's UI isn't driven by XML and JavaScript.

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (1, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667248)

To be honest, none of these features are enough to get me to try it out. I've got Firefox installed on my computer, inertia will keep me using it, until another browser has some amazing feature. Bittorrent is probably a big draw for plenty of slashdotters (I personally don't use it enough), with the only features I don't have being tab preview and content blocking (although I'm pretty sure any content blocking features Opera has natively, I can find as an extension if I wanted them). While the tab preview is interesting, it isn't enough to get me to download and install a new program.

Now for those migrating from IE (which is where either company SHOULD be focused on drawing users from) this would definitely be a good enough reason to try Opera first over Firefox. But I doubt it will draw many Firefox users away (discounting the rabid, zealous Firefox users who will use Firefox until judgement day comes).

Your skepticism is understandable. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667279)

I understand where you're coming from. Indeed, it often is difficult to change one's browser on a whim. But this time it's actually worth it, and this is only a beta-quality release!

Do you remember that feeling you got when you first used Firefox? Indeed, it often gave people that rush of "I'm trying something new, and by jove, I love it!" Well, you'll likely get the same feeling if you give this release of Opera a try.

Re:Your skepticism is understandable. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667509)

The reason I moved to Firefox wasn't for a "new browser" feeling, but was for privacy (the rest of the family used IE), and tabs as well as the extensions. If I went to Opera, I'd be doing it for... tab preview. Not enough to get me to move.

As I said, great for IE users to move to Opera. Not so great for your typical Firefox user (now your typical slashdot user, sure).

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (4, Insightful)

prichardson (603676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667395)

Your argument of pragmatism is exactly what keeps millions and millions using Internet Exploder.

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667462)

Exactly. But with IE not getting updated for quite some time (although Longhorn will bring an end to that), the other browsers have been able to draw people away with features lacking in IE.

Now if IE starts getting updated more regularly, people will stick with it. And why not? If it has all the features you want (want enough to move anyway), why change?

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (1)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667268)

The addition of the "Block Content" on the context menu which is about the equivilant of firefox's adblock is basically the only thing people said firefox had over Opera

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667289)

Re: Firefox's memory problem, it almost seems like luck sometimes. On a given setup, you either have it or you don't. The darn resistance to reproducibility is making it tough to track down.

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (0, Troll)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667300)

If Opera 9 has decent CSS support I might agree. Opera 8's CSS support was pretty crappy. Not compatible with Firefox and Safari or IE which just sort of left it as a thorn in my side that wasn't really worth the effort of fixing. Never have figured out if there is a hack around Opera responds to for selecting an Opera only stylesheet. Anyone know?

Its CSS, CSS2 and CSS3 support is superb. (2, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667326)

This release of Opera offers excellent support for CSS, CSS2, and even CSS3. Many have suggested that it is, at this point, superior to that offered by any existing browser on the market. Of course, this is the cutting edge of their product line, so one would expect it to be at the top of its game.

Re:Its CSS, CSS2 and CSS3 support is superb. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667400)

In Opera 9? If so I'll be glad to see it out. Opera 8 was disappointing.

I'd love to see Opera and Safari support things like XUL so that we could create really rich cross-browser apps. I know Mozilla has submitted most of those specs for standardization so maybe it could happen. That kind of rich app could let those three seriously kill IE if developers would embrace such rich interfaces.

Re:Its CSS, CSS2 and CSS3 support is superb. (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667582)

People can't seem to write a XUL application that doesn't break when there's a new Mozilla release, so it's doesn't seem like much of a standard.

Except for things specifically designed to be brower extentions, it would seem like XUL is a near total failure as a development toolkit. No wonder because "rich cross-browser apps" have been possible in both Java and Flash for some time.

Re:Its CSS, CSS2 and CSS3 support is superb. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667626)

Funny that I haven't had any trouble with it. I do a lot of my intranet code in XUL.

Java and Flash are much more heavy approaches. Practically you're just downloading a program and running it on the user's machine. I could do the same thing by writing an app in just about any language. I've written Java and Flash programs and they do have their uses but they are not a real standard for lightweight applications. The benefit to web-based apps is in not having to download a heavy program and learn a new interface (although some web apps sure try to make new interfaces). I've yet to use a XUL app where I had to endure a 'loading' screen or blank square in the middle of my screen.

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (1)

ubernostrum (219442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667413)

If Opera 9 has decent CSS support I might agree. Opera 8's CSS support was pretty crappy. Not compatible with Firefox and Safari or IE which just sort of left it as a thorn in my side that wasn't really worth the effort of fixing.

Care to give specific examples?

Never have figured out if there is a hack around Opera responds to for selecting an Opera only stylesheet. Anyone know?

Not that I'm aware of. There are hacks for older versions of Opera, but I've not seen any for 8.0, 8.5 or the 9.0 previews.

Re:Little benefit to Firefox these days. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667585)

Mostly bugs in alignment of elements it seems. The site I'm working on now is having a lot of issues with it and I've had similar issues on other sites I've done.

To be fair I just downloaded and tried the site I'm working on in Opera 9 and am happy to say it renders very well. Looks almost identical to how it looks in Safari. In both Opera and Safari the page is rendered on the left hand side of the window rather than down the middle. Not sure if that is a bug in Opera and Safari or in Firefox but it's not the desired effect and the CSS specs seem to agree with Firefox's rendering. Anyway, it is very usable in Opera 9 which IMO is a great thing.

Since Opera 9 renders the site correctly, and quite differently from Opera 8, I think it's safe to say that Opera 8 was rendering it wrong.

Of course (4, Insightful)

Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667220)

"However, some clear indications that this is still an alpha release is..."

Nightmarish grammar aside, the biggest clear indication that this is not final is the "Opera 9 Technology Preview 2" title on the linked page. Also, there is the fact that it is Opera labs, not the main site. Contrary to what the title would lead you to believe, this is just an open beta.

The big splash is the widgets. I am of the opinion though that the widget concept is being overdone completely. Now, you can have start.com widgets running in your Opera browser with widgets on your OS with widgets (either OS X Tiger's dashboard/Windows Vista Beta Sidebar or via third-party stuff a la Konfabulator/Superkaramba/Object Desktop). Enough alreay. How many different ways do I need to get my local weather forecast?

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667335)

I was also very suprised to hear about the widgets, (It's really not something you would expect from a browser O_o) and I thought the same thing as you. But after thinking a little and trying the concept, I have changed my mind a little. I mean, how often do you open a new page and and navigate to currency converter/dictionary etc.? I know this is covered by the panels to some extend, but I actually think the widgets will work better.

(But to be honest, I would've liked it more if they used the resources to improve M2, the downloadmangaer, added better synchronizations features and fixed more bugs)

 

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667454)

Unlike all those widgets apps from vista or Mac OSX, Opera's ones are 100% multi platform just like Opera itself, and can be made with simple html/css/js. See the advantage ?!?

The best. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667224)

Glad to hear it. For my money, this is the best browser living. And I say that as a Mac user who has windows of Safari and Firefox and Camino open all day. Not to mention the occassional foray into Shiira, Icab, and IE for page testing.

I always had the idea that Operants were people with too much time and money on their hands. But when it went free, I grabbed it right away, and after figuring out some of the frustrating GUI anomalies, I've never looked back. I haven't opened anything else since on my ancient night box, which was running close to crippled with my previous #1, Firefox (memory leaks, I guess, is the rumor).

I give it an A+. (5, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667233)

I've been using the FreeBSD release today, and my gosh, does it ever fly! It doesn't feel as responsive as Konqueror, but it still is a fantastic browser.

The email client is vastly improved, and it feels much quicker than in previous releases. It was quite quick at listing my 1800 MB mailbox, and it's now possible to scroll through the entries at a rapid pace without delay.

The opera:config feature is quite nice, and presented very well. It's far nicer to view than the comparable about:config capabilities of Firefox, yet just as easy to locate and modify preferences.

Overall, this release is an improvement over the last, while still retaining the small size and high responsiveness that Opera is known for. I give it an A+.

Re:I give it an A+. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667298)

How on earth can you give such a score to an application that uses QT, provides such poor control over document colors & fonts, and offers almost no extensibility?

Re:I give it an A+. (0, Flamebait)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667312)

I'm glad that it uses Qt. I have found Qt-based applications to perform far superior to GTK+ based ones, for instance. Qt is an extremely well written toolkit, and its performance is superb. The Opera themes support works wonders, too.

As for the matter of extensibility, it's just not necessary! Opera includes by default all the capabilities you'll likely need. While Firefox users must resort to a myriad of extensions, Opera users just enable the features they want, and off they go! No downloads or nonsense like that.

Re:I give it an A+. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667463)

How on earth can you give such a score to an application that uses QT, provides such poor control over document colors & fonts, and offers almost no extensibility?

That is simply not true. Check Tools/Preferences/Advanced/Fonts, as well as T/P/A/Content/Style Options. Opera also allows to easily turn off the document style sheet with a single mouse click or a single keypress, and replace it with a user stylesheet (great for sites with white text on a dark background, IMHO). You need yet another extension to do that in Firefox. As for extensibility - what did you have in mind? Content blocking is here. RSS extension isn't needed, and I expect there to be some widgets to replace the "allmighty" WeatherFox whatsitsname.

Re:I give it an A+. (1)

FromWithin (627720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667506)

How an earth can you be such a blinkered arse?

Not needed yet... (4, Insightful)

Afecks (899057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667261)

This really won't matter until all BT clients support web-seeding, that is, seeding peers via HTTP without the need for a dedicated client doing the seeding. Then every website, even those hosted on shared servers, will be able to easily provide torrents to their vistors and in turn their vistors will already support BT without extra software to install. AFAIK only BitTornado supports it and I really dislike that client. This is a crucial step for BT to really prove itself to be useful for more legitimate purposes.

What next? CEO to swim Atlantic again? (5, Funny)

deunan_k (637851) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667266)

Heh..

In reference to the previous ver 8, the CEO promises to swim from Norway to USA, with a brief stopover for mom's hot coffee in Iceland. That is, if the download reaches 1,000,000 in 4 days..

Apparently it did! I remembered downloading a copy, in a bid to see such sport, but alas..

Press Release [opera.com]

Previously, it was reported that the attempt failed due to various reasons, including physical condition. Let's hope he's is fitter this time around.

Yeah, no malfunctioning support raft.

Swim Attempt Report [opera.com]


Sincere regards to Opera Team..

-PS Crazy stunts like these are really fun!

I like it.. (2, Interesting)

techefnet (634210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667273)

This is good. I like it that corporates take use of the BitTorrent technology. Now if only Opera became opensource, I could maybe consider take use of it. *g* Heh, nah. Only problem is that it does not have builds for any recent versions of my distro (Slackware). The one I found worked a while, then it started segfaulting when I tried to go to websites.

A darn good job. (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667274)

I thank Opera for a darn good job. I find the [Opera] browser very very good. In fact, better than any browser out there. But wonder why it is still not that popular.

As a programmer, I also wonder how they designed the engine to be soooo fast, that even makers of other browsers cannot figure out how to replicate what makes Opera fast, into their browsers. Can anyone enlighten me?

It's a matter of marketing and hype. (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667302)

Firefox has a huge amount of marketing and hype behind it. That's why it's more popular that Opera. Now, these days many people are beginning to run into problems with Firefox, namely due to its poor memory management. People are beginning to question the validity of the hype, and many are switching to alternative browsers like Opera, Konqueror, Safari and OmniWeb. As long as these alternative browsers keep innovating at the pace they have been lately, Firefox may not be able to keep up.

As for others replicating the fantastic capabilities of the engine of Opera, it has been done. Konqueror is a prime example. Often times it feels far more slick than even Opera. Unfortunately, it is limited to Unix platforms these days. That may change in the future, however, with the release of KDE 4. A native version of Konqueror for Windows may be just the thing necessary to get more people to switch away from IE.

Re:A darn good job. (0, Troll)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667318)

By cutting corners I'd guess. They don't render pages all that well. If you don't follow spec then it's not that hard to go faster.

Not that it's not some good programming involved too.. probably they do have an impressive parser and rendering engine speed-wise. Just pointing out one obvious way they get some of that speed.

Re:A darn good job. (2, Informative)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667369)

You must not have used Opera to make such patently incorrect claims. They do not cut corners with their engine. It supports the various standards just fine, if not far better than its competitors.

When compared to Firefox, its performance is superb. I know a number of people who used to use Firefox, but ended up switching to Opera 8.51. They just got tired of the memory leaks of Firefox, and were especially disappointed by the very poor 1.5 release.

Opera has become to Firefox what Firefox became to Internet Explorer. Put simply, it is a superior browser. Trying it out for a day is often enough to make one switch.

Re:A darn good job. (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667529)

I keep the newest version around and test against it - Opera 8 has crappy CSS support. Maybe Opera 9 is better. I'll have to check.

I've had no problems with Firefox 1.5 itself although a couple of the extensions I like did develop minor bugs. I often open up fifty tabs at a time and don't have any major memory problems although I'm sure some exist.

Only Safari gets close to matching Firefox's standards support. It's great to see this competition to be the best at standards support though. Firefox, Safari, and Opera can slug it out and it'll be great for all of us. I hope Opera 9 is raising the bar. Competition is good.

Re:A darn good job. (0)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667401)

Opera renders pages as good (and even better) than Opera, Konqueror, and the bunch. You should give it a try.

Re:A darn good job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667445)

Damn troll!

Opera is known for its excellent standards support.
Do you know who Opera's CTO is?

Re:A darn good job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667321)

At least in my case, I stick with Safari because I love my URL autocomplete from bookmarks. None of the other browsers seem to do it. Oh sure, they do URL autocomplete in the bar from history, but not from bookmarks as well. Firefox has a couple of extensions that appear to copy your bookmarks into your history list, but I tried one and it crashed, and the other doesn't seem supported for the latest Firefox.

So I stick with Safari :) If Opera did that, I'd swap in a second :)
I'm guessing other people have the similar reasons to hold off from swapping. Opera has some great features, but not the ones I want :\

Re:A darn good job. (1)

e5150 (938030) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667420)

well, you can make aliases for your bookmarks in opera, so i don't see any need for autocompletion. ;)

Re:A darn good job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667489)

I'll look into that. Thanks :)

Re:A darn good job. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667522)

At least in my case, I stick with Safari because I love my URL autocomplete from bookmarks. None of the other browsers seem to do it. Oh sure, they do URL autocomplete in the bar from history, but not from bookmarks as well.

I agree, that would be nice to have (or maybe it's there, but I haven't found it yet; I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case). If you're willing to live with a couple more keypresses or mouse clicks, though, you can try opening the Manage Bookmarks page or the Bookmarks panel. The filter is automatically selected, so you can start typing immediately. All it takes is a few Tabs and an Enter to select the wanted bookmark (or a double-click), and there you go. Another nice thing is the turbo bookmark system; you can assign an alias to a bookmark (such as "sd" for Slashdot), press Shift+F2 (dunno on the Mac) and start typing. As soon as the letters uniquely identify a bookmark, Opera will open it. Or you can type the alias in the address bar and press Enter.

P2P v2.0 (4, Insightful)

DonZorro (452879) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667284)

This could change the perception and add a new twist to the RIAA lawsuits against P2P users...simply because P2P would now be given credit for helping all kinds of content providers overcome their bandwidth problems.

Think...seeding/leeching CNN homepage

Impressive (1)

Regnard (803869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667303)

I'm using it right now, as I write this comment...

Anyways, I've started to use Opera on a more regular basis when it came out with the "free" version in 8, and as I keep using it, the more I'm liking it.

The bittorrent integration is a nice feature, although I haven't seen the thumbnail preview (which I find the most interesting feature).

Re:Impressive (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667398)

Just hover over the tab in your tab bar.

Also, just to note that this is still really buggy. I installed it earlier, and it kept crashing at a certain site. Yes, I know its still in alpha, just a note for those trying Opera for the first time. Opera 8.51 is stable, so don't take the frequent crashes into consideration for Opera 9 just yet :)

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667507)

please post that website url here, or better, at the Opera forums.
http://my.opera.com/community/forums/ [opera.com]

But the question is ... (0, Offtopic)

sabit666 (457634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667305)

... will it clean my bathroom?

Good :D (1)

ASUSanator (700145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667320)

The implementation of userscripts.org is good. One of the things keeping me on firefox is the greasemonkey extension. Opera is really a better overall browser and now i feel it has everything i want in a browser. I am not a huge BT user but when i do use it, it will be good not to need to install azureus just to download one file.

Re:Good :D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667427)

I thought Opera 8 could already run a lot of greasemonkey scripts in addition to its own more powerful user javascript implementation.

Re:Good :D (1)

ASUSanator (700145) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667627)

It might have, but i didn't know about it. I used to use it all the time in 7.x then only a couple of times in 8 and a couple of times with the first 9 technical release. Just the article said it can now run more scrips from userscripts.org so i am assuming that it couldn't run many/them very well before ? I don't know, these are all assumptions from me. I will download this new release and give it a good run.

Bittorrent and Firefox (4, Interesting)

citizenc (60589) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667330)

Question: why has Opera managed to incorporate Bittorrent support into their browser, yet the only torrent plugins for Firefox are in a horrendous state of pre-development? WTF is going on here?

Re:Bittorrent and Firefox (1)

revelude (952802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667376)

the simple action of this popping up on slashdot will probably spark some fellows to make a decent extension within the close of the week...

Re:Bittorrent and Firefox (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667542)

RTFA. This isn't about Firefox. Why do Firefox users always have to inject Firefox questions & answers where they're not wanted?

Why do FF users have so much time for commenting anyway? They've got a super cool browser and all those extensions to play with.

http://www.slyerfox.com/fans.aspx [slyerfox.com]
"How do you spot a Firefox fan? An answer appears to a question nobody asked."

Using it right now (1)

nife00 (952213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667349)

I'm using it right now and its great. The interface is clean though its a little too windows looking though thats obviously to target the larget group of os users. Now I need to find out how to get addblock or something like it to work. I'm so used to not seeing many that I can't live without it.

Bittorrent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667357)

Not sure if adding bittorrent functionality is a good idea unless it doesn't use up RAM when not being used.

I initially switched to Opera 8.5 from Firefox because of better security and speed. Now I use Opera primarily because I love usability features like the URL trashcan and dropdown panel that appears when clicking URL bar. But at some point, enough is enough, and adding new features can make a product worse, not better.

Hello World! - Acid 2 Test (2)

ayden (126539) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667367)

I just tried it and the results look very good next to the reference image.

http://www.webstandards.org/act/acid2/test.html [webstandards.org]

Re:Hello World! - Acid 2 Test (1)

Regnard (803869) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667378)

Yes! A Windows-based that finally passes acid2

typical /. story (1)

roror (767312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667397)

This is so freaking misleading. This is a technology preview guys, not even beta. Those who has tried TP1 of opera 9 would know how horribly unstable it was. In another TP there will be more feature but it'll still be unstable.

Saying Opera 9 is now available is like taking us geeks to cloud number 9 and slamming back on ground.

Re:typical /. story (1)

piper-noiter (772438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667530)

Preview one had some Processor leaks, but was fairly stable.

The only real error I've noticed so far in Preview 2 is the animated gif speed error. Oh no my gifs are too fast! Not exactly a top priority problem.

Preview two is currently using 0-3% of my CPU but a whopping 62M of my 512 of memory. However, that amount might have something to do with the fact that I have 15 tabs open at the moment. ;)

Bye Firefox ... its been fun (4, Informative)

arrrrg (902404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667411)

I tried this out today, and I'm sold. After seeing stats on how Opera is significantly faster than Firefox in almost every category, I finally decided to check it out. While I miss one or two extensions (Bugmenot and Forecast Firefox), I can do without these. Other than that, the built-in mouse gestures, keyboard + location bar shortcuts, ad block, torrents, better download manager, fast forward (hit the button or press ctrl-x and automatically go to the next page of google search results, next part of any article, ...), and so on means that out of the box it is a firefox killer, and much faster to boot.

Re:Bye Firefox ... its been fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667545)

you can have a panel with a weather forecast in Opera. About the bugmenot, here it is :)
http://userjs.org/scripts/general/enhancements/bug -me-not [userjs.org]

Funny! (0, Offtopic)

Tezkah (771144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667412)

I submitted this story (with download links in it) and more information about the widgets, but it got rejected (Monday February 06, @11:46PM, and again Tuesday February 07, @01:34PM). I wonder why this one got accepted, I was beginning to think that because it didn't mention Firefox or Google it was never going to get published. PR1 of Opera 9.0 was rejected in a similar fashion when that was released.

Here was the text, with bonus download links!

Opera Software has released the second preview edition of their next generation browser, codenamed Merlin. Some of the highlights [opera.com] include Widgets (including ones that let you read the latest Slashdot stories, or the lastest Bash.org quotes, calculator, etc), integrated Bittorrent, thumbnail preview for tabs, and the ability to "Block Content", which lets you remove items from a website. Download for Windows [opera.com] , Mac [opera.com] , and Unix [opera.com] .

Other useful links (2, Informative)

Lawmune (260527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667495)

While we're on the topic of bonus links, here are some other useful resources for people who just downloaded Opera 9.0tp2:

Widgets user guide [opera.com]

Search engine customization tutorial [opera.com]

Content blocking tutorial [opera.com]

Setup info for tab thumbnails [opera.com]

(Regarding that last one, I am still convinced that tab thumbnails are kind of silly, and that Opera's tiling function is already much more useful. See here: The Problem with Tab Thumbnails [cjas.org] )

SVG Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667449)

It supports a supristing amount of SVG tests.
Over 90% of the ones on this page work well.
http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG/Test/ [w3.org]

opera kicks firefox's ass (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667467)

I have been usuing firefox for a while but i just got fed up. Ever since i switched to my new athlon64 system, firefox on linux has been dead slow. Opening up tabs takes forever, it hogs more memory than kde pracitcally. So, i switched to opera and i am loving it. It is wicked fast, and has some very slick features. I don't know if i will ever go back to firefox.

back/forward (2, Interesting)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667513)

I can't even imagine how Firefox users can stand the inferior back/forward navigation buttons, and how much delay they present.

With Opera, (pre 9.x, even,) you just click back, and the previous page jumps right up; fully rendered and ready. --With Firefox, you have to wait, and get to listen to the processor throttling up, as if this was Java 1.2 on Win95..

Firef*cks be gone..

Re:back/forward (1)

jeff_schiller (877821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667560)

Hm, not with Firefox 1.5 - the "FastBack" [sitepoint.com] feature was added and works great

Got my hopes up. (1)

The Ilia (933432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667534)

I find the title of this story to be misleading. I got my hopes up, thinking that perhaps an official release of Opera 9 had occurred. Obviously this was not the case. Title should be "Opera 9 Technical Preview with Widgets and BitTorrent Now Available".

*sigh* (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667538)

I really wish the Opera (and Firefox) camps would focus less on adding new features and more on stability, security, performance and standards compliance. Widgets? In-line spell check? Don't know about you, but I'd certainly prefer a smaller, faster, more secure browser that crashes less often in place of the wonders of in-line spell checking.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667574)

besides, things like inline spell-checking should be handled by the OS IMO. Isn't that the kind of stuff we have fancy OS's and cool API's for?

Re:*sigh* (1)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667616)

It works for OS X! To be honest, I would be very frustrated without in-line spell checking in every app that all made use of the same dictionary. This is one of my problems with using email clients like mutt... I have to worry about an additional set of tools and dictionaries just to spell check my email.

lynx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14667611)

Maybe you should use lynx then. Or if you don't want plugins for whatever reason just install firefox.

SVG Capabilities Improved (3, Informative)

jeff_schiller (877821) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667581)

I am loving the SVG implementation [codedread.com] in the Opera 9 Previews, I update information on my blog. TP2 includes several fixes to the SVG implementation over TP1 and TP1 was a HUGE leap from Opera 8.x. Opera now covers more SVG functionality than Firefox 1.5 does, and is faster on my PC.

Opera is the new native SVG implementation to beat.

Why I love Opera (2, Informative)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 8 years ago | (#14667596)

1. It is fast. Very fast. Firefox is dog slow in comparison. At least on my Linux system.
2. It is lean, very lean. 4.7MB and tonnes of features. How do these people do it?
3. It is easy on memory. Firefox has bad memory leak problems. Earlier today Firefox was taking up 300MB+ on my system. I close all tabs and it did not free any memory. Enough is enough. This is the primary reason I am ditching Firefox.
4. The keyboard shortcuts are sane and there are lots of them.
5. It is more standards compliant than Firefox.
6. It now works with maps.google.com.
7. Did I already mention that it was fast?

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