Saturday, April 14, 2007

Operatic Experimentation

I love Firefox. I have used it for years, to the exclusion of other browsers. But, of late, I have been getting a little tired of its speed, or lack thereof. Initial loading, tabbing, and other features, were getting sluggish. I was tired of my browser being slower at opening things than my OS. I was tired of restarting the app just to use a plug-in. What is this, Windows?

So I decided to try Opera, as I had heard of it being like Firefox in many ways, but faster and with additional features. I have spent much less time with it than Firefox, but I will say that so far, it has been great. It is faster, it has more useful features, and it is more intuitive.

Things I have loved from the start:
  • Changing skins, adding skins, and adding widgets can all be done from sidebars or windows, not new sites. Also, they do not require a restart to use. This has been great. I HATE having to restart Firefox when I have 500 tabs open, just to start using a new plug-in or theme.
  • There are lots of neat display options and informative displays. The Info sidebar, for example, or the advanced loading display.
  • Built-in BitTorrent support, no external app needed.
  • You can get the tab bar to wrap to multiple lines. This is great if, like me, you like to have 500.8 million tabs open, and hate having to scroll right and left to get to them all.
  • It's faster. Did I mention that?
So, minimally, give it a try. It's neat.


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