Molly speaks up… #25

…Opera, the maestro…

there can be only one…

While I'm waiting for the next version of my favorite browser, I sometimes can't help but wonder why there has to be so many others. But, then again, there are multiple variants of everything imaginable in this world – even cats – so I guess the diversity comes natural.

If someone has come up with something good, there will always be copycats. Needless to say humans tend to copy all things bad also, but that's an entirely different matter altogether and definitely not relevant here.

At our place we have already found the optimum combination, and despite our long list of supported browsers only one graphical browser is regularly used for surfing. Doesn't look like we, or anybody else, can come up with reasons to change which one that is anytime soon.

Other browsers are copying Opera's main features an mass these days, and some are even doing a reasonably good job at it. Of course, that doesn't change the fact that Opera is several years ahead, and that forward-looking sites like our own were well prepared when the widespread copying took off.

That Opera has also been in the lead when it comes to CSS support for nearly a decade, certainly hasn't made us less prepared for the future. In fact, the only thing that has held us back is that some of the other browsers tended to mess up what they didn't understand and/or supported. If only those other browsers had stayed out of the way when they couldn't do better…

skin deep dislike…

Just to let y'all know that I've noticed some of the arguments against Opera, I'll respond to the following.

“Opera's logo looks ugly, and it doesn't come with an attractive skin”
― anonymous

Well, if look/feel comes first, then one can argue back and forth to kingdom come about personal preferences and alike across the entire browser-land. Sorry, but we needed a browser that worked, and can't see the point in spending much time or energy on unimportant matters. Opera works, and for what it's worth: we're quite comfortable with its native look/feel.

For those who want something different to look at around the edges when they're scanning and reading web documents: Opera is customizable. This means every single user can have not only ones own look/feel, but also ones preferred setup in quite some details.

“Opera doesn't have add-ons”
― anonymous

Yes, it does. However, most of what needs to be added to certain other browsers is already built into Opera, so having all that many add-ons doesn't really seem to make much sense. Of course, if one depends on add-ons then … why not.

Strangely enough: quite often when someone mention a Firefox add-on they “simply can't live without”, Opera has provided me with something better, equal or similar for years. Makes me wonder where the ideas to those Firefox add-ons come from…

We use a couple of developer add-ons to speed up the design process and for quality control, but otherwise we rely on Opera's native functionality set up to suit our own preferences. Serves us just fine.

The Opera Dragonfly looks like a good debugging tool that we don't have to do much to activate, so we'll probably use it when the needs arise. There will always be more one can add on, include or just use, but we will only do so if we see a need for it.

“so few uses Opera”
― anonymous

I'm not so sure about that. Statistics are unreliable. After all: Opera doesn't leave such large footprints as some other browsers on sites it has been visiting, since it doesn't repeatedly check up on and download files it has already “memorized”. Opera's strategy saves time and energy, but also leaves it statistically undercounted.

Add to that that Opera is the master of disguise and doesn't always tell sites who it is – in fact it sometimes doesn't tell them anything. This part of Opera's strategy isn't for fun, but a necessary trick in the fight against sites that block or serve “bad meals” and slanderous remarks to a good browser if it identifies itself. Sad, but true: apartheid mixed with stupidity on the web – see more below.

All statistics I have seen so far that points to few Opera users, comes from a limited number of domains aimed at people in the Western Hemisphere where unchecked popularity matters more than proven product quality. No wonder Opera is underrated and undercounted.

In parts of the world where quality matters more, statistics show that Opera tends to be used a lot more and in many cases outmaneuvers most if not all of its competitors – as it should. Some out here are quality-minded, you know.

Opera 10…

I keep a close watch for new and improved versions of any browser, and especially for new versions of Opera. Always something good from that direction, and, of course, Opera always makes me look my best.

The Opera version known as Peregrine is here, and I'll try to keep a close watch on its progress from alpha-stage to finished version. I can tell you right now that its performance is pretty impressive, but I'll leave out the superlatives till later. No doubt in my mind even at this early stage though: there can be only one…

browser detection gone bad:

Being in the lead in any area certainly has its price, as one then becomes the first to challenge the human bugs someone has placed before you in that area. Now the pretty moronic one digit only limitation in sloppy-made browser detection scripts put up on some sites, gets in the way of Opera 10.

I didn't see this one coming, mainly because we don't use, or need, browser detection scripts around here or on any sites my author is inwolved in. Doesn't seem to cause problems on any of the sites we rely on visiting as part of our daily routines either, so we can relax on the matter.

Clearly, this “one digit only” problem has to be fixed at the offending sites, as software used on the web will end up with version numbers in the two or more digit range sooner or later. Some are already there and encounter problems, and others will inevitably have to follow and run into the same problems.

While waiting for sites to fix their own detection scripts, Opera, the master of disguise, may have to pass unnamed and unnoticed through. No wonder the best browser on earth is underrepresented on statistics everywhere, when so many sites won't allow it in under its own name and version number.

You can bet I'll be back with more pretty soon, now that the Peregrine is flying for real. It's sure flying high, even in alpha…

sincerely  molly 'the cat'

Hageland 15.nov.2008
05.dec.2008 - note on Opera 10 alpha.
20.dec.2008 - note on one digit bug.
27.dec.2008 - added images.
08.feb.2009 - replaced Opera logo at the top. Also added comments on "so few uses Opera", and a few internal and external links.
26.feb.2009 - introduced a statement with an "acid3 in Opera 10" image, in right column.
28.feb.2009 - added "miscellaneous" links in right column.
14.mar.2009 - added "User JavaScripts" & "version history" links.
20.mar.2009 - added paragraph on add-ons.
last rev: 14.mar.2009

Molly speaks up…

Molly: …will you be good?
Opera: …even better.
Molly: …excellent.


  • introduction
  • Table of Content


  • this is PTL web-design
  • CSS sledgehammer
  • Lynx enhanced page
  • Print enhanced page
  • Projection enhanced
  • Small Screen enhanced page
  • validity of xhtml and CSS
  • html tidy
  • Opera and me
  • Firefox vs. IE
the usual
  • the author
  • Copyright
the unusual
  • Molly speaks up
  • more from Molly
the additional
  • Examples
  • Demo pages
external info:

… the author can not be made responsible for any harm done to and by this page and the rendering thereof, should the visitor be ignorant of all the hazards introduced by the use of any and all versions of Internet Explorer…


Yes, I can confirm that Opera 10 passes the acid 3 test.
download Opera

  1. be good.
  2. be better.
  3. be best.

Simple, ain't it?

Molly's corner…
…2008 - 2009
last rev: 20.mar.2009