The Browser Saga : Part 2
Hello guys… Ok… This was sudden… I didn’t even intend to write a blog post today. But once more I have tried another browser and decided to write about it. (Yeah. I like browsers. It’s the most used application on my PC..)
Well. I had installed the Chromium developer build on Ubuntu a couple of weeks back. That wasn’t really usable. Specially without flash and still a lot of functionalities are marked as to-do. Yep. Instead of the options in the options panel it says TO DO .
Shortly after that experience Google released a pre-beta build of their Chrome browser for Linux (Which is based on Chromium). Tried installing that today. It’s currently supported for Ubuntu or Debian only. Get it here. There’s nothing much different there actually. It’s basically the same as Chromium with Google name on it and it sends everything we do to Google. (Typical).
Anyway the reason I started writing this post today isn’t Google Chrome. I tried another browser today. Yep. Another one. Opera 10 Beta for Linux. I’ve heard Opera was a nice browser. And although I haven’t really used Opera on my PC before I knew a little bit about it’s features. But today I actually tried the latest version and lets say my reaction is absolutely positive towards this browser. . . . Let’s see what it’s got.
Let’s see. Where do I start? Let’s start with the most prominent feature shall we? The speed dial screen. Now this is similar to the new tab page of Chrome. (AFAIK Opera had this screen before Chrome). But instead of showing the most visited sites like Chrome this page actually gives us the chance to decide what goes here and what doesn’t. Here’s my speed dial screen after I added the sites I want to it.
(Hmmm… most of this stuff seems to belong to Google…)
And Opera has Widgets too. Did you know that? It’s pretty cool. Obviously I’m still pretty new to this so I don’t really know which widgets i could recommend installing. But the video downloader is one widget I found that’s definitely useful. Here’s a screenshot of how widgets are installed.
Another very very cool feature I found in Opera 10 is the search box. While there is a normal search box as in Firefox, Opera also supports typing your search queries in the address bar as well. But that’s not the really cool thing about it. You can select which search engine you want to use just by typing a letter in front of your search terms. For example to google for flowers you would just have to type “g flowers” in the address bar. And these keys are customizable as well. See the search preferences screen in the screenshot below.
Ever used the Firefox plugin called “Reload Every” ? It’s a plugin that allows us to reload a page automatically in a given time period. Very useful in starting torrents at Imageshack. Well, Opera has that feature built in. Like I said, I don’t know whether this is new in Opera 10 because I haven’t really used this browser before.
Unfortunately like every other browser Opera has downsides as well. It’s not nearly as fast as Chrome or Safari. But Opera is widely known for following web standards precisely. Passed the ACID3 test with 100/100. Anyway, downsides. . . Opera does NOT render sinhala unicode properly at all. This is a very big minus in my book because I visit quite a few sinhala sites every day and I get emails in sinhalese too. See how Opera displays sinhala below.
Anyway. Other than the sinhala problem I’m very impressed with Opera 10. As I’ve mentioned it’s still a beta so there might be some bugs. And I’ve played with it only for a short while and might have missed another cool feature or another problem. Let me know in your comments. Until the next post then (Whenever that might be). See ya