I’ve never been a fan of the Opera Browser. For a very long time it cost money, it’s still closed source, and I always hated the way new windows couldn’t leave the Opera frame.
That said, I’ve used it periodically over the years as my secondary browser. I often run a second browser for other tasks like phpMyAdmin, Google Reader, etc. For the last couple years I’ve used Chromium, which is the open source version of Chrome. If you’re a Chrome user, I highly recommend you switch to Chromium. It looks and acts exactly the same but helps prevent Google’s spying.
Anyway, Chromium started doing something odd to my desktop the other day. Chrome uses its own built in Flash player, and it started making bits and pieces of Flash videos appear in different places on my desktop, and not going away when I close Chrome. So today I grabbed Opera again.
Opera has arrived as a browser. Now all they need to do is go open source.
Keep in mind that all of my notes here are purely subjective. Opera feels a lot faster than Chrome. The interface is very snappy, and much smoother in the effects. Even Google Reader feels nicer in Opera than in Chrome.
Opera’s UI has caught up with the rest of the world as well. The tabs work well, smooth opening and closing, and even a little recycle bin to see old tabs. And *finally* you can middle click in the viewport to paste a URL, and they do it they way Firefox used to before FF4 removed so much functionality. Of course this only works in Linux, so if you want a top notch interface you have to come to the Light side. 😉
I’d like to point out that I’m not leaving Firefox. It’s far and away the best browser for developers, and the gold standard for rendering. But Opera is my new secondary for sure.