Opera 9.5 – I still don’t get it

Opera 9.5 (codename “Kestrel”) has been released. This cycle has been repeating itself for years now: 1) a new version comes out that promises to resolve any issues with the previous version, 2) I try it out, 3) I’m immediately disappointed. This 9.5 is faster, which is always good. But the interface is still this weird mess of non-standard GUI, weird buttons and disorganized toolbars. Ok, maybe having the tabs bar on top in a good idea in some kind of theoretical interface ideal world, but not giving to users an easy option to switch to the more classic way of doing things (i.e. like firefox, safari, camino, epiphany, konqueror and all the others do) is just gonna alienize the potential users. Ok,maybe the interface is kinda more mac-like, but it’s still non-native and far away from what you expect from a mac application.

opera 9.5 toolbar
mmh, yeah, ok

I mean, come on, this “i” thing? It’s like you’re not even trying. As always, I’m sure Opera has tons of functionality and the best speed and bla bla bla, but it doesn’t look like it wants me to try it. I’m vain, I know.

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2 Responses to Opera 9.5 – I still don’t get it

  1. brianbommarito says:

    Actually, I have to say I agree with you on the non-standard UI of Opera.

    I used to use Opera as my daily browser due to the size, and memory usage, and even then it was fairly ugly to me. But, that’s not the least of the problems that it actually has.

  2. David Bloom says:

    I agree with your argument – Opera still has a long way to go in order to be where it needs to be. But you have to remember that this is an alpha release, so some features haven’t been completely “polished” yet. I think Opera 9.5 alpha looks substantially better on OS X than the current Firefox alphas, for example.

    In any case, here are some tweaks that may fix some of the problems you’ve encountered:

    You can disable the “i” button here: opera:config#SecurityPrefs|EnableTrustButton
    (I filed a bug with Opera telling them to make it look better on OS X….hopefully they can address it before the final release)

    You can change the order of the toolbars if you enable the “main bar” then move all the items from the “address bar” to the main bar. Not a clean workaround, I agree, but at least there’s a way. (For the record, Opera has had tabbed browsing for a very long time, and its implementation with tabs in the “theoretically perfect” place predates the addition of tabs in a less-perfect place for those other browsers!)

    Finally, there has been some fine tuning of the tab appearance in newer OS X snapshots (see http://my.opera.com/desktopteam to download these). The tab corners are rounded off and no longer “merge” into the titlebar.

    I encourage you to give Opera 9.5 another whirl and let yourself be heard in #weekly on irc.opera.com if something isn’t right – there are usually a few Opera folks in that channel who would be interested in hearing about it. 🙂

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