Opera 10.53: hi/bye

Opera 10.53 for mac OS lasted about 36 hours on my machine. It wasn’t stable, unfortunately. It really felt like a beta version! It was so bad that I even resolved to try out Opera 10.60 alpha, but since it doesn’t have Opera Mail, it wasn’t workable for me. So I reverted to Opera 10.10 just now.

Opera is the program I use the most. It is my default browser and my beloved MUA. It is also the first time I am disappointed with a version to the point of downgrading. I’ve always been a fan of Opera, which I discovered some time in 2002, and that I adopted as mail client and default browser when M2 was part of the Opera 7 release in early 2003.

A few quick observations about Opera 10.53, expanded below:

  1. Spectacular unexpected* crashes in series.
  2. Intrusion with window coming in focus by itself.
  3. Enter key no worky on dialog boxes.
  4. Scrolling didn’t work consistently.

[* We need to admit to ourselves that sometimes we’re pushing the limits knowingly, in which case, crashes are more or less expected.]

I found them spectacular in the sense that I was used to Opera looking like it’s really trying to process whatever it is doing, entering the phase of being slower or unresponsive for a while till the application crashed. When Opera 10.53 crashes it is sudden and swift. My first impression was that the window had moved to a different virtual space, and I even looked for it, till I saw the box announcing the app had to crash.
And they happened in series. A series of 4 or 5 consecutive crashes triggered by all sorts of actions, followed by a phase of suspicious stability.
Actions that made Opera 10.53 crash:

  • double clicking a URI in the address bar in order to copy it.
  • clicking the send button in Opera Mail.
  • waiting for Opera to finish restarting after a crash.
  • it also crashed when I was busy with another app.

I was surprised, using Opera 10.53, that the Opera window would come into focus unexpectedly and for no particular reason, other than my mouse hovering over it from an application window to another, or each time Opera fetches e-mail, news or feeds. I found the intrusion quite annoying.

Dialog boxes
When a dialog box popped up, it appeared that the focus was on a button, yet, the return key had no effect. I was used to hitting the enter key when the focus is right, and I was disappointed to have to use the mouse to click.

Again, because of habits, I expected the trackpad gesture of scrolling with two fingers to work anywhere in the Opera windows, and consistently, be that a browser tab, or the panels and sections of the Mail interface. It wasn’t the case at times and it wasn’t obvious why it wouldn’t work as expected, when it didn’t.

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I am ♀, W3C staff since early 99, mum of a ♂since late 07.

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