New Browsers to Cater For

Okay, less than a week ago I talked about a new browser. Now, another to get your mits on. Opera 7 has finally gone in to beta testing. Having played with it and surfed for a while I can already see they've done a good job of the complete re-write of the internal "engine". All the sites I visited appeared just I would expect them to in the other browsers. Something that couldn't be said of Opera prior to this release.

Opera screenshot

So, if sites now appear and behave the same in all the three main browsers, what's in it for us? Well, personally, I now find it's down to the little features that the browsers provide as to which I use day to day. At the moment my favourite is fast becoming Phoenix. Mainly because I can surf without Flash/Popups/Animated gifs. Opera lets me do this too. Internet Explorer doesn't! But IE does do some things I can't live without from time to time. That and the fact that there a lot of sites who won't let you use anything but. My bank for one. So I guess it comes down to a case of horses for courses. But then, as developers, we need to use, test and be aware of the nuances of them all. Give it a go. You never know, you might like it!

One nice thing about Opera is that the text-zoom feature even works on site by font bitches like notestips.com. Sorry Mike, couldn't resist ;o)


  1. Jake, I notice you are a fontbitch as well, att least in IE6...

  2. I do downloaded OPera 7 today, haven't had much time to play with it, but the thing I don't like about opera is in default form there isn't enuf screen space free!

    Pheonix though is a goody! - the only problem I got with it is the download manager, why can't you pause a download, and start it again some other day? like Netvampire or Gozilla.. wouldn't have been brill part from that!

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 13 Nov 2002 16:05

    Not sure what you mean Tom. You either are a font-bitch or you aren't. It's not down to the browser you use. Just the way you specify your font sizes in CSS.

    • avatar
    • Jef
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 01:43

    Nice, but has any of you tried to view a page with SVG on it yet ? Even after following the instructions on the Opera support site, they still don't work here ...

    • avatar
    • purple
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 02:52

    Jake, can please show us how did you code to enable font-bitch? Thank you.

    • avatar
    • Chris Melikian
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 03:32

    The Co-operative Bank on-line banking app doesn't work with Java 1.4 which is what you get with Mozilla (and I suppose Phoenix). Really annoying as I don't need IE for much else.

    • avatar
    • Steve
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 04:09

    Jake, did you know in Phoenix that you can define sites that are not excluded from opening pop-up windows. Click on the advanced tab itself in Tools -> Preferences and add the sites you want to allow to open pop-up windows. I also use Co-op bank and the app works fine in Phoenix.

    • avatar
    • Chris Melikian
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 05:37

    Ah, maybe it's because I'm using XP+Mozilla then....

    Anyway, the sooner they move to the smile.co.uk interface the better!

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 06:08

    Sorry Mike, sorry Tom. I *am* a font-bitch after all!! D'oh!

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Thu 14 Nov 2002 07:55

    Here's the low-down on which banks (mainly UK in the list) allow what browsers to use their sites.

    As a NatWest customer I think there support stinks!

  3. The guide to becoming *fontsafe* is [ here]

    btw, CTRL + Mousewheel is a great way to scale fonts on fontsafe sites, as I found out yesterday...

  4. Great point about the fonts Jake. I am going to make sure I remember that in all my CSS stuff.

    BTW, I just accidentally figured out that CTRL + SHIFT + Mousewheel moves you back and Forward in the browser. =)

  5. Three short comments.

    Neither Mozilla nor Phoenix do come with any sort of Java RTE (contrary to Opera which is available with or without the JRE integrated into the download). It just depends on what you decide to install. But it sounds like Chris already figured this out himself.

    Second, there are lots of downloadmanagers available not coupled to a specific browser and I think that most of them do a better job than Mozilla's does.

    And finally, there is one big drawback of the current Phoenix milestone build (0.4 as of writing this): Changing an image objects .src property via javascript doesn't work. No roll-over-effects or similar stuff. But as the bug is tracked (has been reported multiple times, as one might expect) I'm positive that it will be resolved in 0.5.

    Now the next thing I'm waiting for (I'm a lazy guy) are language packs.

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Written by Jake Howlett on Wed 13 Nov 2002

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