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

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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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What Is Nontroppo’s Wonderful World of Visual Tutorials Missing?

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

I am sure that by now most of those folks who have been using Opera 8 or, at least, have visited the web site itself, have seen the superb tutorials that nontroppo has put together to show some of the most popular features from Opera’s latest version. The tutorials themselves can be found in here and after having gone through them I still got to learn a trick or two, even though I have been using Opera for some time now.

However, I couldn’t help noticing something missing. Something that takes more relevance, specially, with the latest version of the popular web browser: some audio. As you well know, for the first time ever in any web browser (as far as I know) Opera is introducing a voice component that will actually help you talk to it to surf the web and read stuff out loud to you. And I was just thinking that those tutorials would have been a whole lot better if nontroppo would have been using the concept of screencasting, introduced coined by Jon Udell where those tutorials could have been created with both a video and an audio component.

I bet they would have been a lot more effective and compelling than what they are already now. After all it is always more appealing to hear someone’s voice telling you about something than having to read it out yourself, right? More than anything else because you can just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. I wonder if they would get updated at some point using screencasting and see if it would have the same effect. I am sure they would not. Main reason being adding both audio and video to a tutorial is probably one of the most powerful ways of delivering information to an audience, wherever or whoever they may be. So let’s see what happens next time. We will keep on watching.

For the time being if you do want to have a look into what features have been put together do not hesitate to check out the tutorials. You will enjoy them ! Thanks much, nontroppo!!! for putting them together and help others discover Opera and its many great features. Way to go !