You can choose compassion

Well, God love ’em for trying and all, but what’s wrong with Opera for Macintosh 8.0 beta? Lots.

Nomenclature
Tabs are tabs and not windows. A window and a tab are two different things. A window can have zero tabs or several. Windows are containers for tabs. I don’t know how else to explain something that simple. (Opera calls tabs “windows” and windows “pages.” Opera is wrong.)
Keystrokes
The correct keystrokes to move from tab to tab are either (Shift-)Command-leftarrow/rightarrow or (the Mozilla standard) Ctrl-PgUp/PgDn. These are at least remotely logical in that they refer to movement in some way. But Opera’s Command-F6 and Shift-Command-F6 are not Macintosh browser keystrokes.
Zooming a Macintosh browser is done with Command-+/, but try that in Opera and you zoom by 100% increments. (Actually, you seem to zoom down to 60% and never zoom above 100%. I can’t get it to work reliably.) You must press 0 or 9 to zoom in 10% increments. (Just 0 or 9 – no modifiers.)
Command-F means find in page, not find via Google, as Opera mistakenly believes.
To open a link in a new tab, I am not wild about having to Shift-Commmand-click; Command-clicking is the Mac standard.
Tabs and window selection
When I close a tab, select the next tab, not the previous one. I already saw the previous tab! It’s as if Norwegians don’t have a blogroll that they open every day (readily facilitated by Opera itself) in a number of tabs. When I’m done with one tab, I’m done with that tab. Move me to the next one.
Tabs are packed too tightly together and the close box is too easy to hit. (Author’s note: I originally wrote that sentence with the homographic duo “Tabs are too close together and the close button is too easy to hit.”)
Tabs are unidentifiable when you have many of them.
A new tab opens to the right of the current tab (sometimes desirable, sometimes not).
Passwords
It seems impossible to order Opera to save all your passwords and login data. You have to manually specify such for each site through some magic keystroke I can’t remember.
You have to press Ctrl-Return to actually fill in the saved data. (The help manual says Ctrl-Enter, but that is a different keystroke on Macs, though it also works.)
Toolbars
It takes a good 20 minutes to somehow manhandle the amorphous mess of Opera toolbars into something a Macintosh user would recognize. Even then, I ended up with four toolbars.
Screenshot shows dozens of tightly-packed tabs and three other toolbars
The toolbars are named in the preferences and the customization screen, but not in the actual toolbars when you’re manipulating them. (Try to keep these straight: Main, Personal, Page, Status, Address, Start, View, and Navigation and Progress Bars.)
Opera violates convention another way: The Back and Forward buttons aren’t pull-down menus; there’s a separate Back button, however, that is. (Why isn’t there a separate Forward button that’s also a menu? Why are we even making this distinction?)
Zooming
The keystrokes are wrong and, given my writing on the topic, I have reason to believe Opera’s implementation is also wrong. I really don’t want images to be zoomed along with text in the majority of cases.
I also don’t want zoomed pages to zoom right off the edge of the monitor. (Sure, you can hit the space-wasting “Fit page to window width” checkbox in your toolbar, but why would I want the page to exceed my window width?)
Typography
Opera (in all versions I’ve tested) errantly chooses swash characters in OpenType italic fonts.
Screenshot of search options shows italic type with swash characters (extended flourishes on ends of letters like e and t)
Default renderings of some elements are ignored: By convention, del is supposed to be struck out, ins underlined, dfn italicized.
Usability
You have to manually deselect a well-buried item in preferences in order to type just a domain and have Opera fill in www. and .com (Network → Server name completion). Otherwise it tries to open a file by that name on your computer. How stupid is that?
Server name completion dialogue box, with ‘Look for local network machine’ unchecked
When selecting items in preferences, you must click the OK button to place focus on that button, then click it again to activate it.
Compliance
Does not support long descriptions. Then again, little other than Mozilla does.
Extremely strict interpretation of link elements to call stylesheets. To wit, the entry link rel=" Stylesheet" will cause Opera not to load any stylesheet because of the leading space. It should ignore such spaces or, if the Norwegians wanted to be pluperfect, load the first Alternate Stylesheet.
I don’t know what the matter is, but its print preview ignores this Weblog’s print stylesheet. Yes, I have one, and no, it doesn’t use reverse type. (Any kind of print preview is a huge plus! I still have IE5 around specifically for that purpose. Don’t print a Web page without previewing it first.)

I want to like Opera. The only reason I would contemplate using it in the long term – the only reason – is the fact that it stores the state of your browser even if it crashes. That needs to be standard practice everywhere.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2005.02.01 17:28. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2005/02/01/opera/

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