SingingAboutOpera: Opera is the bestest web browser on the planet. And it's just got better. Go get it!

Folks, Opera 9.1 is out. I’ve been using the underdog’s favourite web browser for years, and following the developer tree (more on trees later) ever since ever. I love opera for too many reasons to count. But I’ll try:

  • Built in email client with spam filter that (mostly) works
  • Built in rss reader that integrates with the mail client so I can read email and rss both at the same time!
  • Excellent rendering, including clever zoom which scales the whole page layout including images and flash. Other browsers are only starting to do this – Opera has had it for years
  • Terrific page rendering all round. And it can lie, so those idiot sites that insist you use IE can usually be punched through too
  • Fast, incredibly memory efficient. 20 open windows is the norm for me, opera doesn’t break a sweat
  • Session memory. If I close opera, it restarts where I left off. Again, other browsers have only recently included this featurette
  • It’s completely standards 100% compliant (unlike other browsers I could mention) which means layout errors in my own webwork can be seen, and fixed
  • Works in Linux and Windows just fine, so my browser comes with me when I reboot

So why the new version, if it been so darned good for years, eh, Wulfie m’boy?

This is the first release of Opera where I’ve been able to see Google videos in Ubuntu. Dunno why, but it’s fixed, and works well. That’s a big plus for a start. Also, Opera 9 had a bad habit of locking at 100% CPU usage if there was something on a webpage it didn’t like. Probably badly coded flash, methinks. That prompted a restart of Opera and some cursing from me. That’s fixed too, and even with my heavy web use, this release of Opera is ticking along at just 3% CPU usage, 15% memory usage. Lovely stuff. Firefox with a single page open consumes more space, and as for IE…..well, the less said about IE’s memory and CPU usage, the better.

I’ve always used the opera-static version when installing to Ubuntu, just to be sure that all of the libraries play nice. It’s a slightly bigger download but the extra stability was worth it. With this version though, I’ve snarfed the “official* version for Ubuntu 6.1 so it’s using Ubuntu’s own libs for font rendering, etc. And it works just fine, which is nice.

There’s a few new features added too, the main one being fraud prevention. This warns you if you go to a site which isn’t what it first appears. Like, y’know, paypal scams. While it’s nice to see in the browser, I’d much rather see the law doing something to lock internet scum up. Technological fixes to things like viruses, spam and net fraud promote legal apathy. That’s a blogpost for another day though.

In short, Opera is the bestest web browser on the planet. And it’s just got better. Go get it!

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