Singing Opera

Last month, Opera celebrated its 10th anniversary by giving away free licenses of their browser. I took advantage of it because I was an Opera lover before Mozilla went 1.0. I installed the latest version of Opera and licensed my copy. I played for a bit, and then put it away.

For several months now, I've noticed that my Firefox is leaking memory like crazy. I don't know what's going on - is it an extension? Is it the core? I guess I could uninstall everything or use a different (new) profile to see if I have still the problem. I also suspect Gmail's web interface. Seems like if you leave that up for a couple of hours, the next thing you know Firefox is topping 80 - 100 MB of memory usage.

Instead of playing around, I decided to give Opera another whirl and I've been enjoying it immensely. I set up M2 (Opera's mail client) to do my Gmail via POP. It's a very slick mail client. I am not sure if it allows me to send HTML mail messages, but I'm not sure that I care either. I love its speed and simplicity. I also love the way it indexes mail and integrates so nicely with the browser.

I've also started loving the Opera interface all over again. The mouse gestures are awesome for when you don't want to take your hand off the mouse. The keyboard shortcuts are equally awesome for when you don't want to take your hands off the keyboard.

So, what's annoying? Lack of sites that support it. Gmail mostly works. The dialog box where you type in someone's name to send them a message doesn't work from time to time. But, M2 is working like a champ for that.

Some sites just don't recognize the Opera browser, and they let you know it. However, you can hit F12 and change Opera to emulate Firefox or IE. The problem is that the emulation isn't complete (or completely broken in the case of IE). However, it does let you fake out some of the sites some of the time. Also, when I use Safari on my Mac, I have similar issues.

All in all I'm having a great time with Opera. I think I'm going to continue to use it as my preferred browser for another week or two and give it a fair shake. It's certainly stable and doesn't seem to leak memory that badly. And those two things are worth alot to me.

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