Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 11:23 UTC, submitted by ebasconp
Opera Software Opera 15, the brand new version of Opera based on Chromium and Blink, has been released today. I'm still missing a bookmarks bar and a bookmark import feature. Other than that, I'm really liking Opera 15. I hope they bring those two features back soon, because I cannot use a browser without them.
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RIP Opera
by Dave_K on Wed 3rd Jul 2013 13:20 UTC
Dave_K
Member since:
2005-11-16

I'm sure Opera 15's a nice alternative for people who like Chrome, but it's barely even related to the browser that I've loved using for over 15 years.

Along with the efficient use of system resources, the thing that set Opera apart for me was the incredibly feature rich and customisable user interface.

Even on my old laptop I could open as many tabs as I liked, and just as important I could strip down Opera's interface to make efficient use of limited space, yet still manage those tabs efficiently.

On my main PC, with a large monitor, I could spread out my pages using MDI (tiling pages side by side, etc.), make full use of the powerful sidebar, customise all my toolbars and menus to my liking, and generally make it fit my preferences perfectly.

What made Opera "Opera" to me was that I could turn it into MY browser, to fit my needs regardless of what I was running it on. It was the one and only browser that allowed this. Firefox doesn't come close, not even with a load of extensions.

Now Opera has become an even more of a stripped down one-size-fits all browser than many of its competitors. In fact, with extensions, Firefox feels much more like Opera than Opera 15 does (not least because many extension developers have copied Opera's built in features).

This isn't a matter of it being a new version that just needs to be developed further. The developers have made it clear that they're creating a stripped down browser to appeal to Chrome fans, not long term Opera users who appreciate its more powerful interface.

Even bookmarks have been declared unnecessary clutter by the developers. They may bow to pressure and put bookmarks in at some point, but the many unique features that made Opera such a flexible browser will not be returning. To me it's like Microsoft completely dropping the classic Windows desktop and expecting everyone to use (the interface formerly known as) Metro.

I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad move for Opera from a comercial standpoint. Opera has never broken out of its "power user" niche, while Chrome has grown to become the most popular browser. I can understand why they'd try this, but in my opinion it's still a shame that the world of computing has lost a unique, innovative, and powerful piece of software.

I'll keep on using classic Opera for now, but I'll have to think about switching to Firefox as Opera 12 becomes obsolete and insecure. For me web browsing will be a lot less fun and productive without it.

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