Opera Boggling: May 2005 Archives

And so I went pretty bitchcakes over the AP story that came out in the past day or so. That done, the press release providing more information came out (they re-used the headers/page title from the previous release - sloppy). Obviously it wasn't cobbled together because I was being picky, but it's nice that it's out. But now that it is, some questions remain. You'd think press releases would be a dime a dozen, and while I see the wisdom in keeping them paced and measured, perhaps this should have come out before the story went live on the AP wire. Someone dropped the ball there.

That done, I go back to one of my previous complaints, that sure, they want to be unambiguous about their message - and it's true, that Opera is safer - but I can't help but think they miss the point of addressing the larger issue, and in so doing set themselves up for a fall. Software will never be fully secure. More features, more problems. However Opera is more secure, and has a better security record, than any other browser out there.

Clarity shouldn't, and doesn't have to, be at the expense of misrepresentation. And it's not just about fulfilling a wider responsibility to tell people that software is inherently unsafe - that patching is mandatory; that's not necessarily Opera's job. But it's in Opera's self-interest to make it clear - secure as Opera is, like all other software, it will still have flaws. The minute you go waving the security banner all over the place is when you're going to get the bitch slapped out of you.

The analogy I choose to use right now is this. If Kerry hadn't been waving the flag quite so much about his Vietnam War heroism, it wouldn't have been quite so big a deal when Swift-Boat people lied about him, and his actions as a war protester got scrutinised the way they did. When you tout yourself so unmitigatedly as being one way and that is so rudely ripped away by facts or innuendo - you have no one to blame but yourself.

I'd have preferred it if they had put it in the broader concept of Speed, Security, Simplicity - so that it's an opportunity to talk about broader issues about how good their browser is, and to minimise an obsession with security, which is more prevalent in some senses than is healthy already in InterWeb society.

There's plenty of nuance in the release, but it is a bit single minded in its emphasis, and the headlines it generates will create to the casual user an inflated sense of expectation. And okay, they sent it to Harris to poll - how is this a "study" though. They polled, or they surveyed. And really, I've read the release a couple of times, I'm still not sure what the numbers are meant to mean, or what point they're trying to make out of it, other than Opera's Secure, Dude.

Great Expectations

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Opera (sort of) said they would implement some changes to Opera Blogs "in the next blogging period" - so presumably, come tomorrow, the 1st of June, we'll be bowled over by the wonderful new features and improved experience. If they do not at least put in an RSS feed, I will be boggling livid for at least a couple of days. Regarding some of their other ideas, I hope they've dried off.

I have a dark comedy of silliness to tell about the experience of the phone, but I'll save that for a more appropriate time.

I think I'm constantly impressed by the diversity of languages that now dominate the boggling landscape here, prolific voices all. That said quiris is catching up at a rate that defies imagination, and I'm pretty gob-smacked by the whole thing - surely we can't have that many Polish users? Well, whatever it is, as long as it's all kosher, I'm happy enough to relinquish top spot - staying there is a bit too much pressure.

Just to be clear though, that despite the fact that Opera are so coy about it, I've already told them that winning once is more than enough, so I'm not even in the running this month. If that's the reason quiris is catching up so rapidly, I'd tell him to chill out and back the fuck off :D.

I've just realised that I'm probably the only english boggler on the front page, which is (pardon me), rather boggling. I do however still feel strongly that there's plenty of room to grow in terms of numbers and quality of the bogglers. And what did I say, most of the one post wonders have pretty much fizzled out, and it's really only the hardcore ones who are still chugging along. Well, since things got fixed at least. Remember that?

I do wonder if there shouldn't be more guidance regarding the conduct of all this, especially a rough guide of suggestions as to what goes and what doesn't (or what shouldn't so often). I've also been putting together the idea of a message calender - perhaps a more co-ordinated approach to putting certain cases forward, and some suggested material to spark it all off.

Topics of the week perhaps, like standards, UI, bloat, security, speed etc. - it'd give the better bogglers some kind of framework to write around, in addition to their normal posts. I think just responding to press attention and Opera's release schedule and news about InterWeb Smurfing/FireVole etc. is fine, but there should be a will towards setting an agenda, rather than simply reacting to things as they occur. These would be picked by us though, and labeled as part of the series - we'd draft a bunch of suggestions and poll on it in MyOpera - so that we'd be independent of Opera's editorial approval. Important if we're going to discuss perhaps unpleasant things, like ads, ad-removal, pricing, gripes etc. We'll see.

And just to be clear, I am not, nor do I see myself as, headmaster. I argue so annoyingly and at such length because that's just me - when you show up, you show up to play. I'm ever willing to be convinced, but if you felt you were right, you would want to be as persuasive as possible, and stop people from making mistakes - yes/no?


And so I'm not saying that the results are not believable - on the contrary, I'm sure they do very much represent the general ignorance of the public - but I have a necessary bunch of queries and caveats. It seems strange that the surely more detailed study cited doesn't seem to be readily available online - at least not to the extent where the AP links to it in the article, I can find it on the MyOpera fora, or it's on the Opera main page/press releases. My initial suspicion is that it feels like the study's been slipped to the AP, and Opera feels it can gloss over the journalists and the fact that Opera are the ones responsible for a study that makes claims beneficial to them.

My little tin-foil antennae get raised in particular by the evasive construction of this sentence - "Many American online computer users are unaware that choice of browser affects Internet security, and few switch browsers even when they know the risk, a Norwegian study said Monday".

English, by and large is a pretty simple language - sentence construction, most of the time, if you wish to be clear, consists of subject, verb, object - in that order. Within that formulation, you put the active party in the subject of the sentence - ie you say who is doing what. In the quoted sentence, the subject of the sentence is very ostentatiously tucked away at the end where no one will notice. The subject of the sentence is Opera Software, who have commissioned or conducted the sstudy. For some reason the AP is colluding with Opera in eliding the fact that Opera commissioned a study in their own interest. The sentence should read,

Opera software (subject) commissioned (verb) a study (object), which claims that many American online users etc. etc.

Don't you think that's the thing you want to not wait till the second paragraph to make clear? The reason you put the people who are doing things in the subject of a sentence is so you know who is doing what. I, did, this. In the original sentence, "American online computer users" are the subject of the clause, perhaps, but not of the sentence. The sentence is about the study, the sub-clause of which concerns the "users" - so those responsible for the survey should be the most active and prominently placed. If ever I would argue for clarity, in particular clarity of agency, this is it. The subject should be the responsible party.

Aside from this little sleight, I'd like to think that if Opera were serious about this, they would get an independent polling company to do their polling, or an academic institution to write their study - people who are expected to objectively present information, rather than Opera themselves. But even as it is, if Opera wants to do it themselves, and it's cheaper/better that way, I don't particularly take issue - as long as the study is made public and I can be assured that peer-review has taken place. "A Study" suggests to me an academic endeavour that can be cited as an authority. Where has this been published? Does it have any association with an academic institution? Surely this is just the top-sheet results - where is the detailed data, in particular the polling model used, the assumptions presumed, the questions asked.

It's not that I don't believe them, and experience tells me that the figures they state are as accurate as you might expect - but when you do things, you do things properly, lest you do a big thing badly. And you choose the right person or organisation to present your message.

Opera's supporters should not a) propagate information this is not true, verified and credible (like the BSA, for instance) b) spread FUD where there is none c) accept all positive(-ish) press about Opera as "good" press.

Opera is a good enough browser that silly tricks - such as over-stating the danger of insecure browsers - is not (should not be) necessary. *I* trust that Opera is safe - that is *my* assertion, my endorsement. But IE 6 for XP (and XP only) is not *that* much more insecure to the point where there is imminent danger for all who use it and keep it patched.

Also, you do not put all your eggs in one basket - if your product is *only* Secure, you dig your own hole - eventually there will be flaws, and at that point you loose your message and credibility. When you preach only Security, you end up like FireVole, or worse, Netscape - hounded by every security flaw that's inevitably found. Then, there is no place to hide - in language, or elsewhere.

A great selling point if I ever. I saw it first on OperaWatch but it was everywhere. All the articles lead back to this post on the IE bog. Basically once you install Net'sCrap 8 (or the even more popular 8.01 - now *with* security), you can no longer use IE, or any part of its rendering engine, to view XML files. Which for me wouldn't be a big issue except that it means that I can't view histories in MSN Messenger - which are basically XML files rendered using IE. Who would have thought.

Conspiracy theories regarding AOL wanting to sabotage MSN Messenger users on the advent of the new AIM beta: transform and roll out. Oh, and a number of job vacancies opened up at Netscape - I wonder if it's related. (Could that have *been* a lamer joke?)

But yes, I've never known Opera to fuck things up in any way shape or form - but then it can't use IE's rendering engine. More features, more problems. For those that don't know, you can run a different version of Opera as simply as installing it into another folder - I'm honestly not even sure if it adds anything to the registry other than perhaps things that make it default browser (if you tell it to, not before), place it in the start menu etc.

I suppose I could write about Celebrity Love Island, but I think I'd rather just do a short thing on the chat client in Opera. The main thing being - ah, so it's pretty cool. I particularly like that the text ends up being so clearly presented. And that the smileys aren't ugly. I can't say I've ever really been a big fan of chat, perhaps earlier on, for fun to try it out, but otherwise, it always seemed like a kind of weird sub-culture. Of course I know of the IRC eye-patch boys, but then there's not really that much "chatting" going on is there. I suppose the best use of the chat client is for multiple user chat, though I suppose a more limited/controlled version of that would be via an IM client. I wonder at the efficiency of it all though, since it can seem to get pretty messy, and I'd imagine my fingers cramping up.

From which you can glean that Louis knows absolutely fuck-all about chat. Thanks for coming, tip your waitresses (servers?).

But yes, set Outlook to remind me for 7.30 on thursdays (am I that silly? I just made that mistake - friday).

Oh, and some clever monkey fixed something for me, so now javascript pop-ups pop up when I want them to. I think it even fixed CNN, though that's of less importance. I suppose I could take BBC out of the sandbox, but I don't see the point. You wonder if I should do a search to find out how to make MSNBC work. And I did.

I really don't mean this to be mean (except in my own sinister little roundabout way), but I'm a bit bored with what (and how) people write about Opera. I mean no particular offense to anybody, but there really should only be so many times people can write

1) Why I use/like Opera
2) Why you should switch to Opera
3) Why Opera is better than IE, FireVole
4) I heart Opera
5) This good review of Opera is great
6) This crap review of Opera didn't know what it was talking about
7) Did you know about this feature in Opera?
8) This guy slagged off Opera, let's go flame him
9) Click on my affiliate links so I can get a free license
10) I like writing 3 line posts so I can get more clicks and win a phone
11) Opera 8 is out!! (like, a month ago dude)
12) IE has tabbed browsing, FireBadger has this feature, Netscape is out, they all stole Opera's features, ha-ha their security sucks, (I think I'm trying to say that we have news feeds for a reason)

I'm not saying people shouldn't write about these things, and I can't as of right now quite say what else Opera Bogglers should write about, but surely people can be more interesting that this yes/no? And I suppose what I mean to say also is that a little nuance wouldn't kill anyone - sure we all use Opera, but booster hats are a "sometimes" cookie. I think in general it's also a matter of doing better rather than more.

I think I really appreciate the posts about the more technical aspects of Opera, I know the new userjs.org is something I was glad to hear about, though I can't honestly say that that many things about it set my heart aflutter quite yet. But yes, knowledgable technical posts are always raising a kind of bar.

Also I suppose, just as there are news feeds, where news belongs, there is also the forums, where discussions occur. So what is Opera Boggling about? I think I know - perhaps, maybe - but I think it's a question each Boggler needs to ask himself each time he puts the word Opera in one of his posts.

What is nicely gratifying is that I don't think I've yet encountered a boggling community that has quite as many languages saying "I heart Opera" - it's especially nice that it's not just the english bogs that are getting hits. But yes, a "why I use Opera" post in japanese/polish/mandarin is still just that.

But I think volume is also doing a good thing, in that there's only so long that things stay on the latest page, which tends to help drown out the attention seekers, and perhaps encourages more frequent calls for an RSS feed. Also it seems a good time to introduce things like "most visited post in the last 24/48 hours", so that the better posts are more readily evident. Oh, and if you'll notice, even people who post super frequently aren't necessarily climbing the charts - after a while, people figure out that you post crap.

My contrarian instincts are kicking in, and I really have to just say that I've yet to read a really good software review</>. Honestly the best ones are the ones that aren't reviews per-se, just little notes, on sites such as Neowin, that tell you what's special about the app, perhaps a blurb from the site etc. That is often the most useful - that along with the recommendation of sites that are staffed by real people who actually know things and use computers, not journalists to whom the "industry" is more important than the day to day usage. Good only to grouch.

Which brings me to the conveniently provided "positive reviews" that Opera chose to link to on www.opera.com. As reviews go, still hung up on "new features" - how "features" sets it apart. These people are stricken with the affliction of news. As any actual Opera user can tell you,

It's not about the features.

And even when it is about the features, it's something that really you take for granted, because people are being paid to innovate, and do so to put ease of use as much as possible within easy reach. I'm not saying you don't have to have the balls to make it so you're happy with it, it's just that you just don't expect things to be any other way. And it's not ugly.

The Boston Globe review is marginally better than the other two because it's about the company as much as it is about the browser - but then again it's just another one of those things to catch the world up on what's already passed them by - by someone to whom all this is some kind of revelation. Like someone just came on his face.

What is otherwise incensing me now is the fact that Delwyn (a friend of mine) made the decision of FireBadger based on the fact that cute bushy tail vs gay superman with red orgasm - who do you think is gonna hit dat? Maybe time Opera got a mascot worth a damn. I'm telling you, cute things make a lot of difference - without the penguin, you think linux users would get laid?

I really don't like writing about or responding to reviews and generally getting too involved in what so many people write about, but I thought it important to point things out about CNet and its inherent, but inconsistent, bias. CNet, quite rightly, is a profit driven enterprise, and all power to it for that. However, it's rather conspicuous in favouring its coverage towards the highest ends of the markets - writing about big ticket items like HDTVs, and more recently, cars.

Just a side note now to say that this penchent, as occurs with so many tech newspapers, leads to what the Inq refers to (at least in part) as Megahurts - basically the inflation of hype. There will always be a market for the new and the expensive, but in certain ways I'm always sceptical about how outlets, like CNet, encourage a "we have to have the best, who cares if it costs me my left testicle" attitude towards technology. They do this at least in part because that is where the advertisers are - though to be fair, the people paying the most have a right to read the most coverage.

But yes, CNet has never really struck me as a place that was shy about price - sure they'd warn you if something was hideously overpriced, but they often shrug it off as "well, you pay for the best". They've also tended to privilege "the best" in their ratings, over "value" - so very good things get a high rating, even if they are expensive. So the high ratings tend often to be reserved for the most expensive items with the most established reputations etc.

So when they decide to put that aside and say, well, Opera is a fantastic cutting edge browser suitable for early adopters (as if Opera were a constantly beta browser) but it's not worth it due to the fact that it costs money, I'm baffled beyond words.

I think the fact that they figure the cost and availability of tech support into the review should be a real issue to take with the way they do things - one time "support" for FireVole and IE cost as much, if not more than unlimited (if e-mail only) support from Opera. Which would be fair if they stuck to their ethos of "rate according to how good it is, not by how much value it provides" - since IE and FireBadger have phone support - but it's not at all borne out in their overall reviews of the browsers at hand.

You'll notice I'm not writing about the quality of, or a great deal about, the "substance" (who was it that said quotation marks of protest?) of the review, because if I did that, I'd want to bite my hands off with a spoon. Can anyone say flashily irrelevant?

And oh man do I regret it when I write these things, because it makes me think I need to tell everybody that I'm not really like that.

Oh, and I actually rather like Netscape now that I've played around with it for a bit - I'm really rather indifferent to it in relation to FireRodent. I don't mind saying, that the option to use IE rendering isn't the worst idea in the world.

I am failing to see how the fucking annoying (and really very untrue) warnings of - hey you're using a crappy browser - from people who should know better, are there to do anything other than piss me the fuck off.

I got it from Techwhack (welcome to Opera Blogs, my your name could be a not so funny but mildly scatological (unless semen doesn't count as excrement) joke). They point you to this crap and this crap.

I do not need to be condescended to constantly about how "your" browser is better. Agnosticism is what it's supposed to be about. Sure I trash FireVole, but not for its ability to render pages - if you conform to standards, who gives a flying fuck? I mean it's all fine as long as it's fun and games, but if you try goodger's page in IE, you the most jingoistic rant that you'd think they would want to remove from web culture forever, rather than perpetuating.

Fuckwit motherfuckers.

But yes, the hilarity of "rending engine", which I'll assume is intentional.

Isn't depraved vulgarity just fun?

But yes, you have an unsafe non-beta browser - what a cockmunching idiot you must really be.

I'm not doing it for "cred" - I don't have any - my middle name is hackety mchack. Ok, I'm figuring I'm being really very harsh on the Opera marketing people, but I'm assuming that they'd rather have something a little unvarnished in terms of feedback - though I'm not sure the splinters would have helped, even *with* lube bent over. I suppose what I neglected to say is that I'm absolutely fucking ecstatic that they even are bothering to keep all this going. And BEING SHOUTED AT probably never brought out the best in anybody. I do however feel suitably martyred by the fact that if I don't take some time off and stop typing/mousing so much and so promptly, RSI is going to bite so hard.

And so wonderful news, Opera Blogs is getting more attention, probably a little revamp, and they finally (I think) are on their way to sorting out the sorting bug. Well, at least I see posts breaking away from the pack, I'm not sure if that means anything though, since some of the latest posts are still pretty ancient.

Golden Showers never killed anybody. I really really can't see myself getting behind the whole linking-in business, but I applaud the enthusiasm, and the willingness to change, and the gesture towards forethought - but it really needs to be nudged a bit - and to be honest, all this requires greater input from a larger and more varied group of voices from within the community.

What I think they need is to stop thinking of it as a contest, and to start thinking of it as incentivising their boosters, with whom they have to be gently persuasive in both wooing and persuading. But it needs to be more than an afterthought, and it needs to not be about the trendiness of boggling - think Barry Goldwater, have some mushrooms and peyote (vision, get it?).

Yeah, I think I never quite grasped how much phones cost nowadays - the last time I bought a phone, sure, it wasn't cheap, but I wasn't spending quite this much. And I mean, really, I thought they were being sort of sponsored, or they had some kind of deal with the distributer or they had samples lying about. But the idea that they'd have to resort to paying retail? Crazy. And I mean, really fuck me crazy. Oh, and they're not being that silly and giving me a serial for Opera for Mobile (or whatever) - though to be fair, I did remind them before they had a chance to forget, and that really wouldn't cost them a cent.

And so like I said, I feel shatteringly ungrateful now. Not that I don't mean what I say about how things should be improved, and neither do I feel significantly bought off, but I'm starting to think all this might be a bit wasted on me. But yes, to anyone who's not quite grasped the coolness or cost of what you can get, this is pretty huge. Ok sure, it's not like they're fucking Oprah before tax, but you'd think it's a pretty big wad to blow every month of some fucker to grouses at them so much.

How can I judge without being ungrateful.

And so yes, slightly flabbergasted. I'd post the receipt, but that'd just be tawdry. Do you think it comes with its own nightstand?

I had been planning to do a post about their publicly available financial report, might move that up in the schedule.

But yes, really, I don't think I quite grasped how big the prize was, and it was nice those guys didn't succumb to me being annoying, and waited till the new model came out. But really, 2 cameras? what's that about?

Opera, Blah. I did an updated file for my previous post - Proxomitron Made Simple/Idiot-Proof - Advanced Ad-Blocking. The file url hasn't changed, but the rar file now extracts to a directory named Proxomitron Grypen, conveniently it won't over-write the old directory. Most of the caveats remain, but it's still simple, unrar, put the shortcut into your startup folder and you're off.

If you want to do a clean install and tweak it yourself, read my more recent post about Grypen. But this version I've tweaked to make it more usable. And my ads now show up, which took getting used to, but now things are more symmetrical.

Next is the Search.ini. But in the mean time, you can have a taster with my most recent search.ini. Not modified from version 5, just from 4, updated to 5. And pretty packed up top, and only for 8 (obviously).

Thumb-Sucking Bastards

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And yes, I am sucking my thumb until they - Opera - fucking fix the fucking latest page - I can't imagine that they actually want it this way. But that aside, a bunch of friendly newcomers have trooped over to grace the endeavour.

I'm sure there's a swell of butter in the aftermath of peoples' reviews coming out of Opera, and much flapping and rending. All part of the fun and games to be sure. Probably not exactly what the OSTF has in mind when it tries to tickle effluent. Much disappointment with the Washington Post though, you'd have wished perhaps for more political inflection. I think I've almost ceased to care about the fact of their lush - I'd rather wait for Thursday at Pumpkin Time.

And so apparently a swell of people eager to reward incumbency, and Polish(?) becoming particularly sought after? I wonder if they speak German or install English. I'm presuming the latter and have nostrils for the first.

It's not all position, as much is the kite-flying of fibre, sugar, and NewsRadio Tracker.

SpelChek has an annoying penchant for american spelling.

For those not familiar, the past few days of absolute gaping silence is more what my posting schedule has been like than otherwise. Which is why really I'm not too upset at the prospect of living with monthly archives.

But anyway, leaving the obligatory Opera reference aside (see what I did there?), the discovery I made over the weekend was Grypen's filters for Proxomitron, which are, excuse my french, the dog's bollocks. Which apparently is slang for out-side-standing.

Apparently they're based on JD's filters, and they work fantastically well, though there are always going to be one or two quirks. For those not faint of heart, just do a clean install of Proxo with his filters (like Opera, you can just install to a new directory - the startup shortcut just goes in the start menu). You start by installing this, then this. Then except for tweaking and setting your proxy, you're done.

I still say I'd rather have the non-nuclear option of Opera having better CSS filtering, but this is the next best thing. I suppose I'd like to do another idiot proof post, but I just suspect that no one gives a flying fuck. Though as always, it's just easy in terms of doing it for others. I wouldn't wonder if you could just install Proxo and then copy the files over, since I don't think the registry's even involved.

Personally I'd rather have CNet's front page back, and really it is a bit annoying smurfing my spite with ads - if only because of the flickery-ness of them. Oh, but SpelChek gets its ads well-filtered :).

Very Much Like Aslan

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Again with the confluence - but it is the events, rather than my them of the piecing. You'll know when you see me. And the really very very funny bits in Concrete Cow about Lion/Witch/Wardrobe - "Aslan's just going to piss you off". Oh and the reasonably promising trailer for the new Narnia movie. It makes me want to read the ones that I remember more resonantly - Dawn Treader and (Su-lin will soon inform me) the one with the iconic presence of "Under Me", or something to that effect. But I think the Dawn Treader contributes in no small extent to my affection for Golding. And I shall find the opportunity to at least try reading Starter For Ten. One of my very first spell-checked posts, how lovely. Though it's annoying in the sense that it doesn't let you manually edit straight away, and there is more than one step towards putting it all back; so I tend to just check and when it shows nothing wrong, to close it. And it finds all manner of silly things wrong, which is wrong of them and silly. And I really must do a follow up on my writing about embracing chaos - the title is handily supplied: Chaos, Control. Chaos, Control. You Like? You Like? It's probably a kind of wrong that bulimia summarises for me such a assertive sense of the will towards control. There probably really is something wrong with me going Sorkin crazy again, but at least now I'm going to fun things like doing a Mary Louise-Parker splash. And dreams about things, and my grandfather, and his death and his funeral. Very much like Aslan.

I normally like to space paragraph things, but when it's composed the way it is. And apparently Opera has decided to abdicate all responsibility. And I think I'm just a bit worn out from Optool. You really do need to restart after you first launch after updating. Klipfolio 3 will be a treat. Perhaps I should cover their striptease before the money-shot.

I don't know why I'm stepping into it the way I do, I can't help myself. And I'm not ragging on an individual, this is something I would go to great pains to correct in any number or shape of people.

Opera Watch decided to contact Norwegian embassies to see if they use Opera. The idea of "supporting the home team" - of gaining a level of utility from purchasing something that you are affiliated with - is well within the realm of expectation and behaviour. But for most people, the consideration of such utility tends to weigh less and less when you consider to yourself the relative price or cost of those affiliated goods, compared to those available better and more cheaply from somewhere else.

People *like* imports. Imports mean I can get better stuff cheaper than I could if I bought everything I wanted that was made within spitting distance of myself. I get a Norwegian Browser, I get Taiwanese designed and Chinese manufactured electronics, I get Japanese made optical media. Certain people and places make better things more cheaply than others; it's called comparative advantage. People *like* imports.

The warm fuzzy feeling you get from buying things made from where you're from tends to go away pretty quickly when you realise that where you're from can't make all great things cheaply all the time. If all things were equal, sure, why not get something to which you have a sentimental attachment. But.

What has to be made clear though is that this sentimental attachment does not translate into "helping" "your" own people. When you impose the consumption of a thing on people - the cost difference of which is not commensurate to the (surely very limited) sentiment derived from it - you are simply being counter-productive, and not a little wasteful. In addition, you are artificially propping up an industry which rational markets cannot sustain. At some point the economic forces at work will convince you more and more of how much you are costing yourself, and things will have to change. At which time the propped up industry will collapse - and fall further than it would have otherwise if it had not been propped up in the first place.

"By pursuing his own interest, he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good." Of which, more here.

Not least in public services, government should strive to use what is most economically rational. To do otherwise is to betray a trust between it and its people: not to waste the funds it collects in taxing the people. Governments serve a purpose, and it should fulfill that purpose with the least burden possible on the people that pay its wages - to do otherwise would be irresponsible.

I cannot honestly say that using Internet Explorer is in the economic interests of anybody, considering the amounts that can be required to secure it, or to clean up after its lack of security - in both the act and the loss of productivity. But to recommend Opera simply because it fulfills some masturbatory purpose is a corrupt kind of perversion.

How much more pride could you feel for the produce of your home, if you could not just say that it is yours, but that it is the best - and best not just as a thing, but best for any who would consider its purchase. "Hey, it's not very good, but we make it, so we use it - aren't we clever?"

Moreover, governments are the least capable of any to make decisions of industry - to be as arbitrary and cruel with its favour or neglect as to betray all sense. If wishing made it so - perhaps. National Champions are a very silly kind of toss.

Even when it comes to using Opera, there is, or there should be, a right and a wrong reason for it.

Neowin is reporting on Firefox reacting to the lunch of Opera 8. Apparently they decided to consult the Oracle this time to find out how *good* browsers do things.

I can't help but notice that one of the spanky *new features* is "instantaneous Back-Forward" - which in Opera is known as: *duh*, how back and forward have *always* been. And nary a mention of the fact that Opera has had this implemented for years now.

I mean I'm not one to harp on the fact that Mozilla, and in fact most Open Sauce projects, tend to get most of their ideas from existing proprietary products (they do it, admittedly, better than anyone else, in a good way), but this is one thing that Opera really needs to roll on the floor laughing about.

Talk about rediscovering the fucking wheel. I nearly fell off the floor.

Poor baby, can't figure out how to filter out those sites that don't work by adjusting the app's settings. And so now they're turning it into a more closed beta. Which is code for "we got bitchslapped by the bad press so we're gonna go off and tweak". I'm sure Opera users, of all people, will be savvy enough to realise that one size doesn't fit all, and that when people do stupid stuff with their sites, that things break, and if you want to get things just right, you're going to have to play with settings on your own rather than just stand there with your pants round your ankles. If things don't work with the GWA, just add that site's url to the exception list - is that so difficult?

From my experience using Web Accelerator, I can't say it was seamless, but I can't say it was particularly troublesome. I mean, I have more issues using Proxomitron or Opera than I had with Web Accelerator. And call me a sucker, but I got the impression it wasn't doing too bad a job. If nothing else, when viewing sequential pages, for example the individual entry pages of this bog, the pre-fetching was remarkably accurate and useful.

This seems to be the way things go nowadays, Google or someone launches something, people throw as much FUD at it as possible, and basically shame them into crawling away and sucking their collective thumbs. People have gotten so hyped up over conflated notions of information harvesting and over-fed kittens of *evil* - that sensible, helpful things get pilloried out the gate.

Oh and apparently it wasn't actually calculating the time saved per page, it was just extrapolating a guess-timate.

Though obviously I'm starting to feel that my view-point is in the minority (you're all hippy-dippy tie-died globalisation-protesting bastards :D), there's a wonderful discussion on various aspects of Opera Blogs going on in the forums. It really gladdens my heart to see people giving a crap. And really, very very good ideas being thrown about.

My particular favorite (because it's mine) is user filtered RSS feeds, so you only get the headlines from people you give a crap about. Also you get me talking about Why Opera Blogs is good/necessary. Am I on fire or what?

Oh and the rest of them make good points too :D. Especially about nonsense posting and a desire for more quality content, as opposed to quantity (whose premise, on principle, I sternly disagree with). But regardless, it's a discussion, which is more than I've been getting till now.

Mandatory reading, if you work for Opera, and can make things happen.

The Inq and /.. I'd like to put this in context of security flaws with Opera etc. but the effort escapes me.

Let the schadenfreude commence.

If only there were a convenient way of invoking the guy from the simpsons (Nelson?) who goes "ha-ha".

I thought the first comment on /. was particularly hilarious:

Uh oh! by kryogen1x (838672) on Sunday May 08, @10:16AM (#12467673)

Hey everyone let's use IE now, because it's safer than Firefox.

Oh, wait.

The actual Secunia advisory.

Optool 2.1 Beta Leaked

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Well, okay, nothing quite as dramatic as that, but while the documentation etc. for the "proper" beta test is being put together, I have what amounts to a very much working "teaser" of Optool 2.1. Not as big news as new Opera "Tech Preview", but still fun.

Download the setup file.

Blah blah - beta software - blah blah. From my own testing this build is as solid and usable as it gets. Please report bugs/make suggestions/comments at the Unofficial Optool Forums. Alternatively, you could contact Martin via the Optool site, but do everyone a favour and confirm the bugs in the forum before e-mailing him. The site also has documentation for the earlier builds of 2.0.

Please be aware that most if not all of the new features are undocumented - you'll just have to figure it out till the actual beta comes along. If you want you can have a look at the tentative changelog from a while ago - but just be aware that things have changed since then. Read the settings and pay attention to the tooltips and you'll be fine.

Oh, and you might want to uninstall older versions of Optool (if only as a precaution) - or basically just delete the folder with the .exe and .ini files.

From the Optool website:

Optool (formerly Operatool, now Optional Browser tool or Open-in-another-browser-tool - or whatever you like!) for MS Windows is a freeware utility which easily allows you to open a given web site in another browser. Use it if your preferred browser doesn't show the site properly or if you are a developer and want to check the page in several browsers without the hassle of cutting and pasting the URL.

Update: This was the beta changelog sent out to testers,

- Custom right click margin for long right clicks

- A 15% limit for long right clicks: no matter the custom margin, Optool will never claim more than 15 % of the window width. This is addressed to small popup windows, where eg. a 300 pixel margin would take far to much space up in a 400 pixels wide window, thus making mouse gestures etc. very difficult.

- The menu structure is more compact with for example "Close browsers"
grouped in a sub menu.

- The Window Resize Menu is only present if there are items present in the setup dialog. If you don't need the feature, there is no need to take up menu space.

- You can choose to hide disabled menu items instead of showing them grayed out.

- A nice "Go to Domain Root" feature which will navigate the browser to www.microsoft.com if your are at msdn.microsoft.com and so forth.

- Several bug fixes

Personally the biggest bug/feature fix was that now links are sent directly to Firefox, and you configure how FF reacts based on it's tab/window handling settings, instead of always opening in the same window/new window.

I just find it a bit annoying having to write about Opera Blogs as a subsection of the MyOpera Community forum. Sure it'll get seen more, but blah. So: The Unofficial Opera Blogs Forum.

My new RSS feed for the Fallingbeam.org forums is up - easiest mod *ever*. Pretty RSS icon doesn't show up in the address bar, but that's because I haven't a clue how to edit my headers. But now I do, thanks to this. The actual feed url is http://forum.fallingbeam.org/forum/rss.php. Oh, and now non-active users no longer show up on my userlist, so the spam bastards can bite me. I also trimmed my users, I've deleted everyone who had zero posts.

I've decided it's time there was one, while waiting for Opera to get things rolling. You can find it in the MyOpera forums. Add comments etc. if you have suggestions/comments, or you want things changed.

Also have a look at my poll about the current and future status of Opera Blogs.

As you've noticed, posts are suddenly appearing - that's because they just fixed something and everything has just refreshed - things will get back to normal once people start writing new posts.

I wrote about the GWA in a previous post, one that seemed rather popular with the Opera users in the forums. Hence an update.

Apparently their "web accelerator" might be doing something as simple as exploiting your isp's local cache. When I browse using it, my IP gets redirected to a different IP, identified as cache.myisp etc. Which makes me wonder first who's doing most of the work, whether my ISP should be offering this rather than Google etc. But I suppose ISPs are looking to minimise support issues as much as possible yes/no? And they probably don't mind people being efficient and using their cache. Still, it seems to take the mystique out of google's little miracle app.

Well, what this means is that if you belong to any registration based BT site, you're going to want to turn GWA off for those sites. Because if you don't you might not be able to down/upload, and your stats might not get counted - basically you'll be registering the site with a different IP than your BT client. You turn GWA off for those sites by going to the settings menu - right click on the system tray icon, under preferences. It'll launch the local web page with your settings in it, and you should add in the domains that you want to exclude, eg: .filelist.org, .uknova.com. Simple enough, but took me a bit to realise. That preferences menu is also quite useful to twiddling the settings of the app.

Adding the urls to the bypass list in Proxo isn't the way to go apparently, since that didn't make a difference (obvious to some, probably, but not to me). I'm assuming passing Azureus through the proxy would be ill-advised. If only because it'd clog up the traffic through the cache, and I think the cache is clever enough to stop that - well at least it was with the Uni network back in the old country.

Oh, and I find out that it makes a hash of handling me going to my admin panel on my forums, so that's out as well.

What Opera has done, with Opera 8 final, has been effectively to make the way it handles RSS feeds less agnostic - for all intents an purposes locking you in to using Opera as your main RSS client.

Okay, that's grossly overstating it. But that's what I do isn't it?

Anyway, the point is that it's now that bit more annoying if you use a third-party RSS feed reader. In the previous Opera 8 betas this wasn't so much of a problem, since when you clicked on the spanky RSS icon in the address bar, they would tell you the url that you were subscribing to - all the better to copy it an paste it into, say, Klipfolio. In Opera 8 they decided to simplify things - an admirable act, for which Opera should be applauded - but now they just show the title of the feed rather than the url - so no more easy copying and pasting.

Now if you want the url (which, as often as not is not available as a link on the page itself - which is why the address bar icon is so useful) you have to subscribe to the feed in Opera, go to manage feeds (more of a task for me, since I don't show my menu bar, and wouldn't have to except for this), and "edit" the feed into order to get at the url. If that's not locking things into the client, I don't know what is. To the technically challenged, speed-bumps are as good as a wall.

You can try it with this site, if you're curious, my feeds should show up in your address bar. An apt example too, since only the RSS 1.0 feed is linked in the page itself, while the RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds are most easily available through the address bar.

I tried using ctrl-j, but that doesn't seem to pick up on the feed links - the only other way is to ctrl-F3 to view source - the feed urls are normally on top.

My suggestion is simple - as I've said, the urge towards simplicity is a laudable one - but in this case, ease of use has to take precedence yes/no? Perhaps a context menu if you right click on the RSS icon, so you can copy the feed urls - seems simple enough, and elegant, as well as logical, for the UI. What might add more clutter is to put a "show url" button on the "do you want to add this RSS feed" pop-up. Not as elegant, but still works.

In so many ways, it's just so much more fun picking at Opera's little faults than to spurt Fanboy Juice, don't you think?

I've been using the aforementioned web accelerator - which I think seems pretty useful. Heard it first on BetaNews. I've been using it for about half an hour or so, and pages do seem to load faster, but that might just be a placebo effect. The best thing though is that I can surf with it and Opera still ad-free through Proxomitron, all you have to do is put the proxy info they give into Proxo's proxy and check "use remote proxy". Voila - ad-free sped up smurfing.

What I realised later when I finally wrestled MS Anti-spyware into submission (I had paranoid-ly stopped the toolbars from installing), what the fantastic secret was behind google's cunning plan. Because they have a counter for how much time saved I could see the moment when time saved was being racked up - and guess what - it's when the ads are loaded. Google is saving you time by loading the ads you don't want faster.

To be fair this is not an inconsiderable service - people who don't use ad-blocking like Proxo will probably have a much improved browsing experience, since ads are becoming more and more the cause of web pages loading slowly - either due to lags on the ad server, or the size of the graphical ads in relation to the page content.

So basically when I went to check my stats, I realised that the time I spent with Opera didn't show any time saved. I can only assume time was saved because it felt faster and google news loaded and reloaded in a flash - which is what I assume prefetching is for. So either it's all placebo and it's crap, or it doesn't log time saved for "other browsers", or it's just a way for Google to collect stats and help advertisers serve ads faster. Because really, the content of the page would load, then the ads would flicker on a second later, just as the "time saved" would tick over.

Ah ok, I'm seeing how it works now, it does indeed prefetch links - for instance they use styling to extra underline prefetched links - for instance the english wikipedia front page when I was on wikipedia.org. Though I think they do it in the time you're supposedly "reading" the page. I'm not sure if this works properly in Opera, since, I haven't seen the styling links flicker on. I'm sure cleverer people than me will talk about this eventually, but at the moment, it's useful, but funny. Really, it might just be my 25 Mbit connection kicking in.

Oh my, I just realised the WikiNews page that they loaded on IE was from 5 days back - silly buggers. But Google News loads faster, which is one thing - and accessing Google's cache instead of the wider InterWeb is probably that bit more efficient. There's probably some form of compression going on as well, I'd suspect. It's interesting that because of the pre-fetching, Google says this is meant mostly for Broadband users. Pre-fetched links still not showing up in Opera, might try turning on FF's CSS ad blocking and see how that affects on the landscape.

Well I'm not wrong - the counter doesn't seem to tick up when browsing with CSS blocking - even with the prefetch pages, which is odd. Well, ok, not *not* tick up, but tick up in increments of .1 and .2 of a second. So really it is just about speeding up ads. Or not, since I'm getting the feeling all of this is just me talking out my ass - in IE it does appear to tick up the same with the ads. I don't know, it might just be google's caching being efficient, and the ads do seem to take a second to load - though not as long a second as I remember - but then again I haven't seen ads for ages.

It does a great job prefetching my bog though, especially if you're going post by post - though then the prefetch underlines start to get particularly annoying.

I think my final verdict is gonna have to be to try it, why not - though the ticking up can get a bit obsessive, so you might want to turn that, and the pre-fetch underlines (eventually) off.

ChooseOpera.com is the place where the Norwegian invasion of America is supposedly being planned. You might have seen an invitation for more people to join their group on MyOpera. If nothing else, the bog-standard Opera fanboy might be interested in their boilerplate sample e-mails for haranguing ISPs to offer Opera - which could well be adapted to harangue sites to support Opera. Anyway, it's all good, sounds like fun.

I've also been gratuitously leaving comments for the most prominent Opera Bogglers on Opera Journals, for them to come here and submit their feeds, since they're writing about Opera already. Also to the people at Opera University (well, sort of). Oh and to Tim Luoma, who does 30 Days... If you want, you can do us all a favour and find a way to convince them to just submit their feeds and plump up the numbers - especially since the numbers are already there, they're just not all showing up.

And if you know of anyone who writes about Opera, tell them to come by and pimp their site, maybe win a phone.


"...I drink from the keg of glory, Donna - bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land"

"We so happy, we do the dance of joy"

A friendly Opera employee has just declared me winner for the calender month of April. More importantly I kicked that cheating motherfucker's ASS.

I now direct you to suggestions for the betterment and the future of Opera Blogs. I'd also recommend they re-set the counters (or something), because unless they do (or they disqualify me), I'm going to feel bad about writing as much as I do in the future.

They must have just said "oh fuck me, we're tired of dealing with this guy's shit, lets just give him the fucking phone and be done with it". I'll post ecstatic pics of it when it gets here. Maybe a little victory dance.

Below are screenshots of a sudden leap in OperaWatch's stats over the last hour or so - thanks to Opera's lovely caching. I don't have exact times, but my increase in hits were at least partly to do with seperate feeds mistakenly sent being joined together by an Opera staff member - and as you can see, LSR's clicks are exactly the same in both shots - so not that much time could have passed. Similarly, I'm currently on the top of the most visited charts. I'm not accusing anyone of anything, but this seems a bit irregular, and these sudden jumps have happened in the past. OperaWatch hasn't had anything on the "latest" front page throughout this period, so I'm at a loss to explain it. The only thing I can think of that wouldn't invalidate the results is that the same Opera employee joined up his stats as well, though I've not seen his blog being doubled up in the lists. The earlier screenshot is a bit blurrier because it's capped off win2k, with no anti-aliasing.


Could this have anything to do with me saying the deadline for the contest has been extended and that I'm going to kick his ass?

Edit: As my helpful (if anonymous) friend below has indicated, link pimping is probably the cause of the jump. I've said before that I would never do anything of the sort, nor have I. Basically what our friend did was link to his own blog with the url link on Opera Blogs, on a post in the forums. I have saved a copy of the page as proof. I'm not saying this is necessarily unethical, but without a framework to work in, some kind of terms and conditions, this kind of act is a kind of grey area that bogglers might not be clear about. Certainly if it's fair game, people will spend as much time pimping their links as writing about Opera.


You're going to have to take my word for it that I was hovering over the first link you see when the screenshot was taken - the mouse doesn't show up, and neither do tooltips.

Well, that explains it, so plenty more time for me to kick OperaWatch's ass :D. But friendly and helpful Opera staff member helped sort me out and sorted out my feed - amazing what happens when you ask. So yes, I'm now free to mention Opera in my other categories and not have it show up where it's not supposed to.

But more importantly, I'll quote the Opera Blogs page:

Blogs writing about Opera

Tell the world what you think about Opera 8 and win a Nokia 6630 for sharing your views! The most visited blog at the end of every month will be rewarded the prize. You can add your blog posts here by filling the form available in the sidebar. (My emphasis)

Am I wrong to have thought this meant the end of the actual month rather than a month from inception? I would think not. So yes, D-day is now 19th. I'll find the time to do an unofficial FAQ on Opera Blogs, probably in my newly dusted off Fora.

Edit: Apparently they've decided to clarify things on the site - which now states that the winner will be announced on the 21st of the month.

To iron out any possible confusion: The above-mentioned month is not a calendar month. It is a month from when the contest started, which means that the winner of the first phone will be announced on the 21st of May.

For the sake of posterity, I've decided to post screenshot of the period of time when the sun and moon shifted in the firmament:


I suppose that's one of the questions I would have asked Tetchy: how he feels about the people out there who undoubtedly feel that Opera is worth pirating, and well, that it needs pirating. So yes, he's right, it is free.

In many ways I think that nowadays, in terms of a piece of software getting noticed or popularised, being well placed on a BT site, say TorrentSpy or ISOHunt, would be about as prestigious/useful as being featured on Download.com used to be. What disappoints me is that it doesn't seem as popular as you'd think, with not that many seeders, and even fewer leechers. Though I suppose being so tiny, that most people don't feel the need to stay too long.

Obviously these are people who either find it convenient, or don't know what astalavista is. By the way, Opera's keygen-ed serials seem to last forever (I'm told), unlike other applications (Nero for example) who blacklist serials in every other release. I think the last time they did it was when 6 turned into 7 (allegedly).

As far as my interest in this goes, as long as they're using Opera I don't see a problem, they're still upping the market share and telling their friends. I know friends who have been turned on to Opera by getting it off P2p, and friends who are annoyed by the ads (which is most of them), somehow find a way towards getting an extended trial period. Funny how that works. I wonder if the Mozzarella Foundation gets revenue from the Google searches from FF.

I'm still blown away that BT sites are linked to on Wikipedia.

As to how this fits in with me talking about Opera in an economic sense, that's a longer conversation.

I finally got off my ass and updated everything and got rid of all the spam I know about - the guys who pwned me for a bit were sneakier than I thought. Anyway, I know I'm a poor cousin compared to MyOpera, but I don't think they have a specific place to talk about Opera Blogs, or about Optool, so since I already have a forum, I thought I'd make it available. It's accessable via forum.fallingbeam.org, or just go straight to the Opera forum, or the Optool forum.

Jeez. Okay, apparently adding my category feed didn't help matters, especially because it turned out that my notebook was showing I was logged in when apparently I wasn't and hence the repetition - though god knows to whose MyOpera account.

It's very simple - I want to only submit my category feed, so I can be more selective of what I send to the aggregator - and don't have to be shy about using the word Opera all the time in my other posts, most of which will have nothing but a passing connection to Opera.

As I've said, this endeavour would be best served by people being allowed to control their own feeds and how they are parsed by the aggregator. I'm not saying it's easy, I'm just saying the way it is now is annoying.

It's Press Release time again here on Opera Blogs, where we peruse the best chum the Opera marketing department has to offer.

Opera 8's hit 2 Million downloads, which means Tetchy, worn out from answering questions from idiots, is gonna have to swim back from the US to Norway, this time stopping at a pub for a pint and some chips.

What's interesting is that they announced the breakdown of the various language versions downloaded of Opera 8. Apparently the large majority are still English users, but the German version took up about a fifth of the total 2 Million at about 400,000. Interesting in light of my comments on the Linguistic Makeup of Opera Users. German is really a kind of lingua franca (that's me, cracking up) in many parts of Europe if I'm not wrong?

Reminds me of Apple and their glee over their music store, but instead of Steve Jobs, we have Tetchy, and instead of Keynote, we have OperaShow. At least Tetchy doesn't wear those fucking annoying turtlenecks.

Re: Opera Blogs - I mean, I'm not trying to be naughty, but don't "contests" like these tend to have long terms and conditions and very set deadlines? I was particularly conscientious about keeping up my posting up till around midnight of the 30th, Norway time. I know it's pretty sad, but I really am that starved for entertainment. And I had my victory dance planned and all.

I thought, fine, May Day's a holiday, but not enough so that Tetchy couldn't post his answers. And it's tuesday now. Unless they were counting the month from when they started the thing, which they should tell people yes? I'm going to find more pictures of Emma Watson to post.

I'm getting ready more sections of my Opera Boggling series, as well as an informal FAQ for Opera Blogs, unless someone official wants to beat me to it. Maybe some suggestions on how to Boggle Opera Well.

Oh, and complain about the fact that I can't view RSS feed urls easily anymore - which is simpler, yes, but for those of us who want to post the urls into our rss clients, it's a pain having to add it to Opera and find the url and then delete it from Opera. It's not very friendly. Maybe an option to show the url in the "add feed" dialog that pops up when you click on one. The problem is that some sites don't have a proper synication link on every page, so the address bar is the best way to get at things.

And I've got to start encouraging more bogglers in Journals to add their feeds.

Tetchy Tells All

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All joking aside, I think I've never quite been so won over by someone replying to peoples' questions. To me just sounds like a nice sincere man who loves what he does. Of course he is the guy who created the party line to begin with, but coming from him, it's delivered with a particular gravitas. It's impressive for someone in his position to actually answer as many questions as he did, and not just cherry-pick. You even start to think that he picked the complimentary ones because they genuinely please him. It's nice that he was able to get himself to answer some really silly questions.

But I wouldn't be me if I didn't strike a more dissonant note. The reason he asks for questions and then answers them in text is at least in part so that he doesn't have to answer the hardball questions. It'd be interesting to know which questions he avoided. In particular I think it's telling that there were no questions answered that were openly hostile or combative, no one being anything more than disappointed. Though disappointment isn't anything to sneeze at in this context. All in all, it was better than you'd expect, and again, people like him probably don't have to answer that many stupid questions - unless he's talking to the press, perhaps.

What I found most interesting was his reply about ad-blocking:

Marius, Norway:

First, I must say I'm honored to contact the CEO of my all time favourite browser (and I've tried A LOT, and i mean a lot, like in everything from Lynx to umh, Opera). Anyhow, I want to ask you why you don't implement an Adblock-function in Opera? [Question shortened]

Jon S. von Tetzchner:

Marius, thank you for your kind words. We have chosen not to push adblock in Opera, but there is a lot of ways you can perfom this kind of function, including use of User CSS and User JavaScript. Please note, however, that many sites are only able to provide their content for free through the use of ads. They may well not be able to do so if everybody starts using adblockers. Regards, Jon

The annoying part of me wants to say protectionism by any other name. But I've pretty well laid out my position on ad-blocking. I'm not saying make it easy, I'm just saying make it possible so that the smart people can say how good it is in yet another way. I'm just hoping that he's being politic, rather than believing that anything is served by false charity and dinosaur coddling.

Also have a look at Haavard's summary of the boss-man's points - Opera's CEO reveals what lies ahead.

Screenshots of the new pop-up and the new improved settings - none of which are finalised. This is a special testing build, the normal test build sent to testers just says RC1.

optool02.jpg optool03.jpg

This is an interim changelog from the e-mail the testers recieved,

NEW STUFF - Long right clicks: Right-click for about half a second near the right edge (100 pixels) of the window to invoke Optool. The reason for the 100 pixel margin is that long right clicks would otherwise inhibit other special right-click handling such as mouse gestures in Opera and Mozilla/Firefox. With this margin you can still use mouse gestures, just don't start near the right edge! If you don't use mouse gestures and similar actions, you can disable the margin requirement in the Options dialog. You can also totally disable long right clicks.

- Close original browser:
If you press the Control key while selecting a browser from the popup menu, Optool will close the original browser before opening the new.
This can make the screen less cluttered. If you need this feature always, select it permanently from the Options. The Control key actually inverts the actions, so if you have enabled this, Optool will NOT close the original if you press Control!

- Custom window sized:
In the Options you can enter as many window sizes as your want for resizing instead of the four pre-defined.

- Make target browser same size and position as original:
If this Option is enabled, Optool will try to open the new browser "on top" of the original. I write "try" because some browsers may refuse to open in specific positions. They may also refuse to open maximized
(Opera!) unless they were maximized when you closed the program.

- Close all other browser APPLICATIONS:
This is just like the menu item "Close all other browser windows" except that it does not close windows belong to the current browser. Thus you can now close all other browsers but keep, say, all your Mozilla windows open (including mail windows).

- The popup menu is always accessible:
If you used the option "Switch between primary and secondary browser"
and also had disabled the tray icon, it was difficult (well, sometimes
impossible!) to invoke the menu and and change the settings. Now, even if "Switch between" is enabled, the menu will still popup if the foreground window is not a browser since the switch doesn't make sense in this case anyway. Also, long right click does always show the menu regardless of the "Switch between" option. Finally, running Optool when it is already started will offer you to show the menu.

- Algorithm for determining URLs improved:
The algorithm for determining URLs is much more "intelligent" now which is why you can no longer define how URLs look like in the Options. This algorithm is mainly for clipboard handling where Optool must be able to recognize a URL on the clipboard. If a URL is open in a browser, Optool assumes it is valid!

- Clipboard handling:
When you disable clipboard handling it is now not only ignored, the clipboard hook chain is totally restored. Even when Optool's clipboard handling was disabled it could still in rare cases interfere with other clipboard handling programs because the chain was still intact. Now Optool totally unhooks (or don't hook in the first place if you restart the application) when it is disabled. This means that Optool should no longer interfere with other clipboard applications.

Lots of minor improvements:
A lot more functions has been more or less optimized.

- "Center resized windows" option was not always remembered. (Btw, this option is moved to the main Options dialog which is more logical).

- Problems with strange URLs: Sometimes Optool wouldn't recognize a URL if it had a strange format. This is fixed partly due to the improved algorithm mentioned before, and partly due to other corrections.

- Optool sometimes skipped the final "/" (slash) in URLs. Normally a URL such as www.mysite.dk is equivalent with www.mysite.dk/ - but not always. Optool will now keep the final slash.

- Browsers closed by Optool sometimes crashed. This was because Optool in some cases closed invisible helper window which made the browser crash or unstable. Now it will only close main windows. Furthermore, Optool will now also close browsers minimized to the system tray. BTW, remember that this feature is useful for all types of applications, like if you have opened a lot of Explorer or Notepad windows!

- Parent and Root URL sometimes opening in wrong windows. This is fixed and the algorithm improved.

- Many more bug fixes.

If you're interested in testing Optool, Martin's very nice and very responsive, and last I checked he was still looking for a new batch of testers. His Optool 2 page has an e-mail link if you want to ask.

Martin's released his testing version, labelled Optool 2.1 RC 1. He says that some of his old testers are no longer available, so he wouldn't mind a bunch of new ones. I figure he's most likely to get them from amongst Opera users. Interested parties, have a look at the Optool 2 page. I'll post the e-mail he sent out/screenshots if he says it's okay. At the moment he's asked me not to make it publicly available, but I will say it's as good as ever and has very cool new features/settings.

I never realised, but he credits me as a tester at the bottom of his pages, when you hover over "I wish to thank the beta testers..."

I'm thinking of offering him space in my forum (I'll probably ditch the old one and do a proper install of a new one) so he can use it for support/feature requests, rather than people sending him e-mails. We'll see. It's just that Opera would never give him forum space - as I'm sure they would never give space to the Search.ini editor.

In case you don't know what Optool is:

Optool (formerly Operatool, now Optional Browser tool or Open-in-another-browser-tool - or whatever you like!) for MS Windows is a freeware utility which easily allows you to open a given web site in another browser. Use it if your preferred browser doesn't show the site properly or if you are a developer and want to check the page in several browsers without the hassle of cutting and pasting the URL.

Basically a must-have for every Opera user. Especially for those who can't be sure whether the problems they're having are due to Opera or due to the site (or both).

Sorry, LSR, I still can't get your comments to work, I keep getting "Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment." So:

Aren't you talking about using "." (or "/") to search for text in page? - which means to search for "fanboy" on a page, you'd type ".fanboy". At least for me, ctrl F still brings up the search box, as it does for most Windows apps.

The best thing about this search is that to move to the next hit, you just press F3, shift F3 to go back - ie the normal Windows shortcuts. You can also copy and paste results in order to search, so you can copy the text "fanboy", press ".", then ctrl v.

List of relevant Keyboard Shortcuts. And pure keyboard navigation.

The thing I hate most about Firefox's search is that it makes noise like someone's biting off your testicles.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Opera Boggling category from May 2005.

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