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Author Topic: opera downward spiral into oblivion: most sites don't work, they don't care  (Read 6426 times)

urlwolf

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I'll give you a mountain bike for every bank site you can find that works with Opera. I'm talking released versions, not betas. This cannot be.

And of course every single ajaxy startup website will fail too. Some in obvious ways, some in subtle ways; you don't even know it's broken, then one day you open it in FF and marvel at the functionality you were missing...

And then there's google. Most of their offerings don't work with Opera either.

The web is an adverse environment for Opera users. This is getting worse, not better, because people create broken sites in Opera faster than we can report them and Opera devs can fix their releases. Not to mention that Opera decision-makers take pride in ignoring user feedback like no other company.

I'm considering collecting 'signatures' to ask Opera to change their behavior. It may imply renewal of the director's board, so it may never work no matter how many people sign it. Why? Because they still make the best browser, and I want it not to suck.

It'd be a first in history that users care so much for a product that they ask the company to find responsibles for current suckage and fire them :). Note: this is clearly sci-fi. But would you sign that petition?

[end rant]

TucknDar

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Why don't you just switch browser? You've certainly written a lot of negative Opera posts, so I don't understand why you don't just ditch it... If a piece of software made me write so many negative posts I would just move on.

Grorgy

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And a web browser that doesn't let you browse the web seems to me to be not very good software.  It may have all the potential in the world but if it doesn't do even the basic thing a web browser should do then its not really much good.

TucknDar

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Personally I'm very happy with Opera. "most sites don't work"? Yes, I stumble across the odd site that don't work, that is true, and Opera isn't perfect, but every time I use another browser I remember why Opera stays as no1 for me. Not that I want to start a browser war, btw ;)

urlwolf

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Why don't you just switch browser? You've certainly written a lot of negative Opera posts, so I don't understand why you don't just ditch it... If a piece of software made me write so many negative posts I would just move on.

Because, like you, evertime I tried I ended up going back to Opera. Plus I use M2 to handle my mail. I'd be a pity (and waste of resources) to have any other browser and opera open all the time.

You can see my frustration: it really is good software, but at the same time some small things are broken. And no matter how you report them, it will never be fixed. Being with Opera since v 5, it would be really a dissapointment for me to finally ditch it. It's also my most used piece of software. I know that DC is probably the best site on the net to talk about software, so I always hope someone with my same problem has found a solution. I hate to post negative comments, too. The only constructive thing I can think of -and that is very far-fetched as a solution- is to actually collect signatures for a radical change in Opera: a team that maximizes compatibility. This is probably an entire new company or at least CEO :)

Dormouse

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In terms of website compatibility, the number 1 is ie, followed by FF followed by Opera - for Windows apps. I think that is the main problem here - website owners don't feel they need to try to ensure compatibility with Opera because its market share doesn't give them sufficient incentive. Opera was the most standards compliant browser (for a time at least), but that had no effect on this issue. I don't think there is much Opera can do about it unless they get their market share up. Mozilla played the Ope Source card very well with the Take Back The Web campaign and the World Record dowload attempt, as did Apple by sneaking a browser in to Ipod updates; not sure what cards Opera has to play apart from having a better browser.

Is that a problem? Somewhat, but not much of one.
I use Opera all the time. For me, it is by far the best and most effective browser, though I can see that FF might do better for those who like to massively bulk it up with plugins. Most sites work perfectly well with Opera. For sites, where Opera doesn't work so well, I first turn to FF and then to ie. It gives me the opportunity to keep myself up-to-date with how they are doing and confirms me in my preference for Opera.

Darwin

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What has had me turning to Opera of late is its speed and reliability... it just works! IE 6 and 7 both seem to have been buggered by the Aug 12 updates from MS. They're both working fine right now (have a Win2k and a WinXP machine both running and connected to the internet at the moment), but will go off on tangents wherein it can take upwards of a minute for keyboard and mouse activity to register on Google's page, for example. When this is happening, I open Opera and it works immediately... This seems to be a documented problem without a workaround. PITA, but shame on me for updating my system...

As I've mentioned elsewhere, the one thing keeping me from switching to Opera full-hog is Roboform Pro. I have literally 100's of passwords saved in it and can't face having to re-enter them into Opera... though I am increasingly tempted to do so!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

tide

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No browser is perfect. I rarely come across a site that doesn't work with Opera. But I don't see the big deal you're making about it. With today's low cost memory chips, humongous HDs, high speed processors and broadband it's a trivial matter to fire up another browser for those occasions when another browser would be more suitable. A quick Alt-Tab and you're back to where you started.

You can even configure Opera to open your current page in any other browser you wish. No biggie.

Darwin

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I don't see the big deal you're making about it.

What else would I complain about?! Seriously, you're right (and I have IE7/Maxthon 2, Opera, and Firefox installed), but there is a sense that being able to use a single browser shouldn't be too much to ask!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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I always have Firefox, IE, and Opera installed.  I do like Opera but compatibility issues with websites and the inability to use Roboform have kept me from making it my preferred browser.  Firefox is no treat at times, but its extensibility is simply too much for me to give it up!

Jim

nontroppo

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Hm, my bank HSBC works fine at least, as does every google app I use now (saying they are all broken is simply wrong). I have had occasional problems on Ajax-heavy sites, but I certainly can't say all (and important ones like facebook have fixed themselves up after pressure from Opera's open-the-web team).

Opera has invested a pretty huge chunk of resources in fixing both any potential technical reasons on its side (JS getters and setters is a recent example), and growing its open-the-web team (QA who contact web sites and suggest fixes to their code to work with Opera), see http://my.opera.com/...-facebook-apple-ebay for recent updates to some of this work.

Several core QA members, including highly telented guys like Hallvord spend most of their time reverse engineering buggy, idiotic code from major sites to use in the cool browser.js tech to fix code at runtime: http://my.opera.com/hallvors/blog/

They've set up educational programs to try to get web authors to write better code and follow standards: http://www.opera.com/education/ & specifically http://www.opera.com/wsc/ which a creative-commons licenced educational material for any educational establishment.

They've set up and invested in a dedicated general developer web site with useful articles for all browsers: http://dev.opera.com

A new developers network: http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/

And a growing set of developer tools to enable web authors to easily debug code: http://www.opera.com/products/dragonfly/

Some of this stuff is going to take a while to propagate, but it is there and it is growing and hasn't ever been done by Opera before. Opera do realise compatibility is its main bane, and they are hitting all sides as best they can. I personally benefit from the great advances since Opera 6-8, and things are only going to get better. Honestly, I rarely have problem on the sites I visit now. MS is finally (hopefully) going to support javascript to the same level as everyone else (the recent fight over ECMAScript 3.1 vs. 4 - Microsoft won the battle, I think for the good of everyone in the end, as long as MS don't renege on their promises as they've done before to break standards for their proprietary alternatives). Sorry that doesn't help you on some sites you may be having problems with *today* (though your list is heavily over-broad, do you have "critical" examples), but things will only get better 8)
FARR Wishes: Performance TweaksTask ControlAdaptive History
[url=http://opera.com/]

urlwolf

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Well, my concrete examples:
deutschebank: worked well in 9.51, borked in 9.52
HSBC: indeed it works. Formatting is funky, but it's just aesthetics
Smaller banks from Spain: (caja rural, general) Not working
PNC (pittsburgh) didn't work last time I tried, but it was ages ago.

With google:
- gmail works 90% right, but you never know what you are missing
- calendar has some problems when editing an item, and sometimes it displays complex calendars  wrong
- google docs has some issues;
- google sites (former jotspot) is a true disaster. I think cookie behavior is to blame here.

Pretty much every new startup site I try (just go to techcrunch for a list) has misbehavior that is hard to predict in Opera; since it's the first time you try it, you don't know if that's the way it's supposed to behave or you are missing something.

Having said that, I use admuncher and I have the sneaking suspicion that it may be interacting with sites the wrong way. I've seen people (on opera forums) saying that development is too slow - I'm just too used to it to switch it off, but it may be causing more harm than good.

kartal

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http://www.db.com  works fine here

Josh

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You see, this is the problem with Opera. They expect users to cater to their browser as opposed to the other way around. A user, when they load a browser, doesn't care who's fault it is that a site does not work. They just expect it to work. Opera doesn't seem to realize this. The same goes for their feature base. They expect the user to cater to what they put in their browser rather than catering to what the user's want. For years, I have clammered for an API so that features can be added to the browser without having to wait for the developers to add a feature, if ever, to the browser. As other's have pointed out, Roboform support is one of the biggest requests they have yet the dev's continue to ignore it. Most of the features implemented into Opera are done so in a manner that let's opera say "We did it first". After they add it, the feature is left to stagnate. Look at the wand, it has failed on several major banking sites, consumer purchasing sites, and even ebay has had problems which only as of recently have been resolved despite being reported over 2 years ago.

Opera has to realize that they are catering to users, not the other way around.

Lashiec

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I'll give you a mountain bike for every bank site you can find that works with Opera. I'm talking released versions, not betas. This cannot be.

Have one ready, Caixa Galicia works ;D. It should be said that most bank sites SUCK hard, very hard, so hard my eyes bleed after trying some examples. There's something that rubs the wrong way when you see some of the biggest banks in Spain (and, in two cases, some of the biggest of the world) with sucky sites. I mean, they make record profits in times of economic crisis, at least they could invest them in something *useful*. No, wait, they are banks, what the hell was I thinking... ::)

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The web is an adverse environment for Opera users. This is getting worse, not better, because people create broken sites in Opera faster than we can report them and Opera devs can fix their releases. Not to mention that Opera decision-makers take pride in ignoring user feedback like no other company.

I'm considering collecting 'signatures' to ask Opera to change their behavior. It may imply renewal of the director's board, so it may never work no matter how many people sign it. Why? Because they still make the best browser, and I want it not to suck.

This will sound old, I know, but from my experience the problem is mostly outside Opera's reach. When you see sites failing, whose behaviour can be corrected with a few lines of JavaScript, you know those coding them are not making the work as they should. I wonder why people don't design a standards-compliant site, with specific fixes for IE if needed, instead of targeting a specific browser.

Can Opera Software do better? Sure, nontroppo already listed all they are doing, and I'm sure they can do other things. But I'm afraid there's no magical solution in the short-term, apart from ditching Presto and adopting Gecko (which I don't think it's as easy as it sounds). For now, cross browsing is the unique solution :-(

Getting a new management could maybe solve a few things, but I am not aware of the power Tetzchner and his board has over Opera development direction, apart from general guidelines. I mean, they have other things to care about. Even in that case, major reworking in Presto it's not an easy task, and after all, such thing is scheduled for Peregrine.

Besides, Tetzchner already fired the entire board a while ago after they tried to fire him for business decisions.

Smaller banks from Spain: (caja rural, general) Not working

Caja General (Granada?) seems to work OK.

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Having said that, I use admuncher and I have the sneaking suspicion that it may be interacting with sites the wrong way. I've seen people (on opera forums) saying that development is too slow - I'm just too used to it to switch it off, but it may be causing more harm than good.

Yeah, it should be a good idea to turn it off when encountering problems, and reload the site. It's not the first time I encounter problems with the adblocker activated, so I guess the same could be happening with Admuncher.

As nontroppo said, things improved over time. If you think about it, this is not as different as the situation with Firefox a while ago. There were all this bashing against it because some sites failed to render correctly with it compared with IE. It's true that back then AJAX was just a football team and a cleaning product, but the general situation is the same. Through aggressive marketing, word of mouth, and being a better browser than IE, Firefox turned out the stakes in its favour, and now the number of incompatible sites is quite low.

And that's one of the problems with Opera, marketing. While most developments in Firefox are featured in the tech press (the most recent one being the impressive improvements in JS performance), with major new releases being featured in the mass media, Opera has this stigma of being an underdog. Rarely it's featured in the press, except when major versions are released, and it's usually mocked by the usual trolls (apparently people are happy with just two options). While Asa Dotzler is disliked by a lot of people, we have to recognize he played a important role in Firefox market expansion, and Opera Software should learn from him, while trying to not fall in the traps he fell (turning a browser choice into a religion, for example).

This also includes listening to people. Opera always has a bad habit of not doing it, although after the Opera 9.5 criticism, it seems they're improving this. This is also a very difficult task, because they have to cater both to the longtime users as well as to the newcomers, and there is always a clash between those wishing for a very specific function versus those who want a more general feature, including cloning ideas from the competitors, and clearly, this is a difficult thing to maintain balance with.

Some of the things they really should be part of the browser is a extension system, perhaps not as featured as Firefox's (due to security concerns, and perhaps some inability to interact with the whole browser GUI), but enough for most tasks. I've never been a great fan of plugins in browsers, because the paradigm seems different than plugins with other type of programs, but I'd like to have some extra functions in the browser without waiting for the next versions. And an update system, which is one the most demanded functions as well. And real clipboard copy :-). It seems that the two first ones are coming, so it's a matter of time.

That should improve Opera's image, and market share as well. Meanwhile, they could fix some of the most annoying problems in the current version, like random freezings accompanied by massive HDD I/O operations.

And even in that case, my opinion is that Opera will always be a niche browser. Perhaps not as niche as it's now, but at least in a Safari way. People is accustomed to what they know, and even if that new thing provides the same functionality and some more, it takes time to being accustomed. In the case of Opera, the extra functionality is rarely used by many people, and why change from Firefox to Opera if there's no real incentive to do it, and problems can appear? I saw this scenario happening many times before, "Yes, Opera is very nice, but I'll stay with Firefox". Perhaps Opera is missing something that is key to attract people, but I can't imagine what it would be.

And this is what happens when you let me too many time with a keyboard. I'll go do something else now :-[
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 01:16:40 PM by Lashiec »

urlwolf

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Looks like many users are reporting similar things. Small annoyances, but many a day, make it a bit too much:

http://my.opera.com/.../topic.dml?id=247337

However, 9.60 (alpha) was released today.
Great to see improvement in M2. And very innovative! Low bandwidth mode is a great idea. Congrats!

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Opera Link
Custom search engines and typed history* are now joining bookmarks, speed dials, personal bar, and notes in Opera Link.

Feed Preview
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Opera Mail: Low Bandwidth Mode
Low Bandwidth Mode is a setting on mail accounts that makes Opera Mail use as little bandwidth as possible. For IMAP, this means that Opera will only synchronise new messages and it will not fetch message attachments unless requested. For POP, Opera will not fetch more than the first 100 lines of a message unless requested.

Opera Mail: Follow/Ignore threads and contacts
Follow and Ignore are new features for users that receive a lot of messages. It makes it easier to dismiss unimportant messages and easier to recognise important messages.

Opera Mail: Go To Thread
You can now also "Go to thread" which means that you can view only the messages from that thread. Useful for those that uses flat view.


zridling

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urlwolf, 9.52 works fine for Bank of America/US. I just have to make sure all the Java trash is turned on.

TucknDar

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Works fine with Skandiabanken as well.

And I was just in need of a mountain bike... ;)

Darwin

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Jeez, urlwolf - do you really need a bank account? I mean, with all those free mountain bikes, and shipping, your coffers must be draining fast!  ;D

Darwin ducks and runs for cover...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

urlwolf

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37signals has an interesting post that somehow rings a bell on how Opera doesn't implement what users suggest (instead it comes out with things that are innovative, but not user-suggested, but that's another story):

http://www.37signals...ng-at-your-customers