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The Fat Lady is about to open her mouth...

I've used Opera as my main browser for a very long time. It hasn't always been the most compatible of browsers, but it's been the slickest. Much of the functionality you now see in IE, Chrome and Firefox started out in Opera. I was an Opera fan. I even own (and yes, this does make me sound quite sad) an Opera t-shirt.

But woah, Opera 15 is a mess. A horrible, horrible mess. It hasn't just jumped the shark, it's done it dressed as a bad Fonzie impersonator.

The neat right click Paste-and-go has gone (I used to use that all the time). Buttons aren't customisable. You have to use a combined address bar / search bar (I'd much rather have these separate). You can't group tabs (important for those of us who often have 30 or 40 open tabs). There's now a silly little Downloads popup like Firefox uses, not the more sensible Downloads tab that previous versions of Opera had. The Settings menu seems to have far fewer options than it used to. Speed Dial has a mind of its own.

And there are no bookmarks. According to the developers, "nobody uses them". Who doesn't use bookmarks? You can import them into Speed Dial, but that's no use if like me, you've got a decade's worth of bookmarks nested in deep trees. Speed Dial is for the sites you look at every day, but you still need a way of saving pages that you may need to refer to in future.

So I need a new browser of choice. I use IE, Chrome and Firefox already on occasion. Chrome is the one I use the most after Opera, but that's mostly because I'm using Google services professionally. It's not very customisable.  I'd still tend to have Opera open on another monitor if I'm messing around on Analytics or AdWords in Chrome. Firefox seems old-fashioned and clunky (but since it's very customisable, is it easy to make it look nice and new and not clunky?) IE seems pretty good, but I've never quite got into how it works, and again it seems a little clunky. Should I try something a bit more exotic? Sleipnir? Seamonkey? Lunascape?

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
ford_prefect42
Jul. 26th, 2013 01:10 am (UTC)
stick with opera. Use chrome for the things Opera gets bitchy about. I hear your objections, but it's still WAY better than any of the rest for 90% of browsing.
andrewducker
Jul. 26th, 2013 07:54 am (UTC)
Yeah, Opera switching to use Webkit was a very odd choice.

I use Firefox, whicch works fantastically for me. Not had any problems with it for ages, and it has a visual redesign coming up in the next few months.

(And I couldn't live without TabMix Plus)
philmophlegm
Jul. 26th, 2013 08:57 am (UTC)
What does TabMix Plus do? And does Firefox cope with lots of tabs open - it used to struggle somewhat from personal experience? And any other extension recommendations?
andrewducker
Jul. 26th, 2013 09:44 am (UTC)
Firefox works fine with plenty of tabs - uses significantly less memory than Chrome:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/chrome-27-firefox-21-opera-next,3534-9.html

It also has a setting in it (defaulted to on, I believe) that only loads tabs when you switch to them - so if you launch Firefox and it loads your previous session with 30 tabs in it you don't have to wait while it loads all of them, just the current one.

TabMix Plus allows me to display tabs how I want, so I can default to opening new tabs from the address bar, have multiple rows of tabs, put close buttons on all of them (or not), etc. I also use Adblock Plus, and (at work) IETab for dealing with sites that only work in IE.
wellinghall
Jul. 26th, 2013 08:36 am (UTC)
It has to be Sleipnir, if only for the name! :-)
knirirr
Jul. 26th, 2013 09:18 am (UTC)
Chrome doesn't seem too bad to me, and I've stuck with that (works nicely on Mac and Linux), but it is indeed difficult to find a decent web browser.
sally_maria
Jul. 26th, 2013 07:05 pm (UTC)
I've been using Firefox since before version 1.0, so I freely admit I'm biased, but for me the ability to customise it to exactly what I want out of a browser is the most important thing.

The other browsers I know are pretty much all for Linux or Android, so I can't really advise you on those - I use Chromium as a back-up browser when I need one, but I wouldn't switch to it full time, for reasons that are more to do with how I personally feel about browsers rather than any particular objective fault.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )