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

From the blog

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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Pictures of the Week Now Open !

(Migrated weblog post from LSR)

Ever since I moved out to Gran Canaria, where I have lived now for about one year and seven months, most of my friends, family and colleague workers have asked me to share with them what it is like living in such a beautiful island. And after all that time I guess there is so much to tell that I just don’t know where to start. So over the weekend I have finally been enticed into creating a Flickr account of my own and start sharing some of the pictures I have been taken throughout all this time, so you get to see what I go through on a daily basis when checking out the island.

I am sure that most of you have already heard about Flickr.com and how easy it is to set it up to share your favourite pictures with others. I went there and created an account and started sharing some pictures I took recently. And I thought about getting started with ten pictures to see how it would go. So what I am planning to do now is every week I will update the Flickr account by adding another 10 new pictures I have taken during that same week and will add a few comments as well. For now you will be able to see those pictures directly embedded into the elsua‘s template on the bottom right of the screen.

If you would want to see a larger picture of the thumbnail just click on it and it will upload the original picture as it was taken. However, notice as well that I do have the original copy with the original file size but because most of them are over 2MB big, each, I am not going to share them there just yet. If you would be interested in any of the pictures just post a comment into this thread or send me an e-mail and I will send it out to you.

Ok, that was it ! Now go and enjoy some of the most beautiful things this island has got to offer: the North West coastline, Barranco de Berrazales, God’s Finger (El Dedo De Dios) and Barranco de Silva (where you can see the tallest bridge of the island), respectively.

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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 !