If you want something doing properly…

Have you ever used that phrase “If you want something doing properly, do it yourself” ? It can be very frustrating when you rely on something or somebody and they just don’t deliver what you want.

I have been a user of the Opera browser since version 3.0 (It’s up to version 20 now). When I first started using it, it was an absolute delight to use. It was by far the fastest browser available and had some excellent features that are still not available in in other browsers unless you install a 3rd-party plug-in, or have been copied but implemented poorly. Back in those days, you had to pay for Opera, so you kind of expected something better than the rest. It became free several versions later.

After version 12, Opera decided to start anew. They dumped their existing HTML rendering engine and adopted the Chromium engine that is used in Google’s Chrome browser. They also dropped most of the other cool features that distinguished Opera from the rest, and the result is effectively a Chrome Clone. It supports most of the Chrome plug-ins, but not all of them, and thus it is not only a Chrome Clone, but an inferior one at that.

The Opera Community has also been dropped and replaced with a forum that doesn’t appear to be monitored by Opera staff on a regular basis. There have been lots of complaints about the disappearance of the cool features, but Opera insist that they are not going to reinstate them because it will run plug-ins.

On the one hand, I can see their point – why supply a monolithic browser full of features that many people don’t use? People who want those features can add them in. All true, but if that’s the case, what distinguishes Opera from Chrome, and makes you want to use Opera? Nothing. In fact, as it doesn’t support all plug-ins, Chrome becomes the better choice.

To make people want to use the new Opera, they should either reinstate the features people have been complaining are missing, or bundle Opera with a set of plug-ins that implement those features, which they can then choose to enable or disable as required. This would be a much more manageable approach to supplying a browser that stands out from the rest. Google concentrate on the rendering engine and Opera build a unique user interface around it.

Getting back to my original rant about “If you want something doing properly…”, this got me wondering jsut how difficult it would be. So I downloaded the Chromium engine and added it to a simple browser application that I put together in a matter of minutes. I now have a very simple, but fully-functional browser that I made myself, which encapsulates the Chromium engine, just as Chrome and Opera do. Now all I have to do is implement the features that I like from the older versions of Opera, and I have the best of both worlds. So when people ask me which browser I use, I’ll be able to say something like “Operatic Chromium”.

May 2, 2014 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Posted in: Computing, Internet

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