Pick a Free OS

Opera 4 beta 4 for Linux

Opera is a lesser-known web-browser, available for various platforms

(beta4 for LinuxPPC was unavailable at the time of this writing).

I took the statically linked RPM for simplicity, but it's 2.27 megs. The

dynamically linked version is of course, smaller -- around 1.2 megs. The

difference? Dynamic linking requires you to already have the Qt 2.2

library.

It's simple enough to install the RPM -- there's nothing to do but ``rpm

-i opera*''. Run it from the command line with `opera'. The license

agreement, which pops up right after the rpm installation, gives a 30 day

evaluation period, after which the software must be bought and registered.

Running Opera results in a standard browser window, with three panes:

bookmarks (useful ones) on the left, and a browse window on the right.

Tooltips don't seem to be in evidence, making the default behavior of

buttons without text difficult. A lot of desk space is taken up by various

toolbars and status bars, which can be turned off if required.

The Preferences option is, for some reason, under File instead of Edit.

There is some indication of customizable buttons -- buttons.ini was found

lurking in an appropriate directory. The Preferences pop up a new window

with a twisted maze of sections, all different.

Positives

  • Very good browser. The Windows version is very good and very fast too. The

    same can also be said about the Linux version. Pages were rendered

    correctly and though I didn't put it through the entire battery of tests,

    my favorite pages did come up as they should. There are stability issues

    here, but that can be expected as this is still very early beta. Stability

    has improved over previous versions and I'm sure that pretty soon you

    will definitely be giving this browser more than a second look.

  • One noticed an ability to save a page, as well as page plus images on the

    page. Useful, that.

  • The zoom can be adjusted anywhere between 30% and 1000%, though one does

    not recommend zooming beyond 300% for performance reasons.

  • Multiple child windows are available with quick-change buttons. Supports

    frames, which can be turned off. This'll help developers view their site

    in a non-frames capable browser. Also good for those who hate frames.

  • It is Javascript and PNG capable.
  • Can have a user interface based on Windows, CDE, Motif, SGI, and

    others. Makes it quite simple to use. It doesn't stay put, though.