Sunday, May 11, 2014

Consider Opera Dropped

So for a long time I've been using a rather ancient version of Opera, 12.17, as a part of testing the various web pages I make.  As of today, I will no longer be doing any testing in Opera, nor will I support Opera in future things I make.  The sad part about that is Opera is now almost indistinguishable from Chromium, which makes it harder to specifically avoid having things work in it.  To further this, I have uninstalled Opera 12.17 and Opera 21 from my computer.

What was the straw that broke the camel's back?  Well, the previous paragraph kind of foreshadowed it.  Opera 21.

Opera 21 is basically a re-skin of Chromium, with fewer features, and an auto-updater that can't be disabled.  It went so far as to completely avoid having nearly the range of features that Opera 12.17 had.  What it calls "themes" are really just background images for the speed dial.  You're unable to change the window border/title bar color away from the default Chromium blue, and it adopts the standard Chromium "let's ignore the user's OS theme settings entirely" school of thought.  At least 12.17 respected my theme.

Development-wise, Opera has always been a pain in the dick to work with.  I know it pushed for 100% standards-compliance, supposedly, but things that all other browsers I test in agreed upon, including Firefox which is fairly well standards-compliant, Opera would do differently.  Things would break in the most subtle, inexplicable, or unpredictable ways, often without any warning whatsoever, and finding workarounds was nigh impossible most of the time.

At least with Chromium, I can use SRWare Iron, which removes all of Google's fancy information collecting and privacy-compromising features from Chromium, almost making it not a toy browser.

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