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Opera 9.50

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A couple of days ago I made the mistake of upgrading the Opera web browser on my laptop. I've regretted it ever since. In truth I didn't realise it was a major release as it was still release 9, but 9.50 turns out to be "Kestrel" which Opera themselves describe as "the new standard in Web browsing". The fan boys over at The Register think it's great.

I beg to differ, for the Linux version at least.

Let's quickly mention aesthetics: I really don't like what they've done to the tab bar, but that is only a visual thing and I'll get used to it.

More annoying is a very subtle change to the user interface which caused me some confusion initially. I kept thinking that I'd failed to successfully click on a hyperlink and then it turned out that I had. I eventually worked what was going on. Normally when you put your mouse over a hyperlink it changes to a hand with a raised index finger. All browsers use that meme and so does Opera. Click on the hyperlink and the mouse changes to some sort of "application busy" mouse (an hour glass, a clock or whatever). Again that's pretty standard and it gives you some feedback that something is happening ... but not with Opera any more. With Opera the mouse remains as a hand unless you move the mouse outside the hyperlink. So without the feedback you think you've failed to click on the link.

This sucks, big time.

And then there's a very curious problem with web forms. I use a webmail client called Squirrelmail to read my email. I can select several emails in my inbox by checking the checkboxes next to the emails and then click on the "Delete" button to delete them. That works fine on all browsers, including Opera until now. However with this release what happens is that the emails are deleted but when the inbox is redrawn the emails now occupying at the same positions as the deleted messages have their checkboxes checked. Does that make sense? It's a nightmare as I expect them all to be unchecked at this point. I've lost email as a result.

I'm now wondering if I can downgrade easily. I've still got the old release of Opera on my desktop PC so perhaps I can get it off there somehow.

Tags: linux Written 18/06/08


Previous comments about this article:

On 18/06/08 at 8:50pm Paul wrote:

It turns out that 9.27 is still available for download from Opera here so I was able to re-install 9.27. To get it working I had to rename ~/.opera and then copy selected elements back over the new install which took a while but at least I'm back on a usable release now. Phew.

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