Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 4th Sep 2007 11:48 UTC, submitted by abdavidson
Opera Software Opera has released an alpha build of their upcoming 9.5 release. "Following the release of Opera 9 last year, we re-wrote Opera's rendering engine for the coming Opera 9.5 release. As a result, Opera 9.5 contains more than a year's worth of speed, standards and performance improvements."
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RE[6]: a few niggles
by Dave_K on Tue 4th Sep 2007 19:40 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: a few niggles"
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I kind of think that a simple "Advanced options" button would be a lot more funtional than including both.

How would such an option work?

If it displayed the 'advanced options' as a list then it's essentially just a menubar in a different form.

If it added a load of extra buttons to the existing toolbar, or added a massive new toolbar with those buttons, then (compared with pulling down a menu) it's adding extra steps every time you need to access one of those options.

Rather than simply pulling down the menu and releasing the mouse button over the option you want, you'd have to click the advanced options button, find the particular button you're looking for (not easy if you don't recognise a rarely used icon), then click the advanced options button again to remove all those unwanted buttons afterwards.

It seems to add extra complexity and waste time, while reducing the discoverability of the UI, without really improving anything.

For example, "Reload" button DOES indeedn duplicate funcionality.

Only in a very superficial and unimportant way. Reload is a very commonly used option; placed on a simple toolbar it's quick and easy to access. Hidden away in a menu, or placed on a cluttered toolbar, it would be a lot slower to use.

Many other options, for example browser configuration options that are rarely changed, would be nothing but clutter on most people's toolbars. The menubar provides a place to store them for the rare times when they do need to be accessed.

Personally I don't see the problem with duplicating functionality if it allows you to access that functionality more quickly.

Opera in particular has a lot of duplicated functionality; many options can be accessed using multiple different methods. Along with the the toolbars, menubar, keyboard shortcuts and contextual menus found in most apps, it also offers mouse gestures. All those methods can be used to access options like reloading a page.

Personally I think that extra choice is a good thing. Everyone is different and choice allows the user to find the method that's right for them.

Why not make the user select the most commonly used buttons on the first run and then make the less used ones useable under an another button?

Forcing the user to make that kind of choice when they first run the application is a very bad idea.

A totally new user wouldn't know what specific options they'd be using often, they may not even know what a lot of of the options were for. A new user could easily end up with a virtually unusable configuration that might put them off the browser.

You're also ignoring how impatient people are to get started, I've seen plenty of people click through installation dialogs without reading them. Always selecting the default configuration, rather than looking at custom installation options.

Providing users with a default configuration that's familiar (i.e. not to different from other apps), provides the most commonly used options, and is easy to configure after installation, seems like a better option. That's basically what Opera provides now.

Yes, I might be one of the few, but I personally hate apps that duplicate functionality by including both menubar and toolbar. It's a waste of space and time.

To me an overloaded toolbar that tries to contain every option would be a huge space and time waster. It's not like the thin slice of screen space taken up by a menubar is that significant.

Based on my experience I think that you probably are one of very few people who are bothered by this. The combination of a toolbar and menubar has been a standard feature of most GUI apps for the last 15-20 years, yet I've never seen anyone else complain about this perceived 'duplication of functionality'.

It's certainly not something that should be changed as the default just because you have a personal issue with it. Especially when it's so quick and easy to change and configure exactly how you like.

Toolbar is a better choice in the sense that brains remember figures and images better than meanings of a series of figures (a series of characters, for example).

Is that still true when it's overloaded with different options?

Bear in mind that with many applications you're talking about 100s of options, all having to be displayed as recognisable buttons.

More often that not I cut down on the number of toolbar options from the default, just keeping those that I use all the time. I find that simple toolbar, combined with a menubar for less commonly used options, much more efficient than just one or the other.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[7]: a few niggles
by WereCatf on Tue 4th Sep 2007 20:16 in reply to "RE[6]: a few niggles"
WereCatf Member since:

Yeah, as I said, it's a personal preference ;) And I know I am not one of the majority, but well...In my opinion the best option would be similar to Mac OS X: you'd get the menu bar in the panel. But oh well...

But I didn't know you can hide the menubar in Opera. I haven't browsed through the preferences, but since I haven't seen that option in ANY app before I just assumed it wouldn't be in Opera either.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[8]: a few niggles
by abdavidson on Wed 5th Sep 2007 04:15 in reply to "RE[7]: a few niggles"
abdavidson Member since:

"but since I haven't seen that option in ANY app before I just assumed it wouldn't be in Opera either"

Without meaning to sound too fawning, there are not many applications out there that are as configurable as Opera is.

I know that sounds trite, but in my experience it is true.

Reply Parent Score: 2