Archive for the ‘Opera’ Category.

How to install Opera on amd64 Ubuntu

Specifically I am working with Kubuntu 7.10 (Gusty Gibbon).

Problem: You are running the amd64 version of Ubuntu, but Opera does not appear to offer 64-bit versions of their software.

Solution: Use the latest build of Opera 9.5 (Kestrel) which I believe is currently in beta status. Here is how:

  1. Go to the Opera Desktop Team blog
  2. On the right sidebar under “LATEST SNAPSHOTS”, click the one for UNIX
  3. Go to the x86_64-linux/ directory
  4. Download the opera .deb package
  5. sudo dpkg --install opera*.deb

Explanation: I’m not sure why Opera tucks the 64-bit versions away instead of including them on their user-friendly download page. I know this newfangled 64-bit technology is akin to some incomprehensible alien FTL space drive, but these processors have been out for several years.

During my web searching, I had to filter through a number of hacky solutions that all involved shoehorning the 32-bit version of Opera into the 64-bit OS. At last I saw a forum post where someone linked to an Opera FTP directory containing 64-bit packages. Hopefully my solution describes how to get the latest and greatest 64-bit Opera for Ubuntu – at least until Opera finally offers it officially.

UPDATE: as the disclaimers suggest, the development builds of Opera are not entirely stable. My favorite “known issue” is this:

  • Plug-ins crash Opera on UNIX/Linux.

Maybe it’s time to try stapling the 32-bit version onto my system…

*Opera is dying

Just as *BSD is dying, so is the Opera web browser.

I’ve been using Opera ever since my AI professor in college mentioned the browser in class – that was at least seven years ago. Opera has consistently produced an excellent browser, implementing brilliant innovations that the more dominant competitors eventually steal for themselves.

According to these stats, Opera seems to top out around 2% market share. Here is the problem:

  • The average person is going to fall victim to Microsoft’s monopoly. They will blindly use the browser (Internet Explorer) that comes glued to the operating system (Windows) that they were forced to buy with their computer. Fortunately, times are changing.
  • The more computer literate person (and there are more of these every day) is going to experiment with the most popular alternative: Firefox.
  • The IT community has rallied around the Open Source standard: again, Firefox.

In this climate, it is very difficult for Opera to acquire new users. Anyone who gives Opera a try will find it to be a very stable, responsive, feature-rich, highly customizable, and polished software application. People can drive this Aston Martin of browsers for free, but they’ll never see it over the bloated hulks of the other browsers.

But that is not the reason Opera is dying.

Opera is going to take a long dirt nap because it does not have inline spell-checking.

The lack of this feature in the year 2007 is unacceptable. I’ve been using both Opera and Firefox simultaneously for some time, but I made an attempt to use Firefox exclusively because of this issue. Yes, I am aware of the attempts to hack inline spellcheck into Opera, but this is not the slick, integrated solution I am looking for.

The frustration, aside from trying to remember to switch to Firefox whenever I plan to type text into a form, is that this is really the first time that Opera has seriously let me down. Some of the improvements in the 9.5 Alpha look exciting, but I don’t see anything about inline spellcheck.

I searched around a little bit, but could not find any statement from Opera addressing this horrible oversight. And so, I am left to give a brief eulogy:

Here lies Opera,
A mighty fine browser in its day.
I’d write more for ya,
But can’t spel the wrods I want to say.