Opera 10.60 for Linux: A rant

I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my open source advocacy, I’m still a longtime user of the Opera browser.

However, the past year has been pretty rocky in that respect; Opera 10.10 for Linux was plagued with a lot of bugs, crashes, and performance issues, rendering it practically unusable, even for an Opera fan such as myself, and despite 10.50 being released for other platforms in March, the Linux world was stuck with the problematic 10.10 (and eventually 10.11) release until this week.

Finally, after such a long wait, Opera 10.60 was finally released for all platforms on July 1st, so I was finally able to ditch Firefox and Chrome and go back to my browser of choice.

Or was I?


Underwhelmed

Just to be clear, this is less a review and more a rant. If it were a review, I’d spend at least a week using Opera as my only browser first, and THEN write up my thoughts on the subject.

This is, in fact, what I had planned. However, using the new release of Opera for a week is probably about 6 days longer than I would be able to stand. Why?

The short answer: I’m pretty underwhelmed by Opera 10.60. It’s still buggy, unstable, and has some new stupid behavior that even the 10.10 release (which I also didn’t like) didn’t have.

The good

I’m breaking from my normal format here and I’m going to talk about the positive things up front. The reason for this is because I have less to say, so this part won’t take me as long.

Speed

Opera 10.60 for Linux is really fast. It renders pages noticeably faster than Firefox on the same machine, and is a lot more responsive in general — when opening new tabs, when loading Flash objects, pretty much everything (except for starting up, which I’ll get to later).

Opera’s responsiveness when compared to Firefox has always been one of the standout features for me; performance of my browsers has colored my opinion of them for years, and Opera 10.60 doesn’t disappoint in this arena. It seems much faster than 10.10, and I’m glad to see the Opera team is still keeping this as a priority.

Flexibility in the UI

Opera, like Chrome, is a tabs-on-top browser by default. However, unlike Chrome, you can change this. Seeing as how this was one of the things that caused me to abandon Chrome — even after a month or so solid of my using Chrome as my only browser, the tabs-on-top thing still drove me NUTS — I care less about it being the default arrangement as long as I can easily and instantly change it, and that’s still extremely easy to do in Opera 10.60.

In fact, my arrangement of things in Opera is quite unlike the default, out-of-the-box interface, and I like that I can still do that to my heart’s content. That to me has always been the biggest strength of Opera when compared to ALL other browsers. I’d like to see others follow suit, but the trend seems to be in the opposite direction these days (fewer options and LESS flexibility in the user interface), so I suspect as time passes, Opera will still be the only one that lets me put things where I want them, rather than force an awkward, inflexible interface down my throat.

Rendering looks nice

Sites like Facebook render so much nicer in Opera than they do in Firefox… there are a number of Facebook apps that render all goofy in Firefox, but they look just fine in Opera. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I’ve found this to be true for quite a while now, and 10.60 still continues that trend.

I haven’t encountered any difficulty rendering pages, even Flash based ones like Youtube seems to work okay (despite some complaints to the contrary on the Opera forums).

Most features still seem to be intact

And last but not least, Opera’s feature set to which I have grown accustomed seems to be largely intact. The integrated bittorrent capability still functions, bookmarks still synchronize without a hitch, and the speed dial is as I remember it.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Opera Widgets, but there seems to be more of those than ever, and the ones I played around with seem to work pretty well… better, in fact, than in previous versions.

The bad

Ok, here comes the rant. The “bad” so bothers me that I’m actually going to be going back to Firefox until some of this garbage is addressed. While performance is still pretty dismal in Firefox by comparison, these other things drive me crazy, and speed isn’t enough to make me want to put up with them.

Menus are off by default

What the heck is the obsession with everybody wanting to kill menus? File, Edit, View, Bookmarks, et al?

These are useful. They’re accessible with a single click. They’re a user interface norm from decades of use, and while that’s not always an excuse to keep doing things the same way, it IS an excuse when the reason for it is simplicity and intuitiveness.

Opera 10.60 ditched all of these menus out-of-the-box, and it took me a good 20 minutes or so of tinkering before I noticed the option to turn them back on.

While yes, I appreciate that they included an option to put them back, it was a pain to find that (I must have overlooked it a dozen times before I found it in the stupid lone, all-in-one menu on the tab bar) and it’s simply the wrong way to have the browser by default, period. This needs to be corrected. For the occasional odd person out there that has no need for all of the functionality included in the menus, an option to shut them off is fine… but to leave it off by default is just going to frustrate most users, myself included.

Fix this, guys. I realize that Microsoft has done this with Internet Explorer, and the rather uncreative interface designers at Mozilla have decided to copy Microsoft for their direction going forward, but come on, Opera! You guys have been innovating browser features and design for years and years… do you really feel you have to start copying what others are doing now? Especially with the worst trends that are going on out there in interface design?

Seriously… you’re not winning any fans this way. Worse still, you’re taking longtime fans such as myself and pushing me away by this kind of idiocy.

Instability

One of the reasons I stopped using Opera (back in November-ish) was because I got tired of it constantly crashing on me at random. At least three to four times a day it would completely barf for no apparent reason. No error messages, no cause given, just POOF! No browser!

Other times it would hang and become unresponsive while trying to do something simple, like do a Google search, click on a Facebook link, whatever.

Finally I got so tired of this, I stopped using it entirely, and moved on to Firefox, because despite my stability complaints about Firefox (which I still have), it was STILL more stable than Opera 10.00 and 10.10.

However, Opera 10.60 doesn’t really seem any better. It still crashes at random through what I would consider to be just average, normal browsing activity. It still hangs for no apparent reason at times, sometimes for a minute or more before becoming responsive again, and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for it… it’s not consistently on any given website, or in any given activity.

It’s just flaky. That’s all I can say.

Startup time

I’m running Linux Mint 9 64-bit, on a pretty beefy laptop (6GB of RAM, Core 2 Duo P9700 at 2.80 GHz). Even the rather sluggish Firefox 3.6.6 starts up pretty quickly on this computer. Opera 10.11 started almost instantly.

However, Opera 10.60 takes more than 30 seconds to start. The whole while, it has one of my CPU cores pegged at 100%. I have no idea what the hell it thinks it’s doing, but this is ridiculous and unacceptable behavior in this day and age.

When I click on the launcher for a browser, it shouldn’t do that. It should quickly and quietly launch and be ready to go in a few seconds at most.

Home button and search box nonsense

Opera has always had a rather odd setting in the preferences, under the “Advanced” tab under “Tabs” in the preferences window. There’s a checkbox called “Reuse current tab”.

I’ve discovered that while Opera has a search box you can put on the toolbar, it always navigates away from the focused tab when you use it, unless that “Reuse current tab” checkbox is unchecked.

That’s all this seemed to affect in past versions of Opera; it never bothered me. To me, unless a search box in the toolbar opens search results in a new tab, it’s kind of useless… if I’m looking at a webpage and feel the need to search for something, 99% of the time, I don’t WANT to navigate away from what I’m looking at. If I need to open a new tab up and THEN enter my search terms in the search box, I might as well just search from the address bar (in Opera if you open a new tab and type “g whatever” in the address bar, it’ll do a Google search for whatever).

To me, this makes the search box pretty much useless… unless “Reuse current tab” is unchecked. Then it opens search results in a new tab, no problem.

Until Opera 10.60. Yes, it still opens search results in a new tab… but now it also opens a new tab whenever I click on the Home button.

Really? Open the Home button in a new tab? Why on earth would I want to do that?

It’s utterly idiotic that “Reuse current tab” now controls BOTH behaviors. So I’m stuck with a choice of

1. Have the search box behave stupidly, rendering it useless, but have my Home button behave the way it should

or

2. Have the search box do what it should do, and open results in a new tab, but have the Home button behave in a counterintuitive, frustrating fashion.

I questioned this behavior on the Opera forums and got no useful answers, and I’ve dug and dug through every setting I could find in the browser, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to fix this.

Conclusion

I know some of this stuff seems petty and just minor annoyance-level stuff… and some of it is. However, when taken all together, it adds up to a more frustrating and annoying experience than Firefox gives me.

Considering my criticisms of Firefox (which I still have), I think that says something.

Opera 10.60 for Linux I actually find even less usable than 10.10. Yes, Opera 10.10 was unstable to the point of being unusable as well, but at least it didn’t have some of the other issues I enumerated here today (Home button stupidity, menus turned off by default, et al).

Unfortunately, I’m taking this as yet another indication of the downhill trend in browsers lately. Everybody is following Microsoft for interface ideas (which makes me gag, to be honest), and it seems like each subsequent release of things just sucks worse than the one that came before it.

I’ll be giving Opera a miss for the foreseeable future. Hopefully they correct some of this stuff in a future release, but until then, it’s back to Firefox for this guy.

– Trent

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53 thoughts on “Opera 10.60 for Linux: A rant

  1. Sure, because it took 20 minutes to see the option right in the menu bar, hidden in plain sight. For the rest of the mortals that like the menus, Menu >> Show Menu Bar. Damn hidden all right.

    As for instability and startup time, this looks like a corrupt setting in your profile. If you have the time, rename (or delete) your old profile and let opera create it again with the default values and see what happens. Again, this looks like an issue specific to your configuration more than a general Opera issue, you better go to the Opera forums for better instructions.

    Opening search queries in new windows looks like a bug regardless of the reuse tab option. For me clicking on the home button goes to the home page in the same tab, again, it looks like something is messed in your preferences.

    And yes, unless you clean your preferences those will be there by the next time you try a new version of Opera, even if you remove Opera itself.


    • Sure, because it took 20 minutes to see the option right in the menu bar, hidden in plain sight. For the rest of the mortals that like the menus, Menu >> Show Menu Bar. Damn hidden all right.

      And you’ve never missed something obvious before? Must be nice to be so omniscient!


      As for instability and startup time, this looks like a corrupt setting in your profile. If you have the time, rename (or delete) your old profile and let opera create it again with the default values and see what happens. Again, this looks like an issue specific to your configuration more than a general Opera issue, you better go to the Opera forums for better instructions.

      Opening search queries in new windows looks like a bug regardless of the reuse tab option. For me clicking on the home button goes to the home page in the same tab, again, it looks like something is messed in your preferences.

      And yes, unless you clean your preferences those will be there by the next time you try a new version of Opera, even if you remove Opera itself.

      Just to humor you, I’ve done one better. I’ve completely uninstalled Opera, and then manually deleted my ~/.opera directory.

      Then I re-downloaded Opera 10.60 from Opera’s website and reinstalled it fresh.

      The search bar still doesn’t put search results in a new tab unless the “Reuse current tab” option in the preferences is unchecked.

      However, when that’s unchecked, now the Home button opens a new tab (and it SHOULDN’T).

      So that’s obviously not a problem with my configuration. When “Reuse current tab” is checked, one thing works and another is broken… when it’s unchecked, the first thing is then broken, but the other thing works.

      There’s apparently no correct answer for this in Opera 10.60.

      And after a fresh reinstall from scratch with a fresh profile, it still takes roughly 30 seconds or so of processor-intensive cranking for Opera to start. FAIL.

      So that’s obviously not a problem with my configuration either.

      As for instability, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and run Opera for another day, since my .opera folder could well have had something in it that was causing it to crash, though I doubt that very much.

      And as for your condescending attitude about “you better go to the Opera forums for better instructions”, you can stuff that.

      If you’d bothered to read this before commenting, you’d notice that I’ve been to the Opera forums.

      I’ve also been an Opera user since 1998. I know my way around this browser pretty well, thank you very much.

      Prior to ranting about anything like this, I always check the forums and the help/support documentation so that I can make sure I’m not just missing something or overlooking a setting.

  2. Overlooking the option is perfectly normal for someone used to the old ways, but not mentioning that it was right in your face implies that it was buried deep somewhere and thats not the case here.

    In practice, most people almost never use the menu and were demanding a ribbon-like way for quite some time. Since this has become trendy the Opera team decided to allow this behavior and make it default, but as usual they leave the option to revert to the menu bar, so this is not a big deal.

    I mentioned the forums in a very specific context (try doing this, if it fail go to the forums for more help), dunno the reason for being that defensive in your answer. There was no other implication there and I think you are reading too much in my words (granted, this is partially my fault, I was a little too sarcastic in the first paragraph)

    In general, opinions regarding Opera 10.60 has been positive so far. If it were as instable as you imply I’m sure lot of people would be complaining by now and that doesn’t seems the case.

    If it takes 30 seconds in a cold start and it crash often in your box, obviously something is wrong somewhere. Be that a corrupt Opera profile, a buggy flash plugin, or something entirely different, but something is really messed up there. If you want to be fair, try to solve the issue, or at the very least try to figure out if is actually an Opera issue before pointing fingers. But this is your blog, so do as you wish.


    • If it takes 30 seconds in a cold start and it crash often in your box, obviously something is wrong somewhere.

      Agreed.


      Be that a corrupt Opera profile, a buggy flash plugin, or something entirely different, but something is really messed up there.

      Definitely. But considering that I deleted my Opera profile, and that it’s using the same Flash plugin as all of my other browsers, and only Opera seems to be having trouble, logically, it’s pretty obviously a problem with Opera.


      If you want to be fair, try to solve the issue, or at the very least try to figure out if is actually an Opera issue before pointing fingers.

      You mean like checking the Opera forums, reading through the help/support documentation, and even going as far as deleting my .opera directory? Yep, already did that. That’s why I’m going back to Firefox. This is obviously yet-another-Opera-release-that-needs-work.

      To go even further, I also installed Opera 10.60 on my other machine, which is running Peppermint and I’m encountering the same issues. And I’ve NEVER had Opera installed on it before, so we’re not dealing with a corrupt profile or some other nonsense like that.

      And again, I don’t run into any of these problems with Firefox or Chrome.

      Which is why I wrote this rant today. The last decent, stable version of Opera I’ve used was the 10.00 beta, which was some time last summer, if I recall correctly. Every regular release since then has been a complete train wreck, and 10.60 looks like it’s just as flaky as the last few.

      And if you think I’m being unfairly harsh, consider that I typically greatly prefer Opera over pretty much every other browser.

      But this kind of stuff just bugs the crap out of me, which leaves me having to choose the browser which annoys me the least. In this case, the winner is Firefox. Which sucks.

  3. I have been using Opera since version 2x when it used to be a paid browser. However since 10.10, it would leave a series of nsplugin error on my dmesg. The only way out is to disable few of the plugin folders but that makes Java unusable in Opera 10.60, Ruario and others have posted solutions and workarounds which don’t work on Ubuntu Karmic or Lucid. Sadly I am now forced to use Chrome which I find clunkier and sometimes has issues with dns but overall its stable and doesn’t have that annoying issue. The other inconvenience is that I Opera M2 was my default mail client for long, now I have to run Evolution which is another clunky affair. Opera needs to fix these bugs soon or they will start losing their loyal user base soon.

  4. I think some of your problems stem from the 64bit edition I had alot of crashes and High mem & cpu issues when I was running Kubuntu 64bit I’m currently running Kubuntu 32bit (do to a crash with KDE SC 4.5 which I couldnt recover from) and the 32bit edition seems to address 90% of your problems I’ve been using is exclusively since its release and have not had a single crash or hang and when I launch it its much faster then firefox I think its something with the 64 bit edition I had many problems with 10.10 on 64 bit.

  5. Personally, I prefer SeaMonkey over Opera. I like Opera, but it eels a bit odd.

    SeaMonkey didn’t perform some of the radical UI changed that Firefox did, so it’s been working the same and fine for years. Plus when Thunderbird 3 was just plain awful, SeaMonkey saved the day.

    Plus it’s much less memory intesnive than FF or TB, and feels a lot faster.

  6. Hi Trent,
    I know this isn’t going to help you, but here it goes anyway. I use Opera on a 2 year-old notebook, an Acer Aspire One. Pretty.. NON-beefy (512 MB ram, Intel Atom N270 1.60 GHz, Fedora 13 XFCE).
    I upgraded to 10.60 a few days ago, and I’m still to experience a crash (I’m not saying they never happened with previous versions, but they were pretty rare for me, maybe once a week at most).
    The “missing” menu-bar isn’t an issue to me. I rarely use it (except during the first install configuration), and everything is available from the menu button. And because I’m on a netbook, it makes the actual browser display a little bigger, so I’m happy. But I understand your point, I was a little confused as well when it started being the default a few releases ago.
    I’ve just rebooted my netbook, and started Opera from fresh. No cheating. It took 5-6 seconds to start. Ok, it’s not lightning fast, but far from your 30 secs. What could be wrong in your setup? This is an odd one. Hope you get it sorted and share it with us.
    Good luck.

    • Well, as I keep pointing out:

      1) I get the exact same problems with Opera on both machines (one 32-bit, one 64-bit, one running Peppermint OS, the other running Mint 9)

      2) Both are completely fresh installs with new profiles

      3) I don’t have this problem with ANY other browsers on either machine

      Nothing’s wrong with my setup that I can see… I have no issues with any other browser, no other apps, no other stability issues.

      Only Opera gives me problems. Sounds like an Opera issue. At any rate, this release didn’t merit a full review, as I couldn’t stand running it for long enough to give it my usual “week minimum” evaluation period. Since that’s the case, all it gets is a rant. If they can fix some of this garbage in the next release, I’ll write up a full review. Until then, my rant stands.

      • Dude, I really cannot reproduce the startup problem you’re experiencing, it’s weird.. I now have Opera 10.60 running on Fedora 13 on an slooow netbook, I have it on my work laptop with Windows XP, and on an old-ish server with CentOS 5.5. I even have it on OpenSolaris (but only version 10.11). The fastest is on CentOS and WinXP with about 3-4 seconds to open. Maybe try a non-ubuntu based distro? I’m running out of ideas frankly.

        • Yeah, I’ve thought of that too. Unfortunately, I don’t have another machine at the moment, and I’m less-than-inclined to virtualize something just to test a browser for a week.

  7. Ok… just had a crash while reading the news… This isn’t good.. Hope it’s a one off, otherwise I might head the same direction of you, use the fox of the fire category!

  8. Me too. Allthough I didn’t experience any crashes, Opera 10.60 seems WAY faster and stable. However, I seriously hate the new UI. Their in-house GUI toolkit might be leaner and more cross-plattform than Qt, but it’s clearly still beta. Not only does the default (and all downloadable) skin suck, but MDI window movement is EXTREMELY sluggish. The overlay for the search box and address bar has likewise drawing delays. So that makes me wonder, why the in-browse canvas/svg/javascript is that fast, but the browser GUI itself so far behind. Maybe Opera should take a lead from Mozilla and implement their whole browser as Opera widget (and opera just becomes the new xulrunner).

    Bit still, I’m holding out. Usually they fix these things over time. And especially the Dragonfly debugger is more usable than Firefox and Firebug for me.

  9. For what it’s worth I’m running Kubuntu 64bit, I’ve not experienced a single crash and do not see the slow startup time you have mentioned.

    So it seems hard to point the finger of blame at Opera, however I’ve worked in IT long enough to realise that nothing is ever that simple! It’s just that from where I am sitting everything is working fine, if there was an inherent problem with Opera 10.6 shouldn’t everybody be in the same boat as you?

    Anyway, I hope you find a solution – and can only hope it doesn’t happen to me, I’d hate to have to switch away from Opera, nothing else comes close to delivering as good a browsing experience.

  10. I love the new Opera. My ubuntu laptop screen isn’t very tall so the thin tabs and small O icon (I removed the word menu) are great. Browsers are made to display content and I’m glad Opera has decided to remove all that clutter (I got tired of turning off the title bar and menus a long time ago).

    I’ve had no crashes and its much faster than firefox.

  11. Did you ever try with a non-Mint based distro? Correct me if I am wrong: But PepperMint OS is based on Mint too, right? So if there is a problem with the libraries or something then chances are that any problem that Mint might have is most likely present in PepperMint too.

    I’d therefore suggest you test from scratch with a new empty user profile and on different hardware if possible, using a different distro not directly related to Mint. And I’d recommend you always open the same set of pages in the same order, just to see if Opera’s crashes can be reproduced across distros.

    I myself use Ubuntu (both 32-bit and 64-bit) on lots of machines and MacOS and I don’t have any troubles whatsoever with Opera. My only gripe with them is that they stopped producing Solaris versions but that’s a different story …


    • Did you ever try with a non-Mint based distro? Correct me if I am wrong: But PepperMint OS is based on Mint too, right? So if there is a problem with the libraries or something then chances are that any problem that Mint might have is most likely present in PepperMint too.

      I used Slackware as my only distro up until about a year ago or so and used Opera then without issues. but that was Opera 9.6* and 10.00. I haven’t tried 10.60 on anything other than Mint 9 64-bit and Peppermint.

      And no, Peppermint isn’t based on Mint, it’s based on Lubuntu.

      And yes, it has occurred to me that it might be something Ubuntu-derivative-specific, but I’m not going to change operating systems for a browser. That’d be just silly.

      Particularly since my goal in this was to evaluate it for a review. My normal method of evaluating a browser so I can review it is to install it, run it for a week minimum, and write up my complete review of it.

      If the browser is intolerable for a period of time shorter than that week, it gets ditched, and it gets a rant, rather than a full review.

      Opera got a rant.

      And frankly, even if it is an issue with Ubuntu derivatives, it really isn’t my problem… if Opera offers a version specifically for Mint 64 (which they do), they should make sure it works okay on it, and I’m not troubleshooting their product for them, particularly since it’s not open source.

  12. I also use 64-bit linux (ubuntu) and was a long-time Opera fan. I also do not use it much anymore. The instability is the killer problem for me. It is too bad, because they had great potential.


    • The instability is the killer problem for me. It is too bad, because they had great potential.

      I agree 100%. I was a longtime Opera user, and their big problems started with their 9.50 release. I struggled with that one and finally started playing around with the beta of 10.00 and found that one rock solid.

      But when they did the actual release of 10.00, it was crap again. I don’t honestly know what they’re thinking over there… every release since then has been crap too, including 10.60.

      To be blunt, I think if Opera wants to avoid continuing their circling the drain, they need to open source their browser, or at least a past release of it.

      Let thousands and thousands of eyes see the code, rather than dozens. I want to see Opera great, and I don’t see that happening the way things have been going.

  13. Have you even considered loading opera in GDB (the GNU Debugger)? Make sure that it’s installed, and do “gdb opera”. At the prompt, type “run”. When Opera decides to crash, the reason should be displayed in the window and can be copied and pasted for further investigation. Also, the “backtrace” command gives you some hints on in what function the error occured.

  14. Opera is in the main Mint repository-still at version 10.11. Perhaps there’s a reason the Mint team hasn’t put 10.60 in its repository yet. Thanks Trent-while my mileage may vary, at least I’ve got confirmation that installing outside the main repository may not work as expected.

    • Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking too. Opera 10.11 isn’t the greatest by far — but it’s got less annoyances than 10.60 and it’s slightly more stable (at least on Mint anyway) by comparison too.

  15. Never been a big Opera fan, but the new Opera 10.60 is wicked fast.
    Only takes 5 seconds to start, and loads webpages instantly. Hasn’t crashed once, but neither has Firefox in months. The only bad thing I have noticed is it uses way more ram than either Firefox or Chrome.
    I personally like the menus all on one button, I do the same thing on Firefox using the Compact Menu 2 extension. Searches open in a new tab, I didn’t have to change any settings. Best version of Opera in years IMHO.

    Opera version 10.60.6386
    Debian sid kernel 2.6.32-5-686, 2 gb ram


    • Searches open in a new tab, I didn’t have to change any settings

      Ah… but hit the “Home” button. Does that open in a new tab as well?

    • While I agree with you that ‘Opera rocks’ your ‘plain stupid’ comment is not a good contribution to the discussion!!!

      • Well, to be fair, my rant on which you guys are all commenting could be distilled as “Opera 10.60 sucks”; I haven’t really much constructive to say. So his “Opera rocks and everybody saying otherwise is just plain stupid” is really just as valid as anything I’ve said.

  16. Huh.. I have been playing with Opera for awhile now. Mostly still use Firefox but like to toy with chrome and opera and I am not seeing the issues you are speaking of. I use 64 bit ubuntu and no crashes or instability so far that I can tell. and I figured out within a minute that the alt+f11 key combo brings back the menu bar if needed or wanted so I can’t agree with you here.

    • Yeah, the menu bar thing I just chalk up to my just being dumb for a while the other day; it is pretty obvious how to bring it back.

      However, I still disagree with menus being off by default. It’s counterintuitive, frustrating, and frankly not very innovative — it’s just copying other browsers, namely IE and Chrome (Firefox 4.0 doesn’t count, since it’s not out yet).

      I don’t get why they can’t do like the Midori browser… include an option to shut off the menus for those few who prefer it that way, but leave them on by default, which is the intuitive arrangement for most users (myself included).

  17. Wow! What a turnout! Might there be a relationship between Opera’s flexibility and stability? As a software developer, experience has taught me that (beyond a point) “more options” means “more options to fail”.

    Imagine the challenges a quality assurance team faces with this product. The permutation of environmental and operational combinations is impressive.

    Most products experience the bulk of their QA testing under a limited number of conditions. If you can find those “most commonly tested” conditions — and they work for you, it would be pretty stable.


    • Might there be a relationship between Opera’s flexibility and stability? As a software developer, experience has taught me that (beyond a point) “more options” means “more options to fail”.

      Hiya Dave! :)

      Yes, I do think there is a relationship between the two. In my experience, while Opera has always been a feature-rich browser, it’s really only been this flaky/buggy in the past year or two.

      As it turns out, Opera has introduced a flurry of new features and a completely revamped UI over the past two years, and I can’t help but think that there’s a correlation.

  18. I too stayed away from Opera for stability issues on my Ubuntu 64-bit. I came back when 10.60 finalized; so far it has been very stable, but, as you and others have noted, painfully slow to open. Also, I use the M2 mail client, something no one else has mentioned. The “Unread” folder now displays ALL messages, even those marked a read! Where is the benefit in having an “Unread” folder if it is going to act like that?

  19. A lot of those reasons I can understand, however, the reason browsers have been moving in the direction of not having a menu-bar enabled by default is to have more screen-realestate for the content and not for the browser window’s toolbars.

    While you may personally dis-agree with that, I absolutely love it. When I’m browsing the web I love to have the most content available on the screen vs. having so many toolbars.

    Not to mention, and Mozilla even mentioned this themselves, with technologies such as HTML5 coming in the future, web-apps will start having the ability to have their own in-browser toolbars or menus, and having a menu-bar for the browser taking up so many pixels of space just means less space for what you’re actually working with in the web-app.

    Oh, and speaking of Web-aps and such, Mozilla even mentioned something about why tabs would be better on top by default:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmgtW2Iw-kE

    But yeah, in the end, its all about “To each his own.” *shrugs*

    • I watched that Youtube video of theirs when they posted it. Basically, what I get from it (summarized) is “This is why we’re copying everyone else in our new UI. We don’t really have any other logical reasons.” Oh I know, they presented some BS about different roles of different UI zones, but that’s really all it was. BS.

  20. I installed Opera 10.60 from Mint (Isadora -64) and found it quite fast but unusable. The widgets created a condition that didn’t allow me to use Package Manager at all. Kept telling me I that a “malicious client may be eavesdropping on your session etc.” Once I removed the widgets Package Manager was available again. The second time I tried this Package manager would not work even if the widgets were removed. I had to un-install Opera and then reinstall everything related to the Panel before things worked once again.

  21. In this morning’s updates for Mint 9 my computer updated to Opera 10.60 from 10.11.

    While my problems aren’t anywhere near as serious as Trent’s, the update was unfortunate. Opera 10.60 is taking 2-3 times as long as FF, about 6 seconds, for a cold boot on my old P4-2.8 with 1 MB of RAM. Second boots, when I’ve had it open, closed it and open it again, are essentially instantaneous. Where I have two windows open and use Ctl-W to close one of them they both close, which is annoying. I haven’t yet looked to see if there is a setting to change that. I’ll also probably be mostly sticking to FF for a while.

  22. For crying out loud, linuxmint is buggy as hell, so you can blame your troubles on your own stupid choice of distro instead of OPERA.

    • If you say so. However, I don’t run into any of these problems with any other browser I’ve used on Mint 9 64-bit, including Firefox, Google Chrome, Chromium, and Midori.

  23. I have the same periodic hanging issue (actually, it hangs for a while on just about every page load), with opera 10.60 on linux *and* OS X. Other browsers on the same machines – no problem.

    Would love that solved…

  24. I used Opera 10.00 for months under Puppy4 — God it was buggy. Thing kept crashing all over the place, but it handled Youtube videos properly.

    Then I switched to 10.10 under Puppy5, which was more of the same — same buggy but OK with Youtube. Can’t seem to get Bittorrent thing to work, but that might be a missing lib.

    10.60 under Puppy5 was such a mixed bag. Yes it’s much faster. It crashed a lot less, but messed up Youtube to the point where I can’t even use it. And the menu is different. I don’t mind a hidden menu, just don’t change the menu on me. Now I have to redesign a new menu to mimic the old one.

    With regard to Home and Search — I couldn’t care less. The first thing I remove is speedial, FF, and Home. Now what might be nice is ContextMenu search on highlighted word that searches in a new tab, and not replace my existing page.

    God I miss 9.6. Everything was perfect, and it worked with the Breeze skin.

  25. Suse 11.2 64 bit, Opera 10.60 64 bit

    1) Mouse copy / paste broken. This can be remedied by totally shutting off JavaScript or adding a JavaScript patch.

    2) Repeated blowouts with no error message. No remedy for this.

    3) Some YouTube videos either won’t play or bomb out the browser entirely again with no error message.

    I’ve used linux Opera since the days when I had to pay for it. One word for this version:
    — Disgusting

  26. I took your advice (from another blog entry) and just moved to swiftfox (on Puppy5). Fast, works with Youtube, mostly reliable and it only took 3 addons to make it vaguely Opera-ish. (HideGUI, MenuTabs, DefaultFullZoom)

    Still crashed once or twice, but I keep 15-20 tabs open, and Puppy may be brittle.

  27. I also have issues with opera. It typically takes 30 seconds to load up.
    I hate the ribbon, and despite searching for hours to find a way to disable it, I reverted to 10.10 when I could not find any option, or any help to change it anywhere.
    I’m tempted to let opera finally upgrade and see if I can find the menu option, but I HATE THE RIBBON. I use alt-keys and menus constantly, and almost never use the mouse. The mouse is so slow.

    I find the search/home feature annoying as well. I also think the organization of all the options is really frustrating. I never know where to find a particulat option, and would rather have them in one place than over-sorted.
    I would also like much better documentation on changing options. And the default to open new tabs in the foreground instead of the background drives me nuts. I posted in the forums and searched for hours for an option, but nobody had accurate information. You can use Shift+ctrl+click to open in a new background tab, but it should be simple to switch.
    /rant

    You’re not the only one disappointed in Opera’s evolution.

  28. Maybe the slow initial start-ups are an OS property. I am using it in 2 XP Pro systems. Once I open it once, and sit through the long delay, all subsequent program runs are quick, until a reboot.
    Ribbons are for Fisher Price users.

  29. I have to say THANK YOU for finding that damn “show menu” option in that silly menu tab…menu. I thought I looked everywhere for it, menu tab,prefferences, appearance,about:config, Opera Community, google. In fact I ditched the latest Opera months ago in XP because of the all in one menu tab and couldnt find a way to restore the menu bar then either. XP has been running Opera 11.1 since for this very reason….I almost feel a bit silly but its pretty stable compared to latest Opera in my Deb install (second hard drive)or my new Peppermint Linux install(Virtual Box). Im sure some tweaking will help.
    Even after reading your “rant” about it being hidden in plain site I couldnt find it LOL. Of course I finally did after going through the entire menu and clicking on it, now I have the menu bar on and silly menu tab off.
    All is right with the world again.
    Thanks.
    Siggie.

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