After almost a decade and a half, I’m kicking the Opera browser to the curb.
I saw this coming when the President and founder of Opera was ejected from his company, reportedly over different visions of the future of the Opera browser.
I have seen the vision of the future of the Opera browser with Opera v. 26 for Windows and it is not pretty.
Most of the features that I most liked about Opera–its configurability, the integrated mail and RSS client, the integrated sidebar notes–are gone (though the mail and RSS client has been released as a separate program for Windows and seems to work quite nicely).
Over its history, Opera invented (and did not get much public credit for) many features that users of other browsers now take for granted, such as mouse gestures, the Speed Dial, integrated notes, and tabbed browsing, to mention four that have become second nature to my browsing habit. It’s “vision” seems now to involve gutting the product.
Since the management shake-up, Opera has ignored its Linux users. The most recent release for Linux, v. 12.16, was released nearly a year and a half ago (I guess I should be thankful, as it still retains the functionality that made me a loyal user and proponent of Opera for so long); nevertheless, more and more frequently I’ve encountered bumps along the information superhighway that have required me to open Firefox or Konqueror to view various websites.
Seamonkey is from Mozilla, as are Firefox and Thunderbird, but I find it preferable to either or both.* By installing plugins, I’ve been able to get mouse gestures, speed dial, and notes working in Seamonkey (the “notes” plugins I’ve tested are inferior to Opera’s sidebar notes, but I can live with that).
It’s been a good run, but it’s time for Opera to take its curtain calls, because the fat lady has sung and the Opera is done.
*In particular, I’ve never liked the Thunderbird interface; I find it klunky (that’s not a criticism; it’s just a matter of taste).