Tag Archives: opera

Opera is no longer my default browser, Firefox is

16 Jul

I made a big jump last night when I transitioned from Opera to Firefox as default browser.

It is a big deal for me and using Opera is so ingrained that I have a bit of a writer’s block.

I started to use Opera 7 in March 2003. As I was using Opera M2 (the built-in mail client) it very soon became my default browser, all the way through Opera 12.16, until last night.

My favourite Opera features:

I’m scanning the Opera version history, and peruse the list of wonderful features my browser had. Here are my rock stars:

  • Sessions (1.0)
  • Nicknames (3.0)
  • Tabbed browsing (4.0)
  • Zoom (2.10)
  • M2 e-mail (7.0)
  • Drag-and-Drop of Tabs (7.0)
  • Panels (7.0)
  • Notes (7.10)
  • Wand manager (7.10)
  • RSS newsfeeds (7.50) & Atom news feeder support (8.0)
  • Fit to Window Width (8.0)
  • opera:config (9.0)
  • Widgets (9.0)
  • Opera Dragonfly debugger (9.50)
  • Opera Quick Find (9.50)
  • Alternative tab-closing behaviors (9.50)
  • Follow/Ignore threads and contacts (9.60)
  • Go To Thread (9.60)
  • Visual tabs (10.0)
  • Tab stacking (11.0)
  • Grouping and pinning of messages (11.60)
  • opera:cpu (12.0)

Between Opera and I, it’s become complicated

A few months back I heard the news that Opera was going to ship a browser based on a different engine (It has started in the meantime). Opera then shipped a stand-alone Mail application, which I’ve been using since then. Although there is still a little dev planned for the Opera 12.x series, it is a matter of time until Opera suggests its users upgrade to the Chromium based version.

But already before that, my using Opera had become an act of faith. I have migrated the same profile over the years –ten years. The Opera folder that is in my Library/Application Support/ folder has 144K items and occupies 8.17 GB on disk. Most of which is mail storage, but still, that too was migrated in each major Opera update. I have had strange bugs, common bugs, found work-arounds, etc. Up to a certain point, there was no more satisfaction in having yet another bug to work around.

An act of faith, I wrote. Yes. For some reason, Opera has become even less stable on my machine during the Fall or Winter. It would crash both during usage or when running in the background. It would crash and crash while restarting. Every time it restarted after crash I had to restart it properly otherwise clicking links in other apps had no result.

Everything put together, the cost of troubleshooting overpowers the rest, and the browser has already become foreign to me as much of the rock star features that truly made Opera my default browser are not yet available in the current release. Exit Opera. Enters Firefox.

Hooking up with Firefox

Of the browsers I use, I’ve made Firefox my default browser last night. I sorted a bit the existing bookmarks, made a backup. I sorted through my 90+ open tabs in Opera, saved them as a bookmark folder, exported my Opera bookmarks as HTML and imported this in Firefox. I went trough the preferences, grouped my tabs, place the windows where appropriate, reduced the size of icons and page zoom (struggled a bit for the latter, as I want to rely the least on add-ons). And that is it.

So this morning, rehab has started, so to speak, and there are a few things that I am still wrestling with:

  • Missing the ability to see all 90+ tabs in one bar & Tab Stacking
  • Missing the Tab trash (but History is good enough)
  • Missing Opera Notes
  • Dreading to re-set expectations in terms of search (history, bookmarks)

I wrote ‘rehab’ mostly because I have to adjust ten years or so worth of habits with a given tool. There are equivalent features in Firefox, I just need to find them and get used to them. There are other ways to work, too, that I’m considering to explore. And if it doesn’t work for me, I’ll just quit my job and try to make a living out of photography. I’m jesting. I’ll just go and try out another browser.

mv My\ Opera WordPress

26 Feb

I have had an on-line blog since June 2006 (or, as I noticed recently, since precisely 6/6/6). I chose to have it hosted on My.opera.com for convenience. The style was rudimentary but I found it pleasant enough. I’ve found it functional, at the very least. Here is a screen shot of that blog home page:

screen shot of My Opera blog

screen shot of My Opera blog

And I move its content to wordpress.com on Sunday. Here is a screen shot of the blog home page after import and some tweaking:

Screen shot of WordPress blog

Screen shot of WordPress blog

On My Opera, the blog received 35872 visits. Some posts got comments, I can’t easily find out how many. All these were not imported, unfortunately. I will miss them from my records. So, I will remember that some people frequently left a note, or the occasional visitor did.

I am using the WordPress Bueno theme which I’m very fond of.

Update 2014-01-31: A belated update to add to the record the announcement Opera made 8 months afterwards, that they were shutting down myopera.com.

Opera 12: new version, new esoteric bug

21 Jun
I’m taking the time to document the obscure bug that I often experience with Opera 12 (like every other day since I installed version 12 on the day it was released).

It is a surprising bug to say the least, not too annoying (as you’ll understand, Opera quickly recovers from it), but still, I reported it (DSK-367824).

[Update 2012-06-26: This is a duplicate of DSK-365797]

For no good reason that I can see or that console logs can explain, Opera actions are suddenly mapped to others, regardless that I use their keyboard shortcuts or that I click commands in the menus. When this happen, I feel like Opera is in play mode (like it’s a software thing to replace commands with other actions!).

For example, I want a new tab but get the window to “Open…”. The first time that occurred, I thought “aha! so I need to press cmd-o if I want to get a new tab.” Nope, all I got was the “Save As…” window. In play mode, it’s “Save As…”, or cmd-s, that will open a new tab. Consistently. Except that I don’t know what triggers play mode.

I played as long as I could, it was entertaining. The play-mode key-combos I found are:
cmd-t (for new tab) == open file
cmd-n (for new window) == save-as
cmd-s (to save) == new tab
cmd-c (to copy selection) == fullscreen
cmd-v (to paste selection) == right click
cmd-w (to close tab) == game over, it does cmd-q (to quit).

A couple tips, troubleshooting a bug in Opera menus

31 Mar
Before I forget and in case I need it later.
A bug in Opera 11.61 I submitted in February [DSK-357462] (that apparently others with similar configurations can not reproduce) still occurs in Opera 11.62. So I looked at other possible causes for that peculiar bug.

The bug is in any menu of Opera, any drop-down list and any right-click menu. When the menus appear, selecting through them is slow at best, and doesn’t apparently work at worse. I can click several times and sometimes forever on an item in the list, it’s as though the state doesn’t change, or takes a while to actually select. I click outside of it to make it disappear and it just stays there until I click either outside of the Opera window, or sometimes (not always) until I hover the mouse over it and then click outside of it, inside the Opera window.

I needed to find when I last performed software updates. Karl gave me this tip:

cat /Library/Receipts/InstallHistory.plist

This is much more accurate than my intuition to search in the console (there is entirely too much info there, and this would take much longer) or looking in the Applications folder and find a common date for “Date Modified”.

This allowed me to check that a few days prior to my noticing the bug, I had performed the “Mac OS X Update Combined” (10.7.3). This was later followed by a “Mac OS X 10.7.3 Supplemental Update”.

Then I needed to assess whether my usage of Opera could be a factor. I typically run it several days or weeks without quitting it. I operate with 1 or more windows and the number of tabs I keep open is around 90. Opera is also my Mail User Agent, has been for years and as such its mail database indexes more than 133K messages (I archived once in 2004, but then I became lazy).

I performed two tests.
The first on my other computer which has the same OS as my work laptop and the same Opera version (the processors are different but I don’t suppose the test is invalid). My opera session on that other computer has an empty mail database and I ran it with one tab. Menus were reactive as expected and selecting through them was smooth and gratifying. I opened several other tabs and I had the same positive experience.
I performed the second test on my work laptop and started a new Opera session with one tab and then a few. I was happy to experience smooth and reactive menu action. Happy and frustrated at the same time.

So maybe there is something in the early February Mac OS 10.7.3 update that impacts Opera to some extent. And if Opera couldn’t reproduce the bug to fix it in 11.62, it may be useful to give them extra info on that bug.

Another good tip, via Dean, was to run in the Terminal:

sample Opera

And perform any menu action for it to dump an “Analysis of sampling Opera (pid xxxxx) every 1 millisecond” in a text file. The blitz sampling, which lasted a fraction of time, analysed me right-clicking on a link in a Web page and clicking on “copy link address”, and wrote 21K lines, hardly any of them making sense to me. I sent it to Opera to accompany my February bug report.

Then I went back to my habitual session, bookmarked for good as many tabs as I could and tried with a 28-tab session. Same frustratingly slow menu actions. Oh well. I need them all (I need more of them in fact) to work, they’re my work flow. I hope this is fixed some day.

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