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LinuxPlanet: Opera Raises the Bar for Linux Browsers

May 17, 2001, 13:15 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

Opera has released the first new commercial browser the Linux desktop has seen in some time. It's fast and packed with features, and even people without Qt on their systems can enjoy the wonder of anti-aliased browsing. Brian Proffitt takes a look, and says "it is likely to bring you a new sense of satisfaction not seen with Linux browsers in quite some time."

The Opera interface, for users who are unfamiliar with it, minimizes the standard navigation bar somewhat in favor of more space for the browser tools. This takes a bit of getting used to, but it's a manageable transition.

The inclusion of the HotList, essentially a directory tree of all of your bookmarks, really simplifies some of the navigation, particularly when you can just drag and drop a page into the bookmark list to enter it there.

All of my favorite Opera 5 features were here, including the nifty status bar, the multi-window support, and the zoom feature. One tiny little feature that caught my eye: the ability to import Internet Explorer bookmarks. This seems a stretch for the Linux user, but it was nice to see it nonetheless.

In the default mode, the user agent for the browser is displayed, so you can mask the identity of the browser you are using. Certain Web sites detect and reject browsers they aren't designed against, so they've included the ability to mask the agent as MSIE or Netscape. Frankly, while well-intentioned, I think this is a mistake. How else will Web developers know to adjust for Opera if they don't know it's visiting?

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