Opera Browser Gradually Regaining Lost Market Share


Opera Browser has always had a position in the Top 5 browsers in the browser wars (a game which has died down significantly in recent times) but has never held the top spot overall globally. That position has been held by Internet Explorer and more recently Chrome. Even worse for the little engine that could was the fact that over the past year or more, they have had to change their core rendering engine in favor of Chromium/Blink in order to keep up with Chrome, and in the process lost a large chunk of their market share. They plummeted from a global 2.2% position all the way down to approximately 1.01% according to figures from http://gs.statcounter.com.

Opera however have tried and fought back with their redeveloped browser and are gradually regaining much of the lost market share and currently hold a 1.39% of that pie. The browser is pretty decent but it has very tough competition against all the other existing players and without a current version for Linux, they can only hope to gain users on Windows and Mac. Also, current users cannot help but keep lambasting the development team for lack of requested features such as bookmark functionality similar to what was in the previous Opera 12.x versions. The team have promised to deliver however and here’s to hoping they do so rather than later, since they will be releasing the 23rd version of the browser in coming months without that functionality included.

We will keep our fingers crossed and hope the little engine that could, will keep chugging along until it regains its 2% global market share again.

Words With Friends Fixed In Opera 12.50

I’ve not been a long time player of the game but I noted that for a long time in the past, the web version of the popular Facebook game by Zynga had been broken in Opera. Not sure who made the fix, but as at Opera 12.50 pre-alpha the game works . 

Words With Friends

The long standing issue seemed to be a bug in the way Drag and Drop was being handled by the game. When tiles were moved from the rack, they disappeared from under the mouse, and could not be placed on the board. 

Opera 12.50 has seen loads of fixes to their Drag and Drop implementations so perhaps that has been the source of the fix for this issue.  

Anyway, back to gaming and taking down people in a battle of words 

Chrome 14 Beta’s Inspector Takes A Play From Opera’s Dragonfly

With the current pace of development in the various Browser camps, it is no surprise that the developers tend to run out of original ideas moving at such a fast pace. The result is that the browser makers begin to look to each other for potential features to include in their own Google Chrome 14 Beta just took a play from Opera’s Dragonfly with a new settings dialog. Continue reading “Chrome 14 Beta’s Inspector Takes A Play From Opera’s Dragonfly”

HTML5 Form Validation Quirks: Opera, Chrome And Firefox

I decided to implement an HTML5 Form validation for one project I was working on recently, and came across several interesting quirks with the implementation across Opera 11.11, Chrome 12 Beta and Firefox 4.0.1.

First off, the basic thing I realized needed to do was check if validation worked at all, so I created my form, slapped on a few “required” attributes on some fields and fired of the form submission. Here is the basic form below along with the HTML and CSS references so we know what we are working with Continue reading “HTML5 Form Validation Quirks: Opera, Chrome And Firefox”

So You Don’t Like Facebook’s Small Font? Here’s A Solution

With the recent re-design on facebook things have changed quite a bit and one of them is the font-size of the News Feed. I personally don’t like the small font size and I hate to strain my eyes. So here is a 3 minute, 3 step solution to get your News Feed looking nice and dandy. Continue reading “So You Don’t Like Facebook’s Small Font? Here’s A Solution”

Yahoo! Must Hate Opera

Yet again Yahoo! goes live with new a Beta Version of its awesome web based email system, sporting some interesting colour changes, menu improvements and organization. But once again, they have dealt a heavy blow to the Opera Browser by distinctively excluding it from its list of supported browsers.

Yahoo! Mail Not Supporting the Opera Browser
Yahoo! Mail Not Supporting the Opera Browser

It may be true that currently Opera holds the least market share in the browser wars but I do not feel that is a justification for Yahoo! to consider leaving out the browser. In the previous iteration of its email client, the same approach was taken and the ever hard working team of Opera devs found a nice way to by pass the problem and allow their browser users to continue their daily work unabated by the tactics of the Yahoo! corporation.

I wonder what issue the Yahoo! devs have with the browser that make them consistently ignore it. Is it JS? Opera has one of the best JS engines in the running. Is it HTML5? I don’t think that is the problem. Perhaps it might be the rendering engine not providing the same font-sizes and pixel counts as other browsers; but that should hardly ever be an issue.

I would be glad if a Yahoo! dev or someone who knows enough about the workings of the Yahoo! Mail development would comment on this issue and probably make me and hopefully the Opera browser developers know point blank the issues they have had with their browser. Or perhaps they should just openly state they don’t provide support for it due to it minimal market share (but then that would be open discrimination, not based on technical reasons 🙂 ).

JavaFX 1.3 Adds New Features and Fixes My Pet Peave

Oracle recently released JavaFX 1.3 and this comes with many fixes, but my favorite little fix is the damn JS sniffing code used by the JavaFX javascript. This has now been updated to enable Opera browsers above 10.5 to detect and load JavaFX applets.

Aside that, I think release has finally piqued my interest in JavaFX and I am planning an uptake when Netbeans 6.9 is released.

JavaFX Running In Opera 10.5 (a hack)

I just had to post this. After I posted about two weeks ago while using Opera 10.5 pre-alpha about how Opera failed to use the Java Plugin and hence could not display JavaFX applets, I finally got JavaFX to run in Opera. Awesome. See below for images of Opera 10.5 with and without the hack.

Here is what you need:

  1. Download the new version of Opera 10.5 beta, which supports the Java Plugin instead of their old way including applets
  2. Download this Opera menu extension which provides an augmented developer menu
  3. Change your User Agent to identify the browser as Internet Explorer or Mozilla by going to “O Menu (top-left)” – > Page Tools -> Developer -> User Agent -> Internet Explorer
  4. Go to www.javafx.com, and you should get JavaFX to load in Opera smoothly (ok mine hanged a bit before it loaded the applet, but hey this is a beta so such things can be expected, but on refresh it loads in a Flash)

So now, all we need to do is wait for Oracle/Sun JavaFX engineers to update their browser detection code, so we do not have to use this hack.

Why Doesn’t Opera Support JavaFX?

UPDATE 05/02/2010

The following article has been updated to be more concise with respect to the way JavaFX is implemented in the various browsers. Opera does not support the Java Plugin in general.

I’ve been a serious Opera user since the first version of the Opera 9 series, and I’m currently running Opera 10.5 pre-alpha. It is a great product and it indeed does make web development fun. I do almost all my web development in Opera and only test in other browsers when I need to. I know for a fact, that since Opera supports standards, almost all my CSS layout and Javascript code will work in Firefox, Safari, Chrome and most often IE 8 (IE 6 and 7 are my back case), right out of the IDE. Most often, if I have to do some code refactoring, it would be for some IE specific quirk (I know most of you know of this pain).

However, I’ve been meaning to try out JavaFX for a while now, but I’ve not made the switch to it yet, simply because Opera does not support it, which is very frustrating. Continue reading “Why Doesn’t Opera Support JavaFX?”