I’ve been an Opera user for several years along with being a Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox aficionado and now that Opera 8.01 is out, here are my thoughts.
First, what I like.
Easy to switch plugins on and off (F12 and you can turn on flash, Java, sound etc)
Fast (page rendering and generally as an application)
Works with Gmail (a big plus)
Easy to validate pages. (Type Ctrl-Alt-v on the page)
Small download (4.1MB) which includes not only a great browser, but a built-in, fully-functional e-mail client, IRC client and RSS reader. By comparison, Firefox is a 8.2MB download for just the browser. You have to download extensions separately and if you want to use Thunderbird for e-mail, that’s another 9.9MB, adding up to nearly 20MB to download.
Now the things I’m not so keen on.
The default of having the x on the tabs. I wrote about this before, but it’s easily remedied.
The default toolbar dropdown with the URL box.
Running spellcheck crashed the browser.
Ajax support is less than stellar (this may be due to the fact that people don’t often test on Opera)
Overall, I find that I’m using Opera about 80-90% of the time, and Firefox the other 10-20%.
Here are a few links related to Opera. First there’s a browser comparison done by Opera, then a discussion that goes off on a tangent, but the comment by Blimundus rung true. Then there’s another discussion about using Opera, and lastly, a review of Cnet’s review of Opera.
At least it’s being talked about.
I’ve also found the Unofficial Opera Blog to be quite informative, providing me with the latest Opera news.