What About Opera?

Wired News talk with the Norwegian guys behind the “other” browser, Opera, and provide some interesting details on the browser (namely upcoming features.) The founder at Opera whines that Firefox stole their thunder, and wonders why Opera never took off. Well I’m here to help out:

  • The only popular browser that requires you to pay to use it, otherwise you’re stuck with ads.
  • Weird rendering decisions, such as text sizes.
  • Sites that work fine in Firefox and Internet Explorer don’t work right in Opera.
  • Due to above, most web designers don’t try to fix the problem with hacks because Opera represents a steady 1% of the browsing demographics.
  • Suffers from feature-creep, with ~70% of the features implemented not used by most people that download Opera.
  • Not open-source like Firefox.
  • Due to above reason, not as many extensions to extend the functionality of the browser, and allow people to “add their own flavor”.

That’s just off the top of my head, as I’m sure I could come up with a few more reasons. The general gist is that Opera needs to stop with the gimmicks, make their browser free, stop trying to follow in Microsoft’s footstep with IE quirks, and get rid of some of the bloat in the current browser.

Free Programs Replace Commercial Software

For every commercial software you can’t afford, or don’t want to spend money on, there are free software out there that are equal, and in most cases, better than their paid counterparts.

No, I’m not talking about illegally downloaded programs, I’m talking about freeware (or as some like to call them, pricelessware.) There are a couple of new sites where you can find out where the good freeware programs are at. There’s The 36 Best Free Utilities for your Computer (Apple and Windows) and then there’s the new online magazine, Free Software Magazine.

Some other great sites for freeware:

  • TinyApps – All the software that can fit on a simple floppy.
  • Clean Software – Software with no adware or spyware, and are simply clean and free.
  • Pricelessware – All the best freeware voted by free software geeks.

Mozilla Firefox Gifts For Christmas

Yesterday I got a Firefox mug, poster, and plushie toy purchased from the Mozilla Store. I’m a big fan of the Mozilla Firefox browser, as you may know. Here’s the thing, I don’t know if it’s a Secret Santa gift from someone at the 3DGPU forums (we do a secret santa thing to exchange gifts), or one of my many ex-girlfriends buying me gifts again to woo me back. I’m finding out if someone at the 3DGPU forums sent it, and if so, I can breathe a sigh of relief that I’m not being stalked again.