Linked by David Adams on Fri 24th Dec 2004 16:29 UTC
Opera Software According to an article at, the first public beta of Opera 8 is available for free download. It adds voice input/output and a host of other niceties. Key new features include improved RSS handling, fit to window or paper width, a start-bar for easy access to the most commonly used functions, and automatic update checks. The beta release supports Windows only, but a general release is scheduled for early 2005.
Order by: Score:
It's really good
by Bruno on Fri 24th Dec 2004 16:46 UTC

I have to stay 10 days in bed,not even allowed to be on the net too much, so I thought I would try having some web pages read out loud to me. First I tried to see if Windows had any accessibility features for doing this, but gave up after 5 min. Then I saw the article about Opera on Slashdot, got it, tried it, and bought it. It's kind of cool to have Steven Hawkings reading stuff to you. The only thing is that when I registered, the version I got is 7, so I will have to spend an extra 15$ when 8 comes out, which seems a bit unfair. However I don't mind because the guys that make opera really do come up with many new features that then can be copied by firefox. I am really happy with it. It literally has TONS of features that would require pages to just list.

RE: It's really good
by Daniel de Kok on Fri 24th Dec 2004 16:51 UTC

According to the article you can use your 7.x key with 8.x. I have actively used Opera since about one and a half years ago, and I have to say that I couln't live without it...

by Alp on Fri 24th Dec 2004 16:55 UTC

Opera is by far the best browser in my opinion too. However both major releases 6.0 and 7.0 were indeed major with lots of improvements and a totally new experience compared to the earlier version. Now I am not sure 8.0 will be as impressive because it's just a rename of 7.60. What exactly is different between 8.0 and 7.54 apart from the voice related stuff?

v sooo
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Dec 2004 17:11 UTC
Changes.....and the new version number.
by Yogurth on Fri 24th Dec 2004 17:12 UTC

Opera is the best browser on the planet (sorry FF users but that is just the way it is) ;)

Anyway From Opera forum why the 8.0 version:


"As with the move to Opera 8.0, this seems to make sense from a tecnical point of view. Opera 8.0 has a new core, which has had a major overhaul, and the underlying technology is in fact vastly improved. In addition, the user interface has changed a lot too.

Forte Agent 2.0 was in a similar situation. They had to spend a lot of time rewriting the entire program using a different toolkit, which took a lot of time, effort and resources. To the end-user, everything appeared to be almost exactly the same as it used to. But the fact is that Agent 2.0 is a completely different program from Agent 1.

A lot of people complained about the upgrade fee, because they couldn't see all the major changes under the hood. Forte would have been wise to simply change the user interface a bit more, although people did expect more features, too.

In the case of Opera 8.0, there are also many changes under the hood, and they are not immediately obvious to most people. Does that mean that these major changes are simply irrelevant? Certainly not. And it does render the "marketing gimmick" argument moot. The biggest reason for moving to 8.0 is actually based on technical changes, both to the core and to the user interface. Calling this Opera 7.6 would simply be misleading from a technical perspective.

Add to this that the upgrade from Opera 7 to Opera 8 is actually completely free, and I think you will see that this was not a move to squeeze more money out of our customers. In fact, we've just given all Opera 7 customers a free upgrade, and added to this, we've changed our license terms so that there is only one license for all desktop platforms, which means that you can install Opera on any number of computers in your own home, regardless of the (desktop) operating system used. Yes, that's right. You can install the registered version of Opera as many times as you like with just a single license.

I hope that this will finally put all conspiracy theories to rest."


Preview to Beta Changelog for Opera Beta for Windows

Build: 7401
Released: December 23, 2004
Changes since 7.54u1
Changes Since Technical Preview 4

User Interface

Re-added window handling preference to first run start-up dialog.
Improved on the pop-up block notification. Click notifier to open the pop-up, page trash switches to attention state if the current page has a blocked pop-up, and items blocked from the current page are displayed in bold.
Added support for dynamic relayout of dialogs, including expanding dialogs. Changing skins, fonts, and so forth while dialogs are open will now relayout correctly.
Changes to "Windows" preferences; moved some options to an "Advanced" section, renamed Advanced MDI to Advanced Opera workspace.
Made "Delete private data" dialog expanding.
Simplified bookmark and bookmark folder properties dialogs.
Solved issue with saving of redirected images.

Default browser command prefix has changed from "browser" to "Opera".
The Voice button and "Speak" in hotclick/context menu now prompt Windows 2000 and XP users to download and install voice libraries if voice is not enabled.
Improved handling of URLs in bookmarks.

Messaging and newsfeeds
Avoid newsfeed update check getting stuck if server is down.
Improved handling of redirected newsfeeds.
List of chat servers updated and expanded.

The closed padlock icon for secure sites now appears inside the address field. Click to display security information concerning the site.
More information on non-errors will be presented in the JavaScript console when available.
Made sure links inside the JavaScript console launch in source viewer again.
Fixed authentication issue: pages can now be authenticated in any sequence.
Multiple fixes and enhancements related to ERA.
Fixed issue with non-US locales in the xml:lang attribute.
Fixed several rendering issues.

RE: 7.60->8.0
by emagius on Fri 24th Dec 2004 17:18 UTC

Licensing is a big change -- there's now a unified license that you can use across machines. Technology-wise, voice is the big thing. But the workaround for Google'd borked Gmail is in also place, along with a variety of small usability/compatiblity enhancements (fit-to-width page refactoring, history of closed tabs, an option to use simplistic Firefox-like tabs, etc.).

7.23->7.50 was probably a bigger jump forward than 7.54->8.0 is, but 8.0 is radically different from 7.0. They've got to bump the major version number sometime.

8.0 is a Marketing hype
by SpookyET on Fri 24th Dec 2004 17:54 UTC

The add crap that not many people want. How about adding good IMAP support to Opera Mail, HTML support to sending mails, more W3C standards?

It used to be 7.6.

The update
by Johan on Fri 24th Dec 2004 17:56 UTC

For a complete changelog:

I miss the WebForms implementation, though... It was said to be implemented in this release, IIRC. =/

can I tell the annoying opera ads to fsck off now?

Sure you can! You just have to pay up first! Personally I won't register until I get the option to keep those ads. They're acutally a Good Thing(TM) from time to time!

RE:Changes.....and the new version number.
by MvD on Fri 24th Dec 2004 18:20 UTC

Don't tell me what the best browser is. Use opera as much as you want, if its the best best tool for you, stick with it. I think FF is better suited for my needs. Anyway, there is nothing in Opera that's can't be added to FF (via extensions) as long as there is enough demand.l

Opera is really good
by Wondercool on Fri 24th Dec 2004 18:28 UTC

Opera is marvelleous

The new previews and beta are rocksolid and add new functionality again. I can recommend it to anybody.

The software is totally worth the 39 euro. Just think about it, it is probably the piece of software you use most in you r leisure time.
It's still miles ahead in features and speed to firefox. One small grunt: I wish Opera would add some sort of plugin functionality (not only skins and Netscape). I really like it that you can control your winamp or amarok from your browser.

re :SpookeyET
by P on Fri 24th Dec 2004 18:40 UTC

What's wrong with opera's current imap support? I've been using it for 2 months now, and I'm happy with it

new version check
by Yogurth on Fri 24th Dec 2004 18:50 UTC

"Implemented automated weekly version control to let user know whether there is a new release of Opera available. (Can be disabled by setting "Check For New Opera=0" in Opera6.ini.)"

"Check For New Opera=0"

does't work, instead use

"Check For New Opera=-1"

small help ;)

by JK on Fri 24th Dec 2004 19:44 UTC

Anyway, there is nothing in Opera that's can't be added to FF (via extensions) as long as there is enough demand.

Maybe someday every Opera feature will be available as a Firefox extension, but at the moment that isn't true. There are still loads of great features that are unique to Opera. That's why people still use it and will continue to use it.

why i abandoned Opera
by v on Fri 24th Dec 2004 19:47 UTC

Opera is an outstanding program and worth its price. But after using v7.x for a year I switched to Firefox mainly because I wanted image blocking and HTML copying. I was able to replicate almost all Opera's features that I liked in Firefox with extensions. The one I was not able to find yet is ability to disable tables. Opera's page download status bar would also be nice to have in Firefox.

Opera is absolutely brilliant
by The MESMERIC on Fri 24th Dec 2004 19:59 UTC

when running on Windows ..

Just downloading 8b1 but
by Andrew D on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:13 UTC

I understand why they've changed the version number given the amount of features and comments that the engine is an entirely new engine rather than a tinkering of the previous <=7.5x Presto engine.

You can see this by startup times and page render times I've found, running both 7.54 and 7.6p4 side by side. Big noticeable difference in speed.

As the Opera person said (quoted in previous post) they have made a rod to beat their back with the lack of major visual style change in the interface because people look at it and go "It hasn't changed so why a new version" completely ignoring or ignorant to the fact that everything beneath the hood has changed. This is a problem I remember all to well in one workplace where a director would come around asking to see what I'd done every day so I'd be sure to stick pointless buttons and bits on forms/pages so he could "see the progress". ;)

New features for me though that are worth their weight in gold are the:

. View Bar and Star Bar (Jeez... multiple ways to choose how you like it)
. Putting the blocked popups and closed page history accessible from main window.
. Fit to width (I was sceptical about this until I started using it... it's insanely handy)

I was thinking of paying up the new licence fee for 8 when I heard that the release would be under 8.0 but am impressed hearing that they've revised their licences (buy once, use anywhere now) and that 7.x to 8.0 will be a free upgrade too.

This is all very good.

Ugly to be precise
by Anand Pandey on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:26 UTC

I guess the opera team needs to add the eye-candy aspect to it . I use firefox now and the reason I chugged opera was that I never liked how opera looked. I took too much work to get it to fit to my need. Even with plenty real estate space on my laptop screen I would never have the crap of a sidebar a bookmark duplicate icons for the same task( back forward). Atmost the opera team can do is hire someone with aesthetic sense of things. Also its so lame that gmail does not work / supported by opera like mozilla. This despite opera being a software you pay for.

Re: Ugly to be precise
by Johan on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:36 UTC

Also its so lame that gmail does not work / supported by opera like mozilla.

Did you even bother to read the release notes? I guess not... =)

why i abandoned Opera
by Buck on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:37 UTC

What's with image blocking and HTML copying that is wrong in Opera??

Re Release notes
by Anand on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:38 UTC

No But I post this from opera 8 and gmail still complains about sign in anyway . This despite chcnging the user agent to mozilla.

by ac on Fri 24th Dec 2004 21:50 UTC

Please direct your complain to google.

by timh - on Fri 24th Dec 2004 22:43 UTC

I love Opera. Opera HAS to be great to still be alive and be the only major commercial browser out there that charges money to use it (or ADs).

I used to send complaints to Opera all the time asking for a free version with ADs.. I'm glade they took those suggestions from me (and other users ofcourse) into consideration

I like opera
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Dec 2004 22:52 UTC

Fast forward is a great feature.

Faster too...
by Anonymous on Fri 24th Dec 2004 23:12 UTC

One thing I hate about Firefox is it speed. It always gets so slow after a while.

v RE: yay!
by Stephen Smith on Sat 25th Dec 2004 00:10 UTC
re: Ugly to be precise
by JK on Sat 25th Dec 2004 01:00 UTC

I guess the opera team needs to add the eye-candy aspect to it . I use firefox now and the reason I chugged opera was that I never liked how opera looked.

You can change between Opera skins with a couple of clicks and there are dozens to chose from. If you prefer the Firefox look, there's a one click setup that changes Opera's skin and other settings to be like Firefox:

I took too much work to get it to fit to my need. Even with plenty real estate space on my laptop screen I would never have the crap of a sidebar a bookmark duplicate icons for the same task(back forward).

You can quickly turn off just about everything in the Opera UI, including the sidebar and any buttons/toolbars you don't use. All you need to do is right click on the UI feature and select an option, that hardly seems like a lot of work to me. It takes me a couple of minutes to quite heavily customise Opera, less time than it takes to download a different browser.

The voice feature ...
by Darius on Sat 25th Dec 2004 02:43 UTC

I dunno what's up with Opera 8, I dunno if they even released 7.6, but whatever ...

I have been using the voice feature extensively in the 7.6 beta and being visually impaired, I find myself using it instead of Firefox more and more. I'm not happy about losing some of my FF extensions though, especially the Adblock (screw filter.ini) and most importantly, the 'Nuke Anything' extensions. If I want to select an entire page to be read to me, sometimes there's a table with useless text in the way .. in Firefox, I could've just right clicked and 'Remove This Object.'

You are very correct

I really should proofread every single post i make on various news sites in the comments section. I learn valuable lessons when I get replies regarding the language and word usage and wrongly using caps.

I really do apologize.

by Gnomaniacal Perlmonger on Sat 25th Dec 2004 04:11 UTC



See the point? No point trolling each other.

To me, FF is the best. Free. Clean. Simple. Amen.

by fci on Sat 25th Dec 2004 07:03 UTC

If Opera got rid of its ads for its free version, what would people complain about then? that it isn't open source?

by timh - on Sat 25th Dec 2004 08:27 UTC

There will always be commercial software. Without commercial companies Linux would not be very popular.

How do you think most open source programmers get paid??

Some need to relize we live in a world of both closed and open software.

I really have no idea what you are talking about but i hope you are trying to bring the 'open source it and it will be better' arguement into a discussion regarding opera, i suggest go elsewhere to use firefox and be quiet.

by Gnomaniacal Perlmonger on Sat 25th Dec 2004 09:20 UTC

No!! You completely got me WRONG. I'm just saying two things.

1: Stop bitch each other. They are two completely different things.

2: I prefer FF over Opera.

I'm NOT saying commercial app is crap nor Opera should go OSS. Don't make me look like some stupid OSS trolling zealot.

WHAT difference does it actually make if the browser you're using is open source or closed source? Is it just the magical aura of open source that attracts you to use a specific browser? MOST of us (even the ones who like to consider themselves technically savvy or even do a little bit of programming), except perhaps FF developers or the hard-core geeks, do not change a thing in the source before they compile it. As a matter of fact, most of the non-gentoo users in the world do not compile their own web browser at all. So what's all the fuss about? It's free FFS. If you like it, use it. If you don't like it, don't use it. but do not start trolling about opensource.

WHAT difference does it actually make if the browser you're using is open source or closed source?
Debuggin. Fixing possible bugs on open source is usually faster than closed source because of the availabily of codes for the public in case of open source.
That has nothing to do with compilation whatsoever.

Opera *is* faster than Firefox
by anonymous on Sat 25th Dec 2004 11:42 UTC

don't spread fud, please!

browse with a 500mhz machine instead of your modded 2/3ghz pc and you'll see the difference!

oh, you're don't use many tabs and see no difference with only one tab open. then, please shut your mouth!

@Finalzone: But you forget that Opera doesn't lay on their backs for two years leaving Opera unchanged after a release. They have many hundreds of Electrans reporting bugs and making feature suggestions every day. The Opera crowd really cares about the Electran-feedback and fixes bugs just as fast as the Mozilla crowd. You know, closed sourcecode is not the same as bad sourcecode.

I find Opera is more stable, faster and smaller than Firefox, despite Opera having far more features and chat/mail built in. In this case I see no evidence that opensource has led to more efficient and bug free code.

Opera is realy the best Web browser I have ever seen. I have installed both Firefox and Opera on my system, but sorry Firefox, Opera is much better than ya ;-)

Opera roxorz j00 boxorz
by Anonymous on Sun 26th Dec 2004 02:22 UTC

I switched from FF to Opera, never looked back.

Re:Opera roxorz j00 boxorz
by Pascal on Sun 26th Dec 2004 04:03 UTC

Some people switch from FF to Opera, others from Opera to FF. The two programs are just excelent. I prefer Firefox mainly because it is opensource which allows me to participate to its development and it's web developper extensions have no equivalent in any other software but I don't see Opera users as enemies.

The more people switching from IE to a good modern browser (Geecko-based, Opera, Safari), the better. Preserving choice on the web is what matters.

by GentleHatemonger on Sun 26th Dec 2004 07:48 UTC

War is an important factor in the Open Source/Quasi-Open Source world. It creates tensions between two or more groups and causes them to compete against each other, which is the best thing they can do.

I say let there be as much tension be as can be supported until the absolute breaking point and then it goes just past it in a surge of inspiration and creation.

People are more motivated by one-upping their enemy than by creating for creation's sake.

FF and Opera both have Pros and Cons
by Atari Assassin on Sun 26th Dec 2004 14:35 UTC

I think the voice is a cool feature but, i think it would get old really quick.

I have used Opera and its not a bad browser (better than IE for sure) but I do like the fact that FF comes pretty darn vanilla. As far as I know the built in email and IRC stuff is there no matter what. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Yet the one thing I do wish FF had was support for resizable tabbed windows. Opera was the first to have it (as far as I know) and I have my work using Avant for our web monitors *has to be IE based or it doesn't work so well*

its kinda cool to have a "command center" type of interface

@Atari Assassin
by Andrew D on Sun 26th Dec 2004 16:35 UTC

"I think the voice is a cool feature but, i think it would get old really quick."

You're missing the point. It's not (primarily) supposed to be a new toy for us uh... "computer afficianados" but an accessibility feature for sight impaired people.

I have a near blind acquaintance who is really really keen on it; getting pages read to them and being able to voice control the browser are both things that mean a lot to them.

by emagius on Sun 26th Dec 2004 18:13 UTC

As far as I know the built in email and IRC stuff is there no matter what. (correct me if I'm wrong)

Well, they're not loaded unless you use them. Besides, Opera with all the options enabled is still smaller and lighter than a naked Firefox.

@Atari Assassin
by Cal Green on Sun 26th Dec 2004 19:31 UTC

For visually impaired users, the voice feature isn't a novelty.

opera for me
by mrroman on Sun 26th Dec 2004 22:36 UTC

for me opera is not that good. it has worse page rendering than firefox or even ie. it doesn't have xml support. i know that it's fast and friendly. my friend uses it but he found that it has memory leaks, so it takes big amount of memory after few hours of using.

Opera fast but...
by kristof on Mon 27th Dec 2004 10:28 UTC

I mean opera is fast also UI wise it's much snappier than Firefox but even a simple test like this doesn't work in Opera

Opera: ---> Could not locate remote server

Firefox: ---> Goes straight to the content of

Opera: ---> Gmail does not currently support your browser.

Firefox: ---> Works just fine.

Opera: ---> try to move messages to the trash can, oops a no go

Firefox: ---> Works just fine.

Opera: ---> try to enter some numbers using your keyboard, they appear double.

Firefox: ---> Works just fine.

Opera: ---> the menu on top displays on two lines.

Firefox: ---> Works just fine.

I could go on and on about sites that do not render well in Opera. Maybe it's not all Opera's fault but that doesn't mean anything to the enduser that get's a bad experience using Opera. I mean if an opensource browser like Firefox can get it right surely they must be able to get it right.

Why would I pay for a browser that gives me a worse browsing experience while I can have a good one with Firefox, without all the IE related activeX crap

Re: Opera fast but...
by Peter Niles on Mon 27th Dec 2004 11:15 UTC

Strange about that hbvl site. Never seen that happen before. GMail is using non-standard features, that's why Opera didn't support it, but the support has been added in the preview and beta versions. Hotmail is broken, because it sends wrong javascript when it detects Opera. It has been tested and proven. It's Microsoft's fault.

I think Opera is worth paying for, it gives me a better experience than FF. Even though some people always finds some sites which doesn't work in Opera, the same could be said for FF. The best would be to let the site owners know about it, and maybe submit a bug rapport. Sites don't fix themselves you know ;)

Why I Prefer Opera
by Brad Clarke on Mon 27th Dec 2004 16:05 UTC

I've tried both Mozilla and Firefox, but on a 550 MHz PC, they are both significantly slower than IE 6 or Opera 7.x/8.x, to the point where I consider them painful to use.

The same thing applies to Thunderbird for e-mail - it's too slow on my aging systems.

Until the time comes when the Mozilla gang can write code that works well on old and new hardware, I have no choice but to stick to IE and Opera. One of these days I'll be able to afford a new system, but until then...

Why I like Opera
by Steven Haryanto on Mon 27th Dec 2004 17:06 UTC

To me, Opera is still the best browser. FF/Mozilla is of course a nice IE replacement, but Opera brings browsing experience to a new level.

Can you currently do this in Mozilla/FF/IE/whatever? Close/maximize/minimize/restore/reload all tabs with a single command. Open 10 or 20 bookmarks at once. Save all tabs, quit the browser, and have them all reopen the next time you start the browser. "Optical" zooming. Turn on/off images with a single keystroke. Turn on/off CSS with a single keystroke (_very_ useful for annoying sites with hard-to-read fonts & colors). FastForward. Provide a UI to customize all keyboard shortcuts. A nice, non-intrusive password manager/wand (no, I don't like the way IE and FF/Mozilla do it).

by AdamW on Mon 27th Dec 2004 22:17 UTC

"You know, closed sourcecode is not the same as bad sourcecode."


how can you possibly know?



@brad clarke:
by AdamW on Mon 27th Dec 2004 22:20 UTC

"I've tried both Mozilla and Firefox, but on a 550 MHz PC, they are both significantly slower than IE 6 or Opera 7.x/8.x, to the point where I consider them painful to use"

Dunno about Opera (haven't tried it in years) but I put Firefox on a 650MHz P3 with 128MB of RAM, and it's about the same speed as IE 6 for browsing. Loads slower, but that's all.

Not for me
by Dekkard on Tue 28th Dec 2004 00:22 UTC

i looked all over their download site.. they have builds for the popular distros.. but you need qt. I use nothing of the K gender.. so. i wont be using it. also if i really want the voice feature, i'll jsut use my ibook..

RE: Not for me
by N.N. on Tue 28th Dec 2004 01:14 UTC

> but you need qt. I use nothing of the K gender..
> so. i wont be using it

What do you have against QT? I haven't used Opera on Linux for a while, but most of the main interface is customizable so it shouldn't matter.

Greetings from Zoss, the Open Source Zealot
by Zoss on Tue 28th Dec 2004 08:17 UTC

Hello, I have returned from a 3 month nonstop coding session on my GPL software, the only license you should possibly consider licensing software under, to post again on OSnews! Not that I have problems using wonderful non-GPL free software like Firefox, as long as RMS says it's free software that's good enough for me.

there is nothing in Opera that's can't be added to FF (via extensions) as long as there is enough demand.

Finally someone who gets it! Don't even bother trying to argue that your software is better, you proprietary software zealots, because free software will remain HYPOTHETICALLY SUPERIOR to your proprietary software forever. It doesn't matter if proprietary software is better today, because at any moment your proprietary software vendor could go away and then POOF, your proprietary software is stagnant forever!

So in conclusion, don't use what's better now, use what will inevitably be better in the future if current trends continue!

This post brought to you by GNU/Linux!

by The MESMERIC on Tue 28th Dec 2004 18:26 UTC

I take it that your GNU/Linux app is showing on sourceforge right?

care to say which codebase you've been contributing to?

you know .. we want to offer our support and encouragement ;)

by The MESMERIC on Tue 28th Dec 2004 18:42 UTC

Why should a couple of flemish "weebsiitejs" bother me?

also why should I bother with crappy-coded non-conforming microsoft-arse-licking sites?

I mean if a site doesn't render properly they lose a customer - or worse their job.

Emailing a strong letter to the CEO of that company to have that lame webmaster fired.

If Opera doesn't render that small list - you should try Konqueror (which is what I use mostly).

Opera is good on Windows but on Linux ....

again its all about choice, and having mediocre webmasters put to sleep seems a good choice.

by kristof on Mon 3rd Jan 2005 11:02 UTC

Why should a couple of flemish "weebsiitejs (what the hell is that?)" bother me?

Coz it doesn't bother you doesn't mean it doesn't bother other people.

About the webmaster getting fired, what a load of crap as if the CEO even cares about the 3% Opera users, don't make me laugh.

Since when runs konqueror on windows?

Look it's all like the VHS vs Betamax history, it doesn't matter if sticking to standards is better, fact is that the dominating product will set the new standard and in this case it's microsoft Internet Explorer.

As long as peoples favorite websites are not supported by the browser they won't switch. Opera has more future as browser on the PDA and cellphone market than it will have on the desktop. Plus why pay for a browser when you can have an equally good or even better browser for free. Oh yeah and I hate ads.