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Just annotations of little "how to's", so I know I can find how to do something I've already done when I need to do it again, in case I don't remember anymore, which is not unlikely. Hopefully they can be useful to others, but I can't guarantee that it will work, or that it won't even make things worse.
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Opera Presto had the best GUI ever. Ever.

Posted 02-21-2016 at 11:27 PM by the dsc

I can't speak anything about the web-rendering part, which seemed at very least okay, in pair with firefox and chrome, if not somewhat better, sometimes. Even there the GUI alone could give it an edge sometimes as it had a button where you could choose to display/download no image at all, only display already cached images, or operate normally. Other browsers may even have that function, but it's hidden deeper in a less customizable GUI.

And customization was so easy and powerfull. There was a whole wiki of tiny customizations that were seemingly at a more native/raw level of customization than analogues in firefox and chrome. And you could even create somewhat more "robust" stuff like buttons combining sequences of Opera's inner "commands" (open new tab, reload, save file, minimize, stop loading, close, etc), which was reasonably easy and didn't require learning any programming language. At some point I even had something that would call a bash script, in a way that was somewhat analogue to geeqie's potential helper programs you can add.

I find kind of baffling that it had for ages thing like the possibility of showing and navigating bookmarks in a sidebar, like firefox, and chrome probably have. But it also used the same "engines" behind it to make you able to navigate through your open windows and tabs from the same interface, which neither of those browsers do these days. It can be approached with extensions, but they will brake with future upgrades and in conflict with other extensions. In contrast, I think I had GUI files from Opera that I kept using ever since 2004 or so until it was "discontinued" (I seldom used a default interface. My favorite for years was a tab-less, menubar-less, semi-fullscreen GUI, with only the address bar, a "menu button" (Opera pioneered this even before it was on its official interface design), and a drop-down "tabs" menu. With some redundancy within the context menu as well. Ironically I think that was only in one of the last Presto versions that they ended up messing something in order to hard-code somewhat a design that was possible to achieve with customizations before. But with some work you could still fix it, I guess.

I was also so used to mouse gestures that I sometimes would reflexively "try" to do them uselessly in different browsers, whenever I needed to use a different PC. Add-ons to achieve that in other browsers always felt less able to understand the gesture I intended, so I gave up it completely.

Konqueror, the file manager and web browser perhaps approaches it to some extent, with its "view profiles". I can be instantly "transformed" from a typical web browser into a "windows explorer file manager" look alike or in a "midnight commander" look-alike with an embedded terminal. But as a web browser it wasn't as fast as any of the others, and I've never gone too far into trying to customize it for that task. Unfortunately it seems it's living its last days as well, being replaced by the much more feature-less and less customizable Dolphin, in the file-manager side.

I'm not a developer or anything, but I think that some of those guys should ideally start some sort of movement for a set of principles dictating standards of "maximum customizability" of interfaces, as if the GUI was just a soft-coded html or something like it, with "links" to "deeper" program functions. More or less like Openbox* and Fluxbox. That would probably allow developers to be more focused in such "deeper" aspects, while not pissing-off people who are used to an "old" or customized interface, and are now forced to accept the vision of some committee about how the UI "should" be, or have more work to try to re-customize it.

Some people are trying to bring back Opera in a way, though. There is the Otter browser, with its development led by fans, and now the even newer Vivaldi browser, which I haven't even tried, which has in its team some of the original Opera developers.

Otter did look pretty much like Opera the first time I tried, back when it started. I wrote this blog post because I was trying to remember its name in order to maybe try it again. Good to see it's still in development. I'll take a look at how both are going.


* they should really add the option of "tabbing" windows, though, like fluxbox. The developer's argument against it is very weak; not only its not undesirable to have a feature that helps one remedy poor features/design of an application, but you could put different applications as tabs on the same window. It's not like there would be coordinated development of any application that could potentially be tabbed together in a window in order to do so. "Okay, we GIMP guys talked to Inkscape developers and now you can have both in the same windows, but unfortunayelly you can't have geeqie or firefox in the same window, we haven't had the time to talk to them, sorry". In a way the justification is akin to being against virtual desktops, saying it's a poor remedy for not having more actual displays.
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  1. Old Comment
    As a long time user of Opera presto I strayed after support was dropped. Today I downloaded the RPM and used slackware rpm2tgz and installed it.
    I am back as a opera user. I spend many hours building the chromium CEF3 webkit and looking at opera source code it seems these developers understand the needs of a browser. I love my speed dial. TY Opera for going open source all the way.
    Google forked webkit and called it something new. It is still the open code Apple put out a long time ago. everyone just gives it a new name.
    and started using the ppapi client. that is a wrapper.
    I think I will put a slackware build together when I have time.
    Posted 03-23-2016 at 05:08 PM by Drakeo Drakeo is offline
  2. Old Comment
    It is still the open code Apple put out a long time ago. everyone just gives it a new name.
    Including Apple whom originally forked it from KDE's KHTML.

    I've been trying out the beta of Vivaldi and so far I like what I see.It's kind of what I was expecting from Opera when they first announced that they would be switching to webkit/blink, but unfortunately Opera decided to abandon their existing user base and go in a completely different direction with the new Opera Browser.

    I won't be returning to an Opera product: they've burnt that bridge. What I'm not sure of yet is whether I want to become invested in another proprietary solution (Vivaldi) given the lessons learnt from what happened with Opera/Presto and more recently Google's decision to kill off 32bit Chrome. "Once bitten..." and all that.
    Posted 03-24-2016 at 06:41 AM by GazL GazL is offline


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