E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Continued Commitment to Web Standards Support

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

You probably knew I would create another weblog about this particular topic since I have been a big fan of web standards all along as you can see from previous weblog entries I posted a few days ago. I just cannot be more glad to hear that Opera is still fully committed towards leading the space as far as web standards is concerned.

You probably have read already how Safari has been the first browser passing the Acid2 test (Way to go, folks, by the way !) but web standards do not stop there. Once you reach that goal you still need to be there and maintain yourself on the top and this is the reason why I know that Opera will be making it as well, regardless of what some people may say.

The race continues as both Opera and FireFox still need to pass that test and although FF is nearly there I am very confident that Opera will make it first. Time will tell. The important thing, though, as I mentioned earlier on, is the commitment and the ability to stay at the top as far as web standards support is concerned and this is the main priority from the Opera browser and if not check out these two quotes from Opera’s CEO Jon S. von Tetzchner on the recent Q&A session he held:

“In general, our goal is to stay on top as the most standards compliant browser. When it comes to the Acid2 test, it goes without saying that we will pass this test 100% in the future and that is a priority”

and

“We take standards very seriously. Opera is clearly a leader in the field and we aim to keep it that way. At the same time we will continue to work hard to make faulty pages work well. We will continue to do both, with even more focus and even more resources”

And if you read some more further on you will get some more details about this full commitment to continue bringing us the best Internet browsing experience around to Opera’s users and partners (one last quote):

“Our aim is to continue being the leader in web standards. We continue to work hard on implementing all relevant standards and we are quite active in the standards community as well. We have just added SVG support and we have had CSS2.1 support for quite some time. We have also started adding CSS3 support. XForms support is being discussed. We believe Webforms 2.0 makes more sense on the client side, but we do listen to our users and partners. We take accessibility quite seriously and our aim is to be the leader there as well, both when it comes to the standards and to adding features, such as zooming, single-key keyboard shortcuts, voice integration, etc. I hope that answers your question”

What else can you expect to convince yourself to switch over, eh? I doubt there would be anything else to be honest. At least, I couldn’t find it.

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“I Use Opera for Everything”

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

As you may have seen / read already Opera’s CEO, Jon S. von Tetzchner, has just published the first round of Q&A that he has carried out with questions from other Opera users. And, like Opera Watch, Louis or Haavard, I am going to make some comments about the overall event. In general, I enjoyed reading throughout the different Q&A as it shows that people do care about what Opera is and where it will be heading in the near future and Jon’s answers have been all too interesting and, in some cases, thought provoking (more to come on that later on).

However, there was one particular question for which I really enjoyed reading the answer Jon provided:

Question from Holger, Germany: “Are you using Opera yourself, including the Mail and News client? Do you have a Opera pet peeve?”

Answer: “Yes Holger, I use Opera for everything, including browsing, mail, news (nntp), news feeds (RSS), chat, presentations (Opera Show), downloads, etc. I push the guys a lot on making sure Opera continues to work well on old computers. I have a 486 at home for testing to make sure that is the case…”

Indeed, the number one key factor to success in every product that is out there is walk the talk and I am glad to hear that Opera’s CEO is leading the pack in that respect. I am not sure what you would think about this folks, but having a CEO who is using his own product and tell you he gets his work done throughout the day without having any productivity impact by just using that product is probably one of the best selling points there is. Any time someone can tell me about a product that does this I will be more than happy to come onboard and start using it. Like I have done with many other applications.

But in this case the clear winner is Opera. Who needs Matt Drudge when Opera’s CEO is just telling you that he uses Opera to carry out his daily job. What more proof do you need to realise the Opera folks do believe in their own product? Like I said, if you want to make it out there you will need to walk the talk. The rest will come naturally by itself.

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Learning Something New Everyday

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I meant to create a weblog entry on this subject a few days ago but I just couldn’t get my hands on it till today, so I thought I would share it over here now. As you well know I have been using Opera for a number of years and to me, without any doubt, it is one of the best Internet experiences around. However, what amazes me the most about using this web browser is not the lovely user interface, nor the speed, nor the security features, not the Internet Suite flavour, etc. etc. It is just that simply there is always something new to learn on a daily basis about what it can do.

I am sure most of us, Opera lovers, have been following up 30 Days to becoming an Opera8 Lover for a number of days already and every time there is something else to learn about our favourite browser. However, I noticed something that I am sure is not new for anybody who has used this browser already but I just thought I would weblog about it because I really like this feature. Have you tried the keystroke combination Ctrl + F?

That keystroke brings you the Find window to search for information while you are on a specific page. And while before it used to be a pop-up window it is now very nicely embedded in the browser itself so that when you press those keys the cursor will jump into the search option on the top right and you can start typing. the great beauty of this feature is that when you start typing it will highlight any text in that specific page and will scroll down for you, if needed. And that is really nice, specially if you need to look for a quick term in a long page with lots of text. Now you would just need to do Ctrl + F and off it goes, and all that without being as intrusive and annoying as it is with Internet Explorer, huh?

Indeed, and by the looks of it FireFox, at least, in version 1.0.3, has incorporate this feature as well, except that it is not embedded in the browser as such as it will eat up some space but it would still highlight the word(s) you may be looking for as you start typing the first character(s). Then you can close the window if you like. However, with Opera it stays there nicely and ready available to continue with some further searches whenever you need them. Pretty neat, eh? I know. And this is one of the things I really like about this web browser. There is always an interesting and innovative way of and finding and digesting through information and the way most things have been put together only contribute to make our Internet experience a lot more enjoyable ! So, way to go, folks !!! (whoever had that brilliant idea of integrating the Ctrl + F search with the browser user interface).


(Update) Thanks to Louis, over at subtitles, who just indicated on the attached set of comments that I should note that this feature is not turned on by default so if you would want to have it up and running in your Opera browser you would need to go to Tools > Preferences, then go to the Advanced tab and click on Search. From there onwards place a tick on the Use inline find in page option and click on Ok. No need to restart the browser, it will work straight out of the box. Thanks again, Louis ! Appreciated the feedback !

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Is It Really Opera’s Fault?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I seriously doubt it, I am afraid. And I will explain why. If you go into the following news article:: REVIEW: New Opera Browser Fails at Basics, published a little while ago and which I got my hands on through a good friend of mine, you will see that Anick is mentioning that Opera 8 is just a superb web browser with some really interesting and innovative new features put together. However, at the same time he is mentioning how some of the web sites he has visited to test the browser do not seem to be working well with Opera and will provide some kind of errors.

And I was wondering why as I was reading through the article. I was wondering why is it that Opera always gets blamed for not rendering some web sites properly, and only some particular web sites? Why is it always the web browser that gets blamed and not the developers of those web sites who have just ignored testing their web site against all the most popular web browsers or, even worse, who have not tried to follow the different web standards that are in place? Yet, Opera gets blamed for it.

This is certainly something that I have always considered very unfair and which has forced me to still use Internet Explorer every now and then. Quite frustrating because instead of making an effort to try to follow and adapt the web standards web developers still think that Internet Explorer and FireFox are what really matters when browsing the Web. Well, think again ! That is no longer the case. Web standards are becoming increasingly more and more popular and as such most web sites are starting to pay attention to these and as well know Opera is leading in those web standards compliance at the moment.

Take, for instance, free web mail services. In that Yahoo! news article it is mentioned how Opera does not seem to be working fine with Hotmail. But how many other web mail services do you know that do not work with it? So far, from all those I have played around with, none of them have failed (not even GMail.com). Another example, weblogging offerings. Apparently (I haven’t tried it out so can’t confirm), LiveJournal does not seem to be working fine with this web browser. However, WordPress does a superb job as can been read elsewhere. So, you see, Opera can work very well with plenty of web sites, but it needs to be let alone with them as it is supposed to.

People should be focusing more on advising web developers to update their web sites to become more compliant with the web standards than to indicate that Opera is great but it will not work with some web sites. And then suggest another browser to do the job, when that browser may not be the best option to handle those standards. Thank goodness we have got the Help > Report a site problem… menu option in the browser itself so that we, fans of web standards and web browsers who follow them closely (or, at least, try to), need to continue telling web developers that we are there and that we should not be ignored when they get busy developing their sites. After all we are their customers and as such they should be paying more attention to their users. Otherwise we may be venturing into other greener pastures.

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Just in Case Anybody Had Some Doubts Still

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I know that it has been mentioned how can people possibly compare web browsers like FireFox and Opera when they are both suiting people’s needs in many different ways, yet we seem to have a tendency to try to compare both of them to try to see which one is best at what they do. And like I mentioned earlier on, imho, this comparison is just like comparing oranges with apples. Both browsers help address completely different needs from different end-users and as such saying that one browser is much better than the other would be totally unfair, I would say.

However, there are a couple of web sites that people who may not know which web browser to use as their default browser should check out first before making a final decision as to what may be the choice for them. First one, and although I am not going to stop too much time on it, is the well known Acid2 Test where if you perform the test on Internet Explorer, FireFox and Opera you will be able to see that, although not 100% accurate (there is always some more room for improvement) Opera is the browser that best carries out the test, so you would say that Opera would be following the web standards better than any of the other two web browsers.

The second web site that is really worth while reading in order to help you make a decision as to what may be the best web browser for your needs, if one of those needs is speed, would be this one: Browser speed comparisons. This particular web site provides you with some really good benchmarks notes as to which web browser is the fastest out there. And here is a quote from the final statement after having done all the tests:

“Ok, ok. Firefox and Mozilla are clearly optimised for Linux, and Opera is clearly optimised for Windows. These optimisations are mostly obvious with the loading times, although there is also a little difference in the cache handling on the different operating systems. However, Opera seems to perform admirably well on most tasks, on any platform. When it comes to page rendering (tables, CSS or images), most of the major browsers perform very fast, with very little to distinguish between them. When it comes to scripts, Opera clearly holds its head above the others, nearly twice as fast as the others. The only one that comes close is Safari 2.0, but that is tied to the Tiger release of Mac OS (currently in preview).”

Or this other summarising comment:

“So overall, Opera seems to be the fastest browser for windows. Firefox is not faster than Internet Explorer, except for scripting, but for standards support, security and features, it is a better choice. However, it is still not as fast as Opera, and Opera also offers a high level of standards support, security and features.”

And finally, the third web site that would be worth while considering to take a look and see which one would be the best browser from a Web Browser Standards Support would be the following one: Web Browser Standards Support, where you can see how each of the different web browsers perform against a number of different web standards. Again, Opera comes on top with a pretty good score of 72% of web standards compliance while Internet Explorer is just at a mere 39% and FireFox is at 67%, not too bad.

So if you like to have some comparison benchmarks between each of the different web browsers have a look into all of them and, hopefully, that will help you make a decision as to choose your default web browser. However, if you hate comparisons, specially when they do not match very well you may want to try each of the different browsers for a while and see which one you like the most. I would bet that in most cases you would stick with Opera. But then again that is just my web surfing experience. Others may have a different one based on different needs. And that is the greatness of choice. Your choice!

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