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Opera > Netscape? March 10, 2007 – 6:09 p.m. – Permalink
the re(print) at seraphic zephyr.

This is a reprint of an article by Patrick Kennedy, written on March 7, 2007. Patrick was a participant in the (re)print last year, and although his blog Great Expectations is becoming increasingly nomadic (hopefully his Opera home will be its sole residence for now), he always manages to strike up a laugh or get me thinking profundities with his articles. Thus the (re)print ends, almost two weeks late and, seemingly, with little fanfare.

Okay, I’m sure many of you remember the time when I was fanatical over Netscape (version 8.1.2 is out by the way). I’ve changed loyalties over to Opera; at the time it was mostly because Opera had become free and Netscape wouldn’t update their browser.

Now instead of using Opera just as an alternative to IE7 (which is very nice by the way) while Netscape got their act together, I’m a loyal fan of Opera! So much so I’ve got Opera as my desktop!

What prompted my change of heart and why didn’t I just use Firefox? Well, the answer is simple, Mozilla is bleh! I mean ... Because Opera has, built-in, many of the popular Firefox extentions meaning they’re more likely to work together better.

Now granted, this isn’t to put down Firefox. I’m sure Firefox is a very good browser and the ability to code extensions makes it very useful (Opera doesn’t have FoxyTunes for instance, but I’ve got media buttons) and I also know a guy who recoded part of Firefox to suit his own needs and he couldn’t do that in Opera.

So, how is Opera better exactly? Well for one it’s a widget engine! It also has some pretty amazing UI customization abilities. As an example, I put my address and tab bars at the bottom of the screen, which may seem rather odd at first, but it’s actually very nice since all my information is in one area.

Some other things I’ve found to be pretty nice are:

  • A built-in IRC client, similar to Netscape’s
  • A sidebar for transfers, notes, chats, links on a page, etc.
  • Detachable tabs (they make new mini-browsers)
  • Control over the right-click context menus
  • Built-in mouse gesture support
  • A built-in TTS engine (which has a very pretty female voice)
  • A built-in voice controller

And there are also tons of things other users have figured out which can be found at the Opera Wiki; Opera Help is a great resource too, and will explain pretty much any problem you’ll run into, from getting Java to work to running ActiveX (renders the tab with IE, similar to IETab).

All in all, Opera also has a great community at My Opera (not to mention 300 megabytes of direct linkable space).

Editor’s note This article was edited slightly to cater to Seraphic Zephyr’s audience. Read the original article, with no revisions, at Great Expectations.